Is Calvinism All You Talk About?

Hey Leighton, is Calvinism all you talk about?!?

Because Dr. Leighton Flowers has created a blog and podcast dedicated to addressing the issue of Calvinism, especially as it is related to its recent rise in popularity within his own denomination (Southern Baptists), he is sometimes accused of being imbalanced or obsessed with this one topic. This is an understandable perception if all you know of Leighton is through his popular Soteriology 101 podcast, but the short video below should help you to better understand Leighton’s motives and ministry.

Here are a list of the ministry’s websites that Dr. Flowers oversees and/or works with on a regular basis:

http://www.texasbaptists.org

http://www.texasapologetics.com

http://www.christianapologetics101.com

http://www.supersummer.com

http://www.syatp.org

Here is a list of sermons not related to Calvinism/Provisionism from Dr. Flowers: http://fbcrpodcast.com/?s=Leighton+

A listener sent in this satire article, inspired by the Babylonian Bee, which demonstrates the fallacious manner in which some of Dr. Flowers’ opponents have attempted to dismiss his views… Enjoy!


THE PLAGUE OF “ONE-STRING BANJOS”

(Satire article submitted by a listener)

Thanks to the objective and reasoned discernment of Dr. James White, a popular Christian apologist, the serious epidemic of dangerous banjos with only one string have been brought to the attention of at least a dozen or so people. Of course, we are not talking about actual banjos here. We are talking about “theological bloggers” who have the audacity to create web sites or social media pages that have a limited focus.  Rather than including all sorts of random and tediously mundane information about the bloggers everyday life, some rogue theologians have the gaul to create pages that cover one particular subject of interest.  It is quite appalling that the World Wide Web even allows this type of catastrophic particularity and focus!

baloneyDr. White is working tirelessly to stem the tide of the “one-string banjos” by commenting on everything from bike rides to bow ties throughout his day. One faithful White fan expressed his appreciation to the great apologist, saying, “Dr. White thank you for not just having one, two or even three strings, but thousands of them for us to read about throughout our otherwise boring lives. You give us a reason to keep coming back.”

One particularly notable offender that White has regularly ridiculed for his “one-stringed” ways is Dr. Leighton Flowers of Soteriology101.com. This theologian turned blogger has a wife and four kids, he regularly preaches at a large church, serves as an Adjunct Professor, and the Director of Evangelism and Apologetics for Texas Baptists where he oversees literally dozens of evangelistic and apologetic events throughout the year, yet he has the unmitigated gaul not to tell us about all of this on his Soteriology blog or social media pages!

Oh, it gets worse! Our investigative reporter learned just last week that Dr. Flowers rode his bike for over an hour and did not even tweet about it!  (Well, he might have, but we only read his Soteriology 101 twitter feed, so we assume he DID NOT!) When will this madness stop?!

Flowers Soteriology blog was created to address the major soteriological controversy between Calvinists and Traditionalists in the Southern Baptist Convention, as that was the topic of his doctoral dissertation, but followers have come to expect a certain level of disclosure from theological bloggers. Just what is Dr. Flowers trying to hide?!

Other obvious “one-string” offenders are the creators of monergism.com, calvinistcorner.com, effectualgrace.com, reformationtheology.com, reformedbaptistblog.com, and many others.  We reached out to Dr. White to get his comments on these “one-string banjos,” but we still have not received a response.  We are sure, however, that they will each receive a thorough tongue thrashing from the great apologist; after all, we know that Dr. White is nothing if not objective and impartial in his criticism of others.

128 thoughts on “Is Calvinism All You Talk About?

  1. Leighton:

    When I saw the title “Is Calvinism all you talk about?” I thought for sure you were going to comment on the YRR, cage-rage, young bucks out there who ONLY talk about Calvinism.

    Well done to illustrate that of course you address Calvinism on the S101 site since that is what it is there for!

    Now…back to cage-ragers. I go to look up books on amazon and read the reviews. Be assured that if the book smacks of Arminianism, “leaving Calvinism”, “free will”, open theology, or any related topic….that young bucks have hurried to the “review” page to give it one star.

    I have found everything from one star reviews saying “heresy!” to others who cut-n-paste a looooong diatribe on how Calvinism is the only answer with links to monergism.com and others.

    This is not only upsetting but a bit dishonest since they one-star it and give a “review” even though they clearly have not read the book.

    But ….no means are out of bounds when defending God’s glory, no?!

    This is a much milder version than Calvin’s millstone-dunking tactic anyway…..

    And besides, if they put those (dishonest) reviews on there, they were predetermined to do so anyway so who am I to argue!?

  2. “One particularly notable offender that White has regularly ridiculed for his “one-stringed” ways is Dr. Leighton Flowers of Soteriology101.com.”

    So, why is that an issue for anyone? Focus on one subject is not a crime, is it?

  3. Thank You for your writings on Calvinism.We have just found your podcast and blog. My husband is the pastor a small Baptist in rural Wisconsin. We fellowship with General Association Regular Baptist. We have 40 to 60 people each Sunday. Two of the families are strong “New Calvinist”, that is they are pushing their viewpoint continually. To the point that our adult Sunday school teacher is fearful. We have stopped our weeknight men’s and women’s bible study because in the men’s study every verse was made to prove the doctrine of the elect. My husband and the deacons have an inside joke that even the verse “Christ wept” would be interpreted as He wept for only the elect. So, when I saw the title “Is Calvinism All You Talk About?”, I thought you might be addressing this problem. I would be happy if Calvinism is all you addressed. I found it interesting that the Southern Baptist are also struggling with this “New Calvinist”. I am 66 years old and have been married to my present husband for 6 years. For most of my Christian life, I have been a Southern Baptist. I rarely recall any talk of Calvinism in any of the churches I attended. It was only after becoming involved with this church that I educated myself as to the beliefs of Calvinism. I struggle as to why they want to tear Baptist Churches apart or change their doctrinal statement.Why not be happy with a domination of their own. My husband is a gentle loving man and has dealt with these men as gently as he can. It has made us seek out and defend our faith which means we must dig into scripture. This, of course, is a good thing. We will continue to check your blog and podcast to solidify our stand on God’ truth. Thank you for your biblical and loving insight into this topic.

    1. GramaJ<
      I am so sorry to hear this!

      These new Calvinist may just split the church because they are seldom satisfied unless all are adopting "the doctrines of Grace." (which is kinda ironic right?). This might be there cage-phase….. where all they can do it talk about it and often it is equated to conversion itself.

      Have a look at the posts and the comments and you will see all the scriptural foundation you need to kindly answer the new zealots.

  4. Calvinism is a huge problem, so there is nothing wrong with a speciality page for it. Just like there are specialist doctors. Jesus said, the healthy don’t need a physician, but the sick. Mat 9:12

  5. Why there are those who were threatened and intimidated if they disagree with the doctrines brought by the Calvinists?
    Calvinists on the other hand is never threatened by anyone who may oppose what be believed are the truths revealed by the Scriptures.

    1. I wouldn’t agree with that. I had an incident at my church just yesterday about some new calvinists who invited our pastor (who is apparently one as well based on our observations of his sermons and the way he handles church activities) out for lunch and brought up my facebook post about a certain verse that when read plainly meant salvation being offered for all (I am quite aware that not all will be saved, but I believe it is offered for all and yes, I am not a calvinist). I DID NOT by any means put my interpretation of it as to not cause conflict. What’s also to know is that these new calvinists post verses online with calvinist interpretations of it. Anyway, they did bring up my facebook post because our pastor said so and I was instructed to REFRAIN from posting verses as to not offend the other camp. One of them also messaged me about that verse I posted and tried to bring me in. If this is not a clear example of them being threatened, that I don’t know what it is.

      1. Welcome proflnx,

        Yes “their” verses (40-50) mean what they say….and the rest of the Bible must be filtered by them. “Our” verses (basically the whole of the Bible) do not mean what the seem to clearly mean.

        That is how ideologies work.

      2. FOH writes, ” “Our” verses (basically the whole of the Bible) do not mean what the seem to clearly mean.”

        That’s because you cut out the verses in your Bible that explain how faith is required for one to respond to salvation message. “Your” verses speak of a person being called to repentance and belief and Calvinist point out that such calling in ineffective without faith – a point that you deny..

      3. pr0fLNX writes, “a certain verse that when read plainly meant salvation being offered for all (I am quite aware that not all will be saved, but I believe it is offered for all …)”

        Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel,” but the gospel is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to non-Jews. This is because neither has faith. So, we understand that a person must have faith before he can respond positively to the gospel. We know that all who physically “hear” the gospel in a church service, or otherwise, do not receive faith and do not respond to the gospel in faith. Those who do are able to do so because the Holy Spirit first regenerates them and then God gives them faith – this results in a positive response to the gospel.

        I don’t know what verse you cited, but the Calvinists, and even you, should understand that the preaching of the gospel is ineffective without faith being present. Don’t know why they would get upset with you.

      4. Proflnx, I can relate. We got a new Calvinist pastor awhile ago, and he would write very Calvinistic posts on the church blog. And I would add comments to his posts, disagreeing with him, politely and biblically. Well, one time my comment got posted (I presume by the ladies in the office), but a couple hours later it was removed (I presume the pastor spotted it and deleted it). He can’t seem to handle someone disagreeing with him, no matter how biblical it is. In fact, he won’t even acknowledge that there is any other way people view this issue, other than his way. Also, I happened to look back on all his old posts that I commented on, and it appears (as best I can tell) that all comments under my name have been removed. (However, I also commented under pseudonyms, and those are still up, last I checked. Strange!)

        If he wasn’t threatened by someone disagreeing with him, he would leave up the comments and allow disagreement, letting the people see both sides and look into it themselves.

      5. Heather
        If he wasn’t threatened by someone disagreeing with him, he would leave up the comments and allow disagreement, letting the people see both sides and look into it themselves.

        br.d
        So TRUE!

        When the statue of Dagon falls over in the face of the Ark – the priests rush in – stand it back up – clean it off – and polish it.

        When something requires that much human maintenance – you know its earthly! :-]

  6. FOH argues that : Faith is not a gift from God even if the scriptures teaches that doctrine. He insist his own self generated faith that is sin infected. Actually, Faith does not save. Christ is the One who saves not faith. Faith is only a medium for which man is able to connect to God by the time God provides this gift after the spiritually dead fallen man has been regenerated by God. Man as an imperfect carrier of all the God given gifts including faith cannot become perfectly faithful in his performance to take care of them. There are shipwreck faith as mentioned in I Tim. 1:19-20, but this is not a problem because God being the author and finisher of faith can even restore it. In the book of Philippians it is written : “The good work which God has started in you, He is going to finish it until the day of Jesus Christ.

    Jesus Christ’s death covers the SIN of the unbelief of the sinful elect of God. He died for this sin, so.. even if the elect may reject the offer. He cannot as an elect. Why? because it is brought to him irresistibly.

    I know BR.D will be quick to respond bringing on the table the doctrine loaded in his backpack about determinism, that God is both the author of Good and Evil due to his dispute with us about the doctrine that God is in control of everything. I can agree that God is the author of good but not of evil. Good and Evil cannot be mixed together for us to have a HOLY God.

    For me, that idea of ours that God is the one who controls everything is still accomplished even if God in most of the time deals with man in a natural way using their will to disobey, God will still be able to get all what He wants in the final dead end result. When Eve was tempted by the serpent, God just watched and did not intervene to abort Eve’s disobedience, why? because that act of Eve was part of His long blue print plan that needs to be accomplished.

    I guess Calvinism Is all you Talk about because we bring to the table solid doctrines of the grace of God that distinguishes us from other groups. Others can’t afford to dismantle it so the alternative is to step out and to paint a very bad image to the public concerning us.

    1. jtleosala
      Good and Evil cannot be mixed together for us to have a HOLY

      br.d
      Interesting language here JT!
      Where did anyone here indicate that in Calvinism good and evil are “mixed together”
      What has been stated – is that in the Gnostic / NeoPlatonist system – good and evil are “Co-Equal”, “Co-Necessary” and “Co-Complimentary”.

      I find it informative that two times, I provided quotes for you from Augustine and Jon Edwards – to show how that is the case – and both times you seem to have ignored them.

      And the fact that so many things in Calvinism appear in “Good-Evil” pairs should serve as a RED-FLAG to any THINKING Christian.

      Is it more TRUTHFUL to call Calvinism “doctrines of grace” or to call it “doctrines of GOOD-EVIL”?
      The reason Calvinists call it “doctrines of grace” is a way to de-emphasis the evil aspect of the system.

      Thus it totally makes sense that Sin, Evil and Eternal torment in a lake of fire – (as well as salvation) are all GIFTS from Calvin’s god. He is a “Good-Evil” THEOS.

    2. jtleosala
      For me, that idea of ours that God is the one who controls everything is still accomplished even if God in most of the time deals with man in a natural way using their will to disobey,

      br.d
      This is deceptive language.

      “deals with man in a natural way” is simply language designed to HIDE the fact that Calvin’s god DOES NOT PERMIT man to be/do anything other than what Calvin’s god DECREES.

      And man has ABSOLUTELY no say in any matter.

      Calvin’s god Determines *ALL* things – leaving NOTHING left over for the creature to determine.

      Calvinists are taught to tell select truths – while strategically HIDING the WHOLE TRUTH.

  7. I did not know what Calvinism was until well into my 40s when two of my good friends began to gently question my theology. It had never occurred to me after multiple readings of the whole Bible across several decades that the doctrine of free will could be seriously contested.

    I had been briefly exposed to something known as “the limited foreknowledge of God” in my 20s, but rejected it relatively quickly. It suffers from the same fallacy as Calvinism. Namely, that foreknowledge causes events to occur rather than merely observes that they will occur.

    One of my Calvinist friends used this logic on me:

    Him: “Does God know everything?”
    Me: “Of course.”
    Him: “And that would include your eternal destination?”
    Me: “Of course.”
    Him: “And you can’t outsmart / surprise Him by choosing something He didn’t foresee?”
    Me: “Correct.”
    Him: “So if you cannot change what He knows, you aren’t really free to choose differently.”

    I puzzled over that for awhile before realizing the fundamental problem: conflating knowledge with causation.

    This thought experiment helped me. On a timeline, we can see only the present and the past, not the future. I can know both past and present with certainty. For example, I can know with certainty about events before I was even born, such as who won the 1939 World Series, the Dow Jones industrial average at the closing bell on June 6, 1941, or who the POTUS was. However, my certainty about these things does not imply that I caused them.

    God can see past, present, and future with absolute certainty, but just because He knows those events, it does not imply He caused them, any more than my knowing who won the 1939 World Series caused or influenced the outcome.

    It is significant that in Romans 8, foreknowledge is listed before predestination. He knew those who would choose a Him and predestined good things for them – not vice-versa.

