Why Debate in Defense of Free Will?

Later today Dr. Johnathan Pritchett and I will be debating in defense of the biblical teaching of mankind’s free will (the liberty of the will to choose between available options.) You can watch the debate here:

I just returned from a trip to Israel with some great apologetic leaders and I had the opportunity to discuss this upcoming debate with them. Of course, most of our conversations centered around the teachings of Jesus while we traveled the streets of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Capernaum, Caesarea and Joppa. This discussion of man’s free will, however, is not at all unrelated to what we learned about in our travels. In fact, I suggest this issue is foundational to understanding the heart of God in the incarnation and crucifixion of Christ.

This debate, whether one recognizes it or not, centers around the Holiness and Goodness of God as demonstrated in the very words and actions of Christ Himself. Allow me to explain why I believe this to be true.

Over the years in discussing this topic I have been accused of “worshipping the idol of human autonomy.” But, have those who bring this kind of harsh accusation really unpacked the meaning of these terms, or sought to understand our intentions? I suspect most have not.

Websters defines “autonomous” simply as “undertaken or carried on without outside control.” The term “autonomous” describes things that function separately or independently. For instance, once you move out of your parents’ house, and get your own job, you will be an autonomous member of the family. This adjective autonomous is often used of countries, regions, or groups that have the right to govern themselves. Autonomous is from Greek autonomos “independent,” from autos “self” plus nomos “law.” <link>

Some wrongly assume that my use of this term is meant to suggest that mankind’s existence, sustenance and natural abilities are independent of God altogether. This is absurd, of course. Paul asked his readers, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7), which strongly implies that all our abilities, including the ability to make choices, is given to us by a good and gracious God.

We can affirm that “God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him,” (Ps. 115:3) while still holding on to the equally valid truth that, “the highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to mankind” (Ps. 115:16). This means it pleases God to give man a certain level of “autonomy” or “separateness.”  This is a biblical view of divine sovereignty and human autonomy.  As A.W. Tozer rightly explains:

“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

Some Calvinists have wrongly concluded that the Traditionalist seeks to downplay the sovereignty of God and highlight the autonomy of man, when in reality we seek to maintain the right biblical understanding of man’s autonomy so as to better highlight the Sovereignty, Love and Holiness of our God.

I have already unpacked the attribute of God’s Sovereignty HERE and God’s Love HERE, so I would now like to turn our attention to the attribute of God’s Holiness.

If you notice that the Tozer quote above is from his book, “The Knowledge of the Holy.”  Tozer’s intentions, like that of the Traditionalist, is in defense of God’s Holiness, not an attempt to undermine other equally important attributes of our good God.

I suspect that Tozer, like myself, would wholeheartedly agree with John Piper’s teaching on God’s Holiness here:

“Every effort to define the holiness of God ultimately winds up by saying: God is holy means God is God. Let me illustrate. The root meaning of holy is probably to cut or separate. A holy thing is cut off from and separated from common (we would say secular) use. Earthly things and persons are holy as they are distinct from the world and devoted to God. So the Bible speaks of holy ground (Exodus 3:5), holy assemblies (Exodus 12:16), holy sabbaths (Exodus 16:23), a holy nation (Exodus 19:6); holy garments (Exodus 28:2), a holy city (Nehemiah 11:1), holy promises (Psalm 105:42), holy men (2 Peter 1:21) and women (1 Peter 3:5), holy scriptures (2 Timothy 3:15), holy hands (1 Timothy 2:8), a holy kiss (Romans 16:16), and a holy faith (Jude 20). Almost anything can become holy if it is separated from the common and devoted to God.

But notice what happens when this definition is applied to God himself. From what can you separate God to make him holy? The very god-ness of God means that he is separate from all that is not God. There is an infinite qualitative difference between Creator and creature. God is one of a kind. Sui generis. In a class by himself. In that sense he is utterly holy. But then you have said no more than that he is God.” – John Piper (emphasis added) <link>

Notice the common term used to describe God’s Holiness and man’s autonomy? The word “separate” is referenced in both definitions. This is significant.

Some Calvinists fail to see that the Traditionalists defense of man’s separateness (autonomy) is actually in defense of God’s Holiness, or as Piper put it, God’s separateness “from all that is not God.” But, in a world of divine meticulous control of all things, what is left to be considered “separate” in any meaningful sense of the word?

One would think that sinful intentions would be included in “all that is not God,” yet many Calvinistic scholars affirm that man’s sinful intentions are unchangeably predetermined or brought about by God so as to glorify Himself (see HERE).

We must understand that John Piper, while holding to the same definition of Holiness as Tozer (or Traditionalists), comes to a very different conclusion about the nature of our thrice Holy God.

Continuing with the quote above, Piper concludes:

“If the holiness of a man derives from being separated from the world and devoted to God, to whom is God devoted so as to derive his holiness? To no one but himself. <link>”

Piper fails to relate his understanding of God’s Holiness (separateness) to the nature of morally accountable creatures (as autonomously separate), but instead uses this attribute to emphasize his Calvinistic view of God’s self-seeking nature. Piper is arguing that God is all about Himself because there is no “higher reality than God to which He must conform in order to be holy.” In other words, God is all about God because there is nothing more Holy than God. But, what does this even mean unless you establish that which God has separated Himself from in the meticulously determined world of Piper’s Calvinism? How can one celebrate God being about God unless you separate that which is not about God from that which is about God? What exactly can be deemed as “separated” in a worldview where absolutely everything is brought about by God for God? Holiness loses its meaning in a deterministic worldview because nothing can be described in any significant way as being “separate” from God and His will.

It is senseless to speak of God’s Holiness (as separateness) unless there is something outside of God from which to separate. God cannot be separated from Himself or His own choices. And if you insist on the one hand that God is unchangeably determining all creature’s sinful inclinations so as to glorify Himself, then how can you on the other hand claim that God is wholly separate from those same sinful, yet self-glorifying means?  You might as well be claiming A is not A (God is separate but not separate).

Listen, either God is implicated in moral evil or He is not. He is either Holy or He is not. He is either separate (an affirmation of both Divine Holiness and human autonomy) or He is not (a denial of both Divine Holiness and human autonomy). Do not allow the Calvinists to have their cake and eat it too on this point.

John Piper takes the attribute of Holiness to teach that “God is all about Himself.” Whereas, Tozer takes the attribute of Holiness to teach that while God would be perfectly just to be all about Himself and His own glorification, He graciously chooses to glorify undeserving creatures who have separated themselves from Him through autonomously sinful choices.

Traditionalists, like myself, simply believe that Tozer is right and Piper is wrong.

————

To hear why Dr. Ravi Zacharias believes Free Will is essential in a biblical defense of God’s existence and His goodness please watch this:


(portions of this article are taken from an earlier blog post)

384 thoughts on “Why Debate in Defense of Free Will?

  1. James again…3…

    15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.

    Why do determinist-Calvinist confessions all state that all things/ ideas/ actions/ sins come from God? The Bible teaches us that some things just do not come from God.

    Why do we choose man-made confessions over what God says in His Word?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Today’s Proverb….28:2

    When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily.
    But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.
    ———–

    So, be wise and knowledgeable, right? Does God pre-program you to be foolish? Irrevocably? Irresistibly? No! He tells you to be wise…. but leaves that choice up to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reading through the Bible….James 4.

    Is James writing to believers? Are these the believers that are “dead to sin” “buried with Christ”? Let’s see if James says that “being dead” means you “can’t do anything.”
    ——————

    “1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them……” [Looks again like even though we are “dead to sin” we can still do it.]

    “4 You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God…..” [A believer can make himself an enemy of God? Can he make himself a friend of God?]

    “5 Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him.” [He means the ALL of Scripture. Also note that God is passionate…”yearns jealously” in ESV] [And yet they write article after article about how God cannot desire/ yearn for anything from man…..because ….hummm… that would make Him “lesser”]

    “6 And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,

    “God opposes the proud
    but gives grace to the humble.”
    [God gives grace generously…..not .00005% of people. He gives grace to the humble. Not ‘He gives humility to the elect’]

    “7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts…” [Humble yourself….resist….draw near….wash… purify your hearts. Who are these commands given to?]

    “10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” [We humble…He lifts up. What is hard to understand here?]

    This is the same “The Sovereign Lord” we are dealing with in these verses….but He does not sound wooden, all-controlling, distant, impassible.

    He sounds gracious, caring (warning), encouraging (empowering by His Spirit). He sounds personal, not dictatorial.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Three verses in Proverbs 28 today for the through-the-Bible plan…. Here is verse 5

    Evil men do not understand justice,
    but those who seek the Lord understand it completely. (ESV)
    ————
    The Bible talks over and over about people “seeking the Lord.”

