God Has Chosen You From the Beginning (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

Below is the video broadcast walking through 2 Thess. 2:13 with a response to Calvinistic pastor, Paul Washer. Or you can download the podcast version HERE.

2nd Thessalonians 2:13-14

But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is commonly quoted text by Calvinistic scholars seeking to prove that certain individuals were chosen for salvation to the neglect of all others. I, along with many scholars, believe this is very Western individualized interpretation of the scripture, however. We tend to read texts from an individualized (me, I, my) perspective in our egocentric society. This was not the common way of understanding such texts in the first century’s collectivist society where people were seen as under the headship of their cultural heritage, not merely as individuals.

We must understand that the predominately Gentile congregations of Paul’s day were constantly being told they were not the elect of God, but instead barbarian rejects. The Judaizers of the first century insisted that only Jews were chosen by God and Paul spent much time attempting to debunk this commonly held false belief (see the book of Galatians).

In the “Jew versus Gentile” context of Paul’s ministry (and this passage) he often references himself and the Jewish apostles as “us” and “our” in contrast to the Gentile believers as “you” and “your.” For instance, in verse 14 Paul seems to indicate that “you” (the Gentile believers) were called “through our” (the Jewish Apostles’) gospel. Therefore, it makes perfect sense, in Paul’s context, to thank God for his Gentile audience being chosen, or engrafted (Rom. 11:13-24), into the means salvation through faith. This, after all, is the mystery which had been hidden for generations which is just now being made known through men like Paul (Eph. 3:1-11).

In short, the “Apostle to the Gentiles” is likely combating the false view that the Gentiles were not the elect of God by writing this affirmation of God’s choice to include them from the very beginning.

1,329 thoughts on “God Has Chosen You From the Beginning (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

  1. BRIANWAGNER said:
    Hi Richard… how about considering this possible interpretation – 2Thess 2, 13 Richard replies: Thank you for your insights, I realize my “robot theology” statement may need fine tuned as it is abrasive, but so is TULIP. I say what I say in light of Proverbs Chapter1 for example. Pro 1:23  Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 
    Pro 1:24  Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; There’s that fork in the road again. God is involved, the gospel is preached and then decision time. It’s all on us at that point. If we believe, God will save us…Pro 1:33  But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. One might argue that salvation is not the issue here. Nevertheless, whether salvation or obedience, the principle is the same….believe God.

    1. We agree I think Richard on how people get saved. I’m wondering what you think about my interpretation of the word “beginning” in 2Thess 2:13 and associating it with Paul’s use in Phil 4:15.

      1. Brian,

        What I challenge you to do regarding Phil 4:15 is to study out the subject of it. The subject is NOT the Gospel. The subject is:

        “no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.”

        The sentence structure tells you this. I’m taking out the Macedonia reference between the comma’s.

        “in the beginning of the gospel, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

        See the subject? It’s not about the gospel, at all.

        So you can’t equate that to Thessalonians, or Ephesians either.

        When he began his ministry, NO ONE told him about giving or receiving, except for this church.

        HOW can you equate THIS “in the beginning” to that of Thessalonians is beyond my comprehension.

        Ed Chapman

      2. Ed – Philippians 4:15 NKJV — “…in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia….” Thessalonica is in Macedonia. God gave Paul the Macidonian vision which took him into Europe for the first time… a new “beginning” for his gospel ministry.

      3. Subject matter is different. Thessalonians is discussing the process of how one is saved, and that was not determined when Paul departed Macedonia. The subject of Philippians was that of giving and receiving. Two different subjects, two different “in the beginning”.

      4. And my last comment is the reason why I asked how people were saved before Paul left Macedonia. Many Jews were saved long before Paul came on the scene.

      5. Actually Ed… “in the beginning” in Phil 4:15 points to that new beginning, and not the beginning of Paul’s ministry or Gen 1:1… and “from the beginning” points to Paul’s reminding the Thessalonians how God chose them that “from” that start of his ministry there they could get saved only one way… being drawn by the Spirit to place faith in Christ.

      6. No, Brian, you are reading something into it that isn’t the subject. I sure hope that you took English Composition in high school. Sentence structure is important here. This is why the so called scribes to our NT could determine where to put comma’ s from a Greek language that doesn’t have punctuation.

      7. Well, Ed, I’m hoping you are enjoying the congregation or school where the Lord has you teaching His truth as you see it. I’m sticking with what I believe the grammar and context say Paul’s use of the word “beginning” means in his epistles to both Macedonian congregations. Thx for the chat.

      8. Brian,

        LOL…well, I do study…a lot. This is why I’m not a fan of seminaries, as you only learn what THEY want you to learn, and like I said, you guys don’t go deep enough for me. For me, this is all Christianity 101 stuff. Easy peasy!

        I need someone to challenge my mind, and you guys just don’t to it. Sorry!!!!!! I’m with Richard on this, that salvation is a process by which God determined from the foundation of the earth, not at some point when Paul left Macedonia.

        Ed Chapman

  2. Hello Brian,
    I’m not familiar with Phil 4:15, but your question generated a rewarding study. The words “in the beginning” are there in both the Majority and Alexandrian text. This is reflected in the KJV, ESV but interestingly the NIV and NASB smooth it out so to speak with….in the early days,…..the first preaching, respectively. I’m no expert, I found all this out on the Bible Gateway page, an amazing resource. Hope this helps.

    1. Richard… have you tried Biblehub? I think it is much better, especially for studying the Greek text and words, and for exegetical commentaries. So did your study convince you Paul was talking about the “in the beginning of” his gospel ministry in Macedonia in that verse?

      1. Brian,

        In my KJV, 2 Thess 2:13 does not say “IN” the beginning, but FROM the beginning.

        Philippians TELLS YOU what “in the beginning” is in regards to, and you and I agree all because it TELLS YOU.

        But 2 Thess 2:13 is not worded as such, and can’t be compared.

        The words “IN” and “FROM” are key words.

        In what? The BEGINNING of the MINISTRY of Paul

        From what? FROM EVERLASTING.

        1 John 2:13
        I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning.

        Psalm 119:160
        Thy word is true from the beginning:

        Proverbs 8:23
        I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

        Isaiah 40:21
        Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?

        Isaiah 41:4
        Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he.

        Isaiah 41:26
        Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words.

        Isaiah 46:10
        Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done

        Isaiah 48:3
        I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.

        Jeremiah 17:12
        A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.

        **********************

        NOTE:

        I didn’t provide all, because when the word “OF” is used, it’s discussing a different topic, i.e., “in the beginning of THE DAY”, etc.

        This is discussing eternity past, or at the foundation of the earth.

        It’s obvious that both you and I have a different take on EXEGESIS.

        Ed Chapman

      2. Ed, I’m guessing you are not an elder in a local congregation. Have you received yet, the right hand of fellowship or laying on of hands to teach in Christ’s body? I can’t remember if we discussed this already. My memory of those past conversations we had are probably not as sharp as yours. 😉

        The warning of James is a good reminder to all of us. [Jas 3:1 NKJV] My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. And if you have not submitted yet your teaching ministry to confirmation by other qualified leaders, I would exhort you to do so. The internet is a market place that reveals many “would be” teachers of God’s truth who are unwilling to submit to others called by God to teach His Word. I hope you are not one of them.

        But good hermeneutics requires that you don’t pull meanings of words from other authors of Scripture until you have first looked at how the author of the verse being discussed uses the word. Paul uses the word ἀρχή mainly for recognizing heavenly “authority” and usually it is translated “principality” in the NKJV in those Pauline passages.

        There is one other place, however, where Paul uses ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς – from the beginning. It is [Act 26:4 NKJV] “My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know.” I wonder if you found it and were afraid to share it since it totally went against your position. I hope not. For that is not a good method of helpful teaching to hide contrary evidence. There in Acts 26:4 Paul is certainly not pointing to the beginning of history, but to only another “beginning” in Paul’s life of a new experience of his, like in 2Thess 2:13 and Phil 4:15.

      3. Brian,

        Oh, I see what you are doing. You are trying to PUT ME IN MY PLACE. You think your education is far superior to my knowledge. Sorry, but I don’t roll that way. The Bereans searched the scriptures daily to see if YOU are teaching right, and they didn’t have college degrees at all. Paul did, and yet they searched the scriptures to see if the college educated was telling them the truth or not. And we do know, based on the words of Timothy and Titus that there are FALSE TEACHERS, so in other words, don’t trust the teachers just because they teach.

        I took a year of English Composition, and I know how sentences are structured, and about adverbs, and adjectives, and subject, etc., etc. I am also aware that 16th Century English is a bit different, but that difference is ALL THROUGHOUT the bible and is consistent. It’s the most PUREST of English in the KJV than all of the modern day versions put together, and it is concise with the Strong’s concordance.

        You concentrate on the ONE WORD “beginning”, rather than the USE of it, as it pertains to the subject and verbs, adverbs, adjectives, etc. The use of the other words is what determines what the word BEGINNING is discussing.

        Ed Chapman

      4. Ed, I noticed you neither confirmed nor denied whether you have received yet, the right hand of fellowship or laying on of hands to teach in Christ’s body. Why? I am truly interested, so that I may know you better, and so that I may know how to serve you in Christ better. I am not trying to put you in any “place”, but to build you up in your understanding of Scripture. The fact that you do not acknowledge the evidence I gave you as to how Paul used the same words “from the beginning” in another text indicates you might not want to be taught from grammar and context, the basis of all good hermeneutics. It will then become very difficult for us to proceed further in this conversation.

      5. Brian,

        I think my words are self evident.

        John 14:26
        But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

        Hebrews 5:12
        For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

        I don’t get my knowledge from the internet, for my knowledge came before I knew what internet was.

        Ed Chapman

      6. What is the SUBJECT of 2 Thess 2:13. Salvation. How is salvation obtained? THRU something, 2 things. WHEN was that determined? FROM THE BEGINNING.

        That was NOT determined from the beginning of Paul’s ministry. It was determined FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME (GENESIS 1:1).

        So I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how your hermanuetics determines anything else but that.

        Ed Chapman

      7. Brian,

        Since you are a non-Calvinist, and bringing forth your knowledge to debunk Calvinism by using your interpretation of hermanueitics, I did find the following…FROM THE INTERNET, so that I can get a better understanding of where YOU are coming from in this debate:

        “The other issue is “from the beginning” in this passage, which probably has reference to the beginning of Paul’s ministry among the Thessalonians (there is no reason to take it as a reference to eternity or the beginning of time as Calvinists often do). It would be like saying. “from the very start, you were receptive to God’s working among you, receiving God’s salvation and becoming His people through faith and the sanctification of the Spirit.” There is also a textual variant issue at play in this passage which has “chosen as first fruits” rather than “from the beginning” here, which might convey the same basic idea of them being the first to embrace the Gospel in Paul’s ministry in that area.”

        But…here is my problem using my knowledge:

        Everyone’s argument is coming from the subject being, “YOU”. I don’t see the subject as being YOU, no more than I see the subject of Ephesians 1:4 as being, “US”.

        So, from the Calvinist standpoint, they think that THEY were CHOSEN from the foundation of the earth, and that is where all this crazy talk about BEGINNING is coming from.

        But from my angle on it, the subject is NOT YOU were chosen, but the process of salvation was chosen from the beginning in 2 Thess 2:13, and in Ephesians 1:4 the subject is our behavior as Christians that was chosen from the foundation of the earth.

        This is MY hermanuetics having nothing to do with the Calvinist/Non-Calvinist debate, or as you guys say, Armenian, Pelican, whatever they are. Whoever they are, I could care less, cuz I don’t get my talking points from them at all.

        Ed Chapman

      8. I would like to throw a question into the fray if both of you are interested.

        In 2 Timothy 2:8 and in Romans 2:16 Paul references the gospel as μου εὐαγγέλιόν (my gospel)

        I notice he doesn’t state it as ὁ εὐαγγέλιόν “The gospel” – but uses μου “My” which I believe is speaking in first-person.

        I wonder if this would be the equivalent of an evangelist today using the phrase “my message”?
        Which in our vernacular today be also the equivalent of “my message to you that Jesus Christ is raised from the dead”?

      9. br.d,

        Yes, I’ve noticed that Paul discusses HIS gospel a lot.

        Romans 16:25
        Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel,

        I agree.

      10. It occurs to me that Paul’s experience with the Lord was extremely direct compared to most evangelists today.
        The Lord met him directly on the Damascus road.

        You or I today probably wouldn’t say “My Gospel” because this message has been preached for centuries and it we wouldn’t use language that would infer some kind of ownership of it.

        Although today it is common language for a believer to say “My Testimony” – which is a reference to the events that surrounded that individual’s salvation experience. But to say “My Gospel” would be language I personally would not feel comfortable using because in our social structure it would imply ownership – and the Gospel doesn’t belong to me.

        But it may be different in Paul’s day when in most of the countries he traveled he was the very first and only person bringing that message. So it may be the case that for Paul – bringing that message to people was much more in his mind his own personal message to them?

      11. br.d, and Brian,

        I see you both right regarding this. But like I said yesterday, non-Calvinist Baptists don’t go deep enough for me. It is said that Paul got his revelation directly from the Lord, but I’m not convinced that it was Damascus Road. That conversation was a bit short, and he was directed to go to somewhere else.

        2 Cor 12:1-4, Paul is discussing himself in the 3rd person, and it is during THIS TIME that I believe that Paul got his revelation.

        In addition, Paul was in a hiatus for, what was it, about 3 years or so? He didn’t really begin his ministry until after that.

        I have some REVIEWING to do about the timeline, but he didn’t begin his ministry right away.

        Ed Chapman

      12. Yes I believe you are correct in all of that!
        And yes to Brian’s post also.

      13. Br.D Paul’s gospel is more than just his preaching of the gospel, but includes the fact that he received it by direct revelation. Galatians 1:11-12 NKJV — But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

        Of course it is the same basic gospel of mercy for sins given through faith, but Paul got his own special session on it from God to confirm its application to the Gentiles creating one new body of Christ with believing Jews, called the church.

      14. chapmaned24 writes, ‘Everyone’s argument is coming from the subject being, “YOU”. I don’t see the subject as being YOU, no more than I see the subject of Ephesians 1:4 as being, “US”. ”

        LOL!! The subject is obvious – “God…chose you” – it is God. “You” is a direct object, identifying the person to whom the action of “choosing” applies. Same with Ephesians 1, “…He (God) chose us…”This parallels 1 Thessalonians 1, “knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.”

