Born Haters of God? The Calvinist’s View of Humanity is Too High!

Calvinists teach that all of humanity are born God haters due to their fallen condition and can do nothing except reject the good news brought by the Spirit because of their innate animosity toward their Creator. Even God’s own appeals for reconciliation are insufficient to enable a fallen person to respond freely according to this particular kind of “Reformed Theology.”  For instance, Calvinistic scholar Albert Mohler gave his exposition on Romans 1:18-32 by teaching, in part:

“Paul’s story of universal human sinfulness and depravity is our story. In these words, we discover the explanation of how it is that we find ourselves in this condition of sinfulness… Every single human being is part of the intellectual activity described here. All descendants of Adam are involved in the suppression of ‘truth in unrighteousness’… This text is about humanity. The verb tense in the phrase ‘God gave’ is past tense — this has already happened. God has given humanity over. The apostle Paul includes everyone in the indictment as he describes the giving over of all of humanity to sinfulness”…

Theologically, this is referred to as the noetic consequences of the fall. The phrase ‘noetic effects’ refers to the intellectual consequences of sin. John Calvin said there were three great causes of this noetic disaster…<link>

Mohler continues in this message to describe Calvin’s doctrine of “Total Inability,” the belief that all of humanity is born morally incapable of responding positively to any appeal of God unless they are first regenerated by an “irresistible” or “effectual” work of grace (i.e. the “T” and “I” of the “TULIP” soteriology).

In other words, Mohler believes people must be born again (regenerated) before they can believe in God’s own appeals to be reconciled through faith in Christ (i.e. pre-faith regeneration). Mohler and other Calvinists are convinced that God’s gracious work in sending His Son, the Spirit, the Apostles, the Scripture, His Bride and the Gospel appeal needs yet another gracious work (an “irresistible work”) to be sufficient to enable a positive response.  Does God’s gracious work need more grace to work? And must God’s gracious gifts be irresistibly applied for Him to get full credit for giving them? Apparently Calvinists believe so.

What Mohler and Calvinists in general fail to recognize is that Paul is contrasting “the righteous who live by faith” in Rom. 1:17 with those who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” in vs 18. Paul is not attempting to say that every human has continually suppressed the truth in unrighteousness, traded the truth in for lies, been given over to their defiled minds, become homosexuals and approve of all who do these sinful acts.  Paul is attempting to demonstrate how all people (both the Jews with the direct revelation of God’s law and the Gentiles with only their inborn conscience) have broken the commandments of God and thus may only attain righteous by grace through faith in God and not by meritorious deeds.

KEY POINT: Proof that no one is morally capable of attaining righteous by works of the law is not proof that no one is morally capable of believing in God so as to be credited as righteous by His gracious provision through Christ.

A common objection against our Traditional free will theology is that “it exalts mankind” because it maintains mankind’s moral ability-to-respond to God’s appeals (i.e. “responsibility”).  We regularly hear Calvinists accusing our view of “stealing God’s glory and exalting humanity,” but is this a fair accusation?  Let’s objectively examine the natural (lost/un-regenerate) man of each system and you decide which perspective really has the “lower” view of the natural man:


The Non-Elect Unbelievers (“reprobate”) who die in rebellion:

▪ Were born hated and rejected by God (speaking salvifically)

▪ Were born incapable of morally accepting God’s own appeals to repent

▪ Were born with a nature that could only hate God, just as he was first hated by God

▪ Live their entire lives incapable of willingly repenting in response to God’s revelation

The Calvinistic view of God in relation to those (“reprobate”) who die in unbelief:

▪ Hated and rejected the reprobates before the creation of the world

▪ Refused to grant the reprobates the ability to repent to His own appeals and then judged them for their unwillingness to repent in light of Christ’s word

One can only feel pity for the non-elect reprobate of the Calvinistic system. They are born victims of God’s eternal decree and without hope of salvation. The only thing more devastating than a lost soul is a lost soul without anyone looking for her or providing her hope of being found.

On Calvinism the reprobate (most of humanity) are born in a hopeless and helpless condition which is beyond their control. They are born rejected and unloved by their own Creator. How devastating is this!? This is not good news! This is horrific and terrible news!

The good news is that our God is good! Because He is good we know that no child is born unloved by their Creator, rejected by their Maker, or unwanted by their God.

“God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8)

“The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works” (Ps. 145:9).

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time” (1 Tim. 2:3-6).

Our God loves and wants the aborted, abandoned and unwanted children of this earth. He saves the weak and humble because He is gracious and kind (Ps 18:27).

In many ways, the reprobate on Calvinism is like the clinically insane in our own judicial system. The unfortunate people born with mental illness who literally cannot control their behaviors due to tumors, chemical imbalances or other similar ailments may be declared “insane” and hospitalized, but our judicial system still recognizes their “innocence” due to their incapacities. The court’s ruling of “innocent by reason of insanity” relates to this contrast because it points to the true nature of what makes a man responsible and thus blameworthy.

