Does God Show Favoritism?

DOES GOD SHOW FAVORITISM?

Suppose a High School Principal selected 12 of his Seniors to spread a message to the student body about a special treat being given out in the cafeteria. Would the Principal’s choice of these 12 messengers demonstrate that he has favorites or has unfairly shown partiality to some individuals over others?

No. He has chosen these messengers to bring a blessing to the entire student body and his selection of one messenger over another is not in anyway to the detriment or neglect of another student.

We believe this is what God has done with the gospel. He has selected from Israel (like the Senior class) messengers to bless all the world (the entire student body).

Here are a few biblical passages which indicate this:

…but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. -Acts 10:40-42

For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” -Acts 13:47

He said to them (Jewish apostles), “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” -Mark 16:15

[Speaking to his chosen apostles] You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last… -John 15:16

 And this is all a fulfillment of God’s original covenant with Abraham:

And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you *all the families of the earth* will be blessed.” -Gen 12:2-3

PARTIALITY AND FAVORITISM ILLUSTRATED

But suppose the High School in our analogy above was bilingual and most of the students only spoke and understood Spanish. And what if this Principal only selected English speaking messengers to take the message to the entire student body, knowing full well that only the English speaking students would hear and understand the news about the blessing he made available in the cafeteria.

Suppose that the Principal only bought enough treats for his English speaking students and so his intention was for only them to hear and understand the message. He didn’t want to appear bias so he told the messengers to invite the entire student body but secretly he knew only the English speaking students would understand the message and respond.

Does that indicate an unfair bias or partiality? Of course it does. Now, did the Principal owe any of the students these treats? No. No one is saying he did. But for him to outwardly pretend as if he wished for the entire student body to be blessed while secretly only purchasing treats for some and sending a message that was intended only for some to understand is clearly showing favoritism and an unjust bias.

God doesn’t show favoritism as the scriptures clearly teach:

Acts 10:34-35: Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.

Matthew 22:16: And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.

Mark 12:14: When they came they said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful and do not court anyone’s favor, because you show no partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth

Luke 20:21: Thus they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach correctly, and show no partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth

Romans 2:8-11: But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.

Galatians 2:6: But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.

 Ephesians 6:9: Masters, treat your slaves the same way, giving up the use of threats, because you know that both you and they have the same master in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him.

1 Peter 1:17: And if you address as Father the one who impartially judges according to each one’s work, live out the time of your temporary residence here in reverence.

James‬ ‭2:9: But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. ‭

If your soteriological systematic paints God as partial then it’s not a biblical soteriology.

*[The guys at the Bible Brodown have complied much more on this topic]

216 thoughts on “Does God Show Favoritism?

  1. Is there a discussion group that you are a part of where questions may be asked. I am a pastor who is (I think) transitioning away from Calvinism, but I do have some questions.

    Werner

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Werner, this is a good place to come with questions. Dr. Flowers is a thoughtful, intelligent, gracious teacher who not only understands the theology behind the Calvinist system, but has personally experienced how one’s ‘reading’ of scripture is subtly influenced by the belief system one brings to the book. A good start is to study his many articles/podcasts. There are also a growing number of ‘former’ Calvinists with blogs, books, etc. if you begin to look for them. The questions nearly always arise, and for those who are willing to face them honestly, there are many who have walked the same path who can assist and encourage.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the analogy and the scriptures that back it up. I would even go so far as to say that those Spanish-speaking students could still hear the message and that God utilized the gift of tongues to share the gospel tothe Spanish-speaking students too. It’s evident that he wanted ALL to hear the Good News not just the English speaking students!

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  3. Very helpful metaphor. It is not without reason that many astute thinkers have asserted that Calvinism opened the door to political and economic oppression, subtly introducing the faulty concept of partiality or favoritism on God’s part. It God can choose ‘winners’ and ‘losers’, or have ‘favorites’ whom he loves in an entirely different (as in one set lives, the other dies) manner, then why not earthly rulers? The Divine Determinism of Augustine/Calvin is, in essence, the core of all ‘isms’, be it racism, sexism or other.

    Most who have experienced the genuine all-encompassing love and grace of God do not accept that he presents a limited, partial, biased offer of mercy to only a select few, and that we are merely one of the ‘lucky’, chosen ‘elect.’ We know intuitively, as well as from the direct statements of scripture, that God loves freely, fully and without distinction, that he desires that none perish, but all turn from wickedness and live. We understand from studying God’s word, our own personal experience and basic logic that the limited, partial, ‘chosen few’ system of Judaism and Calvinism does not account for the acts and words of freely offered love and forgiveness of sin that scripture declares and Jesus displayed.

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  4. Excellent article!!

    It may be illuminating to consider that Calvinism derives some of its evolutionary elements from certain remnants of Gnosticism, which Augustine embraced and retained throughout his life. One observable component being dualism…what Augustine called “the beauty of antithesis”.

    Good-evil, light-darkness, godly-ungodliness. And a supernatural force that forces without forcing.
    So per this model we might expect to observe “partial-impartiality”.

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  5. Great Article!

    John MacArthur writes in an article for oneplace.com – “Calvin continues to explain the biblical balance that both the gospel invitation and “the world” that God loves are by no means limited to the elect alone. He also recognized that God’s electing, saving love is uniquely bestowed on His chosen ones”
    This is contradictory madness to say this is “biblical balance”. In the first sentence MacArthur says God’s love and gospel invitation is not limited to the elect alone. In the next sentence he says God’s electing saving love is uniquely bestowed on His chosen ones.
    This is typical Calvinist contradictory talk. To say that God loves people enough to invite them to a place that he made sure they could never go, is like offering an ice-cream to a child when you know you don’t have one or even intended to ever give……and then call it “balance”.

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    1. Great observation Damon.
      What you’ve pointed out is the characteristic model of Calvinist rhetoric.
      To assert [A] with one statement, and then deny [A] with a second statement.
      The contradiction is camouflaged by using one term in the assertion while using a different term in the denial.
      But the terms within the Calvinism lexicon mean the exact same thing.
      Its a form of “insider” language – where Calvinists (the insiders) understand the double-speak.
      But outsiders who are not tutored in Calvinist rhetoric are not aware duplicity is at work.

      For example:
      Its not uncommon to have a Calvinist assert the terms “Predestine” and “Ordain” mean exactly the same thing.
      And then follow that by saying “Calvin’s god “Predestines” person to salvation – and everyone else is “Ordained” to damnation.

      I think we can understand why Calvinist language is saturated with double-speak.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. br.d writes, “Its not uncommon to have a Calvinist assert the terms “Predestine” and “Ordain” mean exactly the same thing.”

        They should not. God ordains all things, not unusually through secondary causes. God predestines some of those things, not all Predestine refers to those actions God personally undertakes usually in the context of salvation.

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      2. rhutchin:
        God ordains all things, not unusually through secondary causes. God predestines some of those things, not all Predestine refers to those actions God personally undertakes usually in the context of salvation.

        br.d
        I find it interesting that you have so much “insider” information with all those explicit details about exactly what and how god does everything – It must be nice to be in the divine inner circle. 😉

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      3. After rhutch describes minute details about what god does and doesn’t do
        br.d responds
        It must be nice to be in the divine inner circle.”

        rhutchin
        An inner circle that includes all who believe the Scriptures. It is nice.

        br.d
        Hmmm – all those who believe in the scriptures and all the authors of scripture don’t make out to know every minute detail of what god does and doesn’t do. Obviously you’re inner circle is extra special!!
        Or perhaps its just someone who auto-magically believes everything his imagination can manufacture. 😉

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  6. Dr. Flowers writes, “We believe this is what God has done with the gospel. He has selected from Israel (like the Senior class) messengers to bless all the world (the entire student body).”

    Even Calvinists agree with this. There are two ways a person is saved. The non-Calvinist way says that God provides the means by which a person can hear the gospel and come to salvation by responding to the gospel call. This person hears the gospel preached and freely chooses salvation. Let’s say that some freely choose salvation but some reject salvation. From that group of people that rejects salvation, Calvinists say that God chooses people that He wants to save. Thus, we have two groups of people who are saved – those who choose freely to accept salvation after hearing the gospel and those whom God saves when they freely reject the gospel after hearing the gospel.

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  7. Rutchin writes “Thus, we have two groups of people who are saved – those who choose freely to accept salvation after hearing the gospel and those whom God saves when they freely reject the gospel after hearing the gospel”

    God saves people who reject the gospel? I’ve heard it all now! Back that one up by scripture 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. DG writes, “God saves people who reject the gospel? I’ve heard it all now! ”

      “you were dead in your trespasses and sins,…But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” (Ephesians 2)

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      1. The grace in that verse is Christ and the cross received by faith.
        Whereas you believe the grace in that verse is Calvin’s secret decree to same only a few for no apparent reason, received by irresistible means apart from faith and the gospel.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. DG writes, “The grace in that verse is Christ and the cross received by faith. Whereas you believe the grace in that verse is Calvin’s secret decree…”

        We read in Ephesians 2, “…God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),”

        Calvinists take “grace” to be that which immediately precedes the statement, “by grace you are saved,” making grace to be God’s action to make the person alive with Christ. You appear to look ahead in the section to v8, “…by grace you have been saved through faith;…” The question then becomes whether that is the argument Paul is making.

        If the Calvinist is correct, then God extends grace to a person by making the person alive with Christ and the “making alive” refers to God giving life to the dead spirit within the person. Now that the spirit is alive, the person hears the gospel (the gospel being irresistible) and the person receives faith and believes. If you are correct, the only difference seems to be that the gospel is still not irresistible to the person whom God has made spiritually alive.

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      3. Here you see, Damon, how the gospel, the marvelous free gift of grace provided by the Father, through the Son, offered to all who will believe, is turned by Calvinism into some sort of secret mystical ritual, in which preselected individuals are magically, irresistibly transformed.

        It is for this reason that many believe that Calvinism – when practiced authentically – distorts, misrepresents and destroys the message of the gospel. There is no hope for the lost. There is no possibility of saying to your needy neighbor or beloved relative that God loves them, sent his Son to die for them and desires to live with them forever in peace and unity. Under Calvinism, this just is not so.

        It is a hideous, partial, limited ‘boys’ club’, and outsiders are neither to be pitied or considered. God never loved them (savingly, if you must) and intended them to burn from the start. Try going to your needy neighbor with that message: “Gee, I hope that you aren’t one of God’s unchosen, because I kind of like you. But hey, God’s God, so he can refuse to help whomever he wants. Here’s to hoping that someday you can join the club, and be loved like me.”

        One can see where the utter disregard for the oppressed and needy in this world stems from – the faulty belief in a God who loves only some, whose grace is not intended to allow all men the opportunity to turn from wickedness to life. Calvinism can rebrand and seek to hide their ugly theology, but in a nutshell, they believe God loves them alone and tells the rest of mankind to ‘go to hell’. This I will never accept, and will always seek to deliver any naive believers who succumb to the seduction of the half-truths of Calvinism.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thanks truthseeker,

        I believe satan’s game has always been to destroy the gospel any way he can. I believe Calvinists have been duped into believing that the gospel is just a secondary means running alongside the “real” means which is the irresistible mysterious decree to save only some for reasons unknown according to Calvinism.
        They have ‘two hopes in their calling’ – one being the secret decree, the other secondary calling being the gospel.
        “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;”
        ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:4‬

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I never forget that Calvinists don’t have any complete assurance of salvation according to Calvin.

        For Calvin teaches them that his god deceives people into believing they are saved, giving them a taste of salvation in order to magnify their torment in the lake of fire.

        Calvin says his god: -quote “illumines them for a time”

        And then at some point later he -quote “strikes them with even greater blindness”

        And that he – quote “holds salvation out to them as a savor of greater condemnation”

        He offers them a deal they can’t refuse!!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      6. br.d writes, “I never forget that Calvinists don’t have any complete assurance of salvation according to Calvin.”

        No one has complete assurance unless you know a workaround for Matthew 7, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

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      7. I never forget that Calvinists don’t have any complete assurance of salvation according to Calvin.

        For Calvin teaches them that his god deceives people into believing they are saved, giving them a taste of salvation in order to magnify their torment in the lake of fire.

        Calvin says his god: -quote “illumines them for a time”

        And then at some point later he -quote “strikes them with even greater blindness”

        And that he – quote “holds salvation out to them as a savor of greater condemnation”

        He offers them a deal they can’t refuse!!! 😀

        rhutchin:
        No one has complete assurance unless you know a workaround [insert any verse here that comes into your mind here]

        br.
        This is called evading the point – (see above quotes from Calvin). ;-]

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      8. br.d writes, “I never forget that Calvinists don’t have any complete assurance of salvation according to Calvin.”

        Calvinists emphasize the P of TULIP. It is God who preserves His elect and God’s preservation provides the basis for their perseverance. The Calvinist sees assurance as faith that God will preserve His elect.

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      9. br.d writes, “I never forget that Calvinists don’t have any complete assurance of salvation according to Calvin.”

        Rhutchin writes, “Calvinists emphasize the P of TULIP. It is God who preserves His elect and God’s preservation provides the basis for their perseverance. The Calvinist sees assurance as faith that God will preserve His elect.”

        Which avoids he truth of br.d.’s statement: no individual Calvinist can have assurance that he is ‘elect’ and that he will be ‘saved’ from God’s final wrath. He believes that there is an ‘elect’ who will be preserved, and he darn tootin’ hopes he is one of them. Actually, he is convinced he is, but if he were intellectually honest about what his doctrine teaches, he would acknowledge that he can have no true assurance.

        The non-Calvinist can say with utter confidence, “I know whom I have believed” and “Abba, Father.” My assurance is in one I know, not in a theological construct.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. ts00 writes, “The non-Calvinist can say with utter confidence, “I know whom I have believed” and “Abba, Father.””

        Recognizing that this can be a false assurance being based on what the person has done and not on what God has done.

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      11. Psa 73:21-26 [NKJV] 21 Thus my heart was grieved, And I was vexed in my mind. 22 I [was] so foolish and ignorant; I was [like] a beast before You. 23 Nevertheless I [am] continually with You; You hold [me] by my right hand. 24 You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me [to] glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven [but You]? And [there is] none upon earth [that] I desire besides You. 26 My flesh and my heart fail; [But] God [is] the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

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      12. For context.

        1. Truly God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart.
        2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped.
        3 For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

        15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.
        16 When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me–
        17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.
        18 Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.
        19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors.
        20 As a dream when one awakes, So, Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image.
        21 Thus my heart was grieved, And I was vexed in my mind.
        22 I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.

        Great psalm – we should not envy the wicked.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. William Lane Craig – Calvinism’s AS-IF thinking:
        -quote:
        A determinist cannot live consistently as though everything he thinks and does is causally determined—especially his choice to believe that determinism is true!