    Why did man come up with this “dead men don’t make choices” idea? “Seek first the kingdom,” Christ told the huge crowd on the hill. He was addressing them all (not a small handful that would be allowed to seek Him….sorry, irresistibly forced to seek Him).

    Like

    1. FOH writes, “Why did man come up with this “dead men don’t make choices” idea? ”

      I don’t think they did. I think you made it up to use as a strawman. You surely remember from you allegedly Calvinist past that the unsaved always make choices – to oppose God. Thus, we know that your complaint here is not against the Calvinists.

      Like

  5. ts00 writes, “Calvinists like to pretend as long as God is not holding the smoking gun he cannot be held responsible for the ‘ends’ he alone determined, ordained and brought to pass. It’s called ‘blame the patsy’, and has been used by powerful men for centuries.”

    I’ll guess and say that you are arguing that the Calvinist focus on God’s use of secondary means is fraught with problems, but you specifically ignore secondary means. For example, God uses the Jews as the means to the crucifixion of Christ. We read in the gospels that the Jews hated Christ and were plotting to kill Him almost from the beginning of His ministry. God does not have to incite the Jews to kill Jesus – it was their desire and intent. God does not have to hold the smoking gun – the Jews – because they are self-motivated to kill Jesus. Their is no pretense on the part of the Calvinists – all you have to do is show that God is chargeable for Chrits’s death.

    Like

  6. [M] eticulous control
    [U] nconditional sin
    [P] articular love
    [P] erseverance of double-mindedness
    [E] ffectual good-evil
    [T] otal double-speak 😀

    Like

  7. RHUTCHIN Writes, God does not have to incite the Jews to kill Jesus – it was their desire and intent. God does not have to hold the smoking gun – the Jews – because they are self-motivated to kill Jesus.

    This secondary means is nonsense let me ask you if I cut a tree with the axe who cut the tree? me or the axe and the same time the jew never lays their hand on Him but the romans who did everything in Act 2:23 “this Jesus delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men”. don’t you agree that Jew were not lawless people Romans were Jews were not the one who lift him up on the cross and crucified him but again the Romans soldier or lawless men so that means the Jew were not responsible absolutely not they were the one who force the hand of Pontius Pilate John 19:12 finally per your argument God is the Primary cause Jews are the Secondary cause and Romans were the tertiary cause of Jesus death.

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    1. Excellent post Addisalem!!

      It also occurs to me that in the Calvinist system, anything that Calvin’s god uses (apart from himself) is a secondary means.
      It then follows that an “immutable decree” is a secondary means which Calvin’s god uses to “render certain” Adam’s sin.
      And also that mechanism which Calvin’s god uses to “render certain” Adam’s sin is the “force of inevitability”.

      So both “immutable decree” and “the force of inevitability” are secondary means, Calvin’s god uses to cause Adam’s sin.

      Now an “immutable decree” and “the force of inevitability” do not have free will in any form.

      Primary vs. Secondary culpability:
      Primary Culpability falls to person(s) who function as the “controller”, “director” – or what the law refers to as the “directing mind” of a wrong doing.

      Secondary Culpability falls to person(s) who function as servants, employees, agents, or who otherwise function “on behalf of” the “directing mind” in the process of a wrong doing.

      So in the case of Calvin’s god “rendering certain” Adam’s sin, Calvin’s god bears Primary Culpability, because the “immutable decree” and “the force of inevitability” (used as secondary means) do not have free will in any form.

      Culpability as defined in criminal law, descends from the Latin concept of fault (culpa).
      The concept of culpability is intimately tied up with notions of agency, freedom, and free will.
      In a court of law would Free Will is defined as the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded (i.e., the ability to “do otherwise” than one in fact does).

      Calvin’s god does not give Adam the ability to “do otherwise” than what Calvin’s god “renders certain” he do.
      Therefore, in a court of law Calvin’s god would be found culpable and not Adam.

      Like

  8. Daily reading of 11/26/17 (I would post every day if I could—-and they would all look like this)

    Look at what Peter says… 1 Peter 5

    5 “God opposes the proud
    but gives grace to the humble.”
    6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
    ———
    Is he talking about believers?

    If so… this sounds a lot like it is “man-centered”.

    He opposes the proud (believers)
    He give grace to the humble (believers)

    But….if you humble yourself…He (the almighty, Sovereign Lord) will lift you up.

    1. This does not sound preordained, micro-managed by God.

    2. This sounds like God will do something according to what we do.

    3. This sounds like God will give grace to those who are being humble (but not grace first, right?)

    4. Why is the Sovereign Lord lifting up lowly mankind “in honor”?

    If none of these ideas are true or possible (I know—some of you will lash out at me) then why does Peter make it sound like they are?

    Why does the Word of God make it sound like we are in a personal, inter-relational relationship with God? I mean if everything is pre-ordained, unchangeably by God……

    Like

    1. FOH writes, “Why does the Word of God make it sound like we are in a personal, inter-relational relationship with God? I mean if everything is pre-ordained, unchangeably by God……”

      If God is omniscient and truly does know all future events, then “everything is pre-ordained, unchangeably by God……” We can take that which Peter writes as certain – “if you humble yourself…He (the almighty, Sovereign Lord) will lift you up.”

      Like

      1. FOH writes,
        “Why does the Word of God make it sound like we are in a personal, inter-relational relationship with God? I mean if everything is pre-ordained, unchangeably by God……”

        rhutchin responds
        If God is omniscient and truly does know all future events, then “everything is pre-ordained, unchangeably by God……” We can take that which Peter writes as certain – “if you humble yourself…He (the almighty, Sovereign Lord) will lift you up.”

        br.d
        Rhutchin provides another good example of Calvinist question-begging and Calvinist double-talk.

        1) Calvinism’s proposition “divine omniscience entails compatibilism” is simply a doctrine unique to Calvinism.

        This doctrine actually diminishes divine omniscience, making it less than omnipotent, because it stipulated God’s omniscience is not omnipotent enough to foreknow the future (libertarian) free choices of creatures.
        Rhutchin in another post asserts God’s decrees are logically prior to God’s omniscience – which denies the orthodox doctrine of omniscience which states that God has “essential” omniscience.
        “Essential” omniscience means it is an attribute that is essential to God’s existence.

        It goes without saying the God’s existence must be logically prior to God’s decrees.
        Therefore if God’s omniscience logically follows God’s decrees, it follows God exists in a state without omniscience – logically prior to decrees – which is absurd. Therefore rhutchin’s proposition denies the orthodox doctrine of “essential” omniscience.

        2) Peter is writing in the subjunctive mood (IF *YOU* WILL a THEN *GOD* WILL b).
        The language of Peter’s statement frames the subjunctive conditional as “contingent” upon the believer not upon God.
        Calvinism’s interpretation logically entails a reversal in the order of contingency.

        The *consistent* Calvinist writing of this verse would be:
        “IF Calvin’s god determines you to humble yourself THEN you CANNOT do otherwise than what Calvin’s god determines you to do”

        But that is not what Peter writes – so the Calvinist must equivocate this verse using beguiling double-talk.

        Additionally, Peter’s use of “IF” assumes “OUGHT” and “OUGHT” assumes “CAN”.
        In Calvinism “CAN” is not determined by the believer, but by Calvin’s god before the believer is born.
        These warning/exhortation statements in the N.T. are turned into double-talk by Calvinism

        William Lane Craig agrees:
        -quote: Universal divine causal determinism cannot offer a coherent interpretation of Scripture. The classical Reformed divines recognized this. They acknowledge that the reconciliation of Scriptural texts affirming human freedom and contingency with Scriptural texts affirming divine sovereignty is inscrutable.

        Like

  9. Daily reading in 2 Peter 1

    There is no way you can ‘stumble’ on Calvinism reading this kind of thing! I read it in the NLT and it is a slam dunk! Even is the Calvinist ESV it looks like this…

    5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    ——

    1. How do we “supplement’ anything ….if everything comes from God?

    2. Make an effort? In what? If God has already pre-ordained? That’s just silly.

    3. “If” these qualities are yours”….. IF ….IF….so you help right?

    4. “they keep you from being ineffective…” …so we can be effective or ineffective??? how does that work?

    5. We can forget we have been cleansed. So, what, remember, right?

    6. Diligent to confirm our calling? How do we confirm ANYTHING God has pre-ordained?

    7. “for in this way….” (v 11) ….in what way? The determinist way?

    None of this sounds deterministic-Calvinistic. Do Calvinists read The WHOLE Bible or just 50 verses and then interpret the rest with those lenses on?