How do you feel about a judge who sends a mentally ill criminal to the electric chair for committing a crime that he literally could not have refrained from committing? How do you view that criminal? In this scenario the judge is painted in a very bad light and the criminal is seen as a victim of sorts. In contrast, if the criminal is shown to have committed a premeditated crime with malice and full responsibility as a sane person, the judge seems much more just and the criminal far more guilty.

For this reason, a good District Attorney seeking a guilty conviction would vehemently argue that the defendant was of “sound mind” and “had the capacity to refrain from the criminal behavior” for which he stands trial.

So too, the Traditionalist, like myself, stands to make a parallel argument against all unbelievers who end up in Hell. The lost unbeliever cannot resort to the defense of “Total Inability.” Those perishing in Hell cannot rightly say, “I was born hated and rejected by my Maker, unable to choose otherwise,” or “The revelation of God, even through the powerful truth of the gospel, was insufficient to enable me to willingly respond in faith.” The lost do not have any excuses for their unbelief (Rom 1:20). And I cannot think of any better excuse than that provided by the teaching of Calvinists regarding the incapacity of man’s nature to respond willingly to God Himself.

Unbelievers are guilty of unbelief because it is their responsibility (read “ability to respond”) to believe God’s gracious and abundantly clear revelation. To remove that ability (moral or otherwise) is to undermine their guilt and God’s justice. So, let’s look at the condition of the natural man on Traditionalism in contrast to the Calvinistic worldview:


The Unbelievers who die in rebellion:

▪ Were born sinners under wrath, but loved and wanted by God nonetheless

▪ Were born capable of morally accepting God’s gracious appeals to repent

▪ Were born with a nature that could either respond in love or hatred to God’s provision of self-sacrifical love and atonement

▪ Live their entire lives freely rejecting God’s revelation though they have no excuse for doing so because they had the capacity to morally respond in faith

The Traditionalists view of God in relation to those who die in unbelief:

▪ Loved and provided the means of salvation for them all

▪ Graciously granted all the ability to repent to His own appeals and then judged them for their choice to rebel or repent in light of Christ’s word (see John 12:47-48)

Those who perish only perish because the refused to love the truth so as to be saved (2 Thess. 2:11).  The lost cannot claim they were rejected by their own Maker before they were born. They cannot say they were unloved or not provided the necessary grace needed to believe and be saved! They were not born haters of God who couldn’t have chosen to do otherwise because of a divine unchangeable decree prior to the creation of the world.

Watch the video below for a quick answer to the question, “Are all people born haters of God?”

NOTICE: This is not a new argument against deterministic views, by any means.  In fact, in the first and second century we have record of the Earliest Church Fathers making this same case:

Irenaeus (AD 120-202): (He was a student of Polycarp, who in turn was traditionally known to be a disciple of John the Evangelist.)

“God therefore has given that which is good, as the apostle tells us in this Epistle, and they who work it shall receive glory and honor, because they have done that which is good when they had it in their power not to do it; but those who do it not shall receive the just judgment of God, because they did not work good when they had it in their power so to do.

But if some had been made by nature bad, and others good, these latter would not be deserving of praise for being good, for such were they created; nor would the former be reprehensible, for thus they were made [originally]. But since all men are of the same nature, able both to hold fast and to do what is good; and, on the other hand, having also the power to cast it from them and not to do it, — some do justly receive praise even among men who are under the control of good laws (and much more from God), and obtain deserved testimony of their choice of good in general, and of persevering therein; but the others are blamed, and receive a just condemnation, because of their rejection of what is fair and good. And therefore the prophets used to exhort men to what was good, to act justly and to work righteousness, as I have so largely demonstrated, because it is in our power so to do, and because by excessive negligence we might become forgetful, and thus stand in need of that good counsel which the good God has given us to know by means of the prophets. … No doubt, if any one is unwilling to follow the Gospel itself, it is in his power [to reject it], but it is not expedient. For it is in man’s power to disobey God, and to forfeit what is good; but [such conduct] brings no small amount of injury and mischief. … But because man is possessed of free will from the beginning, and God is possessed of free will, in whose likeness man was created, advice is always given to him to keep fast the good, which thing is done by means of obedience to God.(Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Bk. IV, 37)

Justin Martyr (AD 110-165)

