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Clete
September 26th, 2015, 06:35 PM
Of course anyone can offer an answer but I want to hear from the Calvinists in particular on the following question....


If someone sets your house on fire in the middle of the night and then, once the house is fully engulfed in flames, rushes in to rescue you and your 2nd child but decides to leave your wife and your other ten kids to burn in the fire, do you praise the man as a hero or condemn him as a murderer?

Would your answer be different if you were the wife or one of the other ten children?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
September 26th, 2015, 08:14 PM
Anyone?

Arthur Brain
September 26th, 2015, 08:35 PM
If he deliberately chose to leave the others and could easily help then I'd hardly call the guy a hero.

Then again, I wouldn't say that a guy who sets a house on fire and supplies exits or rescue ladders much of a hero either to counter. I find both Calvinism and your notion of 'free will hell' equally abhorrent in their own horrid ways.

Clete
September 26th, 2015, 08:44 PM
If he deliberately chose to leave the others and could easily help then I'd hardly call the guy a hero.

Then again, I wouldn't say that a guy who sets a house on fire and supplies exits or rescue ladders much of a hero either to counter. I find both Calvinism and your notion of 'free will hell' equally abhorrent in their own horrid ways.

Free will hell?

Explain.

Arthur Brain
September 26th, 2015, 08:56 PM
Free will hell?

Explain.

Well, don't you believe that everyone who ends up in "hell" has made a conscious choice to end up there? That in effect they wilfully stay inside a burning building and deliberately choose to ignore any rescue attempt?

flintstoned
September 26th, 2015, 08:58 PM
Of course anyone can offer an answer but I want to hear from the Calvinists in particular on the following question....


If someone sets your house on fire in the middle of the night and then, once the house is fully engulfed in flames, rushes in to rescue you and your 2nd child but decides to leave your wife and your other ten kids to burn in the fire, do you praise the man as a hero or condemn him as a murderer?

Would your answer be different if you were the wife or one of the other ten children?

Resting in Him,
Clete

I'm not a Calvinist, but if someone were responsible for purposely setting a fire and people die as a result, then I would consider them to be a murderer.

As for looking at the scenario from a Calvinist perspective, I would think it would fall along the lines of the following:

Someone warns the family that their careless actions regarding fire safety is dangerous. Family members fall asleep with cigarettes or candles burning, they leave gas appliances on, play with fireworks in the house, etc. When a fire does break out one night, this person is able to gain entry into the house and compel some family members to follow him to safety. The other members, don't even notice or believe that there is a fire. They refuse to leave the comfort of their beds, and don't notice the flames until it is too late.

lukecash12
September 26th, 2015, 09:12 PM
I'm not a Calvinist, but if someone were responsible for purposely setting a fire and people die as a result, then I would consider them to be a murderer.

As for looking at the scenario from a Calvinist perspective, I would think it would fall along the lines of the following:

Someone warns the family that their careless actions regarding fire safety is dangerous. Family members fall asleep with cigarettes or candles burning, they leave gas appliances on, play with fireworks in the house, etc. When a fire does break out one night, this person is able to gain entry into the house and compel some family members to follow him to safety. The other members, don't even notice or believe that there is a fire. They refuse to leave the comfort of their beds, and don't notice the flames until it is too late.

The problem with this "Calvinist" response is that it isn't really in line with Classical Calvinism. While I am in fact a Classical Arminian, my profession is philosophy and theology so I have read Calvin as well as much of Calvinist literature.

In Calvinist theology:

1. God determined who the elect were going to be for inscrutable reasons in eternity past (which essentially means "before Creation").
2. Those people that He chose He will draw, through the Holy Spirit, with an irresistible call.
3. When these people are called they are regenerated. This regeneration is necessary for someone to come to saving faith, because of total depravity.
4. Because there is unconditional election, as a logical consequence there is also unconditional reprobation/damnation.

It is this idea that there are people chosen for damnation in eternity past, which the OP is calling into question.

patrick jane
September 26th, 2015, 09:18 PM
Well, don't you believe that everyone who ends up in "hell" has made a conscious choice to end up there? That in effect they wilfully stay inside a burning building and deliberately choose to ignore any rescue attempt?

seems a reasonable conclusion -

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 09:21 AM
Well, don't you believe that everyone who ends up in "hell" has made a conscious choice to end up there? That in effect they wilfully stay inside a burning building and deliberately choose to ignore any rescue attempt?

Nope! I'm pretty sure I don't believe that.

musterion
September 27th, 2015, 09:23 AM
Of course anyone can offer an answer but I want to hear from the Calvinists in particular on the following question....


If someone sets your house on fire in the middle of the night and then, once the house is fully engulfed in flames, rushes in to rescue you and your 2nd child but decides to leave your wife and your other ten kids to burn in the fire, do you praise the man as a hero or condemn him as a murderer?


Speaking as an ex-Calvinist, I request clarification:

Was he FULLY ABLE to rescue my entire family, not just a few of them? COULD he have done so?

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 09:25 AM
I'm not a Calvinist, but if someone were responsible for purposely setting a fire and people die as a result, then I would consider them to be a murderer.

As for looking at the scenario from a Calvinist perspective, I would think it would fall along the lines of the following:

Someone warns the family that their careless actions regarding fire safety is dangerous. Family members fall asleep with cigarettes or candles burning, they leave gas appliances on, play with fireworks in the house, etc. When a fire does break out one night, this person is able to gain entry into the house and compel some family members to follow him to safety. The other members, don't even notice or believe that there is a fire. They refuse to leave the comfort of their beds, and don't notice the flames until it is too late.

The Calvinist believes that God preordained that the family would be sleepy smokers, that he made fireworks, that he made them go off, that he maintains the fire and causes it to burn. They further believe that those who don't notice the fire don't because God chose not to reveal it to them and intentionally blinded them.

Your use of the word "compel" was accurate though.

Resting in Him,
Clete

musterion
September 27th, 2015, 09:26 AM
4. Because there is unconditional election, as a logical consequence there is also unconditional reprobation/damnation.

It is the logical consequence but Calvin also taught reprobation quite unapologetically. Many Calvinists insist he never did, but they are ignorant or lying.


It is this idea that there are people chosen for damnation in eternity past, which the OP is calling into question.Again, just to clarify, Calvin did teach it. So-called 'hyper-Calvinists' were hardly the first to do so.

musterion
September 27th, 2015, 09:29 AM
Nope! I'm pretty sure I don't believe that.

I do. It's what Paul taught.

dialm
September 27th, 2015, 09:35 AM
Of course anyone can offer an answer but I want to hear from the Calvinists in particular on the following question....


If someone sets your house on fire in the middle of the night and then, once the house is fully engulfed in flames, rushes in to rescue you and your 2nd child but decides to leave your wife and your other ten kids to burn in the fire, do you praise the man as a hero or condemn him as a murderer?

Would your answer be different if you were the wife or one of the other ten children?

Resting in Him,
Clete


Will you please give a real life example of someone doing this. Or if you are unable to give a real life example then maybe you could give a bible example. If you can't do that then give an example from the writings of John Calvin.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 09:36 AM
Of course anyone can offer an answer but I want to hear from the Calvinists in particular on the following question....


If someone sets your house on fire in the middle of the night and then, once the house is fully engulfed in flames, rushes in to rescue you and your 2nd child but decides to leave your wife and your other ten kids to burn in the fire, do you praise the man as a hero or condemn him as a murderer?

Would your answer be different if you were the wife or one of the other ten children?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Presumably you are saying the man who set the house on fire is God, but God didn't sin, He forbade sin, He faithfully warned against sin and still does rising up early.

Putting that aside for a moment

Suppose the wife was evil, her soul as black as coal...all her mind is to find ways of first murdering her husband and then all the children...then the neighbourhood families to boot.

Five of the children take after the man who is a good man, the other six take after the woman...pure evil

Now if the man discovered the plot and despairing of the woman and the six evil kids he decides to save the other five by moving out with them before the conflagration begins...yet not without fully warning the woman that she will only bring evil upon her own head.

dialm
September 27th, 2015, 09:59 AM
Totten Litten,

Just set up any scenario anyway that looks good and see what happens.

Or

Throw some mashed tatters against the wall and see what purdy design it makes as it slides down to the ground.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 10:15 AM
Well if the assumption of the op is that God was the original cause of it all...what does that say?

The GOSPEL facts are that there is wheat and there are tares, the wheat is God's planting but the tares were planted by the devil.

You see them in the disciples who followed Christ who are His sheep and those who came up against them who were the children of the devil and his lust they will do.

People who cannot understand this will have the sheep and the goats, the wheat and the tares, the doves and vipers all mixed up together.

No WONDER the church is in a sorry state, no wonder the gospel cain't make headway.

Nick M
September 27th, 2015, 10:15 AM
I do. It's what Paul taught.

They are without excuse.

Grosnick Marowbe
September 27th, 2015, 10:28 AM
Presumably you are saying the man who set the house on fire is God, but God didn't sin, He forbade sin, He faithfully warned against sin and still does rising up early.

Putting that aside for a moment

Suppose the wife was evil, her soul as black as coal...all her mind is to find ways of first murdering her husband and then all the children...then the neighbourhood families to boot.

Five of the children take after the man who is a good man, the other six take after the woman...pure evil

Now if the man discovered the plot and despairing of the woman and the six evil kids he decides to save the other five by moving out with them before the conflagration begins...yet not without fully warning the woman that she will only bring evil upon her own head.

EXTREME example, don't you think?

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 10:29 AM
EXTREME example, don't you think?

Not more so than the op

Grosnick Marowbe
September 27th, 2015, 10:36 AM
Unsaved man IS capable of doing good or evil. The good they do is
considered "earthly/fleshly good" because, it has no Spiritual value
before God. But, none the less within the confines of this world, it is
good. Unsaved man isn't totally depraved, drooling, murdering zombies.
that's a false belief.

musterion
September 27th, 2015, 10:37 AM
Not more so than the op

Back to the OP.

The man who does the rescuing COULD have saved the woman. Instead, as she burns to death he stands outside the house shouting condemnation at her for refusing to let him save her, telling her this is justice and she's getting exactly what her choice deserves.

The truth, however, is that he never intended to save her but secretly planned from the beginning to burn her.

In that case, the woman's evil or relative innocence is totally beside the point. The man would himself be evil: not only was it within his power to save her as he did the others; he LIES when he says she could have been saved but refused.

That is the work of God according to Calvin.

Grosnick Marowbe
September 27th, 2015, 10:42 AM
Calvin changes the character and intent of the God of the Bible, in order to
fit his "false doctrine." His followers MUST do the same in order to have
everything fit.

Grosnick Marowbe
September 27th, 2015, 10:44 AM
Calvin's "god" is different than the God of the Bible.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 10:52 AM
Back to the OP.

The man who does the rescuing COULD have saved the woman. Instead, as she burns to death he stands outside the house shouting condemnation at her for refusing to let him save her, telling her this is justice and she's getting exactly what her choice deserves.

The truth, however, is that he never intended to save her.

In that case, the woman's evil or relative innocence is totally beside the point. The man would himself be evil: not only was it within his power to save her as he did the others; he LIES when he says she refused to let him save her.

That is the work of God according to Calvin.

I differ from the Calvinist understanding.

The beginning is wrong, for the op assumes that the man himself set the blaze....this assumes that God is responsible for man's sin.

God foreknew man would sin but He did not foreplan that he would sin.

Man's salvation is based upon God's foreknowledge,

See if I can get this across.

Not only has man sinned and is at enmity with God...hates God, hates His word, hates the people of God. God not only foreknew this but He foreknew that some would never repent, never be sorry or ashamed...some would actually bathe themselves in wickedness...enjoy the suffering and oppression they inflict on others.

God will never save them, He will never acquit them, all the cries of anguish and [misinformed] cries of injustice will never make Him have mercy on them

In the gospel, in the message of the cross He has found a way of separating the people, the poor, the weak, the oppressed, the unjustly accused, those hurt and bruised by sin will identify with the cross. To them when they hear of it it becomes the sweet savour of life.

But to the wicked, the strong oppressor it is the foul stench of death.

Don't you see it is the RULERS of this present dark age who God makes responsible and will call to account the most?

The Pharoah's, the Herods, the Caiphas's, the Hitlers, the Stalins, etc, etc yes and the Judas's

Federal Headship is not just in Christ or in Adam....it involves the rulership over mankind....who enforces the law.

musterion
September 27th, 2015, 11:04 AM
The beginning is wrong, for the op assumes that the man himself set the blaze....this assumes that God is responsible for man's sin.

No it does not. That is a red herring distraction and is irrelevant to the real point here.

The issue is, what has God said He will do about our sin, since we can do nothing about it ourselves?

Bible: God gave Christ to die for the sin of all, without exception. There is no one who cannot be saved, apart from their own unbelief.

Calvin: Christ died for the sin only of the Elect. The rest were reprobated to burn from eternity past. Not only can't the reprobates believe and be saved; God never intended for them to do so.

These are two mutually exclusive propositions. They cannot both be true. Which one do you believe?

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 11:21 AM
I do. It's what Paul taught.

Alright, you guys are going to have to explain just what you mean then because I don't get it.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 11:22 AM
Yes the one who sets the blaze is the one who rushes in to save some

That is God pictured...wrongly

He built the house and furnished it and made it comfy and pleasing to the family who would live therein, this is God's good will, He only EVER willed good things for man.

God diligently warned the man, rising up early not to sin, lest ye die.

God's will for man has never changed, He still desires for mankind to dwell in love together, under the shelter of His wing, enjoying His good provision.

But man rebels against it, he wants to be Jack the lad, the women want to be painted jezebels ensnaring their men into all kinds of evil desires.

musterion
September 27th, 2015, 11:23 AM
Alright, you guys are going to have to explain just what you mean then because I don't get it.


In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ--who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power...
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Those two passages refute the entirety of Calvinism.

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 11:29 AM
Will you please give a real life example of someone doing this. Or if you are unable to give a real life example then maybe you could give a bible example. If you can't do that then give an example from the writings of John Calvin.


“The devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how muchsoever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as he permits, nay unless in so far as he commands, that they are not only bound by his fetters but are even forced to do him service” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 11)

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 11:31 AM
No it does not. That is a red herring distraction and is irrelevant to the real point here.

The issue is, what has God said He will do about our sin, since we can do nothing about it ourselves?

Bible: God gave Christ to die for the sin of all, without exception. There is no one who cannot be saved, apart from their own unbelief.

Calvin: Christ died for the sin only of the Elect. The rest were reprobated to burn from eternity past. Not only can't the reprobates believe and be saved; God never intended for them to do so.

These are two mutually exclusive propositions. They cannot both be true. Which one do you believe?

I am not a Calvinist...but I dang sure ain't a freewiller

I never tire of saying that the election is unto blessing, to the body of Christ, to be conformed unto the image of Christ.

Of course we must be saved for that...but it does not exclude others from being saved.

Now you expound the words of Jesus

My sheep hear my voice and they follow Me....ye [those who came up to oppose Him]cannot understand My speech ye are the children of the devil, his lusts ye will do.

I have shown you the doctrine of Paul who says that the cross is the power of God to us who are being saved, but to those who are perishing it is the foul stench of death.

Jesus came with a sword to divide the people. The sheep from the goats.

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 11:31 AM
Those two passages refute the entirety of Calvinism.

Look, I don't deny people are going to go to Hell but that wasn't what he said.

musterion
September 27th, 2015, 11:37 AM
Look, I don't deny people are going to go to Hell but that wasn't what he said.

Okay. We can disagree on that.

They still refute the entirety of Calvinism.

flintstoned
September 27th, 2015, 12:13 PM
The problem with this "Calvinist" response is that it isn't really in line with Classical Calvinism. While I am in fact a Classical Arminian, my profession is philosophy and theology so I have read Calvin as well as much of Calvinist literature.

In Calvinist theology:

1. God determined who the elect were going to be for inscrutable reasons in eternity past (which essentially means "before Creation").
2. Those people that He chose He will draw, through the Holy Spirit, with an irresistible call.
3. When these people are called they are regenerated. This regeneration is necessary for someone to come to saving faith, because of total depravity.
4. Because there is unconditional election, as a logical consequence there is also unconditional reprobation/damnation.

It is this idea that there are people chosen for damnation in eternity past, which the OP is calling into question.

There is no need for God to "choose" anyone for damnation, because we do a pretty good job of damning ourselves through our sin. God doesn't cause us to sin. We do that of our own will. All people.....even the elect.

The only "just" thing really, is for all men to go to hell for their sins! The wages of sin is death. Why would it not be just to be punished for sin? Just because God has decided to extend grace to some, based on his own purposes, in order that they might be spared and brought to salvation.....this somehow makes God unjust? Nobody would be saved if it weren't for God's grace. How would justice be served if God just saved everybody and nobody paid for their sin? If the President, for instance, pardons a criminal and they are spared from having to be imprisoned, does this mean that all criminals should be pardoned? Is it unjust to send criminals to jail, just because a few are blessed with a pardoning?

So why does it even matter? Either way, with God's omniscience, He knows where we will end up before he ever creates us. So, in your belief system, why would he still create those people that he knows will end up in hell? What would be the purpose in that? If it wasn't for God's grace, to determine beforehand that he would save ANY, we would ALL be destined for destruction.

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 01:12 PM
There is no need for God to "choose" anyone for damnation, because we do a pretty good job of damning ourselves through our sin. God doesn't cause us to sin. We do that of our own will. All people.....even the elect.
You are not a Calvinist then?


The only "just" thing really, is for all men to go to hell for their sins!
That is not the only just thing.


The wages of sin is death. Why would it not be just to be punished for sin?
It would be but you paying your own sin debt is not the only option. Someone could pay your sin debt for you and justice is still satisfied so long as that someone doesn't have their own debt to pay.


Just because God has decided to extend grace to some, based on his own purposes, in order that they might be spared and brought to salvation.....this somehow makes God unjust?
What? :bang:

God would only be unjust because of grace if grace was arbitrary as Calvin taught and as Calvinists believe.

Arbitrarily rewarding some and punishing others is unjust by definition.

Add to that the Calvinist teaching that those being punished for their sin could not have done otherwise makes their version of God all the more unjust.


Nobody would be saved if it weren't for God's grace. How would justice be served if God just saved everybody and nobody paid for their sin?
Nobody?

Ever heard of Jesus? God the Son. Who died for the sins of the world?

There is no need for anyone to be punished for their own sin. If every human being that exists where to repent they would all be saved and their sin debt would be paid in full by the shed blood of God the Son which is of infinite and inexhaustible value.


If the President, for instance, pardons a criminal and they are spared from having to be imprisoned, does this mean that all criminals should be pardoned?
Such a pardon of a guilty man would be unjust.


Is it unjust to send criminals to jail, just because a few are blessed with a pardoning?
Well, jail is mostly unjust to begin with but that has nothing to do with who is pardoned. All pardons if guilty criminals are unjust.


So why does it even matter? Either way, with God's omniscience, He knows where we will end up before he ever creates us.
God is not omniscient in the way you mean. The Bible record is clear. God knows what He wants to know of what is knowable.


So, in your belief system, why would he still create those people that he knows will end up in hell?
Your argument presupposes that Calvinism is true in order to argue the truth of Calvinism. That's called question begging.

God doesn't know who will end up in Hell and who won't.


What would be the purpose in that? If it wasn't for God's grace, to determine beforehand that he would save ANY, we would ALL be destined for destruction.
There would indeed be no purpose in it if God did in fact know in advance everything that is going to happen. Indeed, there is a whole list of things as long as your arm that don't make sense in the Calvinist worldview. That's how you can know its false. Its all a jumbled mess of self-contradictory nonsense that bares almost no resemblance to the God of scripture.


Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 01:19 PM
Yes the one who sets the blaze is the one who rushes in to save some

That is God pictured...wrongly

He built the house and furnished it and made it comfy and pleasing to the family who would live therein, this is God's good will, He only EVER willed good things for man.

God diligently warned the man, rising up early not to sin, lest ye die.

God's will for man has never changed, He still desires for mankind to dwell in love together, under the shelter of His wing, enjoying His good provision.

But man rebels against it, he wants to be Jack the lad, the women want to be painted jezebels ensnaring their men into all kinds of evil desires.
It is God pictured wrongly! It is, however, an accurate depiction of the god of Calvin and of Calvinism (and Augustinianism).

You intentionally talk in idiotic riddles because it makes you feel superior. That's fine if that's what trips your trigger but I'm going to give you one single change to answer a straight question with a straight answer and if I get anything other than a yes or no I'll simply add you my ignore list.

Do you believe that God has predestined everything that has or will ever happen?

Do you, for example, believe that God has predestined you to be on my ignore list, or is whether you end up there or not up to me?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Desert Reign
September 27th, 2015, 01:30 PM
Of course anyone can offer an answer but I want to hear from the Calvinists in particular on the following question....


If someone sets your house on fire in the middle of the night and then, once the house is fully engulfed in flames, rushes in to rescue you and your 2nd child but decides to leave your wife and your other ten kids to burn in the fire, do you praise the man as a hero or condemn him as a murderer?

Would your answer be different if you were the wife or one of the other ten children?

Resting in Him,
Clete

He doesn't set your house on fire. He inspires you in such a way that you have no alternative but to want to set the house on fire yourself. And then he blames you for setting the house on fire.

musterion
September 27th, 2015, 02:02 PM
Add to that the Calvinist teaching that those being punished for their sin could not have done otherwise makes their version of God all the more unjust.

Not just unjust...blasphemous, because that right there is where the blasphemy comes in. The fundamental fact of the Gospel of grace is that it's open to ALL without any distinctions and with the sole requirement of faith. But Calvinism says it secretly isn't open to all, only to the Elect, and so contradicts the Word of God.

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 03:09 PM
He doesn't set your house on fire. He inspires you in such a way that you have no alternative but to want to set the house on fire yourself. And then he blames you for setting the house on fire.

I don't know what the difference is except that the word 'inspires' doesn't seem to fit when you have no alternative.

Nick M
September 27th, 2015, 03:22 PM
Not just unjust...blasphemous, because that right there is where the blasphemy comes in. The fundamental fact of the Gospel of grace is that it's open to ALL without any distinctions and with the sole requirement of faith. But Calvinism says it secretly isn't open to all, only to the Elect, and so contradicts the Word of God.

Precisely. It isn't Calvinism vs Open-Theism/Freewill. It is Calvinism vs the gospel of grace. It is every bit of a false gospel as the circumcision tried to put on Paul's early church. Those who promote them(false gospel) are to be accursed.

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 03:51 PM
I am not a Calvinist...but I dang sure ain't a freewiller

I never tire of saying that the election is unto blessing, to the body of Christ, to be conformed unto the image of Christ.

Of course we must be saved for that...but it does not exclude others from being saved.

Now you expound the words of Jesus

My sheep hear my voice and they follow Me....ye [those who came up to oppose Him]cannot understand My speech ye are the children of the devil, his lusts ye will do.

I have shown you the doctrine of Paul who says that the cross is the power of God to us who are being saved, but to those who are perishing it is the foul stench of death.

Jesus came with a sword to divide the people. The sheep from the goats.

Do you believe that Christs sacrifice is offered to all people?

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 04:04 PM
Do you believe that Christs sacrifice is offered to all people?

One man sinned and brought death, separation for all men from God
One man died and ended that separation.

The Holy Ghost is poured out upon ALL flesh, He it is who draws some unto salvation the forgiveness of sins, but others are drawn to judgement.

The good news is announced to all men so there can be no limitation on the efficacy of Christ's redeeming blood.

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 04:07 PM
One man sinned and brought death, separation for all men from God
One man died and ended that separation.

The Holy Ghost is poured out upon ALL flesh, He it is who draws some unto salvation the forgiveness of sins, but others are drawn to judgement.

The good news is announced to all men so there can be no limitation on the efficacy of Christ's redeeming blood.

Then you're Calvinist.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 04:16 PM
It is God pictured wrongly! It is, however, an accurate depiction of the god of Calvin and of Calvinism (and Augustinianism).

You intentionally talk in idiotic riddles because it makes you feel superior. That's fine if that's what trips your trigger but I'm going to give you one single change to answer a straight question with a straight answer and if I get anything other than a yes or no I'll simply add you my ignore list.

Do you believe that God has predestined everything that has or will ever happen?

Do you, for example, believe that God has predestined you to be on my ignore list, or is whether you end up there or not up to me?

Resting in Him,
Clete

My gospel is superior to your hit or miss gospel, saved if you are lucky.

The scripture doesn't speak about God predestinating everything that has or will happen, it does say

"ALL things work together for good to those who love God and who are called to His purpose"

It speaks about WHO God predestined "US, YOU"

Isn't it wonderful to know that God loved YOU with an everlasting love and always planned to include YOU in His body?

What are you grumbling about?

I do declare.

You speak as though before you were created God had to come and ask your permission. He consulted you didn't He, what colour eyes, how many toes.....

Why on earth would He consult you as to whether you will be re-born then?

You were born from above NOT by the will of man, nor by the will of the flesh but by the will of God.


...but you insist it was your will.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 04:21 PM
Then you're Calvinist.

Calvin believed that God predestined all who are not saved to be damned...I believe no such thing.

But I do believe that God chooses who He will draw to His Son to be conformed to the image of His Son...who He will bless, who He chooses to be a blessing.

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 04:24 PM
Calvin believed that God predestined all who are not saved to be damned...I believe no such thing.

What did you mean by this then?


He it is who draws some unto salvation the forgiveness of sins, but others are drawn to judgement.


But I do believe that God chooses who He will draw to His Son to be conformed to the image of His Son...who He will bless, who He chooses to be a blessing.