    I spent perhaps 3 years researching the teachings of Calvinism diligently, unaided by commentaries and just allowing scripture to speak for itself. I read the entirety of the Bible, perhaps twice through from cover to cover, rather than just focusing on the so-called difficult passages and Calvinistic proof-texts like Acts 13:48, Eph 1, Rom 8-11, Pr 16:33, Jn 6:44, etc. What I found is that the macro message of scripture affirms free will on virtually every page in some manner or another, while the concepts of TULIP have to be externally injected into the text rather than naturally flowing out of it.

    I have never yet met a Calvinist that arrived at its conclusions by a natural and unaided reading of scripture. They are always taught these doctrines – often in Bible School – rather than discovering them by simply reading the scriptures unaided. This was certainly the case for RC Sproull, for example. He entered bible school without Calvin’s theology, but exited with his theology. This was also true of my two friends.

    1. Hello mrteebs,
      Theological Determinism originates with the Stoics.

      And Augustine was highly influenced by Stoicism, Gnostisism, NeoPlatonism, and Catholicism.
      You will find many academic articles on how Augustine for example is considered the premier conduit for mixing NeoPlatonism into Christianity.

      John Calvin in his ardent love affair with Augustine – swallowed the whole camel.
      And that is how we got Calvinism.

      Yes – you are correct – that foreknowledge is not CAUSATIVE.

      But like the Stoics – the Calvinist world is 100% predetermined.
      So the Calvinist does have a point when he asks if you are free in a “Libertarian” sense – within a world that is 100% determined.

      This is summed up will in an adaptation of Peter Van Inwagen’s “Consequence Argument”.

      IF Universal Divine Causal Determinism is true then:

      1) Our every impulse would be the consequence of divine decrees which occurred at the foundation of the world – determined at a point in which we do not yet exist.

      2) Additionally those impulses would be framed within the boundaries of nature, which exist at the time in which those impulses are actualized within us.

      3) But then it is not UP TO US what immutable decrees were established at the foundation of the world before we were born.

      4) And it is not UP TO US – the state of nature at any instance in time (including our own) – established by infallible decrees

      5) Therefore, the consequences of these things are not UP TO US

    2. mrteebs writes, “Him: “So if you cannot change what He knows, you aren’t really free to choose differently.”
      I puzzled over that for awhile before realizing the fundamental problem: conflating knowledge with causation. ”

      Your Calvinist friend was confused. Glad you realized that God knows the future perfectly but that God’s knowledge of the future does not cause the future that He knows.

      Then, “It is significant that in Romans 8, foreknowledge is listed before predestination. He knew those who would choose a Him and predestined good things for them – not vice-versa.”

      Romans 8 tells us, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,…” It does not ells us how God came to foreknow certain people. You insert that this is because “He knew those who would choose…Him.” Romans 8 does not tell us this. In Ephesians 1, Paul writes, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,…” We conclude from this that God foreknew believers because He chose them that they should be holy and to this end God predestined them “to be conformed to the image of His Son,….”

      Then, ‘What I found is that the macro message of scripture affirms free will on virtually every page in some manner or another, while the concepts of TULIP have to be externally injected into the text rather than naturally flowing out of it.”

      You should also have discovered that “free will” cannot exist without “faith.” It is the absence of faith that is the foundation for TULIP especially Total Depravity.

      Then, “I have never yet met a Calvinist that arrived at its conclusions by a natural and unaided reading of scripture. ”

      Unfortunately, this is true for both Calvinists and non-Calvinists.

      1. rhutchin
        You should also have discovered that “free will” cannot exist without “faith.” It is the absence of faith that is the foundation for TULIP especially Total Depravity.

        br.d
        We should not be surprised to find different Calvinists – as we see here – having different personal philosophies about things.

        However – if one reads reformed and non-reformed academic literature on Determinism/Compatiblism – one will not find faith as a factor in “compatiblist” freedom.

        Within Universal Divine Casual Determinism (aka Calvinism) “Compatiblist” freedom is stated simply as “freedom” that is “Compatible” with everything being 100% determined.

        In Reformed vernacular this is stated as “whatosoever comes to pass” is determined by Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – pre-creation.

        Any ability to be/do “otherwise” than what is infallibly decreed – would falsify the infallible decree – and thus falsify Theological Determinism itself.

        So we should be able to see that in such case faith also would be 100% determined by the THEOS as well.

        Having every impulse scripted to infallibly come to pass – results in absolutely nothing being UP TO US anyway.
        So worrying about having faith would be the equivalent of worry about not being created as a frog.
        You have no say in either matter. :-]

      2. I don’t fully understand why you are here Hutch. It reminds me of the people from the Left that flock to Fox News, posting rapid fire comments like a machine gun, thinking they are somehow going to sway opinions or create an epiphany of progressive enlightenment in the demographic that consumes its news from Fox. Perhaps it feels like catharsis for the contrarian left, but it does nothing to sway opinions. They posses a very real tone deafness in the belief that they’re “fighting the good fight”, but they fail to see that it isn’t the appropriate field of battle. It’s the home team’s locker room.

        You seem to suffer from the same OCD-like compulsion.

        As I have perused this site over the last week, I have seen hundreds of your posts, but almost all are rebuttals as though no comment can go unanswered, no rock unturned, no fire hydrant without being marked a little higher up than the last passer-by. It feels a bit unhinged and sociopathic to me. Ditto for that fellow from The Philippines. Does Cage Stage last for one’s entire lifetime or only a few years?

        Give it a rest, friend. This site seems to exist not primarily for bare knuckles debate but for like-minded people inclined toward a Non-Calvinist reading of scripture to share their experiences and thoughts with one another. I am not saying dissent is not welcome or unhealthy, but I am saying that you are way, way over the top and I don’t understand what purpose you feel it serves to be a serial rebutter on almost each and every comment.

      3. I must admit – the fire hydrant metaphor occurred to me 1000 times! :-]

        Dr. Eric Fromm – a Social Psychologist – became curious about the Calvinist psychology.

        He ended up labeling it a “psychology of dread”
        Here is a snippet from his published work:

        -quote
        The byproduct of dread becomes a psychology of works:
        One possible way to escape this unbearable state of uncertainty and a paralyzing feeling of one’s own insignificance, is the very trait which became so prominent in Calvinism: the development of a hyper activity and striving for productivity.

        Activity in this sense assumes a compulsory quality: the individual has to be active in order to subdue underlying feelings of doubt and powerlessness. This kind of effort and activity works to promote a sense of confidence and conciliation.

        Thus, effort and work, in this sense, assume an entirely irrational character. They are not to change one’s eternal fate, which is predetermined by God regardless of effort on the part of the individual.

        Human efforts, served only as a means of forecasting the predetermined fate; while at the same time, the heightened effort served as an emotional reassurance against an otherwise unbearable underlying feeling of powerlessness. (Escape from freedom Page 88)

      4. mrteebs writes, “As I have perused this site over the last week, I have seen hundreds of your posts, but almost all are rebuttals as though no comment can go unanswered,…”

        Just seeking to correct inaccurate beliefs about Calvinism and promote conversation on that which the Scriptures say.

      5. In computer programming its called an infinite loop:

        1) Clean image
        2) Hide distasteful aspects behind semantic masks and amorphous terms
        3) Monitor image for future eventual decay
        4) Repeat

        :-]

      6. Mr T,
        You nailed that! But I am afraid they will take the “high road” and come back with a remark that they “need” to do it cuz we dont “get” Calvinism (forgetting that people like myself (MDiv) and Leighton, (DMin) were card-carrying Calvinists and we get it all too well).

        They will confess that is it is simply cuz they need to show us the proper understanding of Scripture.

        Again…. I think you got it right.

      1. Hutch,

        The contrarians posting at Fox also feel that they are providing a valuable public service, correcting inaccurate information, and generally “fighting the good fight”. Those posting articles here are not mischaracterizing the essence of TULIP, the teachings of Calvin, or the most notable proponents of Calvinism like Sproul, Piper, Macarthur, White, Boettner, et. al.

        To continually assert that you have a mission to proclaim “pure and undefiled” Calvinism here is unnecessary. We understand it well enough. We simply disagree with it.

        I don’t question your sincerity, but I do question your wisdom in spending an inordinate amount of time responding to comments on this site. People are generally here because they have already carefully and quite thoroughly examined the claims of authentic Calvinism – not some distorted version thereof – and found them seriously lacking.

        If a theological system is so fragile and complex that it takes hundreds of clarifications, explanations, mental gymnastics, and cognitive dissonances, that should in itself be a blaring red siren as to its veracity.

      2. Perhaps they have an underlying intuition – that Calvinism will go the way of the dinosaur – if they don’t intervene?

      3. mrteebs writes, “People are generally here because they have already carefully and quite thoroughly examined the claims of authentic Calvinism – not some distorted version thereof – and found them seriously lacking ”

        Why do I get such grief when I explain that the term, Totally Depravity, is a lable that describes the unsaved who are without faith? Why do I get grief when I claim that John 6:37, “All that the Father gives Christ will come to Christ,…” is God’s election? What do you see as seriously lacking in those claims? I’ve got a lot more.

        Then, ‘If a theological system is so fragile and complex that it takes hundreds of clarifications, explanations, mental gymnastics, and cognitive dissonances, that should in itself be a blaring red siren as to its veracity.”

        Calvinism is simple and easily understood. People easily understand it and then purposely seem to distort it. It takes hundreds of clarifications and explanations to undo the imaginative and complex distortions of Calvinism.

  8. I take issue with the contention that Calvinism is easily understood. Perhaps TULIP is easily understood, but it becomes painfully convoluted and indeed surreal when overlaid onto scripture. That’s when the phenomenal difficulty to harmonize the two begins. The jigsaw pieces no longer fit without aid of a hacksaw and sandpaper.

    So, let’s start with a few softballs and see if Calvin’s theology is genuinely simple or almost impossibly complex.

    Explain 2 Cor 13:5. If we are so “dead” that it is impossible to respond (as RC Sproul was so fond of in his corpse analogies), then how is this accomplished? And is it reasonable for someone to come to this scripture unaided by a theologian to derive the meaning that Calvinists would ascribe to it?

    Explain 2 Pet 3:9. Does “all” mean “all” or does it mean “all elect”? Ditto for “any”. Same comment about being unaided by a theologian.

    Explain John 3:16. Does “whosoever” mean what it says, or does it mean “the elect”? What about “world”? Is that all-inclusive or limited? Same comment about being unaided by a theologian.

    Explain Ezekiel 18. Same comment about being unaided by a theologian.

    Explain Mark 11:25. Same comment about being unaided by a theologian.

    These are only five. I could cite hundreds.

    See how complicated it gets, so quickly when things don’t mean what a plain, unaided reading of the text would imply and words no longer mean what they mean? To be clear, I am not actually expecting answers to these questions. My point is the level of complexity and explanation required for the Calvinist to answer these simple verses. The Calvinist has to first deconstruct and then rebuild them according to TULIP, and this is not done in a few words.

    I believe in a gospel that a child can comprehend (Matt 18:6). A child can comprehend every one of those verses, easily.

    1. mrteebs writes, “Explain 2 Cor 13:5. If we are so “dead” that it is impossible to respond…”

      2 Corinthians 13
      5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you are disqualified.
      6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
      7 Now I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified.
      8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
      9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete.
      10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.

      Paul is writing to believers or those he presumes to be believers. Therefore, as believers, they are not dead but have faith and can respond to Paul by faith. Even though believers, they still practice the sins from their pagan days. Paul addresses these failings throughout his two letters to the Corinthians.

      Then, “…is it reasonable for someone to come to this scripture unaided by a theologian to derive the meaning that Calvinists would ascribe to it?”

      What do others take from this that Calvinists do not?

      Then, “Explain 2 Pet 3:9.

      2 Peter 3
      9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

      Peter addresses believers (v1 – Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle…) So, when Peter writes, “longsuffering toward us,” he means “longsuffering toward the beloved or believers.” Most agree on this up to this point.

      When Peter continues, “not willing that any should perish” he still refers to the beloved or believers., “not willing that any of you, beloved, should perish.” God has delayed Jesus’ coming but Peter assures the beloved that God will not let them perish.

      Finally, when Peter writes, “all should come to repentance,” he seems to refer to all who might be hearing the letter read and including those in the future who would read the letter. When Peter writes, “all should come,” he knows that Jesus said in John 6, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…” So, the “all” of whom Jesus spoke in John 6 are the “all” of whom Peter speaks in 2 Peter 3. They cannot be two different groups of people without making either Jesus or Peter a liar.

      Then, “Explain John 3:16. Does “whosoever” mean…”

      John 3
      16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

      “whosoever” means “the one believing.” Those who believe in Jesus will not perish. This verse does not explain how one comes to believe but Jesus will explain in John 6, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…”

      The term, “world, ” refers to Jews and gentiles, a common theme in John. Later, Paul will write, “you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,”

      Then< "Explain Ezekiel 18."

      What's to explain? As Habakkuk wrote, "the just shall live by his faith." In Ezekiel 18, the difference between the righteous and the wicked is faith.

      Then, "Explain Mark 11:25."

      Mark 11
      25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."

      From the NET Bible, "Although the Greek subjunctive mood, formally required in a subordinate clause introduced by ἵνα (hina), is traditionally translated by an English subjunctive (e.g., “may,” so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV), changes in the use of the subjunctive in English now result in most readers understanding such a statement as indicating permission (“may” = “has permission to”) or as indicating uncertainty (“may” = “might” or “may or may not”). Thus a number of more recent translations render such instances by an English future tense (“will,” so TEV, CEV, NLT, NASB 1995 update). That approach has been followed here.

      A number of significant mss of various textual families (א B L W Δ Ψ 565 700 892 sa) do not include 11:26 “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your sins.” The verse is included in most later mss (A [C D] Θ [ƒ 33] M lat) and is not likely to be original. It is probably an assimilation to Matt 6:15. The present translation follows NA in omitting the verse number, a procedure also followed by a number of other modern translations.

      Calvin writes, "Here Christ only explains the reason why that condition was added, Forgive us, as we forgive The reason is, that God will not be ready to hear us, unless we also show ourselves ready to grant forgiveness to those who have offended us. If we are not harder than iron, this exhortation ought to soften us, and render us disposed to forgive offenses.445 Unless God pardon us every day many sins, we know that we are ruined in innumerable ways: and on no other condition does he admit us to pardon, but that we pardon our brethren whatever offenses they have committed against us. Those who refuse to forget the injuries which have been done to them, devote themselves willingly and deliberately to destruction, and knowingly prevent God from forgiving them."

      That's the best I can offer.

      So, how about you explaining John 6:37.