        Then, “the subject is NOT YOU were chosen, but the process of salvation was chosen from the beginning”

        It is true that, “the process of salvation was chosen” but it was chosen by the subject – God. Paul is saying to the Thessalonian believers, “God chose you.” A simple declarative sentence. The process by which those believers would be brought to Christ was also chosen by God.

        As to the phrase, “from the beginning,” the NET Bible offers this:

        “Several mss (B F G P 0278 33 81 323 1739 1881 al bo) read ἀπαρχήν (aparchēn, “as a first fruit”; i.e., as the first converts) instead of ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς (ap’ archēs, “from the beginning,” found in א D Ψ M it sa), but this seems more likely to be a change by scribes who thought of the early churches in general in this way. But Paul would not be likely to call the Thessalonians “the first fruits” among his converts. Further, ἀπαρχή (aparchē, “first fruit”) is a well-worn term in Paul’s letters (Rom 8:23; 11:16; 16:5; 1 Cor 15:20, 23; 16:15), while ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς occurs nowhere else in Paul. Scribes might be expected to change the text to the more familiar term. Nevertheless, a decision is difficult (see arguments for ἀπαρχήν in TCGNT 568), and ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς must be preferred only slightly.”

      15. Notice Roger that you provided a good example how scholars can get evidence wrong. The NET scholars said – “…while ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς occurs nowhere else in Paul….” of course they could just mean in his epistles… but Paul is quoted by Luke as using ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς in his speech in Acts 26:4. So maybe that reading should have much more preference. 😊

      16. brianwagner writes, “Paul is quoted by Luke as using ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς in his speech in Acts 26:4.”

        So, we have:
        “Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel,…”
        “My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation…”
        “God from the beginning chose you for salvation…”

        So we have the phrase, “in the beginning,” telling us something about the gospel, Paul’s early life, and God. Each is distinct form the other and should be understood consistent with that which it modifies.

      17. rhutchin,

        You had said:
        “So, we have:
        “Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel,…”
        “My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation…”
        “God from the beginning chose you for salvation…”

        So we have the phrase, “in the beginning,” telling us something about the gospel, Paul’s early life, and God. Each is distinct form the other and should be understood consistent with that which it modifies.”

        My response:

        As I told br.d this morning, you and I AGREE on what you said here.

        BUT, YOU and I, and BRIAN have a DIFFERENT take on the words “chose you”, as it relates to the whole verse.

        My take on it is that EVERYONE is the YOU, all because EVERYONE is chosen for salvation THRU (THRU BEING THE KEY WORD).

        There is ONLY one way to salvation and it is THRU. Everyone is invited, but not everyone RSVP’s.

        Everyone.

        However, to conclude, Thessalonians is to the Jews, not Gentiles. In other words, YOU are not the elect. Unless, of course, you are a Jew.

        But, the word BEGINNING has nothing to do with CHOOSING anyone at all. The choosing is EVERYONE, THRU. His audience was ALREADY Christians, he was speaking to the choir who already obtained salvation THRU. Paul’s use of the word “YOU” was his audience, NOT due to them being chosen, but because they obtained it THRU something.

        Non Christians are INVITED too.

        And if Paul’s audience was NON-CHRISTIANS, he would have said, YOU ARE CHOSEN TO SALVATION THRU…

        That is an INVITE. That does not say that they were chosen. It’s telling them what the THRU is. Let me say that again, it’s telling them WHAT the thru is. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Ed Chapman

      18. chapmaned24 writes, “BUT, YOU and I, and BRIAN have a DIFFERENT take on the words “chose you”, as it relates to the whole verse.
        My take on it is that EVERYONE is the YOU, all because EVERYONE is chosen for salvation THRU (THRU BEING THE KEY WORD).”

        So, we have Paul writing, ‘But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation…” and you take, “…you, brethren beloved by the Lord,…” to be everyone and not the Thessalonians. That is eisegesis and you do in order to say, “…all because EVERYONE is chosen for salvation THRU…” You are basically saying that God chose everyone for sanctification by the Spirit and belief of the truth. That may be true but that is not what this verse tells us. Absent a sound argument to this effect, you are doing eisegesis.

        Then, “However, to conclude, Thessalonians is to the Jews,…”

        So, you have Paul, the apostle to the gentiles, only writing to the Jews in Thessalonica. This, even though Paul addresses his epistle to “To the church of the Thessalonians…” At the least, this would include both Jews and gentiles in that church. In Romans 10, Paul said, “there is no distinction between Jew and Greek.” Then, in Galatians 3, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” In Colossians 3, “you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” Paul is more inclusive than you are.

        Then, “That does not say that they were chosen….”

        It is hard to argue against Paul, “…God from the beginning chose you for salvation…”

      19. rhutchin,

        You show your ignorance in Bible knowledge, that’s for sure.

        IT was always the custom of Paul to go preach to the JEWS FIRST before ever going to the Gentiles.

        If you read the book of Acts…I won’t tell ya where, cuz ya gotta read it on your own, you will see that when Paul went to Thess…whatever that word is, that there was an UPROAR with the Jews against Paul who was preaching TO THE JEWS. Paul made a lot of enemies at that time.

        But Paul was able to convert some of them.

        But you wouldn’t know that, now would you?

        There is also a DISTINCTION between CHURCHES OF THE JEWS and CHURCHES of the Gentiles.

        Many wrongly think that Both Jews and Gentiles attended the same Christian church services. But that just goes to show that no one is READING the bible as a novel.

        Romans 16:4
        4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.

        The Jews have to be DE-CONVERTED from OBSERVING the law of Moses.

        Gentiles never had the law of Moses to begin with. Especially in the days of Paul evangelizing. Do you think that Paul have a list of 613 laws that people had to obey, including the Ten Commandments? Or, was it Love Thy Neighbor as theyself?

        Did you know that the Bereans were JEWS?

        WHERE DO YOU THINK THAT THEY SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY TO SEE IF WHAT THEY WERE BEING TOLD WAS TRUE OR NOT?

        Answer:
        A synagogue.

        Gentiles are NOT ALLOWED IN A JEWISH SYNAGOGUE, as it was forbidden by law.

        The Epistles of Peter is EASY to figure out that he was talking to the Jews. All ya gotta do is read it. He was in Babylon at one point. There were many more Jews in Babylon than had come back to Israel, and it is the location that the Babylonian Talmud was written.

        My golly goodness, lots of ignorance with you knowledgeable people. NOT.

        Ed Chapman

      20. rhutchin,

        Ephesians 2:11
        11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

        Ephesians was to the GENTILES, NOT THE JEWS, NOT TO A DIVERSE GROUP OF GENTILES AND JEWS.

        Oh, and I DARE YOU to find the word ELECT in ANY of the book of Ephesians at all.

        It’s NOT THERE.

        How about foreknowledge? No?

        How about the books of Corinthians?

        Corinthians is to the Gentiles, NOT THE JEWS. No mention either of Elect or Foreknowledge.

        1 Corinthians 12:2
        Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

        Ed Chapman

      21. rhutchin,

        Oh, and let’s not forget about the Book of James, buddy.

        James 1:1
        James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

        Who was the book of Hebrews directed at? Jews.

        Ed Chapman

      22. The subject is NOT “YOU”. You is just a pronoun. The subject in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 is AFTER the word “TO”, which is the word “salvation” and the adverb is “THROUGH”.

        Everyone is the YOU. Everyone is CHOSEN TO SALVATION through…

        God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

        ——————————————

        Ephesians 1:4

        The subject is NOT US.

        Every Christian is the US. US is just a pronoun, not the subject. The subject of Ephesians 1:4 is AFTER the words “THAT WE SHOULD BE”, which is the words, “holy and without blame before him in love.”

        The subject of Ephesians 1:4 is NOT Calvinists (US).

        According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

        CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE HOLY AND BLAMELESS.

        That’s what it is saying. It isn’t saying that anyone was chosen.

        —————————————–

        Now, while you may have exhaustive, at your fingertips commentaries, I’m not buying what they are saying.

        Ed Chapman

      23. Brian,

        In my opinion, using Phil 4:15 as an argument to justify the word beginning in 2 Thess 2:13 is flawed.

        Why?

        Because Ephesians 1:4 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13 are LIKE VERSES, and as such, the Calvinists use both to justify that they were chosen IN THE BEGINNING [of time], or AT THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH.

        Now, the only way that you could be right in this argument, using hermanuetics, of course, is if Paul began his ministry AT THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH.

        In other words, Phil 4:15 can’t be used to justify the word beginning, since Ephesians 1:4 is using the phrase, AT THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH.

        Ephesians 1:4 is the only verse that can be used to figure out when the beginning is, not Phil 4:15.

        And since I quoted an ARMENIAN website yesterday, I see that you get your talking points from Armenians, instead of independent study, cuz ya both are basically saying the same thing.

        Compare the 2 verses (Ephesians 1:4 with 2 Thessalonians 2:13), and leave Phil 4:15 out of the conversation.

        Respectfully,

        Ed Chapman

      24. Brian,

        The last thing I need to mention here, as it is important to Thessalonians, is the word Elect, or Election.

        In the Baptist world, whether Calvinist or not, they seem to think that the word Christian and Elect goes hand in hand.

        But it doesn’t.

        We had this discussion about a year ago…on this thread.

        In my opinion, the Elect are Jews only, whether saved, or unsaved, and there is bible proof of that.

        The word Israel cannot be spiritually defined as Christians in the case of the word Elect, or Election.

        The reason that the Jews are the elect is because God had to blind them for the purpose of killing Jesus, as well as to keep Judaism alive and well while remaining blind to the Messiah, Jesus.

        And since it was God who put the blinders on the Jews, he will indeed unblind them, awaking them from the slumber that God put them in, just like he did with Paul. God is not a respector of persons, and the Jews are no different than Paul is.

        People seem to think that THIS LIFE is the only opportunity to be saved, but we are judged AFTER we die, not before. Ignorance is the same as saying INNOCENT, in that the sins committed while ignorant is not imputed. Jesus demonstrated this when the Pharisees asked Jesus if they were blind, and Jesus responded with, “If you were blind, you would have NO SIN, but since you claim to see, your sins remain.”

        The blind can’t see, and the Jews are blind, and therefore, all the sins that the blind Jews have committed are not imputed.

        Many are ignorant regarding the PURPOSE of the Law of Moses. The only purpose of the law was to TRIP PEOPLE UP, so that sin can increase.

        There was a REASON that Abraham didn’t have the law of Moses, but NO ONE discusses that. But they sure want to talk about the law of Moses.

        Abraham slept with his sister, and God never informed him of the verses pertaining to that sin. WHY? And then to give Abraham and his sister a child, yet, it’s an evil act to sleep with your sister.

        Now, you admonished me for bringing that up last I recall, but ya never dug into this topic.

        The sin could NEVER BE imputed to Abraham, and why is that? Ignorance, and God was not gonna tell him, either. This same philosophy is also mentioned in Romans 2:14-16, and prior to Adam and Eve getting knowledge (God never told them that they were naked, as God asked, “Who told you that you were naked).

        Deuteronomy 29:4
        Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

        Acts 28:26
        Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:

        Acts 28:27
        For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

        Deuteronomy 29:4 is mentioned in:

        Romans 11:7-8
        7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

        8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

        It’s not the fault of the Jews for not seeing, perceiving, or hearing. God OPENED UP THE MIND of Paul…oh, and Lydia, too. Lydia was a Jew, not a Gentile.

        The reason that Paul gives:

        1 Timothy 1:13
        …I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

        How is Paul different from the average Jew?

        Romans 11:32
        32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

        Gentiles are not blind, no matter how much the Calvinists say that everyone is.

        Romans 15:21
        But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.

        The Jews are the ones who are the elect, not the Gentiles. Thessalonians were to the Jews, not the Gentiles.

        You may argue that the message is to all, both Jews and Gentiles, for there is no difference, etc.

        Paul always went to the JEW FIRST before going to the Gentiles. And there was a huge animosity against Paul from the Jews for preaching Jesus TO the Jews, but some did convert to Jesus, thus the epistles of Thessalonians to the Jews (elect), not the Gentiles.

        The major error is relating the word elect to the word Christian, as if it pertains to both Jew and Gentile Christian. It doesn’t.

        Ed Chapman

      25. chapmaned24 writes, “In my opinion, the Elect are Jews only, whether saved, or unsaved, and there is bible proof of that.”

        So, in Romans 8, where we read, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies,” you say Paul is singling out Jews in that one comment, “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?”?

      26. rhutchin,

        You state:
        “So, in Romans 8, where we read, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies,” you say Paul is singling out Jews in that one comment, “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?”?”

        My response:

        Paul is talking to Gentiles ABOUT THE JEWS, the elect. WHO shall bring a charge against the Jews?

        Let me tell ya who!

        The GENTILES do all the time. They blame the Jews for killing Jesus, they blame the Jews for being rich, they blame the Jews for owning banks, they blame the Jews for nothing more than existing.

        Even Gentile Christians badmouth the Jews, because that is what they were taught by the likes of Martin Luther, and more.

        The Catholics did it all the time. People who call themselves Christians bring charges against the Jews.

        But they are INNOCENT no matter what sins that they have committed, because they are blind. Their sins pile up, and are enormous, but ya know what? Their blindness will give them MERCY. And who are we to tell God, “But God, look at the evil things that they have done! They don’t deserve your mercy! They deserve to be burning in hell because they didn’t accept you as their savior!”.

        But ya fail to see that their blindness is what saves them.

        Romans 11:28
        28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.

        The above verse TELLS YOU that Gentiles are NOT ELECT. The elect are ENEMIES for YOUR SAKE.

        verse 32
        32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

        The Jews are the ones blind. NOT your everyday average human.

        Ed Chapman

      27. chapmaned24 writes, “Paul is talking to Gentiles ABOUT THE JEWS, the elect. WHO shall bring a charge against the Jews?”

        We understand Paul differently.

      28. rhutchin

        You state:
        “We understand Paul differently.”

        Who is WE?

        It’s not a matter of understanding Paul. It’s a COMPLETE reading of the WHOLE BOOK, as a novel, THEN you can understand Paul.

        You people strain at a word, talking about GRAMMAR and CHURCH HISTORY, when it is irrelevant.