All men are drawn to God, not just some.

John 12:32 "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 04:33 PM
Yes as I said, some are drawn unto salvation others unto judgement.

They judge themselves unworthy of eternal life...people must think God is a little slow or something...He didn't know that He placed Cain and Abel both in the womb, that He didn't know the one righteous and the other a murderer...it was shown to be the case at the cross [the blood sacrifice] but God already knew.

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 04:36 PM
Yes as I said, some are drawn unto salvation others unto judgement.

Then you do not believe Christ died for all, only some.


They judge themselves unworthy of eternal life

They arent judging anything if God draws them to judgment and gives them no access to salvation.

That would be like me beating my child for breaking a lamp after i made her break it.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 04:47 PM
Then you do not believe Christ died for all, only some.



They arent judging anything if God draws them to judgment and gives them no access to salvation.

That would be like me beating my child for breaking a lamp after i made her break it.

Jesus said "My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me"...but to the Pharisee He says "why do you not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word.....ye are of your father the devil and his lusts ye will do"

So to His sheep it is given to His enemies it is not. Why would God save the devil's crowd?

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 04:48 PM
You think Judas was the child of God?

lukecash12
September 27th, 2015, 04:55 PM
The Calvinist believes that God preordained that the family would be sleepy smokers, that he made fireworks, that he made them go off, that he maintains the fire and causes it to burn. They further believe that those who don't notice the fire don't because God chose not to reveal it to them and intentionally blinded them.

Your use of the word "compel" was accurate though.

Resting in Him,
Clete

I'm with you on most of it until you say that God "intentionally blinded them". That is not a fair representation of "compatibilism", an idea used both in philosophy and theology (as it applies to natural determinism and divine determinism respectively), which maintains that free will and determinism are consistent.

In Classical Calvinism, God permits people to be blind. He is only active in their damnation in that He allows it, as they are following their sin nature in Adam, pursuing inclinations that can truly be regarded as their own. While I'm a Classical/Reformed Arminian myself, I've been carefully assessing Calvinists for some time now, and am sure that they have been widely misrepresented.

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 04:56 PM
My gospel is superior to your hit or miss gospel, saved if you are lucky.

The scripture doesn't speak about God predestinating everything that has or will happen, it does say

"ALL things work together for good to those who love God and who are called to His purpose"

It speaks about WHO God predestined "US, YOU"

Isn't it wonderful to know that God loved YOU with an everlasting love and always planned to include YOU in His body?

What are you grumbling about?

I do declare.

You speak as though before you were created God had to come and ask your permission. He consulted you didn't He, what colour eyes, how many toes.....

Why on earth would He consult you as to whether you will be re-born then?

You were born from above NOT by the will of man, nor by the will of the flesh but by the will of God.


...but you insist it was your will.
Those who are incapable of talking straight, giving straight answers to straight questions, should be ignored.

:wave2:

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 04:57 PM
Those who are incapable of talking straight, giving straight answers to straight questions, should be ignored.

:wave2:

Well you ignore the Holy Ghost...why should you not ignore me :chuckle:

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 05:01 PM
The Calvinist believes that God preordained that the family would be sleepy smokers, that he made fireworks, that he made them go off, that he maintains the fire and causes it to burn. They further believe that those who don't notice the fire don't because God chose not to reveal it to them and intentionally blinded them.

Your use of the word "compel" was accurate though.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Expound this saying of the Lord

"For judgement I am come into the world that they who see not might see and that they who say they see might be made blind"

lukecash12
September 27th, 2015, 05:11 PM
Unsaved man IS capable of doing good or evil. The good they do is
considered "earthly/fleshly good" because, it has no Spiritual value
before God. But, none the less within the confines of this world, it is
good. Unsaved man isn't totally depraved, drooling, murdering zombies.
that's a false belief.

The fundamental difference here is that those bearing spiritual fruit do what they do because they are the beloved. We are able to identify with Christ, and His banner over us is love.

It is from the content of the love relationship itself that absolutely everything proceeds.

O Lord of pots and pans and things,
Since I have no time to be
a great saint by doing lovely things,
or watching late with Thee,
or dreaming in the dawnlight,
or storming Heaven’s gates,
Make me a saint by getting meals,
and washing up the plates.

Warm all the kitchen with Thy Love,
and light it with Thy peace;
Forgive me all my worrying,
and make my grumbling cease.
Thou who didst love to give men food
in room, or by the sea,
Accept the service that I do-
I do it unto Thee.


Generally attributed to Brother Lawrence, 17th century French Carmelite monk.

Fallen man has a constitutional likeness to God, but not a functional likeness. There are still remarkable things in fallen man because God is the most beautiful, most interesting thing there is. The parts aren't all functioning though, and the same agencies that were originally good have been twisted.

Justified and sanctified mankind has restoration and can share in God's feelings, not fully comprehending but experiencing things that are holy. "Getting meals, and washing up the plates" becomes consecrated service.

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 05:11 PM
Jesus said "My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me"...but to the Pharisee He says "why do you not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word.....ye are of your father the devil and his lusts ye will do"

Because the pharisee rejected the truth, not because they were made to reject it.


So to His sheep it is given to His enemies it is not. Why would God save the devil's crowd?

no one said He would - but He does give them the opportunity to receive the truth and be saved.

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 05:15 PM
I'm with you on most of it until you say that God "intentionally blinded them". That is not a fair representation of "compatibilism", an idea used both in philosophy and theology (as it applies to natural determinism and divine determinism respectively), which maintains that free will and determinism are consistent.

In Classical Calvinism, God permits people to be blind. He is only active in their damnation in that He allows it, as they are following their sin nature in Adam, pursuing inclinations that can truly be regarded as their own. While I'm a Classical/Reformed Arminian myself, I've been carefully assessing Calvinists for some time now, and am sure that they have been widely misrepresented.
With all due respect, you are simply wrong on this. There is nothing God permits that He did not pre-ordain according to Calvinism, especially Classical Calvinism!

I've recently had a thread going that was all about trying to end this accusation of misrepresenting Calvinism. All I did was quote Calvin on Calvinism. I didn't quote him about antisemitism or government or anything other than Calvinist doctrine and I was still accused of "poisoning the well" in spite of the fact that not one single Calvinist denied a word of what I quoted. I posted one of the quotes on this thread already but I encourage you to read the opening post HERE (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112620).

In lieu of that let me just quote Calvin here, and we'll see if any Calvinist objects to what he said....


“The devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how muchsoever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as he permits, nay unless in so far as he commands, that they are not only bound by his fetters but are even forced to do him service” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 11)


Resting in Him,
Clete

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 05:17 PM
Because the pharisee rejected the truth, not because they were made to reject it.



no one said He would - but He does give them the opportunity to receive the truth and be saved.

He says they are not able to hear His word.....

Again He says "He hid from them for though He had done so many miracles yet they could not believe in Him

This was to fulfil what Isaiah the prophet said He hath closed their eyes that they might not see and stopped up their ears that they might not hear and hardened their hearts lest they should turn to Him and be forgiven and He would heal them"

lukecash12
September 27th, 2015, 05:19 PM
Back to the OP.

The man who does the rescuing COULD have saved the woman. Instead, as she burns to death he stands outside the house shouting condemnation at her for refusing to let him save her, telling her this is justice and she's getting exactly what her choice deserves.

The truth, however, is that he never intended to save her but secretly planned from the beginning to burn her.

In that case, the woman's evil or relative innocence is totally beside the point. The man would himself be evil: not only was it within his power to save her as he did the others; he LIES when he says she could have been saved but refused.

That is the work of God according to Calvin.

This does not accurately characterize Classical Calvinist thinking. In their thought: it takes an extraordinary act of interference on God's end to regenerate someone, bringing him/her from a state of already being spiritually dead into a state of being spiritually alive. God may cause, logically speaking, reprobation, but it is in a purely inactive sense. It is the persons themselves actively choosing hell.

While I may not agree with this viewpoint, it behooves us to consider their true positions instead of a straw man.

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 05:20 PM
He says they are not able to hear His word.....

Again He says "He hid from them for though He had done so many miracles yet they could not believe in Him

This was to fulfil what Isaiah the prophet said He hath closed their eyes that they might not see and stopped up their ears that they might not hear and hardened their hearts lest they should turn to Him and be forgiven and He would heal them"

Not all encompassing, and they hardened their own hearts- or no jews would have believed. Do you believe that God makes all your choices?

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 05:24 PM
This does not accurately characterize Classical Calvinist thinking. In their thought: it takes an extraordinary act of interference on God's end to regenerate someone, bringing him/her from a state of already being spiritually dead into a state of being spiritually alive. God may cause, logically speaking, reprobation, but it is in a purely inactive sense. It is the persons themselves actively choosing hell.

While I may not agree with this viewpoint, it behooves us to consider their true positions instead of a straw man.

It is completely accurate and its not even close to a straw man. Saying otherwise is wishful thinking or ignorance.


“The devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how muchsoever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as he permits, nay unless in so far as he commands, that they are not only bound by his fetters but are even forced to do him service” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 11)

“But since he foresees future events only by reason of the fact that he decreed that they take place, they vainly raise a quarrel over foreknowledge, when it is clear that all things take place rather by his determination and bidding.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 6)

“We hold that God is the disposer and ruler of all things, –that from the remotest eternity, according to his own wisdom, He decreed what he was to do, and now by his power executes what he decreed.* Hence we maintain, that by His providence, not heaven and earth and inanimate creatures only, but also the counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 16, Paragraph 8)

Resting in Him,
Clete

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 05:26 PM
we have to abide by what the scripture says...he closed their eyes, and stopped up their ears.

I believe we are in God's will or not

If we are in God's will He makes all things to work together for good. If we are following our own "freewill" we will prolly end up in bondage again...in fact we will for that is where it leads to.

lukecash12
September 27th, 2015, 05:27 PM
There is no need for God to "choose" anyone for damnation, because we do a pretty good job of damning ourselves through our sin. God doesn't cause us to sin. We do that of our own will. All people.....even the elect.

The only "just" thing really, is for all men to go to hell for their sins! The wages of sin is death. Why would it not be just to be punished for sin? Just because God has decided to extend grace to some, based on his own purposes, in order that they might be spared and brought to salvation.....this somehow makes God unjust? Nobody would be saved if it weren't for God's grace. How would justice be served if God just saved everybody and nobody paid for their sin? If the President, for instance, pardons a criminal and they are spared from having to be imprisoned, does this mean that all criminals should be pardoned? Is it unjust to send criminals to jail, just because a few are blessed with a pardoning?

So why does it even matter? Either way, with God's omniscience, He knows where we will end up before he ever creates us. So, in your belief system, why would he still create those people that he knows will end up in hell? What would be the purpose in that? If it wasn't for God's grace, to determine beforehand that he would save ANY, we would ALL be destined for destruction.

Great points, monsieur, great points.

Calvinism's answer: God doesn't directly cause us to sin. His inactivity coupled with our own nature causes us to sin resulting in damnation, though. In effect, God choosing inactivity towards (as in not regenerating) some people is clearly choosing them for damnation. Another important doctrinal to understand is that God's reasons for election in eternity past are inscrutable reasons, and He is not answerable to us regarding those reasons. It's important to remember that in light of what we did in Adam and continue doing ourselves, God isn't required to save anyone. It is His good pleasure to choose those He wishes to have for company.

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 05:28 PM
we have to abide by what the scripture says...he closed their eyes, and stopped up their ears.

I believe we are in God's will or not

If we are in God's will He makes all things to work together for good. If we are following our own "freewill" we will prolly end up in bondage again...in fact we will for that is where it leads to.

He closes the eyes and ears of those who have already rejected Him.

1 Timothy 4:2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.

God knows their hearts, and gives them over to what is in it, He does not force them.

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 05:29 PM
Great points, monsieur, great points.

Calvinism's answer: God doesn't directly cause us to sin. His inactivity coupled with our own nature causes us to sin resulting in damnation, though. In effect, God choosing inactivity towards (as in not regenerating) some people is clearly choosing them for damnation. Another important doctrinal to understand is that God's reasons for election in eternity past are inscrutable reasons, and He is not answerable to us regarding those reasons. It's important to remember that in light of what we did in Adam and continue doing ourselves, God isn't required to save anyone. It is His good pleasure to choose those He wishes to have for company.
Such a god is unjust or the concept of justice has no meaning.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 05:34 PM
He closes the eyes and ears of those who have already rejected Him.

1 Timothy 4:2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.

God knows their hearts, and gives them over to what is in it, He does not force them.

....this bit is added "of those who have already rejected Him"

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 05:40 PM
....this bit is added "of those who have already rejected Him"

Yes, they showed they already rejected Him by their actions toward Him.

I didnt add anything the bible says it.

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.

Luke 13:34 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 05:41 PM
Yes, they showed they already rejected Him by their actions toward Him.

I didnt add anything the bible says it.

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.

John repulsed them

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 05:43 PM
John repulsed them

Point being is that they did not want the truth, and God gave them over to what was in their own hearts.

musterion
September 27th, 2015, 05:44 PM
This does not accurately characterize Classical Calvinist thinking.

I'm not particularly interested in whatever mutant, watered-down, repackaged, smiley-faced strain of Calvinism you're interested in defending here. I and others can support, and have elsewhere supported, every thing I said from CALVIN'S own in-context writings on the matter.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 05:46 PM
When he saw them he said "who told you to flee from the wrath to come....God has come to winnow you out"

He said they were vipers.....will God save vipers?

lukecash12
September 27th, 2015, 05:50 PM
It is completely accurate and its not even close to a straw man. Saying otherwise is wishful thinking or ignorance.

“The devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how muchsoever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as he permits, nay unless in so far as he commands, that they are not only bound by his fetters but are even forced to do him service” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 11)

“But since he foresees future events only by reason of the fact that he decreed that they take place, they vainly raise a quarrel over foreknowledge, when it is clear that all things take place rather by his determination and bidding.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 6)

“We hold that God is the disposer and ruler of all things, –that from the remotest eternity, according to his own wisdom, He decreed what he was to do, and now by his power executes what he decreed.* Hence we maintain, that by His providence, not heaven and earth and inanimate creatures only, but also the counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 16, Paragraph 8)Resting in Him,
Clete

Thank you Clete, this is proving to be an engaging and pleasant discussion thus far.

Here's how I believe a knowledgeable Calvinist would respond:

1. This is scholarly material by Calvin, not a statement of belief like the Westminster Confession. The Westminster Confession is the standard for people believing in Reformed theology (although different versions of it are used), of which Calvin is the chief proponent. Augustine also was formative for the movement, notably close to agreement with TULIP.

The reason that Reformed thinkers are called Calvinists is that they have been habitually called it, and simply find it easier to go along with now. Don't be surprised if "Calvinists" call each other Reformed instead, because that is what they truly are.

Hence, statements like these by Calvin are not necessarily representative of Reformed thinkers. Other very formative names, for Calvinists today, that deserve a mention aside from Calvin and Augustine are thinkers such as Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger, John Knox, Francis Turretin, and especially Jonathan Edwards.

2. God is able to cause things both inactively and actively, through Himself, personal agents, and impersonal agents.

3. Reformed belief applies to more than just TULIP:

Total depravity
Unconditional election
Limited atonement
Irresistible grace
Preservation of the saints

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/00/Westminster_Confession_of_Faith_title_page.jpg/220px-Westminster_Confession_of_Faith_title_page.jpg

Rather, it was a general statement of faith intended for the Church of England as a whole; the document was drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly.

And I quote:


It includes doctrines common to most of Christendom such as the Trinity and Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection, and it contains doctrines specific to Protestantism such as sola scriptura and sola fide. Its more controversial features include double predestination (held alongside freedom of choice), the covenant of works with Adam, the Puritan doctrine that assurance of salvation is not a necessary consequence of faith, a minimalist conception of worship, and a strict sabbatarianism.


Even more controversially, it states that the Pope is the Antichrist, that the Roman Catholic mass is a form of idolatry, that the civil magistrates have divine authority to punish heresy, and rules out marriage with non-Christians. These formulations were repudiated by several bodies which adopted the confession (for instance, the Church of Scotland, though its ministers are still free to adhere to the full confession and some do), but the confession remains part of the official doctrine of some other Presbyterian churches. For example, the Presbyterian Church of Australia holds to the Westminster Confession of Faith as its standard, subordinate to the Word of God, and read in the light of a declaratory statement.[/URL]

[url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Confession_of_Faith (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Confession_of_Faith#cite_note-2)

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 05:54 PM
When he saw them he said "who told you to flee from the wrath to come....God has come to winnow you out"

He said they were vipers.....will God save vipers?

Where do you keep getting that i believe God will save everyone, just because i say that God doesnt force someone to Trust in Him?

God would save a viper if they repented and believed the gospel, yes.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 05:57 PM
Where do you keep getting that i believe God will save everyone, just because i say that God doesnt force someone to Trust in Him?

God would save a viper if they repented and believed the gospel, yes.

Again I say God planted good wheat in the kingdom, it was the devil who sowed tares. God knows who are wheat and who are tares...He won't save tares.

People can complain as much as they like

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 05:58 PM
I'm not particularly interested in whatever mutant, watered-down, repackaged, smiley-faced strain of Calvinism you're interested in defending here. I and others can support, and have elsewhere supported, every thing I said from CALVIN'S own in-context writings on the matter.

See what I mean lukecash12 ?

I'm telling you, I haven't exaggerated or distorted anything. Calvinists really do believe this stuff!

You'd do well to figure out what your own Classical Arminian theology shares in common not just with Classical Calvinism but with the Classics (i.e. Aristotle and Plato). That's where all this nonsense comes from.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 05:59 PM
Again I say God planted good wheat in the kingdom, it was the devil who sowed tares. God knows who are wheat and who are tares...He won't save tares.

People can complain as much as they like

Are you even listening to me? No one said God will save those who reject Him, i am saying He allows people the will to do so.

lukecash12
September 27th, 2015, 06:01 PM
I'm not particularly interested in whatever mutant, watered-down, repackaged, smiley-faced strain of Calvinism you're interested in defending here. I and others can support, and have elsewhere supported, every thing I said from CALVIN'S own in-context writings on the matter.

First, let me wish you God's blessing and entreat you to think calmly. I'm not a "Calvinist" myself (the technically correct word is "Reformed"), and am merely reflecting what my not inconsiderable education has taught me on the subject. You may be surprised to learn that Calvin is one amongst a group of thinkers that Reformed thinkers refer back to, and his writings are not the sole definitive statements of their belief.

Like I've mentioned a few times already, Augustine is the first thinker they base their biblical thoughts upon, tracing them from him through a series of theologians who participated in what can truly be called an Augustinian tradition.

While I can't agree with everything set forth in TULIP, as a Classical/Reformed Arminian my theology is close to Calvinists, and it's roots hark back to Augustine as well. There is much more involved than TULIP.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 06:08 PM
Are you even listening to me? No one said God will save those who reject Him, i am saying He allows people the will to do so.

Man chose to reject God in the garden, that choice is made.

Man does not have freewill to choose again, if he did there would be no need for Christ to die, all He needs to do is persuade men.

But man is bound, he is a slave. Bound to sin and bound to die.

There were no Red Indians saved before the Europeans got to America, the power to set free and save is the gospel....not man's "free" will which is bondage.

Again Paul says "before you were known of God you were in bondage to the elementary spirits of the universe."

So we must be set free before we can choose.

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 06:10 PM
Man chose to reject God in the garden, that choice is made.

Man does not have freewill to choose again, if he did there would be no need for Christ to die, all He needs to do is persuade men.

But man is bound, he is a slave. Bound to sin and bound to die.

There were no Red Indians saved before the Europeans got to America, the power to set free and save is the gospel....not man's "free" will which is bondage.

Again Paul say "before you were known of God you were in bondage to the elementary spirits of the universe."

So we must be set free before we can choose.

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

That a lie there?

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 06:11 PM
How about this?

Isaiah 45:19
I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob's descendants, 'Seek me in vain.' I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right.

lukecash12
September 27th, 2015, 06:16 PM
See what I mean lukecash12 ?

I'm telling you, I haven't exaggerated or distorted anything. Calvinists really do believe this stuff!

You'd do well to figure out what your own Classical Arminian theology shares in common not just with Classical Calvinism but with the Classics (i.e. Aristotle and Plato). That's where all this nonsense comes from.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Your concern is ever so considerate, and may God bless you for it.

Please rest assured, monsieur, that I am well aware of the Neoplatonist philosophy from which Augustine derived much of his thoughts. If I may make a suggestion purely out of my own concern and love, it would help if we considered the principle of charity when we participate in dialogue together.

See posts #72 and #77 for explanations as to why "Calvinists" are actually "Reformed", and how not all of Calvin's writings are synonymous with Reformed thinking in general.


Such a god is unjust or the concept of justice has no meaning.

I sympathize with this sentiment, because believing in unconditional election and compatibilism violates what I think is a more reasonable notion of free will.

If God either actively or inactively causes everything, to the effect that every cause He either allows or initiates Himself guarantees the result, we not only do have freedom in any meaningful sense, but we are not fully persons. I don't believe in compatibilism not only for those reasons, which I've only scratched the very surface of in summarizing, but for hermeneutic reasons; those biblical reasons being the first and most important reasons.

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 06:17 PM
Thank you Clete, this is proving to be an engaging and pleasant discussion thus far.

Here's how I believe a knowledgeable Calvinist would respond:

1. This is scholarly material by Calvin, not a statement of belief like the Westminster Confession. The Westminster Confession is the standard for people believing in Reformed theology (although different versions of it are used), of which Calvin is the chief proponent. Augustine also was formative for the movement, notably close to agreement with TULIP.

The reason that Reformed thinkers are called Calvinists is that they have been habitually called it, and simply find it easier to go along with now. Don't be surprised if "Calvinists" call each other Reformed instead, because that is what they truly are.

Hence, statements like these by Calvin are not necessarily representative of Reformed thinkers. Other very formative names, for Calvinists today, that deserve a mention aside from Calvin and Augustine are thinkers such as Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger, John Knox, Francis Turretin, and especially Jonathan Edwards.

2. God is able to cause things both inactively and actively, through Himself, personal agents, and impersonal agents.

3. Reformed belief applies to more than just TULIP:

Total depravity
Unconditional election
Limited atonement
Irresistible grace
Preservation of the saints

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/00/Westminster_Confession_of_Faith_title_page.jpg/220px-Westminster_Confession_of_Faith_title_page.jpg

Rather, it was a general statement of faith intended for the Church of England as a whole; the document was drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly.

And I quote:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Confession_of_Faith
lukecash12,

I don't know how to say this except to say you're just wrong.
I mean, of course Calvin was not the only source of what is called Calvinist doctrine but the only Calvinists you'll find that will deny this stuff are those that I refer to as lay persons. People who are just regular folks that sit in a pew on Sunday and believe whatever the preacher says because he's the expert and they aren't and aren't interesting in becoming one. Any educated Calvinist will not deny a word of what I've said and in fact they'd likely be offended by your attempt to soften their core doctrines. And make no mistake, they do consider this to be a core doctrine.

And you, an Arminian, are every bit as much a product of the Reformation as any Calvinist. Their attempt to rename themselves serves them in two ways. It serves to muddy the water by distancing themselves from Calvin (not because of his doctrine but because he was a horrible human being) and it serves to obscure Arminianism! I'm not sure why you'd be willing to go along with that.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 06:18 PM
Are you even listening to me? No one said God will save those who reject Him, i am saying He allows people the will to do so.

You are not listening closely to God's word.

He says it was the devil who sowed tares in His wheat field, you think the tares can be converted into wheat. It is the same word Jesus said to the Pharisees "ye are of your father the devil..."

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 06:21 PM
How about this?

Isaiah 45:19
I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob's descendants, 'Seek me in vain.' I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right.

Yes, yes

He said that to Jacob's descendants...the elect. He didn't say it to Pharoah's descendants or to the children of Anakim...they had no freewill....

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 06:22 PM
You are not listening closely to God's word.

He says it was the devil who sowed tares in His wheat field, you think the tares can be converted into wheat. It is the same word Jesus said to the Pharisees "ye are of your father the devil..."

Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

You are not listening to Gods word, when you claim the offer of salvation is not given to all men.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 06:37 PM
Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

You are not listening to Gods word, when you claim the offer of salvation is not given to all men.

Well God is speaking of the Jews and Gentiles there, but it is an interesting point. The reason He consigned all under sin is that He might have mercy upon all.

He consigned Abel under sin as well as Cain, even though He foreknew Abel and predestined him to be conformed to the image of His Son....but Cain was always the murderer, it was the preaching of the cross that brought out his murderous spirit in him.

He consigned righteous Abel under sin that he might preach the gospel to Cain....

Clete
September 27th, 2015, 06:39 PM
Your concern is ever so considerate, and may God bless you for it.

Please rest assured, monsieur, that I am well aware of the Neoplatonist philosophy from which Augustine derived much of his thoughts. If I may make a suggestion purely out of my own concern and love, it would help if we considered the principle of charity when we participate in dialogue together.
The Greek philosophical basis of many of the core doctrine of Calvinism are shared, at least in part, by Arminianism, as you seem to be aware. On what basis have you rejected Sola Scriptura and permitted Greek philosophy to persist in your core doctrines?


See posts #72 and #77 for explanations as to why "Calvinists" are actually "Reformed", and how not all of Calvin's writings are synonymous with Reformed thinking in general.
I agree that "not all of Calvin's writings are synonymous with Reformed thinking in general". But what I've quoted here and the concepts introduced in the opening post is not among those writing and concepts of Calvin that Calvinists reject. Calvinists are embarrassed by Calvin as a person not by his doctrinal positions. Calvin was a murderous tyrant and that is why Calvinists don't want to be tied to him so directly.