      1. Hutch,

        I appreciate the reply, but I think you missed the part where I suggested that I wasn’t expecting one because I knew it would take too many words (1008 to be exact – about 3 typewritten pages) to convince us how “simple” it was. So, you merely confirmed my prediction.

        As to John 6:37…

        Short answer: Jesus was referring to his 12 disciples
        Medium answer: This specifically excluded Judas (see Jn 17:9-12, 18:9)
        Long answer: https://soteriology101.com/2015/03/10/john-6-down-from-heaven-why-context-kills-calvinism/

      2. Mr T,
        You are wise grasshopper to avoid long, meaningless, circular-arguments with Calvinists here. I fell for it a couple years ago (thinking I was really discussing) and I wasted lots of time.

        Much better your one-off short answers. Not worth more time than that.

      3. Totally agreed FOH!
        We’ve all learned not to get lured into chasing the proverbial greased pig :-]

      4. mrteebs writes, “Short answer: Jesus was referring to his 12 disciples”

        So, we have two ways to understand this verse. So, what makes “Calvin’s theology is genuinely simple or almost impossibly complex,” regarding the understanding of this verse or the other verses you offered. The explanations I provided seemed simple and easy to understand. You insert in v37 “All [the 12 disciples] the Father gives Me will come to Me,…” Yet John has Jesus saying this despite having already chosen His disciples. It shows the lengths non-Calvinists must go in order to come up with alternatives to Calvinist explanations.

    2. Exactly
      The only person to whom all of that “deconstruction” and “reconstruction” in the logically contorted image of Calvinism is easy to – is the mind that has been RESHAPED into AUTO-MAGICALLY doing it.

      it requires re-forming the brain into the shape of DOUBLE-THINK

  9. I firmly believe that the fundamental root error of Calvinism is a misguided understanding of “sovereignty”.

    If you can get the adherent to buy into this “sovereignty 2.0” concept, then it is just a matter of building a logically consistent structure* to support it, which John Calvin* did quite capably via an internally consistent system of five tenets that logically follow from one another. Start with any one of the five, and the other four are essentially mandatory to keep the entire edifice from collapsing.

    The trouble isn’t consistency of the tenets with one another, but with the whole thing being consistent with scripture.

    And the problem I see with Calvinists is that they are so absolutely committed to TULIP, that scripture has to be tortured into compliance whenever a disconnect occurs. At all costs, TULIP must be preserved because Calvinists generally understand that if any of the 5 tenets falls, the others then fall like dominoes because the internal consistency of the framework can no longer be maintained.

    *Lawyers are trained to think in this way and indeed laws must be internally consistent with one another. It should thus come as no surprise that Calvin’s original training was as a lawyer.

    1. mrteebs writes, “I firmly believe that the fundamental root error of Calvinism is a misguided understanding of “sovereignty”. ”

      So, give us your unmisguided understanding of “sovereignty,” and let’s compare it to the Calvinist understanding of sovereignty.

      1. mrteebs
        I firmly believe that the fundamental root error of Calvinism is a misguided understanding of “sovereignty”. ”

        rhutchin
        So, give us your unmisguided understanding of “sovereignty,” and let’s compare it to the Calvinist understanding of sovereignty.

        br.d
        Since the underlying foundation of Calvinism is Universal Divine Causal Determinism – their understanding of “sovereignty” is designed accordingly.

      2. br.d writes, “Since the underlying foundation of Calvinism is Universal Divine Causal Determinism – their understanding of “sovereignty” is designed accordingly.”

        Doesn’t matter. mrteebs can still provide his unmisguided understanding of sovereignty and we can still compare it to the Calvinist understanding.

      3. br.d
        “Since the underlying foundation of Calvinism is Universal Divine Causal Determinism – their understanding of “sovereignty” is designed accordingly.”

        rhutchin
        Doesn’t matter. mrteebs can still provide his unmisguided understanding of sovereignty and we can still compare it to the Calvinist understanding.

        br.d
        It doesn’t take much to know how this is going to turn out! :-]

        Any enunciation that isn’t cloaked in a smoke-screen of Calvinist DOUBLE-SPEAK designed to obfuscate its determinism – is going to be sited as “misguided” by the SUPERIOR ones.

        And the Calvinist in the midst is always AUTO-MAGICALLY the SUPERIOR one.
        Or as Jesus puts it – taking the chief seat at every wedding feast :-]

      4. Hutch,

        Interesting that you would pronounce my definition “misguided” without even having seen it first. Regardless, please understand that what follows is not “my” definition. It is the standard use of the word in the English language – both British and American.

        Here are three definitions, verbatim as you will find them online:

        Merriam-Webster
        supreme power especially over a body politic; freedom from external control – autonomy; controlling influence

        Cambridge
        the power or authority to rule; the power of a country to control its own government

        Dictionary.com
        1. the quality or state of being sovereign, or of having supreme power or authority.
        2.the status, dominion, power, or authority of a sovereign royal rank or position; royalty.
        3. supreme and independent power or authority in government as possessed or claimed by a state or community.
        4. rightful status, independence, or prerogative.
        5.a sovereign or independent state, community, or political unit.

        Notice that nowhere in these standard, unabridged definitions from 3 sources is there a hint of the sovereign controlling (or needing to control) every outcome. Indeed, a sovereign often chooses to delegate authority to others and not to interfere. Here are 3 such examples:

        Esther 5:3 – the sovereign (King Ahasuerus) allowed Esther to ask anything (without knowing in advance what she would ask for), up to half his kingdom. He delegated without decreeing every last particular of possible outcomes.

        Esther 10:3 – the sovereign (King Ahasuerus) delegated to Mordecai, who became second only to Ahasuerus himself.

        Matt 14:6-9 – the sovereign (Herod) allowed the daughter of Herodias to ask for anything, without knowing what she would ask in advance. He delegated without decreeing every last particular of possible outcomes. Indeed, he was grieved by the outcome the girl chose (see v9)

        Gen 41:38-44 – the sovereign (Pharaoh) delegated control of Egypt to Joseph, gave him full veto power, and retained only the ceremonial duties to himself.

        Dan 5:16 – the sovereign (King Belshazzar) delegated to Daniel such that he was 3rd in the kingdom.

        Dan 6:1-3 – the sovereign (King Darius) delegated to Daniel such that he was 3rd in the kingdom, and Darius intended to promote him over the entire kingdom.

        In all of these examples, we see rulers that delegated such that not every decision or every particular outcome was necessarily their own. Yet they were still sovereign. COULD they take that power back and reserve it to themselves? In some cases yes, but in other cases no because they voluntarily elevated something else even above themselves. In the case of Herod, he gave an oath. In the case of Darius, it was the law of the land that even he could not change his mind (see Dan 6:12-15).

        It is completely within God’s sovereign prerogative to delegate decisions to his creation – without forfeiting His sovereignty or violating the commonly understood definition of the word – and this is precisely what He has done. See Heb 2:7 and Gen 1:28.

        The idea that God must necessarily make EVERY decision and decree the smallest detail of EVERY outcome is peculiar to Calvinism. It is nowhere part of the normal definition of sovereignty and it is nowhere revealed in the pages of scripture.

      5. Wow Mr Teebs!

        I really like what you post (but still be aware that it has no effect whatsoever on RH). But it does add to the volume of information available to us.

        About a year ago on one of these threads, I posted information on several kings that had to flee during World War 2 (they got out before Hitler got their country). Haakon VII was still the King of Norway even in exile in Britain during the war. Upon returning to Norway after the war he was still the “sovereign” of that nation…as is Queen Elizabeth.

        All the kings and queens that stayed in their occupied countries during the war were also the sovereign of their nations.

        Queen Elizabeth: does she always get what she wants? Is everything that happens in her country what she wants or has declared?

        Of course not! Is she not the sovereign?

        We have no historical or biblical example of a king or queen that fits the determines-all-things, always-gets-what-He-wants, all sin-and-decadence-is-ordained-by-Him definition that Calvinists give us. But they just continue to foist it on us as if it were universally accepted.

      6. Hey mrteebs – I would love to know how to get the capitalized and italic font as I see in your post here?

      7. mrteebs writes, “Interesting that you would pronounce my definition “misguided” without even having seen it first. ”

        I did not pronounce your definition misguided. It was you who pronounced Calvinism/s definition misguided.

        Then, “Here are three definitions,”

        Interesting. You appeal to a dictionary The Calvinist appeals to Scripture, e.g., Daniel 4 where a pagan king says, “God’s dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” However, the dictionary definitions agree with Calvinism in that God has “having supreme power or authority,” “power or authority to rule, ” God has “freedom from external control – autonomy; controlling influence,” None of this is different than Calvinism.

        Then, “Notice that nowhere in these standard, unabridged definitions from 3 sources is there a hint of the sovereign controlling (or needing to control) every outcome.”

        So, we see that your issue is not with Calvinism’s definition of sovereignty as applied to God but with Calvinism;s view on how God exercises His authority and especially how God involves Himself in the affairs of His creation. Here you say, “a sovereign often chooses to delegate authority to others and not to interfere” and then you provide examples from the Scriptures of human sovereigns who acted this way. You then say, “It is completely within God’s sovereign prerogative to delegate decisions to his creation – without forfeiting His sovereignty or violating the commonly understood definition of the word…” No problem with the Calvinist here.

        Then, “and this is precisely what He has done. See Heb 2:7 and Gen 1:28.”

        So, we have:

        Hebrews 2
        7 You have made Christ a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands.

        Genesis 1
        28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

        No conflict with the Calvinist on these points either. God did delegate authority to Christ as when Christ said, ““All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Paul explains, “God has put all things under Christ’s feet.” But when God says “all things are put under Christ,” it is evident that God who put all things under Christ is excepted.” So, God delegates to Christ but Christ is still subordinate to God.

        The Calvinist also agrees that God gave Adam authority over the animals but Adam abdicated his authority when he sinned.

        Then, “The idea that God must necessarily make EVERY decision and decree the smallest detail of EVERY outcome is peculiar to Calvinism. It is nowhere part of the normal definition of sovereignty…”

        To this, the Calvinist agrees. All the definition of sovereignty says is that God has absolute power to rule as He wants. To the notion of God being sovereign, we add other attributes of God. God has infinite understanding of His creation and infinite power to affect anything in His creation He wants. God does not have to make every decision but God can short circuit any decision or action that is not in accord with His will. So, everything that happens accords with God’s will simply because God has authority to determine what happens and the power to enforce His will. By example, God stops Joseph’s brothers from killing Joseph and does nothing to stop them selling Joseph to the slave traders because, as Joseph explained to his brothers, “…you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

        It is not he Calvinist definition of “sovereignty” that is misguided but the Calvinist claims regarding God’s application of His authority. This relates to issues other than sovereignty but come about because God is sovereign.

      8. rhutchin
        It is not he Calvinist definition of “sovereignty” that is misguided but the Calvinist claims regarding God’s application of His authority. This relates to issues other than sovereignty but come about because God is sovereign.

        br.d
        Nah!
        Calvinists take terms to which every society applies commonly agreed upon understandings
        Calvinists ascribe INSIDER meanings to those terms.

        This is a practice which Social Scientists and Linguists call INSIDER language.

        When an OUTSIDER is unaware of an INSIDER meaning – the Calvinist gains a strategic advantage he seeks to have.
        Its all part of Calvinism’s practice of DOUBLE-SPEAK.

  10. “The trouble isn’t consistency of the tenets with one another, but with the whole thing being consistent with scripture.”

    ——–My Response——-

    TULIP stands unmoved and nothing can cause to collapse. It was decreed by God to be so… – The whole thing is in consistent with the Scriptures.

    1. jtleosala
      TULIP stands unmoved and nothing can cause to collapse. It was decreed by God to be so… – The whole thing is in consistent with the Scriptures.

      br.d
      With their TU-LIPS they honor me – but their hearts are………

    2. As I said earlier, the preservation of TULIP is of primary importance to the Calvinist. Scripture is viewed as malleable because it must fit TULIP, not vice-versa.

      Where exactly did God decree TULIP in the scriptures? This is a very outrageous statement.

  11. I guess I could have saved myself the trouble of a lengthy reply by just pointing to this article:
    https://soteriology101.com/2017/09/24/saving-sovereignty/

    The very short answer is that sovereignty does not mean that the sovereign must control everything. It is Calvinists that have taken the word and forced this requirement upon it, where no such requirement in fact exists.

    Sovereignty means that the sovereign has the right to control everything if he wants to, but does not necessarily have to exercise that right to remain sovereign. He can just as easily exercise his right to delegate many things, without abdicating his sovereignty. Indeed, almost all sovereigns do this, and God is not an exception.

    AW Tozer expressed it most eloquently:

    God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, ‘What doest thou?’ Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.

    – A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God

    1. mrteebs writes, “sovereignty does not mean that the sovereign must control everything. :

      Sovereignty means that the sovereign can control everything. Nothing can happen unless the sovereign agrees that it should happen.

      Then, “It is Calvinists that have taken the word and forced this requirement upon it, where no such requirement in fact exists.”

      The Calvinist says, with Paul, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.”

      Then, “He can just as easily exercise his right to delegate many things, without abdicating his sovereignty.”

      Delegation is not the issue. God delegated to the Romans and Jews the authority to crucify Jesus. That delegation was to accomplish His will as all His delegations.

  12. FOH,

    Many (most?) of my comments are intended for the benefit of the like-minded here – not to engage in endless wrangling. I am old enough and experienced enough to understand that I am unlikely to sway the Hutch’s or JTLEOSALA’s of the world. Dr. Flowers himself likely fit into that category at one time, and I suspect that it was his own reading, contemplation, and the quiet but persistent voice of the Holy Spirit that began to move the needle – not the challenges from those of a contrary theology.

    I am slowly making my way through the rich content here, and appreciate all of the work and scholarship that has gone into this site.

    Blessings to all.

    P.S. Is a hipster beard, a flannel shirt, and a penchant for micro-brewed beer part of the requirements for earning official YRR credentials? I thought it was just an outrageous stereotype from Babylon Bee, but it seems to be pretty accurate about half the time. 😉

    1. “Is a hipster beard, a flannel shirt, and a penchant for micro-brewed beer part of the requirements for earning official YRR credentials?”

      dont forget the tats!

      cigar is optional! (beard is not)

      ps. It is better if you are white, male, young-ish (or were when you got it like me with Piper and MacArthur!), Western, educated, and from a “generic” Bible background (that is where YRR is making headway).

      1. FOH: are you a recovering Calvinist? What is your story? Is it posted somewhere? I am always interested in people’s testimonies – not just of salvation, but of other milestones along the way.