    Like

    1. FOH, You know better than I that the typical Calvinist in the pew merely reads his bible, and takes it at its word. So few actually understand the assertions necessitated by their theology, and are encouraged by less than forthright pastors to ignore contradictions. ‘Both are true’, the trusting churchgoer is told, and since his trusted pastor says so, he believes him. You can point out all of the contradictions in Calvinism, but it won’t get through, because men and women have been taught that they can hold contradictory, illogical beliefs with no cognitive dissonance. I don’t know how many times I have been told ‘I don’t care about human logic, God is above what we can understand’. These people have been inoculated against truth.

      This is the strategy of modern day Calvinism, to deceive and mislead the people into trusting ‘authority’, no matter how much it might be in obvious contradiction to the genuine teaching of scripture. This is true of nearly all of the hierarchical, institutional Church, wherein the people are bullied, threatened and persuaded to trust the traditions and teachings of men over serious individual study and seeking out the leading of the Holy Spirit for understanding. I would give nearly anything to find a body of believers that has not adopted a hierarchical, authoritarian structure, without having to become Amish or Mennonite. I long for the fellowship and encouragement of fellow believers who are serious about studying God’s Word and doing and becoming what he desires. I’m done playing church; I have no desire to hear week after week what some man thinks scripture means, or what his confessions, creeds and authorities have told him it means.

      On Sun, Nov 26, 2017 at 10:31 PM, SOTERIOLOGY 101 wrote:

      > fromoverhere commented: “Daily reading in 2 Peter 1 There is no way you > can ‘stumble’ on Calvinism reading this kind of thing! I read it in the NLT > and it is a slam dunk! Even is the Calvinist ESV it looks like this… 5 > For this very reason, make every effort to suppleme” >

      Like

      1. ts00 writes, “You know better than I that the typical Calvinist in the pew merely reads his bible, and takes it at its word. ”

        Oh, if only all would do this. Calvinists follow in the footsteps of the Bereans.

        Like

    2. FOH, You know better than I that the typical Calvinist in the pew merely reads his bible, and takes it at its word without even knowing what his ‘Calvinism’ teaches. So few actually understand the assertions necessitated by their theology, and are encouraged by less than forthright pastors to ignore contradictions. ‘Both are true’, the trusting churchgoer is told, and since his trusted pastor says so, he believes him. You can point out all of the contradictions in Calvinism, but it won’t get through, because men and women have been taught that they can hold contradictory, illogical beliefs with no cognitive dissonance. I don’t know how many times I have been told ‘I don’t care about human logic, God is above what we can understand’. These people have been inoculated against truth.

      This is the strategy of modern day Calvinism, to deceive and mislead the people into trusting ‘authority’, no matter how much it might be in obvious contradiction to the genuine teaching of scripture. This is true of nearly all of the hierarchical, institutional Church, wherein the people are bullied, threatened and persuaded to trust the traditions and teachings of men over serious individual study and seeking out the leading of the Holy Spirit for understanding. I would give nearly anything to find a body of believers that has not adopted a hierarchical, authoritarian structure, without having to become Amish or Mennonite. I long for the fellowship and encouragement of fellow believers who are serious about studying God’s Word and doing and becoming what he desires. I’m done playing church; I have no desire to hear week after week what some man thinks scripture means, or what his confessions, creeds and authorities have told him it means.

      Like

    3. FOH asks, “1. How do we “supplement’ anything ….if everything comes from God?”

      Did you forget what you said earlier, “But….if you humble yourself…He (the almighty, Sovereign Lord) will lift you up.” So, from Matthew 7, “how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

      Then, “2. Make an effort? In what? If God has already pre-ordained? That’s just silly.”

      Certainty. For example, “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

      Then, “3. “If” these qualities are yours”….. IF ….IF….so you help right?”

      Calvinists say that sanctification is a synergistic process.

      Then, “4. “they keep you from being ineffective…” …so we can be effective or ineffective??? how does that work?”

      From the Scripture cited, “they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

      Then, “5. We can forget we have been cleansed. So, what, remember, right?”

      Yes. “Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands–remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2)

      Then, “6. Diligent to confirm our calling? How do we confirm ANYTHING God has pre-ordained?”

      By taking God at His word to see that He has indeed called you. Hold God to His promises to His elect – “if you practice these qualities you will never fall.”

      Then “7. “for in this way….” (v 11) ….in what way? The determinist way? ”

      Yep. God has determined to keep His promises. We find one such promise in the cited Scripture.

      Then, “None of this sounds deterministic-Calvinistic. Do Calvinists read The WHOLE Bible or just 50 verses and then interpret the rest with those lenses on?’

      These verses do not address the issue of determinism. They identify as certain that which God has determined.

      Like

  10. RHUTCHIN Write, “Weren’t the Jews instrumental is getting Pilate to turn Jesus over for crucifixion?”

    Of Course they are I wrote this “the Jew were not responsible absolutely not they were the one who force the hand of Pontius Pilate” but as your assumption they were just instrument because they can’t do otherwise no free will in their part.

    The then Jew ask Pontius Pilate two things,

    1) To kill Jesus

    2)To not call Him The King of the Jews

    He agree with the first request and refuse the second one because he is free to do so

    You say this- ” the Jews because they are self-motivated to kill Jesus”

    Have you ever heard of self motivated gun who kill somebody? of course not because it’s just a mere weapon but if men doesn’t act against His will by using his God given freedom to do otherwise what you are saying it doesn’t make sense.

    In my humble opinion the reformed worldview try to distance God from all evil happened over the years, at the same time trying to make Him powerful by making Him the author of everything that ever happen, that is bad theology

    I totally understand what BR.D repeatedly said about double speak or double mind if you read BR.D post he made an excellent point.

    Like

    1. AW writes, “n my humble opinion the reformed worldview try to distance God from all evil happened over the years, at the same time trying to make Him powerful by making Him the author of everything that ever happen, that is bad theology ”

      A bad theology begotten by a bad opinion.

      Like

  11. Daily reading, now 2 Peter 1…

    12 Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. 13 And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. 14 For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, 15 so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.
    ——-

    Why does Peter say he is “reminding” us? So we “stand firm”? So we do not forget and make bad choices?

    Why does he say he will “work hard” so that we “always remember”?

    Doesn’t this sound “man-centered”?

    That is such a go-for-the-jugular accusation when a Calvinist pulls that out. But this passage is about Peter “working hard” to “remind us” (lest we forget).

    It just appears so often in page after page of Scripture that God is challenging us to “walk in the Spirit” “work hard” “stand firm” “remember” …..and on and on.

    So we might not stand firm …..but we can. We might not work hard….but we can. We might not ‘walk in the Spirit’ ….but we can.

    No one here is saying we “work for salvation”….or that we are “higher than God” or that we are “man-centered, not God-centered” but in reading the Scripture every day, we can repeatedly see that God created in such a way that we make real choices all the time.

    To insist that all decisions have been mechanically, and unalterably made before time began just makes a mockery of all that God commands us to do ….stand…walk….remember….

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    1. FOH writes: “To insist that all decisions have been mechanically, and unalterably made before time began just makes a mockery of all that God commands us to do ….stand…walk….remember….”

      Sadly, in making a mockery of all that God commands us to do, faulty teaching renders men feeble, powerless and immature, ever in need of the milk of the first things of salvation, arguing them all the day long. What is left behind? Growing in wisdom and maturity, overcoming sinful, selfish lifestyles and serving the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of others as we are commanded.

      The Institutional Church has been used in great measure to sidetrack believers from walking with God and plugging them back in to a ritualistic, sacral religion. Oh, we love to go to church! Praise bands, hymn sings, potlucks, friends and laughter . . . this is what keeps the folks coming. Whereas Paul writes in Hebrews 10 that the purpose of meeting with other believers is ‘encouraging one another’, as well as ‘to stir up one another to love and good works’.

      What has been effectively trampled into the dust (Truth) since the Protestant Reformation is that we are saved, not BY but to DO good works. Was it a straw man all along to argue that we are not saved BY good works, in order to frighten men from doing good works? Does this not sound like the goal of the deceiver, rather than the God who made us to do the good works he foreordained? Don’t we see that Satan cares little about what we ‘believe’ as long as we do not live out the life God intends?

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      1. TS00
        I see your point….but I would mildly disagree.

        I have attended church many times with one of my grown kids. They go to a non-denominational church….but warned me that their pastor has gone the trendy route of the YRR wave.

        I never heard one message….not even a peep about determinism etc. Only strong admonition to grow in grace, walk in the Spirit, stand firm. etc.

        After many times…we all agreed (as I often say here) that a person can carry the YRR-card in the pocket, but they do not live/ teach/ preach accordingly. the ones that might are the dramatic JD Hall types on the far end.