        Romans 11:32
        32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

        WHO is “them all”, and who is “upon all”. WHOEVER “all” is, they are in UNBELIEF.

        WHY should THOSE people NOT get MERCY?

        What’s the PURPOSE of MERCY?

        Did you ever read the story of Joseph and his brothers? Joseph is a depiction of Jesus, where Joseph gave his BROTHERS mercy, and the brothers are portrayed as the Jews. THIS….THIS IS WHAT WE CALL PROPHESY OF THE RELATIONSHIP THAT JESUS HAS WITH THE JEWS.

        But, like you said, “WE”, whoever we is, understand the bible differently. God have MERCY on your soul, cuz you people are ignorant of scripture.

        Ed Chapman

      29. I enjoyed reading this post!

        Yes – the Calvinist mind lives in a world of DOUBLE-THINK
        And a mind so conditioned – quite naturally will project that very DOUBLE-THINK onto Scripture.
        Its just the way the human mind works :-]

      30. br.d

        Ya, this particular post is a very popular one.

        I find that the non-Cal Baptists are in such a hurry to dismiss Calvinism that they will twist ANY scripture to try to prove a point, such as using Phil 4:15 to tell us that “beginning” means Paul’s ministry, rather than Genesis 1:1, or John 1:1, or Ephesians 1:4.

        Earlier this morning, I read rhutchin’s comment to Brian, and I do agree with rhutchin, but then Brian comes out with NET something something, trying to debunk OUR thinking, as if we get our theology from the internet. I don’t know where that logic came from.

        Yes, Calvinism is WRONG, but the arguments against…I find amusing.

        Ed Chapman

      31. rhutchin,

        I had said:
        ““Paul is talking to Gentiles ABOUT THE JEWS, the elect. WHO shall bring a charge against the Jews?”

        rhutchin responds:
        “We understand Paul differently.”

        My final response:

        Romans 11:13
        13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles,

        But lets back up a few verses:

        Verses 1-2
        1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

        2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.

        KEY WORD, “FOREKNEW”.

        1 Peter 1:2
        Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,

        Peter, the apostle to the JEWS.

        Elect, foreknowledge.

        Romans 8:29
        For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

        Foreknow

        JEWS

        But lets back up a few more verses:

        Romans 7:1
        Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

        WHO but the Jews knows the law?

        But wait…there’s more:

        Romans 2:17
        17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,

        JEWS

        It is the Jews that are the ones idientified as foreknew, foreknow, foreknowledge…not the Gentiles.

        When you read the book of Romans, if Paul is speaking to the Jews, YOU KNOW IT. And if Paul is addressing the Gentiles, YOU KNOW IT.

        Key words and phrases. Gentiles are NOT the foreknowledge of God, not the elect, not the ones under the law of Moses, not the blind.

        You know the distinction by reading the whole Bible as a novel. Calvinists are not elect. Just the Jews.

        Ed Chapman

  3. Brian, my KJV says “in the beginning” based on the Textus Receptus..εν αρχη. This is the same phrase used at Genesis 1:1 in the Greek Septuigant and John 1:1 TR. and is translated ….in the beginning. So it could be as you say, there’s not a textual problem, just a translation choice. I tend to lean toward the..NIV ..in the early days, NASB…the first preaching…of the Gospel. IMHO

  4. rhutchin
    That’s wrong. God set the external situation in which Adam was placed (the garden, Satan, Eve). In doing so, God knew with infinite understanding that Adam would eat the fruit given those factors. Adam was PERMITTED to obey God but could not overcome himself to do so and that was a natural limitation that Adam could not overcome without God’s help..

    br.d
    Not LOGICALLY possible
    1) Calvin’s god cannot RENDER-CERTAIN Adam’s disobedience and Adam’s obedience come to pass at the same time.
    He can only RENDER-CERTAIN one of these.

    2) Calvin’s god cannot leave OPEN the DETERMINATION of which one of those will come to pass.
    That would be OPEN THEISM which Calvinism rejects.

    Theopedia – Open theism:
    Open theism…..is the belief that God does not exercise meticulous control of the universe but leaves certain events “open” …
    In this case for Adam or Nature to determine.

    3) By virtue of RENDERING-CERTAIN Adam’s disobedience come to pass – Calvin’s god by caveat also RENDERED-CERTAIN that Adam’s obedience wound NOT come to pass.

    And by virtue of being DIVINELY LOGICALLY EXCLUDED – it was DIVINELY NOT PERMITTED

    rhutchin
    That is consistent with what I said.
    So long as you allow the divine to be either the immediate or remote, cause, no problem. None of your points 1-3 preclude this.

    br.d
    FALSE
    Calvin’s god CANNOT PERMIT the NEGATION of what he RENDERS CERTAIN

    br.d
    Additionally – it doesn’t really matter if there is an immediate cause or a remote cause.
    Since in Theological Determinism Adam’s natural ability to obey was RENDERED-CERTAIN TO NEVER HAVE EXISTENCE in the first place. Since obedience for Adam represented a physically IMPOSSIBLE future.

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

  5. BrD (and Brian if you are “watching”),

    Below is a link to a comment I posted (now removed) on another blog a couple of days ago (on 12/27/19 to be exact). If the link works adequately, you should be able to view my comment when it was “awaiting moderation” (found at the very bottom of the thread).

    To keep a long story short, my comment was never posted for others to read. And, obviously, that was the “goal” of the moderator on that website. While I was somewhat disappointed the comment never saw the light of day, what was really disturbing is the lack of a response or rebuttal. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just deleted.

    I just wanted to share this with you BrD (and Brian) because, at least here, all comments are approved, even if that comment might not be “what we believe”. Honestly, I just thought the response (or rather, lack of a response) and the deletion of the post was cowardly. Especially coming from a professing Christian.

    Anyway, I appreciate what you (and all the moderators) do here at this blog. The idea of a thoughtful comment being deleted just because it exposes the possible errors of our own beliefs is both arrogant and ungracious.

    Please let me know if my comment at the bottom of the thread can be viewed. It should be #34.

    https://doctrine.org/predestination/comment-page-1?unapproved=123388&moderation-hash=21008d9ecfbf771043f4d7d10393471a

    Blessings.

    1. I see it there for now Philip. My guess is that you will probably be approved… But that the admin of that site might be slow with pending comments on the holidays. 😊

    2. Thanks for your kind words Phillip!
      I see your post there also still waiting moderation.
      And I would guess along with Brian that the host is perhaps taken up with Holiday duties.

  6. Brian and BrD,

    I guess I should have explained better.

    That is a screen shot right after I posted my comment.

    Below is a link to that same site as of the 28th (the next day) and as of right now (a current view).

    https://doctrine.org/predestination

    Gone. I thought the comment could stay in moderation until the administrator had a chance to form a rebuttal. But, again, nothing. Just deleted. Without a word, either by post or email. At first I thought my comment might have been too long. Or that maybe they had guidelines that I stepped over. But, nope. Just deleted. Like it never happened.

    If I hadn’t saved the previous link, there would be no evidence the comment was ever posted. Again, just sad that another brother in Christ would delete a post just because he didn’t want to deal with it and obviously didn’t want other on-lookers to see it. I’ve never had a comment deleted due to content. Anywhere.

    Again, I appreciate y’all! Everything gets posted. No matter how outlandish others might perceive it to be.

  7. Okay.

    My bad. He responded. He must have saved my comment, and posted it when he had a chance to respond.

    Blessings to you, brothers.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Phillip… it seems pretty wordy and unorganized. He understands the corporate election idea of Israel ok, it seems. But I disagree with his understanding of the branches in Rom 11 as individuals.

      I read fairly quickly… but I don’t recall him mentioning what he thinks of precreation election of individuals. So I would be interested in his take on Eph 1:4, for example.

      1. Brian,

        I appreciate the feedback.

        I have no idea who this Samuel Whitefield is, but when I noticed the tulips at the top of the article, I had to guess he was a Calvinist.

        Whitefield writes… “This is why we have to be careful not to confuse election in the call and purposes of God with election unto salvation.”

        He hints on two forms of election. I never read a Calvinist say anything even remotely like this before. Calvinists just speak of unconditional election of individuals to salvation and nothing more. I was just taken back a bit when I read this. He does touch on the notion of predestination of individuals to salvation, but doesn’t elaborate (not the point of this article).

        He also seems to understand the importance of the salvation of the nation of Israel, which also caught me a little off guard because most Calvinists are Amillennial. Whitefield writes…

        “Even though she is unsaved, her calling remains and God refuses to end the age without bringing her into it; therefore, the rage over Israel’s election is ultimately not a controversy over Israel but a controversy over the God who elected her.”

        I thought that was profound.

        Can you elaborate a bit on your disagreement with him regarding the branches? I’m not sure I understand.

        Thanks.

      2. Phillip, if I were to guess, this is trying hard to be biblical first and loyal to theology second. On that he should be commended. As for the branches in Rom 11, 22

        The branches in Rom 11:22 are not individuals and the tree is not personal salvation… unless you believe God has to take away personal salvation to make room for others to get saved…
        Romans 11:19-20 NKJV — You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.

        The branches are generations of nations being blessed by God with gospel ministry. They are broken off from those gospel blessings when as a nation they turn from a corporate Christian profession.

        In contexts where ἔθνος is contrasted with Jews, then “Gentiles” seems appropriate. But in contexts where it is contrasted with “Israel” (as a nation), like this one, I think the translation – “nations” – is more appropriate. I think Paul is talking about Israel as a nation has been cut off from the covenant blessings that started with Abraham, and the other nations can now be grafted in to those blessings.

        Those covenant blessings given to other nations in the preaching of the gospel of Christ and His kingdom do not guarantee personal salvation for everyone in those nations, but they do indeed provide more opportunity for individual salvation in each of those nations, just like Israel had when it was connected to those blessings of promise.

        I’m not denying that the passage is a difficult one, especially because of its parabolic genre. You may need to consider again the implication of “branches were broken off that I might be grafted in” statement again. But does God break off unbelieving individuals to make room for believing individuals, or does He break off gospel benefits from the nation of Israel for multiple generations so that those benefits can spread rapidly to the other nations?

        The noun – ἀπιστία – “unbelief”, does not have to mean they once believed in Jesus as Messiah as individuals or as a nation and then “stopped believing”. But instead, there was sufficient unbelief in them as a nation, especially in the leadership, that the nation was cut off from the covenant/gospel privileges until the fullness of the Nations (the representation God seeks from every one of them) is reached.

      3. Brian,

        Well, you have given me something (else) to think about.

        Is this your own take on Romans 11? Or do others share it (that you know of)?

        If you would like to discuss this further off-line, you are more than welcome to contact me directly. If not, here is fine.

      4. Phillip, my memory is not as good on some things, but usually I come up with my own solutions in difficult passages and then look for who agrees with me. 😂

        So I believe this is one where others have agreed wirh me after reading it, but I don’t recall if I’ve found and written agreement yet in commentaries. Let me take a quick look again.

        Sure… we can discuss it here if you want, or offline.

      5. Brian,

        I have been studying Romans 9-11 for some time now and I have not found, what I consider to be, one sound biblical explanation for them. Obviously, I reject the Calvinist explanation. I currently lean this portion of scripture has to do with the restoration of the future kingdom promised to Israel.

        If we, as Gentiles, find this portion of scripture to be difficult (and today we have the entire word of God) then you know the Gentiles in Paul’s audience were clueless. However, I have no doubt that the Israelites in Paul’s audience knew exactly what he was talking about.

        As of today, I lean that the root of the olive tree is Abraham or, at least, the Abrahamic Covenant. For me, this would explain why Abraham’s descendants are the “natural branches”. I also lean that “the gifts and calling of God” that are “irrevocable” are the covenant promises made to Abraham’s descendants.

        Previously, you wrote….. “the noun – ἀπιστία – ‘unbelief’, does not have to mean they once believed in Jesus as Messiah as individuals or as a nation and then ‘stopped believing’.”

        That’s interesting, because I sometimes wonder if by “unbelief” Paul (originally) meant “unfaithful” or just “disobedient”.

        If you are comfortable discussing this in a public forum we can. Maybe others are still watching this (old) thread and would consider it beneficial. If you prefer, you can reach out to me directly, off-line (do you have my email address?), and we can discuss un-interrupted. I don’t want the discussion going in 20 different directions.

        I appreciate the dialogue.

      6. I, myself, would love to see a dialog, and I would stay out of the conversation, so as not to interrupt.

        However, I’d like to interject here, this one time, that when the word, unbelief, is used, it’s not discussing Jesus… It’s not discussing the messiah. It’s discussing one word only.

        That one word? Righteousness.

        Righteousness thru the law, or, righteousness without the law.

        Jews don’t believe anyone can be righteous without obeying the law, so, they still want the law, they are trying to obtain righteousness thru the law.

        Their unbelief is based on the law.

        Thru Jesus, the law is removed, for those who believe, and they don’t believe in Jesus being the messiah, but, they had and have no clue that Jesus was to remove the law, hence, believing Jews telling Gentiles to obey the law, and be circumcised in acts 15. Those Jew believed in Jesus, but still thought that God wants believers to obey the law.

        Anyway, I believe that the word unbelief has to do with righteousness, because the constant contrast is the difference between works of the law vs. Grace.

        All thru Romans, this is discussed. Belief in Jesus is not the issue… unless it’s accompanied with righteousness apart from the law, that Jesus justifies the ungodly thru grace, not law, that no one can earn salvation thru the law, and that Abraham BELIEVED God’s promises, without the law justifying Abraham.

        I’m always confused when the words, blessings of Abraham come into play in this. I’m like, what does that have to do with the price of tea I China?

        Anyway, I’ll back out, and not interject further.

        Thanks,

        Ed Chapman

      7. Sure, Phillip, we can dialog here. I don’t mind. I did take a quick look… and did not find yet any who hold to my branch view that there are nations (and generations of them) being benefited by the covenant/gospel promises.

        I have no problem seeing that root of the olive tree as beginning with the Abrahamic covenant promises which were intended to include the nations being being blessed by his Seed, which was Christ. [Gal 3:16 NKJV] Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.

        And I have no problem seeing – ἀπιστία – as including unfaithfulness or disobedience, while maintaining it is a general rejection by the nation of the gospel blessings, especially be the leaders representing a nation.

      8. Brian,

        Okay. Discussion here is fine, but if too many jump in and try to muddy the water, I am getting out and, hopefully, we can take it off-line.