In your previous post you mentioned the Westminster Confession and other foundational Calvinist documents and authors. Which of them teach anything contrary to what I've presented in this thread that you are suggesting isn't in line with "Reformed Doctrine"?


I sympathize with this sentiment, because believing in unconditional election and compatibilism violates what I think is a more reasonable notion of free will.

If God either actively or inactively causes everything, to the effect that every cause He either allows or initiates Himself guarantees the result, we not only do have freedom in any meaningful sense, but we are not fully persons. I don't believe in compatibilism not only for those reasons, which I've only scratched the very surface of in summarizing, but for hermeneutic reasons; those biblical reasons being the first and most important reasons.
Okay, cool! I would just say that it isn't about what we think, its about what is true or false. We are not dealing with issues that are matters of opinion. Either the Calvinist is wrong, you are wrong or both. There's nothing wrong with stating the truth with firmness and conviction. If someone gets offended by the truth, allow the offense to work it's ministry.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 06:39 PM
If the church would embrace election they would see themselves as set apart from the world for to be a witness to the world.

...a city set upon a hill

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 06:41 PM
If the church would embrace election they would see themselves as set apart from the world for to be a witness to the world.

...a city set upon a hill

Whats the purpose of witnessing to the world, if Christ only died for some and we cant come to Him according to you?

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 06:47 PM
Whats the purpose of witnessing to the world, if Christ only died for some and we cant come to Him according to you?

You came to Him....your neighbour didn't, what is that? just bad luck?

or perhaps there was some good thing in you which made you choose Christ, is that what you think?

His sheep hear His voice and they follow Him...[but of some He says] ye are of your father the devil and his lusts will ye do.

Howl as much as they like, nobody will persuade God to save the devil's children.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 06:52 PM
Whats the purpose of witnessing to the world, if Christ only died for some and we cant come to Him according to you?

Because we have brothers and sisters out there who are bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh but who at the present time walk lonely, in darkness...afraid, waiting for a voice, a word of hope and comfort.

Desiring a Saviour, someone who will bring them out of their darkness, who will place their feet upon a rock who will be their God.

If the church would embrace election and see themselves set apart, a holy people we would be like a city set upon a hill to such.

There are MILLIONS in America who are seeking something set apart and different but they don't see it in the church, because the church herself is unsure...wobbly, uncertain in her message.

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 06:55 PM
Because we have brothers and sisters out there who are bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh but who at the present time walk lonely, in darkness...afraid, waiting for a voice, a word of hope and comfort.

Desiring a Saviour, someone who will bring them out of their darkness, who will place their feet upon a rock who will be their God.

If the church would embrace election and see themselves set apart, a holy people we would be like a city set upon a hill to such.

There are MILLIONS in America who are seeking something set apart and different but they don't see it in the church, because the church herself is unsure...wobbly, uncertain in her message.

The bolded is a contradiction if one cannot seek Him.

Totton Linnet
September 27th, 2015, 07:01 PM
The bolded is a contradiction if one cannot seek Him.

No it isn't

It is God who seeks us and finds us and saves us...if you were sat at table with the Lord and He said

"you did not choose Me but I chose you"

will you gainsay Him?

We are born again not by the will of man or by the will of the flesh but by the will of God.

Why do people insist that it is their own "freewill"

Listen I gotta go to bed...so good night God bless you...we'll take up cudgels again another time :)

Angel4Truth
September 27th, 2015, 07:06 PM
No it isn't

It is God who seeks us and finds us and saves us...if you were sat at table with the Lord and He said

"you did not choose Me but I chose you"

will you gainsay Him?

We are born again not by the will of man or by the will of the flesh but by the will of God.

Why do people insist that it is their own "freewill"

Listen I gotta go to bed...so good night God bless you...we'll take up cudgels again another time :)

Ive already quoted all the relevant verses that clearly show He died for all, not some and that we all have the opportunity to receive and respond to the gospel or to reject it.

Sleep well.

Totton Linnet
September 28th, 2015, 03:25 AM
SO you are saying that God did not close their eyes and stop their ears or harden their hearts

uh... oh... well... that's funny because God said He did.

Granite
September 28th, 2015, 07:22 AM
I see you abandoned your other thread. Gee, that's cute.:rolleyes:

Clete
September 28th, 2015, 09:15 AM
I see you abandoned your other thread. Gee, that's cute.:rolleyes:

I haven't abandoned it. No one has posted there in a few days but I'm still subscribed. Is there something you feel I should have responded too?

Granite
September 28th, 2015, 09:18 AM
I haven't abandoned it. No one has posted there in a few days but I'm still subscribed. Is there something you feel I should have responded too?

Eh, my last post, if you feel like it. Free country and all that.

Clete
September 28th, 2015, 09:19 AM
Eh, my last post, if you feel like it. Free country and all that.

I was comfortable with letting you have the last word but I'll look it over. It wasn't my intention to make you think I was ignoring it.

Granite
September 28th, 2015, 09:25 AM
I was comfortable with letting you have the last word but I'll look it over. It wasn't my intention to make you think I was ignoring it.

Hey man, no worries.:cheers:

lukecash12
September 28th, 2015, 05:03 PM
lukecash12,

I don't know how to say this except to say you're just wrong.
I mean, of course Calvin was not the only source of what is called Calvinist doctrine but the only Calvinists you'll find that will deny this stuff are those that I refer to as lay persons. People who are just regular folks that sit in a pew on Sunday and believe whatever the preacher says because he's the expert and they aren't and aren't interesting in becoming one. Any educated Calvinist will not deny a word of what I've said and in fact they'd likely be offended by your attempt to soften their core doctrines. And make no mistake, they do consider this to be a core doctrine.

And you, an Arminian, are every bit as much a product of the Reformation as any Calvinist. Their attempt to rename themselves serves them in two ways. It serves to muddy the water by distancing themselves from Calvin (not because of his doctrine but because he was a horrible human being) and it serves to obscure Arminianism! I'm not sure why you'd be willing to go along with that.

Resting in Him,
Clete

I've been made to understand that whatever educational, and more importantly factual, leaps and bounds I demonstrate you will reiterate the same tired old statements.

Let's see... you've been around since 2003 and if you didn't miss it, this silliness of "Reformed thinkers are ultimately just Greek thinkers" was blown out of the water with post #15 here: http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53669 I somehow doubt you've ever read the Westminster Confession of Faith either, otherwise you would know there are manifestly more influences than Calvin, and you would know exactly how most Reformed thinkers contemplate double predestination.

It's more than a little evident, reading your own past material, that "you're just wrong" has for some time now been a cop-out in the face of having to demonstrate why you're right. It is impossible to educate someone, or talk with that person about material requiring sufficient education, if they demonstrably despise education and correcting themselves.

In fact, I canvassed a few heavily educated Reformed thinkers here, and the only quibble I heard from one of them was that when I defined double predestination near the beginning of the thread, I left the reader's mind open to assume that either predestination was exactly the same kind of predestination.

musterion
September 28th, 2015, 05:08 PM
I've been made to understand that whatever educational, and more importantly factual, leaps and bounds I demonstrate you will reiterate the same tired old statements.

Let's see... you've been around since 2003 and if you didn't miss it, this silliness of "Reformed thinkers are just Greek thinkers" was blown out of the water with post #15 here: http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53669

It's more than a little evident, reading your own past material, that "you're just wrong" has for some time now been a cop-out in the face of having to demonstrate why you're right. It is impossible to educate someone, or talk with that person about material requiring sufficient education, if they demonstrably despise education and correcting themselves.

Are you a Calvinist, or are you just arguing in favor of Calvinism just to be doing it? Serious question...which are you?

lukecash12
September 28th, 2015, 05:15 PM
Are you a Calvinist, or are you just arguing in favor of Calvinism just to be doing it? Serious question...which are you?

1. I'm a Reformed Arminian. That means that I believe in a sublapsarian theodicy. Regarding TULIP, I believe in: total depravity, conditional election, unlimited atonement, prevenient grace, and the possibility of apostasy.

Sublapsarian theodicy means that the order of God's decrees is this:

(1) God decreed to create human beings, (2) God decreed to permit the fall, (3) God decreed to provide salvation sufficient to all, and (4) God decreed to choose some to receive this salvation.

Infralapsarianism:

(1) God decreed the creation of mankind, (2) God decreed mankind would be allowed to fall into sin through their own self-determination, (3) God decreed to save some of the fallen, and (4) God decreed to provide Jesus Christ as the Redeemer.

Supralapsarianism:

(1) God decreed the election of some and the eternal condemnation of others, (2) God decreed to create those elected and eternally condemned, (3) God decreed to permit the fall, and (4) God decreed to provide salvation for the elect through Jesus Christ.

Reformed thinkers, as opposed to Reformed or Wesleyan Arminians, believe in supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism. Infralapsarians are the primary group amongst them, and they are the group that most strongly affirms double predestination.

2. I'm not arguing in favor of Calvinism, or defending it just for the heck of it. Apparently, there are people here at TOL who have not read critical material on just what Reformed belief is, and because of that they are drawing inaccurate assumptions about them.

musterion
September 28th, 2015, 05:18 PM
You are of a considerable minority in Reformed circles. That's why our focus is on what the historic majority believes, which aligns with what Calvin wrote (though many of them tend to not admit it these days). So when you say you're here to correct our misunderstandings of Calvinism, it isn't even your brand of Calvinism we focus on here.

lukecash12
September 28th, 2015, 05:30 PM
You are of a considerable minority in Reformed circles. That's why our focus is on what the historic majority believes, which aligns with what Calvin wrote (though many of them tend to not admit it these days). So when you say you're here to correct our misunderstandings of Calvinism, it isn't even your brand of Calvinism we focus on here.

See the rest of my last post, for a summary on God's decrees. "Calvinists" aren't required to be infralapsarians, and those that are "infra" do not have to believe that God is actively making people reprobate, as opposed to inactively allowing them to be reprobate.

Their actual statement of faith, in whichever variation of it that they use (none of which were written by John Calvin), is a truer way to see what they think on election. The people in the congregation who drew up the WCF were both "supra" and "infra".

What the OP primarily has in mind, by mentioning double predestination, are supralapsarians. Hyper-Calvinists are a particular brand of supralapsarian that also doesn't believe in the free offer of the gospel. This is in direction contradiction with the Canons of Dort, the Westminster Standards, and the Westminster Larger Catechism.

musterion
September 28th, 2015, 05:44 PM
"Calvinists". . . do not have to believe that God is actively making people reprobate

Calvin did.

lukecash12
September 28th, 2015, 05:47 PM
Calvin did.

"Calvinists" don't have to, and the majority of them are not supralapsarians/hyper-Calvinists.

musterion
September 28th, 2015, 05:50 PM
"Calvinists" don't have to, hence the majority of them are not supralapsarians.

Weird how someone can label himself by the name of another man yet contradict him on such a fundamental point. Very weird.

lukecash12
September 28th, 2015, 05:55 PM
Weird how someone can label himself by the name of another man yet contradict him on such a fundamental point. Very weird.

It is a label that was forced on them basically from all sides. While in many respects they do agree with Calvin, as he was formative for Reformed thinking, not only do many of them disagree with Calvin about decrees but they disagree with him on other subjects in Reformed thinking (like credo vs paedo baptism, "infant vs informed"). It's not uncommon to see or hear in discussions between "Calvinist" theologians, that they prefer to call themselves Reformed.

Clete
September 28th, 2015, 09:47 PM
I've been made to understand that whatever educational, and more importantly factual, leaps and bounds I demonstrate you will reiterate the same tired old statements.
Huh?


Let's see... you've been around since 2003 and if you didn't miss it, this silliness of "Reformed thinkers are ultimately just Greek thinkers" was blown out of the water with post #15 here: http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53669 I somehow doubt you've ever read the Westminster Confession of Faith either, otherwise you would know there are manifestly more influences than Calvin, and you would know exactly how most Reformed thinkers contemplate double predestination.
So where's the sudden hostility coming from?

I've read it many times as I've also read the Canons of Dordt, The Smalcald Articles and probably any other document you care to name. They are all quite easily available on a number of websites, my favorite of which is Reformed.org which is the website for the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics. They used to have a web forum similar to this one where I had the pleasure of debating many different points covered in the Westminster Confession of Faith.


It's more than a little evident, reading your own past material, that "you're just wrong" has for some time now been a cop-out in the face of having to demonstrate why you're right.
On the contrary. I make it a habit to explain why, although there are exceptions depending on the context. It is I who is seemingly always stating to the Calvinists that saying it doesn't make it so.

I'll think you'll see, if you go back and check, that I've told you that you were wrong twice and that both times I explained specifically what I meant by that.


It is impossible to educate someone, or talk with that person about material requiring sufficient education, if they demonstrably despise education and correcting themselves.
This statement is factually true but does not apply to me in the least. The level of your education does not impress me in the slightest. I've seen people on this website who at least claim to have a PH.D. in theology and claim to be an employed professor of theology say some of the most mind blowingly idiotic things you can imagine, not to mention blasphemous.

What impresses me is reason. Make an argument. I'm not interested in your opinion or how much money and time you've invested in formulating it. If you can't or won't make an argument then you're education is worthless. In fact, in such a case the education is worse than worthless because it likely has you entrenched into whatever belief system you've invested all that time and money into.


In fact, I canvassed a few heavily educated Reformed thinkers here, and the only quibble I heard from one of them was that when I defined double predestination near the beginning of the thread, I left the reader's mind open to assume that either predestination was exactly the same kind of predestination.
That's them being nice to you. Push them on it and see what happens. Push hard enough an it won't be long before you're accused of denying the gospel itself. I've seen it right here on this website a hundred times.

You can pretend like I'm just making all this stuff up as I go if you like but that won't change the fact that there isn't one educated Calvinist you can find anywhere that will deny a syllable of what I've quoted from Calvin's books. Not one syllable of it! Look all you like. Look here on TOL, or go to any other website you want, or read any book you want. Quote Pink, Van Til, R.C. Sproul, C.S. Lewis, D. James Kennedy, or whoever you want! (authors, all of whom I've read, by the way.) You won't find one that admits the existence of a single rouge atom in the whole of the universe or who will deny one word of the quotes I've posted of Calvin here and elsewhere.

Now, if its all the same to you, I'd like to continue what was on its way to being a productive discussion. I'll be 100% as intellectually honest as you are.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
September 28th, 2015, 09:55 PM
Apparently, there are people here at TOL who have not read critical material on just what Reformed belief is, and because of that they are drawing inaccurate assumptions about them.

Those "people" being me, primarily.

glorydaz
September 28th, 2015, 10:00 PM
Those "people" being me, primarily.

The piece de resistance. Clete, you are so worth the read. :thumb:

Clete
September 28th, 2015, 10:04 PM
It is a label that was forced on them basically from all sides. While in many respects they do agree with Calvin, as he was formative for Reformed thinking, not only do many of them disagree with Calvin about decrees but they disagree with him on other subjects in Reformed thinking (like credo vs paedo baptism, "infant vs informed"). It's not uncommon to see or hear in discussions between "Calvinist" theologians, that they prefer to call themselves Reformed.

Infant baptism is not a Calvinist distinctive and so of course Calvinists are not forced to agree on such a point. And as I said before, they prefer to call themselves Reformed. not because of Calvin's doctrines but because Calvin was just a horrible person and because it means that you can't call yourself that. It's just branding. Its the exact same sort of thinking that has caused such a huge number of Southern Baptist Churches to name their church anything at all other than "Baptist". A rose by any other name...

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
September 28th, 2015, 10:06 PM
The piece de resistance. Clete, you are so worth the read. :thumb:

Not that I'm anywhere near being the primary voice of anti-Calvinism here on TOL, there's lots and lots of us. I simply was pointing out that luke was referring to me when he made the comment.

Clete
September 28th, 2015, 10:16 PM
Weird how someone can label himself by the name of another man yet contradict him on such a fundamental point. Very weird.

He's right! It is a fundamental point! And I don't mean that as a figure of speech, either. It is an absolute logically undeniable point for the whole system of Calvinism. Those who deny it are either ignorant or intentionally softening the doctrine but regardless of the motivation it cannot be done without logically undermining the whole system. Infra this and supra that only serves to muddy the water. It isn't that complicated. God is either absolutely immutable or He can change in some ways. There is no third alternative. If the former then its supra supra supra! If the later, Calvinism if flatly false - period.

Resting in Him,
Clete

glorydaz
September 29th, 2015, 11:34 AM
Not that I'm anywhere near being the primary voice of anti-Calvinism here on TOL, there's lots and lots of us. I simply was pointing out that luke was referring to me when he made the comment.

LOL Yeah, I got that. One thing about you, Clete, you always make yourself very clear. :)

musterion
September 29th, 2015, 12:32 PM
Those "people" being me, primarily.

Nope. You get it just fine.

HisServant
September 29th, 2015, 12:38 PM
Of course anyone can offer an answer but I want to hear from the Calvinists in particular on the following question....


If someone sets your house on fire in the middle of the night and then, once the house is fully engulfed in flames, rushes in to rescue you and your 2nd child but decides to leave your wife and your other ten kids to burn in the fire, do you praise the man as a hero or condemn him as a murderer?

Would your answer be different if you were the wife or one of the other ten children?

Resting in Him,
Clete

God isn't a man, so the comparison doesn't hold water.

Its more like, you are conducting an experiment in a petri dish that you thought was sterile before you inoculated it... as a result you have some contaminated colonies growing in the dish... so you pull out the bad ones and keep the good ones and hope there is no cross contamination. Then you have to maintain it like a garden to keep the bad stuff in check.

Or, you could have just thrown the petri dish away and started all over again.

God has his reasons... and they are his own, and he is not accountable to any of us.

musterion
September 29th, 2015, 12:39 PM
He's right! It is a fundamental point! And I don't mean that as a figure of speech, either. It is an absolute logically undeniable point for the whole system of Calvinism. Those who deny it are either ignorant or intentionally softening the doctrine but regardless of the motivation it cannot be done without logically undermining the whole system. Infra this and supra that only serves to muddy the water. It isn't that complicated. God is either absolutely immutable or He can change in some ways. There is no third alternative. If the former then its supra supra supra! If the later, Calvinism if flatly false - period.

Resting in Him,
Clete

TULIP is a logical chain. The assumptions are flawed but its interally coherent as a system. That's why reprobation is demanded by TULIP's own logic and Calvin knew it...if few other Calvinists do.

intojoy
September 29th, 2015, 01:40 PM
Of course anyone can offer an answer but I want to hear from the Calvinists in particular on the following question....


If someone sets your house on fire in the middle of the night and then, once the house is fully engulfed in flames, rushes in to rescue you and your 2nd child but decides to leave your wife and your other ten kids to burn in the fire, do you praise the man as a hero or condemn him as a murderer?

Would your answer be different if you were the wife or one of the other ten children?

Resting in Him,
Clete

"Rushed in" did God rush? "Someone set the house on fire" you presuppose innocence in humanity before birth? All humanity is conceived and born spiritually dead do to one man's sin. Your question blames "someone" other than self for the state of separation from God, that is error.

The problem with your question is you base your judgement of God's work of election on human emotions from a created being's vantage point.

intojoy
September 29th, 2015, 01:49 PM
An additional thought brother Clete,

The fact that you present a house on fire denies the fact or the truth that we were already condemned and already dead in trespasses and sins prior to the fireman showing up. I can't let that go since it is an obvious scriptural truth.

Clete
September 29th, 2015, 04:28 PM
God isn't a man, so the comparison doesn't hold water.
In other words you do not believe that the concept of justice can be rightly applied to God.

That was not a question, by the way. That is what you are saying, whether you acknowledge it or not.


Its more like, you are conducting an experiment in a petri dish that you thought was sterile before you inoculated it... as a result you have some contaminated colonies growing in the dish... so you pull out the bad ones and keep the good ones and hope there is no cross contamination. Then you have to maintain it like a garden to keep the bad stuff in check.

Or, you could have just thrown the petri dish away and started all over again.
You can't have just intentionally suggested that God THOUGHT something but was wrong!

You need to work on your analogy skills.

The corrected analogy would include the idea that you have a petri dish that you intentionally contaminated for inscrutable reasons just so you could punish the little contaminated critters.


God has his reasons... and they are his own, and he is not accountable to any of us.
As I said, the concept of justice doesn't apply to your god. The God of Scripture however....


Deuteronomy 32:
3 For I proclaim the name of the Lord:
Ascribe greatness to our God.
4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.

Was Moses wrong for judging God?

And twice the Psalmist says...


Psalms 89: 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.

Psalms 97:1 The Lord reigns;
Let the earth rejoice;
Let the multitude of isles be glad!

2 Clouds and darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

How about David? Was he not being mindful of his place when he judged God to be righteous? Was he wrong to state that God's righteousness and justice where more fundamental than His sovereignty?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
September 29th, 2015, 04:30 PM
TULIP is a logical chain. The assumptions are flawed but its interally coherent as a system. That's why reprobation is demanded by TULIP's own logic and Calvin knew it...if few other Calvinists do.
This is interesting!

Which assumptions are you suggesting are flawed?

musterion
September 29th, 2015, 04:38 PM
Total Depravity: the belief that man not only will not but CANNOT believe unless God quickens him to be able to do so, which then saves him. Everything else flows from that. From that false foundation, the Gospel is rendered a sham and God is reduced to a liar and unjust judge. Hence the belief of many, myself included, that Calvinism is a literal cult with a false gospel and a blasphemous view of God.

Clete
September 29th, 2015, 04:40 PM
"Rushed in" did God rush? "Someone set the house on fire" you presuppose innocence in humanity before birth? All humanity is conceived and born spiritually dead do to one man's sin. Your question blames "someone" other than self for the state of separation from God, that is error.

The problem with your question is you base your judgement of God's work of election on human emotions from a created being's vantage point.
This is question begging to start with but ignoring that, I am basing my judgement of YOUR god's work (not the God of Scripture) on the basis of the principles of righteousness and justice as taught in Scripture. A god that sets your house on fire so that he can rescue some of its occupants while stating that the one's who he left to burn deserved to die is not a just god. He is a sick sadist!


An additional thought brother Clete,

The fact that you present a house on fire denies the fact or the truth that we were already condemned and already dead in trespasses and sins prior to the fireman showing up. I can't let that go since it is an obvious scriptural truth.
You misunderstand the analogy!

The house represents your spiritual condition! If you are lost (i.e. if your house is on fire) its because God caused it to be so for you are entirely incapable of doing other than what God preordained that you would do.


“The devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how muchsoever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as he permits, nay unless in so far as he commands, that they are not only bound by his fetters but are even forced to do him service” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 11)

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
September 29th, 2015, 04:47 PM
Total Depravity: the belief that man not only will not but CANNOT believe unless God quickens him to be able to do so, which then saves him. Everything else flows from that. And from that false foundation, the Gospel is rendered a sham and God is reduced to a liar and unjust judge. Hence the belief of many, myself included, that Calvinism is a literal cult with a false gospel and a blasphemous view of God.

I agree with the thrust of your post but submit that the doctrine of Total Depravity is itself logically predicated upon the doctrine of Absolute Divine Immutability. The entire system has A.D.I as its bedrock foundation.

But still - Great point! We can quibble about which doctrine is more fundamental all we like but the main point is the same. There are probably half a dozen points that one can focus an attack which wields a death blow to the entire Calvinist system.

Resting in Him,
Clete

glorydaz
September 29th, 2015, 05:10 PM
I agree with the thrust of your post but submit that the doctrine of Total Depravity is itself logically predicated upon the doctrine of Absolute Divine Immutability. The entire system has A.D.I as its bedrock foundation.

But still - Great point! We can quibble about which doctrine is more fundamental all we like but the main point is the same. There are probably half a dozen points that one can focus an attack which wields a death blow to the entire Calvinist system.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Total Depravity is a huge one. I've always considered that their biggest weakness. Without that there is no leg to stand on. Of course, you have convinced me, too, about ADI being crucial. :e4e:

musterion
September 29th, 2015, 05:47 PM
Maybe I'm missing the point (feel free to explain it to me) but I don't see how Total Depravity is dependent upon Immutability. They seem separate issues. God's absolute unchangingness, per Reformed theology, is independent of a sinner's purported inability to believe unless and until God wills it...know what I mean?

Clete
September 29th, 2015, 06:57 PM
Maybe I'm missing the point (feel free to explain it to me) but I don't see how Total Depravity is dependent upon Immutability. They seem separate issues. God's absolute unchangingness, per Reformed theology, is independent of a sinner's purported inability to believe unless and until God wills it...know what I mean?
Well, in a lot of ways they are indeed separate issues but the arguments for the doctrine of total depravity have to do with the result of sin and the notion that sin corrupts or kills the whole person (i.e the emotions, will and intellect) and thus we are incapable of doing anything good.

Now some Calvinists hold strongly to original sin and others don't but whether the Calvinist believes our depravity comes as a result of our our own sin or Adam's sin, they definitely do believe God predestined EVERYTHING, including the sin, its results and its solution.

The logical connection between predestination and immutability is easy to see but the path through predestination isn't the only way to get there.

God's sovereignty (i.e. God's absolute control of everything that happens) works as a path just as well and in a similar way. Their argument boils down to something like: God does not co-operate with anyone in salvation otherwise man is sovereign and God is not therefore man must be totally depraved. That's over simplified but you get the idea.