        But in the end very few, if any, really put into practice a Calvinistic-deterministic lifestyle.

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      2. FOH, I fully agree – and am thankful! – that very few Calvinists live out their Calvinism. I personally never embraced it fully, even while worshiping in a Calvinist church for over a decade. Yet one must ask, what are the subtle ramifications of proclaiming a theology that asserts that you, as an elect child of God, ultimately have a license to live however you desire? ‘Sin boldly’ is not some caricature of Luther; it is the logical conclusion of a forensic, sacral religious system.

        In my opinion, that is the main draw, and the greatest danger of Calvinism and its progeny, Protestantism. It turns believers into ‘churchgoers’, who believe their entire responsibility to God is accomplished by attending ‘worship’ services and following the Ten Commandments. They become good Judaists. They are taught to avoid seriously contemplating the oppression and neediness of so many in our world by the scorn of their teachers over the ‘social gospel’. They are urged to pride themselves on their clearly superior understanding of doctrinal truths, and their self-righteous attempts to live out the Big Ten. They totally miss Jesus’ message in the Sermon on the Mount. We end up with the very thing Jesus condemned – self-righteous Pharisees who believe themselves purer and holier than the ‘pagans’, rather than suffering servants who go out amongst the lost and needy to demonstrate the sure love of God for them.

        That is not to say there are no authentic, God-loving pastors or followers in the Institutional Church – but they are going against the grain of institutionalization. Most, I am beginning to believe, eventually find themselves being led by the Spirit of God down different paths than the masses. Most of the men and women I personally know who have a deep heart for God have sought earnestly for a faithful church, and settled on the least bad option they can find. They go from church to church, only to find the doors barred if they do not submit to prescribed interpretations of scripture. Submission to authority – traditions of men – is the mantra, just as it has always been in the Institutional Church.

        Many long for the manifestations of the true Body of Christ, but settle for the crumbs of a supportive community. I do not mean to offend – I count myself among that number. I merely believe that we are in much the same situation as the lost sheep when Jesus came, being driven by false shepherds who mostly serve their own inerests, while the flock suffers for lack of hope, encouragement and understanding. Indeed, that is how I found myself in a Calvinist church to begin with, after we had tried, and found wanting, so many other churches. Calvinism, like Catholicism, encourages its members to rest in the wisdom and authority of its traditions. When found seriously wanting, questions and solutions are not encouraged, but submission to ‘orthodoxy’ or the proclaimed ‘Truth’ of the Institution.

        Should one reject the Orthodox Churches, seeking a church that attempts to recognize the ‘priesthood of the believer’ or God’s promise to put his laws on our hearts and write them on our minds, the choices tend to those who have abandoned all attempts to ascertain Truth. One must choose between legalism and affirming any and all behavior. Calvinism has subtly taken over the ‘conservative’ world, and those who understand the value of freedom have felt compelled to abandon all standards. It is my opinion that Satan has worked very hard to establish this false dichotomy, equally happy if people choose legalism or liberalism, as long as they do not practice the teachings of the New Testament.

        I would be more than happy should anyone point me to exceptions to my perceived state of affairs.

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      3. I agree with this – and Calvin himself realizes the cognitive dissonance his “Frankenstein” theology entails.
        That’s why he teaches his disciples to -quote “go about your office *AS-IF* nothing were determined in any part”

        You mentioned JD Hall types.
        I’m not familiar with that – can you elaborate?
        Thanks in advance :-]

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      4. I dont really like to bring in particular names.

        You can easily find him on the internet. The point is that there are plenty out there that think that James White, Keller, etc are not “reformed enough” and call them out in public. to not be so “wimpy”

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      5. I was long arrested in growth by the false belief that my ‘belief’ or doctrinal integrity, was what really mattered. I am now convinced that it actually matters very little. We will not be judged on our understanding of the intricate distinctions between justification and sanctification. We will not be condemned because we did not properly understand propitiation. Those whose fruits demonstrate that they believe in the goodness of God’s mercy and love,those who seek wholeheartedly to love him and others in response will be approved by God. I’m not so sure God is holding his breath over the outcomes of centuries long doctrinal debates.

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      6. ts00 writes, “I was long arrested in growth by the false belief that my ‘belief’ or doctrinal integrity, was what really mattered.”

        You were arrested because you were too lazy to study the Scriptures. Don’t blame others for your shortcomings.

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      7. I have more shortcomings than I care to admit. 🙂 However, in my Calvinist church I indeed found myself studying scripture less than I had in the past, mostly because a) it had become so confusing, as it seemed to contradict everything I was being told was true, and b) I was warned that it was dangerous to try and understand scripture on my own, and should look to authoritative opinions of confessions, creeds and teachers.

        The very first thing I did upon casting off Calvinism once and for all was to pick up my bible, and I could not stop weeping for joy over rediscovering an old, trustworthy friend. I felt free to read of the love of God for all men, and rejoice that it was true! My heart felt as if it was breaking for the lost, and from the guilt of having so carelessly written them off as obviously unloved by God. I began thumbing through and rereading all of my old favorites, and found, to my delight, that they all made sense again. I am something of a reserved person, but I wept and laughed and rejoiced more that first week out of Calvinism than I ever have, and I still have an insatiable hunger for scripture.

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      8. ts00 writes, “in my Calvinist church I indeed found myself studying scripture less than I had in the past, mostly because…”

        Sounds like your church was full of lazy Calvinists and you learned some really bad habits.

        Then, “I felt free to read of the love of God for all men, and rejoice that it was true! My heart felt as if it was breaking for the lost, and from the guilt of having so carelessly written them off as obviously unloved by God.”

        So, are you an Universalist now?? If not, how do you account for a loving God not saving all people?

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      9. truthsekker writes
        I am something of a reserved person, but I wept and laughed and rejoiced more that first week out of Calvinism than I ever have, and I still have an insatiable hunger for scripture.

        br.d
        A wonderful testimony!!!
        Thank you Truthseeker!! :-]

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      10. ts00 writes, “What has been effectively trampled into the dust (Truth) since the Protestant Reformation is that we are saved, not BY but to DO good works.”

        Not trampled by the Calvinists who lift up sola fide but trample solo fide.

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    2. FOH writes, “It just appears so often in page after page of Scripture that God is challenging us to “walk in the Spirit” “work hard” “stand firm” “remember” …..and on and on.”

      The process of sanctification is not a cake-walk. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8)

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  12. On my research on Dr. White’s view of the free will of “creature’s” – came across this quote from C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity. This could be were this idea is rooted. Still don’t get the distinction without a difference he is making but I’m a little closer than I was yesterday. 🙂

    (Mere Christianity, pp86-87)
    Every time you make a choice, you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And, taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a Heaven creature or into a hellish creature — either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures and with itself.

    To be the one kind of creature is Heaven: that is, it is joy, and peace, and knowledge, and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.

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    1. dr4Christ cities CS Lewis, “Every time you make a choice, you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before.”

      That is an interesting thought. That would seem to mean that the older a person gets (taking into account the point in their life where God saves them) the more polarized they become. Determining whether that is true would make for an interesting study. I would tend to think that there is a large group of people who really don’t change much at all – preferring a lukewarm position. – maybe a very narrow bell shaped curve with those changing most over time being at the extremity.

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  13. rhutch writes:
    Why “necessarily”? I don’t see why God’s decrees cannot include secondary causes. An example is the numbering of Israel by David where one Scripture attributes this to God and another to Satan.

    br.d
    Here the Calvinist makes believe that a secondary cause is not itself caused- logically from a primary (antecedent) cause.
    AS-IF the number 2 doesn’t follow the number 1.

    In Calvinism’s case the primary cause is always the immutable decree – from which *ALL** things which come to pass are its consequences.

    Now you and I know that the number 2 always follows the number 1.
    But shhhh!!! don’t tell the Calvinist – that is logic he’s not supposed to know about! 😀

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  14. I gave over two hours of my life to watching this video like I hope all who commented here, and I came away from it highly disappointed. I was hoping that the Calvinist men who debated with Dr. Leighton and Dr. Jonathan were of a high enough caliber to be able to calmly and intelligently address the scriptural points that both Traditionalist men had brought up. I do not believe my expectations too high for men who have a doctorates.

    Instead, I was treated to two men who resorted to uneducated name calling, and who kept repeating what they believed without ever addressing the perspectives of the other view. My own temper had to be kept in check as Mr. Zachariades kept losing his, interrupting, yelling, and even leveling the final blow of rejecting Dr. Leighton as a brother in Christ.

    But since both men, especially Theodore, completely rejected free will of any kind, then perhaps they simply could not help themselves since they were clearly ordained to be angry, disrespectful Christians who are exempt from walking in the Spirit and bearing His fruit.