        I have been dialoguing with you for about 5 plus years now and I consider you to be fair-minded, willing to think outside of the box, challenge the status quo, and gracious. And, more important, objective. All refreshing attributes.

        After 5 plus years of commenting here, I think we both know we agree on much, while slightly disagreeing in some minor areas. So I don’t expect us to come to blows at every turn or even at all.

        And, for clarity, when I say I “lean” a certain way that by no means I am “locked in” and can’t be persuaded otherwise. My only goal here is to understand Him better. If that goal puts the fire of Calvinism out once and for all, so be it. If that goal puts me at odds with others, that’s fine too.

        So how do you think it best for us to go forward? I don’t want this to get messy and I don’t want it to be burdensome.

      9. Well, Phillip, I’m here to be a resource to help you think things through. There are many things I also “lean” towards believing… and many things I’m locked in on believing until Jesus comes and tells me I was wrong to be dogmatic about something I believed based on normal rules of grammar and context.

        At this point I totally doubt He will do that… But I could be Peter misinterpreting the sheet being let down. 😁 The things I lean towards would need some specific Scripture proof to the contrary to get me to change, and that proof would also need to be from using normal rules of grammar and context.

        So you can ask the first question from Rom 9-11. I always think I’ve shared all what I thought before… But I may not have.

      10. If it helps Philip – I can ask others to stay out of your dialog with Brian.
        They should be able to restrain themselves – at least for a little :-]

      11. BrD,

        Hopefully that would not be necessary. I think most folks here are adults and can behave as such. That said, please feel free to intervene if warranted.

    2. Hi Phillip,
      My focus will typically be different from Brian’s.
      When it comes to the Calvinist position on scripture – Brian is typically more inclined to focus on the exegetical aspects – while I am typically more inclined to focus on irrational thinking patterns I observe in Calvinist thinking.

      So here are a few comments from me:

      Firstly on the issue of exegesis – I am reminded of what N.t. Wright says
      -quote
      “Romans 9 has become the happy hunting ground for Reformed Theologists”

      I think you get the gist of what Dr. Wright is alluding to.
      One can approach the data of scripture with one’s mind already made up – and the motivation is to simply *USE* scripture for one’s own purposes. By virtue of approaching scripture that way – one is disrespecting the text – and is guaranteed to abuse it..

      Secondly on Calvinism’s IRRATIONAL thinking
      Here are my responses to a few quotes from the article:

      quote
      There, Paul makes the case that the Old Testament predicted a scenario where the gentiles would end up provoking Israel to return to her God.

      br.d
      But how does that make sense to a Theological Determinist (aka Calvinist)?
      Would it be logical to say that Puppet_A provoked Puppet_B in a puppet show?

      The puppets would have to have AUTONOMY in order for that to be logical.
      And people do not have any more AUTONOMY in Calvinism than puppets do.

      How can one attribute anything to “the gentiles” when in Theological Determinism absolutely nothing is UP TO the creature?
      The gentiles can only BE/DO what Calvin’s god determines them to BE/DO
      Nothing more and nothing less is permitted.

      So with that as a logical consequence of Theological Determinism – to promote the idea that one person can provoke another – is to promote the idea that one puppet can provoke another

      quote from article
      Paul’s point is that Israel’s fall, while shocking and unanticipated, is actually advancing God’s plan.

      br.d
      How does it make sense in Theological Determinism to say that something is “shocking”?

      For something to be “shocking” would entail a certain degree of AUTONOMOUS mental functionality – which does not exist in Theological Determinism.

      Why doesn’t the author use language consistent with what he believes?
      That every microsecond is of every day is pre-programmed in advance.

      As Calvinist Robert R. McLaughlin says:
      -quote
      “God merely *PROGRAMMED* into the divine decrees all our thoughts, motives, decisions and actions”
      (The Doctrine of Divine Decree)

      And as Calvinist Paul Helms says:
      -quote
      Every atom and molecule, every thought and desire….every twist and turn of each of these is under the direct control of God (The Providence of God pg 22)

      quote from the article:
      The purpose of election is to demonstrate that no one is worthy.

      br.d
      What?
      What sense does it make to even suggest a creature is “worthy” in Theological Determinism?

      Are puppets said to be “worthy” of being chosen for a certain puppet show?
      What can a puppet possibly do to make itself “worthy”?

      In Theological Determinism absolutely NOTHING is UP TO the creature.
      So in that context – it is a logically impossible to be “worthy” of anything.
      So if Theological Determinism is true – then why isn’t Paul using language that is logically consistent with it being true?

      quote from article:
      Moses interceded on the basis of the same principle that Paul recognizes.

      br.d
      What?
      How does that make sense if Theological Determinism is true?

      In Theological Determinism absolutely everything is determined by Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world – and is FATED to occur.

      So why does Moses assume that events *CAN* come to pass otherwise?
      ff Theological Determinism is true – then Moses must know that is a logical impossibility.
      Moses must know that interceding for people *AS-IF* they can DO OTHERWISE than what is immutably decreed is IRRATIONAL thinking.

      Does Moses think using Calvinism’s DOUBLE-THINK patterns?

  8. Brian,

    Well, no place like the beginning.

    Romans 9: 1-5 (NKJV)
    I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

    I don’t see any confusion in verses 1 thru 5. The above describes Paul’s unceasing love for his follow Israelites, even to the point of forfeiting his own salvation if that would satisfy God’s wrath and save his Jewish brothers. Paul’s words even mimic those of Moses (Exodus 32:31-32 NKJV). All the blessings God gave to Israel are still theirs. The adoption, the glory, the covenants, the law, the service of God, and the promises are all in the present tense. I would even say that in their fallen state, they are still the chosen people of God.

    Romans 9: 6 (NKJV)….
    But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel…

    Romans 9:6 (KJV)….
    Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel

    Romans 9:6 (NASB)….
    But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel

    Brian, here is the first portion of scripture I need your help with. What would be your literal interpretation of…. “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel”?

    1. Phillip… I would add that Paul’s love and desire for all his Israelite brethren to be saved can not be an unholy love or a love greater than God has for those same lost Israelites.

      But I take Romans 9:6 this way — But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect [in respect to God’s promises and love for the elect nation of Israel]. For [because] they are not all Israel [the covenant people] who are of Israel [the physical forefather, Jacob, and the physical nation from his seed].

      This view comes from seeing Paul’s explanation of what he means in verse 8 – That is, those who are the children of the flesh [“of Israel”] , these are not the children of God [“not all Israel”]; but the children of the promise [who believe in the promise] are counted [present tense, not past tense before creation] as the seed.

      This is just like Galatians 3:6-7, 26, 29 NKJV — just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham…. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus….And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

      1. Brian,

        Thanks.

        When it says “for they are not all Israel who are of Israel”, who are the “they” Paul is referring to?

      2. Phillip… I thought my answer gave both meanings of the two instances of “Israel” as I see them in that verse. And the “they” you asked about points to those in the second “Israel” in the verse that are not part of the first “Israel” in the verse.

      3. Brian,

        Okay. That helps.

        So correct me if I am wrong. Your take would read as “But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. Because not all the physical descendants of Israel (Jacob) are the covenant people.”

        Here’s my take….

        Romans 9: 6 (NKJV)….
        But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel…

        Paul is saying that the word of God has indeed taken at least some effect on His chosen people. Maybe not entirely, but certainly partially. Compare this with what Paul stated just moments earlier.

        Romans 3:3-4a (NKJV)….
        For what if some (“some”, not “all”) did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not!

        Now applying this with Romans 9:6, and keeping Romans 9:3 in mind, we have the following….

        “For they (those unbelieving or unfaithful Israelites) are not all Israel who are of Israel (Jacob)”.

        The larger group does not represent the whole. While the majority of Israel rejected God’s word, a portion, a remnant, of the chosen people have remained faithful. There has always been a faithful, or righteous, Israel, within the nation of Israel. Being a physical descendant of Abraham won’t save them (Romans 2:17-29). They have to come to God by faith (Romans 8-9a). However, regardless of faith, both groups are still the elect of God.

        Romans 9:7-9 (NKJV)…
        nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”

        Paul now begins to outline the lineage of the chosen/covenant people. Some have translated “those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God” as meaning it wasn’t about the physical lineage, but the spiritual thru faith. These folks believe “the children of the flesh” refers to physical birth, while the “children of the promise” refers to spiritual birth. While it is true that anyone of faith is a child of Abraham, this is not what Paul is alluding to here. If that were the case, why distinguish between Sarah and Hagar? Surely a descendant of Ishmael could become a child of God thru faith, but Paul says “these are not the children of God”. Instead, the “children of the flesh” is a reference to Abraham’s attempt to fulfill God’s promise thru his own fleshy efforts instead of relying on God’s promise. This same Paul writes…

        Galatians 4:23…..
        But he (Ishmael) who was of the bondwoman (Hagar) was born according to the flesh, and he (Isaac) of the freewoman (Sarah) through promise

        Again, if “the children of the promise” referred to salvation thru faith, then why single out Sarah and reject Hagar? The “children of the promise” would come thru Sarah, not Hagar, as God promised. This is biblical proof that the physical descendants of Ishmael, “the children of the flesh”, are not “the children of God” or the covenant people.

        Genesis 17:17-19 (NKJV)….
        Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.

        So the children of the promise refers to the covenant people. Isaac’s descendants after him. But just as all of Abraham’s children were not the children of promise, neither are Isaac’s, which we will see.

        Romans 9:10-13 (NKJV)….
        And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

        Here we come to the conclusion of election. The children of promise would be the physical descendants of Jacob. That “great nation” promised to Abraham (Genesis 12:2). (Added note: “Our” father Isaac. Proof that Paul is addressing his fellow Israelites in the audience and not Gentiles.)

        1 Chronicles 16:16-17 (NKJV)….
        The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel for an everlasting covenant

        So, again, if the above is about becoming a child of promise via faith (this so called “spiritual” Israel), then why bother distinguishing between Isaac and Ishmael? Why Jacob instead of Esau? What would be the point? Surely the descendants of both Ishmael and Esau could come to God thru faith and be His (Romans 8:9b). I don’t believe this has anything to do regarding being a child of Abraham by coming to faith in Christ. It was about who Paul just seconds earlier said…

        Romans 9:4-5a (NKJV)…..
        ….who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises (all of them); of whom are the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came

        No Gentile can make such a claim. It was this that Paul was alluding to and it was this that Paul intended to prove. God’s word, His promises to the nation of Israel, did not fail. Paul is reminding his audience that God’s word is true, regardless if some, or even most, of Israel didn’t believe.

        I would appreciate your feedback.

      4. Phillip, you understood my view, I believe. Let me try to state what I think is the difference in our views. Yours – all the physical nation is the children of promise. Mine – the children of promise (in verse 6) is only some of the nation.

        I believe we both agree the physical nation is elect/chosen to be carriers of the promises and a source of their fulfillment through a physical Seed from their nation – Christ. But in this context Paul is explaining why the elect nation is being rejected (for a time) and yet the salvation promises to them are being still fulfilled.

        He just said in chapter 8 that nothing separates the elect from God’s love in Christ. Now he explains how the elect nation is being cut off from the benefits of the promises.

        I think we both agree God is going to be true to the promises to the physical nation because of His unconditional love for their fathers who believed those promises and were counted as children of promise through faith… but he’s not going to talk about that till chapter 11.

        Here in 9 Paul is making a distinction between the saved in Israel – the children of promise – and the physical unsaved Israel, being hardened like Pharaoh to provide the opportunity of the gospel to the nations.

        So while I agree there were physical selections between children (Ishmael & Isaac, Jacob & Esau), sovereignly made by God, that one would bear and physically fulfill the promises leading to Christ and one would not, and that these selections are discussed by Paul in this chapter, the phrase “children of promise” is not about those physical choices but about the saved seed being reckoned (present tense, vs 8).

        The use of the present tense verb convinces me of this definition. The children of promise in physical Israel were being added to in his day, Paul is saying, spiritually not physically.

        Being selected as part of the physical seed did not guarantee becoming a child of promise even though that child was selected to bear the promise and to experience the blessings pointing to the Christ, who is the fulfillment of the promise. Does that help?

      5. Brian,

        My deepest apologies, brother, for the delayed response. Some family issues (parents) have arisen and unfortunately I will not be able to interact for a while. As it stands right now, this issue would not allow me to respond as quickly as I would like and only string out the discussion over several days, if not weeks. I feel that wouldn’t be fair to you or others who might be interested in reading along. With that said, I think it best (and fair to you) to put this conversation on hold for the present time. Hopefully, if you are willing, we can come back in revisit this important topic at a later date.

        Again, sorry for the delayed response.

        Blessings.

      6. No problem, Phillip. I understand very well how these things happen in our lives, and I will be praying for much grace and wisdom as you serve the Lord in these family matters.

  9. 2Th 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 
    Isolated, this Scripture in the hands of a Calvinist would seem to confirm robot theology. But robot theology doesn’t get a free pass. We need to be like the faithful Bereans…..Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. A question arises, what is the basis for this choosing from the beginning. Calvinists would point not to Scripture, Oh no!, But to the Synod of Dort. In summary, Article 15 states: those, that is, concerning whom God, on the basis of his entirely free, most just, irreproachable, and unchangeable good pleasure, made the following decree: to leave them in the common misery into which, by their own fault, they have plunged themselves; not to grant them saving faith and the grace of conversion. Notice it is God’s good pleasure to leave some sinners in common misery, and not to grant them saving faith of conversion.(What kind of god is this!) But the Biblical Berean approach paints a completely different picture from Scripture. The basis of this election is : sanctification of the Spirit and…. you had to believe the truth.(2 Thes 2:13) The Philippian jailer incident lays the common groundwork for salvation…Act 16:30  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I DO to be saved? 
    Act 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou SHALT BE SAVED., and thy house. No Synod of Dort pretzel logic found here, just a straight forward question and answer reply. Notice, the sinner MUST do something, ie BELIEVE(active voice) to BE SAVED(passive voice). This is not works salvation, the jailer is not asking what must I do to save myself. That’s why the answer is in the passive voice. The salvation comes from a source outside of himself, namely the blood of Jesus on the cross. Isa 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Now to the timing….from the beginning has chosen you to salvation….What beginning? Before creation? It really doesn’t make any difference…it’s from the beginning, ahead of or before the fact. If the beginning is before creation, then so be it, Scripture gives the reason…..1Pe 1:2  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, and this leads us to conclude, that God knows beforehand what we will do, this is the basis of salvation election. People don’t believe because they’re elect, they’re elect because they responded positively to the Gospel….Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, Isa 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: This is all we need to know or can know….Rom 11:34  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? The Synod of Dort has many accurate and positive Biblical truths, but it’s not Scripture. Make it pass the Berean test, and not vice versa.