        Thinking that you’re determined to believe that everything you believe is determined produces a kind of vertigo. Nobody can live as though all that he thinks and does is determined by causes outside himself.

        Even determinists recognize that we have to act *AS-IF*” we had [libertarian] free will and so weigh our options and decide on what course of action to take, even though at the end of the day we are determined to take the choices we do. Determinism is thus an un-liveable view.

        This presents a real problem not just for the Calvinist, but for the naturalist. For insofar as naturalism implies that all our thoughts and actions are determined by natural causes outside ourselves, [libertarian] free will is an illusion. But we cannot escape this illusion and so must go on making choices as though we had [libertarian] free will, even though we don’t. Naturalism is thus an un-liveable worldview.

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      14. br.d
        I never forget that Calvinists don’t have any complete assurance of salvation according to Calvin.

        For Calvin teaches them that his god deceives people into believing they are saved, giving them a taste of salvation in order to magnify their torment in the lake of fire.

        Calvin says his god: -quote “illumines them for a time”

        And then at some point later he -quote “strikes them with even greater blindness”

        And that he – quote “holds salvation out to them as a savor of greater condemnation”

        He offers them a deal they can’t refuse!!! 😀

        rhutchin:
        Calvinists emphasize the P of TULIP. It is God who preserves His elect and God’s preservation provides the basis for their perseverance. The Calvinist sees assurance as faith that God will preserve His elect.

        br.d
        RIght! And that’s why Calvin’s god deceives Calvinists into believing they are saved in order to magnify their torment in the lake of fire.
        That’s a very CALVINIST kind of preservation! :-]

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      15. ts00 writes, “…how the gospel, the marvelous free gift of grace provided by the Father, through the Son, offered to all who will believe, is turned by Calvinism into some sort of secret mystical ritual, in which preselected individuals are magically, irresistibly transformed.”

        For some people, like Paul, salvation is a secret mystical ritual, in which preselected individuals are magically, irresistibly transformed. Of course, in Paul’s case, God made it less secret and mystical. For others, like Lydia, God changes a person’s heart without their knowledge or approval that then allows the gospel to magically, irresistibly transform them.

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      16. So Rhutchin, the only reason you believed the gospel is because you had no choice not to. It never meant anything to you nor could it, except that that you were forced to believe it by irresistible means. You – being yourself in fact have never believed the gospel by your own admission. Your heart was never changed by the gospel. Whatever changed your heart by your own admission wasn’t the gospel. You only “believe” the gospel because your heart was changed by the “secret decree” to believe the gospel and not the gospel itself.
        Very subtle how the gospel gets removed as the power of God unto salvation.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. DG writes, “the only reason you believed the gospel is because you had no choice not to.”

        No, my choice was to reject the gospel. What God then did was to quicken me, covey faith to me through the gospel, and perhaps, like Lydia, open my heart to the gospel. At that point, it is not that I had no choice but that I had an obvious choice – one that was irresistible. The force involved – quickening, opening of the heart, conveyance of faith – did no harm to me and left me in control of my will. If you give sight to a blind man, seeing opens up a whole new world – one in which things have new meaning and force is not required to get one to do certain things,

        Then, “Your heart was never changed by the gospel.”

        Correct. God does for His elect as He did for Israel (presumably, the remnant) in Ezekiel 11, “I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them [quicken them]. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh…”

        Then, “You only “believe” the gospel because your heart was changed by the “secret decree” to believe the gospel and not the gospel itself.
        Very subtle how the gospel gets removed as the power of God unto salvation.”

        The gospel does have power, but as with the parable of the seed, it has to be planted in good soil. God prepares the soil to receive the gospel enabling its power to be unleashed.

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      18. You are going around in circles Rhutchin. How can God “convey” faith to you through the gospel before you were “Alive” to receive it in your view. You then go on to say that perhaps, like Lydia, open my heart to the gospel. What does “perhaps” mean in your irresistible world of double speak?
        It can can be summed up in your response in my opinion, when I said your heart was never changed by the gospel….and you replied ‘correct’.

        Unfortunately for the Calvinist the gospel has no power to change a heart. Accordingly the gospel came to do nothing in the Calvinist worldview but be a mere mechanism to do what? If Rutchin was irresistibly made “Alive” before he believed the gospel……..then what’s the need of the gospel, it’s rendered useless in the Calvinist worldview, but a mere smokescreen to what “really” saves being Calvin’s unchangeable “secret decree”

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      19. DG asks, “How can God “convey” faith to you through the gospel before you were “Alive” to receive it in your view.”

        You cannot God first quickens and then conveys faith through the hearing of the gospel.

        Then, “You then go on to say that perhaps, like Lydia, open my heart to the gospel. What does “perhaps” mean in your irresistible world of double speak?”

        Let’s take out the perhaps. God opened Lydia’s heart to respond to the things Paul was saying. God must open the heart of the unbeliever to respond to the gospel. However, this would not mean that the gospel does not affect the heart in other ways – e.g., if we associate one’s desires with the heart.

        Then, “Unfortunately for the Calvinist the gospel has no power to change a heart.”

        Not really. It certainly affects the heart through the faith it conveys to the person. The gospel is also the means of sanctification in the believer.

        Then, “Accordingly the gospel came to do nothing in the Calvinist worldview but be a mere mechanism to do what?”

        A mechanism to salvation by conveying faith to the person and of the hope laid up in heaven – these being the basis for a person to believe. It is then the basis for living a life of faith and not works.

        Then, “Unfortunately for the Calvinist the gospel has no power to change a heart. Accordingly the gospel came to do nothing in the Calvinist worldview but be a mere mechanism to do what? ”

        Being made alive is not enough. One must have something to live for, and the gospel provides this.

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      20. Rhutchin says – “A mechanism to salvation by conveying faith to the person and of the hope laid up in heaven – these being the basis for a person to believe”

        Buyer beware – according to Rhutchin you have to have faith (believe) before you believe (have faith).

        I think we’ll just let him chase his tail 😀

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      21. Okay, I won’t mince words. It is pure nonsense to suggest that God made a contingency, and that contingency entailed him providing that which he set as the necessary factor. It is merely adding in a needless, pointless step. If salvation is based on God choosing, then why doesn’t he just say so? What could possibly be the point of pretending that something is necessary to be saved, when it is really just a game, in which God provides that ‘something necessary’ to those he chose? In other words, the game is rigged from the start, and he only fools who don’t know it are the non-Calvinists who think God actually desires that all men be saved.

        The requirement could just as easily have been a red balloon as ‘faith’. All who have red balloons shall be saved. And only those to whom God gives red balloons will ever have red balloons, thus God chooses who will be saved. Period. I call the Calvinists’ bluff – it is pure nonsense, and makes God into a deceitful, disingenuous pretender masquerading as a grand, gracious being.

        What God requires for any man to be saved is faith; like Abraham had, when he CHOSE to believe in God’s promise in spite of it being virtually impossible. It is that faith that God credited to Abraham as righteousness. He did not ‘give’ him that faith – he gave him credit for having it. It really is time we stopped letting people say things that make absolutely no logical sense, pretending like the naked emperor is fully clothed. It is absurd, silly, nonsense. If God ‘chose’ who would be saved then he should have the guts to just come out and say so. What is he afraid of, looking cruel, unloving and unjust? If he’s so set on getting all the credit, if he’s so worried about losing some of the ‘glory’ he would just spill the beans and lay out for all to see the way things really are. But no, he plays little games, making ‘offers’ that some can’t refuse and most can’t access.

        But this assumes that Calvinism is not utterly wrong. That all of the loving, gracious, merciful invitations of scripture are not merely fatuous, but meaningful. That God is not just trying to hide the ugly truth while heartlessly casting countless millions into eternal misery – for his mere ‘good pleasure’.

        No, friends, faith is not something God gives to a chosen few. An individual is a believer because he has faith, i.e., believes. Were Calvinism true, all talk of ‘belief’ and ‘faith’ would be mere red herrings, decoys to distract from the terrible truth that God himself originated and causes all of the evil, oppression and sin in the world. Nothing anyone does would matter one whit, because all has been preordained, irresistibly caused and eternally fated. I defy the man to come forward who truly lives his life as if this is so.

        He would not pray. He would not hope. He would not hate evil. He would not care for the lost. He would not mourn the dead. He would never be sad, angry, afraid, hopeless, concerned or desire anything other than what exists. He would feel the same about mass murder as he does about the birth of a baby – both are from God’s hand, and equally valuable. Determinism is pure twaddle, and one would have to be a monster to live as if it was so.

        Liked by 2 people

      22. That’s the bottom line Truthseekeroo, great points! The Calvinist must be a James 1:8 kind of guy to uphold his system. Everything is double just like the Gnostic dualism. The two faith’s, the two grace’s, the two truth’s, the two will’s, the two loves, the two hopes of their calling, the two lines that never meet, all of which contradict each other, confusion, double speak,,,,and on and on it goes like a merry go round……definitely a tool of the devil to subtly corrupt the simplicity that is in Christ.
        At the end of the day who would you rather be – The one standing in front of God duped into believing he was actually more merciful than you thought…….or the one standing before God duped into believing that he was only merciful to a few when he was actually merciful to all, and actually meant what he plainly stated “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all” Romans 11:32

        I’ll throw my hat in for the first one, for more reasons than one – James 1:8, 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 1 Corinthians 14:3, Ephesians 4:4, John 20:31, Ephesians 1:13, Romans 16:17-18, 2 Peter 3:9, John 3:16……..and the hundreds of other verses that the Calvinist twist and squeeze around their un-biblical system.

        Like

      23. tsoo writes, “If salvation is based on God choosing, then why doesn’t he just say so? ”

        I think He does. For example, we read–

        Ephesians 1, “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world…”
        2 Timothy 2, “I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen,…”
        Titus 1, “Paul, a bond-servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God…”
        Romans 11, “That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;”
        Colossians 3, “as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;”
        2 Thessalonians 2, “we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation…
        Romans 11, “there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.”

        Like

      24. Calvinist R. C. Sproul:
        -quote:
        If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, God is not God”.

        Calvinst Paul Helm:
        -quote
        “Not only is every atom and molecule, every thought and desire….every twist and turn of each of these is under the direct control of God”.

        Calvinist Robert R. McLaughlin
        -quote:
        “The Omniscience of God merely programmed into the divine decrees all our thoughts, motives, decisions and actions, which include our sins and failures as well as our successes”.

        Like

      25. Rhutchin says – “A mechanism to salvation by conveying faith to the person and of the hope laid up in heaven – these being the basis for a person to believe”

        Buyer beware – according to Rhutchin you have to have faith (believe) before you believe (have faith).

        I think we’ll just let him chase his tail 😀

        br.d
        A sound response to double-think.
        However notice how the Calvinist uses the terms “MECHANISM” and “CONVEY” – this is instructive.

        A thought which causes cognitive distress to the Calvinists is the MECHANISM of CONVEYANCE of the FORCE of sin and evil – between Calvin’s god to an individual.

        Like a car has a TRANSMISSION which moves FORCE originating at the engine – to the wheels where it can be actualized.

        At the foundation of the world Calvin’s god originates sinful evil conceptions (the engine) concerning a person (the wheel).

        That sinful evil generated FORCE – has to be CONVEYED or TRANSMITTED into the person from Calvin’s god
        It moves up through time and space where it is eventually FATED into the persons mind or life at a specific time.

        So there must be some kind of supernatural MECHANISM of CONVEYANCE functioning as the TRANSMISSION
        Which moves the FORCES of sin and evil – generated by Calvin’s god – into people.

        Calvinists want to make-believe there is no FORCE of sin and evil TRANSMITTED from Calvin’s god.
        They want to make-believe that sin and evil ORIGINATE within the person – which is logically incoherent – given they conceive of a MECHANISM OF CONVEYANCE as their model whereby good things which originate from Calvin’s god are TRANSMITTED to people.
        And given they believe that people don’t exist when the sin and evil are first-conceived (i.e. originated) in the mind of Calvin’s god.

        That’s why we joke and say Calvin’s god uses a FORCE that FORCES without FORCING. :-]

        But notice when the Calvinist is not talking about good or salvific FORCES – he has no problem using the terms MECHANISM of CONVEYANCE.

        Its all part of Calvinism’s psychology of double-think. :-]

        Liked by 2 people

      26. DG writes, “Buyer beware – according to Rhutchin you have to have faith (believe) before you believe (have faith).”

        Hebrews 11 tell us that faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.” Such faith “comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10) Believing is the outward manifestation of faith and that which God approves – Faith without works (e.g. belief) is dead. A person must have faith if he is to have something in which to believe.

        Like

      27. Faith in its essence is belief.

        Brd is right, the Calvinist “faith” is just a cog in the mechanism of determinism. It has no meaning whatsoever.

        Liked by 1 person

      28. That is why rhutchin used to consistently liken humans to dominoes.
        What he didn’t realize is falling dominoes is classified within mechanical engineering as “Pitching Mechanics”.

        So its obvious his mind at least subconsciously perceives the world of Calvinism as MECHANICAL.
        When I pointed that out to him, he stopped using the metaphor. :-]

        Liked by 1 person

      29. DG writes, “the Calvinist “faith” is just a cog in the mechanism of determinism. It has no meaning whatsoever.”

        That is wrong. Calvinist give “faith” the meaning shown in Hebrews 11:1.

        Like

      30. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
        ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭

        It is the very substance of things hoped for which in its essence is belief.

        I don’t what bible you must be reading.

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      31. DG writes, “It is the very substance of things hoped for which in its essence is belief.”

        Peter tells the believer, “your faith and hope are in God.” Then “God caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Then, “fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” The substance or certainty that we have with this hope is our faith. This faith drives a person to believe in Christ. Opposite to what you say, I see faith as the essence of belief as there can be no belief without faith and there can be no faith without hope.

        Hope in Christ begets faith in Christ begets love for Christ. Put it all together and we get belief in Christ.

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      32. DG, note that the Calvinist subtly disorts the biblical definition and descriptions of faith, importing a unique definition that fits the Calvinist scheme. It is true that many theologians follow the traditions of men like Calvin, and insist that faith must be a ‘gift’ from God. This is, as all interpretation, from men, and may or may not be entirely accurate; it leads to the never ending philosophical debates discussed on these pages.

        Most would agree that faith is more than a mere mental assent to some statement of truth; however it would seem more accurate to say that faith is birthed by belief than Calvinism’s assertion that faith produces belief. When an individual is confronted by the Holy Spirit, belief in the Spirit’s revelation will lead to a state that has been translated as ‘faith’. Unbelief in the things revealed will leave the individual in a state that scripture teaches leads to greater wickedness and depravity. Whatever ‘faith’ is, its essence involves the belief of the individual in the spoken, written and/or living Word of God.