    I am both angry and grieved that this has, and continues to cause serious disunity within our churches. I pray God moves to convict and humble such men, as well as flush out the poison of a doctrine that extols greater humility while simultaneously creating arrogance. Only the Enemy is crafty enough to twist God’s Word to make it seem one way, while producing such bitter fruit at the same time.

    And because that is what Calvinism does, it cannot be the work of God.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ellah:
      Sorry you had to see that video and even sorrier that it happened!

      Having been in pastoral or overseas missionary ministry for 33+ years, I have seen a dramatic change happen in the church.

      I grew up in a Christian environment where we (generic “Bible church” types) all tolerated Pentecostals and Reformed brethren. That was before the internet. We have an instant flow of information now and knowledge as well as miscommunication and misinterpretation have sped up.

      Now, many of the Community Church types have become Calvinists. (MacArthur was not always one)

      Now, many of my colleagues (who are newly-minted Calvinists) are much harsher, more strident. They spew the words “user-friendly” out of their mouth.

      The bottom line is —-whether they do this consciously or not —- is that they dont need to be nice. They can offer a service with only old hymns, and stern, controlled messages cuz (a) they dont want to be modern or too charismatic, and (b) they do not NEED to make it the least bit pleasant, since God is calling all the shots. In fact, the more unpleasant the better—so only the true remnant will stick it out.

      Be harsh, be blunt, “tell it like it is” ….be in your face… it’s all good. Truth hurts man….. but we have to defend it!

      There brings in the other thing at play that you witnessed in the video. They are aggressive…because they are ‘right’ and “God wants His church to be pure” (somehow that part is their job!). Shout down or name-call your opponents.

      I witnessed this before my very eyes with my national colleague on the field where I serve. After his early-20s, educated son introduced him to Calvinism….and he himself got on the wave…. he began to make our gatherings more stern and severe. Why? Too “easy” too “friendly”—- need to make it pure. “Dont need to water it down so just anybody will be interested. We will get a lot of ‘falsely interested’ people that way.”

      Also notice that the two guys that debated Leighton post mostly on JD Hall’s pen and pulpit site. Any 10 mins on that site will show you how angry they are….. and how they eat their own: Piper, Driscoll, Keller (all self-proclaimed Calvinists) are all regularly bashed (as well as many others: Beth Moore, Billy Graham, Hank Hanagraf, Andy Stanley). They very regularly refer to most people that do not adhere to their doctrines (like Leighton) as non-believers.

      Here is a quote from their site demonstrating the full extent of their would-be authority……

      “Hyper-Calvinism is a sub-Christian doctrine. It is an enemy of Christ. If Hyper-Calvinism could be anthropomorphized into a person, he should be rounded up, hogtied and b-rned at the st-ke like Michael Servetus.”

      Welcome to the new Calvinism.

      The “frozen chosen” of my youth have to move over for the new and improved defenders of the “doctrines of grace.”

      Including green, slow-burning wood. That’s gracious alright!

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  15. Thank you for your reply, F.O.H.
    After further reflection, I am still glad to have watched it, for it helped me solidify my beliefs even more.

    I have spent time on that site in the past and have just spent far too much time writing and deleting my opinions of them right now, since God tells us to be both truthful AND kind. I am finding the latter quality a mite difficult right now, so I will withhold the former one!

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    1. This was a great dialog between you and FOH Ellah!

      It reminds me that Paul had three different sources he identified for human behavior.
      1) κατὰ σαρκός (the source is carnal flesh)
      2) κατὰ πνεύματος (the source is from the Holy Spirit)
      3) κατὰ δαιμονίων (the source is demonic)

      I learned many years ago that carnal flesh needs to hide itself behind a masquerade of religious fervor.
      Otherwise it reveals how destitute it really is.

      I think you’re discernment is spot on!!

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      1. Br D. The fact that it is so easy for our carnal desires to be cloaked in spirituality should make us all pause reflectively before our God so He can search and refine our motives.

        I am confused about one thing, though. Mr. Zachariades kept saying that he doesn’t believe in any free will, but he didn’t differentiate between not believing in free will concerning salvation and not believing we have any free will to make responsible decisions, especially after we become Christians. I am only left to conclude that he doesn’t believe in any free will, including whether or not we can choose between eating an apple or a banana with our breakfast.

        Here’s why it’s even important to me:

        Most Calvinists I have met have never denied the free will of man in regards to making decisions outside of salvation. Their cliche usually goes like this: ” I believe in God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. We can’t always understand how that works out, but we know that both are at play and that God will hold us accountable for our actions. We also know that our free will can never trump God’s sovereignty.”

        They also believe, of course, that in matters of salvation, we have no free will to choose or reject Christ.

        Mr. Zachariades is one of the first Calvinists that I have heard state that he doesn’t believe in any free will.

        Does he really believe that, or was he simply not being articulate, and failed to address this in the same careless manner that he failed to address Dr. Leighton’s perspective in an intelligent and thorough manner?

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      2. Ellah writes, “Most Calvinists I have met have never denied the free will of man in regards to making decisions outside of salvation. Their cliche usually goes like this: ” …We also know that our free will can never trump God’s sovereignty.”

        More accurate to say, “…We also know that our free will can never trump God’s sovereign will.” Man’s will is subordinate to God’s will.

        Then, “They also believe, of course, that in matters of salvation, we have no free will to choose or reject Christ.”

        Not exactly. It is not that people have no free will. It is that they are enslaved to sin and have no desire for God. Thus, they have free will to do as they desire rather thant a libertarian free will that is not restrained by sin.

        Then, “Mr. Zachariades is one of the first Calvinists that I have heard state that he doesn’t believe in any free will.”

        I think he means that man’s will is enslaved to sin so his desires are the desires of his father who is Satan.

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      3. rhutch:
        1) Man’s will is subordinate to God’s will
        2) It is not that people have no free will. It is that they are enslaved to sin and have no desire for God
        3) they have free will to do as they desire rather thant a libertarian free will that is not restrained by sin
        4) he means that man’s will is enslaved to sin so his desires are the desires of his father who is Satan.

        br.d
        These are good examples of Calvinism’s double-think and dishonest language
        1) Notice how vague and ambiguous this statement is – who in Christianity doesn’t hold the creatures as subordinate to god?
        2) Notice how this seeks to hides the truth by presenting mans’ desire for sin *AS-IF* Calvin’s god is not determining it in every part.
        3) Notice the fabricated strawman argument here – that Libertarian free will is defined as being free from sin.
        4) This statement simply repeats the same disingenuous strategy of statement (2)

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      4. br.d writes, “These are good examples of Calvinism’s double-think and dishonest language”

        I do not understand why they would be either double-think or dishonest and br/d cannot explain it.

        Then, “1) Notice how vague and ambiguous this statement is – who in Christianity doesn’t hold the creatures as subordinate to god?”

        If all in Christianity hold to this, it can’t be that vague as all must have some understanding of what they believe.

        Then, “2) Notice how this seeks to hides the truth by presenting mans’ desire for sin *AS-IF* Calvin’s god is not determining it in every part.”

        The issue is not that God “determines” what people do (He does) but whether God compels man to act as they do (He does not).

        Then, “3) Notice the fabricated strawman argument here – that Libertarian free will is defined as being free from sin.”

        You are free to explain how you distinguish libertarian free will from compatibilist free will. But you don’t. Instead, you complain because I make a distinction not even arguing that my distinction is wrong. Why this is a strawman in a discussion on free will defies logic.

        Then, “4) This statement simply repeats the same disingenuous strategy of statement (2)”

        You seem not to have read the two points. Point 2 says that man’s will is enslaved to sin. Point 4 says that Satan is prompting the enslaved will to sin. So, we see that God has determined man to sin and then that sin comes about through an enslaved will and Satan’s influence on the will.

        br.d complains a lot but is unable to support his complaints through rational arguments.