    1. “….God knows beforehand what we will do, this is the basis of salvation election. People don’t believe because they’re elect, they’re elect because they responded positively to the Gospel.”

      Classical Arminian election.

      God looks down the corridors of time and learns who will accept Him. God’s election of the believer is based solely upon the believer electing Him. Thus, man, not God, decides who the elect are.

      Now ask yourself the following. Did Israel elect God? Or did God elect Israel?

      Deuteronomy 7:6-7 (KJV)….
      For thou (the children of Israel) art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people

      Isaiah 45:4 (NKJV)….
      For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.

      “…though you have not known Me.”

      Let that sink in.

      God elected Israel before entering into a relationship with her. She had nothing to do with it. God’s election of Israel was based upon His foreknowledge. God knew in advance He was going to be a husband to her and thru her bring the Christ child.

      In regards to 1 Peter 1:1-2, Peter is writing to Israelites from the former Northern Kingdom. Those who are elect together with those from the former Southern Kingdom living in Babylon (1 Peter 5:13). Peter was writing to Israelites (a faithful remnant) who had been scattered among the Gentiles due to the Assyrian captivity, while visiting Israelites who had remained in Babylon due to the Babylonian captivity.

      1. phillip writes, “God elected Israel before entering into a relationship with her. She had nothing to do with it. God’s election of Israel was based upon His foreknowledge. ”

        In Ephesians 1, we read, “He chose us…having predestined us…according to the good pleasure of His will,…In Him we have redemption…according to the riches of His grace…having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,”

        So, God’s election of Israel could result from “the good pleasure of His will” and “His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,” Having expressed His purpose and His will, God would then know His will and the knowledge of His will would be His foreknowledge of His working all things in His creation.

      2. rhutchin
        “He chose us…having predestined us…according to the good pleasure of His will

        br.d
        Right – Calvin’s god predestines the MANY Calvinists for eternal torment in the lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

        More Calvinists in torment equals more pleasure!!

        Thus the MANY within the Calvinist fold are TOTALLY DEPRAVED- predestined to infallibly believe they are elect.
        Thus TOTALLY DECEIVED :-]

        And that explains Calvinism’s is DOUBLE-SPEAK! :-]

      3. Calvinists are always denouncing “free will” and yet they are the biggest perpetrators of it.

      4. Right!
        The Calvinist is like the farmer who rides all day around on his tractor – preaching tractors don’t exist. :-]

      5. BrD,

        Did you catch the “double speak” by the Arminian quote?

        “…it is God’s foreknowledge of who will freely receive the prevenient enabling grace which God gives in equal measure to everyone. God also foreknows who will resist that grace.”

        So everyone “freely” receives an equal measure of prevenient grace, but then some, apparently, resist that grace? So someone who resists prevenient grace stills receives the same measure as everyone else. Sounds like everyone receives the same measure of prevenient grace if they like it or not. How can someone “resist” what he has “freely” received?

        Good grief!

      6. I would agree that the concept of ‘prevenient grace’ is both illogical and unbiblical. Fortunately, there are no limitations that demand one be either a Calvinist or an Arminian. Many of us are neither.

      7. Phillip
        How can someone “resist” what he has “freely” received?

        br.d
        Welcome to Calvi-fornia
        Your free to be saved if you like
        But your not free to ever be the determiner of what you like. :-]

      8. phillip writes, “Calvinists are always denouncing “free will” and yet they are the biggest perpetrators of it.”

        Calvinists say that the will of man is enslaved to sin and free to sin.

      9. rhutchin
        Calvinists say that the will of man is enslaved to sin and free to sin

        br.d
        Lying by omission comes so easy to Calvinists.

        Lying by omission – also known as a continuing misrepresentation or quote mining
        This occurs when a critical fact is strategically omitted in order to foster a strategic picture.

        In Calvinism – the will of man is in total abject subjection (i.e. slave) to a divine secret will.
        Calvin’s god determines 100% and does not leave anything undetermined.

        There is no freedom from infallible decrees.
        Man is unrelentingly chained to them – and they dictate his every impulse

    2. Richard, 2 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV — But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God 👉from the beginning👈 chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth….

      Paul doesn’t say “before the beginning” in that verse… and Paul is talking about the “beginning of the gospel” ministry he had in Europe when God led him to Thessalonica. Paul never used the word αρχή – beginning – to mean the beginning of time.

      Philippians 4:15 NKJV — Now you Philippians know also that in 👉the beginning of the gospel👈, when I departed from Macedonia…

      1. brianwagner writes, “Paul doesn’t say “before the beginning” in that verse… and Paul is talking about the “beginning of the gospel” ministry he had in Europe when God led him to Thessalonica.”

        As Paul does not qualify the context for “beginning,” we might suspect that it is irrelevant to his argument. Paul does affirm God’s role in salvation saying that God chose them for salvation and this to be accomplished in, at least, two steps: (1) through sanctification by the Spirit and (2) belief in the truth. To this salvation, “He called you by our gospel.” This agrees with Romans 8, “whom God foreknew, He also predestined…Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” The important point is that God “called” them to salvation and we know that God had chosen them, had foreknown them, and had predestined them all prior to calling them . Of course, God’s purpose in calling them was to justify and glorify them – “He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” From beginning to the end – from God choosing to their glorification, none are lost for it is those whom God chose who were ultimately glorified. Calvinism identifies the people God chose as His elect. The Universalists say that God chose each and every person and called each and every person so that each and every person is ultimately glorified – their salvation is certain.

      2. rhutchin
        Calvinism identifies the people God chose as His elect.

        br.d
        And none among them know whether they were designed as vessels of honor or vessels of wrath.
        Cuz Calvin’s god does let anyone know that – until the bird hits the propeller – so to speak

        For his good pleasure – he designs the MANY Calvinists – for eternal torment in the lake of fire.

        More torment equals more pleasure!! :-]

      3. BrD,

        Even in Arminianism, one cannot be sure of their election. Many within Christianity believe one can lose his salvation and fall away. Being “in Christ” is not enough. You also must preserve to the end and remain “in Christ”. These same folks insist that election to salvation is based upon God’s foreknowledge. If that is true, wouldn’t God, in His foreknowledge, know who would remain in Him and who would fall away? Wouldn’t the true elect be those who preserve to the end?

        If that is the case, we now have “non-elect” people who are, at least, temporarily, “in Christ”. In other words, if one choices to walk away from Christ, its okay, they were never really never among the elect anyway.

        What a mess.

        By the way, enjoy your commentary. Its hilarious.

        Merry Christmas, brother!

      4. Just curious Phillip…

        Where did you get these “”bad” phrases that Arminians throw around…..

        “preserve to the end and remain ‘in Christ'” ??

      5. Thanks for not letting me get away with anything, brother.

        Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

      6. There is something else that I am trying to not let you get away with. Are you missing my point? Or maybe I missed yours.

        You said this…

        Even in Arminianism, one cannot be sure of their election. Many within Christianity believe one can lose his salvation and fall away. Being “in Christ” is not enough. You also must preserve to the end and remain “in Christ”.

        Were YOU saying that THEY say …..Being “in Christ” is not enough. You also must preserve to the end and remain “in Christ”. ….or are you saying it?

        I cant tell by the way the sentence is written.

        It sounded like you were scorning fully saying (for them) Being in Christ is not enough.

      7. phillip writes, “if one choices to walk away from Christ, its okay, they were never really never among the elect anyway.”

        1John 2 – …even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

        One who walks away from Christ is anti-Christ. “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.”

      8. Phillip,
        I’m not talking about the typo. I talking about where the two phrases come from that you somewhat scornfully say that others base their position on?

      9. FOH,

        Sorry, brother, I miss understood.

        If I remember right, it was on this blog, but another thread. It was two distinct comments that I had to put together in my mind.

        But think about. If one believes that election to salvation is based upon God’s foreknowledge and if that same one believes you can lose your salvation, then doesn’t God know who will endure till the end and those who will fall away?

        Wouldn’t their falling away, though at one time being in Christ, prove they were never elect to begin with? I mean, if election to salvation is based on God’s foreknowledge, can you fool God?

        Does that make sense?

      10. No big deal.

        I am ready to drop it.

        My point was that it sounded like you were scorning believers that held the position that they must “persevere to the end” and “remain in Christ.” My point was that it is difficult to be too hard on them when the very phrases you “accused them of holding to” were direct quotes from the Bible.

        I mean TULIP terms like “limited atonement” (yum!) are not quotes from the Bible, but the ones you mentioned were.

        I would shy away from trying to disprove someone by saying they believe X and Y, when X and Y are found in several places in the Bible.

      11. “Were YOU saying that THEY say …..Being “in Christ” is not enough.”

        No one said “being in Christ is not enough”. Again, sorry for the confusion. That was the conclusion I came to putting his two thoughts together. However, if one can lose their salvation, does being in Christ, even temporarily, put you in “elect” status? That’s a valid question.

        Will people be able to say “well, I was elect yesterday because I believed. But I don’t believe today therefore I am non-elect again.”

        My observation was/is, was that someone ever elect? If election is due to God’s foreknowledge, wouldn’t He know if the person was going to endure to the end?

        I just remember that when the comments were made I thought to myself “hey, now wait a minute”

        Blessings, brother!

      12. 2Thess 2:13… There is nothing in that verse about anything happening before creation. But what is clear is God “chose you for salvation… through belief in the truth”. It sounds like belief in the truth must be in place first for the divine choice to be made through it.

        Nothing can be done through something that’s not there! A truck cannot go through a tunnel that is not there.

      13. brianwagner writes, “Nothing can be done through something that’s not there! ”

        That is why Jesus said, “No one can come to me.” Without faith, no one can come to Christ and no one can receive faith except through the hearing of the gospel. So, Paul says, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”

      14. Romans 10:18 NKJV — But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”

      15. brianwagner writes, “Romans 10:18 NKJV — But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”

        The gospel blankets the US through radio and TV. Yet, even in the US, there are people who have never heard the gospel and who will die never having heard the gospel.

      16. Romans 10:18 NKJV — But I say, have they not heard? 👉Yes indeed👈: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”

        Don’t call God a liar when He says clearly they have “heard”. And faith comes by hearing, but it’s not a guarantee of salvation until it’s fully placed in God’s mercy. But they have sufficiently “heard” to begin to believe He exists and to begin to diligently seek Him.

        Romans 2:4 NKJV — Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

      17. brianwagner writes, “Don’t call God a liar when He says clearly they have “heard”. ‘

        It says, “all the earth,” and “ends of the world.” So, the gospel has gone to Virginia, American Samoa, Siberia, etc. That does not mean that every person in Virginia, American Samoa, Siberia, etc.has heard the gospel. Even in the first century when Paul wrote this, did he mean that every Indian in the Amazon forest had heard the gospel? I don;t think

        Then, “And faith comes by hearing, but it’s not a guarantee of salvation until it’s fully placed in God’s mercy.”

        Given that faith is assurance and conviction, I think it is God’s mercy that a person receives faith. As Jesus said, “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.”

        Then, “But they have sufficiently “heard” to begin to believe He exists and to begin to diligently seek Him.”

        At what point of “sufficiently ‘heard’” does assurance and conviction kick in? Maybe for those who have “heard and learned from the Father.”

      18. rhutchin
        Given that faith is assurance and conviction, I think it is God’s mercy that a person receives faith

        br.d
        Calvin’s god’s “mercy” is also shown in his designing the MANY specifically for eternal torment in the lake if fire for his good pleasure.

        As R.C. Sproul says:
        -quote
        Even though evil is evil, it is good…..because god ordains it…..and he only ordains that which is good.

      19. I’m glad when some recognize that it is not just hearing, and beginning to believe, but learning, and actually fully trusting, that God is looking for. The shallow soil heard and believed but a root was not yet formed. The thorny soil heard, believed, and almost produced fruit, but repentance from cares and trust in riches had not happened yet to have completed trust in the truth.

        But even the evil one knew the hard, shallow, and thorny soils were able to believe and be saved. It’s just sad that some choose not to believe God’s love extends to all sufficiently to enable actual hearing, actual beginning to believe and actual seeking, even though God says so. It’s very sad that they think God is so partial in light of how clear His Word says He isn’t. Very sad indeed!

      20. brianwagner writes, “It’s just sad that some choose not to believe God’s love extends to all sufficiently to enable actual hearing, actual beginning to believe and actual seeking,…”

        If God does extend to all sufficiently to be saved, we should expect all to be saved given the desirability of eternal life and undesirability of eternal death and the great divide between the two. However, it appears that some irrationally choose the most undesirable option when so many others make the rational choice and chose eternal life. The Calvinist looks at this and asks, “Why do some people whom God has sufficiently enabled to be saved willfully choose not to be saved.” The only explanation that makes sense is that God did not sufficiently enable such people to choose salvation. Outside this, there is no rational explanation. If you are correct that God has sufficiently enabled all to be saved, then you seem to be advocating Universalism.

      21. rhutchin
        If God does extend to all sufficiently to be saved, we should expect all to be saved given the desirability of eternal…….

        br.d
        Don’t you just love Calvinism’s CLOAKED language!

        Let’s decode this one:

        Since an impulse cannot come to pass within a person’s brain unless Calvin’s god authors it – and since its impossible for the human brain to RESIST infallibly decreed impulses – if Calvin’s god extends salvation (i.e. authors the necessary impulses to infallibly come to pass) within *ALL* person’s brains – then we should expect *ALL* to be saved.

        Dr. Ravi Zacharias’ response:
        -quote
        Here me carefully!
        If you are totally determined, then you are pre-wired, to think the way you do.
        Your nature is that you are hard wired to come out to one single conclusion.
        What is input into the computer is what ultimately comes out.
        This is the bondage of total subjectivity.