        Calvinism has for centuries shaped Christianity’s interpretation of not only the word ‘faith’ but many other words and concepts, some of which have long been contested. It is for this very reason that there have come to be countless denominations, as some believers dissent from Calvinism’s orthodox Protestantism to assert different interpretations of some aspect or aspects of that which we call ‘Salvation’.

        Paul asserts that “. . . without faith it is impossible to please [God]. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” To have faith in God is to believe, not only in who he claims to be but all that he promises to do. In other words, a person could believe that there is a Creator God, yet doubt his goodness, mercy and grace revealed in the promises of the prophets and the incarnate Son of God. Merely believing in one God, all-knowing and all-powerful will not produce faith in his promise of pardon and life, as countless religions attest. Salvation from sin and death requires the belief in the goodness of God, which rests in his promise to provide unmerited redemption and life everlasting to all who voluntarily put their faith in such promises.

        My concern with Calvinism is that very lack of belief in the unlimited, unswerving goodness of God which declares that his love and offer of grace is accessible by ALL MEN: whosoever will believe in this unmerited mercy of God, and trust upon it, will receive its benefits. Without the belief in such an offer, no man can be saved. As has been explained so often on these pages, this ‘good news’, declared by prophets, angels and the very Son of God, is not at all the same as Calvinism’s assertions that God’s love, grace and redemption is limited to a select, chosen few, depriving the lost and needy of the very hope they most need.

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      33. Your whole argument Rhutchin is that according to you a person cannot believe unless they are given faith to believe in Christ. What I am saying and now you seem to be saying kind of as well is that the two are the same thing and cannot be separated. I think you should make up your mind and stop speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

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      34. DG writes, “according to you a person cannot believe unless they are given faith to believe in Christ. What I am saying and now you seem to be saying kind of as well is that the two are the same thing and cannot be separated.”

        The difference being that you think a person can have hope in Christ and still reject (Christ is resistible) Him and I say he cannot (Christ is irresistible).

        Like

      35. That’s ridiculous! You are just playing Calvinist word games now. You have replace “faith” with the word “hope” that still requires “belief” which according to you comes after faith…….or “hope” however you want to say it.

        Hope in Christ, faith in Christ, belief in Christ, is all the same thing.
        Christ can be resisted, the bible says so – Jesus said “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye”
        If that’s not resisting Christ I don’t know what is.

        Liked by 2 people

      36. DG writes, “Hope in Christ, faith in Christ, belief in Christ, is all the same thing.”

        To have one is to have the other. Still, they are not the same. Hope is necessary to faith and faith is necessary to belief. Hebrews 11 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith comes from hearing the gospel; Faith inevitably leads to believing. It is impossible to separate one form the other. If you want to believe that they are the same, go for it. I just think they are different.

        Then, “Christ can be resisted, the bible says so”

        Yes, it does. Such who resist Christ is what we once did, as Paul writes, “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 something happened. We heard the gospel and of hope in Christ. When that hope came, our resistance to Christ faded away. Did it not?

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      37. Rhutchin you are getting all twisted up in your own analogies.
        You say – “We heard the gospel and of hope in Christ. When that hope came, our resistance to Christ faded away. Did it not?”
        By your own belief system you can only hear the gospel if you have been given ‘hope’ or ‘life’ first. By your own belief system ‘resistance’ had to be removed irresistibly before the gospel so that you can then irresistibly believe it. Yet you now say in typical double speak, that your resistance fades away after you hear the gospel. It’s what we call ‘double speak’. Thanks for the good example.

        Liked by 1 person

      38. DG, glad you have the patience to call Rhutchin out on his constant inconsistencies. I just get tired of running around in circles as he repeatedly changes his tune and contradicts what Calvinism necessarily demands in order to defend one of its irrational premises. He does not appear to really desire to make sense of his theology, but merely to defend it at all cost. Good luck. 🙂

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      39. Thanks truthseeker. I kind of find it amusing actually. The responses come through on my phone so it doesn’t take long to send a reply.
        My hope is that there others who are maybe thinking of getting out of Calvinism might see the obvious contradictions in Calvinism that Rhutchin constantly blesses us with. He’s a great example!👌

        Like

      40. DG writes, “By your own belief system you can only hear the gospel if you have been given ‘hope’ or ‘life’ first. By your own belief system ‘resistance’ had to be removed irresistibly before the gospel so that you can then irresistibly believe it.”

        That is wrong. The preaching of the gospel is the mechanism by which God calls His elect to Christ. It is the means by which the Holy Spirit initiates the new birth and w/ the new birth, resistance to Christ disappears. The preaching of the gospel is the means by which faith is conveyed to God’s elect. The new birth and faith provide the foundation for a person to believe in Christ. You are correct that a person cannot really hear the gospel until the Holy Spirit works new birth in the person – yet the Holy Spirit can still use the gospel to bring about the new birth (some may put the new birth before the hearing of the gospel thus enabling a person to hear the gospel – I don’t mostly because RC Sproul doesn’t and I’ll go with him for now). It is only after a person has been born again and is now able to hear the gospel fully (as it speaks to the condition of people and God’s remedy in Christ) that the reality of sin is understood, the hope a person has in Christ to deal w/ sin and the sin nature is heard, and faith is conveyed all of which lead to the decision to believe in Christ by the person.

        You are free to disagree. If so, what do you see happening to a person as they come under the preaching of the gospel?

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      41. You are going in circles again Rhutchin. Your belief system says you have to be regenerated first to even hear the gospel because you are too “dead” to hear it. Yet you are now saying the the gospel itself comes before resistance is removed. I think you are too blind to see the contradiction you make here.
        You call the Gospel a “mechanism”. That’s all it will ever be to you, just a mere cog to what “really” saved a person being a mysterious “secret decree” to save only a few for no reason before they were born.
        The gospel is not a mechanism of something else. It is an invitation to all for all to believe, and by God’d grace all can reject or accept the free offer. But I know Rutchin you don’t believe this. The gospel is just a mere “mechanism” in your world of unchangeable determinism.
        Believe the gospel! Not a “secret decree”.

        Like

      42. DG writes, “Your belief system says you have to be regenerated first to even hear the gospel because you are too “dead” to hear it. Yet you are now saying the the gospel itself comes before resistance is removed.”

        The gospel is a tool in the hand of the Holy Spirit to accomplish His purposes. I don’t know that Calvinists have settled whether the Holy Spirit must initiate the new birth prior to a person being able to “hear” the gospel or in conjunction with the person having the gospel presented with the gospel. What is clear is that a person must be born again before they can either see or enter the kingdom of heaven. Here, seeing and entering are synonymous with being saved.

        Then, “You call the Gospel a “mechanism”. That’s all it will ever be to you, just a mere cog to what “really” saved a person being a mysterious “secret decree” to save only a few for no reason before they were born.”

        Poor choice of words on my part. What is clear is that the Holy Spirit works through the preaching of the gospel to bring about the justification, sanctification and salvation of God’s elect. We know that the Holy Spirit works to save God’s elect and given that we do not know the elect, it is obvious that the Holy Spirit works according to God’s plan and that plan has not been disclosed fully to us – thus being labeled a “secret decree” of God.

        Then, “The gospel is not a mechanism of something else. It is an invitation to all for all to believe, and by God’d grace all can reject or accept the free offer. But I know Rutchin you don’t believe this. ”

        The point of disagreement between us is the extent to which we believe the Holy Spirit must be involved and using the gospel to bring about the salvation of God’s elect. I think we might both agree that absent the presence of the Holy Spirit in the process of salvation, no one could be saved.

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      43. Roger, you said – “I don’t know that Calvinists have settled whether the Holy Spirit must initiate the new birth prior to a person being able to “hear” the gospel or in conjunction with the person having the gospel presented with the gospel.”

        Looks like you are displaying some willingness to break ranks. That’s encouraging! 😉

        Seeing and entering the kingdom is after the new birth, which is after hearing the gospel of the kingdom and trusting it. And the new birth also joins one immediately to the beloved elect. Before faith in Christ they are not one of His people or His beloved elect (Rom 9:25). God said so.

        Liked by 1 person

      44. brianwagner writes, “Looks like you are displaying some willingness to break ranks. That’s encouraging! ”

        It’s a technical issue. It doesn’t move the elephant in the room – the new birth is the first step in the salvation process.

        Then, “Seeing and entering the kingdom is after the new birth,…”

        We agree on that disagreeing on what Christ meant by “seeing” and “entering.”

        Like

      45. Roger, I would say that the Son being willing before creation to pay for all sin, if man created in God’s image should sin, was the first step in your and my salvation process! His actual payment was also another step. His presenting to us light leading to repentance was another step before the new birth, as well as our free acceptance of it through faith. Then the new birth took place! Praise His Name!

        Here are some teachings of Jesus and Paul on seeing and entering a visible kingdom –
        – “But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.” – Luk 9:27 NKJV
        – “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. – Luk 13:28-29 NKJV
        – “So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. – Luk 21:31 NKJV
        – “And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed [one] upon Me, 30 “that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” – Luk 22:29-30 NKJV
        – “…strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting [them] to continue in the faith, and [saying], “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” – Act 14:22 NKJV

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      46. brianwagner writes, “Here are some teachings of Jesus and Paul on seeing and entering a visible kingdom…”

        To your list, we might add.

        Luke 6:20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God belongs to you.
        Luke 11:20 But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has already overtaken you.
        Luke 17
        20 Now at one point the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was coming, so he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed,
        21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

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      47. I don’t think Roger those verses are talking about a physical kingdom! We both agree that salvation translates us immediately into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. But you are trying to add those verses to the ones I listed about a physical kingdom that will be seen and entered. We agree on the spiritual one… are you saying you agree with my verses proving a physical kingdom?

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      48. Roger, it really doesn’t matter. It matters that there is a trust that is expressed first in the promise of that kingdom, a promise which was made by the King Himself, before one can see and enter those kingdoms… both the spiritual one and the physical one.

        Liked by 1 person

      49. brianwagner writes, “It matters that there is a trust that is expressed first in the promise of that kingdom, a promise which was made by the King Himself, before one can see and enter those kingdoms… both the spiritual one and the physical one.”

        I don’t have hard conclusions about the “kingdom of God” (Matthew, alone, uses the term, kingdom of heaven). I may be that the promise of a physical kingdom may have come to an end when the Jews claimed no king but Caesar and then rejected Paul’s teaching that Christ was the promised Messiah who was to lead them into the kingdom (this being spiritual rather than physical). Then after the gospels, the preaching of the kingdom of God seems to be linked to Christ as the Messiah pointing to a spiritual kingdom where both Jews and gentiles are joined together as one man (Ephesians 2). Still, the restoration of Israel in 1948 points to God’s continuing use of physical Israel, so who knows. As this is the 70th year after the restoration in 1948, it would seem that something significant ought to happen (but who knows what that might be) but after this year, it seems that the restoration in 1948 begins to lose significance.

        Nonetheless, John refers to the kingdom of heaven only three times and all in John 3. So, do we agree that John 3 speaks of a spiritual kingdom or are you holding out for a physical kingdom?

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      50. Roger, some of the gospels were written after some of Paul’s epistles, and the verses in Luke about a physical kingdom that I gave you were given to believing disciples (eating and ruling on 12 thrones). They don’t seem dependent on their nation’s rejection in the first century. A “generation,” if the Matt 24:34 prophecy is a time prophecy, can be as much as 100 years if the word “generation” is taken in light of Gen 15:13, 16. And Jerusalem was not recaptured till 1967, so that could delay the start of the “generation” prophecy till then. 😉

        But whether Jesus in John 3 is speaking of a spiritual kingdom or physical, my explanation of trusting the promise of it before seeing or entering it is still sound.

        Liked by 2 people

      51. Rhutchin you say “The point of disagreement between us is the extent to which we believe the Holy Spirit must be involved and using the gospel to bring about the salvation of God’s elect”

        In an “unchangeable” world according to Calvinism, the Holy Spirit is actually powerless to do anything but follow what was unchangeable. The “power” of the Holy Spirit is redundant in an unchangeable world.

        Whereas I believe the power of the Holy Spirit by the grace of God can be rejected or accepted. It has real power, not an allusion of power.

        “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye”

        The Power of the Holy Spirit can be resisted. God is good and just.

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      52. by “unchangeable” Calvinists typically mean “fixed in the past” (i.,e at the foundation of the world by decrees)
        Calvinists refrain from using the terms “inevitable”, “unavoidable”, and “fate” – because of the obvious implications.
        They try to use euphemistic terms like “unchangeable” which provide meanings that infer in-determinism.

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      53. That’s right brd.

        The Calvinists say God predetermined everything by a “secret decree” before the foundation of the world and is “unchangeable” ie cannot be altered in any way possible.
        Therefore the ‘power’ of the Holy Spirit is no power at all, and cannot change anything, but is just another mere cog in what is unchangeable.
        The Calvinist like to think the Holy Spirit has power to irresistibly change a person, but even in their own system it cannot change what is unchangeable. The “power” can only be an illusion of power in the Calvinist system.

        How can an un-selected person be “changed” if their un-selection is unchangeable.

        How can a selected person be changed if their selection is unchangeable.

        That’s why I say the Calvinist Holy Spirit doesn’t change anything, and has about as much power as a flywheel.

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      54. DG writes, “The Calvinists say God predetermined everything by a “secret decree” before the foundation of the world and is “unchangeable” ie cannot be altered in any way possible.”

        God makes decisions/decrees after the counsel of His will (Ephesians 2). God’s decisions reflect His infinite understanding and perfect wisdom. Why would God make a decision that is perfect and then change that decision for an imperfect one??

        Like

      55. rhutchin
        Writing is an art and a gift. Not always my strength.

        br.d
        I have to restrain myself from not replacing the term “writing” with the term “double-speak” in order to see the irony here.
        I anticipate Brian will have a great come-back. :-]

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      56. Brian:
        Roger… He “enacts” in your view… not “makes” decrees. Be consistent my friend. All decrees and decisions were premade in your view.

        br.d
        It will be interesting to see if you can coax rhutchin into being logically consistent and still retain Calvinism as first love.

        The Journal of the Society for Psychical Research describes double-think as a coping mechanism:
        -quote:
        Depending on the context there may be various processes involved (Salamon, 2010), but it may be relevant to note here that the
        phenomenon of double-think seems to be a consequence of the fact that contradictory beliefs may each be represented in different parts or ‘modules’ of the brain (Kurzban, 2010), thereby allowing these beliefs to become disconnected or compartmentalised to some extent (Fodor, 1983). Such compartmentalisation might serve in part as a psychological coping mechanism that minimizes
        cognitive dissonance or stress normally associated with coexistent conflicting mental constructs (Festinger, 1957; McWilliams, 2011, pp.135 – 136).