“But lest some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever happens, happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, and chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Since if it be not so, but all things happen by fate, neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it be fated that this man, e.g., be good, and this other evil, neither is the former meritorious nor the latter to be blamed. And again, unless the human race have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions, of whatever kind they be. But that it is by free choice they both walk uprightly and stumble, we thus demonstrate. We see the same man making a transition to opposite things. Now, if it had been fated that he were to be either good or bad, he could never have been capable of both the opposites, nor of so many transitions. But not even would some be good and others bad, since we thus make fate the cause of evil, and exhibit her as acting in opposition to herself; or that which has been already stated would seem to be true, that neither virtue nor vice is anything, but that things are only reckoned good or evil by opinion; which, as the true word shows, is the greatest impiety and wickedness. But this we assert is inevitable fate, that they who choose the good have worthy rewards, and they who choose the opposite have their merited awards. For not like other things, as trees and quadrupeds, which cannot act by choice, did God make man: for neither would he be worthy of reward or praise did he not of himself choose the good, but were created for this end; nor, if he were evil, would he be worthy of punishment, not being evil of himself, but being able to be nothing else than what he was made.” (Justin, First Apology, XLIII)

Tertullian (AD 145-220)

“In order, therefore, that man might have a goodness of his own, bestowed on him by God, and there might be henceforth in man a property, and in a certain sense a natural attribute of goodness, there was assigned to him in the constitution of his nature, as a formal witness of the goodness which God bestowed upon him, freedom and power of the will, such as should cause good to be performed spontaneously by man, as a property of his own, on the ground that no less than this would be required in the matter of a goodness which was to be voluntarily exercised by him, that is to say, by the liberty of his will, without either favor or servility to the constitution of his nature, so that man should be good just up to this point, if he should display his goodness in accordance with his natural constitution indeed, but still as the result of his will, as a property of his nature; and, by a similar exercise of volition, should show himself to be too strong in defense against evil also (for even this God, of course, foresaw), being free, and master of himself; because, if he were wanting in this prerogative of self-mastery, so as to perform even good by necessity and not will, he would, in the helplessness of his servitude, become subject to the usurpation of evil, a slave as much to evil as to good. Entire freedom of will, therefore, was conferred upon him in both tendencies; so that, as master of himself, he might constantly encounter good by spontaneous observance of it, and evil by its spontaneous avoidance; because, were man even otherwise circumstanced, it was yet his bounden duty, in the judgment of God, to do justice according to the motions of his will regarded, of course, as free. But the reward neither of good nor of evil could be paid to the man who should be found to have been either good or evil through necessity and not choice. In this really lay the law which did not exclude, but rather prove, human liberty by a spontaneous rendering of obedience, or a spontaneous commission of iniquity; so patent was the liberty of man’s will for either issue. Since, therefore, both the goodness and purpose of God are discovered in the gift to man of freedom in his will, it is not right, after ignoring the original definition of goodness and purpose which it was necessary to determine previous to any discussion of the subject, on subsequent facts to presume to say that God ought not in such a way to have formed man, because the issue was other than what was assumed to be proper for God. We ought rather, after duly considering that it behooved God so to create man, to leave this consideration unimpaired, and to survey the other aspects of the case. It is, no doubt, an easy process for persons who take offence at the fall of man, before they have looked into the facts of his creation, to impute the blame of what happened to the Creator, without any examination of His purpose. To conclude: the goodness of God, then fully considered from the beginning of His works, will be enough to convince us that nothing evil could possibly have come forth from God; and the liberty of man will, after a second thought, show us that it alone is chargeable with the fault which itself committed.” (Tertullian, Against Marcion, Bk. II, ch. vi)

HERE we also discuss the glory of God and the accusation of that Traditionalism seeks to steal it somehow.

540 thoughts on “Born Haters of God? The Calvinist’s View of Humanity is Too High!

  1. Reading through the Bible…. Exodus 4-5.

    “4:1 But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?”

    2 Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?”

    “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied.”

    Here the Lord does not say some deterministic answer like “they will believe cuz I will make them believe!” Nope.

    He is gonna give Moses some signs to help their puny faith (not give them faith). Just like Christ later—- “many believed because of the miracles.”


    “8 The Lord said to Moses, “If they do not believe you and are not convinced by the first miraculous sign, they will be convinced by the second sign. 9 And if they don’t believe you or listen to you even after these two signs, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on the dry ground. When you do, the water from the Nile will turn to blood on the ground.”

    No wonder when we read the Bible and let it speak to us we do not see determinism! The Lord gives him 3 signs to really assist their small faith!! And He says, “if they dont believe you…”

    Why would a God who has determined/ decreed all things –immutably, unchangeably, EVER say the words “and if they don’t….” ??

    He wouldn’t.


    “10 But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words.”

    Excuses offered from Moses. What does the Lord say? “I have planned this whole thing out” ?? No.


    “11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

    This verse is often quoted (out of context!!) by Calvinists to “prove” that everything that is said by mankind is what God decreed. But, come on….really? Is that what God is saying in the context here? He is saying He will be with Moses when he speaks— after all He is the creator of Moses’ mouth.


    13 But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.”

    14 Then the Lord became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well.

    Moses whines again and “The Lord became angry…” What? Why didnt the Lord just say “I have every word since the beginning planned out.” ?? Nope. He says… Aaron speaks well (since you dont, and you dont want to do this) so I will give you Aaron.