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      5. br.d
        “These are good examples of Calvinism’s double-think and dishonest language”

        rhutchin:
        I do not understand why they would be either double-think or dishonest and br/d cannot explain it.

        br.d
        One can lead a horse to water but one can’t make him drink.

        br.d
        1) Notice how vague and ambiguous this statement is – who in Christianity doesn’t hold the creatures as subordinate to god?”

        rhutchin:
        If all in Christianity hold to this, it can’t be that vague as all must have some understanding of what they believe.

        br.d
        As William Lane Craig says “Calvinist always fail to enunciate the radical distinctions of their belief system”
        Its vague because it evades enunciation of Calvinist distinctions behind generic Christian camouflage.

        br.d
        “2) Notice how this seeks to hides the truth by presenting mans’ desire for sin *AS-IF* Calvin’s god is not determining it in every part.”

        rhutchin:
        The issue is not that God “determines” what people do (He does) but whether God compels man to act as they do (He does not).

        br.d
        The Christian Philosopher knows as an elementary truth that “compels” is an irrelevant red herring in this context. Since it is the case that man CANNOT have any neurological impulse that Calvin’s god does not determine him to have.

        br.d
        3) Notice the fabricated strawman argument here – that Libertarian free will is defined as being free from sin.”

        rhutchin:
        You are free to explain how you distinguish libertarian free will from compatibilist free will. But you don’t. Instead, you complain because I make a distinction not even arguing that my distinction is wrong. Why this is a strawman in a discussion on free will defies logic.

        br.d
        Please reference any published academic article that defines libertarian free will as the ability to be free from sin.
        Thus the strawman.

        br.d
        4) This statement simply repeats the same disingenuous strategy of statement (2)”

        rhutchin
        You seem not to have read the two points. Point 2 says that man’s will is enslaved to sin. Point 4 says that Satan is prompting the enslaved will to sin. So, we see that God has determined man to sin and then that sin comes about through an enslaved will and Satan’s influence on the will.

        br.d
        Sorry – if Calvin’s god determines every neurological impulse then man’s will is enslaved to the determinative will of Calvin’s god.
        You simply insert secondary instruments (which Calvin’s god moves) into the causal chain so you can blame the results on the secondary instrument. A strategy you would completely reject if the result were a salvation event. In that case you would attribute the results solely to Calvin’s god and not to a secondary means. Hence the doublethink.

        rhutchin:
        br.d complains a lot but is unable to support his complaints through rational arguments.

        br.d
        Any critical thinker reviewing your posts will recognize that statement as reverse attribution. :-]

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      6. br.d. writes, “Its vague because it evades enunciation of Calvinist distinctions behind generic Christian camouflage.”

        Yet, br.d is unable to explain the Calvinist distinctions he claims to exist.

        Then, ” Since it is the case that man CANNOT have any neurological impulse that Calvin’s god does not determine him to have.”

        br.d is just amplifying the Calvinist doctrine that the unbeliever is enslaved to sin accounting for the lack of even a neurological impulse to the contrary. God determined this by His decree not to free the unbeliever from enslavement to sin as a consequence of Adam’s sin.

        Then, “Please reference any published academic article that defines libertarian free will as the ability to be free from sin.”

        That is the point of “otherwise choice” that Dr. Flowers promotes. It is Dr. Flowers contention that people have “otherwise choice” and are not enslaved fully to sin – they exercise libertarian free will. Ronnie Rogers goes in the same direction when he says that sin is extensive but not intensive in the unbeliever. The problem remains that br.d still cannot provide a definition of libertarian free will that is different from compatibilistic free will.

        Then, “You simply insert secondary instruments…”

        Secondary instruments include unbelievers who are self-motivated by a love for sin that God did not give to them but is derived from the corruption caused by Adam’s sin. God did not move Adam to sin – Adam exercised libertarian free will to choose to sin.

        Then, “Any critical thinker reviewing your posts will recognize that statement as reverse attribution.”

        The critical thinker will see that you have nothing to offer as argument against Calvinism.

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      7. br.d
        -quoting William Lane Craig: “Calvinists consistently fail to enunciate the radical distinctions of their belief system”
        “Its vague because it evades enunciation of Calvinist distinctions behind generic Christian camouflage.”

        rhutchin:
        Yet, br.d is unable to explain the Calvinist distinctions he claims to exist.

        br.d
        By this logic it follows William Lane Craig is also unable to explain them. :-]

        br.d
        ” Since it is the case that man CANNOT have any neurological impulse that Calvin’s god does not determine him to have, then it logically follows that man is enslaved to the determinative will of Calvin’s god”

        This is a logical proposition with an antecedent and a consequent – and I noticed you strategically omitted the consequent so I put it back.

        rhutchin:
        br.d is just amplifying the Calvinist doctrine that the unbeliever is enslaved to sin accounting for the lack of even a neurological impulse to the contrary. God determined this by His decree not to free the unbeliever from enslavement to sin as a consequence of Adam’s sin.

        br.d
        Thanks rhutchin – this provides another example of how Calvinists twist statements and use double-speak.
        Readers can compare out two statements – nice example!

        br.d
        “Please reference any published academic article that defines libertarian free will as the ability to be free from sin.”

        rhutchin:
        That is the point of “otherwise choice” that Dr. Flowers promotes. It is Dr. Flowers contention that people have “otherwise choice” and are not enslaved fully to sin – they exercise libertarian free will. Ronnie Rogers goes in the same direction when he says that sin is extensive but not intensive in the unbeliever. The problem remains that br.d still cannot provide a definition of libertarian free will that is different from compatibilistic free will.

        br.d
        This is logically fallacious in number of ways
        1) Again – please provide a quote where Dr. Flowers clearly states or makes a proposition that clearly argues – Libertarian free will is defined as being free from sin.

        2) I consistently post quotes from current scholars on the topic of Theological Determinism, compatibilistic free will etc.
        See the one I posted today from Dr. Robert Kane for example – the Oxford Handbook of free will.
        The difference between compatibilistic free will and libertarian free will is detailed throughout the current scholarly literature.
        If a Calvinist chooses to ignore the current literature on this topic – what br.d does is irrelevant. :-]

        3) I’m not familiar with Ronnie Rogers so I can’t speak for him. But the fact that you can’t provide clear unambiguous quotes or arguments from Dr. Flowers – along with what you ascribed to Ronnie Rogers – indicates you’ve manufactured a strawman on this point. I hardly think you’re going to be able to show that anyone asserts Libertarian free will is defined as being free from sin since such an assertion is void of common sense.

        rhutchin
        Secondary instruments include unbelievers who are self-motivated by a love for sin that God did not give to them but is derived from the corruption caused by Adam’s sin. God did not move Adam to sin – Adam exercised libertarian free will to choose to sin.

        br.d
        Being “self-motivated” is again irrelevant in Theological Determinism – since in it Calvin’s god determines every neurological impulse a person will have. Calvin’s god could just as easily set in motion a wind-up toy and determine every way it turns.
        Its a half-truth to assert “love for sin” is derived from Adam’s sin – when in Calvinism “love for sin” is first-conceived in the mind of Calvin’s god and decreed upon Adam as his unavoidable fate.

        rhutchin:
        The critical thinker will see that you have nothing to offer as argument against Calvinism.

        br.d
        I’m very happy with readers reviewing our threads. :-]

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      8. br.d writes, “By this logic it follows William Lane Craig is also unable to explain them. :-]”

        If Craig explains it, why don’t you quote him on it rather than act like your clueless?

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      9. br.d writes, “By this logic it follows William Lane Craig is also unable to explain them. :-]”

        rhutchin
        If Craig explains it, why don’t you quote him on it rather than act like your clueless?

        br.d
        Those characterizations are too funny!
        I leave the business of breaking through Calvinist double-think and truth-evasions to the Lord. :-]

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      10. Rhutchin writes:
        ‘So, we see that God has determined man to sin and then that sin comes about through an enslaved will and Satan’s influence on the will.’

        What a sick and distorted way to view the world, believing that your supposedly ‘loving’ God cursed you with an inability to do good, forced you into slavery (of sin) and sent a cruel taskmaster to bait and abuse you. All, allegedly, for his ‘glory’. Men, helpless puppets, remain under the cruel dominion of God’s servant, Satan, unless and until God ‘by force’ rescues them. Even Sproul admits that those not so ‘forced’ by God out of slavery to sin would have been better off if they had never been born.

        In truth, the ‘desires of the flesh’ – like eating, drinking and procreation – were created by God to support life; it was the deceptions of the Evil one that perverted these good and God-given desires (few deny that eating, drinking and sex are inherently good) to bring ever increasing sorrow and destruction upon men and creation. What Calvinism is sorely lacking is an understanding of Evil, instead (wrongly) attributing its existence and suffering to God. Turning the gospel on its head, instead of teaching and rejoicing in the deliverance from sin and death that Jesus came to proclaim, Calvinism alleges that sin was God’s plan all along, and that man is helpless to resist it unless God unilaterally grabs him, magically changes him and ‘gives’ him new desires. How’s that for transferring blame? Is it any wonder that horrendous sin is actually rampant among historical Christian leaders, beginning with their alleged ‘Fathers’ Luther and Calvin. (See the peasant revolution and massacre, both inspired by Luther and the torture and murder overseen by Calvin for thought crimes.)