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      57. Damon
        “The Calvinists say God predetermined everything by a “secret decree” before the foundation of the world and is “unchangeable” ie cannot be altered in any way possible.”

        rhutchin
        God makes decisions/decrees after the counsel of His will (Ephesians 2). God’s decisions reflect His infinite understanding and perfect wisdom. Why would God make a decision that is perfect and then change that decision for an imperfect one??

        br.d
        Fallacy of Distraction
        Description: Diversion to another question, to a side issue, or by irrelevant objection.

        Notice how the Calvinist shifts the point to something else.
        Damon’s point was that in Calvinism EVENTS are fated from the foundation of the world, and therefore in Calvinism future EVENTS are already fixed and cannot be altered – i.e., are “unchangeable”.

        Here the Calvinist evades the main point by shifting to a side issue – irrelevant objection
        Whether or not a perfect being can change his mind.

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      58. br.d writes, “Damon’s point was that in Calvinism EVENTS are fated from the foundation of the world, and therefore in Calvinism future EVENTS are already fixed and cannot be altered – i.e., are “unchangeable”. ”

        And I explained “unchangeable” and why there is no logical reason for God’s decrees to change. More information is better than less information for some are ignorant of the argument.

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      59. br.d
        “Damon’s point was that in Calvinism EVENTS are fated from the foundation of the world, and therefore in Calvinism future EVENTS are already fixed and cannot be altered – i.e., are “unchangeable”. ”

        rhutchin
        And I explained “unchangeable” and why there is no logical reason for God’s decrees to change.

        br.d
        The evasion was obvious.
        And entertaining! :-]

        Like

      60. That’s if you call willing men’s unrighteousness by a secret decree a “perfect plan”
        That’s if you call the rape of a baby “God’s infinite understanding” and “perfect plan” because they came to pass by the unchangeable secret decree.

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      61. The scripture represents a standard – we are to reject: “Do evil that good may come”.
        But biblical standards don’t apply to Calvin’s god. :-]

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      62. So true brd.

        That’s Calvinism’s god of “two wills” which is where all the double speak comes from.
        The Calvinist has God condemning an evil action out of one side of his mouth while bringing about that very evil action out of the other side of his mouth by his unchangeable “secret decree” for reasons unknown.
        Why change it? Rhutchin says. It’s “perfect” the way it is.

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      63. DG writes, “That’s Calvinism’s god of “two wills” which is where all the double speak comes from.”

        Everyone I read agrees that God has two wills. God commands that Israel obey His law yet God gives Israel the freedom to disobey His laws. God commanded, Do not commit adultery, yet watched as David committed adultery when He could easily have stopped it. Both actions express His will for the nation and for the individual.

        Do you claim that they were not God’s will?

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      64. In what is unchangeable Rhutchin there is no “freedom”
        You say “freedom” as if Israel had the freedom to be obedient.

        I don’t believe their disobedience was God’s will. I believe it was against and contrary to God’s will.

        Calvinism says whatever comes to pass is God’s “secret will”.
        To me that is blasphemy to say God brings about evil for his own purposes so that good may come. “And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.” Romans 3:8.

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      65. Damon
        “That’s Calvinism’s god of “two wills” which is where all the double speak comes from.”

        rhuthcin
        Everyone I read agrees [all being Calvinists] that God has two WILLS [plural].
        God commands that Israel obey His law yet God gives Israel the freedom to disobey His laws. ……etc
        Do you claim that they were not God’s will? [singular]

        br.d
        Hence the double-speak. :-]

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      66. Rutchin writes:
        “Everyone I read agrees that God has two wills. God commands that Israel obey His law yet God gives Israel the freedom to disobey His laws. God commanded, Do not commit adultery, yet watched as David committed adultery when He could easily have stopped it. Both actions express His will for the nation and for the individual.”

        I would suggest he broaden his range of reading, and step outside the closed world of Reformed thinking. It is only determinism that demands that ‘whatsoever comes to pass’ must, obviously, be God’s will. This, of course, is what lands them with their problem with God being the source of all evil, along with all other ‘whatsoever’s’.

        Non-Calvinists, like Jesus, understand that God’s will is NOT always done on earth as it is in heaven, thus he instructs his disciples to pray for the day when it indeed will be. Non-Calvinists do not believe that the sin and evil that exist are a part of ANY of God’s will, but are the resistance to his will that is the very definition of sin and disobedience. In scripture, being born again is described with the renewing of our minds and hearts that allows us to desire and learn to better seek God’s will, both in our own lives and in the world at large.

        No, indeed, I do not believe that rape, torture, murder, abuse or any other evil exists because it is God’s will. Scripture patiently explains why it exists, what he has done and what he intends to do in the future about the fact that he created mankind with a free will that is able to resist and disobey his will. Even when the day arrives that all believers long for, in which there is no more sin, evil and death, it will not be because God has in any way ‘coerced/forced/secretly induced’ his will upon resistless men, but because the power of love and goodness will finally reveal, unmistakably, the horror and destructiveness of man’s resisting God’s good and perfect will. At that time we will see and finally understand fully what ‘salvation’ means, and our darkened minds will finally be fully enlightened.

        I pity the determinist who views life as if all the evil in this world actually comes from the heart, mind and essentially hands of God. Were they to discard their determinist lenses, they would see the truth that scripture presents, of a perfectly good, loving, faithful God who neither imagines, ordains or brings to pass ANY evil, ever. Evil will finally disappear the day that God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

        Liked by 1 person

      67. ts00 writes, “It is only determinism that demands that ‘whatsoever comes to pass’ must, obviously, be God’s will.”

        Even the non-determinist necessarily has this view. God has the final say on all that happens – He decides whether He will intervene to prevent an event or do nothing and allow the event to proceed. God’s decision is the expression of His will. Consequently, “‘whatsoever comes to pass’ must, obviously, be God’s will.” Even you – the non-Calvinist – have no argument that demonstrates otherwise. From what I remember, you still haven’t developed a coherent definition of “free will.”

        Then, “‘Non-Calvinists do not believe that the sin and evil that exist are a part of ANY of God’s will, but are the resistance to his will that is the very definition of sin and disobedience.”

        The distinction here is that sin and evil are resistance to God’s will as expressed in His law. Yet, it is God who decrees that sinners have the freedom to sin and do evil. This is also God’s will. If not, what is it?

        Then, “I do not believe that rape, torture, murder, abuse or any other evil exists because it is God’s will.”

        Yeah, like, “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Proverbs 16) Then, in Habbakuk, ““For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, That fierce and impetuous people Who march throughout the earth To seize dwelling places which are not theirs…All of them come for violence. Their horde of faces moves forward. They collect captives like sand….they will sweep through like the wind and pass on. But they will be held guilty, They whose strength is their god.” (Habakkuk 1)

        Then, ” Scripture patiently explains why it exists,…”

        Yet, ts00 is unable to cite such Scriptures.

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      68. DG writes, “That’s if you call the rape of a baby “God’s infinite understanding” and “perfect plan” because they came to pass by the unchangeable secret decree.”

        By secret decree, you mean that God was present observing everything as it happened and made a conscious decision not to interfere – thus, the rape of the baby occurs by God’s secret decree not to stop it. So, even you have a secret decree. The Calvinist adds that God was able to make this decree in eternity past. So, are you claiming that God makes decisions – even secret decrees – that are contrary to His perfect plan?

        Like

      69. Damon
        That’s if you call the rape of a baby “God’s infinite understanding” and “perfect plan” because they came to pass by the unchangeable secret decree.”

        rhutchin
        By secret decree, you mean that God was present observing everything as it happened and made a conscious decision not to interfere

        br.d
        Doublespeak is language designed to evade. To make the unpleasant appear pleasant, the unattractive appear attractive.
        Basically, it’s language that pretends to communicate, but really doesn’t.
        It is language designed to mislead, while pretending not to.”

        Professor William Lutz – DoubleSpeak

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      70. Damon
        That’s if you call the rape of a baby “God’s infinite understanding” and “perfect plan” because they came to pass by the unchangeable secret decree.”

        rhutchin
        By secret decree, you mean that God was present observing everything as it happened and made a conscious decision not to interfere

        br.d
        Doublespeak is language designed to evade. To make the unpleasant appear pleasant, the unattractive appear attractive.
        Basically, it’s language that pretends to communicate, but really doesn’t.
        It is language designed to mislead, while pretending not to.”

        Professor William Lutz – DoubleSpeak

        rhutchin
        No denial of the facts by br.d. This because he can’t deny what goes on.

        br.d
        Too funny!!! 😀

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      71. Rhutchin you say “thus, the rape of the baby occurs by God’s secret decree not to stop it. So, even you have a secret decree.”

        You say that I believe in God having a “secret decree” not to stop it from happening.
        There is nothing secret about God allowing men to against what he wants or wills.
        It is another thing to say that everything that happens and comes to pass (which includes the rape of a baby) is part of God’s “perfect plan” or unchangeable decree.

        The fact that sin exists is proof that God allows men to go against his perfect plan.

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      72. DG writes, “(1) It is another thing to say that everything that happens and comes to pass (which includes the rape of a baby) is part of God’s “perfect plan” or unchangeable decree.
        (2) The fact that sin exists is proof that God allows men to go against his perfect plan.”

        So, your statement (2) that God allows men to go against his perfect plan says that God does nothing when people disobey His law. Thus, God wills that people obey the 10 commandments and then wills that they be free to disobey if they want. Your statement (1) just says that disobedience is not part of God’s perfect plan, yet God does not stop disobedience so disobedience is part of His plan. Thus, God has a plan which includes disobedience but in this case, you say that God’s plan should not be called a “perfect” plan. So, we disagree – I claim that any plan of God, even if it includes disobedience, necessarily reflects His perfect wisdom and is a perfect plan. This is a disagreement over a technical issue as it does not seem that we disagree on the facts involved.

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      73. Calvinism does not claim that God “allows” disobedience. You are making up your own Calvinism……or should I say welcome aboard!

        Everything that comes to pass in Calvinism is exactly as God determined and cannot deviate one iota from his plan, therefore whatever comes to pass whether “disobedience” or “obedience” to the finest detail is what God unchangeably determined. Everything is totally obedient to God’s “secret decree” within Calvinism and cannot be any different to what he decreed.

        But you while trying to hold to Calvinist determination also say that there is some sort of freedom within that plan to be “disobedient” ……..disobedient to what? You can only be obedient to what you were determined to be obedient to, which in Calvinism is whatever comes to pass (including the rape of a baby if that comes to pass).

        To blame God for bringing about disobedience by his “secret will” or “secret decree” You can call it a “technical issue” if you like. But I won’t.

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      74. You are very observant Damon, to recognize that Calvinists speak out of two sides of the mouth and on a consistent basis.
        I believe they are forced into that double-think in order to perceive themselves consistent with scripture.

        The general narrative of scripture (ile., Semantic Representation) is that God of scripture has created a world in which “Alternative Possibilities” exist as REAL for people. And he has also endowed humans with the Power to “Do Otherwise”.

        In other words the narrative of scripture depicts a world in which people’s thoughts/desires/choices/actions are not predestined in advance by someone external to that person. So this God leaves the outcome of human thoughts/desires/choices/actions SOLELY UP TO THE PERSON.

        Since that is Semantic Representation of scripture – the Calvinist is forced to parrot that representation even though his belief system rejects it.

        And this brings about the double-speak we see with Calvinists.
        And you are correct to observe that any coherent dialog with a person who thinks and speaks in that mode is an act of futility.

        Welcome to John Calvin’s hotel California
        You are free to leave any time you like but you can never leave. 😀

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      75. That’s so true brd.

        You cannot have a rational conversation with someone that agrees with you while at the same disagreeing with you, and then switching and changing back and forth whenever they get cornered.
        It will always go nowhere, but at least people watching on might come to see the ridiculousness of the Calvinist system.

        The double speak is outrageous!

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      76. DG writes, “Calvinism does not claim that God “allows” disobedience.”

        Sure it does. You just point out that Calvinists explain how this comes about. God is the final arbiter of all that happens and nothing happens absent His decree that it should happen. Even you must believe this. God is present and observes all that happens in the world. God cannot ignore what He observes – He must decide whether to intervene to change the course of history or do nothing so that natural processes play out naturally. Do you mean to deny this? Calvinism adds that God is omniscient so that He made His decisions in eternity past and in now executing His decisions in the course of time within His creation. So, you are correct to say, “Everything that comes to pass in Calvinism is exactly as God determined…” but this is true for non-Calvinists also (unless you mean to deny that God is omnipresent and sovereign). Of course, if God determines anything, it is unchangeably determined – that is a matter of logic.

        Then, “But you while trying to hold to Calvinist determination also say that there is some sort of freedom within that plan to be “disobedient” ……..disobedient to what?”

        Sure – here freedom is defined as a person doing that which he desires and God has given people freedom to desire evil and to do the evil they desire.

        Then, “You can only be obedient to what you were determined to be obedient to, which in Calvinism is whatever comes to pass (including the rape of a baby if that comes to pass).”

        But covering disobedience also. A person who desires to rape a child is being disobedient to God’s revealed law and if God does not intervene to stop the person from raping a child, then that disobedience has been determined by God.

        Then, “To blame God for bringing about disobedience by his “secret will” or “secret decree” You can call it a “technical issue” if you like. But I won’t.”

        The “technical issue” concerned whether such disobedience was part of God’s perfect plan or just part of His plan.

        Like

      77. You say – The “technical issue” concerned whether such disobedience was part of God’s perfect plan or just part of His plan.”

        Ahhh….the “two plans”……just like the “two wills” or the “two loves”, or the “two laws”.

        One “determined” the other “not determined”, one has “freedom” the other has “no freedom”.

        All depends from what perspective or which side of the mouth you would like to speak out of doesn’t it. A predetermined world that is unchangeable that can be changed.

        Double speak! 😀

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      78. DG writes, “the “two plans”

        No. One plan – the issue being whether to describe it as a perfect plan.

        Then, “A predetermined world that is unchangeable that can be changed.”

        A predetermined world cannot be changed because such world is determined by God’s decrees and God’s decrees are unchangeable..

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      79. You say in previous post –
        “The “technical issue” concerned whether such disobedience was part of God’s perfect plan or just part of His plan”

        That’s 2 plans according you.

        But then in your next reply –
        “No. One plan – the issue being whether to describe it as a perfect plan”

        Which one is it Rhutchin?

        Double speak! 😀

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      80. Many things in Calvinism come in antithetical concept pairs.

        Good-evil, light-darkness, Holy-Unholiness, false-truth, indeterministic-determinism….etc.