    No wonder we dont see determinism in the Bible!! God very much goes out of His way to write His word as though history is being made in real time. What else are we supposed to believe?!

    You have to bring fatalist-determinism-Calvinism TO the text in order to find it.

  2. Reading through the Bible…NT time….Matt 18:1-20.

    18:1 About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

    2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

    Turn from your sins.
    Become like little children.
    Become as humble as a child….. that makes you great in the kingdom.

    5 “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. 6 But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.

    Welcome people.
    Don’t cause people to fall into sin! (Of course that is not God’s will!! Hidden will, secret will, sovereign will — any kind of will!)

    8 So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

    Why would a fatalistic-deterministic God talk like this? ….Making it look so much like man has some control/ responsibility on this. Determinism takes away all of man’s responsibility. But Christ doesnt!!

    15 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

    The church does not discipline like this much…. but look …V 15 says it is “another believer” and at the end that person is to be treated as a pagan or corrupt tax collector. It certainly seems like Christ is saying “another believer” can actually “become” or “be treated as” a pagan. [[my sincere apologies to Brian an others who like the P in TULIP!…. but the text so often does not support this—- but I suppose, if you insist on the P —you can say “we treat a believer like a pagan and that wins him back into good Christian living……]

    18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.

    Woah…very “charismatic” and “man-centered”!! Why does Christ talk about His followers having so much power?! I mean, if it has already all been determined?

    19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.

    So the Father does what two believers are agreed upon? Great! What a great promise! But it sounds very “man-centered”. I mean that the Father does what believers ask. No wonder we dont feel like it has all been written in stone before time—- when we read the Bible.

    That deterministic philosophy has to be brought TO the text.


      I would suggest a reading of this 2009 blog review of ‘The Five Dilemmas of Calvinism’ by Craig Brown, for an excellent expose on the playbook of modern (New) Calvinism for deceptively indoctrinating unwary believers into the aberrant thinking of Calvinism. These are precisely the methods I experienced in my own time in a Calvinist church. Here are some excerpts, along with a few of my comments in []:

      Mr. Brown is primarily concerned with clearing up “misconceptions that have hindered [Calvinism’s] acceptance by the modern Christian community.” He tells us that these misconceptions are due to a “fundamental lack of knowledge concerning the truth about Calvinism.” His hope is to “fill that knowledge gap.” [Indoctrinate with distortions.]

      So right off the bat we see that for Mr. Brown **[i.e., New Calvinism] the way to solve these dilemmas is simply to better educate (i.e. indoctrinate) those Christians who might be troubled by such apparent difficulties in Calvinism by way of clearing up misconceptions. It would seem that we are expected to believe from the onset that there really are no problems or dilemmas at all in Calvinism, just a few misunderstandings (the back of the book asks the question, “True dilemmas or simple misunderstandings?”). R.C. Sproul [One of the chief tools used to push this errant doctrine in modern times.] echoes this fundamental conviction in the foreword,

      “Calvinism is certainly no easy system to master. But in addition to being difficult to understand, Calvinism is often the subject of grave misunderstanding, simply because it is so counterintuitive **[irrational] and countercultural “[properly rejected by the majority of biblically grounded, reasoning believers once the threat of tortuous death by Calvin and friends was eliminated].

      **[Here, New Calvinists essentially reveal the New Calvinist playbook. Present the obviously irrational and contradictory to human experience assertions of Calvinism as ‘counterintuitive’ and ‘countercultural’. This is EXACTLY how the indoctrination took place in my former Calvinist church. We were warned repeatedly against buying into the wimpy, emotional, fleshly ‘Arminian’ mindset which had obviously produced all of the errors of the modern church and the greater culture. Thus, all of the undeniable, conscience-niggling doubts that would naturally present to any biblically astute believer upon hearing Calvinism’s assertions are reduced to sinful, fleshly ‘reasoning’ that resists the ‘truth’ of scripture.

      It is without question ‘irrational’ to believe that the God who sent his Only Son to suffer and die for ‘the world’ only intended to ‘save’ a predetermined few, i.e., the co-opted ‘elect’. It is utterly irrational to believe that the God who throughout scripture presents commands and warnings, along with promises of pardon and life to all who will ‘hear’ and ‘obey’ actually preordains and controls all of the actions of men, who have no ‘choice’ but to do as was irresistibly predetermined long before they were born. It is irrational, nay, inconceivable, to believe that the God who proclaims: ‘All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people’ really means ‘I predestined you for condemnation because you are not of my elect, and I never desired to save you’.]