        “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! **[Of course, Luther turned these verses on their head and asserted that men should ‘Sin boldly!’ in order to better reveal God’s ‘glorious’ grace.]** How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification. When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord . . . So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,[a] he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Rom 6-8:17

        That’s a lengthy quote, but, as always, proper interpretation requires context. If we look to what scripture actually says, rather than what our doctrines demand, we find that it is only when we are given the Spirit of God that we are freed from ‘slavery’ to sin. Note that it is not ‘faith’ being given to dead men, but the Spirit, which we have been taught earlier is given in response to faith. (Read all of Romans for more context.) It is when we receive, and live by, the Spirit that we are enabled to overcome the strong temptation of the flesh to simply live for the moment, to pursue personal, fleshly pleasure. Nor are we delivered from the temptations of the flesh by being given a ‘new nature’, but merely given the ability to overcome our ‘nature’ which is to feed the flesh by a greater power, which is the Spirit of God. Should the desires of the flesh be destroyed, all would die, as men would cease to eat, drink and reproduce.

        Despite all of Paul’s talk about being ‘dead to sin’ just as we were once ‘dead to righteousness’, it is clear we are still able to see, hear and pursue sin – it is, as always, a choice that we must make. Being dead does not make us deaf, dumb and blind. What we do now have is the power – that we were once lacking – which enables us to resist the temptations of sin; but it is always a choice to seek and put in use this power of the Spirit. The passage asserts that, however ‘dead’ we now are to sin, we can nonetheless remain its slave, if we choose to indulge the ever present flesh. Note that what Calvinism likes to call the ‘sin nature’ is no more than the simple desires of the flesh common to all living beings; given, not as a ‘curse’ but as instincts to preserve life. If we live as if serving our flesh is all there is, we will grow ever more ‘fleshly’ or depraved, like a brute animal. Our ‘flesh’ needs to be disciplined and controlled by a right-thinking mind, as obesity, alcoholism etc. attest to.

        Taken out of context, the Calvinist can make up all sorts of ideas about what being a ‘slave’ or ‘dead’ to this or that means, but it does not really hold up when examined in context. God is calling us to stop living like an animal, led by brute instinct, but to allow the Spirit to instruct and guide us into moderated, healthier applications of our ‘desires’ that take into account the needs of others as well as ourselves. Always, scripture upholds that man has a free choice as to how he lives.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Hi Ellah,

        It sounds like what he holds to would be called “Hard Determinism”.
        Historically, there have been various positions on one’s concept of free will.
        Check out this web-site for a summary of the various positions.
        https://www.tutor2u.net/religious-studies/blog/free-will-and-determinism

        But please note if this author promotes a view – its not mine – I just point to this site for the summary.

        I think you will find – few Calvinists profess to believe that free will does not exist in any form.
        Most Calvinists believe in free will in some form – however there is a great deal of variance in what properties they conceive it having.

        If you check out the Youtube video titled “Calvinism intrinsically irrational” .
        Dr. Anderson’s representation is pretty typical of most Calvinism – especially current Calvinism.

        Most scholars in Christian Philosophy will say that Calvinism embraces a form of “Soft Determinism”.

        Soft Determinism entails “Compatiblism”
        The view that even if your every neurological impulse is pre-determined before you were born you still have free will.
        But this is based on a technicality – you’re will is “free” to choose what it has been pre-determined to choose.
        Using a car as an example:
        If you DETERMINE your car turn to the left – the compatibilist can say your car is “free” to turn to the left.
        Even though it is being DETERMINED to do so.

        Calvinists and some Lutheran theologians embrace Theological Determinism and a compabilitistic definition of free will.
        However Theological Determinism is one of the most predominant factors in Calvinist theology.

        The vast majority of Evangelical Christianity rejects Theological Determinism.
        And embraces a Libertarian view of free will.
        Mostly in order to remain in alignment with what they understand as a biblical view of morality and ethics.

        Scholars in Christian Philosophy say that a pronounced property of libertarian free will is the power to “do otherwise” than what an external mind determines to do. This is sometimes called PAP (the principle of alternate possibilities).
        PAP and a libertarian form of “do otherwise” are logically impossible in Determinism.

        Because biblical ethics are predicated on the power to “do otherwise” Calvinists are significantly challenged by it.
        As a consequence, there is a large degree of double-think and misleading language in Calvinism.

        Most Calvinists have little to lose for being intellectually dishonest – so they tend to be mentored in misleading language that is designed to make Calvinism appear as biblically ethical as possible.
        One needs to have a good familiarity of the philosophical territory in order to not be tricked by double-think or misleading language.

        Like

  16. To restate the question more clearly since I couldn’t go back and edit my comment:

    Does he really believe that, or was he being as inarticulate and careless with his statement of free will, as he was when failing to address Dr. Leighton’s perspective in an intelligent and thorough manner?

    Like

      1. Ellah:
        A very curious thing about that debate. I have read numerous times (including the words of Calvinists) that the reformed guys were mean and disrespectful.

        And yet….. those reformed guys have the debate on their web sites and un-apologetically urge people to watch it. Surprising right? You would think that if you had a recording of you being mean you would not blast it far and wide. Nope…..not these bad boys!

        Why? Cuz “the truth hurts baby!” They have to defend God’s honor against heretics man!

        Bring on the green-wood and millstones, cuz some people need gettin’ rid of!

        Shout them down…. cuz any means justifies the end of defending those doctrines of grace!

        Like

    1. Ok, I listened about

      No, I don’t think he’s a hard determinist who doesn’t think free will exists – although I can see why one would question that with him.
      Firstly I can see why the confusion because his presentation is 99% emotional and 1% rational.

      But he made a few statements that I took note of:
      1) He [a man in scripture] didn’t excersise his free will the way he wanted to
      2) When god wants a man to commit adultery god “ORDERS” him to.
      3) He [god] is the sovereign lord

      (1) tells me that he does believe men have free will but it is under subjection to god’s will.
      In other words the ability to think/say/do anything other than what god determines you to do is an illusion.

      (2) Take not of his language here – notice he doesn’t say god “CAUSES” man to commit adultery or “MAKES” man commit adultery.
      He uses the word “ORDERS”. This is an example of Calvinism’s dishonesty language.
      He wouldn’t have any problem saying god “MAKES” or “CAUSES” a man come to Christ.
      But he knows if he says god “MAKES/CAUSES” a man commit adultery the evangelical church will reject Calvinism.
      So all of a sudden he changes his term to “ORDERS” in the context of sins and evils.
      This is a dead giveaway of intellectual dishonesty.

      But I noticed something quite pronounced about his body language.

      You know that reading body language is all about discerning when someone is saying something that they really don’t believe.

      Why do you think his presentation was so hysterical – with his screening, shouting bulging-eyes and popping blood-vessels?
      His body language reveals he doesn’t REALLY believe god controls people the way he says god does.
      His body language reveals he’s trusting in his own works (in this case hysterical preaching) in order to persuade people.
      If he REALLY believed his god controls people the way he presented – his body language wouldn’t be hysterical.

      So I think he’s a typical Calvinist who embraced Theological Determinism and a compatibilist definition of free will.

      Like

      1. Oh one more thing – if one replaced his sound track with that of Adolph Hitler – it would be hilarious!!! :-]

        Like

  17. Notes from the Oxford Handbook of Free Will
    Dr. Robert Kane Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy University of Texas.

    The problem with Calvinism:

    Calvinist theologian Jonathan Edwards took the classical compatibilist line, that freedom is the ability to do what we want or desire without constraints or impediments; and Edwards argued that we could have such freedom to do as we want even if everything in the world was determined by the foreordaining acts of God.

    Predestination in this form is difficult to accept, and the reasoning of chapter 11 suggests why. If humans were predestined in the way Edwards describes, they would not be ultimately responsible for their actions. For God’s creation of the world and creatures, determining every aspect of it in every part, would obviously include determining every aspect of human nature in every part.

    And this absolute, meticulous determining of every part would be a SUFFICIENT CAUSE of everything that happens, including the good and evil acts of humans.

    Since humans are not in turn responsible for God’s creating the world as God did, then humans would not be ultimately responsible for their natures and hence their actions.

    Worse still, the ultimate responsibility for good and evil acts would lie with God, who knowingly created a world in which those acts would inevitably and unavoidably occur.

    Such consequences are unacceptable for most theists, who believe that God is not the cause of evil and who also believe that God justly punishes us for our sins.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. br.d writes, ‘Dr. Robert Kane Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy University of Texas. The problem with Calvinism:…”

      That’s fine but you neglected to provide Dr. Kane’s alternative to Calvinism. Anyone can complain about Calvinism – you do that all the time. However, if a person has no rational alternative to Calvinism, (other than retreating into Open Theism or otherwise denying that God is omniscient, infinite in understanding and/or not perfectly wise) why should we care?