      2. Yes. My story is easily found on these pages.

        I have been busy lately and not posted much….but go back a few months and then look at any of the main posts in the list going backward 2-3 years from there.*

        You sound very much like me! For years I said to my wife, “It’s all based on their definition of the word ‘sovereign!'” I dont even have to finish the sentence anymore….she does.

        *As I said, in my first year I responded rapid-fire to RH cuz i thought it was worth it. But due to his name-calling and rudeness and his multiple contradicting posts (he says anything he needs to at any time), I stopped and wont even acknowledge him now. Sometimes I even wonder if he is just trying to waste our time.

  13. FOH said…

    We have no historical or biblical example of a king or queen that fits the determines-all-things, always-gets-what-He-wants, all sin-and-decadence-is-ordained-by-Him definition that Calvinists give us. But they just continue to foist it on us as if it were universally accepted.

    Indeed, I think the real “aha” moment for me regarding Calvinism was on this very topic of sovereignty. When I was first confronted with the grossly misshapen definition employed by the Calvinist, it occurred to me that this is the logical starting point if you are trying to make a proselyte. Convince the target that he has been wrong about sovereignty his entire life and ensure that sovereignty2.0 is first completely ingested such that it will now be unquestioned and sacred. Then, it is relatively easy to present the five tenets of TULIP because they are essentially necessary to preserve this definition of God’s sovereignty. To question the tenets then becomes an affront to God’s sovereignty, and this questioning has already been established by the Calvinist as heresy. Sovereignty is the gold crown in which the TULIP jewels are set. It is the context and presupposition for the entire (flawed) theology.

    It is frankly why I place so much emphasis on the word “sovereignty” because in my case, it was the door by which my Calvinist friends attempted to enter and begin ransacking many other concepts like grace, faith, belief, assurance, moral agency, justice, etc.

    In like manner, I believe that if you can convince a Calvinist to examine their definition of sovereignty, it can perhaps be the door by which they will (rightfully) begin to question the five tenets. Appealing through scripture is often difficult because they have their favorite teachers that they flock to, all of whom have a ready supply of double-speak to use in defense of every passage that contradicts Calvinism. It was pretty apparent to me that Hutch was making use of cut and paste in this manner. Perhaps not plagiarism, but often in more of a hurry to find out what Dr. So-and-so said and then repurpose it as your own than to do your own heavy lifting – thinking it through, and asking the Holy Spirit for guidance rather than your favorite go-to commentator / teacher.

    1. mrteebs writes, “Convince the target that he has been wrong about sovereignty his entire life…”

      Actually the entry point is God’s omniscience. Most people understand that God knows the future perfectly. Charles Stanley will mention it every now and then in his sermons as will many non-Calvinist pastors. If God is omniscient and knows the future perfectly, then He has already exercised His sovereignty to get His will on everything that occurs in the course of time. Sovereignty becomes a non-issue. That is why the Open Theists and Open Future types ignored sovereignty and focused their attention on God’s omniscience. Kill omniscience and God is forced to react to events and not determine events.

      Then, “Then, it is relatively easy to present the five tenets of TULIP because they are essentially necessary to preserve this definition of God’s sovereignty. ”

      TULIP works within God’s omniscience and perfect knowledge of all future events. All TULIP does is explain man’s inability (because he lacks faith) to save himself without God’s help in providing that faith.

      Then, “Sovereignty is the gold crown in which the TULIP jewels are set. It is the context and presupposition for the entire (flawed) theology.”

      Not exactly. Sovereignty is derived from God’s infinity understanding of His creation and His omnipotent power to affect His will in His creation. If God has infinite understanding and is omnipotent, then it follows that God is sovereign over His creation. The issue then is not God’s sovereignty, but how has God decided to exercise His sovereignty to save people.

      Then, “,,,“sovereignty” because in my case, it was the door by which my Calvinist friends attempted to enter,,,”

      Unbelievable. Didn’t your friends understand anything?

      Then, “In like manner, I believe that if you can convince a Calvinist to examine their definition of sovereignty, it can perhaps be the door by which they will (rightfully) begin to question the five tenets.”

      If you don’t negate omniscience, the issue of sovereignty is a non-starter.

      Then, ” It was pretty apparent to me that Hutch was making use of cut and paste in this manner.”

      The Scripture tells us the truth. It is the starting point for any, and all, discussions relating to God and man. “…cut and paste…”//// How am I to take you seriously after that rewark??

      1. rhutchin
        The Scripture tells us the truth. It is the starting point for any, and all, discussions relating to God and man

        br.d
        And Calvin’s god is the EXCLUSIVE determiner of every human perception of any given data.
        Whether that data is scripture or not.

        And “Libertarian” choice doesn’t exist for the Calvinist.
        Including the ability to make a “Libertarian” choice between a TRUE perception and a FALSE perception of scripture.

        The Calvinist’s every FALSE perception of scripture (perceived as TRUE) is whatever Calvin’s god determines.

        CONCLUSION:
        The Calvinist’s ability to determine TRUE from FALSE doesn’t exist.

        DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS:
        Now the Calvinist is going to assert the proposition that LOGICAL consequences of his doctrine don’t exist
        Such things are waved off as -quote “humanistic philosophy”

        Thus providing wonderful examples of what DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS looks like. :-]

      2. The best example I can give of what a dialog with a Calvinist feels like is the 90-second clip here:
        https://youtu.be/U6QVCP9coII

        The background is as follows:

        – Patrick and SpongeBob have released ManRay (the bad guy in the superhero costume) from prison, convinced they they can rehabilitate him by teaching him to be good.
        – Lesson #1 is returning a lost wallet, and the face-palm moments that result when trying to reason with someone like Patrick.
        – It is followed by Lesson #2 (helping someone carry a heavy box) where Patrick’s unreasonableness pushes ManRay to the brink.

      3. Cool mrteebs!

        The Calvinist example I have is of a sailor who goes to a used car salesman looking for a car.

        The dealer wants to sell him a car that has a permanent mechanical issue – it can’t steer to the right
        The dealer knows the sailor won’t buy the car if he knows the whole truth.

        So when the sailor asks – the dealer says
        I can tell you with perfect honesty – the car has “starboard permitting freedom”

        The sailor assuming that means the car can turn to the right buys the car.

        Afterwards the angry sailor accuses the dealer of lying.
        The dealer then says:
        “You interpreted what I said to mean what you wanted it to mean – I can’t be responsible for that”

      4. br.d writes, “And “Libertarian” choice doesn’t exist for the Calvinist.”

        It exists for the person who has faith but not for the person without faith with regard to salvation.

        Then, “The Calvinist’s ability to determine TRUE from FALSE doesn’t exist.”

        A person, whether Calvinist and non-Calvinist., can discover truth through an accurate understanding tof Scripture.

      5. br.d
        And “Libertarian” choice doesn’t exist for the Calvinist.”

        rhuthcin
        It exists for the person who has faith but not for the person without faith with regard to salvation.

        ———————————————————————————-
        rhutchin
        March 5, 2020 at 6:57 am
        That’s because libertarian choice doesn’t exist.

        br.d
        March 5, 2020 at 9:27 am
        Well then you don’t have it then do you?

        rhutchin
        March 5, 2020 at 9:27 am
        LOL!!! Neither do you.
        ————————————————————————————–

        br.d
        Here is a great example of where the Calvinist is forced to disobey Jesus’ command
        Let you communication be YEA or NAY for anything else comes of evil
        How am I not surprised! :-]

        And since “Libertarian” choice doesn’t exist in a world in which every human choice is pre-determined by Calvin’s god – then, “The Calvinist’s ability to make a “Libertarian” choice between TRUE and FALSE doesn’t exist.

        rhutchin
        A person, whether Calvinist and non-Calvinist., can discover truth through an accurate understanding tof Scripture.

        br.d
        AH! But the Calvinist can’t KNOW if he has an accurate perception of scripture – because his every FALSE perception of scripture (perceived as TRUE) is determined to infallibly come to pass. None of which is UP TO him.

        IF the Calvinist were to know his FALSE perception of scripture were FALSE – then that would falsify the decree that he have that FALSE perception. And an infallible decree cannot be falsified.

        Looks like you’re out of luck rhutchin! :-]

      6. br.d writes, “And “Libertarian” choice doesn’t exist for the Calvinist.”
        rhuthcin: “It exists for the person who has faith but not for the person without faith with regard to salvation.”

        We both know that “libertarian choice” is an imaginary term because no one can define it in a way that makes it different than compatibilist freedom of choice and no one can provide real-kife examples of libertarian choices. People make choices for specific reasons that benefit themselves in some manner (as Calvinist claim). Libertarian choice exists in the imaginations of those who advocate it. So, I will concede that it exists.

        However, with regard to salvation, it should be obvious that a person without faith has no libertarian choice and only those with faith do. A choice made because of faith is not LFW as much as people want to say it is because it reflects the desire of a person to escape the consequences of his sin.

        Then, “the Calvinist can’t KNOW if he has an accurate perception of scripture – because his every FALSE perception of scripture (perceived as TRUE) is determined to infallibly come to pass. None of which is UP TO him.”

        God is smart enough to create a system in which the personal desires of the creature can be expressed freely and voluntarily yet perfectly reflect His will. You disagree.

      7. br.d
        And “Libertarian” choice doesn’t exist for the Calvinist.

        rhuthcin
        it exists for the person who has faith but not for the person without faith with regard to salvation.”

        ———————————————————————————-
        rhutchin
        March 5, 2020 at 6:57 am
        That’s because libertarian choice doesn’t exist.

        br.d
        March 5, 2020 at 9:27 am
        Well then you don’t have it then do you?

        rhutchin
        March 5, 2020 at 9:27 am
        LOL!!! Neither do you.
        ————————————————————————————–

        br.d
        Here we can see that for the Calvinist – “Libertarian” choice both exists and doesn’t exist at the same time.
        Like so many other things in Calvinism! :-]

        rhutchin
        We both know that “libertarian choice” is an imaginary term because no one can define it in a way that makes it different than compatibilist freedom of choice and no one can provide real-kife examples of libertarian choices. People make choices for specific reasons that benefit themselves in some manner (as Calvinist claim). Libertarian choice exists in the imaginations of those who advocate it. So, I will concede that it exists.

        br.d
        Sorry! I’ve seen your YEA/NAY concessions before
        They’re all simply attempts to get oneself out of another corner which IRRATIONAL thinking paints one in.

        But LOGIC clearly tells us this:
        Since Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – determines all of your choices *FOR* you – then it follows:
        – NONE of your choices are UP TO you
        – Your choices WERE determined before you existed – to infallibly occur
        – Your every impulse was determined *FOR* you to infallibly occur
        – Calvin’s god has “certainty” of what choice you will make – because he (and not you) determines what choice you will make
        – Where he determined you to infallibly choose a FALSE perception as TRUE – you CANNOT do otherwise
        – Therefore “Libertarian” choice for you is a LOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY

        The rest of your statement follows from your fallacious thinking – so no need to respond to it.

        Thus the Calvinist can’t KNOW if he has an accurate perception of scripture – because his every FALSE perception of scripture (perceived as TRUE) is determined to infallibly come to pass. None of which is UP TO him.

        rhutchin
        God is smart enough to create a system in which the personal desires of the creature can be expressed freely and voluntarily yet perfectly reflect His will. You disagree.

        br.d
        Now your trying to bluff your way out of your predicament.
        Calvin’s god cannot deny himself
        Calvin’s god cannot create something that mutually excludes itself..
        Calvin’s god has “certainty” of what your choice will be – by determining your choice *FOR* you via infallible decree
        You doing OTHERWISE would falsify the infallible decree
        And the infallible decree cannot be falsified.

        Whatsoever comes to pass” is NOT UP TO YOU.
        And it is a LOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY for you to volunteer something that is NOT UP TO YOU to volunteer.

        Sorry rhutchin – you’re still out of luck!
        No ability to determine TRUE from FALSE for you! :-]

      8. br.d writes, ‘The rest of your statement follows from your fallacious thinking – so no need to respond to it.”

        IOW, br.d cannot deny that LFW is an imaginary term for which even he has no definition that distinguishes LFW from compatibilist free will nor does he have any real life examples of an LFW choice. Maybe someone else can help him out on this. Someone must have an example of a real life LFW choice. Non-Calvinists use the term all the time. Surely one of them has provided an example,

      9. rhutchin
        br.d cannot deny that LFW is an imaginary term for which even he has no definition that distinguishes LFW from compatibilist free will nor does he have any real life examples of an LFW choice.

        br.d
        You are simply speaking for yourself here.
        Distinguishing “Libertarian” choice from “Predetermined/Compatibilist” choice is easy – and has been done here numerous times.

        Calvin’s god does not have his choices made *FOR* him by someone else.
        And he does have the ability to make a choice from an array of options which exist for him to choose.
        Calvin’s god’s impulses are not determined by antecedent factors outside of his control
        Calvin’s god can “Do Otherwise”

        There is no determinism in that – and therefore no compatiblism.

        So when Calvin’s god determined you to infallibly have a FALSE perception (perceived as true) then that determination was not determined *FOR* him – and he could have “Done Otherwise”.
        And that by definition is “Libertarian” choice.

        But that is not the case for you
        Since Calvin’s god determines whatsoever comes to pass – concerning your every impulse and your every perception.
        None of “Whatsoever comes to pass” is UP TO YOU – including your impulses and perceptions.

        Your ability to choose from an array of options is – as you say IMAGINARY.
        Your ability to “do otherwise” than what Calvin’s god infallibly decree is also IMAGINARY

        Sorry rhutchin – you’re still out of luck!
        No ability for you to make a Libertarian choice between TRUE vs FALSE on any proposition
        Your choices are all made *FOR* you..

        But as you say – you can have IMAGINARY “Libertarian” freedom
        You can have IMAGINARY election
        You can have IMAGINARY faith.

        You’ll know if your election and faith were TRUE if you don’t wake up in the lake of fire.

        But if you do wake up in the lake of fire – then you can praise Calvin’s god for the privilege of servicing his good pleasure.

        Now can’t you see how that is a WIN-WIN situation! :-]

      10. br.d writes, “Distinguishing “Libertarian” choice from “Predetermined/Compatibilist” choice is easy – and has been done here numerous times.”

        be says it has been done numerous times yet specific real life examples escape him. The problem here is that LFW is an imaginary concept that has no real life existence – thus, br.d is unable to provide specific real life examples of LFW choices/decisions. He just can’t seem to override people’s desires and create an LFW situation. Then his mind wanders and we get fluff.