      It is hard to take such statements seriously. The rhetorical device employed here by Sproul **[and all of New Calvinism] is both shameless and astounding. That a system is counterintuitive should apparently have no bearing on our evaluation of it according to Sproul, yet the irony is that many of Calvinism’s doctrines rely heavily on “intuition” (e.g. the rejection of the possibility of God being able to foreknow real contingencies, etc.). It seems that Sproul is setting us up so that when we are confronted with contradictions we can just assume that we are falsely trusting our “intuitions” and if we will just abandon our “intuitions” we will soon see that contradictions aren’t really so bad after all. In fact, the reason that contradictions seem so bad is probably just a result of our “culture”. We just haven’t been raised to think properly (i.e. like a Calvinist). If it seems illogical that is just because our intuitions have led us astray. To embrace Calvinism is to be “countercultural” and everyone knows that being “countercultural” is really, really cool.

      O.K., maybe I am being a little hard on Mr. Sproul. Maybe he isn’t trying to set us up in order to make the hard medicine of Calvinism a little easier to swallow. After all, our intuitions do not always reflect truth or perfectly conform to reality and we are all influenced negatively by our culture at times as well. But it is hard to give Sproul the benefit of the doubt when considering what else he has to say on the subject,

      “As George Whitefield , the evangelist of the Great Awakening, once declared, “We are all Arminians by nature.””

      What did Whitefield mean by this? Perhaps this only means that we are all born with a sense that truth excludes contradictions. Or perhaps it is because we are all naturally aware of the reality of choice (something Calvinist philosophy essentially denies), just as we are naturally (intuitively) aware of our own existence. Or perhaps it is because we all naturally come to Arminian conclusions when reading the Bible (weird stuff like God’s love for the world and desire to save all) prior to being indoctrinated into “Reformed Theology” by a friendly and “concerned” Calvinist. Or maybe, just maybe it means…

      “Simply put, the tenets of Arminianism taste sweeter to our sinful human natures than those of other doctrinal systems.”

      Sproul then tells us,

      “Not surprisingly, these teachings [the tenets of Arminianism that taste so sweet to our sinful nature] are affirmed and ingrained in us by the culture and, sadly, by immense segments of the church.”

      Well, there you have it. To reject Calvinism is to be swept up in the [sinful] culture we live in. It is to indulge our sinful human nature with the sinfully sweet tenets of Arminianism (such horrible evils as the belief in freed will, the love of God for all of His fallen creatures, and the impossibility of contradiction in the revelation of God’s truth). It is to put far too high a premium on “intuition” and common sense. Mr. Brown, a huge fan of Sproul, echoes these same thoughts on page 9,

      “In my defense of the Reformed faith, I will be ‘the Devils advocate’ and attack five principles of Calvinism from the standpoint of American common sense.”

      So we can be sure that any apparent contradictions in Calvinist theology are not real contradictions but merely contradict “American common sense.” The solution is to learn to abandon common sense (for uncommon sense? nonsense?) and happily embrace contradictions. Anything less is simply to indulge the sinful nature with the sweet taste of Arminianism. So if it seems illogical that is just your “American common sense” getting the best of you (one wonders if this book will ever be read outside of America). On the other hand, to embrace Calvinism with all of its inherent inconsistencies is to rebel against American culture and “common sense” (who wants to be “common” anyway?) and overcome the sinful human nature which desires nothing more than to drink deeply from the well of evil Arminianism. And we wonder why there is a resurgence of Calvinism among young people in America?

      Sproul continues,

      “In these pages, Craig Brown battles misunderstandings that have dogged Calvinism for long years [and in 126 short pages no less!]. In so doing, he provides apologetic help for Calvinists stymied by the misinformed questions of their Arminian friends.” [Read: Here are the tools by which Calvinists can overcome strong, logical resistance to heinous claims about the loving God of scripture.]

      This is extremely ironic as Mr. Brown continually misrepresents Arminianism in his little book and seems to have learned all about Arminianism, not from Arminians, or from James Arminius, but from Calvinists like Daniel N. Steele and Curtis C. Thomas (of whom he quotes and references incessantly). He also has a rather lopsided (and I dare say inaccurate) view of Christian history which paints Calvinism as the indisputably purest form of Christianity opposed only by heretics throughout the church ages. He calls Augustine “the greatest theologian of the early church” and assures us that “Calvinism” has “been called a synonym for Biblical Christianity.”
      end quote

      This is the same sort of false dialectic which is used to today to corral people into various false extremes (the left vs. right) in order to distract them away from the logical, intuitively known fact that all men are of equal value and imbued with the same right to life, health and the resources of this earth as given by God to all created beings. Capitalism vs. socialism/communism/fascism/terrorism is the exact sort of false dialectic used in Calvinism vs. Arminianism. The great warmongers are supposedly upholding ‘freedom’ when they brutally murder countless civilians. Flowery praise of ‘Democracy’ accompanies the bloody overthrow of sovereign nations by the well-armed self-proclaimed global enforcers of ‘peace’. Make no mistake – the very same ‘counterintuitiveness’ and ‘countercultureness’ of Calvinism is the ethos of world politics and economics.