      22. br.d writes, ‘Since an impulse cannot come to pass within a person’s brain unless Calvin’s god authors it…”

        To say that God authors all that happens means that God had foreknowledge of all that would happen when He created the universe so that God wrote the book about His creation from beginning to end – He did this before creating the universe. That God is omniscient means that God authored the book that describes all that happens in His creation. It does not mean that God forced Himself on people to make them do what He wanted them to do. By creating people in His own image, he enabled people to observe and learn from their environment and make decisions based on what they learn We see this in the case of Eve. Influenced by Satan, we read “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” This was written by God in His book but the events play out as Satan deceives Eve and Eve decides to eat the fruit based on what Satan told her and her reasoning that eating the fruit was good. God did not coerce Eve to reason as she did but enabled Eve to reason which she did.

        Zacharias in correct. To put his statement into the language of the Bible – If you are totally determined to sin by the absence of faith, then you are pre-wired, to think sinful thoughts – to think unrighteously. Your nature is that you are hard wired to sin. What is input into the computer is what ultimately comes out. This is the bondage, or slavery, to sin.

      23. br.d
        Since an impulse cannot come to pass within a person’s brain unless Calvin’s god authors it…”

        rhutchin
        To say that God authors all that happens means that God had foreknowledge of all that would happen when He created the universe….

        br.d
        Calvinists do love to hide their doctrine behind deceptive word games!

        On Foreknowledge:
        John Calvin
        -quote
        He foresees future events ONLY IN CONSEQUENCE OF HIS DECREES (Institutes)

        On the word Author:
        In the Old French of John Calvin’s day: “Auctor” – means: Originator, Creator, Instigator

        Thus every impulse which comes to pass within a person’s brain has its ORIGIN in Calvin’s god – who(like everything else) makes it come to pass infallibly.

        Thus impulses which come to pass in the human brain occur IRRESITIBLY

        And this brings us to the TRUE “I” in the TULIP

        “I” Irresistible Human Functionality
        All human functionality, including morally significant functionality, is produced by impulses infallibly actualized within the human brain which occur as irresistible.

        Thank you rhutchin for another example – of Calvinism’s deceptive word games. :-]

      24. rhutchin
        The Calvinist asks….Why do some people whom God has sufficiently enabled to be saved willfully choose not to be saved

        br.d
        Calvinists do love DOUBLE-SPEAK don’t they!

        The Westminster confession says humans are -quote MADE WILLING

        So DUH!
        Obviously – whatsoever “will” comes to pass within a human brain – was at the foundation of the world decreed to come to pass infallibly.

        And this brings us to the TRUE “T” in TULIP:

        “T” Totally Predestined Nature:
        The state of man’s nature at any instance in time is totally predestined prior to creation, and therefore absolutely nothing about any part of man’s nature (or anything else for that matter) is ever up to any man.

        Now since 100% of whatsoever comes to pass is UP TO Calvin’s god – who leaves ZERO% undetermined.
        And thus leaves nothing UP TO anyone else
        The reason “WHY” a person chooses [A] over [B] is right in front of every Calvinist’s nose.

        But don’t wait for him to see it – cuz that might interfere with his DOUBLE-SPEAK :-]

      25. “The Westminster confession says humans are -quote MADE WILLING”

        Those without faith are unwilling (and unable) to come to Christ having their mind set on the flesh. Those with faith are willing having their mind set on the spirit. So, to be “sufficiently enable” is to be given faith (i,e, made willing) and all who are sufficiently enabled, or given faith, do come to Christ.

        However, I don’t think Brian has faith in mind when he says, “sufficiently enabled.” He means that God draws a person such that he is able to come to Christ where before God drew him, he was not able to come to Christ. If Brian had said. “enabled” that could exclude faith but still require that one hear the gospel to receive faith and be saved. By adding sufficiently,” he necessarily adds faith so that the person is made willing.

        However, Brian wants to make man the final arbiter of his salvation and not God (as the Calvinist does). So, what kind of enablement gives all people the ability to accept or reject the opportunity to come to Christ? I don’t know.

      26. rhutchin
        Those without faith are unwilling (and unable)……

        br.d
        Calvinists do love their DOUBLE-SPEAK language! :-]

        In Calvinism 100% of whatsoever comes to pass – (e.g. each person’s will) is determined at the foundation of the world – before people are created.

        Thus the Westminster confession is absolutely correct:

        1) Those who come are MADE willing

        2) Those who don’t come are MADE unwilling.

        But the Calvinist has to try to make it APPEAR like the person is the determiner of their own will.

        Cuz Calvinists have a love-hate relationship with determinism. :-]

      27. br.d writes, “But the Calvinist has to try to make it APPEAR like the person is the determiner of their own will.”

        Calvinism says that all people are born with a sin nature consequent to Adam’s sin. So all people inherit a corrupt nature from Adam and are without faith. God will then make some people willing through regeneration and the conveyance of faith to them. No person determines his will – he is the product of his genes, his culture, his environment. his peers, etc… Even if God had not determiner a person’s will, that person’s will would still not be determined by the person.

      28. br.d
        But the Calvinist has to try to make it APPEAR like the person is the determiner of their own will.”

        rhutchin
        Calvinism says that all people are born with a sin nature consequent to Adam’s sin.

        br.d
        Thank you rhutchin – for being right on time to make my point!!
        Here the person your trying ti make APPEAR as the determiner of his own will – is Adam

        Too funny! :-]

        rhutchin
        So all people inherit a corrupt nature from Adam and are without faith.

        br.d
        *AS-IF* in Calvinism Adam is the determiner of anything! :-]

        rhutchin
        God will then make some people willing through regeneration and the conveyance of faith to them.

        br.d
        And grants them absolutely no epistemic functionality – so they have no way of knowing whether or they are TRUE faith or FALSE faith
        And he gives the “MANY” FALSE faith in order to magnify their torment in the lake of fire – which is what he designed them for in the first place.

        rhutchin
        No person determines his will – he is the product of his genes, his culture, his environment. his peers, etc…

        br.d
        AH! Here is another example!
        Now the Calvinist is trying to make it APPEAR like NATURE is the determiner of man’s will
        Nice example rhutchin!

        rhutchin
        Even if God had not determiner a person’s will, that person’s will would still not be determined by the person.

        br.d
        Well – now your finally admitting that Calvin’s god is the determiner of man’s will.
        All of that deflection – trying to keep from admitting it – and finally you allow a tiny sneak peak at the TRUTH

        Thank you rhutchin – for a fine example of classic Calvinist obfuscation!!! ;-D

      29. “I saved myself” or “I’m the final arbiter of my salvation” – Red Herring/Straw Man

        God doesn’t give the same grace to everyone… but He does give sufficient grace to enable each to freely seek and to trust His mercy. Therefore none have an excuse, and salvation is all of God, who paid for it, and offered it, and gave it to each one who trusted Him for it.

        It is a red herring that suggests the one who was saved after trusting their savior and after trusting the means of their salvation would then turn around and say or believe – “I saved myself.” The one grabbing the rope and letting the rescuer pull them to safety does not turn around and say – “Boy, didn’t I do a good job in saving myself.”

        It is a red herring/straw man argument in an attempt to legitimize determinism which has the bigger problem of denying that determinism logically makes God the author of sin and that it also makes Him the unjust and everlasting tormentor of those He supposedly decreed guilty and to be hardened by Him for someone else’s sin, before anyone was ever created by Him.

        The typical “so it all hinges on man” argument is silly. A “hinge” is no good if there is no door or someone to open that door. So also is the argument “so man is the ultimate decisive factor in his salvation.” I can decide to trust Jesus, but unless He decides to give me forgiveness and everlasting life, what good, how “decisive”, is my decision compared to His? If Christ had not died and rose again and offered me salvation and granted it to me… all my “decisions” in the world would make no difference.
        *******

      30. Brian,

        I see Passover as the biblical event most often compared to the cross (slavery, blood, doorpost/cross, etc).

        I like to ask Calvinist friends if the Israelites did a victory dance after the Red Sea closed up on chariot and rider…. “Whoo Hoo! We sure whooped ol’ Pharoah! We showed him!!! We save ourselves!” That’s just a silly concept.

        Read the song in Exodus 15. It is all about God’s mighty hand saving.

        They never say they saved themselves! How ridiculous!!!

        But….. but….. the Israelites did have to act in faith, and kill the animal, and spread the blood, and stay inside!

        Calvinists build a straw man against us saying that we preach that “those acts” are what saved the Israelites.

        How childish!

        It is the same childishness that accuses us of preaching that we “earn” our way simply by exercising the God-given ability of belief.

        God gave everyone the ability to respond to the offer of Christ. That is the consistent message of the Bible.

        It is all about the pre-conceived filters they use to read the Scriptures. They start with the answer, and filter out all the hundreds of contradicting verses as needed.

      31. FOH writes, “God gave everyone the ability to respond to the offer of Christ. That is the consistent message of the Bible.”

        The Calvinists note that a person cannot respond positively to the offer of Christ without faith. The complaint against FOH is that he has no room for faith or requires that God give all people faith.

      32. rhutchin
        The Calvinists note that a person cannot respond positively to the offer of Christ without faith.

        br.d
        Here is wisdom:
        What a Calvinist hides – within his statements – is 100 times more critical to understand.

        What is hidden here – is that a person cannot have one single impulse that wasn’t RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass by IRRESISTIBLY.

        Understanding Calvinism is easy:
        A Calvinist is a Determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking points.

      33. What I find as totally hilarious is a Calvinist calling Calvin’s god the “FINAL” Arbiter.

        When the TRUTH is – in Calvinism – Calvin’s god is the ONLY Arbiter.

        In Calvinism 100% of everything is exclusively UP TO an external mind.

        And yet the Calvinist has this UNCONTROLLABLE URGE to paint a picture of man being an “Arbiter” of at least something.

        *AS-IF* one single impulse could possibly come to pass within their brains that wasn’t programmed by Calvin’s god.

        Calvinists obviously don’t like acknowledging the fact that they were not designed to think for themselves! 😀

      34. Because – as you know my friend – the Calvinist wants to give Calvi-god all of the glory, but none of the blame. Whereas, under his system, Calvi-god alone must receive all glory, all blame and all else, as he is the sole and sovereign decision maker, only using secondary ‘means’ to accomplish [read: invisibly compel men to fulfill] his predetermined schemes.

        All of the multi-syllabic, illusively defined, equivocal language the Calvinist throws around is an attempt to muddy the waters so that none can see clearly. But men have been studying these issues too long to continue being fooled. God will always raise up men like Leighton to dispel the darkness. And if one can unearth them, there are countless old books and essays making the same essential points. One can, as I have tried so many times to do, set all things down in order to make logical sense of the claims being made. Under Calvinism, despite all of the ‘Look, there’s a flying squirrel’ distractions, one always, undeniably, arrives at a God who is solely responsible for all things, men having absolutely no ability to ever do otherwise than Calvi-god has determined them to do before they were a twinkle in their fathers’ eyes. No amount of high-view-of-God, give-him-all-the-glory lingo can disguise this inescapable fact: under Calvinism, good or bad, obedience or sin, saved or damned, it’s all on God.

      35. TS00 writes, “God will always raise up men like Leighton to dispel the darkness.”

        Dr. Flowers does not exhibit a clear understanding of faith and the importance of faith in salvation. He could dispel more darkness if he understood faith and the inability of any person to be saved without faith.

      36. rhutchin
        Dr. Flowers does not exhibit a clear understanding of faith and the importance of faith in salvation.

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        Dr. Flowers does not exhibit a CALVINISTIC understanding of faith and the importance of faith in salvation.

        And of course the Calvinist brain – which cannot have an impulse that is not determined by an external mind – would know! :-]

      37. brianwagner writes, “God doesn’t give the same grace to everyone… but He does give sufficient grace to enable each to freely seek and to trust His mercy.”

        LOL!!! On other words, God gives everyone an equal ability to freely seek and trust God’s mercy. If all have equal ability, then different choices mean that the people were unequal in some characteristic and it is that characteristic that explains the different choices. If that were the case, then they really didn’t start with an equal sufficient ability. Of course, if God gave people a sufficient but unequal ability to seek Him, then we have Calvinism..

        Then, ‘The one grabbing the rope and letting the rescuer pull them to safety does not turn around and say – “Boy, didn’t I do a good job in saving myself.”

        No, he says, “I grabbed the rope and if I had not done so, I could not have been saved despite all the efforts of my rescuers. I was smart enough to grab the rope while others were not and died.”

        Then, “It is a red herring/straw man argument in an attempt to legitimize determinism…”

        Determinism is obvious and justified. God has the power to prevent every rape, murder, etc. and can do so in the present. Because God is sovereign, He must decide one way or the other. Either God chooses to prevent a rape or He chooses not to prevent the rape. Either way, it is God’s choice that determines the outcome, so we can say that God determined that outcome. There is no need to legitimize determinism as it is obviously legitimate.

        Then, “I can decide to trust Jesus, but unless He decides to give me forgiveness and everlasting life, what good, how “decisive”, is my decision compared to His?”

        You require that Jesus first promise forgiveness and everlasting life and do so on the condition that you decide to trust Jesus. Because you give yourself the final say in trusting Jesus, your action is decisive.

        Then, “If Christ had not died and rose again and offered me salvation and granted it to me… all my “decisions” in the world would make no difference.”

        Under your system, Jesus death and resurrection cannot save anyone nor do they guarantee that anyone will be saved. There is a critical piece missing and that is your decision to trust Jesus without which Jesus died in vain.

      38. Paying for the gift, offering the gift, placing the gift in the hands of one who humbly wants it is all grace and according to the will of the Giver.

        Just because you don’t want the Giver to show His grace that way, but think He should only pretend it is an offer to be actively and humbly received by anyone, when actually He causes only some recipients to passively and unknowingly receive it, irresistibly making them humble, at least for somethings, doesn’t make your definition of grace the biblical one.

        Salvation indeed is “NOT up to the one being saved, in any conceivable way”…not even the “way” conceived in reformed theology. It is up to the way God conceived and has defined in Scripture His grace. That sinners are alive with an opportunity to humble themselves freely and trust God’s mercy when offered is all grace!

        According to reformed theology… after the change of your will and gift of faith… isn’t it through the free exercise of your will and faith that are now yours that God gives justification/salvation? How’s that not synergistic sounding? If you can fathom that synergism, then you should be able to understand God giving regeneration to those who freely exercise their will and faith, abilities given to them by God at birth.

      39. Brianwagner
        In Calvinism – isn’t it through the free exercise of one’s will and faith that are now yours that God gives justification/salvation?
        How’s that not synergistic sounding?

        br.d
        Excellent point!!