      11. br.d
        Distinguishing “Libertarian” choice from “Predetermined/Compatibilist” choice is easy – and has been done here numerous times.”

        rhutchin
        be says it has been done numerous times yet specific real life examples escape him.

        br.d
        *AS-IF* Calvin’s god determining you to have a FALSE perception (perceived as true) is not a real life example
        We have empirical evidence for that particular “real life example” here at SOT101 numerous times.
        And Mr. Spock is still counting :-]

        rhutchin
        The problem here is that LFW is an imaginary concept that has no real life existence – thus, br.d is unable to provide specific real life examples of LFW choices/decisions.

        br.d
        Thank you for confirming that for you “Libertarian” freedom is IMAGINARY
        Thus your previous assertions that people who have faith have “Libertarian” freedom – also confirm that “Libertarian” freedom in your belief system is IMAGINARY.

        rhutchin
        He just can’t seem to override people’s desires and create an LFW situation. Then his mind wanders and we get fluff.

        br.d
        Well – since Calvin’s god determines you to have FALSE perceptions (perceived as true)
        And since in your mind people who have faith have IMAGINARY “Libertarian” freedom
        There is no sense in anyone giving IMAGINARY validity to your perceptions of me. :-]

      12. br.d writes, “We have empirical evidence for that particular “real life example” here at SOT101 numerous times.”

        Still, br.d is unable to provide just one example. Maybe a little double-speak on his part.

        Then, ‘Thank you for confirming that for you “Libertarian” freedom is IMAGINARY”

        LOL!!! I am the one who does not believe LFW is real (but I’ll accept your imaginary concept for now). You are the advocate of LFW, so LFW is the product of your imagination. We know this because you cannot produce a single example of a real life LFW choice/decision – LFW is all pie-in-the-sky.

        Then, “There is no sense in anyone giving IMAGINARY validity to your perceptions of me.”

        So, br.d is reduced to this. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      13. br.d
        *AS-IF* Calvin’s god determining you to have a FALSE perception (perceived as true) is not a real life example.
        We have empirical evidence for that particular “real life example” here at SOT101 numerous times.
        And Mr. Spock is still counting :-]

        rhutchin
        Still, br.d is unable to provide just one example. Maybe a little double-speak on his part.

        br.d
        So lets take the “real life example” that I provided – which you don’t want to acknowledge as a “real life example”.

        When Calvin’s god determined you to have FALSE perceptions (perceived as true)
        1) Was Calvin’s god “free” to do-otherwise?
        2) Or Did Calvin’s god have an array of options – other things he could determine for you – from which to choose?
        3) Was Calvin’s god’s choice to do that to you determined *FOR* him by an external mind?

        Conclusion:
        We have a “real life example” of Calvin’s god exercising a “Libertarian” choice.
        A choice to determined whatsoever comes to pass concerning you.

        Now just because you can’t acknowledge that as a “real life example” doesn’t mean others can’t, :-]

        And BTW: Thank you for confirming that for you “Libertarian” freedom is IMAGINARY”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! I am the one who does not believe LFW is real (but I’ll accept your imaginary concept for now).

        br.d
        rhutchin – again you’re not fooling anyone!
        You’ve asserted multiple times here at SOT101 – people with faith have “Libertarian” freedom.
        And since you’ve also acknowledged that for you “Libertarian” freedom is IMAGINARY – easy to connect the dots.
        Those people you’ve claimed to (by virtue of faith) have “Libertarian” freedom have an IMAGINARY “Libertarian” freedom.

        rhutchin
        You are the advocate of LFW, so LFW is the product of your imagination.

        br.d
        Nah!
        The irony here is you’re need for it – which has been noted here at SOT101 numerous times.
        Your posts here constantly give you away!

        The very “Libertarian” choice that for you is IMAGINARY – coupled with your endless statements designed to make Calvinism *APPEAR* to have it – makes for quite a bit of irony.

        Sorry rhutchin – no ability for you to determine “TRUE vs FALSE” on any proposition
        That – would be a “Libertarian” function which doesn’t exist for you.

        At least Calvin’s god can determine you to IMAGINE yourself having it! :-]

      14. br.d writes, “Now just because you can’t acknowledge that as a “real life example” doesn’t mean others can’t,”

        The issue is not whether God has LFW. The issue is whether people have LFW. You don’t have any real life examples of people exercising LFW in their choices/decisions. I suspect you understand this and that explains hwy you are shifting the argument.

      15. br.d
        “Now just because you can’t acknowledge that as a “real life example” doesn’t mean others can’t,”

        rhutchin
        The issue is not whether God has LFW. The issue is whether people have LFW.

        br.d
        First we establish whether or not “Libertarian” choice exists.
        And the example provided – is accord with the standard definition of “Libertairan” choice

        1) The ability to choose from an array of options
        2) Those options being LOGICALLY available from which to choose
        3) That choice not being made *FOR* you

        So thank you for acknowledging that “Libertarian” choice does exist.

        Well – at least in this post you acknowledge that
        But given historical patterns – you’re bound to post the opposite very soon :-]

        Now where you and I have disagreed on “Libertarian” choice available to humans – is where I agree with what is held by all Reformed and Non-Reformed academia.

        As Paul Helm’s explains:
        “The Westminster confession rules out any form of Libertarian freedom for created beings”

        You have argued that “Libertarian” freedom exists within Theological Determinism/Compatiblism
        You’ve argued it exists for people who have “faith”.

        You need the 3 attributes of “Libertarian” choice listed above to make your system palatable.
        Your strategy is to SMUGGLE those attributes back into your system – under disguise – while rejecting their LABEL.

        I agree with Reformed and Non-Reformed academia on this point – and you don’t.

        As I’ve said before “Libertarian” choice does not exist within Theological Determinism any more than air exists within a perfect vacuum.

      16. br.d writes, “And the example provided – is accord with the standard definition of “Libertairan” choice
        1) The ability to choose from an array of options
        2) Those options being LOGICALLY available from which to choose
        3) That choice not being made *FOR* you”

        This si no different that compatibilist free will.
        1) The ability to choose from an array of options according to one’s desires
        2) Those options being LOGICALLY available from which to choose ordered by one’s desires
        3) That choice not being made *FOR* you” but arising from the greatest desire.

        To be LFW, you would have:
        1) The ability to choose from an array of options unencumbered by any personal desire
        2) Those options being LOGICALLY available from which to choose free of personal desire
        3) That choice not being made *FOR* you” without the choice being influenced of one’s desires.
        LFW is an imaginary concept that has not been shown to exist. If not, br.d could give us an array of options that might exists where LFW can be exercised.

        Then, “As Paul Helm’s explains:
        “The Westminster confession rules out any form of Libertarian freedom for created beings””

        That because LFW is seen as an imaginary concept for which no real life examples or proof exists for created beings.

        Then, “You’ve argued it exists for people who have “faith”.”

        I have argued that LFW, if it exists, can only exist in the presence of faith. (Here we understand that salvation is the point of LFW).

        Then, “You need the 3 attributes of “Libertarian” choice listed above to make your system palatable.”

        So, we know that LFW does not exist because you cannot separate your 3 pints from a person’s desires and if you allow desires to determine the choice made, then your system reduces to compatibilist free will. You cannot come up with a real-life example of LFW that people face, so why argue it..

        Then, “I agree with Reformed and Non-Reformed academia on this point – and you don’t.”

        Agree with what – that LFW is imaginary??

      17. br.d
        And the example provided – is accord with the standard definition of “Libertairan” choice
        1) The ability to choose from an array of options
        2) Those options being LOGICALLY available from which to choose
        3) That choice not being made *FOR* you”

        rhutchin
        This si no different that compatibilist free will.
        1) The ability to choose from an array of options according to one’s desires
        2) Those options being LOGICALLY available from which to choose ordered by one’s desires
        3) That choice not being made *FOR* you” but arising from the greatest desire.

        br.d
        In your IMAGINARY form of “Libertarian” choice only
        1) Calvin’s god can only have “certainty” of what option you to have and choose you make by determining that one option *FOR* you
        So your perception that there are multiple options from which to choose is simply an ILLUSION.
        Part of your IMAGINARY “Libertarian” choice
        Calvin’s god “renders-certain” what choice you make. And an alternative option from what he “rendered-certain” would falsify what it “rendered-certain”. So no – there is only one option for you – that option which Calvin’s god “rendered-certain”.

        rhutchin be LFW, you would have:
        1) The ability to choose from an array of options unencumbered by any personal desire

        br.d
        FALSE
        That is a STRAW-MAN version of “Libertarian” choice.

        The example established is Calvin’s god – who has “Libertarian” choice
        And that choice is compatible with his desires – but not determined by his desires
        And his desires are not determined *FOR* him either

        Calvin’s god has “Libertarian” choice.
        And those are its attributes

        rhutchin
        2) Those options being LOGICALLY available from which to choose free of personal desire

        br.d
        FALSE
        As shown above

        rhutchin
        3) That choice not being made *FOR* you” without the choice being influenced of one’s desires.

        br.d
        FA:LSE
        As shown above

        rhutchin
        LFW is an imaginary concept that has not been shown to exist.

        br.d
        Here is where I knew you would flip over from acknowledging “Libertarian” choice does exist (i.e. for Calvin’s god) to asserting it doesn’t exist. Nothing new here! :-]

        rhutchin
        If not, br.d could give us an array of options that might exists where LFW can be exercised.

        br.d
        Already gave it – Calvin’s god had an array of options from which to choose concerning you.
        And out that array of options he choose to give you a FALSE perception.

        But as I said the 3 aspects of “Libertarian” choice do not exist for the creature within Theological Determinism
        “As Paul Helm’s explains:
        “The Westminster confession rules out any form of Libertarian freedom for created beings””

        rhutchin
        That because LFW is seen as an imaginary concept for which no real life examples or proof exists for created beings.

        br.d
        Someday perhaps you will make up your mind.
        If “Libertarian” choice doesn’t exist then Calvin’s god doesn’t have it.
        And asserting that people with faith have it is just more DOUBLE-SPEAK

        rhutchin
        I have argued that LFW, if it exists, can only exist in the presence of faith. (Here we understand that salvation is the point of LFW).

        br.d
        FALSE
        You specifically asserted that “Libertarian” freedom exists for those who have faith.
        And when I disagreed – you continued with it in multiple posts
        Now your simply trying to get yourself out of the corner you painted yourself in – because you actually need aspects of “Libertarian” freedom to make your system palatable.

        You need the 3 attributes of “Libertarian” choice listed above to make your system palatable.

        rhutchin
        So, we know that LFW does not exist because you cannot separate your 3 pints from a person’s desires

        br.d
        Well that conclusion follows from your STRAW-MAN – which I showed to be FALSE.
        If that conclusion is true – then it must be true for Calvin’s god.

        So I agree with Reformed and Non-Reformed academia on this point – and you don’t.

        rhutchin
        Agree with what – that LFW is imaginary??

        br.d
        No one is fooled by your evasion tactics rhutchin
        I asked you multiple times to give one single quote from Reformed academic source – such as Paul Helms – to prove your assertion that “Libertarian” freedom exists for those who have faith. You simply did your dancing routine – which is what we’re seeing now.

      18. rhutchin: “To be LFW, you would have: 1) The ability to choose from an array of options unencumbered by any personal desire
        br.d: “FALSE That is a STRAW-MAN version of “Libertarian” choice.”

        You seem to be saying that LFW allows for a person’s desires. That makes LFW no different than compatibilist freedom. Thus, LFW is an illusion. My statement, “LFW is an imaginary concept that has not been shown to exist,” is correct according to br.d.

        Then, rhutchin: “If not, br.d could give us an array of options that might exists where LFW can be exercised.”
        br.d: “Already gave it – Calvin’s god had an array of options from which to choose concerning you.”

        br.d quotes Pail Helm to say, The Westminster confession rules out any form of Libertarian freedom for created beings” Note Helm’s use of the term, “created beings.” Yet br,d when arguing for LFW always uses God as the example. Hmmmm!

        Then br.d will argue, “If “Libertarian” choice doesn’t exist then Calvin’s god doesn’t have it. And asserting that people with faith have it is just more DOUBLE-SPEAK” If br.d will use the Westminster Confession, then the issue is LFW in created beings and no one is born with faith. It is only with faith that a person could express LFW but this LFW is no more than compatilbilist free will. LFW is an illusion that br.d must address with double-speak in order to make his case and hope that no one catches on.

        Then, “You specifically asserted that “Libertarian” freedom exists for those who have faith.
        And when I disagreed – you continued with it in multiple posts
        Now your simply trying to get yourself out of the corner you painted yourself in – because you actually need aspects of “Libertarian” freedom to make your system palatable.”

        br.d is not arguing against my statement, ““Libertarian” freedom exists for those who have faith.” he is arguing that I need LFW. In this case, LFW reduces to compatibilist free will making LFW an illusion. I don’t really need LFW. br.d just wishes that I did.

        Then, ‘I asked you multiple times to give one single quote from Reformed academic source – such as Paul Helms – to prove your assertion that “Libertarian” freedom exists for those who have faith. You simply did your dancing routine – which is what we’re seeing now.”

        Here, br.d seems to accept my argument that LFW could not exist without faith. Maybe he can grasp the idea that LFW reduces to compatibilist free will. He essentially did this by incorporating “desire” into a person’s allegedly LFW choices earlier in his comments.

      19. rhutchin:
        To be LFW, you would have: 1) The ability to choose from an array of options unencumbered by any personal desire

        br.d: “FALSE That is a STRAW-MAN version of “Libertarian” choice.”

        rhutchin
        You seem to be saying that LFW allows for a person’s desires.

        br.d
        You have the “real life example” provided.
        Calvin’s god made a choice to determine you to have a FALSE perception.

        And you want to argue that his choice was “encumbered” by his desires?

        Nothing makes that LOGICALLY NECESSARY.
        1) He is able to choose from a range of options
        2) All of those options exist as LOGICALLY available for him to choose
        3) His choice is not determined *FOR* him – and that includes his ability to not be dominated or controlled by his desires.
        His choices are consistent with his desires – not controlled by them

        rhutchin
        That makes LFW no different than compatibilist freedom.

        br.d
        FALSE
        Lets example these again – one at a time.
        1) He is able to choose from a range of options

        That is not an attribute of determinism/compatibilism – because in Theological Determinism/Compatiblism – Calvin’s god “renders-certain” what your choice will be. Any alternative from that would falsify what Calvin’s god “rendered-certain”.
        Your choice was predestined in advance – which means the only option you have was predestined in advance.

        Your idea that you have a range of options from which to choose is what you call IMAGINARY
        You have the ILLUSION of having multiple options from which to choose – while one and only one predestined option exists for you to choose.

        As Peter Van Inwagen states it:
        -quote
        “Determinism may now be defined – it is the thesis that there is only one physically possible future at any instant in time.”

        In other words Theological Determinism eradicates the “Principle of Alternative Possibilities” (i.e. PAP)

        rhutchin
        Thus, LFW is an illusion.

        br.d
        Since we are using Calvin’s god’s choice as an example – it follows with your statement here that Calvin’s god’s choices are made *FOR* him by facts outside of his control. Which in this case you’ve asserted are his desires.