      1. Good points truthseeker!

        Counter-intuitive and counter-cultural.
        These are two good examples of rhetorical masks.

        These can also be seen as “Thought-Stopping” techniques.
        Calvinism is irrational to you? – stop thinking rationally – rational thinking is of the flesh.

        One will find the exact same persuasion technique taught by the JWs.
        Calvinist teachers down the street using the same teaching techniques as the JW teachers a few doors down. :-]

    2. FOH, good stuff… but…. 😉 The translation “believer” is interpretive for Matt 18:15. The word is “brother” which I believe is used for “professing Christians” consistently throughout the NT, where Christians are the context. The term is not as strong in determining a true prior new birth experience as “believer” is.

      1. Brian:
        No argument from me. You can have the P in TULIP if you want, since we all know that letter is shared by many people that still reject the other letters.

      2. FOH… I’m in discussion today with some who believe even after getting to heaven the ability to use free will to reject grace is possible! It makes me wonder if Calvinists might be right about some non-Calvinists who are indeed trusting in their free-will to get saved and to keep themselves saved.

  3. Another part of today thru-Bible reading. Prov 5:15-21

    15 Drink water from your own well—
    share your love only with your wife.
    16 Why …..having sex with just anyone?
    17 You should reserve it for yourselves…

    18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
    Rejoice in the wife of your youth.

    20 Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman….?

    21 For the Lord sees clearly what a man does,
    examining every path he takes.

    Notice that this passage —-like so many thousands of others—– says “dont” or “why would you?” or “you should” (meaning you may or may not follow this advice) ….. and then notice that it finishes with “the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.”

    The Lord sees it….. but does not dictate/ decree/ force/ ordain/ immutable plan….

    Day after day determinism slips away…..

  4. The same people who insist that I believe Calvin over Irenaeus say not to believe Muhammad over Jesus.

    1. jesse toler writes, ‘The same people who insist that I believe Calvin over Irenaeus say not to believe Muhammad over Jesus.”

      You should believe the Bible over everyone. Then decide whether Calvin, Iranaeus, Muhammad or Jesus got it right.

      1. Along with the understanding that what the Bible says – and what a theology’s rendering of what the Bible says – are often two different things. :-]

      2. Indeed. What the bible ‘says’ doesn’t mean much on its own – it is how a person interprets and applies what the bible ‘says’ that matters. It is essential to be following the leading of the Spirit of God, rather than to simply adopt what some man says it means.

      3. TS00 writes, “It is essential to be following the leading of the Spirit of God,…”

        And thereby does the faithful believer harmonize all that the Scriptures say on a subject rather than take a verse or two and build his own philosophy.

      4. rhutchin
        And thereby does the faithful believer harmonize all that the Scriptures say on a subject rather than take a verse or two and build his own philosophy.

        But if that believer is Calvinist – he doesn’t know who the “faithful believer” is from one Calvinist to another.
        Which means – those Calvinists who are not “elect” represent the TOTALLY DEPRAVED believing they are harmonizing scripture and not using verses to build a NeoPlatonist philosophy.

        Too funny! :-]

  5. I refer Calvin haters to John 6:44 and John 6:65. “no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” Anyone who sees human decision, man chooses Christ, free will, or all the other nonsense circulating “christianity”, must also see gourmet recipes in a phone book (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11). The Calvin hater, dishonest to the core, needs to admit that Calvin is a mere scapegoat, and what they really hate is God’s sovereignty and control over each man’s life (Romans 9:20 and Isaiah 45:9). They hate that control. If a man cannot choose the day he dies, the manner of his death and the circumstances, what in blazes name make him believe he can make a decision on his eternal destination and God is obligated to accept it? (Luke 12:26) Can we get real? God is not your homeboy. The author of this article demonstrates the many failures in trying to intellectualize Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:11). The Holy Ghost, and only He reveals the face of Jesus Christ (John 14:16). One of the most essential principles Jesus taught is “self-denial”. The Calvin hater is blind to the meaning of “deny self”, and like most, not even aware it is found either covertly or overtly in all of Christ’s teachings, parables, and remarks. Self-denial, and “be perfect” are both Kingdom principles which demand TOTAL DEPENDENCY ON GOD. Calvin haters also exhibit their miserable failure to understand the all-consuming love for God which Jesus speaks of in Matthew 22. This means God makes ALL decisions, and the TRUE believer in Christ accepts those decisions and trusts them explicitly. The other principle Jesus taught is GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY. Calvin haters use Scripture conveniently to support their belief. No child of God functions in that manner (Romans 8:14). “You must be born again” because EVERY MAN ever born is of the devil.(Ephesians 2:1-3) totally depraved, dead in faith and separated from God (Romans 8:7). Read the Scriptures in the context God intended, not the way you think they should be. This cannot be achieved without sole guidance of the Holy Ghost. (1 Corinthians 2) Long before Calvin was born, God is; and “election” and “predestination” originate with God, not Calvin (Jeremiah 1:5). So who and what do you really hate? Predestination and total depravity are both divine doctrines, taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Just because Calvin haters deny it, does not change the truth of God. No one is born of God, that us why we are not sons of God, but ADOPTED sons of God. Which one of you Calvin haters can go into the field and determine the wheat from the weeds?