        Very prevalent in Augustine’s day were Christian Gnosticism and Christian NeoPlatonism – both containing this antithetical dualism.
        Calvin in his adoration for all things Augustine swallowed the camel.
        Both Gnosticism and NeoPlatonism were convoluted labyrinth of detailed explanations of divine action and emanations (i.e. decrees).
        And that’s one of the unique characteristics one can observe with in Calvinist enunciations.

        Liked by 1 person

      81. Yes – these are part and parcel with the logical dilemmas that come with Calvinism.
        And of course as we all know – the way Calvinists get around these dilemmas is with double-speak.

        Calvin’s god wills all men saved, but not in such a way that he wills all men saved.
        Or
        All things are “rendered-certain” (i.e., fated to occur) by Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world.
        But then at the time they are fated to occur Calvin’s god “intervenes” in the very things he’s previously rendered-certain.

        Calvinism is a house full of rhetorical masks – poor double-minded thinkers! 😀

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      82. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god wills all men saved, but not in such a way that he wills all men saved.”

        By “all men” is meant “Jews and gentiles,” thus the whole world. So, “Calvin’s god wills both Jews and gentiles saved, and in such a way that he wills both Jews and gentiles saved.”

        Then, “All things are “rendered-certain” (i.e., fated to occur) by Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world.
        But then at the time they are fated to occur Calvin’s god “intervenes” in the very things he’s previously rendered-certain. ”

        God renders all things certain but executes certain events (e.g., He intervene to impregnate Mary) in the course of time.

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      83. br.d
        “Calvin’s god wills all men saved, but not in such a way that he wills all men saved.”

        rhutcin
        By “all men” is meant “Jews and gentiles,” thus the whole world. So, “Calvin’s god wills both Jews and gentiles saved, and in such a way that he wills both Jews and gentiles saved.”

        br.d
        A great example of a Calvinist half-truth presented as whole-truth – along with a sample of strategic equivocation:
        Calvin’s god wills ALL [“Jews and gentiles, thus the whole world”] saved, but not in such a way that he wills ALL [“Jews and gentiles, thus the whole world”] saved. Logically it follows he doesn’t will ALL of these saved – else they would be.

        br.d
        In Calvinism’s double-speak:
        “All things are “rendered-certain” (i.e., fated to occur) by Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world.
        But then at the time they are fated to occur Calvin’s god “intervenes” in the very things he’s previously rendered-certain. ”

        rutchin
        God renders all things certain but executes certain events (e.g., He intervene to impregnate Mary) in the course of time.

        br.d
        Wonderful example of double-speak!
        Here we have Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – decreeing the impregnation of Mary at time [T] so that it occurs as Mary’s inevitable unavoidable fate. In Calvinist vernacular Mary’s impregnation is -quote “rendered certain”

        But the Calvinist double-speaks *AS-IF* Mary’s impregnation is *NOT* rendered certain.
        Such that at time [T] Calvin’s god must “intervene” to impregnate Mary.

        We can’t make this stuff up folks!!! 😀

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      84. br.d writes, “Logically it follows he doesn’t will ALL of these saved – else they would be.”

        Sure. Only the Universalist holds that God will save each and every individual.

        Then, “But the Calvinist double-speaks *AS-IF* Mary’s impregnation is *NOT* rendered certain.
        Such that at time [T] Calvin’s god must “intervene” to impregnate Mary.”

        Calvinists say that Mary’s impregnation was rendered certain from eternity past; this by God’s decree. That decree required that God intervene at time (T) to execute the decree. Why your confusion on this??

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      85. DG writes, “In an “unchangeable” world according to Calvinism, the Holy Spirit is actually powerless to do anything but follow what was unchangeable. The “power” of the Holy Spirit is redundant in an unchangeable world.”

        The Holy Spirit exerts power to do that which God has decreed be done. That God’s decision is unchangeable does not detract from the power of the Holy Spirit to execute His decrees.

        Then, “Whereas I believe the power of the Holy Spirit by the grace of God can be rejected or accepted. It has real power, not an allusion of power.”

        The Holy Spirit uses people (Pastors, evangelists, etc.) to preach the gospel and it is the gospel that people reject, not the power of the Holy Spirit which is effective in getting people to preach the gospel but not operating on them directly..

        Then, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye”
        The Power of the Holy Spirit can be resisted. God is good and just.”

        Let’s include that which follows, ““Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”

        God sent prophets to Israel and gave Israel the Law. God also gave Israel the freedom to reject the prophets and disobey His law. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Scriptures. If a person rejects the Scriptures, he rejects the Holy Spirit. If that is all you mean, then we agree.

        Like

      86. What a tragic misconception to view the gospel as a ‘mechanism’ or a ‘tool’. It was perceiving this some years ago that made me realize that, under Calvinism, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus is not the ‘gospel’ or ‘good news’ to all people that the long promised atonement for sin has arrived, providing reconciliation between God and man for all who trust upon it. It is more ‘fake news’ than the most blessed good news of all time, which left me shaken and horrified to think what I had been dabbling in. Under Calvinism God could just as well decided that all right-handed people will be saved, or all blondes, as all who he ‘gives faith’ in order to ‘believe’ – the cross becomes a random mechanism, rather than the proclamation of God’s great love and mercy, the greatest gift and good news of all time.

        Liked by 1 person

      87. ts00 writes, “Under Calvinism God could just as well decided that all right-handed people will be saved, or all blondes, as all who he ‘gives faith’ in order to ‘believe’ – the cross becomes a random mechanism, rather than the proclamation of God’s great love and mercy, the greatest gift and good news of all time.”

        You believe that people choose whether they want to be saved. Calvinism deals with people who choose to reject salvation. They are people who would spend eternity in hell if God did not save them. Why do you object to God saving people who would not be saved otherwise?

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      88. Truthseeker
        “Under Calvinism God could just as well decided that all right-handed people will be saved, or all blondes, as all who he ‘gives faith’ in order to ‘believe’ – the cross becomes a random mechanism, rather than the proclamation of God’s great love and mercy, the greatest gift and good news of all time.”

        rhutcnin
        You believe…..etc. Calvinism deals with people who choose to reject salvation.

        br.d
        Another great example of Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking (i.e., double-speak)

        Calvinism deals with people who choose to reject salvation *AS-IF* Calvin’s god didn’t at the foundation of the world – decree those people to choose to reject salvation – making it their inevitable unavoidable fate.

        Calvinist double-think is just tooo funny!! 😛

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      89. br.d writes, “Calvinism deals with people who choose to reject salvation *AS-IF* Calvin’s god didn’t at the foundation of the world – decree those people to choose to reject salvation – making it their inevitable unavoidable fate.’

        Yet, as time proceeds, people make willful conscious decisions to do that which God had decreed without God having to coerce them to do so.

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      90. br.d
        Calvinism deals with people who choose to reject salvation *AS-IF* Calvin’s god didn’t at the foundation of the world – decree those people to choose to reject salvation – making it their inevitable unavoidable fate.’

        rhutchin
        Yet, as time proceeds, people make willful conscious decisions to do that which God had decreed without God having to coerce them to do so.

        br.d
        Another wonderful example of Calvinism’s *AS-IF* double-speak
        “Yet, as time proceeds, people make willful conscious decisions to do that which God had decreed” *AS-IF* Calvin’s god didn’t make those willful conscious decisions occur as their inevitable unavoidable fate.

        *AS-IF* something that will occur as an inevitable, unavoidable fate has to be “coerced” in order for it to occur.
        Too funny!! 😀

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      91. Rhutchin writes
        “Yet, as time proceeds, people make willful conscious decisions to do that which God had decreed without God having to coerce them to do so.”

        One cannot help but pity the person who is able to state such nonsense without the slightest embarrassment. We are all supposed to pretend that the Emperor is wearing clothes, when those God ordained in eternity past to be born totally depraved, remain in sin and suffer eternal punishment ‘make willful, conscious decisions to do that which God had decreed’.

        Suprise! The robots did exactly what the all-powerful controller programmed them to do! Now they are going to be perpetually punished for willfully, consciously ‘deciding’ to sin, just as they were irresistibly determined to do by their maker!

        Could anyone look at himself in the mirror and state such nonsense with a straight face? Imagine explaining how much God ‘loves’ people like that to a small child whose entire meaning and hope in life depends on understanding who God is and what he longs to give to him. Terribly tragic, for I know disillusioned young men and women who have rejected God because they have come under this false teaching.

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      92. Rhutchin writes:
        ” Why do you object to God saving people who would not be saved otherwise?”

        Now, Rhutchin knows full well that the objection to Calvinism is not that God offers salvation to those who could never save themselves. That is what non-Calvinists, and scripture, call the gospel. A fully loving, utterly merciful God so loved all of mankind that he set forth his Son to redeem them, and is bringing to fruition a plan whereby ‘whosoever’ desires to be saved from the power of sin may look to Jesus and be saved. Not by their desires, will, strength or works, but simply by believing that this love God declares is genuine and trustworthy; whosoever believes in him [the Son, the manifestation of God’s goodness, mercy and grace] founds their hope in the gift of forgiveness and life that has been demonstrated and offered to them.

        What non-Calvinists object to, as Rhutchin again full well knows, is the false claim that God created vast swathes of mankind with the deliberate intention of NOT saving them, dangling in front of them an illusory ‘offer’ of salvation which they can never ‘believe’ because he determined in some ‘eternity past’ not to unilaterally enable them to do so. It would be pointless to ‘believe’ in any case, as under their system, Jesus did not die for those people, but only the other, ‘chosen’ group. It does little good to believe that Jesus lived, loved and died – for someone else.

        Rhutchin loves to reframe the non-Calvinists’ dissent into something other than what he knows it is. The non-Calvinist does not object to God saving anyone, nor, in reality do they object to God condemning anyone. God can, and will do whatever he chooses. But the non-Calvinist does not believe that God is even capable of being unloving, unmerciful, unreasonable, illogical, dishonest or unjust.

        What they do object to is the false caricature that Calvinism paints of a cruel, manipulative God who needlessly limits his saving grace to a select few, yet sends his revelation to mankind in wording that ‘seems’ to offer hope and life to all men. Calvinists can mince words all day long – and they will – but they are still left with a cruel, unloving God who finds ‘pleasure’ in withholding mercy and life to helpless men who were created as mere fuel for the fire of his unquenchable wrath. A wrath, by the way, that is totally unreasonable, since nothing in the entire creation exists apart from what he himself has imagined, determined, ordained and brought to pass by whatever ‘means’ he imagined, ordained, determined and used. But hey, there is no use reasoning with a cruel, angry God – all you can do is hope that you are one of the undeserving lucky few who won the ‘Get out of hell free’ lottery and praise him forever for not loving you like he ‘loved’ those he destined for eternal wrath.

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      93. ts00 writes, “Rhutchin knows full well that the objection to Calvinism is not that God offers salvation to those who could never save themselves.”

        No, the objection seems to be that God saves – not just offers salvation to – those who could never save themselves. Is that your objection?

        Then, “A fully loving, utterly merciful God so loved all of mankind that he set forth his Son to redeem them,…”

        This is wrong. Your position is that God “set forth his Son to ‘offer redemption to’ them…” This is what you stated right before.

        Then, “What non-Calvinists object to, as Rhutchin again full well knows, is the false claim that God created vast swathes of mankind with the deliberate intention of NOT saving them,”'”

        What’s your issue??? In the preceding paragraph, you stated, “‘…whosoever’ desires to be saved from the power of sin may look to Jesus and be saved. ” God has given “vast swathes of mankind” the freedom to decide on their own whether they want to be saved, so of course, God has a “hands-off” policy toward these people. God junks the “hands-off” policy when a person rejects His offer of salvation leaving God free to save whom He will. I don’t see your objection.

        Then, “But the non-Calvinist does not believe that God is even capable of being unloving, unmerciful, unreasonable, illogical, dishonest or unjust. ”

        Are you saying that God will, therefore, save everyone? Or, do you agree with the Calvinists that God will not save everyone?

        Then, “What they do object to is the false caricature that Calvinism paints of a cruel, manipulative God who needlessly limits his saving grace to a select few, yet sends his revelation to mankind in wording that ‘seems’ to offer hope and life to all men.”

        I think the caricature is by the non-Calvinist. Calvinists have no problem with the “extent” of the atonement applying to each and every person. The Calvinist argues that God’s “intent” in atonement (knowing beforehand who would freely accept His offer of salvation and who would freely reject His offer of salvation) is to save people who reject Him and would not otherwise be saved.

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      94. Damon Gribble
        “By your own belief system you can only hear the gospel if you have been given ‘hope’ or ‘life’ first. By your own belief system ‘resistance’ had to be removed irresistibly before the gospel so that you can then irresistibly believe it.”

        rhutchin
        That is wrong. The preaching of the…..etc…etc…etc

        br.d
        Notice here the Calvinist doesn’t say “that is false” – he says “that is wrong”.
        Damon’s statement is the truth concerning Calvinism.

        What is “wrong” for the Calvinist – is that Damon didn’t use Calvinist double-speak. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      95. For individuals who have the freewill of robots – it really doesn’t matter HOW they get saved – or anything else for that matter.
        What matters is the fulfillment of the programming – created at the foundation of the world – which individual are designed to live out.

        Calvinists always remind me of puppets obsessed with making believe their control strings don’t exist. :-]

        Liked by 1 person

      96. “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” John 20:30

        You see Rhutchin? You are scratching. You have to believe (have faith) to have ‘life’ in his name.

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      97. RHUTCHIN Damon is right the grace/gift being spoken of in Eph 2 is Salvation which is received by faith. Even Bill Mounce (Calvinist Greek scholar) agrees salvation is the gift being spoken of in that verse.

        Russ

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      98. Russ writes:
        “Damon is right the grace/gift being spoken of in Eph 2 is Salvation which is received by faith. Even Bill Mounce (Calvinist Greek scholar) agrees salvation is the gift being spoken of in that verse.”

        As did Calvin. Even if one remains unconvinced, the important fact to acknowledge is that, without question, the passage COULD be interpreted that salvation is the gift of which Paul speaks.

        In other words, it is less than honest to insist that scripture teaches faith is the gift of God, based almost solely on this one verse, as if it could not possibly be interpreted any other way – as so many Calvinists are prone to do. Indeed, this is the essence of error in biblical interpretation – asserting with certainty things that are not necessarily so, meanings that other scholars have demonstrated may not have been intended; particularly if so much of scripture contradicts the asserted meaning.

        Liked by 1 person

      99. ts00 writes, “the passage COULD be interpreted that salvation is the gift of which Paul speaks. In other words, it is less than honest to insist that scripture teaches faith is the gift of God, based almost solely on this one verse,…”

        That salvation is a gift is without dispute. That Paul sees it necessary to emphasize “gift in v8, is taken to mean that he does refer to faith as well as salvation. This conclusion is based on the neuter form of “this” in the verse.