        Perhaps this serves as another example of Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking

        Its 100% UP TO Calvin’s god – and the process is 100% monergistic.
        But man freely chooses *AS-IF* it were synergistic.

        Woooow – look at me! I guess I am born-again now!
        Well – I must have also freely chosen at some point in time unknown to me – to be born again.

        Woooow – look a me! I guess I was born a human male!
        Well – I must have also freely chosen at some point in time unknown to me – to be born a human male.

        Perhaps that’s called – having it both ways! :-]

      40. Brian,

        This is such a good paragraph….

        “According to reformed theology… after the change of your will and gift of faith… isn’t it through the free exercise of your will and faith that are now yours that God gives justification/salvation? How’s that not synergistic sounding? If you can fathom that synergism, then you should be able to understand God giving regeneration to those who freely exercise their will and faith, abilities given to them by God at birth.”

        You are so right!

        My Calvinist friends say that once you have been regenerated and given faith, the you “freely choose” to accept Christ.

        Never mind that this flies in the face of Irresistible Grace! It aint “freely choosing” if God made it “irresistible”!

        But your point even drives it farther… If they can use AT ALL the words “freely choosing” (in their case after regeneration and “irresistible ‘forced’ Grace”) then they have synergism to a certain degree. God has to “wait for” or “watch” the “regenerated” person “freely choose” Him.

      41. FOH,

        Just to add one thought here.

        How does being regenerated and given the gift of faith guarantee the person will choose Christ? Adam wasn’t depraved, much less totally depraved, and possessed the ability to believe, and, yet, he chose the creation (Eve) over the Creator (God). Eve might have been deceived, but Adam knew exactly what he was doing (1 Timothy 2:14).

      42. Phillip,
        To be sure, Adam is a real problem for Calvinists. A sinless man had free choice. Of course… not a problem for the robot-determinist, but for any person thinking it through….

      43. FOH writes, “To be sure, Adam is a real problem for Calvinists. A sinless man had free choice.”

        God declared His creation “good” but not “perfect.” Adam was not perfect – he had limited knowledge, understanding, wisdom, etc. – and it was those imperfections that led Adam to made a bad choice and he did so freely – not being coerced to do so. While this seems to be a problem for you, it is not a problem for Calvinists.

      44. rhutchin
        d it was those imperfections that led Adam to made a bad choice and he did so freely – not being coerced to do so. While this seems to be a problem for you, it is not a problem for Calvinists.

        br.d
        In Calvinism – “Adam made a bad choice”?!?!
        I don’t think so!

        rhutchin is in denial – that in Calvinism – the state of nature at any instance in time – including every impulse which comes to pass within the human brain – is 100% solely and exclusively determined by Calvin’s god.

        So in Calvinism – Adam in NOT the determiner of any choice

        Calvinist’s *AS-IF* thinking – makes it pretty obvious – the Calvinist has a problem with Adam.

        Thank you rhutchin – for giving us a peek at what that looks like :-]

      45. philip writes, “How does being regenerated and given the gift of faith guarantee the person will choose Christ?”

        That is the supernatural effect of faith. It is that assurance and conviction that a person gains when he hears and learns from God.

      46. rhutchin
        That is the supernatural effect of faith. It is that assurance and conviction that a person gains when he hears and learns from God.

        br.d
        Assurance and conviction?!?!?!

        When the TRUTH is – that Calvin’s god doesn’t grant anyone epistemic functionality???

        No Calvinist knows whether he is saved or not.
        No Calvinist knows whether he is TOTALLY DEPRAVED or not.
        No Calvinist knows what percentage of the perceptions which are infallibly decreed to exist in his brain are FALSE perceptions.

        In Calvinism – there is only one being who has assurance and conviction – Calvin’s god

        The Calvinist tries to MAKE BELIEVE an external mind is not determining 100% of the perceptions in his brain.
        Too funny! 😀

      47. FOH
        My Calvinist friends say that once you have been regenerated and given faith, the you “freely choose” to accept Christ.

        br.d
        That’s like saying – after I discovered I was born a human male – I made a choice to be born a human male.

        That is a FACADE definition for the word “choice”.

        The NORMATIVE meaning for “choice” – entails having multiple options available.
        Choice infers that [A] vs [B] is available to you.

        But in this case – there are no multiple options which exist.

        Additionally – no “choice” you make – has any effect – or makes any difference in the outcome.

        The outcome was never UP TO YOU in the first place
        And any “choice” you made – was never
        UP TO YOU either.

        The only REAL “choice” at work in this case – is the “choice” that Calvin’s god made.
        Calvin’s god merely programmed your brain to accept the “choice” he made.

        And even that is not UP TO YOU.

        So human “choice” in Calvinism is nothing more than a FACADE

      48. Exactly, FOH! But they want to state that regeneration creates a freedom of the will, but it’s only “free” to do what’s predetermined for it to do. That’s not freedom. And then they have the problem answering why the supposed irresistible saving grace that’s just for them, or why God’s predetermination of all things, don’t keep them from sinning, now that they are born again.

        Some have even answered that enigma by suggesting that the born again person can sin heinously and even apostasize but will still go to heaven because as an elect, like their God, they are not guilty of the sins they’ve determined to do, and that He’s determined for them to do, since there was supposedly some “good” reason for such divinely determined sinning. That’s just Sick!

      49. Brian,
        You are addressing two things that are deal-breakers for Calvinists.  I have never (ever) heard a Calvinist answer these ideas:

        1.  Per Reformed theology men are chosen before time, force-regenerated, force-irresistibly-graced, (“effectually” “dragged” into the kingdom)…. and then as a Spirit-filled, elect-before-time, effectually-regenerated, dead-to-sin believer…. they sin again and again.  Dead to sin. Buried in Christ.  But somehow this word “dead” (which they exploit to no end to scaffold together the TULIP idea), doesn’t mean so much “dead” any more.   All of a sudden the chosen, now-alive man “chooses” to sin again and again.  Apparently he can choose only bad before Christ….. but can now choose evil just as easily??  

        So what is their “God gives faith” all about”  Can’t He give holy living in the same way? 
         
        What a bizarre interpretation of the God of the Bible:  He micromanages all humanity so that a very, very small number are forcefully-saved against their will (since they apparently want only evil before He foists regeneration on them)….. but then He is unable or unwilling to give them “enough” of His Spirit to allow them live Christ-like lives.  

        2. The proposed answer to this is the second point.  All the sin is for His glory!  Fantastic!  Escape hatch supreme!  At the end of each day the sinning determinist-Calvinist says….. “Oh well…. no sense crying about cheating on my wife today—- It was determined by God and for His glory!!!  How else could it happen right?”  

        Sick, as you said, is the only way to describe it.

      50. brianwagner writes, “But [Calvinists] want to state that regeneration creates a freedom of the will,…”

        Not sure whether they want to do so, but certainly they do not. Regeneration removes the person from a slavery to sin and enables them to see the kingdom of God. However, without faith, a regenerate person regresses back into slavery to sin. It is faith that imparts a freedom of the will to choose salvation – faith proves irresistible so that the person ends up choosing salvation.

        The, “but it’s only “free” to do what’s predetermined for it to do.”

        God understands the impact of regeneration and the inability of regeneration to save without faith. Even a regenerate person who has been freed from slavery to sin is still subject to the desires of his nature. It is the person’s nature that determines the person’s actions as even br.d recognized when he defined a :LFW choice to be consistent with the person’s nature.

        You seem to be defining true freedom to be separation form the nature. If so, I don’t see anyone being free.

        Then, ‘then they have the problem answering why the supposed irresistible saving grace that’s just for them, or why God’s predetermination of all things, don’t keep them from sinning, now that they are born again.”

        They point to Romans 7 and the many exhortations to holy living throughout the Scriptures to respond ot this. What does Paul write, in Romans 6, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

        Then, “Some have even answered that enigma by suggesting that the born again person can sin heinously and even apostasize but will still go to heaven because as an elect, like their God,…”

        LOL!!! That’s taken as an indication that they are not of the elect.

      51. FOH writes, ‘My Calvinist friends say that once you have been regenerated and given faith, the you “freely choose” to accept Christ.
        Never mind that this flies in the face of Irresistible Grace! It aint “freely choosing” if God made it “irresistible”!”

        A person with faith finds that faith irresistible and freely chooses to act on that faith.

        Then, ‘ God has to “wait for” or “watch” the “regenerated” person “freely choose” Him.”

        But God is omniscient and knew the result that faith would give before He created the world. That is why God conceived faith (my definition, not Brian’s) as the means of salvation in the first place.

      52. rhutchin
        A person with faith finds that faith irresistible and freely chooses to act on that faith.

        br.d
        DUH!
        Calvin’s god makes every impulse come to pass infallibly within the human brain
        Which means every impulse occurs as irresistible!

        And the vast majority of those irresistible impulses are sins and evil impulses which Calvin’s god makes infallibly come to pass.

        rhutchin
        But God is omniscient and knew the result that faith would give before He created the world.

        br.d
        John Calvin
        -quote
        “He foresees future events ONLY IN CONSEQUENCE of his decree (Institutes)

        If Calvin’s god doesn’t know what he decrees – perhaps his elevator doesn’t go up to the top floor

        Which reveals the likelihood that Calvin’s god is simply the byproduct of some man’s DOUBLE-MINDED thinking.

      53. brianwagner writes, ‘Paying for the gift, offering the gift, placing the gift in the hands of one who humbly wants it is all grace and according to the will of the Giver.”

        Key word here is “humbly wants.” No person “humbly wants” salvation without God’s involvement in his life.

        Then, “That sinners are alive with an opportunity to humble themselves freely and trust God’s mercy when offered is all grace!”

        Not without “faith”. Of course, you describe faith as an, “abilit[y] given to them by God at birth.” The Scriptures define faith as assurance and conviction.

        I guess that makes us both right in our thinking. To you, faith is an ability that all have by birth, so God’s grace is equally enjoyed by all; to me faith is assurance and conviction that comes from the Scriptures, so God’s grace is equally enjoyed by some, but not all.

      54. rhutchin
        If all have equal ability, then different choices mean that the people were unequal in some characteristic and it is that characteristic that explains the different choices. If that were the case, then they really didn’t start with an equal sufficient ability.

        br.d
        In other words – If all have [X] then they really didn’t start with all having [X] :-]

        Just because person A makes a decision that is not a clone decision of person B – it doesn’t logically follow those two people are unequal – or have unequal ability.

        Perhaps Calvinists are all clones of one another! :-]

      55. It’s sad that some choose to hide behind what they think unassailable… They think that if God gave enough for a rational free choice to seek salvation a certain way, then, they think, it could not ever be rejected by a rational being.

        But the same person wanting everlasting life may rationally choose to believe everlasting life is found in a way other than God’s way presented to them. And this other way is based on rational thinking also. Faith however goes beyond rational thinking and chooses to believe a testimony without having all the evidence.

        So looking at rational evidence of one kind or another that points to how one gets everlasting life, one person can choose to freely believe, and another can freely choose to not believe. An example is clearly seen in those choosing to believe in determinism based on what they see as rational evidence and those who choose to reject determinism based on what they see is rational evidence.

        The issue is not about being just rational, nor is it about being “sufficiently enabled… to be saved”. But it is about being sufficiently enabled to make a free rational choice of faith in the way of salvation that God has presented in His Word. God does the saving. But His enabling to make a choice does not guarantee a choice irresistibly made only one way or another. That’s not rational.

      56. As I have pointed out many times, we do not have to offer up our own, futile imaginings as to why men reject God. Paul, in Romans 1, spells it out. He makes it quite clear that it is not lack of an ability to understand or to think rationally – indeed, God has made himself so knowable that, Paul asserts, all men are without excuse. Being unable to think rationally would actually be a GREAT excuse for making a bad choice. But Paul spells out why no one can make that claim.

        Instead, he explains, and you can read it for yourself, as it is lengthy, that many deliberately exchange the truth – which they understand – for a lie, because they love their sin. It is actually very rational to rationalize why you do not need God, if what you really want is to not have to give up your sin. You can embrace any of Satan’s lies – that there is no God, that God is not trustworthy, that God will overlook all sin, or any of a number of lies that allow you to do what you want rather than what God commands.

        Nowhere in Paul’s lengthy Romans discourse does he suggest that men reject God because they have not been given the ability to know and understand who he is, or what he expects of them. Instead, he describes men who simply do not want to pay the cost that God demands for the gifts he offers. They do not want to give up their sensual, greedy, lust-filled life for a disciplined, moderate, selfless life. This is the choice each one is faced with: “Do I want to give up all that Satan offers me now in exchange for temporary suffering and a future payoff?” Many do not, and it is not lack of rationality or understanding, but simply the refusal to surrender the pleasures of sin.

        Why does rh continue to ignore scripture and instead rely on his own (Calvinism’s) faulty reasoning to explain why all are not saved?

      57. TS00 writes, ‘Paul, in Romans 1, spells it out. He makes it quite clear that it is not lack of an ability to understand or to think rationally – indeed, God has made himself so knowable that, Paul asserts, all men are without excuse. Being unable to think rationally would actually be a GREAT excuse for making a bad choice. But Paul spells out why no one can make that claim. …Why does rh continue to ignore scripture and instead rely on his own (Calvinism’s) faulty reasoning to explain why all are not saved?”

        Paul explains, as one reads further into Romans and then explicitly states in Ephesians, “by grace you have been saved through faith.” Faith, according to the Scriptures, explains why some are saved and not all. You refuse to recognize the role Scripture accords to faith in salvation based on your argument of faulty reasoning by the Calvinist.

      58. rhutchin
        You refuse to recognize the role Scripture accords to faith in salvation based on your argument of faulty reasoning by the Calvinist.

        br.d
        Well – lets examine the role that scripture plays in Calvinism

        1) In Calvinism the scripture represents the ENUNCIATED will

        2) The ENUNCIATED will (for the most part) is in direct opposition to the SECRET will.

        3) The ENUNCIATED will – in such case – functions as a FALSE REPRESENTATION of the SECRET will.

        So what role does scripture accord in faith for the Calvinist?
        Well (for the most part) its role is to be a FALSE representation of the SECRET will.

        Calvinists are so blessed to have that!! :-]

      59. brianwaner writes, “So looking at rational evidence of one kind or another that points to how one gets everlasting life, one person can choose to freely believe, and another can freely choose to not believe.”