    1. Hello bigal and welcome

      BTW: There is no such thing as a “Calvin haters” here at SOT101
      There are however critics of Calvin’s “GOOD-EVIL” belief system.

      And I always get a kick out of Calvinists going around machine-gunning Bible verses at people – MAGICALLY evaporating some imaginary enemy with imaginary sacred Calvinist bullets!

      A silver lining of Calvinism – is how entertaining Calvinist thinking patterns are! ;-D


    2. bigal,

      Oh, did your fathers eat manna in the desert? The people Jesus was talking to was Jews, not Gentiles, and the Jews were already followrs of God under the law of Moses, but Jesus had disciples following HIM, and therefore, Jesus was discussing God giving him the law of Moses followers. That’s what John 6 is all about.

      The problem I have with Calvinism is that they take what was meant for JEWS ONLY in the context, making it to all of mankind as a whole.

      Gentiles is a whole differrent discussion to have.

      Ed Chapman

    3. Welcome bigal. Here’s something to think about if you can use your free will for it. 😁 Read 2Thess 2:10-11 again slowly and ask yourself, “Were those who didn’t receive the truth freely able to but just didn’t? If they weren’t freely able to believe the truth, why would God have to send them a delusion to believe a lie?”

      And then consider this – John 6:44 is not a gotcha verse if one recognizes that the one drawn is not logically guaranteed in that grammatical construction to either come or to be raised up just because he is drawn. Only the one drawn and who comes is promised to be raised up. Even if “drag” is used here or in John 12:32… the meaning is only to drag to a location… There is no guaranteed change made in the person’s nature just by being drawn. Once they are brought to the location or before the person, like Christ… they have to make a decision what to do next and how to respond to the options and information they now have in that location or before that person!

      The same Greek word for “drawn” is used in the LXX in Neh 9:30… and that group of Israelites, though drawn by God to the opportunity to obey Him, did not do it. The Hebrew word for “drawn” used in Neh 9:30 is also used in Hos 11:4-5, which again is showing that Israel was “drawn” by God with love to Himself, but they refused Him. Paul recalls this kind of drawing with love, using the words of Isaiah where God said – “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people” Rom 10:21. Does God only play act His love already knowing it only can and will be rejected? Not my God.

      Paul and Silas were “drawn” before the rulers of Philippi and then thrown into prison (Acts 16:19)… There they were free and able to either groan and complain or pray and sing! We know what they freely chose to do! I actually prefer the idea of “drag”. God graciously “drags” us to a place of decision. We cannot escape that “grace”, and we are now able and responsible for how we freely respond to it… making us clearly without excuse at the final judgment of God!

      Are you familiar with identifying distributed and non-distributed terms when premises are being evaluated as to what is logically valid to prove from them? In 6:44 the “no one can come” is a distributed term… but “the Father draws” is a non-distributed term. The “will be raised up” is non-distributed also.

      In brief Jesus is saying that all who come will be raised up. But the verse is not logically proving that they are the only ones to be raised up (deceased infants maybe also).

      And being drawn is necessary to enable coming, but the premise doesn’t prove it is the only thing necessary to enable coming (the context reveals looking at the Son and believing are also part of those coming). Nor does the verse guarantee that all who are drawn, and who therefore are now enabled to come, will actually come.

      The emphasis on coming and believing is throughout this passage. It fits the purpose of the book…that unbelievers reading would be enabled/drawn to come and believe and then receive the everlasting life of the new birth (20:31). But reading doesn’t cause coming and believing.

      Reading determinism into these verses that don’t clearly prove it and whose purpose even contradicts determinism is just not good exegesis!

      1. Your comments are appreciated Brian!

        But I am afraid that the 40-ish verses that Calvinists use to “prove” Calvinism (and thus determinism) seem be conclusive for them, despite the hundreds and hundreds where God says, “I the Eternal did not want you to ….” (but people did that thing).

        Bigal will go the way of the other young YRR bucks who come roarin’ in here convinced that we must have never heard their eisegesis before, and all it takes it one sarcastic shot across the bow and we will see the light.

  6. A Blessed Lord’s Day to you all.

    FYI I am posting as Eric@WordLight today, though I have posted as just plain old Eric previously (sorry for not appreciating how many Erics there are on here). And I consider myself a Zero Point Calvinist, unless we exclude Total Inability from the T.