        So the attributes I’ve listed are thus ILLUSIONS for Calvin’s god.

        rhutchin
        My statement, “LFW is an imaginary concept that has not been shown to exist,” is correct according to br.d.

        br.d
        rhutchin – you’re not fooling anyone with those evasive tactics.
        If you want to say “Libertarian” choice is IMAGINARY – then you have to say its IMAGINARY for Calvin’s god.

        rhutchin
        br.d quotes Pail Helm to say, The Westminster confession rules out any form of Libertarian freedom for created beings” Note Helm’s use of the term, “created beings.” Yet br,d when arguing for LFW always uses God as the example. Hmmmm!

        br.d
        Already addressed this.
        First we establish that Calvin’s god’s has “Libertarian” choice – by looking at the attributes of his choice – and distinguishing them from creaturely choices which are 100% determined *FOR* them by factors outside of their control.

        Thus we first establish that “Libertarian” freedom does exist by differentiating its attributes from the attributes of Determinism/Compatiblism.

        And its becoming obvious that you are doing every thing you can to avoid that.

        You also have two other strategies.
        – To SMUGGLE those very attributes of “Libertarian” choice back into the very system which eradicates them – to make your system palatable.
        – To create Deterministic SIMULATIONS of IN-determinism – (SIMULATIONS of the very “Libertarian” choice you argue is IMAGINARY) – also to make your system palatable.

        Your strategy has already been observed by Dr. William James
        -quote
        The Compatibilists strategy relies upon *STEALING* the *NAME* of freedom to mask their underlying determinism. They make a pretense of restoring the caged bird to liberty with one hand, while with the other they anxiously tie a string to its leg to make sure it can’t get beyond determinism’s grasp.

        You claim to reject “Libertarian” choice – but all you’re really rejecting is the *NAME* “Libertarian”.
        You can then attempt to *STEAL* the attributes of “Libertarian” choice – trying to make them *APPEAR* to exist within Theological Determinism. The very system which eradicates them.

        rhutchin
        Then br.d will argue, “If “Libertarian” choice doesn’t exist then Calvin’s god doesn’t have it.

        br.d
        Are all of Calvin’s god choices determined *FOR* him or not?
        Let your communication be YEA or NAY

        rhutchin
        And asserting that people with faith have it is just more DOUBLE-SPEAK”

        br.d
        You asserted people with faith have “Libertarian” choice – and then asserted “Libertarian” choice is IMAGINARY.
        Thus DOUBLE-SPEAK

        rhutchin
        If br.d will use the Westminster Confession, then the issue is LFW in created beings and no one is born with faith.
        It is only with faith that a person could express LFW but this LFW is no more than compatilbilist free will. LFW is an illusion that br.d must address with double-speak in order to make his case and hope that no one catches on.

        br.d
        Here you have a ROYAL SELF-CONTRADICTION
        – “Libertarian” choice is an ILLUSION
        – “Libertarian” choice is no more than compatiblist free will.

        Thus your reasoning follows compatiblist free will is an ILLUSION.

        You specifically asserted that “Libertarian” freedom exists for those who have faith.
        And when I disagreed – you continued with it in multiple posts
        Now your simply trying to get yourself out of the corner you painted yourself in – because you actually need aspects of “Libertarian” freedom to make your system palatable.

        rhutchin
        br.d is not arguing against my statement, ““Libertarian” freedom exists for those who have faith.”

        br.d.
        Anyone with a RATIONAL mind can see that is false. :-]

        rhutchin
        he is arguing that I need LFW.

        br.d
        Anyone with a RATIONAL mind can see that is true
        By *STEALING* the attributes of “Libertarian” choice and trying to make them *APPEAR* to exist in Theological Determinism.
        By IRRATIONALLY asserting that those attributes are the attributes of compatiblism
        By trying to make Deterministic SIMULATIONS of IN-determinism.
        All to make Calvinism palatable.

        rhutchin
        In this case, LFW reduces to compatibilist free will making LFW an illusion. I don’t really need LFW. br.d just wishes that I did.

        br.d
        The irony here – is if you didn’t need “Libertarian” choice – you wouldn’t spend so much trying to manufacture SIMULATIONS of it into Calvinism :-]

        Concerning your assertion that “Libertarian” choice exists with those who have faith – I asked you multiple times to give one single quote from Reformed academic source – such as Paul Helms – to prove your assertion that “Libertarian” freedom exists for those who have faith. You simply did your dancing routine – which is what we’re seeing now.”

        rhutchin
        Here, br.d seems to accept my argument that LFW could not exist without faith.

        br.d
        Beam me up, Scotty – there is no INTELLIGENT life here? :-]

        rhutchin
        Maybe he can grasp the idea that LFW reduces to compatibilist free will. He essentially did this by incorporating “desire” into a person’s allegedly LFW choices earlier in his comments.

        br.d
        Where did you see me do that – you did what you call “make that up”

        I provided the attributes of Calvin’s god’s choice
        1) He can choose from a range of options
        2) All of which are LOGICALLY available for him to choose
        3) His choices are not determined *FOR* him (including his desires. Which simply means his choices are consistent with his desires – but not controlled by them)

        All of those attributes are eradicated by Determinism/Compatiblism – as I’ve LOGICALLY shown.

      20. br.d writes, ‘First we establish that Calvin’s god’s has “Libertarian” choice – by looking at the attributes of his choice – and distinguishing them from creaturely choices which are 100% determined *FOR* them by factors outside of their control.”

        You have yet to prove “creaturely choices which are 100% determined *FOR* them by factors outside of their control.” I have shown that God made man in His image conveying specific attributes to them that enter into the process that God uses to determine outcomes. Because of these attributes, God, having created the world, and understanding all that results from that action does not have to force, nor Did God hinder, Adam to eat the fruit nor Cain to kill his brother nor Sodom to engage in wrongful behavior. You claim is thta Adam’s desires were outside his control. That is the way God made people. They develop desires in the course of their lives that are not forced on them by God, nor hindered by God, and they cannot escape their desires.

        Regardless, let’s deny God a perfect understanding of the events that would follow His creation of the world. If that were the case, history would be no different than what we know to have happened. The only difference would be that God would not understand the implications of the “counsel of His will” and would have to improvise along the way to achieve His purposes.

      21. br.d
        ‘First we establish that Calvin’s god’s has “Libertarian” choice – by looking at the attributes of his choice – and distinguishing them from creaturely choices which are 100% determined *FOR* them by factors outside of their control.”

        rhutcnin
        You have yet to prove “creaturely choices which are 100% determined *FOR* them by factors outside of their control.”

        br.d
        Well – since you are constantly trying to make Theological Determinism *APPEAR* IN-Deterministic I can see how you come to that conclusion

        But to do so – you must ignore the academic definition of Theological Determinism and its LOGICAL consequences.
        For you example – a world in which Calvin’s god determines “Whatsoever comes to pass” via infallible decrees – you want humans to be -quote “self-determining” *AS-IF* their determinations were not already 100% determined *FOR* them by infallible decrees.

        rhutchin
        I have shown that God made man in His image conveying specific attributes to them that enter into the process that God uses to determine outcomes.

        br.d
        You do this by ignoring the difference between Calvin’s god’s image and the image he created for man.
        You want the image to be the same – by ignoring the what determines Calvin’s god’s choices

        Does someone or something other than Calvin’s god determine his choices *FOR* him?
        YEA or NAY?

        If Yes – then you have Determinism
        If No – then you have IN-determinism – and that is not man’s image in Calvinism

        You like to craft statements that present a PRETENSE of man’s desires not determined to infallibly occur by Calvin’s god .
        This is just more SEMANTIC trickery – to make Calvinism *APPEAR* less deterministic.

        This is simply an evasion tactic which seeks to DENY the fact in Calvinism “Whatsoever comes to pass” (including creaturely desires) is determined *FOR* creature by infallible decrees at the foundation of the world.

        rhutchin
        Because of these attributes, God, having created the world, and understanding all that results from that action does not have to force,

        br.d
        The only one you are fooling with this tactic is yourself.
        Everyone already knows that all creaturely attributes are determined EXCLUSIVELY by Calvin’s god.
        Your Non-Calvinist depiction of him looking into his looking-glass of infinite understanding and observing creaturely attributes *AS-IF* he didn’t determine them – simply fails.

        rhutchin
        nor Did God hinder, Adam to eat the fruit

        br.d
        Divine intervention in Calvinism – is just another attempt to manufacture an *APPEARANCE* of an IN-deterministic world

        Calvin’s god cannot hinder what is infallibly decreed to come to pass.
        The only way you get this is – as you say – by Calvin’s god building intervention into the script of “Whatsoever comes to pass”
        That’s why non-Calvinist often call Calvinism a puppet show

        Calvin’s god determined Adam would eat the fruit before Adam exists.
        For Adam to be/do otherwise – would falsify the infallible decree – which is LOGICALLY impossible
        Theological Determinism eradicates “PAP” – the Principle of Alternative Possibilities”
        Therefore Adam had no “Alternative Possibilities”

        rhtuchin
        nor Cain to kill his brother

        br.d
        Same answer as above.
        The infallible decree that Cain kill his brother was NOT UP TO CAIN.
        And Cain cannot falsify an infallible decree
        Cain could not “Do otherwise” than obey the decree

        rhutchin
        nor Sodom to engage in wrongful behavior.

        br.d
        Sodom had no ability to invalidate an infallible decree either
        Hence Sodom could not Do-Otherwise

        rhutchin
        You claim is thta Adam’s desires were outside his control.

        br.d
        Having been determined to infallibly come to pass at the exact microseconds in time – yes
        Infallible decrees which were determined when Adam was not around to have any say in the matter
        Calvin’s god does not ask Adam for his input on what he’s going to decree concerning Adam! :-]

        rhutchin
        That is the way God made people. They develop desires in the course of their lives that are not forced on them by God

        br.d
        By this you seek to EVADE the fact that those desires are “fixed-in-the-past” by infallible decrees from which there is no escape.

        Here again – you are simply trying to EVADE your own belief system

        UNIVERSAL: Means everything without exception – no exclusions
        DIVINE: A reference to a THEOS
        CAUSAL: A reference to cause and effect – with emphasis on causation.
        DETERMINISM: The thesis of determinism

        CONCLUSION:
        100% of everything in every part is determined *FOR* the creatures by a THEOS.

        And this is why John Calvin says
        -quote “go about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part”
        Because in his belief system – everything is determined in every part.

        So Calvinists – in order to maintain a sense of normalcy and alignment with scripture – are instructed to evade the foundational proposition of their belief system “going about *AS-IF* it is false”

        Which is where we get Calvinism’s DOUBLE-THINK

        rhutchin
        Regardless, let’s deny God a perfect understanding of the events that would follow His creation of the world. If that were the case, history would be no different than what we know to have happened. The only difference would be that God would not understand the implications of the “counsel of His will” and would have to improvise along the way to achieve His purposes.

        br.d
        *AS-IF* Nothing is determined in any part – is going to be identical to everything being determined in every part. :-]

        LOGIC does not NECESSITATE those two worlds as being identical.
        This ad-hoc invention is more ILLOGICAL than your last one
        You are grasping at straws again.

      22. br.d writes, “Does someone or something other than Calvin’s god determine his choices *FOR* him?
        YEA or NAY?
        If Yes – then you have Determinism
        If No – then you have IN-determinism – and that is not man’s image in Calvinism”

        The answer is, No, but this is not necessarily indeterminism. God’s use of secondary forces that are subordinate to His will enable people to participate in their own choices with the choices made being perfectly understood by God and subject to His will – thereby determined by Him.

      23. br.d
        Does someone or something other than Calvin’s god determine his choices *FOR* him?
        YEA or NAY?

        If Yes – then you have Determinism
        If No – then you have IN-determinism – and that is not man’s image in Calvinism”

        rhutchin
        The answer is, No,

        br.d
        Good!
        But I already know you will flip-flop on this in your next post!
        Its part of Calvinism’s YEA-NAY language :-]

        rhutchin
        but this is not necessarily indeterminism. God’s use of secondary forces that are subordinate to His will enable people to participate in their own choices with the choices made being perfectly understood by God and subject to His will – thereby determined by Him.

        br.d
        The point here is to focus on Calvin’s god’s image.
        It is either determined or IN-determined.

        So far – you’ve answered “No” to the question of whether Calvin’s god’s choices are determined *FOR* him by someone or something.

        So that establishes Calvin’s god’s image.

        Now the next question is:
        What percentage of “Whatsoever comes to pass” concerning the creature – is determined at the foundation of the world EXCLUSIVELY by Calvin’s god *FOR* each creature.

        Does Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – determine “Whatsoever comes to pass”?
        YEA or NAY?

      24. br.d asks “Does Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – determine “Whatsoever comes to pass”?
        YEA or NAY?”

        Yes, This by means of omniscience. “Whatsoever comes to pass” plays out exactly as contained in God’s omniscient knowledge. Even you have not argued against this conclusion. So, what is your point?

      25. br.d
        Does Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – determine “Whatsoever comes to pass”?
        YEA or NAY?”

        rhutchin
        Yes,

        br.d
        Good!

        And does he – at the foundation of the world – determine 100% of “Whatsoever comes to pass”?
        YEA or NAY?

      26. br.d asks ‘And does he – at the foundation of the world – determine 100% of “Whatsoever comes to pass”?
        YEA or NAY?”

        Yes. This substantiated by His omniscience. “Whatsoever comes to pass” plays out exactly as contained in God’s omniscient knowledge. Even you do not deny this. God determined all that was to happen by the events described in Genesis 1. Secondary causes come into play after Genesis 1. How this happens is described in Isaiah 10 and in the events surrounding the death of Christ and other Scripture.

      27. br.d
        And does Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – determine 100% of “Whatsoever comes to pass”?
        YEA or NAY?”

        rhutchin
        Yes…..This substantiated by His omniscience. …etc

        br.d
        Good – you acknowledge that Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – determines 1005 of “Whatsoever comes to pass”

        So Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – determines 100% of “Whatsoever comes to pass”
        Every micro-second and every micro-aspect of every micro-component of every creature.
        All of their impulses, desires, choices, etc, 100% determined *FOR* them by someone other than themsleves.
        100% determined – exactly as Calvin’s god’s conceives them.
        And all of that determined precreation.

        So you acknowledge this as Calvin’s god’s image:
        0% of Calvin’s god’s impulses, desires, and choices are determined *FOR* him by someone/something other than himself.

        And you acknowledge this as the creature’s image
        100% of his impulses, desires, and choices determined *FOR* him – by someone other than himself.