        Clarke”s Commentary explains, “But whether are we to understand, faith or salvation as being the gift of God? This question is answered by the Greek text: τῃ γαρ χαριτι εστε σεσωσμενοι δια της πιστεως· και τουτο ουκ εξ ὑμων· Θεου το δωρον, ουκ εξ εργων· ἱνα μη τις καυχησηται· “By this grace ye are saved through faith; and This (τουτο, this salvation) not of you; it is the gift of God, not of works: so that no one can boast.” “The relative τουτο, this, which is in the neuter gender, cannot stand for πιστις, faith, which is the feminine; but it has the whole sentence that goes before for its antecedent.” But it may be asked: Is not faith the gift of God? Yes, as to the grace by which it is produced; but the grace or power to believe, and the act of believing, are two different things. Without the grace or power to believe no man ever did or can believe; but with that power the act of faith is a man’s own. God never believes for any man, no more than he repents for him: the penitent, through this grace enabling him, believes for himself: nor does he believe necessarily, or impulsively when he has that power; the power to believe may be present long before it is exercised, else, why the solemn warnings with which we meet every where in the word of God, and threatenings against those who do not believe? Is not this a proof that such persons have the power but do not use it? They believe not, and therefore are not established. This, therefore, is the true state of the case: God gives the power, man uses the power thus given, and brings glory to God: without the power no man can believe; with it, any man may. “

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      100. “Clarke”s Commentary explains, “But whether are we to understand, faith or salvation as being the gift of God? This question is answered by the Greek text: τῃ γαρ χαριτι εστε σεσωσμενοι δια της πιστεως· και τουτο ουκ εξ ὑμων· Θεου το δωρον, ουκ εξ εργων· ἱνα μη τις καυχησηται· “By this grace ye are saved through faith; and This (τουτο, this salvation) not of you; it is the gift of God, not of works: so that no one can boast.” “The relative τουτο, this, which is in the neuter gender, cannot stand for πιστις, faith, which is the feminine; but it has the whole sentence that goes before for its antecedent.””

        Thus far, Clarke merely explains the meaning of another language, revealing that the ‘gift’ referred to in this passage, contrary to what is yet commonly asserted by Calvinists, is salvation – not faith. The fact that he then proceeds to philosophize as to how he believes faith is also a gift is mere, well, philosophy. Certainly one can extrapolate that since creation, life, salvation and every perfect gift comes from above, all that results is in essence a result of God’s initiating actions to create. Indeed, any faith that man has is in the essence, character, promises and acts of God. That is not the same as the false and faulty assertion that faith is something ‘given’ to man by God, which cannot occur until it is somehow mystically transferred from God to man. Rather, faith, or lack thereof, are the only two possible human responses to God. It is the response of faith that is demanded by God, approved by God, deemed as righteousness by God and set forth as the only requirement for forgiveness of sin by God.

        Liked by 1 person

      101. Russ writes, “the grace/gift being spoken of in Eph 2 is Salvation which is received by faith.”

        Received? isn’t that an eisegetical insertion? That Ephesians 2 does not speak of salvation being received. In 1 Corinthians 2, Paul writes, “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:”

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      102. That’s right Wildswanderer.

        Rhutchin’s complaint was that he believes God saves people who reject the gospel, and then uses Ephesians 2:5 to prove it. The ‘saving’ or ‘grace’ he has in mind must not be the gospel as verse 8 says it’s received through faith…..which is belief not rejection. So if this is Rhutchin’s proof verse he needs to keep looking
        So if that’s his proof verse to prove God saves people that reject the gospel……then keep trying because that one doesn’t say that at all.

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      103. DG writes, “if that’s his proof verse to prove God saves people that reject the gospel……then keep trying because that one doesn’t say that at all.”

        Being dead in trespasses and sins, do they not reject the gospel? Isn’t it only after God quickens a person that he then believes the gospel? Even you certainly agree that God saves people who reject His gospel – Paul is a good example. The distinction here is that you seem to hold that there are certain people who can believe without God directly intervening in their lives to bring them irresistibly to salvation. Calvinists say that there are some people, like Paul, who can only be brought to salvation by God’s direct and personal intervention to bring them irresistibly to salvation.

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      104. ww writes, “How can the chosen elect be said to reject the gospel?”

        Paul explains in Galatians 1, “…when He who had set me apart, even from my mother’s womb, and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me,” Paul was chosen by God “…even from my mother’s womb…” but rejected God until God, “…was pleased to reveal His Son in me,” So it is with all of God’s elect – Chosen before the foundation of the world but brought by God to salvation in the course of time.

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      1. ‘Westminsterspeak’? Lawyerese? Gobbledygook? God brings ‘whatsoever comes to pass’ to pass, but is not the ‘author’ of some things (evil). God ‘ordains’ all things, but does not ’cause’ them. Word games, pretending that by using euphemisms or synonyms one can with a straight face claim that A and not-A are equally true at the same time. Then, like a child, insisting, ‘but I didn’t say ‘that’, as if substituting synonyms clouds intent. Genuine attempts at communication do not hide behind word games. Their only purpose, as far as I can see, is deceit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ts00 writes, “God brings ‘whatsoever comes to pass’ to pass, but is not the ‘author’ of some things (evil). God ‘ordains’ all things, but does not ’cause’ them. Word games,…”

        A key word you left out is “control.” Let’s use a human example. The police operate a drug investigation in which they observe a small time drug user over time. Even though the drug user buys and sells drugs, they don’t arrest him as they want to get his suppliers and others higher up. Eventually, they arrest all involved. That the police do not arrest the small time drug dealer is the same as ordaining his actions.

        If you hold that God is omniscient just in the present, then God is observing all that people do at all times. If God does not intervene to prevent any of those actions, He ordains them while not causing them. There are no word games involved.

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  8. Rhutchin writes “you were dead in your trespasses and sins,…But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” (Ephesians 2).

    This is a reference to the second group you mentioned being saved but what about the first group you said were saved i.e.”those who choose freely to accept salvation after hearing the gospel”? Where does a Calvinist go to in scripture to allow for that without being conflict with the ‘need’ for the Calvinist Two-Step: Regeneration, then belief?

    Does a Calvinist really believe that it’s possible for there to be two DIFFERENT groups saved and not just one i.e. those elect via the Two-Step?

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    1. Ben Z writes, “Does a Calvinist really believe that it’s possible for there to be two DIFFERENT groups saved and not just one i.e. those elect via the Two-Step?”

      Nope. However, for purposes of discussion, let’s allow the non-Calvinist position that people save themselves by an act of the will without God directly influencing their will. Under that scenario, some people will continue to reject salvation. It is these people with which Calvinism concerns itself.

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  9. ” However, for purposes of discussion, let’s allow the non-Calvinist position that people save themselves by an act of the will without God directly influencing their will…”

    What you really mean to say is,” Let’s miss represent the non Calvinist position by claiming they believe that man saves himself by an act of the will.” When you know full well that this is not the non Calvinist position of anyone posting here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ww writes, “What you really mean to say is,” Let’s miss represent the non Calvinist position by claiming they believe that man saves himself by an act of the will.” When you know full well that this is not the non Calvinist position of anyone posting here.”

      Even you can’t seem to explain the non-Calvinist position – showing us that it can get complicated. However, the essence of the non-Calvinist position is that it relies on a person being persuaded to accept Christ with some being persuaded and some not. If you can describe it better, do so.

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      1. But that’s not what you said. What you said was that an act of man’s will saves him, which is something none of us say.
        “Prevenient grace refers to the grace of God in a person’s life that precedes conversion (or salvation)
        In Arminianism and Wesleyanism, it is a grace that offsets the noetic effects of the Fall, restores man’s free will, and thus enables every person to choose to come to Christ or not. There are two forms of this view:
        Universal prevenient grace — This grace is extended to every person.
        Individualistic prevenient grace — This grace is only extended to those who come under the intelligent hearing of the gospel, and not to ever.”
        Clearly, we do not claim we can save ourselves by an act of the will, but we can accept or reject the gift of salvation.

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      2. ww writes, “What you said was that an act of man’s will saves him, which is something none of us say.”

        The non-Calvinist has God providing the means for a person to be saved. The person is then persuaded by the gospel to believe. The decision to believe is an act of the will. This is exactly what you then describe, “In Arminianism and Wesleyanism, it is a grace that offsets the noetic effects of the Fall, restores man’s free will, and thus enables every person to choose to come to Christ or not.” When you write, “…enables every person to choose to come to Christ or not,” you are talking about a willful free will decision. It is an act of man’s will that is necessary if the person is to be saved.

        Then, “Clearly, we do not claim we can save ourselves by an act of the will, but we can accept or reject the gift of salvation.”

        Exactly. A decision to “accept or reject the gift of salvation” is necessary to the person’s salvation without which no person can be saved. Everything that God does cannot save a person – it can only bring a person to the point where they choose whether to accept or reject salvation. The final act – and one that seals the deal – is by the person.

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      3. An act of the will to accept or reject does not have the power of salvation. My belief is not a work that saves me, it is simply letting go of my self will and accepting God’s will. Man’s will does not do the saving, only the accepting. There is nothing merit worthy in simply taking what is given to you. It is a far different thing to say that we can reject salvation then to say our acceptance of salvation somehow saves us. If we could save ourselves by an act of the will, Christ’s sacrifice wouldn’t be needed.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. ww writs, “My belief is not a work that saves me, it is simply letting go of my self will and accepting God’s will.”

        Your “belief” requires faith. If your faith is that given to you by God, then the exercise of that faith to believe is not a work. If your faith is something you had when you were born and is inherent to you, then the exercise of that faith to believe is a work. So, where did your faith come from? God gave it to you through the hearing of the gospel. What is that faith? It is the assurance of the hope you have in the gospel and the conviction you have of those things. You are correct to say, “There is nothing merit worthy in simply taking what is given to you,” if you understand that the faith you exercise to believe and accept salvation was among the things given to you by God.

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      5. Faith is a choice. The ability to make choices is Illustrated all through scripture, and yes the ability is given us by God. No one can seriously say faith is a work if they actually studied scripture. Why are we were urged to increase our faith? Why did Jesus praise certain people for their strong faith? To irresistibly give someone a gift and then praise him for that gift is ridiculous.

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      6. ww writes, “Faith is a choice.”

        Then we disagree. I say faith provides a basis for making a choice. As described in Hebrews 11, faith is the assurance of things hoped for. Where people have hope, they likely make difference decisions than if they did not have hope. Choices are acts of the will taking into account such things as knowledge, experience, faith etc.

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      7. WW writes:

        “Faith is a choice. The ability to make choices is Illustrated all through scripture, and yes the ability is given us by God. No one can seriously say faith is a work if they actually studied scripture. Why are we were urged to increase our faith? Why did Jesus praise certain people for their strong faith? To irresistibly give someone a gift and then praise him for that gift is ridiculous.”

        Equally absurd is to suggest that God did not ‘give’ certain individuals faith, causing Jesus to wonder at their lack thereof. Was Jesus surprised and saddened that God gave so little faith to men? Did he reward needy sinners with healing because God had given them faith, giving him the green light to heal? Such a false conception of faith leaves every mention of it sounding absurd and/or insincere – which is why no one reads them Calvinistically unless trained to do so.

        Were faith dependent upon God’s willingness to grant it, we would all have it exceedingly, abundantly, for God is a gracious, loving merciful Father who desires to give good gifts to all men. Faith is not a one time assent to one aspect of God’s working with men. It is the belief that God is who he says he is, and that he will do what he says he will. It is trusting him in spite of any and all circumstances, however daunting, discouraging or frightening.

        Many people believe that there is a God. Many believe that Jesus existed. Many believe various aspects of scripture. That is not saving faith. Saving faith is ultimate trust in God – the sort of trust that leads to giving up all else if and when God so demands. When God said ‘Go’, Abraham went. When God said ‘Lead my people out of slavery’, Moses did so. When God gave David the go ahead to stand up to a giant with a slingshot, he confidently did so. Such is faith. It is demonstrated by the many as illustrated and commended in Hebrews 11. These men and women would not have been set forth as examples if they were mere lucky recipients of a ‘gift’. Rather, they offered to God the one and only thing that God asks of weak, frail, sinful men: simple trust.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. God can choose to use a donkey or unsaved prophet (with the Holy Spirit upon him) to speak for Him. That certainly doesn’t guarantee their salvation. The students announcing that there are treats available for everyone are still free themselves to reject taking one for themselves… not trusting the offer nor trusting that the giver has their good in mind, even though they “proclaim” the message.

    But Roger, you are breaking a law of logic by trying to prove from Matt 7 that those who thought they were saved proves none can know for sure they’re saved. You’ve broken the law of the excluded middle. Those in Matt 7 chose to believe their salvation was assured by what they had done! They had rejected their opportunity to trust the light they were given that “told” them salvation is only through His mercy.

    I have assurance because God’s Word is clear in telling me how to make my calling and election sure by testing to see if I’m in the faith… not by works of righteousness which I have done or do… but according to His mercy.

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    1. Sadly, my Calvinist pastor, ever condemning of works righteousness, nonetheless ended up exactly there. His, and Calvinism’s, lack of assurance ultimately leads to the need to ‘prove’ one’s calling and election by demonstrating ‘piety’ – a euphemism for works righteousness. I realized I had ended up in the exact same train I had long ago exited, that of attempting to be ‘good enough’ to please God, however the words were parsed. Calvinism offers no assurance., because it is not based on a relationship with the living God but on a slippery, illusive transaction based on nothing but a hoped for arbitrary choice by a harsh and cruel tyrant who might just as easily randomly choose you for destruction. It is a pitiful, hopeless religion which leaves men with no assurance but a hope that their doctrinal assertions and personal piety grants them one of the rare tickets to paradise.

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      1. One can only pity these hopeless, desperate individuals who subconsciously believe that their willingness to accept ‘hard truths’ (of God’s cruel injustice) somehow demonstrates that they are included in the ‘winners’ circle.

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    2. brianwagner writes, “you are breaking a law of logic by trying to prove from Matt 7 that those who thought they were saved proves none can know for sure they’re saved.”

      Good point. A key part of Jesus statement is, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.” You know that the biggest problem believers have with assurance is the continuing presence of sin in their life. You know that divorce, pornography, premarital sex, a love of money, and a host of other issues are rampant in the church. Look at the young believers Paul addresses in Galatians 1, 1 Corinthians, and Hebrews 6 – nothing has changed. You are correct to say, “I have assurance because God’s Word is clear in telling me how to make my calling and election sure by testing to see if I’m in the faith…” recognizing that many believers see those Scriptures describing a believer that they are not. If that is not the number one personal issue your students raise with you in private, I would be surprised.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And the will of the Father is to make sure your trust is only in His Son and not in any works of righteousness that you may do. You can tell you are trusting only in Him if you begin to recognize the changes He is making in you, especially in loving Him and loving others, especially your enemies.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Rhutchin writes earlier – “God ordains all things, not unusually through secondary causes. God predestines some of those things, not all Predestine refers to those actions God personally undertakes usually in the context of salvation”

    Notice how the Calvinist has a loop hole, or not all things being “predestined” directly. The Calvinist will always argue “responsibility” within this loophole called “secondary causes” yet still maintain that “all things” are ordained (decreed) and unchageable by God before the world began.