Lastly, I'd point out that all doctrinal systems have as a logically necessary starting point their theology proper. The ENTIRE system, regardless of what system it is, rests on the foundation of what it teaches about who God is and what God is like. Thus if you take out Calvinism's theology proper, the rest of what it teaches (right or wrong) is irrelevant. If you take out immutability and its related doctrines you don't have Calvinism and if you don't have Calvinism you don't have the TULIP.

Resting in Him,
Clete

intojoy
September 30th, 2015, 12:07 AM
This is question begging to start with but ignoring that, I am basing my judgement of YOUR god's work (not the God of Scripture) on the basis of the principles of righteousness and justice as taught in Scripture. A god that sets your house on fire so that he can rescue some of its occupants while stating that the one's who he left to burn deserved to die is not a just god. He is a sick sadist!


You misunderstand the analogy!

The house represents your spiritual condition! If you are lost (i.e. if your house is on fire) its because God caused it to be so for you are entirely incapable of doing other than what God preordained that you would do.


“The devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how muchsoever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as he permits, nay unless in so far as he commands, that they are not only bound by his fetters but are even forced to do him service” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 11)

Resting in Him,
Clete

Not at all. Just say what you think Clete and save me the time. You accuse God of causing sin. Place me on your ignore list bud. You're waisted.

lukecash12
September 30th, 2015, 01:36 AM
Huh?

So where's the sudden hostility coming from?

I've read it many times as I've also read the Canons of Dordt, The Smalcald Articles and probably any other document you care to name. They are all quite easily available on a number of websites, my favorite of which is Reformed.org which is the website for the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics. They used to have a web forum similar to this one where I had the pleasure of debating many different points covered in the Westminster Confession of Faith.

As I ruminate my response to you, I have to realize that while I may not have heard the best things, that's no reason for me to be dismissive, condescending, or anything else of the kind. My apologies; I realize now that I can at least see how comfortable we are discussing this subject, and if either of us isn't getting much out of it I'm sure we can amicably move on in a Christian spirit.

In the spirit of being candid, though, your claims, and what you're saying you've read, don't seem to add up to me.


On the contrary. I make it a habit to explain why, although there are exceptions depending on the context. It is I who is seemingly always stating to the Calvinists that saying it doesn't make it so.

I'll think you'll see, if you go back and check, that I've told you that you were wrong twice and that both times I explained specifically what I meant by that.Yes, it's clear what you meant. Just to be clear: I'm assuming that you were already aware of the difference between a supralapsarian and an infralapsarian?

The WCF on God's eternal decree:

I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;[1] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn0) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn1) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn2)
II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions;[4] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn3) yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.[5] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn4)
III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels[6] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn5) are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.[7] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn6)

(http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn6)VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extends or withholds mercy, as He pleases, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.[17] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn16)

The Canons of Dordt:

Article 4: A Twofold Response to the Gospel


God's anger remains on those who do not believe this gospel. But those who do accept it and embrace Jesus the Savior with a true and living faith are delivered through him from God's anger and from destruction, and receive the gift of eternal life.

Article 5: The Sources of Unbelief and of Faith


The cause or blame for this unbelief, as well as for all other sins, is not at all in God, but in man. Faith in Jesus Christ, however, and salvation through him is a free gift of God. As Scripture says, It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8). Likewise: It has been freely given to you to believe in Christ (Phil. 1:29).

Article 6: God's Eternal Decision


The fact that some receive from God the gift of faith within time, and that others do not, stems from his eternal decision. For all his works are known to God from eternity (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:11). In accordance with this decision he graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of his chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by his just judgment he leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen. And in this especially is disclosed to us his act--unfathomable, and as merciful as it is just--of distinguishing between people equally lost. This is the well-known decision of election and reprobation revealed in God's Word. This decision the wicked, impure, and unstable distort to their own ruin, but it provides holy and godly souls with comfort beyond words.

Take a good hard look again at article five. That directly contradicts what Calvin has to say about the train of the ungodly. In general between both documents, what we can see described here are inactive causes for reprobation, not active causes as Calvin describes.


This statement is factually true but does not apply to me in the least. The level of your education does not impress me in the slightest. I've seen people on this website who at least claim to have a PH.D. in theology and claim to be an employed professor of theology say some of the most mind blowingly idiotic things you can imagine, not to mention blasphemous.Neither am I necessarily impressed by education.


What impresses me is reason. Make an argument. I'm not interested in your opinion or how much money and time you've invested in formulating it. If you can't or won't make an argument then you're education is worthless. In fact, in such a case the education is worse than worthless because it likely has you entrenched into whatever belief system you've invested all that time and money into.Trust me, I've no hesitation in actually constructing arguments. As you can imagine I got cold feet about this, and it would have been much more courteous and respectful of me to simply say I'm no comfortable having a dialogue with you in particular. Yet I've decided instead to give at least one candid discussion a try; now I wasn't wont to do so in the first place because of the claims you're making, but I owe you more than a disrespectful cop-out at this point, and we're brothers in Christ most importantly.


That's them being nice to you. Push them on it and see what happens. Push hard enough an it won't be long before you're accused of denying the gospel itself. I've seen it right here on this website a hundred times.From what I've gathered, there have been a number of supralapsarians on this site (aka hyper-calvinists). I wouldn't say they are representative of most Calvinists, and let's not forget there is also such a thing as a four point Calvinist (e.g. unlimited atonement supporters like Augustus Hopkins Strong and Millard J. Erickson).


Now, if its all the same to you, I'd like to continue what was on its way to being a productive discussion. I'll be 100% as intellectually honest as you are.And I'll be as cordial as I can.

lukecash12
September 30th, 2015, 01:46 AM
Total Depravity: the belief that man not only will not but CANNOT believe unless God quickens him to be able to do so, which then saves him. Everything else flows from that. From that false foundation, the Gospel is rendered a sham and God is reduced to a liar and unjust judge. Hence the belief of many, myself included, that Calvinism is a literal cult with a false gospel and a blasphemous view of God.

Yeah, that's not exactly what total depravity is. Total depravity is the idea, IMO rigorously scriptural, that people cannot seek God of their own accord. They must receive the influence of the Holy Spirit. The "influence of the Holy Spirit" doesn't instantly mean irresistible grace, it's something we need to leave up to the scriptures and as a Reformed Arminian I believe in prevenient grace (God's necessary but not rigidly irresistible influence).

See what the council of Orange, and more importantly it's quoted scriptures, have to say, folks:

CANON 1. If anyone denies that it is the whole man, that is, both body and soul, that was "changed for the worse" through the offense of Adam's sin, but believes that the freedom of the soul remains unimpaired and that only the body is subject to corruption, he is deceived by the error of Pelagius and contradicts the scripture which says, "The soul that sins shall die" (Ezek. 18:20); and, "Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are the slaves of the one whom you obey?" (Rom. 6:16); and, "For whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved" (2 Pet. 2:19).

CANON 2. If anyone asserts that Adam's sin affected him alone and not his descendants also, or at least if he declares that it is only the death of the body which is the punishment for sin, and not also that sin, which is the death of the soul, passed through one man to the whole human race, he does injustice to God and contradicts the Apostle, who says, "Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned" (Rom. 5:12).

CANON 3. If anyone says that the grace of God can be conferred as a result of human prayer, but that it is not grace itself which makes us pray to God, he contradicts the prophet Isaiah, or the Apostle who says the same thing, "I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me" (Rom 10:20, quoting Isa. 65:1).

CANON 5. If anyone says that not only the increase of faith but also its beginning and the very desire for faith, by which we believe in Him who justifies the ungodly and comes to the regeneration of holy baptism -- if anyone says that this belongs to us by nature and not by a gift of grace, that is, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit amending our will and turning it from unbelief to faith and from godlessness to godliness, it is proof that he is opposed to the teaching of the Apostles, for blessed Paul says, "And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6). And again, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8). For those who state that the faith by which we believe in God is natural make all who are separated from the Church of Christ by definition in some measure believers.


The scriptures are clear that God has to be involved, however you understand that involvement and the level of it, in order for someone to come to saving faith.

Clete
September 30th, 2015, 06:29 AM
Not at all. Just say what you think Clete and save me the time. You accuse God of causing sin. Place me on your ignore list bud. You're waisted.

Ha! It's not me accusing God of causing sin, its Calvin and any Calvinist you want to name!

Did you not read the quote at the bottom of that post? Do you see my name cited there? Did I write Institutes of Christian Religion?

You want me to put you on my ignore list because I accuse God of being unjust! Where is the Calvinist who has come running to defend God's reputation? We've had a single Arminian do so but not a single Calvinist - so far!

Better wake up intojoy! If you're a Calvinist, its you that uphold the idea that God set the world on fire just to rescue some and not others and demand that we worship him for doing it. That's the God of John Calvin, Augustine and Plato not the God of Scripture who wanted and wants His creation to love Him, who counted such a love relationship at such an inestimable value that He paid the price with His own life in order to maintain and to repair it.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
September 30th, 2015, 06:31 AM
As I ruminate my response to you, I have to realize that while I may not have heard the best things, that's no reason for me to be dismissive, condescending, or anything else of the kind. My apologies; I realize now that I can at least see how comfortable we are discussing this subject, and if either of us isn't getting much out of it I'm sure we can amicably move on in a Christian spirit.

Amen!

I'm out of time this morning. I'll respond to the rest of your post as soon as time allows!

Clete

Clete
September 30th, 2015, 08:20 PM
As I ruminate my response to you, I have to realize that while I may not have heard the best things, that's no reason for me to be dismissive, condescending, or anything else of the kind. My apologies; I realize now that I can at least see how comfortable we are discussing this subject, and if either of us isn't getting much out of it I'm sure we can amicably move on in a Christian spirit.
:up:


In the spirit of being candid, though, your claims, and what you're saying you've read, don't seem to add up to me.
How so?

I have no reason to make any of this stuff up. I couldn't get away with it for long if I did. I've been on this website for way more than a decade and have believed all of this for longer than that. No one has yet shown me a single thing to demonstrate that my understanding of Calvinism is anything but accurate.

Having said that and just for the sake of clarity, I do readily acknowledge that many, perhaps most people who self-identify as Calvinist do not believe that God set the world on fire (figuratively speaking) in order to rescue some and burn others. That is what Calvinism teaches but that doesn't mean most "Calvinists" realize that it teaches that. Virtually all of the Calvinists here understand that Calvinism teaches it, even if they'd never put it in those terms, but that's because the people here are into reading and discussing theological issues. They are effectively educated Calvinists even if their education is not formal. So, leaving what we find here aside, the fact that most "Calvinists" are ignorant of what their doctrine teaches past the TULIP, does not give Calvinism a pass. It does not mean that Calvinist get to claim that their doctrine is other than what it is just because most of the pew sitting members believe something quite different than what Calvin taught and what the WCF and other Calvinist authors and founding documents clearly say.

I trust we agree on that point if on nothing else.


Yes, it's clear what you meant. Just to be clear: I'm assuming that you were already aware of the difference between a supralapsarian and an infralapsarian?
Of course! The problem is, (and please don't take my frankness as hostility), that I just don't care about it. As far as I am able to tell, its really nothing more than certain people trying to figure out what intellectual hoops have to be created and then jumped through in order to maintain certain core (pet) doctrines. And while its been quite a while ago, I have spent a lot of time sifting through these things trying to find out what people believe and why they believe it. In fact, it would not be inaccurate to say that pursuing a rational Christian worldview has been the theme of my life.


The WCF on God's eternal decree:

I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;[1] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn0) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn1) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn2)
II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions;[4] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn3) yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.[5] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn4)
III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels[6] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn5) are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.[7] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn6)

(http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn6)VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extends or withholds mercy, as He pleases, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.[17] (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/III_fn.html#fn16)

The Canons of Dordt:

Article 4: A Twofold Response to the Gospel


God's anger remains on those who do not believe this gospel. But those who do accept it and embrace Jesus the Savior with a true and living faith are delivered through him from God's anger and from destruction, and receive the gift of eternal life.

Article 5: The Sources of Unbelief and of Faith


The cause or blame for this unbelief, as well as for all other sins, is not at all in God, but in man. Faith in Jesus Christ, however, and salvation through him is a free gift of God. As Scripture says, It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8). Likewise: It has been freely given to you to believe in Christ (Phil. 1:29).

Article 6: God's Eternal Decision


The fact that some receive from God the gift of faith within time, and that others do not, stems from his eternal decision. For all his works are known to God from eternity (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:11). In accordance with this decision he graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of his chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by his just judgment he leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen. And in this especially is disclosed to us his act--unfathomable, and as merciful as it is just--of distinguishing between people equally lost. This is the well-known decision of election and reprobation revealed in God's Word. This decision the wicked, impure, and unstable distort to their own ruin, but it provides holy and godly souls with comfort beyond words.

Take a good hard look again at article five. That directly contradicts what Calvin has to say about the train of the ungodly. In general between both documents, what we can see described here are inactive causes for reprobation, not active causes as Calvin describes.

I think I understand better now why you feel like I'm pulling a fast one here. Let me further clarify myself.

I fully understand that Calvinists believe that God predestined everything AND that man has a will AND that God is not the cause of sin, etc.

I have often argued against Calvinist on just this exact point although I have found it tedious and ineffective and so its not my favorite tactic but it is no less valid!

You see, all that stuff is self-contradictory. It cannot all be true - it CANNOT all be true. If it could be true then reason is meaningless. If reason is meaningless then debate is a waste of time as would be simply attempting to convince anyone of anything because both debate and simple meaningful discourse cannot be done apart from reason.

This is the point at which the Calvinist, most especially the educated Calvinist will begin to use words like 'mystery' and 'antinomy'. In other words, Calvinists do not deny that the concepts contained within their foundational documents are self-contradictory or that they at least appear to be and that they have no means by which to resolve the conflict. In spite of this, and indeed because of it, they are willing to accept the concepts anyway and they call their willingness "faith" or "piety" or both.

It would be interesting to read a debate between you and any number of Calvinists on this website. I'd be waiting for one of them to throw both the WCF and Dordt under the bus in favor of God's absolute control of every atom in existence.


Neither am I necessarily impressed by education.
Right! I understand your point. I don't discount the value of education. There are several men that have forgotten more about the Bible than I'll ever learn and I respect them and their education very much. The point I was making, and with which you seem to be agreeing, is that just because someone has graduated from a school doesn't mean they know anything of value.


Trust me, I've no hesitation in actually constructing arguments. As you can imagine I got cold feet about this, and it would have been much more courteous and respectful of me to simply say I'm not comfortable having a dialogue with you in particular. Yet I've decided instead to give at least one candid discussion a try; now I wasn't wont to do so in the first place because of the claims you're making, but I owe you more than a disrespectful cop-out at this point, and we're brothers in Christ most importantly.
Cool!


From what I've gathered, there have been a number of supralapsarians on this site (aka hyper-calvinists). I wouldn't say they are representative of most Calvinists, and let's not forget there is also such a thing as a four point Calvinist (e.g. unlimited atonement supporters like Augustus Hopkins Strong and Millard J. Erickson.
There's no denying that Calvinists come in all colors, stripes and patterns. I would submit to you, however, that this is primarily so because there is a spectrum of intellectual consistency that exists within any group of people and that Calvinists are no exception. If you ask me, Arminius was just an EXTREMELY soft Calvinist. I say that because the foundations of Arminian theology proper is still the Neo-Platonist concept of immutability (and related concepts) and in that respect both systems are essentially Reformed Augustinianism. The differences come as a result of various intellectual inconsistencies between the two groups. Its the difference between one group holding predestination (sovereignty) as paramount while the other, God's justice. Both groups SAY they believe in the sovereignty of God and the will of man - BOTH groups do. It's just one group holds to one more consistently than the other which results in nearly opposite soteriological conclusions. It is because one of those groups hold more closely to one of God's qualitative attributes (i.e. how good God is) over His quantitative attributes (i.e. how much power, or knowledge God has) that they've come very much closer to the truth than the other has. I'll let you guess which one that is! :)


And so, in conclusion and on the point of quoting Calvin on Calvinism, I challenge you to find a prominent Calvinist leader (R.C. Sproul, Pink or the like) that would read the quotes I've posted from Calvin's Institutes and disagree with them. I don't think you'll find one. At best, you'll find someone who says that the quote is true but it doesn't mean we aren't responsible for our sin. They won't explain how, they'll just state it and leave it be. And if challenged on it they'll pull out the 'mystery'/'antinomy' card which trumps anything because if you're being intentionally irrational, you don't have to make sense.

Resting in Him,
Clete

lukecash12
September 30th, 2015, 08:58 PM
How so?

I have no reason to make any of this stuff up. I couldn't get away with it for long if I did. I've been on this website for way more than a decade and have believed all of this for longer than that. No one has yet shown me a single thing to demonstrate that my understanding of Calvinism is anything but accurate.

Okay, let's take a look at this next portion then:


Having said that and just for the sake of clarity, I do readily acknowledge that many, perhaps most people who self-identify as Calvinist do not believe that God set the world on fire (figuratively speaking) in order to rescue some and burn others. That is what Calvinism teaches but that doesn't mean most "Calvinists" realize that it teaches that.

And here we have a No True Scotsman fallacy. One second you'll admit that there is such a thing as a four-point Calvinist, and the next it's a No True Scotsman.


Of course! The problem is, (and please don't take my frankness as hostility), that I just don't care about it. As far as I am able to tell, its really nothing more than certain people trying to figure out what intellectual hoops have to be created and then jumped through in order to maintain certain core (pet) doctrines.

This is basically a non-response. I've already demonstrated the clear difference between them, the different logical order in God's decree, but you peg it down to mental gymnastics. Let's at least engage with the material, in spite of our agreement here that it's logically incoherent.

Were I arguing for my own position, one of the first things I'd point out is how it doesn't make sense to put regeneration before faith, when the scriptures and even key Calvinists will agree that regeneration is the beginning of sanctification. Justification is logically prior to sanctification, so it makes little sense to make regeneration logically prior to justification.


I fully understand that Calvinists believe that God predestined everything AND that man has a will AND that God is not the cause of sin, etc.

I have often argued against Calvinist on just this exact point although I have found it tedious and ineffective and so its not my favorite tactic but it is no less valid!

You see, all that stuff is self-contradictory. It cannot all be true - it CANNOT all be true. If it could be true then reason is meaningless. If reason is meaningless then debate is a waste of time as would be simply attempting to convince anyone of anything because both debate and simple meaningful discourse cannot be done apart from reason.

1. I hope we can both agree that if anything is truly scriptural, it is up to us to try and understand it, as opposed to calling it logically incoherent and supplanting it with something else.

2. What's the point of #1 here? Well, let's say that we did agree with Calvinists on key areas of scripture like Romans (which I understand differently because of the New Pauline Perspective), at that point we would have to suspend a priori objections.

Your belief that their ideas are self contradictory, does not negate the actual meaning of those ideas. The WCF explicitly says that God is not actively causing sin.


Right! I understand your point. I don't discount the value of education. There are several men that have forgotten more about the Bible than I'll ever learn and I respect them and their education very much. The point I was making, and with which you seem to be agreeing, is that just because someone has graduated from a school doesn't mean they know anything of value.

What is valuable about education is applying discipline to learning, understanding proper sourcing and carefully assessing church history prior to making any blithe judgments.


There's no denying that Calvinists come in all colors, stripes and patterns. I would submit to you, however, that this is primarily so because there is a spectrum of intellectual consistency that exists within any group of people and that Calvinists are no exception. If you ask me, Arminius was just an EXTREMELY soft Calvinist.

Yeah, for obvious reasons I don't agree with that last statement. But let's get into the meat of this next bit:


I say that because the foundations of Arminian theology proper is still the Neo-Platonist concept of immutability (and related concepts) and in that respect both systems are essentially Reformed Augustinianism.

Why don't you prove where the concept came from? Who originally wrote about immutability? And are you aware of the many references in the Word to God's unchanging nature?


The differences come as a result of various intellectual inconsistencies between the two groups. Its the difference between one group holding predestination (sovereignty) as paramount while the other, God's justice. Both groups SAY they believe in the sovereignty of God and the will of man - BOTH groups do. It's just one group holds to one more consistently than the other which results in nearly opposite soteriological conclusions. It is because one of those groups hold more closely to one of God's qualitative attributes (i.e. how good God is) over His quantitative attributes (i.e. how much power, or knowledge God has) that they've come very much closer to the truth than the other has. I'll let you guess which one that is! :)

Sure, that's how things might look externally, but this summary oversimplifies and misrepresents their arguments.

Your critique of Arminians appears to be directly aimed at Wesleyans. In any case, most every theologian on either side would claim adamantly that he isn't prioritizing God's attributes over one another. God is maximally good and maximally great.

What's more, your impressions of either group doesn't instantly override their statements themselves when considering them.


And so, in conclusion and on the point of quoting Calvin on Calvinism, I challenge you to find a prominent Calvinist leader (R.C. Sproul, Pink or the like) that would read the quotes I've posted from Calvin's Institutes and disagree with them. I don't think you'll find one. At best, you'll find someone who says that the quote is true but it doesn't mean we aren't responsible for our sin. They won't explain how, they'll just state it and leave it be. And if challenged on it they'll pull out the 'mystery'/'antinomy' card which trumps anything because if you're being intentionally irrational, you don't have to make sense.

I've already quoted a statement of faith. You didn't accept the explicitly clear portions I quoted because you think they are logically inconsistent. Whether or not that is true doesn't detract from what they actually believe.

Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto, Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculórum. Amen.

intojoy
October 1st, 2015, 04:12 AM
Ha! It's not me accusing God of causing sin, its Calvin and any Calvinist you want to name!

Did you not read the quote at the bottom of that post? Do you see my name cited there? Did I write Institutes of Christian Religion?

You want me to put you on my ignore list because I accuse God of being unjust! Where is the Calvinist who has come running to defend God's reputation? We've had a single Arminian do so but not a single Calvinist - so far!

Better wake up intojoy! If you're a Calvinist, its you that uphold the idea that God set the world on fire just to rescue some and not others and demand that we worship him for doing it. That's the God of John Calvin, Augustine and Plato not the God of Scripture who wanted and wants His creation to love Him, who counted such a love relationship at such an inestimable value that He paid the price with His own life in order to maintain and to repair it.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Take a deep breath Clete.
I'm not a Calvanist.
Here's the problem that no one wants to face. Infants die unsaved.
Now, who can determine fairness? Who can claim inequities in such a case?
Surely not me or you Clete. We are but mere creations, our comprehension of God is limited to creation knowledge and we will Never have creator knowledge. All we have is the written word of God whom we can no nothing save what He chooses to reveal to us about Himself.
His word says death is because of sin. Therefore infants die because of sin. Not that they committed but that they inherited from Adam. The fact is that this is an antimony.
My belief is based upon what scripture says and not your fire house hypothetical question.

intojoy
October 1st, 2015, 04:23 AM
Total Depravity: the belief that man not only will not but CANNOT believe unless God quickens him to be able to do so, which then saves him. Everything else flows from that. From that false foundation, the Gospel is rendered a sham and God is reduced to a liar and unjust judge. Hence the belief of many, myself included, that Calvinism is a literal cult with a false gospel and a blasphemous view of God.

Intellectual dishonesty.

Why? Because if we can accuse God of being unjust because He must first quicken a person enabling that person to exercise their will against their (sin) nature to accept the gospel, then we can already blame God for allowing sin and death to have ever happened to begin with.

Clete
October 1st, 2015, 07:26 AM
Intellectual dishonesty.

Why? Because if we can accuse God of being unjust because He must first quicken a person enabling that person to exercise their will against their (sin) nature to accept the gospel, then we can already blame God for allowing sin and death to have ever happened to begin with.

Calvinism teaches that God does not allow anything to happen that he did not himself preordain.

It's not the fact that sent happens that makes God on just it's the fact that God will punish people for actions when, because of God's decree, they could not have chosen to do otherwise.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Lon
October 1st, 2015, 07:41 AM
Of course anyone can offer an answer but I want to hear from the Calvinists in particular on the following question....


If someone sets your house on fire in the middle of the night and then, once the house is fully engulfed in flames, rushes in to rescue you and your 2nd child but decides to leave your wife and your other ten kids to burn in the fire, do you praise the man as a hero or condemn him as a murderer?

Would your answer be different if you were the wife or one of the other ten children?

Resting in Him,
Clete


I'm not sure if all Calvinists can accept the equivocation. Some can, I can't because it attempts to remove the veil of God.

For instance, if the answer is "to save his soul" then that changes a LOT of the query doesn't it?

IOW, I can't answer the OP because it is 1) too simplistic as to be able to carry-over meaningfully and 2) trying to peer into the holy of holies.

Job and Jacob wrestled with God and later were fearful of ever doing it again. Jacob walked with a limp from his torn hip socket ever after that.

Clete, in many ways, your wrestle with Calvinism equates wrestling with scripture and God. I worry for your hip but pray if such happens it will be a good reminder of how carefully you/we should wrestle with God.

HisServant
October 1st, 2015, 07:46 AM
In other words you do not believe that the concept of justice can be rightly applied to God.

That was not a question, by the way. That is what you are saying, whether you acknowledge it or not.


You can't have just intentionally suggested that God THOUGHT something but was wrong!

You need to work on your analogy skills.

The corrected analogy would include the idea that you have a petri dish that you intentionally contaminated for inscrutable reasons just so you could punish the little contaminated critters.


As I said, the concept of justice doesn't apply to your god. The God of Scripture however....


Deuteronomy 32:
3 For I proclaim the name of the Lord:
Ascribe greatness to our God.
4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.

Was Moses wrong for judging God?

And twice the Psalmist says...