        CONCLUSION:
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the image of Calvin’s god and the image of the creature are not one and the same.
        ZERO% of Calvin’s god’s impulses, desires, choices are determined *FOR* him by someone other than himself
        100% of the creatures impulses, desires, choices are determined *FOR* him by someone other than himself.

        *BIG DIFFERENCE* in those two images.

      28. br.d writes, ‘And you acknowledge this as the creature’s image
        100% of his impulses, desires, and choices determined *FOR* him – by someone other than himself.”

        Nor exactly. Determined by God’s direct action or through secondary means, including the person’s own voluntary decisions/actions.. All this enshrined in God’s omniscience.

        Then, “CONCLUSION:
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the image of Calvin’s god and the image of the creature are not one and the same.
        ZERO% of Calvin’s god’s impulses, desires, choices are determined *FOR* him by someone other than himself
        100% of the creatures impulses, desires, choices are determined *FOR* him by someone other than himself.”

        The last part, “100% of the creatures impulses, desires, choices are determined *FOR* him by someone other than himself.” is not true.

        Then, “*BIG DIFFERENCE* in those two images.”

        No one ever said they were the same.

      29. br.d
        And you acknowledge this as the creature’s image
        100% of his impulses, desires, and choices determined *FOR* him – by someone other than himself.”

        rhutchin
        Nor exactly. Determined by God’s direct action or through secondary means, including the person’s own voluntary decisions/actions.. All this enshrined in God’s omniscience.

        br.d
        And 100% of Calvin’s god’s direct actions, and his secondary means – are determined at the foundation of the world – EXCLUSIVELY by Calvin’s god?
        YEA or NAY?

        br.d
        And 100% of “Whatsoever comes to pass” concerning each person’s voluntary decisions/actions are determined at the foundation of the world – EXCLUSIVELY by Calvin’s god?
        YEA or NAY?

        rhutchin
        The last part, “100% of the creatures impulses, desires, choices are determined *FOR* him by someone other than himself.” is not true.

        br.d
        Thanks rhutchin – I think SOT101 readers will be savvy enough to see the evasion tactic here. :-]

        CONCLUSION:
        *BIG DIFFERENCE* in those two images.

        rhutchin
        No one ever said they were the same.

        br.d
        Thanks
        And we can see how the LOGICAL consequences of Theological Determinism makes it a *BIG DIFFERENCE*

        BTW:
        We can unpackage Calvinism’s PRETENSE of creatures having “voluntary” decisions/actions in a different thread.

      30. br.d writes, “And 100% of Calvin’s god’s direct actions, and his secondary means – are determined at the foundation of the world – EXCLUSIVELY by Calvin’s god?
        YEA or NAY?”

        Determined by virtue of God’s perfect understanding of all future impacts included in God’s decree to create including direct acts by God and secondary acts by means other than direct acts by God. So, Yes.

        Then, “And we can see how the LOGICAL consequences of Theological Determinism makes it a *BIG DIFFERENCE*”

        Of course, the Scripture makes it a *BIG DIFFERENCE*

      31. br.d
        And 100% of Calvin’s god’s direct actions, and his secondary means – are determined at the foundation of the world – EXCLUSIVELY by Calvin’s god?
        YEA or NAY?”

        rhutchin
        Determined by virtue of God’s perfect understanding of all future impacts included in God’s decree to create including direct acts by God and secondary acts by means other than direct acts by God. So, Yes.

        br.d
        Thank you for that YEA

        Now – lets say Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – while in his mind conceiving who/what you would be/do – determined that you would infallibly volunteer [X] at time [T].

        If you do NOT volunteer [X] at time [T] – then you would falsify a divine infallible decree.

        Are you free do to that?
        YEA – NAY?

      32. br.d writes, “Now – lets say Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – while in his mind conceiving who/what you would be/do – determined that you would infallibly volunteer [X] at time [T].
        If you do NOT volunteer [X] at time [T] – then you would falsify a divine infallible decree.
        Are you free do to that?
        YEA – NAY?”

        You are free in that you voluntarily respond to your circumstances based on your desires which are shaped by factors internal and external to you and you are not forced by God, as the immediate cause, to choose one outcome over another.

      33. br.d
        Now – lets say Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – while in his mind conceiving who/what you would be/do – determined that you would infallibly volunteer [X] at time [T].

        If you do NOT volunteer [X] at time [T] – then you would falsify a divine infallible decree.
        Are you free do to that?
        YEA – NAY?”

        rhutchin
        You are free in that you voluntarily respond to your circumstances based on your desires which are shaped by factors internal and external to you and you are not forced by God, as the immediate cause, to choose one outcome over another.

        br.d
        The question is: Are you free to falsify a divine infallible decree?
        YEA or NAY?

      34. br.d writes, “The question is: Are you free to falsify a divine infallible decree?
        YEA or NAY?”

        Yes. God’s understanding is the basis for the divine infallible decree and understanding does not negate freedom. Freedom exists even though God knows the outcome with absolute certainty. Only coercion destroys freedom.

      35. br.d
        The question is: Are you free to falsify a divine infallible decree?
        YEA or NAY?”

        rhutchin
        Yes. God’s understanding is the basis for the divine infallible decree and understanding does not negate freedom. Freedom exists even though God knows the outcome with absolute certainty. Only coercion destroys freedom.

        br.d
        So you are arguing that Calvin’s god’s infallible decree will allow a fallible creature falsify that infallible decree?
        Thereby making it NOT infallible.
        YEA or NAY?

      36. br.d writes, ‘So you are arguing that Calvin’s god’s infallible decree will allow a fallible creature falsify that infallible decree?
        Thereby making it NOT infallible.
        YEA or NAY?”

        The infallible decree incorporates the person’s choices, so no person will actually falsify the decree. So, Yes to “So you are arguing that Calvin’s god’s infallible decree will allow a fallible creature falsify that infallible decree?” The conclusion, “Thereby …” is a false conclusion. It should say, “Thereby making it NOT infallible if, and only if, the person makes a choice that falsifies the decree.” So, No, to the conclusion as stated.

      37. rhutchin
        The conclusion….It should say, “Thereby making it NOT infallible if, and only if, the person makes a choice that falsifies the decree.” So, No, to the conclusion as stated.

        br.d
        Thank you rhutchin – for an excellent example of Calvinist language!
        An infallible decree can be made NOT infallible by a fallible person – if and only if that person makes a choice that falsified the decree.

        To the SOT101 reader:
        This language is what Peter Van Inwage calls a “Hidden Subjunctive Conditional”

        So if you keep your eyes out for them – you will find Calvinist statements are saturated with them.

      38. br.d
        So you are arguing that Calvin’s god’s infallible decree will allow a fallible creature to falsify that infallible decree?
        Thereby making it NOT infallible.
        YEA or NAY?”

        rhutchin
        The infallible decree incorporates the person’s choices, so no person will actually falsify the decree…..etc

        br.d
        Thanks for that NAY

        It is possible that Calvin’s god’s decree which includes a person’s every choice *CAN* be such that the person doesn’t choose to falsify the infallible decree.

        However Calvin’s god is not limited such that he can’t determine you to choose something that he has not made available for you to do.

        There is nothing that limits him from decreeing your choice to NOT volunteer [X] – while decreeing you to volunteer [X].
        So his decree of what your choice will be is not really substantive anyway.

        But we have the substantive LOGIC of (given Calvinism’s current doctrine of decrees) Calvin’s god’s infallible decree by its very nature – cannot be falsified or made infallible – based on the LOGICAL law of NON-CONTRADICTION – (i.e. something infallible cannot be made fallible.)

        Anyway – no need to get side tracked down rabbit holes!

        So thank you for your answers so far
        This allows us to proceed LOGICALLY.

        So we’ve established:
        1) You gave YEA to the question:
        100% of Calvin’s god’s direct actions, and his secondary means – are determined at the foundation of the world – EXCLUSIVELY by Calvin’s god

        2) You gave NAY to the question:
        Given Calvin’s god’s infallible decree that you volunteer [X] – is it a given for you to falsify that infallible decree thereby making in fallible by NOT volunteering [X].

        So we’ve established a reality within Calvinism’s doctrines of decrees given what they are currently.
        Where Calvin’s god decrees you to infallibly volunteer [X] you can and will volunteer[X] – and you cannot and won’t not volunteer [X]

        So next we will see what happens when it is Calvin’s god’s eternal will – that you never volunteer[X]

        Here:
        Calvin’s god knows that it is his eternal will that you never volunteer[X] and he will never decree you to volunteer[X]
        Since he knows he will never decree you to volunteer[X] – he has “Certainty” in his knowledge that you will never volunteer[X]

        Now given everything as it currently stands
        If you were to volunteer[X] – you would be falsifying what Calvin’s god knows.
        And I’m sure you will say that there is no way you will falsify what Calvin’s god knows?
        YEA or NAY?

      39. br.d writes, “It is possible that Calvin’s god’s decree which includes a person’s every choice *CAN* be such that the person doesn’t choose to falsify the infallible decree.”

        Not just possible, but certain. That the result of God’s infinite understanding.

        Then, ‘But we have the substantive LOGIC of (given Calvinism’s current doctrine of decrees) Calvin’s god’s infallible decree by its very nature – cannot be falsified or made infallible – based on the LOGICAL law of NON-CONTRADICTION – (i.e. something infallible cannot be made fallible.)”

        Once God makes a decision, there is no reason for Him to second guess that decision.

        Then, ‘So we’ve established:
        1) You gave YEA to the question:
        100% of Calvin’s god’s direct actions, and his secondary means – are determined at the foundation of the world – EXCLUSIVELY by Calvin’s god”

        Yes. This we know by God’s decree to create. In creating the world, God determined all that was to follow regardless the means whereby it would come about.

        Then, “Where Calvin’s god decrees you to infallibly volunteer [X] you can and will volunteer[X] – and you cannot and won’t not volunteer [X]”

        This because of God’s infinite understanding.

        Then, “Since he knows he will never decree you to volunteer[X] – he has “Certainty” in his knowledge that you will never volunteer[X]”

        God has certainty that person will never volunteer by His understanding of the impacts of His possible decrees. It is God’s will to act that issues the decree (that you will not volunteer[X]) and the decree is His knowledge of all events under the decree.

        Then, ‘If you were to volunteer[X] – you would be falsifying what Calvin’s god knows.
        And I’m sure you will say that there is no way you will falsify what Calvin’s god knows?
        YEA or NAY?”

        Yes. If you were to volunteer, then God would have had a false understanding of the impacts His decree meaning that He would not really be God.

      40. br.d
        If you were to volunteer[X] – you would be falsifying what Calvin’s god knows.
        And I’m sure you will say that there is no way you will falsify what Calvin’s god knows?
        YEA or NAY?”

        rhutchin
        Yes…..etc

        br.d
        Thanks for that YEA

        Ok – here is what we see so far.
        – You volunteering [X] will be the consequence of Calvin’s god’s infallible decree – and the infallible decree is NOT UP TO YOU
        – Since falsifying an infallible decree is ruled out – then you NOT volunteering[X] in this case would be ruled out.
        – And what Calvin’s god’s infallible decree rules out is NOT UP TO YOU

        – You NOT volunteering [X] will be what Calvin’s god’s knows – and what Calvin’s god knows is NOT UP TO YOU
        – Since falsifying what Calvin’s god knows is ruled out – then you volunteering[X] in this case would be ruled out
        – And what Calvin’s god’s knowledge rules out is NOT UP TO YOU

        So it looks to me like:
        – Every [X] that exists – is exclusively UP TO Calvin’s god – rather than being UP TO YOU
        – And 100% of “Whatsoever comes to pass” concerning every [X] is exclusively UP TO Calvin’s god

        So since Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – determined 100% of “Whatsoever” concerning [X] – then what percent of “Whatsoever” concerning [X] does that leave that is UP TO YOU?

      41. br.d writes, “Ok – here is what we see so far.
        – You volunteering [X] will be the consequence of Calvin’s god’s infallible decree – and the infallible decree is NOT UP TO YOU.

        The decree is issued by God so, obviously, it is not up to you. God’s decree reflects His infinite understanding and God’s understanding of people incorporates their desires into the decree. Thus, God, by His decree, is saying that future events are up to people as people will self-determine the decisions they make and the actions they take. So, br.d can decide to write a comment on Sot101 determined by his desire to do so and without being provoked to do so by God.

        Then, “– Since falsifying an infallible decree is ruled out – then you NOT volunteering[X] in this case would be ruled out.”

        Falsifying the decree is ruled out as such would oppose a person’s desire. A person will not voluntarily do something that he has no desire for and this God understood when He created the world.

        Then, “– And what Calvin’s god’s infallible decree rules out is NOT UP TO YOU”

        God’s decree incorporates the desires of people so that the fulfillment of the decree depends on a person behaving exactly as God decreed but without any provocation by God to fulfill His decree.

        You derive your conclusions from your humanist philosophy and leave out God’s infinite understanding of all future outcomes. We see your humanist philosophy playing out in the following:

        – You NOT volunteering [X] will be what Calvin’s god’s knows – and what Calvin’s god knows is NOT UP TO YOU.

        By His infinite understanding, God knows that parts of His decree are up to people.

        Then, ‘– Since falsifying what Calvin’s god knows is ruled out – then you volunteering[X] in this case would be ruled out”

        Falsifying God’s decree is ruled out by God’s infinite understanding of His creation.

        Then, “– And what Calvin’s god’s knowledge rules out is NOT UP TO YOU”

        God’s infinite understanding rules it in and God’s omniscience makes it certain with the desires of people making it necessary.

        Then, ‘So it looks to me like:
        – Every [X] that exists – is exclusively UP TO Calvin’s god – rather than being UP TO YOU
        – And 100% of “Whatsoever comes to pass” concerning every [X] is exclusively UP TO Calvin’s god”

        That is what you get from your humanist philosophy. You need to broaden your horizons.

        Then, ‘So since Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – determined 100% of “Whatsoever” concerning [X] – then what percent of “Whatsoever” concerning [X] does that leave that is UP TO YOU?”

        What else would we expect from a humanist philosophy??

      42. br.d
        Ok – here is what we see so far.
        – You volunteering [X] will be the consequence of Calvin’s god’s infallible decree – and the infallible decree is NOT UP TO YOU.

        rhutchin
        The decree is issued by God so, obviously, it is not up to you.etc

        br.d
        Good – the rest of the comment is a red-herring so can be ignored.