    What they really mean by “second causes” is this, for instance or an example – God creates gravity so that a person can only fall downwards. God then withholds or never gives what is needed to prevent a person from falling downwards. The person falls downwards, not because God decreed them to but because of “second causes”, ie they fell downwards themself.

    The same reasoning is used with “belief” as Rhutchin has demonstrated very well for us. Belief comes under the “second causes” whereas faith is the irresistible first cause, for instance or an example – God creates a situation where “faith” (whatever that is in Calvinism) cannot be resisted and will cause belief. The person believes, not because God decreed them to but because of “second causes”, ie they believed themselves.

    This is a clever tactic of the Calvinist to retreat back to the loop hole of not blaming God for determism. The loophole doesn’t actually exist and is a figment of the Calvinists imagination, and I am convinced that a lot of them realise it, but is the only place they can find comfort in their fatalistic world view.

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    1. Correct!!
      The mental trick that Calvinists play is blaming secondary means while making-believe there is no PRIMARY cause.

      The Calvinist – a puppet obsessed with convincing himself the puppet strings that control him don’t exist.

      Who wouldn’t want to sign up for that! :-]

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This loop hole of “secondary causes” is where brothers FOH & brd have picked up and pointed to the dialog of Calvinists whereby the Calvinist can say – God determines all things in a way that “as if” he has not. This “secondary cause” is just another smoke screen for the word deception.

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  13. DETERMINISM’S RHETORICAL TRICK CONCERNING DO OTHERWISE
    ILLUSTRATED WITH A TRAIN–TRACK-SWITCH

    This wikipedia article provides an excellent quick look at how a train-track-switch works.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railroad_switch

    As is well established, Calvinism is predicated upon the philosophical notion of Universal Divine Causal Determinism. The proposition that every event is determined to occur exactly as it does well in advance. As a mater of fact, every thought, desire, choice, action are determined to occur as your unavoidable fate, millennia before you were born – by Calvin’s god.

    Christian philosophers all acknowledge that in this scheme, a person’s perception of having the ability to “DO OTHERWISE” than what we in fact do, exists only as an illusion. This illusion may be a consequence of the fall of man. However, this raises the question of why the over-arching narrative of scripture consistently depicts the perception that God has endowed man with the ability to “DO OTHERWISE” than what he in fact does. Did the authors of scripture write this way because they were deceived by this illusion?

    A well-known statement by Christian philosophers illustrating that DO OTHERWISE exists only as an illusion in determinism is the phrase “There are no forked paths in determinism”.

    The Calvinist may attempt to trick us however by arguing for a “kind” of DO OTHERWISE, which can be illustrated by a train-track-switch. See the wikipedia article (link above) to get the picture.

    Well in advance of the train’s approach to the switch, some intelligent being determines which way the track will be switched. When the train comes to the switch, its direction has already be determined. If switched to the left, the train will go left. If switched to the right, it will go right.

    Could the train DO OTHERWISE than what it in fact did? Yes, the Calvinist will say – but this is based upon a subtle trick.

    Lets say the train went to the left because it was switched to the left. It could have DONE OTHERWISE (than go to the left) if instead of being switch to the left, it had been switched it to the right.

    But we can see this a rhetorical trick designed to be a masquerade as DO OTHERWISE than what the train in fact did.
    In Calvinism, where Calvin’s god predestines you to think, desire, chose and do, [X], you cannot DO OTHERWISE than [X].
    In Calvinism, there is no such thing as a forked path – the train track of your life – all of your choices have already be determined.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In other words, philosophically, a ‘choice’ of action exists, as in there is more than a single option theoretically possible. However, under its theological system, Calvinism asserts that all ‘choices’ were predetermined by God, who, for reasons I have never heard Calvinists explain, disingenuously gives men the appearance of having a genuine choice when, in reality, they have absolutely no ability to do other than what God has preordained.

      In attempts to disguise this fatalism, Calvinists assert a concept termed ‘Compatabilism’ under which men ‘freely choose’ what God has irresistibly ordained for them to do, which is about as meaningless as any linguistic concept can possibly be. I liken it to the sort of choice the mofia’s Godfather gives when he makes an individual ‘an offer he can’t refuse’. The illusion of ‘choice’ is preserved, while all parties know that only one choice can be made if the individual desires to remain alive. Under Calvinism, there is even less ‘choice’ as there is not a possibility of choosing against God’s preordained plans, although many Calvinists either do not understand this or prefer to blur the concept.

      Calvinists play all sorts of games to distract attention away from the undeniable foundational principle of their theology, which is that God alone has decided, ordained and irresistibly brings to pass ‘whatsoever’ comes to be in his creation. Thus, all evil, such as rape, murder, torture and abuse, lays at the feet of God, being part of his predetermined and irresistibly ordained plan, however much Calvinists attempt to mask that reality. They like to pretend that by using secretive, hidden, secondary ‘means’ to bring about his ‘will’ God can deny culpability for the sin that he ordains men to perform, but this is not logically feasible. Rhutchin likes to borrow non-Calvinists’ ‘permission’ of men’s evil desires by God, but this does not meet the requirements of Calvinism’s deterministic theology. If God has deterministically decreed whatsoever comes to pass it is absurd to speak of ‘permitting’ what he has ‘decreed’. Rhutchin knows this, however much he might try to pretend otherwise. His latest ruse appears to be to state ‘I don’t understand what you mean’ when his lack of consistency and logic is pointed out.

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      1. Yes!
        This is why Immanuel Kant called it a “wretched subterfuge” and nothing more than “word jugglery”
        And why William James called it “a quagmire of evasion”
        And why William Lane Craig says “Calvinists unfortunately yet consistently fail to enunciate the radical distinctions of their belief system”

        Dr. Tomis Kapitan – (1949-2016), Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., of metaphysics, philosophy of language, and international ethics, analyses the phenomenon – of Determinists consistently perceiving/believing their own personal deliberations as OPEN and not predetermined at the very moments in which they are deliberating.
        Professor Kapitan seems to be alluding to this phenomenon of rational-inconsistency as the determinist’s unavoidable predetermined fate.

        -quote:
        “To locate an inconsistency within the beliefs of a deliberating determinist now seems easy; for as a deliberator, he takes his future act to be yet undetermined. But as a determinist, he assumes the very opposite – that his future is already determined and fixed in the past, such that everything he does was previously determined by factors beyond his control.

        Thus the ascription of rational-inconsistency within the mental state of the deliberating determinist is secured.”

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      2. ts00 writes, “Calvinism asserts that all ‘choices’ were predetermined by God, who, for reasons I have never heard Calvinists explain, disingenuously gives men the appearance of having a genuine choice when, in reality, they have absolutely no ability to do other than what God has preordained.”

        The genuine choice is that people are not forced to act contrary to their desires. God determined that people act according to their desires and that their desires originate within them.

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      3. rhutchin
        God determined that people act according to their desires and that their desires ORIGINATE within them.

        br.d
        This is another good example of Calvinist double-think
        Calvin’s god, at the foundation of the world “first-conceives” of that desire – a point in time where the person does not exist.
        Obviously the SOURCE of that desire is not the person.
        Obviously that desire ORIGINATES in the mind of Calvin’s god.

        Calvinist always remind me of puppets obsessed with convincing themselves their strings don’t exist. 😀

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      4. br.d
        Right!

        There is another point here too. Calvinists constantly say God allows man to do what he desires…of course with the implication or outright statement that this means “man desires only bad things….no good…..God-haters with every breath.”

        Of course nature and our own eyes tell us this is just not true. Even unsaved people will “help an old lady across the road.” Plenty of non-believers have even given their lives to help stranger in emergencies …so the ol’ “can do no good thing” card just does not hold up.

        But more than nature, the Scriptures bear this out. Lydia is (erroneously) suggested as a proof text for Calvinists, but they fail to read that she went to pray and that she was a “worshiper of God.” Acts 10 tells us that Cornelius was God-fearing and devout long before he heard the gospel. Luke 1 tells us that Zechariah and Elizabeth were “righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly…” and this was long before Christ was alive and clarifying the Gospel.

        So this silly…. “God determined that people act according to their desires and that their desires ORIGINATE within them” (meaning they are free—free to do bad only) is just not biblical at all.

        It is only superimposed on the Bible by a deterministic philosophy.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. FOH writes, “Of course nature and our own eyes tell us this is just not true….But more than nature, the Scriptures bear this out.”

        More selective use of the Scriptures by FOH. What about the Scriptures that you ignore. Why don’t you put it all together and tell us what you think God is telling us.

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      6. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god, at the foundation of the world “first-conceives” of that desire – a point in time where the person does not exist.
        Obviously the SOURCE of that desire is not the person.
        Obviously that desire ORIGINATES in the mind of Calvin’s god.”

        Necessarily, God first conceives all things because He is God. Thus, God makes people with the ability to desire many of the things God first conceived, so God is the first source. However, what a person actually desires depends on internal factors – primarily his nature. That nature is limited to what it can desire by the universe of desires first conceived by God. No desire is forced on the person but only that which the person actually desires. Psalm 94 tells us, “The LORD knows the thoughts of man…” Proverbs 12, “The thoughts of the righteous are just, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.”

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      7. br.d
        Calvin’s god, at the foundation of the world “first-conceives” of that desire – a point in time where the person does not exist.
        Obviously the SOURCE of that desire is not the person.
        Obviously that desire ORIGINATES in the mind of Calvin’s god.”

        Calvinists always remind me of puppets obsessed with convincing themselves their strings don’t exist. :-]

        rhutchin:
        Necessarily, God first conceives all things because He is God. Thus, God makes people with the ability to desire many of the things God first conceived, so God is the first source. However, what a person actually desires DEPENDS ON INTERNAL FACTORS – primarily his nature.

        br.d
        Well that acknowledges that necessarily Calvin’s god first-conceives and is therefore the SOURCE/ORIGINATOR of every sin and every evil.
        Thanks for that acknowledgement.

        “Make people WITH THE ABILITY to desire”
        Well that acknowledges that necessarily Calvin’s god first-conceives and is therefore the SOURCE/ORIGINATOR of the ABILITY to desire every sin and every evil.
        Thanks for that acknowledgment.

        “Depends on internal factors”
        Well that acknowledges that necessarily Calvin’s god first-conceives and is therefore the SOURCE/ORIGINATOR of every internal factor – primarily each person’s nature.
        Thanks for that acknowledgement.

        I still say God gave mankind Calvinists as a form of entertainment. 😀

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      8. Ah shucks br.d you added all those “necessarily”s for me didn’t you!

        The “necessarily” thing is completely extra-biblical but so Reformed.

        You come to the Bible with a presupposed understanding of what God is —must be—- (take that from Greek deterministic philosophy as much as possible) and then you throw in “necessarily” ______________________ (filling in the blank with whatever your flavor is).

        He is Sovereign…..so necessarily everything that happens is what He want.

        He is omniscient ….so necessarily knowing it ahead locks it in to being.

        He is wrathful…… so necessarily He needs a certain quota of vengeful wrath to be satisfied.

        But of course not from the Word ….these things dont come from the Word (unless you extrapolate them out of some poetic “the heart of the kings is in His hands” type verse).

        They all necessarily come from human philosophy and presuppositions.

        Like

      9. Necessarily everything that comes into the Calvinists over-active and silly imagination must be true!
        How else is the Calvinist going to save face after all that vicarious boasting. 😉

        Like

  14. Houghton indicates that the letter is in the Appendix directly following this chapter.
    However, the letter is apparently in Latin which I can’t read.
    I could probably get a snap-shot of it for you thought.

    Like

      1. If you find something, I’d like to see it also if that’s possible.
        After doing a little further digging, it appears this Bishop Prosper was followed by a few others in Riez who were also of the same anti-predestinarian sentiment.

        You might check out Prosper’s Epistola ad Rufinum :-]

        Like

  15. REASONABLE FAITH – by William Lane Craig – SHORT VIDEO ON OBJECTIVE MORALITY

    https://t.e2ma.net/click/smc6x/obd8dgb/glzdii

    Watch this short video and observe how Christianity provides a vibrant reason for life – by providing OBJECTIVE morality.
    Notice in this video how Atheism WHEN LOGICALLY CONSISTENT cannot provide this.

    Then analyze how Calvinism having a deity whose MORALITY IS SUBJECTIVE based upon the roots of its Gnostic/NeoPlatonic good-evil dualism – is in the same boat as Atheism – again WHEN LOGICALLY CONSISTENT.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Deborah… He is a good speaker and he sounded so Scriptural in many things… but he twisted the gospel by his terminology – “conduit of grace.” The RC denomination believes it is God’s chosen “conduit of grace” for the salvation of the whole world and is God’s mediator between God and man for that salvation. You can hear that clearly when he mentions at the 9min mark that the grace “that saved a wretch like me” comes through more than just faith in Christ, but through baptism and the mass, etc.

      Roman Catholicism even believes that sincere Hindus and Buddhists will be saved by the grace earned in the Catholic religion to give away to them even if they never hear about Christianity or accept it. Teresa of Calcutta is a good example of this false universalism that RC now believes, for she did not try to convert those she cared for to Christ, but already believed that they were “Christ” and accepted by God because of their suffering.

      We can agree with his point that not all choosing by God has been for personal salvation, but to help others in the world find God’s grace, but he wasn’t clear about whether the older brother was saved or lost when he talked about being chosen and about grace… His theology would have to make him confirm that the older brother was “saved” just because he was a member of the chosen community.

      Like

    2. Thanks Deborah for the video link.

      If I may make a few points – there appear to be 4 primary assertions here.
      1) God within scripture presents favor or recognition to certain individuals and not to others.
      2) This favor/recognition doesn’t appear to be reward based – but instead arbitrary based.
      3) A “religion” of grace is to be distinguished from not a “religion” of reward.
      4) Those who are given favor/recognition are not to perceive themselves as better than others – a notion predicated on reward-based favor.

