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Calvinism: Total Depravity and the Righteousness of God

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  • #61
    Originally posted by blackbirdking View Post
    I'm talking about absolute foreknowledge: maybe I don't get it.
    AMR handed me this post of his. It may or may not help. If it confuses you further, I'll try it differently.

    A very small defense here (uncompared to AMR who is thorough) is that we really don't know what implications are involved with this kind of foreknowledge because you and I don't have it. We are guessing.

    So Ford has an inspector, whose duty it is to know which cars are going to have fatal accidents, due to his absolute foreknowledge; if Ford did not pull those cars from the assembly line, Ford would be responsible for the accidents. If word got out that Ford knew which cars were going to be involved in fatal accidents, even ordained them to have accidents, and sold them anyways, who would believe that Ford wasn't responsible?
    Yes, but are those specific individuals entitled to special cars? What about the drunk driving ones? God did tell Adam and Eve, "...the day you eat of it, you shall surely die." Is a warning label: "Don't drink and drive"
    sufficient? IOW, it doesn't matter what one knows about 'misbehavior' ahead of time, it doesn't make one responsible for their disobedience (And again, as a small but I think important defense, we don't 'know' much about divine foreknowledge other than it exists. We have inklings, ideas, thoughts but little else. Even whatever 'looks' culpable isn't enough when we are clueless as to what exactly divine foreknowledge does. What we do know is that God is light and in Him is no darkeness at all, and that we know He is incapable of wrong. Because we are really trying to delve into the divine counsel of God, I merely answer this as a Calvinist, in affirming that God has foreknowledge. The Open Theist deal with this by denying in his/her theology that God has it, thus trying not to think about the problematic implications. For me, not knocking Open Theism especially in this thread, I've chosen to believe that God has it, and that speculation about something we know not a lot about isn't indictment. It was when I realized I had no case that I further embrace His Righteous Sovereignty. Paul McCartney's Magneto and Titanium man says that Magneto and Titanium and the Crysom dynamo were mad because the accused were the law. I always remember that when I read something in scripture that seems to implicate God (silly but the tune goes through my head now whenever I read something in scripture that I has me questioning God).

    Originally posted by blackbirdking View Post
    On the other hand, if Ford knew, and pulled those cars, fatal accidents in Ford cars would cease.
    See how our minds work? God didn't create these flaws and actions in sin. We choose to drink and drive, etc. (And my analogies are easy to pick apart, I am not capable of intricate parables like Jesus gave us).

    Originally posted by blackbirdking View Post
    If Ford had absolute foreknowledge, and wouldn't pull those cars, why not?
    Because they are selling only 'good' cars in this analogy. God is only capable of giving 'good' (that song sure helps right about here)

    Originally posted by blackbirdking View Post
    It would definitely have something to do with the character of Ford.
    How do you know? I have no idea what divine foreknowledge 'could' really mean. Well, I guess I have ideas, but that's all I really have.
    I'd point to AMR's post again in hopes that He is able to address this in details that I'd be hard pressed to reproduce. The man is a thorough thinker and I envy that He seems to have a natural talent for it.
    I think my gift is to try and teach these higher truths in simpler terms but simpler isn't always better (I really do envy Him, it would take me a week or two to produce this post of His and I'd still be correcting afterwards).
    I'm not jealous, I'm envious! If I pump this just a bit further, his head will explode. This is why he is indespensible on TOL and I'll ever be picking up his table scraps (where is the head exploding icon?).
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    ? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."


    • #62
      Originally posted by Lon View Post
      AMR handed me this post of his. It may or may not help. If it confuses you further, I'll try it differently.
      Thanks, I'll definitely check it out.


      • #63
        Originally posted by Lon View Post
        So is God the direct author of sin in your understanding?

        God cannot sin or cause sin "God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5

        My answer: Sin is outside of His desire but falls within His knowledge and foreordination. Sin was not caused by His will or influence. As such, sin will always remain apart from Him and as such, it requires me to view it as a secondary cause, influenced by the serpent in the garden.

        Neither Ford nor Chevy are the author of car-wrecks. Car-wrecks are authored by drivers.
        Within His Foreknowing but not His Fore ordaining.
        His ordaining begins by cause of His fore knowing. God did not predestine sin but foreknowing it He predestined salvation.

        In other words God knew about sin before He created so He created everything with the view to salvation.

        The Ford and Chevy analogy is good, they did not predestine car wrecks but they built their cars with car wrecks in mind.
        One lavished upon in the Beloved


        • #64
          The choice before God in creating was in knowing some would sin should He still create? or should He forebear creating at all because some would sin?