        – Since falsifying an infallible decree is ruled out – then you NOT volunteering[X] in this case would be ruled out.”

        rhutchin
        Falsifying the decree is ruled out as such would oppose a person’s desire.

        br.d
        Well I take this as an affirmative
        Since we already know Calvin’s god can determine people to have desires for things he does not make available for them
        Empirically understood as a normal part of life
        So desires is another red-herring

        – And what Calvin’s god’s infallible decree rules out is NOT UP TO YOU”

        rhutchin
        You derive your conclusions from your humanist philosophy and leave out God’s infinite understanding of all future outcomes. We see your humanist philosophy playing out in the following:

        – You NOT volunteering [X] will be what Calvin’s god’s knows – and what Calvin’s god knows is NOT UP TO YOU.

        rhutchin
        By His infinite understanding, God knows that parts of His decree are up to people.

        br.d
        Oh all of that mumbo-jumbo is pretty hilarious rhutchin! :-]

        Calvin’s god looking into his infinite understanding of what he will conceive people to be/do and thereby determining it
        And following Calvin’s instructions – you are to “go about your office *AS-IF* none of that were determined in any part”.
        Way to hilarious!

        – Since falsifying what Calvin’s god knows is ruled out – then you volunteering[X] in this case would be ruled out

        rhutchin
        Falsifying God’s decree is ruled out by God’s infinite understanding of His creation.

        br.d
        Well – since Calvin’s god can’t create things that are mutually excluding – such as square-circles, married-bachelors, then we know that something established as infallible cannot be made fallible.
        Good for him if Calvin’s god is smart enough to know that. :-]

        – And what Calvin’s god’s knowledge rules out is NOT UP TO YOU

        rhutchin
        God’s infinite understanding rules it in and God’s omniscience makes it certain with the desires of people making it necessary.

        br.d
        Well – we’ve already dissolved the fallacy as a non-sequitur.
        But you can keep on grasping at it if it helps to reduce the speter of evil from your mind.

        Then, ‘So it looks to me like:
        – Every [X] that exists – is exclusively UP TO Calvin’s god – rather than being UP TO YOU
        – And 100% of “Whatsoever comes to pass” concerning every [X] is exclusively UP TO Calvin’s god”

        rhutchin
        That is what you get from your humanist philosophy. You need to broaden your horizons.

        br.d
        I’m not into MAGICAL thinking but thank you for thinking of me.

        So since Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – determined 100% of “Whatsoever” concerning [X] – then what percent of “Whatsoever” concerning [X] does that leave that is UP TO YOU?”

        rhutchin
        What else would we expect from a humanist philosophy??

        br.d
        Well I would think you went to high-school – and you have a grasp on simple math.
        Either Calvin’s god determines 100% or he doesn’t
        But I can understand someone wanting it both ways.

        So we still have this as a question
        When you take 100% away from 100% what numeric value of percent do you have left over?

        How about this
        100% minus 100% = whatever Calvin’s god has determined your desire for it to be!

        Then – instead of calling Calvinism “Decretal Theology” we can call it “Desire Theology” :-]

      43. I thought we already established that omniscience does not necessitate cause. God knows ≠ God causes.

        Here is what you wrote above:

        Your Calvinist friend was confused. Glad you realized that God knows the future perfectly but that God’s knowledge of the future does not cause the future that He knows.

        It seems you are now arguing just the opposite. That omniscience demands the Calvinist definition of sovereignty. So, apparently, if you start with an agreement on omniscience, all other Calvinist conclusions logically follow. No, they don’t. Not even remotely. I could at least theoretically have omniscience of all past events if they were recorded carefully enough. It doesn’t mean I caused them and does not imply my sovereignty over the past.

        I’m pretty much done on any future dialog with you. I’m not accusing you of operating in bad faith, but it really is quite impossible to have a dialog when the goal posts are freely moved around at-will. Let’s agree to disagree and move on. As I said previously, your obsession with rebutting almost every post and subsequent comment on this site is quite pathological. Have you no other life? The number of posts you make translates to a minimum of several hours a day obsessing over this site.

      44. mrteebs
        I’m not accusing you of operating in bad faith, but it really is quite impossible to have a dialog when the goal posts are freely moved around at-will.

        br.d
        A very wise man once said: “He who defines a thing controls that thing”

        And I am convinced an aspect of the Calvinist psychology – is control.

        That a Calvinist would derive a sense of personal efficacy from “shape-shifting” concepts – doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

      45. mrteebs writes, “I thought we already established that omniscience does not necessitate cause. God knows ≠ God causes.”

        Omniscience establishes the certainty of all future events but omniscience is not the cause of all future events. So, we can agree that God knew who would be saved and who would not be saved when He created the world. We disagree on the cause or means whereby those who are to be saved are brought to salvation,

        Then, “It seems you are now arguing just the opposite. That omniscience demands the Calvinist definition of sovereignty.”

        Omniscience establishes the absolute certainty of all future events. To that we add that God is omnipotent and has the absolute power to affect any outcome He wants. Together, these characteristics mean that God is not just sovereign (He can affect any decision He wants) but absolutely sovereign – nothing can happen, regardless the cause, without God first agreeing that it should happen. This is because God is not ignorant of anything that is to happen and knows what is to happen before the event actually happens (and God knew all this when He created the world).

        Then, “So, apparently, if you start with an agreement on omniscience, all other Calvinist conclusions logically follow.”

        No. You still need God to be omnipotent. Then, you add the “counsel of His will” and from that all other Calvinist conclusions logically follow.

        Then, ” I could at least theoretically have omniscience of all past events if they were recorded carefully enough. It doesn’t mean I caused them and does not imply my sovereignty over the past. ”

        Agreed. In this case, we are talking about all future events where nothing can happen outside the “counsel of God’s will.”

        Then, “Let’s agree to disagree and move on”

        We essentially seem to disagree on much of what I said above. That’s life. It never hurts to clarify what we believe.

  14. FOH writes to MrTeebs : “I really like what you post (but still be aware that it has no effect whatsoever on RH).”

    ——My Response—–

    Its good that FOH have already realized and accepted that Calvinist like RH and I remains unmoved and can never be dismantled by the opponents in the other camp. Praise God…

    1. jtleosala
      Its good that FOH have already realized and accepted that Calvinist like RH and I remains unmoved and can never be dismantled by the opponents in the other camp. Praise God…

      br.d
      JT – just curious – how do you know that you can’t be moved?

      Did Calvin’s god write you out a list of every impulse he decreed you to have throughout your life?
      And moving from Calvinism isn’t on his list?

      I’m curious about what impulses are on that list! :-]

  15. FOH have already realized it, but for Br D. it’s up to God if He will remove or not to remove the scales on Br.D’s eyes. As for now, I guess he will always quack a frustrated non – Calvinist sounding his fav dictum : “double speak” and of course citing his favorite source – an avid fan of Alvin Platinga

    1. jtleosala
      FOH have already realized it, but for Br D. it’s up to God if He will remove or not to remove the scales on Br.D’s eyes. As for now, I guess he will always quack a frustrated non – Calvinist sounding his fav dictum : “double speak” and of course citing his favorite source – an avid fan of Alvin Platinga

      br.d
      JT – you never answer LOGICAL questions – I suspect because they highlight Calvinism’s DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS.

      And instead of complaining – I would think you would be thanking Calvin’s god for infallibly decreeing “Whatsoever comes to pass” at SOT101! :-]

      But of course – Calvin’s god is the one who decreed “Whatsoever comes to pass” concerning your every impulse

      Perhaps the fact he has decreed Calvinists to infallibly be complainers – as a sign he has designed those Calvinists as a vessels of wrath?

  16. rhutcin
    Determined by God’s direct action or through secondary means, including the person’s own VOLUNTARY decisions/actions.. All this enshrined in God’s omniscience.

    br.d
    Ok so lets examine the Calvinist appeal to “so-called” VOLUNTARY creaturely decisions/actions.

    Firstly is it LOGICALLY POSSIBLE for you to volunteer [X]
    When zero% of [X] is UP TO YOU to volunteer?
    YEA or NAY?

    1. br.d writes, “Firstly is it LOGICALLY POSSIBLE for you to volunteer [X]
      When zero% of [X] is UP TO YOU to volunteer?
      YEA or NAY?”

      No. That you are able to voluntarily choose one outcome over another means that {X} is up to you and not forced on you by external factors. Coercion to act destroys the voluntary nature of the choice.

      1. br.d
        Firstly is it LOGICALLY POSSIBLE for you to volunteer [X]
        When zero% of [X] is UP TO YOU to volunteer?
        YEA or NAY?”

        rhutcnin
        No. That you are able to voluntarily choose one outcome over another means that {X} is up to you and not forced on you by external factors. Coercion to act destroys the voluntary nature of the choice.

        br.d
        Thank you for the NAY
        The comment about force/coercion is an irrelevant red-herring so we can ignore it.

        For example – lets say I would like to see the full moon at my location tonight
        Can you volunteer that for me?
        No you cant – because the orbit of the moon is NOT UP TO YOU.
        And that has nothing to do with force or coercion.

        Now with that logic – we have Peter Van Inwagen’s internationally recognized “Consequence Argument”
        Which shows that in Theological Determinism – there are things that (just like the orbit of the moon) that are NOT UP TO YOU

        If Universal Divine Causal Determinism is true then:
        1) Our every impulse, thought, choice, desire, are the consequences of divine decrees which occurred at the foundation of the world – having been determined at a point in which we do not yet exist.

        2) Those impulse, thoughts, choices, and desires additionally are framed within the attributes of nature, which exist at the time in which thoughts, choices, and desires are actualized.

        3) But it is not UP TO US what immutable decrees were established at the foundation of the world before we were born.

        4) And neither is it UP TO US what attributes of nature – including our own – exist at any time.

        5) Therefore, the consequences of these things – including our nature, thoughts, choices, and desires – are not UP TO US

        Do you have a published refutation of this?

      2. br.d writes, ‘Do you have a published refutation of this?”

        We have the Scriptures that give a different take on the story.

      3. br.d
        Do you have a published refutation of this?”

        rhutchin
        We have the Scriptures that give a different take on the story.

        br.d
        A “different take” is a good way to say it! :-]

        So you don’t have a successful refutation of it.
        That would be consistent with the empirical data on the subject.
        No one has had a successful refutation of it.

        So you’re belief that things that are infallibly decreed before you exist – are UP TO YOU – can be summed up as “a different take”

      4. br.d writes, ‘So you don’t have a successful refutation of it.”

        The wisdom of the Scripture is a successful refutation of the wisdom of a humanist philosophy.

      5. br.d
        So you don’t have a successful refutation of it.”

        rhutchin
        The wisdom of the Scripture is a successful refutation of the wisdom of a humanist philosophy.

        br.d
        More precisely:
        Calvinism’s “different take” on Scripture (in their minds) is sufficient for them – as a successful refutation of LOGIC which has never so far been successfully refuted.

        And the SOT101 reader can see – the example provided – is justified by use of the genetic fallacy:

        A logical fallacy which occurs when RATIONAL REASONING is rejected based on a claimed origin.
        Serving as an indication of the lack of RATIONAL substance.

  17. br.d asks, “The question is – are free in falsify a divine infallible decree? YEA or NAY?”

    The divine infallible decree is based on God’s infinite understanding of His creation. God’s understanding does not limit options available to people nor doe it coerce to one option or another. So a person is free to choose even though God knows with certainty, the choice the person will make as that choice is self-determined. God’s understanding does not negate a person’s freedom to choose. So, Yes.

    1. br.d
      The question is – are you free in falsify a divine infallible decree?
      YEA or NAY?”

      rhutchin
      The divine infallible decree is based on God’s infinite understanding of His creation. God’s understanding does not limit options available to people nor doe it coerce to one option or another. So a person is free to choose even though God knows with certainty, the choice the person will make as that choice is self-determined. God’s understanding does not negate a person’s freedom to choose. So, Yes.

      br.d
      Well this is why I asked the previous question: But do you know a circle cannot be a circle and a square at the same time.

      If Calvin’s god gives you (a fallible creature) the freedom to falsify his divine infallible decrees – then we have a circle that is a circle and a square at the same time.

      In other words we have an Infallible decree that is both infallible and NOT infallible at the same time.

      Why don’t you try again to answer the question:
      Are you free to falsify a divine infallible decree?
      YEA or NAY?

      1. br.d writes, ‘If Calvin’s god gives you (a fallible creature) the freedom to falsify his divine infallible decrees – then we have a circle that is a circle and a square at the same time.”

        That’s a false conclusion. God can give a person (a fallible creature) the freedom to falsify his divine infallible decrees and understand that the person will not falsify his divine infallible decrees. God can offer a person a circle knowing that he will choose the square.

      2. br.d
        If Calvin’s god gives you (a fallible creature) the freedom to falsify his divine infallible decrees – then we have a circle that is a circle and a square at the same time.”

        rhutchin
        That’s a false conclusion. God can give a person (a fallible creature) the freedom to falsify his divine infallible decrees and understand that the person will not falsify his divine infallible decrees. God can offer a person a circle knowing that he will choose the square.

        br.d
        I knew from your first response that it was based on an equivocation on the word “free”.
        For you – Calvin’s god makes you “free” to do things that he will never allow you to do.

        That’s my short-coming – I should have foreseen the equivocation.

        So lets word the question differently:

        If you do NOT volunteer [X] at time [T] – then you would falsify a divine infallible decree.
        Is it a LOGICAL POSSIBILITY for you to falsify a divine infallible decree?
        YEA – NAY?”

      3. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god makes you “free” to do things that he will never allow you to do.”

        God gives people freedom to do things that He knows they will not do. Not equivocation on my part, but misunderstanding on your part.

      4. br.d
        Calvin’s god makes you “free” to do things that he will never allow you to do.”

        rhutchin
        God gives people freedom to do things that He knows they will not do. Not equivocation on my part, but misunderstanding on your part.

        br.d
        Another excellent example of Calvinist language.

        Calvin’s god gives people the freedom do things he will never allow them to do because he knows they will never do them.
        Its just a matter of understanding how “equivocal language” works! :-]

      5. br.d asks, “If you do NOT volunteer [X] at time [T] – then you would falsify a divine infallible decree.
        Is it a LOGICAL POSSIBILITY for you to falsify a divine infallible decree?
        YEA – NAY?”

        Yes. The possibility exists, the reality does not.

      6. br.d
        If you do NOT volunteer [X] at time [T] – then you would falsify a divine infallible decree.
        Is it a LOGICAL POSSIBILITY for you to falsify a divine infallible decree?
        YEA – NAY?”

        rhutchin
        Yes. The possibility exists, the reality does not.

        br.d
        Oh that is a wonderful example of a YEA-NAY answer rhutchin – thank you!

        Lets see if we can’t get past the “Subjunctive Conditionals” embedded in your statements.

        Lets try again:
        If you do NOT volunteer [X] at time [T] – then you would falsify a divine infallible decree.
        Is it a LOGICAL POSSIBILITY for you to alter or negate Calvin’s god’s divine infallible decree?
        YEA or NAY?”

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