Psalms 89: 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.

Psalms 97:1 The Lord reigns;
Let the earth rejoice;
Let the multitude of isles be glad!

2 Clouds and darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

How about David? Was he not being mindful of his place when he judged God to be righteous? Was he wrong to state that God's righteousness and justice where more fundamental than His sovereignty?

Resting in Him,
Clete

God's concept of justice and your concept of justice are very different.

Clete
October 1st, 2015, 11:20 AM
God's concept of justice and your concept of justice are very different.
Please explain what God's concept of justice is and how it differed from the regular sort of justice.

How do you know is this?

Where did you learn this?

Clete
October 1st, 2015, 11:31 AM
I'm not sure if all Calvinists can accept the equivocation. Some can, I can't because it attempts to remove the veil of God.

For instance, if the answer is "to save his soul" then that changes a LOT of the query doesn't it?

IOW, I can't answer the OP because it is 1) too simplistic as to be able to carry-over meaningfully and 2) trying to peer into the holy of holies.

Job and Jacob wrestled with God and later were fearful of ever doing it again. Jacob walked with a limp from his torn hip socket ever after that.

Clete, in many ways, your wrestle with Calvinism equates wrestling with scripture and God. I worry for your hip but pray if such happens it will be a good reminder of how carefully you/we should wrestle with God.
This is almost identical to the response I've gotten a few times in the past when I asked the same question to an associate pastor and a Sunday School teacher at a church I attended for a few months in Tulsa, OK.

The most important thing to point out in this response is the fact that there was no denial. Calvinists, in general, are simply not willing to deny that God has set the world on fire in order to save some some and let the rest burn.

The thrust of it is not to tell me that I've misunderstood something but to tell me that I shouldn't ask such questions.

Resting in Him,
Clete

glorydaz
October 1st, 2015, 11:32 AM
Clete, in many ways, your wrestle with Calvinism equates wrestling with scripture and God. I worry for your hip but pray if such happens it will be a good reminder of how carefully you/we should wrestle with God.

Lon, that sounds cool and all, but there is no basis at all for this statement.

1Mind1Spirit
October 1st, 2015, 01:12 PM
The thrust of it is not to tell me that I've misunderstood something but to tell me that I shouldn't ask such questions.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Take it from Paul.

You have both misunderstood something and are asking a question that shall not be asked.

Shall the thing formed say to it's maker why have you made me thus?

The answer was....... wait for it......... waaaait for it...... NAY.

Yer misunderstood idea of thinking Paul was speaking of nations is an epic fail.

The question was WHO has resisted his will, not what nation.

God does not need you or anyone else coming to rescue him.

Lon
October 1st, 2015, 01:34 PM
This is almost identical to the response I've gotten a few times in the past when I asked the same question to an associate pastor and a Sunday School teacher at a church I attended for a few months in Tulsa, OK.

The most important thing to point out in this response is the fact that there was no denial.

Correct. Which verses should readily come to mind that should trouble you?

My point? It isn't a Calvinist-specific concern. It is a 'scripture-specific' concern.


Lon, that sounds cool and all, but there is no basis at all for this statement. There is basis. That is why, on this topic, it isn't Calvinistic, we are just the scapegoats for it. Numbers 16:30-35; 26:10? Clete's scenario actually 'did' happen.

Calvinists, in general, are simply not willing to deny that God has set the world on fire in order to save some and let the rest burn.
You can help out and tell me why God 'did' destroy some in a fire yet spared others, nearly exactly as your example. :think: Your 'current contention' is that God wasn't righteous for doing so? You are 'trying' to assign that to Calvinists rather than recognizing it isn't Calvinist, it is scripture. :think:


The thrust of it is not to tell me that I've misunderstood something but to tell me that I shouldn't ask such questions.

Resting in Him,
Clete
Both. 1) that you don't seem to realize your scenario 'did' happen.
and 2) that you really shouldn't throw the gauntlet without realizing you are throwing it at God's doorstep. I'm just reading it and believing it. You are reading, perhaps not realizing it actually did happen, and 'trying' to make it Calvinistic rather than the actual scripture passage.

Perhaps...realize that believing that scripture happened, doesn't make me a Calvinist, it makes me a bible-reader and bible-believer.

Read Numbers 16:30-35. It isn't a 'Calvinist' passage for you to be able to throw accusation. It is in an Open Theist's bible too, that the gauntlet is thrown at God's feet regarding Number AND a good many other passages of God's judgement. Another that readily comes to mind is Lot's family. They were the ONLY ones saved from that fire, right? :think:



If someone sets your house on fire in the middle of the night and then, once the house is fully engulfed in flames, rushes in to rescue you and your 2nd child but decides to leave your wife and your other ten kids to burn in the fire, do you praise the man as a hero or condemn him as a murderer?
Clete
Numbers 26:10 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, when the fire devoured 250 men, and they became a warning.
Numbers 26:11 But the sons of Korah did not die

So you are correct. I cannot deny it as a bible-believer and a Calvinist. It is right in front of me, and now you, if not before. It is a 'bible-believer' specific topic, not a Calvinist one. That you are Open Theist and I am Calvinist is incidental imho. IOW it becomes an accusation against God very God, not me.

In Him,

-Lon

intojoy
October 1st, 2015, 04:50 PM
Calvinism teaches that God does not allow anything to happen that he did not himself preordain.

It's not the fact that sent happens that makes God on just it's the fact that God will punish people for actions when, because of God's decree, they could not have chosen to do otherwise.

Resting in Him,
Clete

This is an antinomy much like the Triunity of God is not fully explainable too is an antinomy

intojoy
October 1st, 2015, 06:58 PM
Calvinism teaches that God does not allow anything to happen that he did not himself preordain.

It's not the fact that sent happens that makes God on just it's the fact that God will punish people for actions when, because of God's decree, they could not have chosen to do otherwise.

Resting in Him,
Clete

I think you mean "not the fact that sin happens that makes God unjust"

That is not a quality conclusion bro.
Where Calvin went wrong (one place) is saying that God predestines some to hell. That's not biblically provable.

But the fact is that all humanity is born dead to God and already judged, already condemned and headed for hell. That is biblically provable. Indeed man must first believe before salvation occurs and the death of Messiah rendered every man savable. Why some aren't saved? Because they were passed over. Why are the elect saved? By grace.

1Mind1Spirit
October 1st, 2015, 07:20 PM
I think you mean "not the fact that sin happens that makes God unjust"

That is not a quality conclusion bro.
Where Calvin went wrong (one place) is saying that God predestines some to hell. That's not biblically provable.


:thumb:

1Mind1Spirit
October 2nd, 2015, 10:48 AM
Correct. Which verses should readily come to mind that should trouble you?

My point? It isn't a Calvinist-specific concern. It is a 'scripture-specific' concern.

There is basis. That is why, on this topic, it isn't Calvinistic, we are just the scapegoats for it. Numbers 16:30-35; 26:10? Clete's scenario actually 'did' happen.

You can help out and tell me why God 'did' destroy some in a fire yet spared others, nearly exactly as your example. :think: Your 'current contention' is that God wasn't righteous for doing so? You are 'trying' to assign that to Calvinists rather than recognizing it isn't Calvinist, it is scripture. :think:


Both. 1) that you don't seem to realize your scenario 'did' happen.
and 2) that you really shouldn't throw the gauntlet without realizing you are throwing it at God's doorstep. I'm just reading it and believing it. You are reading, perhaps not realizing it actually did happen, and 'trying' to make it Calvinistic rather than the actual scripture passage.

Perhaps...realize that believing that scripture happened, doesn't make me a Calvinist, it makes me a bible-reader and bible-believer.

Read Numbers 16:30-35. It isn't a 'Calvinist' passage for you to be able to throw accusation. It is in an Open Theist's bible too, that the gauntlet is thrown at God's feet regarding Number AND a good many other passages of God's judgement. Another that readily comes to mind is Lot's family. They were the ONLY ones saved from that fire, right? :think:


Numbers 26:10 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, when the fire devoured 250 men, and they became a warning.
Numbers 26:11 But the sons of Korah did not die

So you are correct. I cannot deny it as a bible-believer and a Calvinist. It is right in front of me, and now you, if not before. It is a 'bible-believer' specific topic, not a Calvinist one. That you are Open Theist and I am Calvinist is incidental imho. IOW it becomes an accusation against God very God, not me.

In Him,

-Lon

Who does not have Korah in them deserving the pit?


Or who like Lot does not vex his own spirit with the conversation of vanity?


And is Christ unrighteous if he purges those things out of a man with fire?:think:

Clete
October 2nd, 2015, 11:18 AM
Take a deep breath Clete.
I'm not a Calvanist.
I wasn't sure if you were or not. That's why I said "If you're a Calvinist".


Here's the problem that no one wants to face. Infants die unsaved.
Says who?

What sort of foolish thing is that to say?!

Has the whole Christian world forgotten that God is just?

Oh wait, let me take a breath!

Are you a Christian?


Now, who can determine fairness?
I can! So can my children as can virtually all human beings over the age of three.


Who can claim inequities in such a case?
Well I can! Who couldn't?


Surely not me or you Clete.
Obviously not you! You are willing to fall down in worship of a God who sends babies to hell!

How stupid does that make you?!


We are but mere creations, our comprehension of God is limited to creation knowledge and we will Never have creator knowledge.
My bible tells me that I've been created in the image and likeness of God and that I have the mind of Christ.

What bible are you reading?


All we have is the written word of God whom we can no nothing save what He chooses to reveal to us about Himself.
The bible you refer to proclaims that the unsaved are without excuse with or without the bible because the creation itself testifies of the truth of God.


His word says death is because of sin. Therefore infants die because of sin. Not that they committed but that they inherited from Adam.
So if you're not a Calvinist what are you, a Catholic?

No one is punished for the sins of their father. The word of God that you referred to says so very clearly. It is your doctrine that says otherwise.


The fact is that this is an antimony.
I agree that is makes no sense if that what you mean.


My belief is based upon what scripture says and not your fire house hypothetical question.
Your belief is that God is unjust. Your belief is blasphemy. Your belief is irrational stupidity and is therefore false.

Resting in Him,
Clete

glorydaz
October 2nd, 2015, 11:31 AM
I wasn't sure if you were or not. That's why I said "If you're a Calvinist".


Says who?

What sort of foolish thing is that to say?!

Has the whole Christian world forgotten that God is just?

Oh wait, let me take a breath!

Are you a Christian?


I can! So can my children as can virtually all human being over the age of three.


Well I can! Who couldn't?


Obviously not you! You are willing to fall down in worship of a God who sends babies to hell!

How stupid does that make you?!


My bible tells me that I've been created in the image and likeness of God and that I have the mind of Christ.

What bible are you reading?


The bible you refer to proclaims that the unsaved are without excuse with or without the bible because the creation itself testifies of the truth of God.


So if you're not a Calvinist what are you, a Catholic?

No one is punished for the sins of their father. The word do God that you referred to says so very clearly. It is your doctrine that says otherwise.


I agre that is makes no sense if that what you mean.


Your belief is that God is unjust. Your belief is blasphemy. Your belief is irrational stupidity and is therefore false.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Awesome post, Clete. :first:

lukecash12
October 2nd, 2015, 03:27 PM
The silence is deafening.

Clete
October 2nd, 2015, 03:40 PM
I think you mean "not the fact that sin happens that makes God unjust"
Yes! When you see of post of mine with a lot of weird typos, it means that I made the post from my iphone. There's no telling what the auto-correct is going to type for you.

Sorry!


That is not a quality conclusion bro.
Where Calvin went wrong (one place) is saying that God predestines some to hell. That's not biblically provable.

I agree with you completely about Calvin. I'm not sure what you mean about my conclusion not being quality.


But the fact is that all humanity is born dead to God and already judged, already condemned and headed for hell.
That is biblically provable.
That is just very simply not so. GOD IS JUST!!!!


Ezekiel 18:18 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying:

‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

3 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.

That's passage you never knew existed!
Read that whole chapter!


Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

If you're going to be consistent then if you ignore the words in blue, which is necessary to maintain a belief in condemnation of a single soul due to "original sin" then you'd have to accept universalism!

The correct understanding is very simple. Christ's death undid whatever effect Adam's sin had on mankind and did so JUSTLY!

Justice, by the way, is the WHOLE POINT of the crucifixion! If God is permitted to be unjust, as you Calvinists believe, then what the hell was the point of the cross? If justice is whatever God happens to say it is then why doesn't He just declare everyone (or whatever group He wants) righteous and move on? Where is the need for God the Son to die? Where is the need?

That is a question that not one single Calvinist has ever attempted to answer in my presence. They don't know and will not even venture a guess. They'll wave their hands in the air and rip their clothing in protest and call me a heretic for even asking the question but will not deny that their concept of God is incompatible with any understanding of justice that can be communicated in human language.


Indeed man must first believe before salvation occurs and the death of Messiah rendered every man savable. Why some aren't saved? Because they were passed over. Why are the elect saved? By grace.
This is the same Calvinist nonsense that my opening post illustrates!

You need to start over. Calvinism is wrong from beginning to end - all of it. They worship the wrong God, venerate the wrong Jesus and preach the wrong gospel.

Start with that as your starting point presupposition and begin reading the bible from scratch. Take the bible for what it SEEMS to say. If you get confused about a particular passage, ask a random third grader what it means. He will get it right about 99% of the time because kids that young haven't figured out yet that the bible doesn't mean what it says.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Cedarbay
October 2nd, 2015, 03:43 PM
Resting in Him,
CleteWhat do you mean by this?

Clete
October 2nd, 2015, 04:03 PM
This is an antinomy much like the Triunity of God is not fully explainable too is an antinomy

It seems like every time I bring up the word "antinomy" someone brings up the Trinity.

The doctrine of the Trinity not an antinomy, at least not if you stick with what the bible says and leave weird Augustinian nonsense out of it.

Before I continue, however, let me just point out, for the sake of clarity, that words often have a wide sphere of meaning and that antinomy is no exception. I do not deny that the term could be used in reference to the Trinity doctrine, but only as a sort of figure of speech. If you are talking about antinomy in the sense of some topic that seems confusing to a lot of people and that the bible doesn't give a lot of detail about then, in that sense, the word fits. But generally, the word antinomy isn't used in such a loose manner. Typically, when you see the word used, its being used in theological text book or formal publication where the audience is mostly seminary students or graduates. In such cases, the term NEVER applies to the doctrine of the Trinity unless the doctrine goes beyond the biblical material.

Now, having said all that, the doctrine of the Trinity IS NOT self-contradictory! It's not even a paradox! It is therefore, NOT and antinomy.

The confusion happens because people misunderstand both the doctrine of the Trinity and the definition of what a contradiction is. Let's start with the later...

The law of contradiction states that two contradictory truth claims cannot both be true at the same time and in the same way (i.e. in the same context).

Now with that firmly in mind...

Truth claim 1: The bible teaches that there is one God. This is undisputed and indisputable.

Truth claim 2: The bible teaches that God (singular) exists as three persons. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

As they sit, those two truth claims do not contradict one another. Truth claim 1 has to do with how many God's exist, truth claim 2 has to do with the nature of that God.

In other words, the bible does not teach that God is Unitarian and Trinitarian in nature. If it did, that would be a contradiction and you'd definitely have to pull out the antinomy card or ditch the whole religion.

Which, by the way, is the only thing the antinomy card is good for - salvaging the whole system. It's the 'get out the land of the rational' card. It's the "I really want to believe this whether it makes any sense or not" card.

It does not apply to the Trinity - period.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
October 2nd, 2015, 04:26 PM
What do you mean by this?

MY FAVORITE QUESTION!!!


Hebrews 9:9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. 11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest,

It's much more than a simple reference to that verse though!

A full explanation is HERE! (http://www.angelfire.com/mo2/goodnews/growth.html#ch15)

That link is to chapter 15 of Principles of Spiritual Growth by Miles J. Stanford. If you read that and chapter 16 (both of which are quite short) you'll get it.

I encourage you to read the whole book. It's in my top 10 list.

Resting in Him,
Clete

intojoy
October 2nd, 2015, 04:30 PM
I wasn't sure if you were or not. That's why I said "If you're a Calvinist".


Says who?

What sort of foolish thing is that to say?!

Has the whole Christian world forgotten that God is just?

Oh wait, let me take a breath!

Are you a Christian?


I can! So can my children as can virtually all human beings over the age of three.


Well I can! Who couldn't?


Obviously not you! You are willing to fall down in worship of a God who sends babies to hell!

How stupid does that make you?!


My bible tells me that I've been created in the image and likeness of God and that I have the mind of Christ.

What bible are you reading?


The bible you refer to proclaims that the unsaved are without excuse with or without the bible because the creation itself testifies of the truth of God.


So if you're not a Calvinist what are you, a Catholic?

No one is punished for the sins of their father. The word of God that you referred to says so very clearly. It is your doctrine that says otherwise.


I agree that is makes no sense if that what you mean.


Your belief is that God is unjust. Your belief is blasphemy. Your belief is irrational stupidity and is therefore false.

Resting in Him,
Clete

I rest my case. Again, this is the central issue for "Christians" if it is fair for infants to die lost isn't it. What I see in many is a failure to accept the fact that God's word is silent concerning infant salvation and on top of this many go out on a limb and presuppose that God would somehow be unjust in not saving all infants. Not me. I can fully trust that God will do right. He does all things well.

My problem with us is not that we choose to think that all infants will get a pass and be saved. My problem is that most choose to foolishly state an ultimatum on God claiming He would be unjust not to save.

God can never be unjust.

Neither can He contradict His word.

If faith is required for accepting the gospel then infants cannot be saved since they cannot excercise faith.

They can and do die and that is biblically due to their inheritance of sin. So whereas I would love to believe all infants are given a free ride into eternity this is not supported by soteriology and isn't biblically provable.

So where is your fire house argument now? If you cannot prove infant salvation then you cannot prove God is being unjust in what Calvin taught concerning total depravity and election.

Just my take.

Clete
October 2nd, 2015, 04:31 PM
Correct. Which verses should readily come to mind that should trouble you?

My point? It isn't a Calvinist-specific concern. It is a 'scripture-specific' concern.

There is basis. That is why, on this topic, it isn't Calvinistic, we are just the scapegoats for it. Numbers 16:30-35; 26:10? Clete's scenario actually 'did' happen.

You can help out and tell me why God 'did' destroy some in a fire yet spared others, nearly exactly as your example. :think: Your 'current contention' is that God wasn't righteous for doing so? You are 'trying' to assign that to Calvinists rather than recognizing it isn't Calvinist, it is scripture. :think:


Both. 1) that you don't seem to realize your scenario 'did' happen.
and 2) that you really shouldn't throw the gauntlet without realizing you are throwing it at God's doorstep. I'm just reading it and believing it. You are reading, perhaps not realizing it actually did happen, and 'trying' to make it Calvinistic rather than the actual scripture passage.

Perhaps...realize that believing that scripture happened, doesn't make me a Calvinist, it makes me a bible-reader and bible-believer.

Read Numbers 16:30-35. It isn't a 'Calvinist' passage for you to be able to throw accusation. It is in an Open Theist's bible too, that the gauntlet is thrown at God's feet regarding Number AND a good many other passages of God's judgement. Another that readily comes to mind is Lot's family. They were the ONLY ones saved from that fire, right? :think:


Numbers 26:10 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, when the fire devoured 250 men, and they became a warning.
Numbers 26:11 But the sons of Korah did not die

So you are correct. I cannot deny it as a bible-believer and a Calvinist. It is right in front of me, and now you, if not before. It is a 'bible-believer' specific topic, not a Calvinist one. That you are Open Theist and I am Calvinist is incidental imho. IOW it becomes an accusation against God very God, not me.

In Him,

-Lon

Lon,

You might well be the stupidest person on this entire website - which is really saying something, by the way!

Your post doesn't even deserve as much response as this post has given it.

:bang:

Clete
October 2nd, 2015, 04:35 PM
Take it from Paul.

You have both misunderstood something and are asking a question that shall not be asked.

Shall the thing formed say to it's maker why have you made me thus?

The answer was....... wait for it......... waaaait for it...... NAY.

Yer misunderstood idea of thinking Paul was speaking of nations is an epic fail.

The question was WHO has resisted his will, not what nation.

God does not need you or anyone else coming to rescue him.
FINALLY A RATIONAL RESPONSE!!!!!!!

The answer is simple. Paul is referencing Jeremiah 18. Jeremiah is talking about nations, Paul applies the principle taught in Jeremiah 18 to the nation of Israel.

That, by the way, is NOT my opinion. Read it. Both authors are talking about nations - period.

You can (and will) deny that if you like but the alternative that you'll be arguing in favor of is that God is unjust.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
October 2nd, 2015, 05:34 PM
The silence is deafening.

I'm writing a response to your post. I'll post it tonight - I promise!

Sorry for the wait!

intojoy
October 2nd, 2015, 06:13 PM
Antinomy: two TRUTHS that seemingly contradict.

This is the antinomy, how does the divine sovereignty of God work in harmony with the will of man?

If one goes to the divine sovereignty extreme he ends up with the hyper Calvin error. If one goes too far with the human responsibility side he ends up with the error of Armenianism.

Take the middle ground I do.

Clete
October 2nd, 2015, 08:19 PM
Antinomy: two TRUTHS that seemingly contradict.

This is the antinomy, how does the divine sovereignty of God work in harmony with the will of man?

If one goes to the divine sovereignty extreme he ends up with the hyper Calvin error. If one goes too far with the human responsibility side he ends up with the error of Armenianism.

Take the middle ground I do.
You highlighted the wrong word.

The sovereignty of God (i.e. the Calvinist doctrine, that is) doesn't just seem to contradict the will of man, it does contradict it. The two are mutually exclusive.

This means that it isn't an antinomy, its a contradiction.

The alternative position is to say that there is no such thing as a contradiction and that all.

1Mind1Spirit
October 2nd, 2015, 08:40 PM
Antinomy: two TRUTHS that seemingly contradict.

This is the antinomy, how does the divine sovereignty of God work in harmony with the will of man?

If one goes to the divine sovereignty extreme he ends up with the hyper Calvin error. If one goes too far with the human responsibility side he ends up with the error of Armenianism.

Take the middle ground I do.

The dude dudn't know God subjected him to vanity.

In his exercising of it he's out there on his white horse rescuing God's honor.

:mrt:

Clete
October 2nd, 2015, 08:53 PM
And here we have a No True Scotsman fallacy. One second you'll admit that there is such a thing as a four-point Calvinist, and the next it's a No True Scotsman.
Oh! You are quickly becoming one of my favorites! You and I would get along.


What I'm doing is not a fallacy. Calvinism teaches what it teaches. People want to hold to modified versions but that doesn't change what Calvinism is. In other words, to be present, the no true Scotsman fallacy requires the lack of a specific standard. In other words, there's nothing that defines a "true" Scotsman in a no true Scotsman fallacy. It's just whatever the fallacy maker needs it to be, which is what makes it a fallacy.

You can't even point to something that I've claimed Calvinism teaches that any Calvinist here has denied believing. Just because such a person does exist somewhere, doesn't mean that what I've quoted isn't Calvinism. It is Calvinism or there is no such thing.


This is basically a non-response. I've already demonstrated the clear difference between them, the different logical order in God's decree, but you peg it down to mental gymnastics. Let's at least engage with the material, in spite of our agreement here that it's logically incoherent.
Yes, mental gymnastics. In the Calvinist order, everything (including every action taken by every agent) is the effect, God is the cause.The "logical order" is irrelevant.

All the mental convolution only serves to muddy the water and obscure that simple fact. The effect it has is generally to glaze people's eyes over.


Were I arguing for my own position, one of the first things I'd point out is how it doesn't make sense to put regeneration before faith, when the scriptures and even key Calvinists will agree that regeneration is the beginning of sanctification. Justification is logically prior to sanctification, so it makes little sense to make regeneration logically prior to justification.
More than that, it is the logical order because the effect cannot precede its cause.


1. I hope we can both agree that if anything is truly scriptural, it is up to us to try and understand it, as opposed to calling it logically incoherent and supplanting it with something else.
That which is logically incoherent is false.

The bible is truth!

Therefore, if anyone thinks he's got something that is both biblical and logically incoherent, he has misunderstood the bible.


2. What's the point of #1 here? Well, let's say that we did agree with Calvinists on key areas of scripture like Romans (which I understand differently because of the New Pauline Perspective), at that point we would have to suspend a priori objections.

Your belief that their ideas are self contradictory, does not negate the actual meaning of those ideas. The WCF explicitly says that God is not actively causing sin.
I don't think I follow you on this point. Please elaborate.

I understand that the WCF says that, but the point is that Calvinists do not care whether what they believe is self-consistent and so that can SAY anything they want. That and they're very fond of redefining very common words to mean something very different than what they would seem to mean to anyone who wasn't a Calvinist.


What is valuable about education is applying discipline to learning, understanding proper sourcing and carefully assessing church history prior to making any blithe judgments.
I can't completely agree with you. There are lots of truly idiotic ideas that can be quite blithely rejected without any reference to church history or the need for a formal education.

The bible is not difficult to understand. Most third graders have a strong enough command of the language to understand virtually any biblical passage.

I, for example, wouldn't need an hour's worth of seminary to understand what justice is and that any doctrine that teaches that God is unjust is a false doctrine, no matter what its history is or whether its source documents are referenced correctly.


Yeah, for obvious reasons I don't agree with that last statement. But let's get into the meat of this next bit:
Right! No surprise there! :)


Why don't you prove where the concept came from? Who originally wrote about immutability? And are you aware of the many references in the Word to God's unchanging nature?
I'm aware of the references in God's word referring to God's unchanging character, yes. I trust that you are aware of the references to when God changed in really dramatic ways, yes?