      Like

      1. Its sufficient to highlight aspects of Theological Determinism and its accompanying language of double-speak.
        Which reveal how alien it is to the God of scripture and the narrative of scripture.

        Unless of course, one wants to embrace the notion (as Calvinists do) that the God of scripture believes [A] while speaking [NOT A].
        And the authors of scripture implicitly embrace double-think and reflect it in their writing.

        Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof :-]

        Like

    2. BrD
      Thank you for the references and thoughts on this subject. I will look into them when time allows.
      However, I am mortified to think that anything dealing with Adolph Hitler could ever be close to humorous.

      Like

      1. Hi Ellah,
        You make an excellent point – well said!
        I guess the Calvinist’s body language and that of Hilters – have certain characteristics in common.
        And you’re probably right – the Lord doesn’t find them humorous in either case.
        Duly noted and thanks.

        Like

  18. THE STOIC EXCULPATORY ARGUMENT – ZUES IS NOT TO BE BLAMED FOR THE EVIL HE DETERMINES

    The Greek Stoic Cleanthes (330. 230 BC), argued that all things are determined by the God Zeus.

    But even though Zeus determines all things which come to pass – and even though the vast percentage of things determined by Zeus are evils perpetrated by mankind, it does not follow that Zeus is responsible for the evils he determines mankind to commit.

    To support this argument, Cleanthes appeals to an analogy of a round cylinder resting on the top of a hill. Zeus aligns the cylinder so that it will roll down the hill and kill an innocent child. But the reason the cylinder roles, Cleanthes argues, is because the cylinder is round. If it were square it would not role.

    Now Cleanthes, being a consistent determinist, admits that Zeus’ pushing the cylinder, is in fact, the antecedent cause. But still he argues, if the cylinder were square, it would not have rolled. Therefore, Cleanthes argues, it is THE NATURE of the cylinder that is to be blamed, and not Zeus who arranged and initiated the whole affair.

    Therefore, Cleanthes concludes, when Zeus uses men in order to make wicked evil things come to pass – and even though Zeus makes men do these things by predestining they do them with immutable decrees – It is still the wicked NATURE of men that is to be blamed for sins and evils, and not Zeus.

    From “The Stoics” by Sandback, F.H. (page 102)

    One interesting point however, which Cleanthes doesn’t seem to care to address, is – since it is the case the Zeus determines all things – how did it come about that the NATURE of the cylinder was round? Isn’t it true that the cylinder couldn’t be round unless Zeus determined it? Is Zeus just playing amoral unethical games with men – perhaps for his good pleasure?

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  19. WHAT DEGREE OF CHOICE DO WE REALLY HAVE WHEN CHOICE IS FATED

    Oxford Handbook on Free Will
    -quote:
    From a personal or practical standpoint, we PERCEIVE ourselves as free agents capable of influencing the world in various ways. OPEN ALTERNATIVES “seem” to lie before us. We reason or deliberate among them and choose. We FEEL it is “up to us” what we choose and how we act; and this means that we could have chosen or “acted otherwise”. For, as Aristotle put it, ‘When acting is “up to us”, so is not acting’. This “up to us-ness” also suggests that the origins or sources of our actions are in us and no in something else over which we have no control – whether that something else is fate or God, the laws of nature, birth or upbringing, or other humans. -end quote

    University of Notre Dame – On Free Will
    -quote:
    Determinism is the thesis that it is true at every moment that the way things then are, determines ONE UNIQUE FUTURE, and that ONLY ONE ALTERNATIVE future that may exist relative to a given moment is a physically possible continuation of the state of things at that moment. -end quote

    Calvinism embraces Universal Divine Causal Determinism. And is therefore consistent with determinism’s thesis that at any moment, only ONE UNIQUE FUTURE is OPEN to us. In Calvinist terminology – at the foundation of the world, every person’s moment-by-moment future is -quote “fixed in the past”, or “settled”, by the THEOS, and every choice we make is therefore “rendered certain” by the THEOS and not by us.

    On this view, the THEOS enjoys a Libertarian form of free will – in that when he is faced with a choice between A and B, both of these are equally OPEN to him from which to choose. In Philosophy this is described as PAP (the Principle of Alternative Possibilities). In this case, both A and B represent alternative possibilities equally OPEN to the THEOS to choose from.

    But since the THEOS determines every choice the creature makes, PAP does not exist for the creature. In this case when we are faced with a choice between A and B, the THEOS has already made that choice, and the ONE choice the THEOS determined us to choose, is the ONE UNIQUE choice that is OPEN to us to choose – and not the other.

    There are different beliefs about what degree of choice we actually have in this scheme. The hard determinist insists that since only ONE of these is actually OPEN to us from which to choose, our perception of being able to choose the other is an illusion. The soft determinist (aka compatibilist Calvinist) argues that even though only ONE of these is actually OPEN to us from which to choose, we still have the same degree of choice we would have if both of these were equally OPEN to us. But Dr. Alvin Plantinga, considers this argument completely irrational, and likens it to putting a man in a jail cell and telling him he is as free as he would be if he were outside the cell.

    This form of fated choice can be likened to a choice a person would make after hypnosis. Say for example, 50 people are told under hypnosis that in the future each of them will be faced with choosing between root beer and orange soda, and in that situation, they will choose orange soda. Sure enough, when they are taken out of the hypnotic state, and the two drinks are presented, every one of them chooses the orange soda.

    The soft determinist (aka compatibilist Calvinist) may argue, that technically speaking, each one did make a choice – they chose the orange soda. But the indeterminist rejects this as a “genuine” choice because hypnosis was used as a mechanism to determine what choice they would make.

    The non-Calvinist Christian would see no ethical problem with God using some form of supernatural hypnosis, as a mechanism to determine people’s choices. But they would insist that a Holy God would only do this in unusual circumstances. And that any God who would do this to every choice every person makes, would be the equivalent of people functioning as puppets or robots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great explanation. The Calvinist pretends that since God uses ‘supernatural hypnosis’, instead of a club, to give us the desired desires, he remains free of the charge of using ‘force’. As I stated before, earthly rulers have sought that same power to control men by implanted thoughts and commands. It is still improper manipulation of another’s power of choice, and is just as immoral as force.

      Like

      1. ts00 writes, “The Calvinist pretends that since God uses ‘supernatural hypnosis’,…”

        Silly ts00. You have such an active imagination. There is nothing in Calvinism about God using ‘supernatural hypnosis’,…”

        Like

      2. Rhutchin obfuscates:
        “Silly ts00. You have such an active imagination. There is nothing in Calvinism about God using ‘supernatural hypnosis’,…””

        Cause no one here has ever pointed out the deceptive tactics and doublespeak of Calvinism. 😉

        Like

      3. TruthSeeker
        rhutchin obfuscates:
        “Silly ts00. You have such an active imagination. There is nothing in Calvinism about God using ‘supernatural hypnosis’,…””

        Cause no one here has ever pointed out the deceptive tactics and doublespeak of Calvinism. 😉

        br.d
        I love it how rhutchin can detail ever little miniscule thing Calvin’s god decrees at the foundation of the world *AS-IF* rhutchin were right there at his side. And then telling someone they have an “active imagination”.

        I think that’s called reverse attribution. :-]

        Like

      4. TruthSeeker:
        “The Calvinist pretends that since God uses ‘supernatural hypnosis’,…”

        rhutchin
        Silly ts00. You have such an active imagination. There is nothing in Calvinism about God using ‘supernatural hypnosis’,…”

        br.d
        Calvinist Paul KJoss Helseth – Four Views on Divine Providence
        -quote:
        “The MECHANICS of how God can be the efficient cause of sin without……being culpable for, sin is inscrutable”

        Notice Helseth uses the term “MECHANICS”
        This term serves as a tip-off of a major characteristic of determinism – its MECHANICAL.

        Notice also how Calvinists have this divine knowledge of every little miniscule detail of Calvin’s god’s decrees.
        But for questions where the answer is a little too embarrassing they punt to INSCRUTABLE – or the bible doesn’t tel us that.

        One would think they were right there beside Calvin’s god while he was making each and every decree.
        And yet on other questions – no answers.
        I think this might be just a little too convenient! :-]

        Like

      5. Thanks TruthSeeker!
        Yes I agree the he doesn’t force argument doesn’t line up with Biblical ethics when one realizes creatures can’t “do otherwise” than what the THEOS determines they do.

        This is why rhutchin spends so much time using word games designed to paint the opposite picture *AS-IF* the creature can “do otherwise” than what the THEOS determines.

        As we’ve said before – its their doctrine – they ought to own it.

        Like

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