      (1-3) Yes it is true, there are narratives in scripture in which individuals are given favor based upon nothing other than divine compassion. However, there are also narratives in scripture where rewards are given based upon human behaviors/attitudes etc. The Bishop assumes favor was granted to Able and not Cain for arbitrary reason – but that is an assumed interpretation of the text. God grants favor or acknowledgement to persons based upon that person’s display of faith, honesty, or sincerity (i.e., divine attributes) in many places throughout scripture. So the argument that divine favor/acknowledgment is arbitrary must ignore those portions of scripture. As it says in 1 Samuel 2:30 “Those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.”

      (4) Yes, this was the error of the Scribes and Pharisees, and the reason for a number of Jesus’ parables. Personal arrogance and vicarious pride is an affront to the Lord of loving kindness.

      Thanks again! :-]

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What I appreciated in Baron’s video was his affirmation of the idea that Israel was elected/chosen — not as an end in herself — but to be a blessing to all the nations. Leighton has mentioned this several times — Israel being chosen for the vocation of bringing God’s salvation to the entire world. I found it fascinating that a Catholic priest would reiterate the same. I really don’t care about the rest. There’s no leader, no denomination, that has everything right. But God raises up people in every corner of the Christian world to bring the beautiful message of salvation to all. I believe God has done this with Bishop Baron, and I thank Him for it.

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      2. Wonderful post Deborah!!

        Yes I agree – N.T. Write also concurs. That Israel was a chosen people – but very much chosen for ministry to the gentiles – to proclaim the God who describes himself to mankind as a God of “CHESED” – loving kindness. Not a god of brute force like the pagan gods.

        Exodus 19:6 “And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”

        Thanks! :-]

        Like

      3. brd — Just to clarify — I’m writing to everyone on the blog, not responding to you in particular, and not intending to agree or disagree with what you said. I hadn’t made it clear what I liked about the video, so wanted to make that known here. Thanks!!

        Like

    3. Deborah Hansel writes, “You guys have got to watch…”

      Amazing grace. How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. It is by grace that you are saved. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,…Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Deborah,
        Just to spare you from unnecessary abuse – other sisters have participated here at SOT101 whom rhutchin has effectively chased away.

        If with wisdom you are careful not to take everyone here at face value – but understand sometimes participants here can function as word-game-artists – you’ll save yourself from a form of treatment other sisters were not prepared for.

        Like

      2. Deborah writes, “I apologize, but I don’t understand what you are getting at.”

        I was pointing out where the Scriptures agree with that which Barron said in the video.

        Like

  16. In your discussion of Catholicism, please dont forget that hero Calvin was Catholic infant-baptized and deemed that sufficient. He even forbade any of his followers that were Catholic, infant-baptized to be baptized as believers. Any infant baptism was good enough for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. N.T. Write calls Calvin a Catholic with a small c.
      Also don’t forget that there are letters written by Calvin to RC head-hunters advising them where they might find certain protestants and admonishing them to kill those protestants – men who openly disagreed with Calvin’s doctrine.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not sure how representative he was, but my former Calvinist pastor was only one small step from Roman Catholicism, which he was raised in. He also believed that baptism (preferably infant), the Lord’s Supper and Church membership were essential to entering into the kingdom of God. Just like RC, he believed church membership was essential, and the Lord’s supper was withheld from all who were not members.

        Like

      2. Catholicism is – if nothing else – a system of syncretism.
        I anticipate it won’t be long before we’ll hear certain Calvinist leaders embracing Chrislam – if not already.
        Its all about increasing the size of the herd. ;-]

        Like

    2. Interesting and true. I don’t agree with infant baptism, nor with much of Catholic ecclesiology/tradition, but I find it fascinating that the truth about Jesus Christ and the Gospel can be taught in the Catholic tradition anyway. This is a testimony to the fact that God can use any Christian to preach the good news — despite being off track on many other things. God is so much bigger than our small minds can comprehend, and He doesn’t let barriers like infant baptism stop him from getting His message to the nations. 🙂

      Like

      1. Deborah writes, “This is a testimony to the fact that God can use any Christian to preach the good news — despite being off track on many other things.”

        In Galatians 1, we have Paul stating in the strongest terms, “if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed….” As we continue to read Galatians, we discover that certain people were preaching the good news PLUS… (in this case, circumcision, and by extension, obedience to the ceremonial law). This is basically what the RC does. It preaches the good news PLUS…. just as some were doing in the case of the Galatians and earned the wrath of Paul.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Reading through the Bible I come to Mark chapter 10.

    14 He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

    A. Hear the words of Christ when He says let the children come to him. They are already coming …they’re seeking ….they’re moving towards Christ and He says let them continue. There is no indication here that He is the one making them come.

    B. Noticed that it says that the kingdom is for the ones who are like these children.

    C. So be like believing children and inherit the Kingdom. He puts the responsibility in the hands of the listener.
    ———–

    Mark 10:19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.”

    20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

    21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

    A. We are told by Calvinists that the unredeemed person can do no good thing. Yet this man here says he did all these good things and Christ takes him at his word.

    B. It says here that Christ had genuine love for him. So He loves him and yet does not call him as the elect? That would not be any sincere kind of love (dont forget MANY Calvinsts say that Christ does not love the non-elect). So…. He does love him but he lets him choose cuz that’s the way He set up the world.

    C. Jesus then calls him to follow Him. Any reader of the story would think that the following is possible. But Calvinists tell us that it is truly not possible because God has not regenerated him. So Christ loves him and called him but doesn’t make it possible for him to come. It is just a terrible way of interpreting the scripture.

    ——–

    29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”

    What? “Given up” ….. that is not in anyway being irresistibly forced to have faith. Why does Jesus put this kind of salvation in such a “man-centered” sort of way? When Calvinists accuse us of having a “man-centered” Gospel (with the incessant playing of the John 6:44 card) why can we not answer with this or any of the hundreds of verses where Christ Himself speaks of man’s responsibility?

    Reading the Bible each day will rinse the Calvinism away…..

    Like

    1. FOH, you are cracking me up, lol . . . yes, I do think reading the Bible each day will rinse the Calvinism away. It certainly has had that effect upon my mind! Funny though — reading the Bible has also made me sympathetic to Catholic theology, since I’ve left monergism behind. I don’t intend to identify myself by any Christian tradition (only by being a follower of Jesus Christ), but it’s the apostles’ writings themselves (the NT) that have forced me to admit that there is a paradox in the Bible: we are both “saved” (past tense) and “being saved (present tense). Not to mention the fact that our “adoption” awaits us as a future event. We must participate in the Grace given to us by Faith. I disagree with how that Grace is appropriated to us (i.e. the Eucharist) but the fact is that we are to stay continually in the Vine — participate in the “divine nature” — in order to experience the “being saved” that the Bible talks about. The Catholics are not so far off . . . (I imagine I just opened a major can of worms here, LOL!!! Can’t wait to see how people respond . . . . . )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem from me.

        I call it “staying in the house” like they had to do on the night of the Passover. Blood in the bucket was not enough. It had to be applied. Then …stay in the house.

        Like

      2. FOh writes, “Blood in the bucket was not enough. It had to be applied.”

        Saved by the blood; living by faith. Salvation is monergistic; sanctification is synergistic.

        Like

      3. Guys,

        I have posted many times here that Passover is that greatest (and most biblically referenced) example of Christ’s sacrifice.

        At the risk of repetition, I will say it again. First I will just draw everyone’s attention to the fact that God Himself provided the solution and gets all the glory.

        He told them to take a perfect sacrifice and spill the blood. But that was not enough. Spilled blood. They had to —in faith— apply that blood to the door. They could even be of the chosen house of Israel and still die if they did not apply the blood. Even others who were not-the-chosen could apply the blood and be saved.

        Did they later say “we beat the angle of death by our great application of the blood”? No way….they knew who had save them….. which is why the phrase “…The Lord that brought you out of slavery in Egypt” is probably the most repeated phrase in the Bible.

        But, just like God’s solution in Noah’s ark (Christ). God’s idea….built by Noah.

        Serpent on the pole (also equated with Christ). God’s idea. But they had to get up and find it….look and live.

        Walls of Jericho. God did it…..they marched.

        Moses arms held up against the Amalekites. Drops his arms, loses the battle. Even with his arms raised (and the battle going their way) there were likely men of Israel being killed. Paying the price of the condition that God put in place.

        God chose to put conditions on His methods of salvation. That is His choice. Why would we let someone come along with Greek philosophy and teach us something contrary to what is so clear everywhere in the Scriptures?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, FOH, that’s exactly how Baron puts it! We get into the house by faith — but we “live” in the house by participating in grace.

        Like

  18. CALVINISM’S SOCIALIZATION PROCESSES—MILIEU CONTROL—A CLOSED SYSTEM OF LOGIC

    The society of Calvinists dramatically differs from mainstream protestant Christianity and Catholicism, in the emphasis it puts on adherence to doctrine. The doctrine becomes a cherished identity marker, and a trophy, which separates the Calvinist from all other Christian groups. The doctrine sets them apart as superior. The doctrine is therefore sacred. Calvinist pastors can be observed brooding over their congregation’s assimilation of the doctrine. It is quite common for Calvinist leaders to counsel congregations against exposing themselves to alternative forms of biblical scholarship, no matter how highly that scholarship is recognized internationally.

    The Calvinist authority structure seeks to exert a much higher degree of control over information. Thus Calvinism sociologically, has for many years, been a closed system, with its own unique values and its own unique language, applying what social psychologists call, milieu control. The control processes at work within the Calvinist authoritarian social structure, controls feedback from group members and refuses to be modified, which results in a closed system of logic.

    It is consistently observed that Calvinists manifest a pronounced degree of partisanship—an almost obsessive allegiance to the doctrine and to idolized persons, prompting the concern that the respecting of persons within the system is so pervasive, that it may represent a form of seductive entrenchment to which Christian youth are significantly vulnerable.

    Over time, the mental conditioning that results, goes far beyond simple belief in—or love for Christ, as Christ is not the central focus of the doctrine.

    As the individual interacts with others whose minds have become similarly “re-formed”, the mental conditioning dramatically reinforces itself, and becomes a unique reality which frames all comprehension of things pertaining to God and church. When the non-Calvinist speaks, about God or biblical things, the Calvinist may quite literally hear confusion, or heresies, because his mind is so locked into the milieu, and it frames his cognitive perceptions so pervasively; he eventually cannot comprehend any thinking that doesn’t affirm it.

    Free-thinking and personal beliefs are monitored and permitted as long as they do not contradict central dogma. God-Ungodliness oxymorons are so subliminally assimilated in his concepts of God, that when he speaks, he speaks English, and one thinks they know what he is saying, without recognizing when they don’t, or understanding how pervasively his frame of reference stems from a good-evil dualistic worldview which the system conditions him to obfuscate, and which eventually becomes his normalcy through the process of internalized acceptance.

    These socialization processes are the first step in our ability to understand Calvinistic thinking, behavior, and language.

    Like

    1. BRD, so true . . . having been raised in a Calvinist town . . . I totally get what you are saying here. Maybe that’s why I’m obsessed with understand Catholic theology — an act of rebellion against my Calvinist brainwashing as a youth??? LOL

      Like

    1. Wilds,

      Reformed folks, especially those into Calvinist soteriology, are always fighting the Roman Catholic Church. Many are unable to hold onto the tension that Catholics have many things both wrong and right. The RCC must be the bogeyman so they can compare any doctrine they don’t like to the bogeyman and so dismiss it as obviously wrong without needing to consider it or deal with the position.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The only heretic more heretical than an Arminian is a Catholic – to the self-righteous Calvinist. I frequently rejected my (formerly Catholic) Calvinist pastor’s diatribes against all things Catholic, because I just so happened to know many Catholics who actually loved God and demonstrated his likeness far better than most Calvinists I knew. Do I accept all of their theology? Absolultely not, but they undersand the true gospel far better than the typical Calvinist.

        Like

      2. ts00 writes, “they undersand the true gospel far better than the typical Calvinist.”

        If that were true, why the great emphasis on the sacraments as the means of salvation. Then, why the praying to Mary or other people. Are you sure that they understand the gospel?

        Like

      3. Eric Kemp writes, “Many are unable to hold onto the tension that Catholics have many things both wrong and right.”

        Calvinists just deal with those things that the RCs get wrong – probably because they have some major wrongs, primarily that salvation is by faith PLUS the sacraments.

        Like

      4. They believe the sacraments are necessary for salvation, yes. But they do not believe the sacraments save them. They believe faith in Christ saves them and then they “work out” that salvation by doing the sacraments.

        Like

      5. Eric Kemp writes, “[RCs] believe the sacraments are necessary for salvation, yes. But they do not believe the sacraments save them.”

        Not exactly. For children and those deprived of reason, salvation is through baptism. For adults, salvation is cooperative – God provides grace; man provides desire. Justification and sanctification are two aspects of the same thing which is unique from Protestant theology.

        As described in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

        “Salvation begins with the grace of God which touches a sinner’s heart, and calls him to repentance. This grace cannot be merited; it proceeds solely from the love and mercy of God. Man may receive or reject this inspiration of God, he may turn to God or remain in sin. Grace does not constrain man’s free will.

        Thus assisted the sinner is disposed for salvation from sin ; he believes in the revelation and promises of God, he fears God’s justice, hopes in his mercy, trusts that God will be merciful to him for Christ’s sake, begins to love God as the source of all justice, hates and detests his sins.

        This disposition is followed by justification itself, which consists not in the mere remission of sins, but in the sanctification and renewal of the inner man by the voluntary reception of God’s grace and gifts, whence a man becomes just instead of unjust, a friend instead of a foe and so an heir according to hope of eternal life. This change happens either by reason of a perfect act of charity elicited by a well disposed sinner or by virtue of the Sacrament either of Baptism or of Penance according to the condition of the respective subject laden with sin. The Council further indicates the causes of this change. By the merit of the Most Holy Passion through the Holy Spirit , the charity of God is shed abroad in the hearts of those who are justified.”

        Liked by 1 person

      6. And RC believe sacraments keep them saved. And if they willingly, intentionally, refuse to attend to them (to Mass weekly)… they lose their salvation grace and will go to hell if they die in that state!

        Like

  19. There are many things in RC theology which seem as contradictory as some stuff in Calvinism. Such as the necessity of last rites, unless you happen to die quickly without a priest available, then last rights are “waived”. Makes no sense to me. But, I believe there are probably many Catholics that are truly trusting in Christ for salvation and not their works, just as there are many Calvinists who don’t really understand their own theology. And from the Catholic teachings I’ve listened to, it really depends what priest you are listening to as to what is emphasized, kinda reminds you of protestant churches in that sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hubmaier, Luther, and Zwingli all started out as RC priests. And evangelically minded priests, like they were are not as persecuted today. But they should preach with some frustration about false trust in sacraments, if they are truly evangelically minded, just like we would about false trust in church membership, baptism, or sinner’s prayers. Otherwise, they are promoting the well documented false gospel of the RC.

      Like

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