As for proving where the idea came from, that would be quite a task. A tack well beyond the scope of this format, I'd say. But! While this is not going to constitute a PROOF, I'll give you the nuts and bolts of it.

Immutability came from Aristotle, or more precisely Plato's Republic (http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/~davpy35701/text/plato-god-immutable.html), which you've already stated that you're familiar with.

From Plato it goes to Bishop Ambrose of Milan, who teaches it to Augustine.

From Augustine it finds its way to the Catholic church.

From the Catholic church to Martin Luther (an Augustinian monk).

Then Calvin and Arminius clash it out in the 17th century over whose 5 points are correct and here we are.



Sure, that's how things might look externally, but this summary oversimplifies and misrepresents their arguments.

Your critique of Arminians appears to be directly aimed at Wesleyans. In any case, most every theologian on either side would claim adamantly that he isn't prioritizing God's attributes over one another. God is maximally good and maximally great.

What's more, your impressions of either group doesn't instantly override their statements themselves when considering them.
Again, they can SAY anything they want - the do not care whether their doctrine is self-consistent!

And whether they adamantly claim to the contrary, the fact is that they are forced to choose and they do! Every Calvinist I've ever met is quick to throw justice under the bus, even if they insist that they aren't doing so, in favor of God's absolute control of every event that occurs. It's been done on this very thread!

Further, the Bible explicitly states that God is righteous and just and kind and merciful and loving and much more. It DOES NOT explicitly state that God controls everything that happens. In fact, it explicitly states the opposite.


Jeremiah 7:30 “‘The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the Lord. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.


I've already quoted a statement of faith. You didn't accept the explicitly clear portions I quoted because you think they are logically inconsistent. Whether or not that is true doesn't detract from what they actually believe.

Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto, Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculórum. Amen.
Quite right! People can BELIEVE anything they want. People can believe the sky is green with yellow stripes if they want. What say they believe and what their core doctrines actually teach are often two different things.

And what does undermine what they SAY they believe is what they actually defend and how they defend it. There is simply no denying that the Calvinist puts about 1000 times as much emphasis on their sovereignty doctrine than they do on the will of man. If they didn't, they'd be Arminians who do the opposite.
The also put WAY WAY WAY more emphasis on the omni-attributes and immutability of God than they do the quality attributes of God. They cling so tightly to God's immutability and refuse to allow even the slightest hint of any sort of change whatsoever but will readily and will passion insist that whatever we humans think justice is, it doesn't apply to God.

So in other words, when a Calvinist SAYS he believes that God is sovereign and that He is just. The reason it doesn't get stuck in their throat on the way out is because they've redefined the word "just" to mean nothing in particular. For the Calvinist, justice just means whatever it needs to mean in order for them to be able to SAY that they believe that God is just while maintain their true belief which is that God is in absolute meticulous control of every event that happens no matter how good or evil it seems to us mere mortals to be.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
October 2nd, 2015, 09:10 PM
I rest my case. Again, this is the central issue for "Christians" if it is fair for infants to die lost isn't it. What I see in many is a failure to accept the fact that God's word is silent concerning infant salvation and on top of this many go out on a limb and presuppose that God would somehow be unjust in not saving all infants. Not me. I can fully trust that God will do right. He does all things well.
I agree with this comment completely!

Babies that die are certainly not sent to Hell because of original sin. That's just stupid. But that doesn't mean that God is going to over ride their free will either.

What I believe concerning this issue is rather an interesting topic but is better suited to a different thread. I don't even want to bring it up here. Too many heads will explode.


My problem with us is not that we choose to think that all infants will get a pass and be saved. My problem is that most choose to foolishly state an ultimatum on God claiming He would be unjust not to save.
He would indeed be unjust to send anyone - ANYONE - to an eternal punishment because of anything other than their own sin.

That's not my opinion, by the way. That's true because of what the word justice means.


God can never be unjust.
If your god is arbitrary then he is unjust, by definition.


Neither can He contradict His word.

If faith is required for accepting the gospel then infants cannot be saved since they cannot excercise faith.
They are not guilty.


They can and do die and that is biblically due to their inheritance of sin.
A problem that Christ removed for the entire race at Calvary. Romans 5


So whereas I would love to believe all infants are given a free ride into eternity this is not supported by soteriology and isn't biblically provable.

So where is your fire house argument now? If you cannot prove infant salvation then you cannot prove God is being unjust in what Calvin taught concerning total depravity and election.
If one infant goes to Hell because of Adam's sin, I will refuse heaven, even if it offered.

God is not unjust.

Sending babies who has done neither right nor wrong to an infinite punishment for the sins of their father is unjust. (definition of justice)

Therefore God will not send babies to Hell.


Just my take.
Your take borders on blasphemy. You will give an account for every idle word you speak. Be careful what you say.

Resting in Him,
Clete

intojoy
October 2nd, 2015, 09:49 PM
We disagree. All have fallen short of the righteousness of God even those who died prior to taking their first breath. All have sinned.

glorydaz
October 2nd, 2015, 10:12 PM
We disagree. All have fallen short of the righteousness of God even those who died prior to taking their first breath. All have sinned.

Nope, all die...even those who have not sinned like Adam did.

Romans 5:14
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

intojoy
October 2nd, 2015, 10:31 PM
Nope, all die...even those who have not sinned like Adam did.

Romans 5:14
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Enoch?

glorydaz
October 2nd, 2015, 10:43 PM
Enoch?

Enoch died.


Heb. 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Heb. 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

intojoy
October 2nd, 2015, 11:01 PM
Enoch died.


Heb. 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Heb. 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Elijah?

1Mind1Spirit
October 2nd, 2015, 11:08 PM
Enoch died.


Heb. 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Heb. 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Enoch did not die.

Same as those who are Christ's at his coming do not die.

Enoch was quickened by the spirit of Christ that was in him.

Christ came down into Enoch and took him to heaven.



1 Peter 1:11 KJV


11 Searching what , or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify , when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow .

glorydaz
October 2nd, 2015, 11:10 PM
Elijah?

Would John 3:13 be any less true where Elijah was concerned? Also, how did Elijah manage to write a letter to King Jehoram after he was taken up to heaven?

glorydaz
October 2nd, 2015, 11:11 PM
Enoch did not die.

Same as those who are Christ's at his coming do not die.

Enoch was quickened by the spirit of Christ that was in him.

Christ came down into Enoch and took him to heaven.



1 Peter 1:11 KJV


11 Searching what , or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify , when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow .

Not according to Scripture.

1Mind1Spirit
October 2nd, 2015, 11:18 PM
Elijah?

Same thing bro.

The spirit of Christ signifying.




John 11:26 KJV


26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die . Believest thou this?


1 Corinthians 15:51 KJV


51 Behold , I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep , but we shall all be changed ,

1Mind1Spirit
October 2nd, 2015, 11:25 PM
Not according to Scripture.

And there you were tellin' me you knew how the Godhead works.

Not.


John 5:21 KJV


21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will .


John 5:17 KJV


17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto , and I work .

Truster
October 3rd, 2015, 04:59 AM
Of course anyone can offer an answer but I want to hear from the Calvinists in particular on the following question....


If someone sets your house on fire in the middle of the night and then, once the house is fully engulfed in flames, rushes in to rescue you and your 2nd child but decides to leave your wife and your other ten kids to burn in the fire, do you praise the man as a hero or condemn him as a murderer?

Would your answer be different if you were the wife or one of the other ten children?

Resting in Him,
Clete

You sign off 'resting in Him'', but your question proves you do not have rest. Kingdom reality deals with reality and not silly hypothetical questions.

glorydaz
October 3rd, 2015, 11:01 AM
And there you were tellin' me you knew how the Godhead works.

Not.


John 5:21 KJV


21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will .


John 5:17 KJV


17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto , and I work .

Christ was the first.

1Mind1Spirit
October 3rd, 2015, 11:32 AM
Christ was the first.

Yep.

Before ever the earth was. :idea:

intojoy
October 3rd, 2015, 01:07 PM
Would John 3:13 be any less true where Elijah was concerned? Also, how did Elijah manage to write a letter to King Jehoram after he was taken up to heaven?

We shall not all die, some shall meet the Lord in the air.

lukecash12
October 3rd, 2015, 10:19 PM
I guess it's pretty clear now, as to the issue of intellectual honesty.

Clete
October 4th, 2015, 07:05 AM
You sign off 'resting in Him'', but your question proves you do not have rest. Kingdom reality deals with reality and not silly hypothetical questions.

So then tell me what my question gets wrong.

Clete
October 4th, 2015, 07:09 AM
I guess it's pretty clear now, as to the issue of intellectual honesty.

Don't talk in riddles, please.

Who are you speaking to and in response to what?

Clete
October 4th, 2015, 07:10 AM
We disagree. All have fallen short of the righteousness of God even those who died prior to taking their first breath. All have sinned.

Whose "we"?

Is the quote feature broken?

Who are you speaking to and in response to what?

lukecash12
October 4th, 2015, 10:13 AM
Don't talk in riddles, please.

Who are you speaking to and in response to what?

Oh bother... I couldn't even find your latest response! How silly of me :chuckle:

Clete
October 4th, 2015, 12:12 PM
Oh bother... I couldn't even find your latest response! How silly of me :chuckle:

Yeah, sorry about the rapid fire posts. I've been rather busy with work and so I got behind on my responses. I'll try to do a better job of keeping up!

intojoy
October 4th, 2015, 08:55 PM
Cleve, quit dealing with milk. You have a good conviction of your beliefs. And you are right about Calvin's extremes, he definitely had way too much error but it's not that important. It is to the Calvknists (hehe) because they assume they've reached some level of deeper thought. Same with Mad, but it simply is far from the truth. These doctrines are rabbit holes. What you need is Israelology.

Clete
October 5th, 2015, 05:01 PM
Cleve, quit dealing with milk. You have a good conviction of your beliefs. And you are right about Calvin's extremes, he definitely had way too much error but it's not that important. It is to the Calvknists (hehe) because they assume they've reached some level of deeper thought. Same with Mad, but it simply is far from the truth. These doctrines are rabbit holes. What you need is Israelology.

Israelology?

The study of Israel?

Do I even dare ask what that is?

intojoy
October 6th, 2015, 01:12 AM
Israelology?

The study of Israel?

Do I even dare ask what that is?

Israelology the Missing Link in Systematic Theology

lukecash12
October 6th, 2015, 03:31 AM
Denn alles Fleisch ist wie Gras
und alle Herrlichkeit des Menschen
wie des Grases Blumen.
Das Gras ist verdorret
und die Blume abgefallen.

So seid nun geduldig, lieben Brüder,
bis auf die Zukunft des Herrn.
Siehe, ein Ackermann wartet
auf die köstliche Frucht der Erde
und ist geduldig darüber, bis er empfahe
den Morgenregen und Abendregen.

Aber des Herrn Wort bleibet in Ewigkeit.

Die Erlöseten des Herrn werden wieder kommen,
und gen Zion kommen mit Jauchzen;
ewige Freude wird über ihrem Haupte sein;
Freude und Wonne werden sie ergreifen
und Schmerz und Seufzen wird weg müssen.

For all flesh is as grass,
and the glory of man
like flowers.
The grass withers
and the flower falls.

Therefore be patient, dear brothers,
for the coming of the Lord.
Behold, the husbandman waits
for the delicious fruits of the earth
and is patient for it, until he receives
the morning rain and evening rain.

But the word of the Lord endures for eternity.

The redeemed of the Lord will come again,
and come to Zion with a shout;
eternal joy shall be upon her head;
They shall take joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing must depart.WbO-IrX0Mgk

Oh! You are quickly becoming one of my favorites! You and I would get along.

Hehehe, that would depend on your book references. I'm something of a book junky. I've no doubt we'll get along. We may not find each other the most agreeable on every subject, but that's hardly a realistic expectation for anyone.


What I'm doing is not a fallacy. Calvinism teaches what it teaches. People want to hold to modified versions but that doesn't change what Calvinism is. In other words, to be present, the no true Scotsman fallacy requires the lack of a specific standard. In other words, there's nothing that defines a "true" Scotsman in a no true Scotsman fallacy. It's just whatever the fallacy maker needs it to be, which is what makes it a fallacy.Precisely. You've made Calvinism what you need it to be. I'll be illustrating that further but let's dwell on your own definition of a No True Scotsman.

Aside from that, a major flaw in your reasoning is this historical misunderstanding that you have, that Calvin defines the group as a whole and there is no room for variety. "Calvinism" was a label given to this other primary group of the Reformation, by Luther. From the 15th century on "Calvinists" have always called themselves Reformed.

These are the primary first generation Reformed thinkers: Huldrych Zwingli (1484–1531), Martin Bucer (1491–1551), Wolfgang Capito (1478–1541), John Oecolampadius (1482–1531), and Guillaume Farel (1489–1565). And these are the primary theologians of the second generation: John Calvin (1509–64), Heinrich Bullinger (1504–75), Wolfgang Musculus (1497–1563), Peter Martyr Vermigli (1500–62), and Andreas Hyperius (1511–64).

Bullinger in particular was more influential for 16th century thinkers than Calvin, because he was the primary author of the Second Helvetic Confession. Here is one of the most famous sermons of the day, by Bullinger on predestination, with some wonderful quotations in it from Tertullian, Theodoret, and Syrach: http://www.covenanter.org/Predestination/bullinger_04_04.html

"Therefore the saints acknowledge, that although wars, plagues, and divers other calamities do by God's providence afflict mortal men, yet notwithstanding that the causes thereof do arise of nothing else than the sins of man. For God is good, which wisheth us rather well than evil: yea, oftentimes he of his goodness turneth our evil purposes unto good ends; as is to be seen by the history of Joseph in the book of Genesis."


"The doctrine of the foreknowledge and predestination of God, which hath a certain likeness with his providence, doth no less comfort the godly worshippers of God. They call foreknowledge that knowledge in God, whereby he knoweth all things before they come to pass, and seeth even present all things that are, have been, and shall be. For to the knowledge of God all things are present; nothing is past, nothing is to come. And the predestination of God is the eternal decree of God, whereby he hath ordained either to save or destroy men; a most certain end of life and death being appointed unto them. Whereupon also it is elsewhere called a fore-appointment."


You can't even point to something that I've claimed Calvinism teaches that any Calvinist here has denied believing. Just because such a person does exist somewhere, doesn't mean that what I've quoted isn't Calvinism. It is Calvinism or there is no such thing.This is merely anecdotal evidence and a truism.


Yes, mental gymnastics. In the Calvinist order, everything (including every action taken by every agent) is the effect, God is the cause.The "logical order" is irrelevant.

All the mental convolution only serves to muddy the water and obscure that simple fact. The effect it has is generally to glaze people's eyes over.If your eyes are glazed over, then it's apparent that you aren't aware of the functional difference in the orders of the decree of God.

Here's a very respected name in Reformed thinking, Herman Bavinck, who wrote a significant systematic theology: http://www.the-highway.com/Bavinck_predestination2.html

C. The supralapsarian and infralapsarian interpretation of the decree:

(1) Points of agreement. Both agree:

(a) That God is not the Author of sin (supra as well as infra).
(b) That Scripture (not philosophy) is the only source of our knowledge of God's decree (supra as well as infra).
(c) That man's fall and punishment is not merely the object of God's foreknowledge but of his decree and foreordination (infra as well as supra).
(d) That faith is not the cause of the decree of election, neither sin the cause of the decree of reprobation (infra as well as supra).

(2) Points of disagreement:

(a) In general, supralapsarianism places the decree of predestination proper above (supra) the decree to permit the fall (lapsus); while infralapsarianism places the decree of predestination proper below (infra) the decree to permit the fall (lapsus). Hence:

Supralapsarianism:

predestination
fall

Infralapsarianism:

fall
predestination

(b) From this general differentiation it becomes clear that supra and infra differ in regard to their presentation of the order in the elements of God's plan. The logical order according to supra:

1. a decree determining the purpose of all things, namely, the revelation of God's virtues; specifically, the revelation of his mercy in the salvation of a definite number of possible men; and the revelation of his justice in the perdition of another definite number of possible men 2. a decree to create the men thus elected and reprobated. 3. a decree to permit them to fall. 4. a decree to provide a Mediator for the elect and through him to justify them, and to condemn the reprobate.

The logical order according to infra:

1. a decree to create man in holiness and blessedness. 2. a decree to permit man to fall. 3. a decree to elect some out of this fallen multitude and to leave others in their misery. 4. a decree to bring about the salvation of the elect through Christ. See II, F.(c)


From this again it is apparent that according to supra men viewed as possible or creatable and fallible are the objects of the decree; while, according to infra men viewed as fallen are objects of the decree.

The key difference here, monsieur, is in whether or not God unconditionally elected people before or after they sinned in Adam.

That which is logically incoherent is false.

The bible is truth!

Therefore, if anyone thinks he's got something that is both biblical and logically incoherent, he has misunderstood the bible.
While the form of your logic is fine, the epistemological axiom is anthropocentric rather than theocentric. That is a fundamental problem. God has revealed Himself to us through the scriptures. The scriptures interpret the scriptures, hence the historico-grammatical approach. Any other form of biblical interpretation would be eisegesis, not exegesis.

The bible is truth. Truth is logically coherent. Man, on the other hand, does not always think in a logically coherent fashion. Ergo, if the Reformed theodicy has sufficient scriptural support as to the truth of TULIP, it is we who are thinking in a logically incoherent fashion.

My personal disagreement with them on the subject of election, has to do with my exegesis of Romans in keeping with the New Pauline Perspective (using the Talmud and other contemporary Jewish literature to better understand what Paul was addressing). Paul was contending against the doctrine of unconditional corporate election, that of the Jews, in order to establish a Christ centered definition of the True Israel. Under the New Pauline Perspective I don't think there is explicit exegetical support anywhere for unconditional election, and no explicit support for conditional election either. The reason I interpret the scriptures as saying that election is conditioned on faith, is my understanding of soteriology. Theodicy and soteriology are mutually contingent subjects, so it is sound to understand theodicy according to the nature of soteriology.

Without the support for unconditional election in Romans, which is considered the bedrock of that doctrine, what it boils down to is irresistible grace (monergism) vs prevenient grace (synergism) as the Holy Spirit has to be involved in the first place. If synergism is more scriptural, then we have to think in a theocentric manner and conclude that it is consistent with God's sovereignty.

Furthermore, no one thinks that they have an understanding that is both biblical and logically incoherent. The latter is something you have ascribed to them.


I don't think I follow you on this point. Please elaborate.

I understand that the WCF says that, but the point is that Calvinists do not care whether what they believe is self-consistent and so that can SAY anything they want. That and they're very fond of redefining very common words to mean something very different than what they would seem to mean to anyone who wasn't a Calvinist.1. Reformed thinkers are plenty concerned with whether or not what they say is self-consistent. Otherwise they wouldn't be making the numerous fine distinctions they have over some of the same basic positions. There would otherwise be no reason for the numerous systematic theologies, homilies, famous sermons, confessions of faith, etc.

2. Theology doesn't redefine common words. It carefully keeps it's own technical vocabulary in check, having to adapt terms from different languages. The original Reformed thinkers were primarily writing in Swiss, German, and French during the 16th century. Obviously the English words that Reformed theologians use aren't going to mean the same thing as they do in US English, or UK English.

Technical vocabulary is developed through critical literature and dialogue. Given that, it is impossible to understand all of the technical terms by theologians or philosophers unless you have done the requisite reading on the subject. The reason such technical vocabulary is maintained, is because there are wholly different pressures on scholars than there are on the common person. Our every day vocabulary is born from a cultural dialogue, while the academic sciences are not so ethnocentric. Cultures don't strive to preserve continuity while the academic sciences do.


I can't completely agree with you. There are lots of truly idiotic ideas that can be quite blithely rejected without any reference to church history or the need for a formal education.In many such instances it is easy for the ignorant to assume all of the wrong connotations at first blush. They think in an anachronistic and ethnocentric manner.


The bible is not difficult to understand. Most third graders have a strong enough command of the language to understand virtually any biblical passage.Tell that to Job, the Apostle John, and the Apostle Paul. If everything were so easy to understand then we wouldn't have needed the Pauline epistles, and Arius wouldn't have divided the church and got Athanasius exiled.

While I appreciate the substance of your statement here, there are no scriptural indications that people can understand the texts without adult intellectual capacity. Paul even states that the Law is a paidagogos/mentor-tutor, and that there are two stages in understanding God: milk and meat. The letter of the Law must give way to the Spirit of the Law.

What's more, while there are a number of plain statements in the Bible, we aren't the original audience. We can't expect that what was clearly communicated to them is necessarily clear for us. That would betray ignorance as to the process of history. Languages and modes of expression change.

William of Auvergne made perfect sense to Peter of Abelard when they debated over the Trinity in the 12th century, but we don't live in the 12th century. Eusebius' use of Syriac and Greek is quite plain, but the very fact that he was using 4th century Greek makes the matter not so plain. The same is true with the scriptures.


I, for example, wouldn't need an hour's worth of seminary to understand what justice is and that any doctrine that teaches that God is unjust is a false doctrine, no matter what its history is or whether its source documents are referenced correctly.
So, your very human, and very fallen, moral standards are sufficient to accept or reject anything in the scriptures, at first blush? And where has any Reformed thinker ever said "God is unjust"?


I'm aware of the references in God's word referring to God's unchanging character, yes. I trust that you are aware of the references to when God changed in really dramatic ways, yes?God changed what? His nature? His decree? We're already in agreement on the first (hence no need for hermeneutic discussion), and at this point it's vague what change might be entailed, so let's see what you mean by God changing dramatically.

I'm comfortable examining things grammatically in the TR and BH, so I do hope that if you reference anything you are at least familiar with relevant ancient vocabulary.


Immutability came from Aristotle, or more precisely Plato's Republic (http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/%7Edavpy35701/text/plato-god-immutable.html), which you've already stated that you're familiar with.

From Plato it goes to Bishop Ambrose of Milan, who teaches it to Augustine.

From Augustine it finds its way to the Catholic church.

From the Catholic church to Martin Luther (an Augustinian monk).

Then Calvin and Arminius clash it out in the 17th century over whose 5 points are correct and here we are.What was the Platonic and Peripatetic concept of immutability? Was it identical to Augustine's concept?


Again, they can SAY anything they want - the do not care whether their doctrine is self-consistent!

And whether they adamantly claim to the contrary, the fact is that they are forced to choose and they do! Every Calvinist I've ever met is quick to throw justice under the bus, even if they insist that they aren't doing so, in favor of God's absolute control of every event that occurs. It's been done on this very thread!

Further, the Bible explicitly states that God is righteous and just and kind and merciful and loving and much more. It DOES NOT explicitly state that God controls everything that happens. In fact, it explicitly states the opposite.
Jeremiah 7:30 (http://biblia.com/bible/nkjv/Jeremiah%207.30) “‘The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the Lord. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.There's no special interest in reading a diatribe here, monsieur. I appreciate your candor and can empathize, but let's set polemics aside and ask ourselves: what are they saying and what do they really mean when they say it? I'm not entirely confident yet that you've grasped the answer to that question.


Quite right! People can BELIEVE anything they want. People can believe the sky is green with yellow stripes if they want. What say they believe and what their core doctrines actually teach are often two different things.Accepting someone's statements and then building a straw man on the basis of them being disingenuous, is a violation of the principle of charity. The principle of charity should always be our default state before we better understand an interlocutor's position. It certainly appears to me that you didn't sufficiently suspend judgement under the guidance of this principle in order to understand what exactly Reformed thinkers believe.


And what does undermine what they SAY they believe is what they actually defend and how they defend it. There is simply no denying that the Calvinist puts about 1000 times as much emphasis on their sovereignty doctrine than they do on the will of man. If they didn't, they'd be Arminians who do the opposite.This is a characterization not in line with any critically acclaimed theology on either side. Read Forline's Quest for Truth and Bavinck's Systematic Theology, and you'll see that on both ends they are concerned with and discuss in many words the ultimate unity of the attributes of God, of maximal excellence in every respect.


So in other words, when a Calvinist SAYS he believes that God is sovereign and that He is just. The reason it doesn't get stuck in their throat on the way out is because they've redefined the word "just" to mean nothing in particular. For the Calvinist, justice just means whatever it needs to mean in order for them to be able to SAY that they believe that God is just while maintain their true belief which is that God is in absolute meticulous control of every event that happens no matter how good or evil it seems to us mere mortals to be.Merely another diatribe in which you projection your impression of their system onto their own thinking. Their understanding of why it is just for God to exercise His prerogative in punishing anyone He so pleases, is informed by the Augustinian model of sin. No person deserves redemption according to his/her own merit.

Return to this post for reference material on the subject: http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4470942#post4470942

lukecash12
October 7th, 2015, 01:07 PM
A little bump, so you don't have to digging for this, Clete.

Clete
October 7th, 2015, 04:27 PM
A little bump, so you don't have to digging for this, Clete.
I see it there! :up:

I've been short on time because of work. I'll get to it asap, I promise.

lukecash12
October 7th, 2015, 04:42 PM
I see it there! :up:

I've been short on time because of work. I'll get to it asap, I promise.

Hey, don't sweat it. I'd like to be so short on time, myself. Just figured you find it as bothersome as I do, having to dig through one or more pages to find something. This site is pretty darned active.