          God's answer was to create man under Federal Headship, in other words He "consigned" man to sin in the way He created him so that when mankind fell all would fall together under the Federal Headship of Adam.
          One lavished upon in the Beloved


          • #65
            Originally posted by Totton Linnet View Post
            The choice before God in creating was in knowing some would sin should He still create? or should He forebear creating at all because some would sin?

            God's answer was to create man under Federal Headship, in other words He "consigned" man to sin in the way He created him so that when mankind fell all would fall together under the Federal Headship of Adam.
            Thats wrong, all the elect fell in adam under his federal headship, not the seed of the serpent, the serpent were their federal head ! Gen 3:14-15

            14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

            15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

            The serpents seed is quite distinct from adam and eve's the woman's seed !
            "... I have my own private opinion that there is no such a thing as
            preaching Christ and him crucified, unless you preach what now-a-days is
            called Calvinism. I have my own ideas, and those I always state boldly. It is
            a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else."

            Charles Spurgeon !


            • #66
              Originally posted by Ask Mr. Religion View Post
              Quite well, thank you.

              Go deeper here.

              It is commanded by God as the ordinary means by which the redemptive ends of God are achieved.

              Some of the most dedicated and admired evangelists since the time of the Reformation were Calvinists (Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, etc.). And they were consistent with their doctrine. They realized that God not only ordains whomsoever will be saved; He ordains the means by which they will be saved -- namely, the preaching of the gospel. The Spirit moves the believer to spread the gospel, for that is his commission and one of the chief ends for which he was saved.

              Yes, the gospel is to be preached to all men (and women). Moreover, it should be delivered persuasively and with conviction (Acts 18:28; 2 Cor 5:11). We do not know who the elect are, whose eyes the Spirit will open and whose heart He will soften. That is a secret not revealed to us (Deuteronomy 29:29).

              As in the parable of the seed and the sower (Matthew 13:1-9), the evangelist is not to be a "soil sampler". Instead, he scatters the seed on all ground, preaching the good news of God's Kingdom to all men. Yet it is only the good soil -- the heart which God has prepared beforehand -- that may receive the word in such a way that it takes root (c.f., Ezekiel 26:24-17 and John 3:1-12). The soil is not good in and of itself (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-18). God makes it good (Matthew 12:33). And His word does not return to Him void, but accomplishes the purpose for which it is sent (Isaiah 55:11).

              You can bash Calvinism and try to set it against evangelism, but history will sharply rebuke you. Calvinism has been and continues to be a strong motivation for preaching to the lost. I mentioned Edwards, Whitefield, and Spurgeon because they are well known (if in name only) to most Arminians. But the evangelistic zeal of Calvinism did not live and die with them. There is also William Burns, who led spiritual revival in China. Rowland Hill, who preached in England prior to Spurgeon. Robert Murray M'Cheyne of Scotland. David Brainerd, William Carey, John Flavel, Benjamin Keach, John Rippon, Christmas Evans, John Clifford, Archibald Brown, J. B. Moody, H. B. Taylor, I. M. Haldeman, Jeremiah Burroughs, George S. Bishop, T. T. Eaton, and Martin Lloyd-Jones. Latimer, Knox, Wishart, Perkins, Rutherford, Bunyan, Owen, Charnock, Goodwin, Watson, Henry, Watts and Newton.

              The list goes on and on an on, completely shattering any misguided notions about Calvinism and evangelism. The truth is that wherever Calvinism is embraced wholeheartedly, the gospel of Jesus Christ thunders forth with Spirit and conviction. Only in Arminian caricatures, wrought from warped and vain imaginations, do we find Calvinists ignoring the Great Commission.


              This is not the case. Calvin and Luther both rejected Chialism (Millenealism).

              Calvin wrote.

              This fiction (a literal 1000-year reign of Christ on the earth) is too puerile to need or to deserve refutation. Nor do they receive any countenance from the Apocalypse, from which it is known that they extracted a gloss for their error, (Rev 20:4) since the thousand years there mentioned refer not to the eternal blessedness of the Church, but only to the various troubles which await the Church militant in this world (Institutes 3.25.5)

              Regarding teaching and evangelism - yes there have been many great men of God. The Baptists could not be accurately described as Calvinists certainly not 5 point ones but they have been effective in evangelism. I notice you did not mention Billy Graham. The Methodists too were effective in the past and Wesley was Arminean. While we are speaking of great men though let us not neglect those the apostles trained and the next two generations of their pupils many of whom became martyrs, the so-called Ante-Nicene fathers. None of these men had doctrines similar to Calvin but would all be described as "Arminean." They were utterly opposed to pre-determinism because it was part and parcel of Gnosticism. That was the view for several hundred years until Augustine who having been a Gnostic before conversion brought into into mainstream theology where it was later picked up by Luther and Calvin.