    I am seizing on (sorry if it’s hijacking) this article because it seems closest to my question. The article starts off with:
    “Calvinists teach that all of humanity are born God haters due to their fallen condition and can do nothing except reject the good news brought by the Spirit because of their innate animosity toward their Creator.”

    Right, they are wrong. And I am just realizing how Determinists must rely on this verse:
    “But of the tree of the knowledge of evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” – Gymnastics 2:17 🙂

    Oh, but that’s actually not the Bible! Genesis 2:17 says “knowledge of good and evil,” which clearly seems to demonstrate that we are responsible, and as Leighton says, “response-able.”

    Mohler says “All descendants of Adam are involved in the suppression of ‘truth in unrighteousness’ ” but if we are speaking Biblically, I think Paul is talking about the non-elect. I am fine with thinking that all humans do evil and know it. But with Christ, all things are possible.

    I’ve done a little searching and found nothing on the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” And instead of bothering with ChatGPT or Claude I am bothering actual people with bigger brainpower. ‘Scuse me for my Gen 3:16 fat head 🙂 but there seems to be under-explored territory here:

    – Knowledge means Free-Will. Even our legal system agrees (culpability). Quoting from the article: ” For this reason, a good District Attorney seeking a guilty conviction would vehemently argue that the defendant was of “sound mind” and “had the capacity to refrain from the criminal behavior” for which he stands trial. ”
    – Because we have the knowledge of good, we can understand the Gospel (with no need to worship Pelagius 🙂
    – Even for those Atheists/Agnostics/Pagans that agree we have Free Will, if they simply focus on the idea that at some point we became more than animals (as Dr. John Lennox so aptly describes), then it seems obvious that we could know the difference between good and evil. However, even Christians today seem to believe that evil is arbitrary – totally depending upon one’s perspective. We are ceding ground (again) here.

    I think the HS has always made me uncomfortable with Determinism, and He is trying to humble me by saying the answer is even right there in Genesis. If anyone can point me to anywhere on Sot101 (or anywhere else, Early Church Fathers minus Augustine? – those quoted above come close but do not really refer to the Tree) that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is discussed in relation to Determinism or “Non-Christian-ism” I’d sure appreciate it. I will start searching Amazon but if there isn’t a book written on this, seems like there needs to be one.

    1. Br.d
      Hello Eric and welcome.
      I consider myself a Zero Point Calvinist….
      Calvinism’s TULIP is really nothing more than a marketing tool which only appeared a number of years after Calvin’ death. Calvinism’s TULIP is essentially designed to obfuscate Calvinism’s TRUE underlying doctrine – which is the doctrine of decrees.
      So whether or not a Calvinist adopts any part of the TULIP or not – is really irrelevant to whether or not that person is a Calvinist.
      The foundational core of Calvinism – and is unique to Calvinist – and what separates it from all alternatives – is EXHAUSTIVE DIVINE DETERMINISM (EDD) as enunciated within its doctrine of decrees.
      John Calvin
      The creatures…are so governed by the secret counsel of god, that NOTHING HAPPENS but what he has knowingly and willingly decreed. (Institutes 1. 16. 3)
      Therefore – the determining factor of whether or not a person is a Calvinist or not – is NOT the TULIP.
      The determining factor is whether or not that person rejects or not Calvinism’s foundational core – which is EDD
      Most Calvinists are in some form of denial and nonacceptance of the foundational core of their doctrine.
      So that is nothing new for anyone here to understand.
      But a TRUE Calvinist cannot reject the doctrine of decrees.

      1. Perfect timing to talk about this brand new book by two Reformed Seminary grad guys: The Great Dechurching: Who’s Leaving, Why Are They Going, and What Will It Take to Bring Them Back?

        The authors are big on the Gospel Coalition also on this topic.

        I find it very curious that they talk like this (in the title even!)….as if there is “something we can do” to get people in the church or to believe (shame on you guys! This is just the way God wants it! Remember: “we cant do anything” to change that!).

        This kind of talk is (if they are consistent) flat out heretical in a Reformed camp….but demonstrates that they (fortunately) dont really practice what they preach.

      2. br.d
        Great points FOH!
        What a joke Calvinist DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS is! 😀
        It would be totally funny – if it weren’t for the damage they cause to God’s people.

      3. Too funny! But you have to admit, it is simply impossible to live like a Calvinist.

      4. Calvinist do not live like “noting we do can change what has been decided before time.”

        That would be so debilitating!

        Of course books by Calvinists will have all kinds of “what we can do” and “strategy”. Just like reformed seminaries have classes on “Apologetics” (Defend the faith…cuz the world is watching) and how to “Evangelism Strategies”.

      5. Reformed class 101
        Title: 10 easy lessons in how to point an accusing finger at non-Calvinists insisting your doctrine is TRUE – while hoping they don’t recognize the fact you treat your doctrine *AS-IF* if is FALSE in order to retain a sense of human normalcy.

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