Clete
October 8th, 2015, 10:30 AM
Precisely. You've made Calvinism what you need it to be.
This is your contention but you've failed to demonstrate that this is so nor even that there is an actual Calvinist alive that would deny believing a single one of the quotes of Calvin that I've presented. Not that such a Calvinist doesn't exist anywhere but they aren't here and I've never met one.


I'll be illustrating that further but let's dwell on your own definition of a No True Scotsman.
My definition? Who asked me what the definition of the fallacy is? The NTS fallacy has a very clear definition that I had nothing to do with developing.


No true Scotsman is an informal fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim ("no Scotsman would do such a thing"), rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule ("no true Scotsman would do such a thing").

The no true scotsman fallacy is a way of reinterpreting evidence in order to prevent the refutation of one’s position. Proposed counter-examples to a theory are dismissed as irrelevant solely because they are counter-examples, but purportedly because they are not what the theory is about.

The way you are using this fallacy, if it were valid, then there would be no such thing as Calvinism. As soon as anyone proposed a set of ideas that compose what is called 'Calvinism' all anyone would have to do is come up with a single individual who disagreed on a single point while still calling himself a Calvinist to disallow the definition.

For the NTC fallacy to apply you have to just be ignoring counter examples for no reason or you have to have an unreasoned definition of the general term. Neither of which applies to what I'm doing here or to what I've been doing now for decades.

I recently started a thread called John Calvin said this... (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112620) in which I've posted nine different quotes (and perhaps more to come) directly from John Calvin on Calvinism. Of course I know that it wasn't called Calvinism when he wrote his books but the point is that they are quotes concerning doctrines which have to do with Calvinism and not quote concerning some other subject like antisemitism or government policy or whatever. Here are some quotes from Calvinists on that thread...


I have no problem with this statement....
After all, Satan had to ask permission to tempt Job...
God allows Satan to do his evil for our own good and to show his grace.

God is the alpha and omega... the beginning, end and everything in between is all under his absolute control.... not a single hair falls out of your head unless he decreed it.

You are judging God based on your own sense of justice.

The devil is Gods devil,he made him and he has him under control,just where he wants him.

Looks like God predestined you not to believe the Gospel!

I don't really have a problem with any of this :p

Those things are sound and cannot be refuted!

God is not responsible for evil for the same reason creation happened and we exist: because he is the definer of WHAT IS. God says he is not responsible; therefore he is not responsible; because he has said he is not. By his very nature he cannot be wrong. God is the definer, man is not. God says we are responsible for the evil we do; for the mere reason that he has said we are responsible, we are responsible, and deserving of punishment.

I see no reason for a Calvinist to distance themselves from any of Calvin's remarks quoted in the OP.


When considered in their full context, nor do I.

God never rejected the reprobate according to His foreknowledge of their actions. God rejects reprobates according to His will. God formed all men, either for dishonor or honor, according to His willful purposes and good pleasure. To reject this truth is disbelief and a rejection of Sovereign God Himself.

And the list of quotes of similar comments from Calvinists on this site would go into the thousands of quotes. The point being that I am not misrepresenting Calvinism. The main point of that thread was to demonstrate exactly that.


Aside from that, a major flaw in your reasoning is this historical misunderstanding that you have, that Calvin defines the group as a whole and there is no room for variety. "Calvinism" was a label given to this other primary group of the Reformation, by Luther. From the 15th century on "Calvinists" have always called themselves Reformed.
I've never, not even once, suggested that Calvin defines Calvinism but merely that Calvin was a Calvinist, even if he wouldn't have called himself that at the time. And I've also never suggested that there is no room for variety. I fully understand that there is subgroups and variation in doctrine within those groups. The fact that such variety exists doesn't imply that what I've presented as Calvinism is somehow a mischaracterization of the system.


These are the primary first generation Reformed thinkers: Huldrych Zwingli (1484–1531), Martin Bucer (1491–1551), Wolfgang Capito (1478–1541), John Oecolampadius (1482–1531), and Guillaume Farel (1489–1565). And these are the primary theologians of the second generation: John Calvin (1509–64), Heinrich Bullinger (1504–75), Wolfgang Musculus (1497–1563), Peter Martyr Vermigli (1500–62), and Andreas Hyperius (1511–64).

Bullinger in particular was more influential for 16th century thinkers than Calvin, because he was the primary author of the Second Helvetic Confession. Here is one of the most famous sermons of the day, by Bullinger on predestination, with some wonderful quotations in it from Tertullian, Theodoret, and Syrach: http://www.covenanter.org/Predestination/bullinger_04_04.html

"Therefore the saints acknowledge, that although wars, plagues, and divers other calamities do by God's providence afflict mortal men, yet notwithstanding that the causes thereof do arise of nothing else than the sins of man. For God is good, which wisheth us rather well than evil: yea, oftentimes he of his goodness turneth our evil purposes unto good ends; as is to be seen by the history of Joseph in the book of Genesis."


"The doctrine of the foreknowledge and predestination of God, which hath a certain likeness with his providence, doth no less comfort the godly worshippers of God. They call foreknowledge that knowledge in God, whereby he knoweth all things before they come to pass, and seeth even present all things that are, have been, and shall be. For to the knowledge of God all things are present; nothing is past, nothing is to come. And the predestination of God is the eternal decree of God, whereby he hath ordained either to save or destroy men; a most certain end of life and death being appointed unto them. Whereupon also it is elsewhere called a fore-appointment."
I don't see how you didn't just prove MY point.

With one quote the will of man is vaguely affirmed as the cause of bad events (i.e. sin) and then the next quote essentially equates foreknowledge, predestination and the sovereignty of God with each other.

Notice that there is no attempt to make the two ideas make sense with each other. They (Calvinists) affirm one and they affirm the other(s). It as if they don't notice that the two are in contradiction. Perhaps its that they don't want their audience to notice. Either way, the fact is that they do contradict and a further fact is that they make no effort to reconcile the contradiction. They are happy, literally happy to to live with it. Their willingness to live with it is what they think faith is.

And to relate this directly back to what I've presented as Calvinism, the fact that there are some Calvinists who rightly credit man's sin for the evil in the world doesn't change the fact that those same Calvinists do not disagree with a syllable of the quotes I've presented from Calvin.


This is merely anecdotal evidence and a truism.
Now who's using the no true Scotsman fallacy?

I've got real, red blooded, living, breathing Calvinists who openly affirm the quotes from Calvin as being an accurate statements of their beliefs. You've got, at best, hypothetical Calvinists that surely must exist somewhere that might disagree with Calvin's wording or who would place the emphasis elsewhere or whatever. But not even the Calvinists you quote contradict what I've posted from Calvin.


If your eyes are glazed over, then it's apparent that you aren't aware of the functional difference in the orders of the decree of God.
Even this sentence glazed my eyes over!

That's an overstatement, of course but the point is that it just isn't necessary to get so complicated. You can know you screwed something up somewhere when you're having to pic at such nits. Straining out flies to swallow a camel is a bad thing! The bible is just not that difficult a book to understand.

On this topic, its as simple as understanding what love is or what justice is and knowing that God is both loving and just. Calvinism falls to bits on that one single point. The only way to salvage it is to commit an Arbitrary Redefinition (equivocation) fallacy and redefine what love and justice are, which is precisely what Calvinists do!


Here's a very respected name in Reformed thinking, Herman Bavinck, who wrote a significant systematic theology:

[/U][/B]The key difference here, monsieur, is in whether or not God unconditionally elected people before or after they sinned in Adam.
Its just semantics because there isn't one single Calvinists anywhere on the planet that would not absolutely affirm that God predestined and infallibly per-ordained the fall of Adam! What order God did things after that is academic.

Further according to your earlier quote...


"For to the knowledge of God all things are present; nothing is past, nothing is to come."

Thus there is no before or after the fall of Adam in the mind of ANY Calvinist (except rhetorically) including ones you cite as being even more formative of the system than Calvin himself.

The self contradictions within the Calvinists system are never ending!


While the form of your logic is fine, the epistemological axiom is anthropocentric rather than theocentric. That is a fundamental problem. God has revealed Himself to us through the scriptures. The scriptures interpret the scriptures, hence the historico-grammatical approach. Any other form of biblical interpretation would be eisegesis, not exegesis.
This is inherently self-contradictory.

You cannot read the bible without sound reason. You cannot understand the words eisegesis or exegesis nor how to perform either without sound reason. There is no way to declare anything to be consistent with or in contradiction to the bible without sound reason. God Himself cannot reveal anything apart from sound reason for He is the very personification, indeed the incarnation of sound reason (John 1). To reject sound reason is to reject God Himself just it would be to reject love or justice. These terms derive their meaning from God's character. Thus every unbleiver who loves steals from the the Christian worldview. Every atheist who attempts to argue the non-existence of God borrows from the Christian worldview to make his argument and thus defeats himself with the first intelligable word he speaks. Similarly, attempting to suggest that one elevate the Bible above reason defeats himself by making the proposal.


The bible is truth. Truth is logically coherent. Man, on the other hand, does not always think in a logically coherent fashion. Ergo, if the Reformed theodicy has sufficient scriptural support as to the truth of TULIP, it is we who are thinking in a logically incoherent fashion.
By what process, other than coherent thought, do you propose to determine whether there is "sufficient scriptural support" for any doctrine you want to name?

See what I mean? Its self-contradcitory.


Furthermore, no one thinks that they have an understanding that is both biblical and logically incoherent. The latter is something you have ascribed to them.
HA! That's a laugh!

There's a whole movement within Christiandom that is overtly anti-intellectual, the whole point of which is "It doesn't have to make sense! Stop thinking and just believe!" You don't even have to be a Calvinist to fall into that category. Nearly the whole of those who call themselves "Charasmatic" believers or "Spirit filled" are at least tacitly, if not overtly anti-intellectual.

Further, the whole purpose of the term "antinomy" is reserved as an superlogic trump card and is pulled out only when there are contradictions that cannot otherwise be resolved. If I had a dime for everytime I've heard the word 'antinomy' applied to the soverignty of God vs man's will, I'd have a lot more time for posting on TOL!


1. Reformed thinkers are plenty concerned with whether or not what they say is self-consistent. Otherwise they wouldn't be making the numerous fine distinctions they have over some of the same basic positions. There would otherwise be no reason for the numerous systematic theologies, homilies, famous sermons, confessions of faith, etc.
Theological hoop jumping. They want self-consistency but are willing to live without it


2. Theology doesn't redefine common words. It carefully keeps it's own technical vocabulary in check, having to adapt terms from different languages. The original Reformed thinkers were primarily writing in Swiss, German, and French during the 16th century. Obviously the English words that Reformed theologians use aren't going to mean the same thing as they do in US English, or UK English.
This is wishful thinking at best.

Ask a Calvinist what justice is. You won't get anything like, "Doing unto the criminal as he sought to do to his neighbor.", as we are taught in scripture. What you'll get is, "Whatever God says it is." In other words, "justice" is "arbitrary". Just is its opposite. How much more can a word be redefined than that?


Technical vocabulary is developed through critical literature and dialogue. Given that, it is impossible to understand all of the technical terms by theologians or philosophers unless you have done the requisite reading on the subject. The reason such technical vocabulary is maintained, is because there are wholly different pressures on scholars than there are on the common person. Our every day vocabulary is born from a cultural dialogue, while the academic sciences are not so ethnocentric. Cultures don't strive to preserve continuity while the academic sciences do.
Regardless, words mean things. Otherwise, communication is impossible. I understand that in any debate defining terms is an impotant first step but that's not what Calvinists do. They arbitrarily force common words to mean whatever they need them to mean in order to maintain two things; the absolute immutability of God and God's absolute maticulous control of everything that happens.


Tell that to Job, the Apostle John, and the Apostle Paul. If everything were so easy to understand then we wouldn't have needed the Pauline epistles, and Arius wouldn't have divided the church and got Athanasius exiled.

While I appreciate the substance of your statement here, there are no scriptural indications that people can understand the texts without adult intellectual capacity. Paul even states that the Law is a paidagogos/mentor-tutor, and that there are two stages in understanding God: milk and meat. The letter of the Law must give way to the Spirit of the Law.

What's more, while there are a number of plain statements in the Bible, we aren't the original audience. We can't expect that what was clearly communicated to them is necessarily clear for us. That would betray ignorance as to the process of history. Languages and modes of expression change.

William of Auvergne made perfect sense to Peter of Abelard when they debated over the Trinity in the 12th century, but we don't live in the 12th century. Eusebius' use of Syriac and Greek is quite plain, but the very fact that he was using 4th century Greek makes the matter not so plain. The same is true with the scriptures.
We will not agree on this point. The bible is easy to understand so long as you just read it. What makes it difficult is the doctrines you bring to it that aren't there. People who think that God controls everything that happens are going to get confused inside of two pages of the book of Genisis.


So, your very human, and very fallen, moral standards are sufficient to accept or reject anything in the scriptures, at first blush? And where has any Reformed thinker ever said "God is unjust"?
EVERY Reformed thinker who declares that God per-ordained sin and that those who He for-ordained to sin are also per-ordained to be punished for that sin have said that God is unjust.

They were never say verbatim that "God is unjust." because they've defined the word "just" to mean "anything God does or says".


God changed what? His nature? His decree? We're already in agreement on the first (hence no need for hermeneutic discussion), and at this point it's vague what change might be entailed, so let's see what you mean by God changing dramatically.
God became a man with a physical body.

God the Son died, both spiritually and physically (i.e. His spirit was separated from His body - physical death and He was separated from the Father - spiritual death.

God rose from the dead, both spritually and physically.

To deny any one of these points is anti-Christ and denies the whole Christian religion. To accepts any one of them is to deny Calvinism's core doctrines.



Okay - Out of time! That's plenty enough for now anyway.


Resting in Him,
Clete

lukecash12
October 10th, 2015, 04:41 AM
This is your contention but you've failed to demonstrate that this is so nor even that there is an actual Calvinist alive that would deny believing a single one of the quotes of Calvin that I've presented. Not that such a Calvinist doesn't exist anywhere but they aren't here and I've never met one.

I've given quotations from two of the primary Reformed confessions of faith (the WCF and Canons of Dordt, articles 4-6), referenced a second generation Reformed thinker who was more influential at that time (Bullinger); referenced Herman Bavinck, and in doing so pointing out that the view of double predestination that you portray in the OP is a description of hyper-Calvinists/supralapsarians. And let's not forget that I even mentioned four-point Calvinists, namely Augustus Hopkins Strong and Millard J. Erickson.

All the while, what we've seen from you is nothing but a few quotations from Calvin and anecdotal statements. I just so happen to have anecdotal experiences to the contrary, having known plenty of Calvinists that distinguish between necessary/primary and contingent/secondary causes. "Living breathing 'Calvinists'", monsieur, "living and breathing".


My definition? Who asked me what the definition of the fallacy is? The NTS fallacy has a very clear definition that I had nothing to do with developing.You have fostered the wrong impression, my friend. Let's not forget the usefulness of the principle of charity, lest we go off on irrelevant tangents because of an unwarranted assumption. I was agreeing with your definition, because of course that is the definition that any proper logician would use.

But I digress... what I had actually meant by that statement was that you agreed to the correction definition, and that should give us some pause as we examine what you were claiming. At this point I've referenced Reformed thinkers all the way from the first generation up to now. These references have unanimously contradicted your earlier claim, given the "train of the ungodly" quotation, that Reformed thinkers all believe that God damns the reprobate through necessary as opposed to contingent causes.


For the NTC fallacy to apply you have to just be ignoring counter examples for no reason or you have to have an unreasoned definition of the general term. Neither of which applies to what I'm doing here or to what I've been doing now for decades.This is the crux of why I believe you are committing a No True Scotsman. You have dismissed my counter examples out of hand.


And the list of quotes of similar comments from Calvinists on this site would go into the thousands of quotes. The point being that I am not misrepresenting Calvinism. The main point of that thread was to demonstrate exactly that.Sorry, no offense to the more reasonable people that frequent this site, but this isn't exactly the best place to go looking for representatives of a school of theology or a denomination.


I've never, not even once, suggested that Calvin defines Calvinism but merely that Calvin was a Calvinist, even if he wouldn't have called himself that at the time. And I've also never suggested that there is no room for variety. I fully understand that there is subgroups and variation in doctrine within those groups. The fact that such variety exists doesn't imply that what I've presented as Calvinism is somehow a mischaracterization of the system.You're right, especially in the last sentence here. However, there are numerous facts so far that you've ignored. So far, you haven't provided a single credible source as to why all Reformed thinkers have the same ideas as Calvin on double predestination. What you have provided so far is some quotation from Calvin and your own anecdotal opinion.

What I have provided so far, on the other hand, is key quotations from two different confessions of faith that whole Reformed denominations are based on. Presbyterians are required to affirm the WCF, for example. That's why I went to Dordt and WCF first, because there are several denominations centered around them. That is specifically how you are characterizing Reformed thinkers incorrectly. Calvin was an influential theologian, but he did not write any statements of faith that denominations are based on today. Those statements of faith contradict him, and people of those denominations are called "Calvinists", ergo they have every reason to call themselves Reformed.


I don't see how you didn't just prove MY point.

With one quote the will of man is vaguely affirmed as the cause of bad events (i.e. sin) and then the next quote essentially equates foreknowledge, predestination and the sovereignty of God with each other.What on earth is your point? That what they believe doesn't make sense? Or that in spite of what they say you somehow have this special knowledge as to what they really mean? That they don't really believe God is just, etc.?


And to relate this directly back to what I've presented as Calvinism, the fact that there are some Calvinists who rightly credit man's sin for the evil in the world doesn't change the fact that those same Calvinists do not disagree with a syllable of the quotes I've presented from Calvin.Here's the rub: your quotations from Calvin don't determine what whole denominations believe. The four primary documents that fill that role are the WCF, Canons of Dordt, the Belgic Confession, and the Second Helvetic Confession (primarily authored by Bullinger). You say you've read them. If that's so, go ahead and find me a single quote from one of them explicitly indicating belief in the same idea that you've quoted from Calvin. I've already given quotations from two of them that explicitly deny necessary instead of contingent causes for people being reprobate.


Now who's using the no true Scotsman fallacy?

I've got real, red blooded, living, breathing Calvinists who openly affirm the quotes from Calvin as being an accurate statements of their beliefs. You've got, at best, hypothetical Calvinists that surely must exist somewhere that might disagree with Calvin's wording or who would place the emphasis elsewhere or whatever. But not even the Calvinists you quote contradict what I've posted from Calvin.Oh, really? The numerous sentences that I underlined just flew right past your head?


Even this sentence glazed my eyes over!And this is where you establish your pomposity to the point that I lose interest entirely in having a discussion. This is exactly why I wasn't wont to do this in the first place. I try to point out the meaning of distinctions you have trivialized, pointing out specifically how infralapsarians don't subscribe to your idea of Calvinist double predestination. You blithely disregard it, and any explanation of it glazes your eyes over. So this is me, having lost interest; the field is yours.

God bless.

Clete
October 10th, 2015, 06:16 AM
And this is where you establish your pomposity to the point that I lose interest entirely in having a discussion. This is exactly why I wasn't wont to do this in the first place. I try to point out the meaning of distinctions you have trivialized, pointing out specifically how infralapsarians don't subscribe to your idea of Calvinist double predestination. You blithely disregard it, and any explanation of it glazes your eyes over. So this is me, having lost interest; the field is yours.

God bless.

I wasn't being blithe, I was being hyperbolic - silly even. How could that single sentence have actually glazed anyone eyes over? I even said as much in the very next sentence and went on to explain my point fully. What's there to be so upset about?

If I'm actually being rude to you, you'll know it, Luke! You won't have to worry about misunderstanding me. You needn't be so thinned skinned. Up until this last paragraph I was thinking you'd posted a pretty good post! Someone who knows something about what he's talking about and is able to articulate himself is rather in the minority around here. I thought this was going actually be fun! It isn't going to be fun at all if you're all the time getting your feelings hurt because you think everything I say is me being mean.

All you need to know is that I get angry when people blaspheme God or say really truly stupid things. And when that happens, I don't continue the conversation in the very next sentence like nothing happened. And I definitely do not spend two and half hours typing up a response to the rest of their post.

Puppet
October 10th, 2015, 09:20 AM
Of course anyone can offer an answer but I want to hear from the Calvinists in particular on the following question....


If someone sets your house on fire in the middle of the night and then, once the house is fully engulfed in flames, rushes in to rescue you and your 2nd child but decides to leave your wife and your other ten kids to burn in the fire, do you praise the man as a hero or condemn him as a murderer?

Would your answer be different if you were the wife or one of the other ten children?

Resting in Him,
Clete


That's a typical question coming from a guy who has "do right or face the consequences" in his profile. You have the wrong idea of God and you're in traditions of men instead.
God arranges circumstances. God put the house in front of the murder on purpose. God put the house in front of the home owner on purpose. The murderer is happy. The home owner is happy. God is happy. so yes it was God that put the house in front of the murder while you think God shouldn't have anything to do with the house. This is an illusion of what you think God is. If I were you , I would check out calvinism due to being an honest theology.

lukecash12
October 10th, 2015, 02:18 PM
-8g-9zXv1O8

Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht. Denn vor dir wird kein Lebendiger gerecht.

Lord, go thou not into court with this thy thrall, since with thee there is no living person just.

Mein Gott, verwirf mich nicht,
Indem ich mich in Demut vor dir beuge,
Von deinem Angesicht.
Ich weiß, wie groß dein Zorn und mein Verbrechen ist,
Dass du zugleich ein schneller Zeuge
Und ein gerechter Richter bist.
Ich lege dir ein frei Bekenntnis dar
Und stürze mich nicht in Gefahr,
Die Fehler meiner Seelen
Zu leugnen, zu verhehlen!

https://webdocs.cs.ualberta.ca/%7Ewfb/cantatas/clear.png
My God, reject me not,
While I myself now humbly bow before thee,
From thine own countenance.
I know, though great thy wrath and mine own wickedness,
That thou art both a ready witness
And a most righteous judge as well.
I give to thee my free confession now
And cast myself not in great risk,
That I my soul's own failings
Disclaim now, or keep hidden.


I wasn't being blithe, I was being hyperbolic - silly even. How could that single sentence have actually glazed anyone eyes over? I even said as much in the very next sentence and went on to explain my point fully. What's there to be so upset about?

If I'm actually being rude to you, you'll know it, Luke! You won't have to worry about misunderstanding me. You needn't be so thinned skinned. Up until this last paragraph I was thinking you'd posted a pretty good post! Someone who knows something about what he's talking about and is able to articulate himself is rather in the minority around here. I thought this was going actually be fun! It isn't going to be fun at all if you're all the time getting your feelings hurt because you think everything I say is me being mean.

All you need to know is that I get angry when people blaspheme God or say really truly stupid things. And when that happens, I don't continue the conversation in the very next sentence like nothing happened. And I definitely do not spend two and half hours typing up a response to the rest of their post.

Let me be a little frank then, so we can clear this up: I have problems with being too literal minded. This is because I have ASD, which I didn't particularly want to mention, as even saying that you have a neurological disorder can make things even more confusing for everyone. So, when you used hyperbole I very literally took that as you disregarding my efforts, to clear up why something that sounds overcomplicated actually means something, that infra vs supra involves substantial differences as to what predestination is.

Sorry about that. It's very difficult to understand the subtext people use when you have a related neurological problem. The simplest way I could put it is that most people have more information to work off of in social situations, so I'm stuck somewhere behind trying to figure out all the subtext. Give me a math problem to figure out, discuss with me some seemingly complicated term, put me on Jeopardy, I'm fine, but ask me to figure out when someone is being coy or using hyperbole and more often than not you'll get the wrong answer.

So... where were we?


That's an overstatement, of course but the point is that it just isn't necessary to get so complicated. You can know you screwed something up somewhere when you're having to pic at such nits. Straining out flies to swallow a camel is a bad thing! The bible is just not that difficult a book to understand.It doesn't seem complicated at all to me. Infra thinkers see primary and secondary causes, supra thinkers see only primary causes. How is that so?

From Bavinck on supra:

1. a decree determining the purpose of all things, namely, the revelation of God's virtues; specifically, the revelation of his mercy in the salvation of a definite number of possible men; and the revelation of his justice in the perdition of another definite number of possible men 2. a decree to create the men thus elected and reprobated.

On infra:

1. a decree to create man in holiness and blessedness. 2. a decree to permit man to fall. 3. a decree to elect some out of this fallen multitude and to leave others in their misery.

The difference seems pretty clear to me, it's not hard to go from either viewpoint to how they work out in the scriptures. Think of the way the first part of the decree is stated in the infralapsarian order. This is why many people have called supralapsarians "hyper-Calvinists", as they agree with Calvinist's "train of the ungodly". Supralapsarians are a minority.

While it's on my mind, I'd like to point out that the Canons of Dordt were a response to the remonstrance/petition (hence the name "Remonstrants") sent to the Synod of Dordt by the first Arminian group, primarily led by Johannes Wtenbogaert and Jan Uytenbogaert. Reformed belief was already establish before that statement of the five points, aka TULIP. In fact, there were already some notable Reformed thinkers that believed in unlimited atonement, that we would call four-point Calvinists today.


Its just semantics because there isn't one single Calvinists anywhere on the planet that would not absolutely affirm that God predestined and infallibly per-ordained the fall of Adam! What order God did things after that is academic.

Further according to your earlier quote...
"For to the knowledge of God all things are present; nothing is past, nothing is to come."Thus there is no before or after the fall of Adam in the mind of ANY Calvinist (except rhetorically) including ones you cite as being even more formative of the system than Calvin himself.

The self contradictions within the Calvinists system are never ending!"Pre-ordained" and "actively caused" aren't identical, at least in a Calvinist's mind. If you have a problem with that logic, so be it. But we have to at least register what they are, and why there is an actual difference between what most Reformed thinkers believe and what Calvin believed. There is a distinction to them between types of causes.


This is inherently self-contradictory.

You cannot read the bible without sound reason. You cannot understand the words eisegesis or exegesis nor how to perform either without sound reason. There is no way to declare anything to be consistent with or in contradiction to the bible without sound reason. God Himself cannot reveal anything apart from sound reason for He is the very personification, indeed the incarnation of sound reason (John 1). To reject sound reason is to reject God Himself just it would be to reject love or justice. These terms derive their meaning from God's character. Thus every unbleiver who loves steals from the the Christian worldview. Every atheist who attempts to argue the non-existence of God borrows from the Christian worldview to make his argument and thus defeats himself with the first intelligable word he speaks. Similarly, attempting to suggest that one elevate the Bible above reason defeats himself by making the proposal.What you're suggesting (at least so far as I can tell), however, is that we can go beyond the grammatico-historical approach and insert our own ideas about justice, etc. to see what the bible is saying, that we can use our own broken moral capacities to look at the bible and determine what is moral.

On the contrary, it is the bible that tells us what is moral. We can't look at the bible and say to ourselves "well it can't be saying this because I don't agree with that", rather the impetus is on us to better learn what the scriptures have to say and go from there.


By what process, other than coherent thought, do you propose to determine whether there is "sufficient scriptural support" for any doctrine you want to name?

See what I mean? Its self-contradcitory.Not really. I was making a distinction between a posteriori reasoning in the case of the scriptures, and a priori reasoning in the case of pre-filtering the a posteriori information with our own rationalizations. There's nothing contradictory about the idea that our a priori reasoning is flawed, and in need of being amended by a posteriori reasoning, through the scriptures.

The Lord Himself points out that we need to test things against the information we've already been given ("see that you're not led astray"), in the Olivet Discourse (Mark 13, Matthew 24, Luke 21) and elsewhere.


HA! That's a laugh!

There's a whole movement within Christiandom that is overtly anti-intellectual, the whole point of which is "It doesn't have to make sense! Stop thinking and just believe!" You don't even have to be a Calvinist to fall into that category. Nearly the whole of those who call themselves "Charasmatic" believers or "Spirit filled" are at least tacitly, if not overtly anti-intellectual.For clarity's sake: I had meant that in reference to the group in question. About as "anti" intellectual as Reformed thinkers get is in the realm of Reformed epistemology, e.g. Kierkegaard, Plantinga, the sensus divinitatus, and I wouldn't say that such material is militant against reason at all. Now, is there an abundance of lay persons with a different attitude? Absolutely. Lay persons have much of the same tendencies in every denomination in all of Christendom, for Pete's sake!


Further, the whole purpose of the term "antinomy" is reserved as an superlogic trump card and is pulled out only when there are contradictions that cannot otherwise be resolved. If I had a dime for everytime I've heard the word 'antinomy' applied to the soverignty of God vs man's will, I'd have a lot more time for posting on TOL!However that term might be misused by some people, it primarily came into use during the great debates between the followers of Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham, over Nominalism vs Realism. Sorry... I can get pretty nerdy about anything to do with epistemology and math, lol.


Theological hoop jumping. They want self-consistency but are willing to live without itSo you just magically know what everyone is thinking? You somehow know that, despite them actually believing in something, they know it doesn't make sense and they've decided to live with it? Let me guess, more references to anecdotal examples...


This is wishful thinking at best.

Ask a Calvinist what justice is. You won't get anything like, "Doing unto the criminal as he sought to do to his neighbor.", as we are taught in scripture. What you'll get is, "Whatever God says it is." In other words, "justice" is "arbitrary". Just is its opposite. How much more can a word be redefined than that?You certainly wouldn't find a description like that in Reformed literature. But I'm sure you would hear just that if you asked anyone in such a denomination that question on the street.


Regardless, words mean things. Otherwise, communication is impossible. I understand that in any debate defining terms is an impotant first step but that's not what Calvinists do. They arbitrarily force common words to mean whatever they need them to mean in order to maintain two things; the absolute immutability of God and God's absolute maticulous control of everything that happens.
Your idea of an arbitrary definition is hundreds of years old. Doesn't seem all that arbitrary to me. Rather, it seems like the universe of discourse is quite a bit older than modern English, hence the words they've had to borrow from English, for the benefit of English speakers who don't speak Latin, etc., are not going to mean what they do in the common vernacular.


We will not agree on this point. The bible is easy to understand so long as you just read it. What makes it difficult is the doctrines you bring to it that aren't there. People who think that God controls everything that happens are going to get confused inside of two pages of the book of Genisis.
Please ruminate with me for a second on this emboldened portion. Do you mean to say that all considerations of anachronism should go out the window, that we should blindly trust everything in a translation and think as if we are the original audience?

As for the underlined portion, I believe you are entirely underestimating the biblical knowledge of people who believe in predestination. You may disagree with people, but your mere disagreement doesn't make any other party than your own ignorant.


EVERY Reformed thinker who declares that God per-ordained sin and that those who He for-ordained to sin are also per-ordained to be punished for that sin have said that God is unjust.

They were never say verbatim that "God is unjust." because they've defined the word "just" to mean "anything God does or says".
(A) Are you at all able to recognize a distinction in the nature of different kinds of causes?
(B) How do you define the word "just"? What is your response to portions of Job which state that we all deserve condemnation? Grace is unmerited, correct?


God became a man with a physical body.

God the Son died, both spiritually and physically (i.e. His spirit was separated from His body - physical death and He was separated from the Father - spiritual death.

God rose from the dead, both spritually and physically.

To deny any one of these points is anti-Christ and denies the whole Christian religion. To accepts any one of them is to deny Calvinism's core doctrines.Except Reformed thinkers affirm each of the original Ecumenical Creeds, including the Apostle's Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Definition of Chalcedon. Augustine did as well. So maybe your idea of how they use the word "immutable" is a bit off? Or are you right across the board about everything... not even willing to assent to that? Go ahead and find me one reference to a thinker in the Augustinian tradition who uses the word "immutable" to describe anything other than God's divine nature.

Clete
October 12th, 2015, 12:23 PM
First I want to thank you Luke for your willingness to continue. I've spent half a day responding to what you've said. I've not been this compelled to research and to think in quite a long time.

This post is ridiculously long! I don't expect and would actually prefer that you not respond to it all. These posts when responded to point for point as I have done here get to be exponential in their growth. So please feel free to just pick a handful of things to respond to or else just respond with a general response or whatever you like.

God bless you!


I've given quotations from two of the primary Reformed confessions of faith (the WCF and Canons of Dordt, articles 4-6), referenced a second generation Reformed thinker who was more influential at that time (Bullinger); referenced Herman Bavinck, and in doing so pointing out that the view of double predestination that you portray in the OP is a description of hyper-Calvinists/supralapsarians. And let's not forget that I even mentioned four-point Calvinists, namely Augustus Hopkins Strong and Millard J. Erickson.

All the while, what we've seen from you is nothing but a few quotations from Calvin and anecdotal statements. I just so happen to have anecdotal experiences to the contrary, having known plenty of Calvinists that distinguish between necessary/primary and contingent/secondary causes. "Living breathing 'Calvinists'", monsieur, "living and breathing".

I read your quotes and I'm sorry but it just seems to me to all be so much semantics. Again, and I'm not trying to just be stubborn here, the Calvinist doesn't mind having doctrines that contradict one another. They, of course, would say that they only seem to contradict and call it an antinomy but regardless of what they call it, the end result is the same. Out of one side of their mouth, the Calvinists you site say,

"God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and immutably ordain whatsoever comes to pass".

And then in the very same breath, but out of the other side of their mouth they say,

"yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established."

To which I respond, "Saying it doesn't make it so!"

I get your point. You're saying that they say they believe something and so I don't get to claim that they believe the contrary.

Except that I do get to claim that so long as I can establish what I claim. And I say that I've more than established it, I've proven it. I've been debating Calvinists for well over a decade and not just here on TOL. I've debated them on their own websites. Never one time have I ever come across a single Calvinist who has denied believing not only that God per-ordained every event that occurs but that God Himself is actively holding every atom in the universe together and that nothing could occur without God's sovereign hand firmly in the mix.

Further, it is the Westminster Confession of Faith itself that teaches "double predestination" (not there could rationally be any other kind).


By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death. - Westminster Confession of Faith ch. 3


You have fostered the wrong impression, my friend. Let's not forget the usefulness of the principle of charity, lest we go off on irrelevant tangents because of an unwarranted assumption. I was agreeing with your definition, because of course that is the definition that any proper logician would use.

But I digress... what I had actually meant by that statement was that you agreed to the correction definition, and that should give us some pause as we examine what you were claiming. At this point I've referenced Reformed thinkers all the way from the first generation up to now. These references have unanimously contradicted your earlier claim, given the "train of the ungodly" quotation, that Reformed thinkers all believe that God damns the reprobate through necessary as opposed to contingent causes.
I quoted the WCF chapter 3 a moment ago.
It goes on to say...


Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, has chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto; and all to the praise of His glorious grace.

So, if the predestination to life happened without cause then on what basis does any Calvinist claim that the predestination to death was WITH cause? The consistent ones make no such claim and the inconsistent ones try to come up with all kinds of confusing rationalizations but at the end of the day still maintain that God's absolute meticulous and personal control of every event that occurs is fully intact.

In other words, their objection to "double predestination" is semantics. It is semantics, Luke! I have no doubt that there's Calvinists out there that would jump up and down and pound their fists insisting that they do not believe that God causes sin but they cannot escape the rational implications of their core doctrines. Doctrines that they do not deny and are unwilling to modify in spite of the clear problems it causes in regards to the nature and source of sin.


This is the crux of why I believe you are committing a No True Scotsman. You have dismissed my counter examples out of hand.
But not without cause! I reject them because they do not establish your claim. I've not denied that such Calvinists exist. I've claimed that because they exist does not mean that what I've presented as Calvinism is inaccurate. What I've presented is not inaccurate at all. The exceptions you present, if anything, prove the rule.


You're right, especially in the last sentence here. However, there are numerous facts so far that you've ignored. So far, you haven't provided a single credible source as to why all Reformed thinkers have the same ideas as Calvin on double predestination. What you have provided so far is some quotation from Calvin and your own anecdotal opinion.

What I have provided so far, on the other hand, is key quotations from two different confessions of faith that whole Reformed denominations are based on. Presbyterians are required to affirm the WCF, for example. That's why I went to Dordt and WCF first, because there are several denominations centered around them. That is specifically how you are characterizing Reformed thinkers incorrectly. Calvin was an influential theologian, but he did not write any statements of faith that denominations are based on today. Those statements of faith contradict him, and people of those denominations are called "Calvinists", ergo they have every reason to call themselves Reformed.

Well, alright then lets look at the WCF....


Chapter 5
God the great Creator of all things does uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.


The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extends itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, but such as has joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceeds only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin
And so, once again, out of one side of the mouth comes one thing and from the other side, its opposite.

It is my contention that the latter comment concerning where sin proceeds from is nothing at all but pure lip service. It is the author's own testimony against himself. He knows that what he's just written accuses God of evil and so throws in a comment to the contrary to salve the conviction of his own heart. I admit readily that I cannot prove that contention but I do, nevertheless, believe it. I can see no other reason why it needs to be in there.


What on earth is your point? That what they believe doesn't make sense? Or that in spite of what they say you somehow have this special knowledge as to what they really mean? That they don't really believe God is just, etc.?
Both!

I don't deny that they actually believe what they say they believe but people can believe whatever they choose to believe. Branch Davidians believed (and some still do) that David Coresh was the second coming of Christ. Oprah Winfrey believes she's a wise woman. Just as their belief is not evidence that they are right nor is it evidence that they are self-consistent.

And you do have to be careful about what the Calvinist means when he speaks. You cannot take the statement "God is just." at face value because they will do whatever is needed to the definition of the word "just" to maintain their belief that God acts in an arbitrary manner.


Here's the rub: your quotations from Calvin don't determine what whole denominations believe. The four primary documents that fill that role are the WCF, Canons of Dordt, the Belgic Confession, and the Second Helvetic Confession (primarily authored by Bullinger). You say you've read them. If that's so, go ahead and find me a single quote from one of them explicitly indicating belief in the same idea that you've quoted from Calvin. I've already given quotations from two of them that explicitly deny necessary instead of contingent causes for people being reprobate.
I guess what I'm saying is that "necessary vs. contingent" causes is a distinction without a difference. It's similar to discussing the "perfect vs. permissive" will of God. The later category being inclusive of everything, including everything in the former category. Making the distinction meaningless.

To be more precise, in a discussion about justice the distinction between necessary and contingent is meaningless because regardless of the cause, or whether that cause was primary or secondary or necessary or contingent, the effect could not have been otherwise. In other words, the following axiom cannot be denied by any Calvinist...

God's decree, therefore (fill in the blank). - i.e. you eating a chicken for dinner, someone shooting JFK, 9/11, Christmas, the fall of Adam, Calvary, righteousness, sin, whatever.

What occurs in between God's decree and the event is academic. Further, whatever causes falls in between God's decree and the event where themselves decreed by God, according to the Calvinist.


It doesn't seem complicated at all to me. Infra thinkers see primary and secondary causes, supra thinkers see only primary causes. How is that so?

From Bavinck on supra:

1. a decree determining the purpose of all things, namely, the revelation of God's virtues; specifically, the revelation of his mercy in the salvation of a definite number of possible men; and the revelation of his justice in the perdition of another definite number of possible men 2. a decree to create the men thus elected and reprobated.

On infra:

1. a decree to create man in holiness and blessedness. 2. a decree to permit man to fall. 3. a decree to elect some out of this fallen multitude and to leave others in their misery.

The difference seems pretty clear to me, it's not hard to go from either viewpoint to how they work out in the scriptures. Think of the way the first part of the decree is stated in the infralapsarian order. This is why many people have called supralapsarians "hyper-Calvinists", as they agree with Calvinist's "train of the ungodly". Supralapsarians are a minority.
The WCF and virtually every Calvinist I've ever come across wants to have their cake and eat it too. They want it both ways as is demonstrated by what I've already quoted directly from the WCF.


What you're suggesting (at least so far as I can tell), however, is that we can go beyond the grammatico-historical approach and insert our own ideas about justice, etc. to see what the bible is saying, that we can use our own broken moral capacities to look at the bible and determine what is moral.

On the contrary, it is the bible that tells us what is moral. We can't look at the bible and say to ourselves "well it can't be saying this because I don't agree with that", rather the impetus is on us to better learn what the scriptures have to say and go from there.
Again, self-contradictory.

If assigning the label "broken capacities" to the use of sound reason was appropriate then there would be no way for us to understand anything. If you argue that the bible teaches that our minds are broken then I would ask by what process you came to understand that the bible taught that? By what process did you read the bible and discern the nature of morality if not by the application of sound reason?

There is no way to "learn what the scriptures have to say and go from there" apart from the application of sound reason. There is NO other way.


Not really. I was making a distinction between a posteriori reasoning in the case of the scriptures, and a priori reasoning in the case of pre-filtering the a posteriori information with our own rationalizations. There's nothing contradictory about the idea that our a priori reasoning is flawed, and in need of being amended by a posteriori reasoning, through the scriptures.

The Lord Himself points out that we need to test things against the information we've already been given ("see that you're not led astray"), in the Olivet Discourse (Mark 13, Matthew 24, Luke 21) and elsewhere.
Then answer the question. By what process, other than coherent thought (a.k.a. sound reason) do you distinguish a posteriori from a priori? By what process do you determine which are flawed and need amending and to what degree and in which direction? By what process, if not sound reason, do you "test things against the information we've already been given"?

The mistake you are making here is a very common one. That mistake being that the bible is somehow super-rational. That God Himself is super-rational. He is not! God is no more super-rational than He is super-just or super-love. God not only is loving, He is love. God not only is righteous, He is righteousness. In the first chapter of John we learn that God is Logos. God is logic. God is not only logical, He is logic. Attempting to understand the bible without sound reason is an attempt to understand God's word without God. It is fundamentally self-contradictory.


For clarity's sake: I had meant that in reference to the group in question. About as "anti" intellectual as Reformed thinkers get is in the realm of Reformed epistemology, e.g. Kierkegaard, Plantinga, the sensus divinitatus, and I wouldn't say that such material is militant against reason at all. Now, is there an abundance of lay persons with a different attitude? Absolutely. Lay persons have much of the same tendencies in every denomination in all of Christendom, for Pete's sake!
You cannot be seriously suggesting that the acceptance of antinomy is not common place throughout Christianity.

Here is just one quote that is typical of Christian thought regardless of denomination...


"...the heretic often refuses to recognize that Christian Revelation contains truths that sometimes have two sides irreconcilable by human reason. One example of a Christian antinomy is the truth that God is almighty, or omnipotent, and yet that men also have been given free-will by their creator." - C.B. Moss, D.D - "The Christian Faith: An Introduction to Dogmatic Theology"


So you just magically know what everyone is thinking? You somehow know that, despite them actually believing in something, they know it doesn't make sense and they've decided to live with it? Let me guess, more references to anecdotal examples...
It isn't magic. Its called long experience. That and I can read.

I'm not new to this topic, Luke. You aren't the first to make these arguments and you won't be the last. I've debated lay people, pastors and professors and I've read or listened to every debate on the topic I can lay my hands on. I've read C.S. Lewis, R.C. Sproul., Pink and half a dozen other Calvinists on a wide variety of subjects and have yet to find one that did not hold to the belief that God is utterly immutable and that therefore His decrees are immutable and will immutably come to pass. Some give more accommodation to man's will than others but it is always an accommodation, and they are always left with the choice of undermining either God's immutability or man's will and they universally choose to undermine man's will, never even questioning whether their understanding of God's immutability needs looked at.


You certainly wouldn't find a description like that in Reformed literature. But I'm sure you would hear just that if you asked anyone in such a denomination that question on the street.
You aren't likely to find an overt definition of justice in any Calvinists literature at all! Its as if they avoid the subject except to state their belief that God is just.

What you will find and what I have already quoted is their belief that God chooses people to save (or condemn) arbitrarily. Salvation, in the mind of ANY Calvinist, is by God's arbitrary decree.

Their ONLY defense against the accusation that such arbitrary action on God's part is unjust is to say that it is just because God did it (an argument that has been made on this very thread) and then, if pressed, to pull out the antinomy card. It is another example of blind belief. They DO consider their willingness to believe both things as faith and piety.


Your idea of an arbitrary definition is hundreds of years old. Doesn't seem all that arbitrary to me. Rather, it seems like the universe of discourse is quite a bit older than modern English, hence the words they've had to borrow from English, for the benefit of English speakers who don't speak Latin, etc., are not going to mean what they do in the common vernacular.
Arbitrary is perhaps the wrong word. They do have a reason for changing the definitions of common words. That reason being the preservation of the core doctrines. My point is that it is not a valid tactic.

If, for example, we were debating the color of the sky and you decided that it was red instead of blue. If you redefined the words "red" and "sky" so that the statement, "The sky is red." is true, it wouldn't mean you won the debate. It would mean that you cheated.


Please ruminate with me for a second on this emboldened portion. Do you mean to say that all considerations of anachronism should go out the window, that we should blindly trust everything in a translation and think as if we are the original audience?
No, I don't mean that. That would be definitely taking my position too far.

My only point is that the bible is not even 10% as complicated as most theologians turn it into. You can, for the most part, simply read the bible and understand what its talking about. It isn't written in code such that only the experts can get it. It was written in normal language to normal people and most translations get it mostly right.


(A) Are you at all able to recognize a distinction in the nature of different kinds of causes?
As I said before, they are distinctions without a difference. They seem entirely rhetorical.


(B) How do you define the word "just"?
I do not get to define the word "just".

The word means what it means.

Justice is righteousness. If I'm not mistaken, the Hebrew language uses the same word for both, the distinction, if any, being determined by the context.

In interactions with other people it is encapsulated by the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." In criminal justice it is the converse, thus it justly is done unto the criminal as he did or sought to do unto his neighbor (i.e. an eye for an eye).

The bible constantly likens justice to a financial transaction where a debt is owed by the sinner and must be paid either by the sinner himself or by a substitute. The point being that justice includes the concept of equability or fairness. If a man has stolen $100 it would not be just to require him to pay $20,000. Nor would it be just to punish a man for an offense he was not guilty of or that was an accident. (Calvinism's predestination and sovereignty of God doctrines reduce every event to accidents in so far as man's will is concerned.)

The bottom line here is that justice is not arbitrary. There is a standard, that standard being righteousness. To believe that God is arbitrary, as ALL Calvinists do, is to believe God is unrighteous.


What is your response to portions of Job which state that we all deserve condemnation?
All have rebelled against the God of life and therefore deserve death.


Grace is unmerited, correct?
Of course!

But not in the Calvinist sense of the word! God is NOT arbitrary!

My sister gave me a very expensive watch one year for my birthday. I didn't earn that watch. It was a gift. My opening the package and putting the watch on my arm didn't earn me the watch. It was a gift that I did not earn and that was offered freely out of love and that I accepted in love.

In the same fashion, God decided to pay the sin debt of the whole world (which He did not have to do but that was His prerogative) and elected to save those who would respond to Him in faith. Thus grace is not antithetical to justice, as the Calvinist repeatedly claims, but is in complete compliance with it. For if justice requires our death and God can do ANYTHING at all and remain just then where is the need for Christ's death?


Except Reformed thinkers affirm each of the original Ecumenical Creeds, including the Apostle's Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Definition of Chalcedon. Augustine did as well. So maybe your idea of how they use the word "immutable" is a bit off?
Nope!

Again, they love to have their cake and to eat it too. They simply are fine with the contradictory nature of their beliefs.

I do not deny that they wholeheartedly affirm the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ but pin them down on whether God died for the sin and they'll get all squirmy and uncomfortable. And they get that way because they are ABSOLUTELY not willing to accept the notion that God can change - period.



Or are you right across the board about everything... not even willing to assent to that?
I'm willing to accent to anything that you can demonstrate. But you'll fail to demonstrate that I've got this one wrong.


Go ahead and find me one reference to a thinker in the Augustinian tradition who uses the word "immutable" to describe anything other than God's divine nature.
I could quote nearly any Calvinist you want to name from Calvin on through to R.C. Sproul! In fact, let me just quote Sproul (Calvin's position isn't in dispute)...


It [divine immutability] is likely the most overlooked, under appreciated, unknown attribute of the living God. Of course we are in grave danger indeed if we seek to pit against one another or to rank in relative importance the attributes of God. The doctrine of His simplicity reminds us that God is one, that He is not composed of parts. The attributes of God are not like that old spiritual, Dry Bones, wherein we affirm that the wrath bone’s connected to the justice bone, the justice bone’s connected to the omniscience bone. Neither does God find balance between competing qualities, as if His wrath were muted by His grace, or His love tempered by His holiness. These are all one, the same thing. In the end all of what He is He is because He is God.

and elsewhere Sproul writes...


When we consider love as an attribute of God, we recognize that it is defined in relation to all the other attributes of God. This is true not only of love but also of every other attribute of God. It is important to remember that when we speak of the attributes of God, we are speaking of properties that cannot be reduced to composite parts. One of the first affirmations we make about the nature of God is that He is not a composite being. Rather we confess that God is a simple being. This does not mean that God is "easy" in the sense that a simple task is not a difficult task. Here simplicity is not contrasted with difficulty but with composition. A being who is composite is made up of definite parts. As a human creature, I am composed of many parts, such as arms, legs, eyes, ears, lungs, etc.
As a simple being, God is not made up of parts as we are. This is crucial to any proper understanding of the nature of God. This means that God is not partly immutable, partly omniscient, partly omnipotent, or partly infinite. He is not constructed of a section or segment of being that is then added to other sections or segments to comprise the whole of God. It is not so much that God has attributes but rather that He is His attributes. In simple terms (as distinct from difficult terms) this means that all of God's attributes help define all of His other attributes. For example, when we say God is immutable, we are also saying that His immutability is an eternal immutability, an omnipotent immutability, a holy immutability, a loving immutability, etc. By the same token His love is an immutable love, an eternal love, an omnipotent love, a holy love, etc. - emphasis added - R.C. Sproul - Loved by God Chapter 1

Sproul on whether God changes His mind...


Does God Change His Mind? If God is immutable, if He does not change at all, does that mean He never changes His mind either? This is a very thorny problem. The Bible appears to say at times that God changed His mind. - (He goes on to explain how the biblical references to God changing His mind are figures of speech.) - One Holy Passion by R.C. Sproul.

And finally (This is a great example of an appeal to antinomy (mystery) where Sproul simply affirms both that God became a man and that God is immutable with no attempt to reconcile the two. Keep in mind also what I've already quoted Sproul as saying about the simplicity of God and how you cannot separate any one aspect of God from another.)...


Christ’s existence as true God and true man, as well as the reality of the transcendent Lord of glory entering into history to save His people, are both profound mysteries. What we do know is that, against those who would espouse a “kenotic Christology,” the Son did not give up any of the attributes that are essential to deity in the incarnation. Instead, He manifested the form of God in the likeness of humanity. Augustine wrote, “He is said to have ‘emptied himself’ in no other way than by taking the form of a servant, not by losing the form of God. For that nature by which he is equal to the Father in the form of God remained immutable while he took our mutable nature” - emphasis added - From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul (http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/the-incarnation-of-the-son-of-god/)


Resting in Him,
Clete