        “…rational evidence of one kind or another…” LOL!!! The Scriptures are “rational evidence of one kind or another.” So, do you think that God, in enabling all to be saved, would tie that enabling to anything but the Scriptures since without the Scriptures, there can be no salvation . So you should say, “looking at rational evidence of the Scriptures that points to how one gets everlasting life, one person can choose to freely believe, and another can freely choose to not believe. ” However, if God has enabled a person to believe, then it is not just rational evidence but the ability to look at the Scriptures rationally. Given that those who perish consider the Scriptures foolishness, we also see that faith is required if one is to be saved. So, God, in enabling a person to choose to be saved gives a person the ability to understand rationally the rational evidence of the Scriptures and to do so with faith, without which no one can be saved. It is only the irrational person, one enslaved to sin, who would “freely choose to not believe.”

        What do you mean by “enabled”?

      60. Roger… people got saved before Moses wrote the first book of Scripture. Truth existed. But so did lies that were presented as “rational” truths. Did Eve use rational thinking in making her choice of faith to eat the forbidden fruit? Yes. But she had to make a choice of whose testimony of “truth” to trust for things that would appear to benefit her. That is why your argument that no one would reject God’s offer since they would not rationally reject everlasting life, is a non-sequitor. I hope you will never use it again! Eve wasn’t rejecting something she saw rationally as positive for her well being, but she was freely rejecting the warning her husband gave about God and about the tree of knowledge. And she was not doing so because of her having a totally depraved (in your view) nature.

        Adam also freely chose not to trust God’s warning as being truth of enough importance. Perhaps he rationally saw that nothing harmful immediately happened to Eve when she ate. And he also did not have a totally depraved (in your view) nature. So the issue is how did the sin of Adam and the judgment for that sin change his nature and the nature of his offspring? And does God sufficiently bring the opportunity to each person to freely respond to His offer of seeking Him and His mercy, the same ability like Adam used to freely decide to either trust God and obey with full rational understanding, or to trust there was a rational risk to take for something that could benefit him and his future more by not trusting God’s testimony and by disobeying God’s command? I believe strongly the Scripture confirms that God does bring each to be able to make a freewill rational decision like Adam did.

        Only your loyalty to unbiblical determinism, imo, forces you to deny this is what Scripture clearly teaches, and forces you also to deny that Adam was free to do other than disobey exactly as he did in the garden. I have nothing more to add in this thread.

      61. “So the issue is how did the sin of Adam and the judgment for that sin change his nature and the nature of his offspring?” This is key to understanding the error of Calvinism. They presume that God actually, supernaturally changed the nature of the men he created, making them henceforth unable to see and understand truth, i.e, be Totally Depraved.

        What a perverse concept! Who, with any understanding of scripture and scripture’s God, would accuse him of being so perverse, cruel and hateful? I simply cannot understand it.

        Instead, what forever changed in the instant Adam chose to willfully disobey God was the innocence of man. Where once there was only harmony and oneness, now there was the existence of disobedience and separation. This ‘change’ of course affected the entirety of humanity. From henceforth, every creature came into a world in which the knowledge of good and evil was now clearly set forth, thus the need for dealing with the evil had now arisen.

        I urge all to see the enormous difference between the two understandings of what happened when Adam sinned. It is not, as per Calvinism, that God held up his figurative magic wand and ‘refashioned’ men into depraved, unrighteous brutes. He would never, ever consider doing such a thing. Instead, contrary to Calvinism’s philosophical reasoning, something new was created by Adam, something that God did not, would not and will not ever create – sin.

        Such an event did not throw God off of his throne. He can coexist with the creative powers He himself designed into his creatures. It is the very creative power that produces, love, friendship, beauty and all that is good, as well as hate, murder and all that is evil. And God chose to put this power in the hands of men. He is not threatened by it, or lessened. His sovereignty is not dismantled, nor his power reduced. All of the scare tactics, the fear-producing words, of power-hungry false teachers cannot make such a possibility so.

        God did not change with the free choice of Adam to sin, but the state of all creation did. And God, alone, could – and did, thanks be ever to him! – provide the antidote. Through Adam, sin came into being. Through Jesus, forgiveness and eternal life came into being. These are the true teachings of scripture, teachings that rob God of neither power or glory. Yes, he allowed man to create something that he himself would never have created. And he set forth to rescue him from that fatal error in judgment, that eternally dismal instant when redemption became essential.

        Were God to be not only the sole Redeemer and Saviour, but the originator of its necessity, he would retain a universal grip on power, but lay down any claim to glory or praiseworthiness. It is this ugly truth that Calvinists hide from themselves.

      62. TS00 writes, “[Calvinists] presume that God actually, supernaturally changed the nature of the men he created, making them henceforth unable to see and understand truth, i.e, be Totally Depraved.”

        No. Calvinists say that Adam sinned and by that sin, Adam died and his nature was changed and that death and nature was then inherited by his children. When Adam was kicked out of the garden, he could only approach God through faith as so for his children. His children were not born with faith and could only receive faith through the truth that Adam revealed to them. Adam’s children were not born with faith; they were Totally Depraved and would not escape that depravity until they heard the truth and received faith.

      63. rhutchin
        Calvinists say that Adam sinned and by that sin, Adam died and his nature was changed

        br.d
        The TRUE “I” and the TRUE in Calvinism’s TULIP

        “I” Irresistible Human Functionality
        All human functionality, including morally significant functionality, is produced by impulses infallibly actualized within the human brain which occur as irresistible.

        “L” Limited Possibilities and Human Illusions
        All human impulses, perceptions, choices, and desires are exclusively predetermined for each human at the foundation of the world. And any perception of multiple options available for a human to choose from, exist only as divinely predestined human illusions. Illusions of non-predestined events, which as such never had any possibility of ever coming to pass, at pain of falsifying what was predestined.

      64. TSOO writes : “The ultimate beauty of the world God made lies in the genuine freedom each individual has been given to choose his own destiny. No one can ever take this free choice away, not even God himself, for it was established by Him from the beginning.”

        My Response : TSOO is wrong again. Free choice of man can be altered by God. Man has freedom but not consistently and not absolutely free because man is not sovereign but God is sovereign. Man is helpless to resist death. He cannot resist the will of God by the time God will take TSOO’s life. TSOO cannot say to God: “I choose to live”, nor can say to God : “I don’t permit you God to take my life” . TSOO cannot get ALL what he wants. Who is the one who decided for TSOO to be born in this planet? Was he consulted if he want or does not want the name that was given to him? Who decides for a disabled person to be born in this world? so… where is free will ?

      65. jtl writes, “Man has freedom but not consistently and not absolutely free because man is not sovereign but God is sovereign.”

        In addition, man cannot be sovereign because he is not God – man has limited knowledge, a lesser understanding of the things he knows and no wisdom except that wisdom given to him by God. As John pointed out, man is ruled by selfishness, covetousness, and pride. He is born a slave to sin and naturally sins. Man is free to be ignorant and to sin – beyond that there is nothing man can do except with God’s help

      66. rhutchin
        Man is free to be ignorant and to sin – beyond that there is nothing man can do except with God’s help

        br.d
        Calvinists do love their DOUBLE-SPEAK!

        Here the word “help” is a replacement term for “decree”.

        No decree for neurological impulse [X] equals no neurological impulse [X] :-]

      67. jtleosala
        Free choice of man can be altered by God…

        br.d
        This statement is FALSE representation of Calvinism.

        In Calvinism – man’s choice must be COMPATIBLE with what Calvin’s god determines.
        In Calvinism – that rule was established pre-creation at the foundation of the world

        In Calvinism -there is NEVER any alteration of that form of freedom

      68. br.d writes, “In Calvinism – man’s choice must be COMPATIBLE with what Calvin’s god determines.”

        Man’s choice is subordinate to God’s choice. By “compatible,” br.d may have in mind Psalm 33, “The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.” Perhaps Proverbs 16, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” It is certain that God gets His way in all things and God had decreed all things prior to creation. Only the Open Theists and similar types object to this. Even Dr, Flowers seems to have problems with this.

      69. br.d
        In Calvinism – man’s choice must be COMPATIBLE with what Calvin’s god determines.

        rhutchin
        Man’s choice is subordinate to God’s choice.

        br.d
        A lie by omission is still a lie

        The term “subordinate” is a deceptive term in Calvinism – because it seeks to paint a picture of a degree of creaturely mental autonomy that doesn’t exist in Calvinism.

        1) In Calvinism 100% of whatsoever comes to pass (e.g. creaturely choice) is determined solely and exclusively by Calvin’s god.
        2) Calvin’s god leaves ZERO% undetermined.
        3) Thus 100% of whatsoever comes to pass is UP TO Calvin’s god.
        4) Leaving ZERO% UP TO any man

        Which means – in Calvinism – ZERO% of man’s “Plan” is UP TO man.

        And that is what COMPATIBLE with what is determined means :-]

        As Dr. Ravi Zacharias explains:
        Here me carefully!
        If you are totally determined, then you are pre-wired, to think the way you do
        Your nature is that you are hard wired to come out to a single conclusion.
        What is input into the computer is what ultimately comes out.
        This is the bondage of total subjectivity.

      70. brianwagner writes, ‘Did Eve use rational thinking in making her choice of faith to eat the forbidden fruit? Yes.”

        Of course, Eve was thinking rationally. She knew God’s command – the rational decision was for her to obey that command. Eve was confused by the lies Satan told her and those lies caused her to reason irrationally. Because of her irrational logic – the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise – Eve ate the fruit. There was nothing rational about Eve’s decision-making.

        Then, “That is why your argument that no one would reject God’s offer since they would not rationally reject everlasting life, is a non-sequitor.”

        My argument is that no one who has faith would reject God’s offer since, with faith, no one would rationally reject everlasting life. That is why salvation is through faith – faith turns the irrational slave to sin into a rational believer obedient to God. I will not stop using this argument because faith is salvation.

        Then, “And [Eve] was not doing so because of her having a totally depraved (in your view) nature.”

        Neither Adam nor Eve were totally depraved. They both became corrupt by eating the fruit but their personal experience with God would provide the faith to serve Him when they were expelled from the garden and from God’s presence. We do see totally depravity taking hold very quickly in their children as Cain murdered Abel.

        Then, “Perhaps [Adam] rationally saw that nothing harmful immediately happened to Eve when she ate.”

        Adam made the decision to die with Eve rather than live with God. God made Eve and made her perfect for Adam. It was not surprising that Adam was conflicted. We read, “Eve also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” Between “Eve gave” and “Adam ate,” must have been a lot of anguish on Adam’s part.

        Then, “I believe strongly the Scripture confirms that God does bring each to be able to make a freewill rational decision like Adam did.”

        That is impossible. Adam was with God in the garden. Adam did not need faith because he talked with God God as no one since has. Outside the garden, God can only be approached in faith. It is only through faith that God gives a person the ability to make a freewill rational decision that Adam botched by eating the fruit. It is only faith that overcomes the inability of any person enslaved to sin to make free, rational decisions.

        Then, “I have nothing more to add in this thread.”

        Not intending to be unkind, but you haven’t added a whole lot to the discussion outside confused thinking.

      71. rhutchin
        Of course, Eve was thinking rationally. She knew God’s command

        br.d
        But in Calvinism – does Eve have the ability to make a LIBERTARIAN choice between TRUE and FALSE?
        Or are 100% of her perceptions determined by an external mind?
        And 100% of choice – made by an external mind?

        So in Calvinism – Eve does not reach conclusions through rational reasoning.

      72. It is faith in God, not scripture, that gives a man eternal life. There are many – like Abraham – who never heard a scripture, yet put their faith in God and will hear that final ‘Well done’. Some simply hear the gospel message of Jesus dying for their sin, without reading a single line of scripture, and put their trust in the God whose great love provided such a salvation. Certainly, scripture is most commonly the way we who are far from former happenings hear the truth, but it is not our faith in ‘scripture’, but God, that saves us.

      73. TS00 writes, “Certainly, scripture is most commonly the way we who are far from former happenings hear the truth, but it is not our faith in ‘scripture’, but God, that saves us.”

        Paul wrote, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” A person may hear the word of God – the Scripture – through a Sunday morning sermon, a Bible study, the witness of a neighbor. or by reading the Scriptures directly. However, one “hears” the Scripture, it is through the hearing of the word of God that faith is conveyed. It is through hearing the word of God that a person gains the assurance and conviction in God that is called faith. It is through the word of God that a person hears God and learns from God and it is the person who has heard and learned from God who comes to Christ and he does so by the faith he received from God.

      74. rhutchin
        However, one “hears” the Scripture, it is through the hearing of the word of God that faith is conveyed

        br.d
        No decree for [X] brain activity – equals no [X] brain activity

        The Calvinist brain does not have LIBERTARIAN functionality
        No LIBERTARIAN discernment of TRUE from FALSE

        All impulses are 100% determined by an external mind.

        Calvin’s god determines the Jehovah’s Witness brain to have Jehovah’s Witness perceptions of scripture
        Calvin’s god determines the Calvinist brain to have Calvinist perceptions of scripture

        What percentage of these are FALSE perceptions?
        Neither brain is permitted to know! :-]

      75. rhtuchin
        rational evidence of one kind or another…” LOL!!!

        br.d
        The Calvinist brain is 100% determined by an external mind.

        It does not have the LIBERTY to make a LIBERTARIAN choice between TRUE and FALSE on any matter.

        All impulses within the Calvinist brain occur infallibly and IRRESISTIBLY – 100% determined by an external mind.

        Now – Calvin’s god can reach RATIONAL conclusions
        Because his mind has LIBERTARIAN choice between TRUE and FALSE.

        But the Calvinist brains does not have that LIBERTY.
        So “Icsnay” on rational thinking for the Calvinist. :-]

      76. rhutchin
        even in the US, there are people who have never heard the gospel and who will die never having heard the gospel.

        br.d
        CALVINIST INTERPRETATION:
        Calvin’s god – who designs the MANY for eternal torment in a lake of fire for his good pleasure – does not permit them to have a neurological impulse resulting in the mental assent to the Gospel.

        More souls predestined for eternal torment in the lake of fire – equals more pleasure! :-]

    3. Richard,
      May I make the suggestion that you break up your ideas into paragraphs please. It is a little hard to follow, like, for instance, the Dec 14th 2, Th 2:13 post above.

      I think you have interesting things to say but in one big block like that I dont think our Calvinist friends will read it.

      Thanks and please continue!

      1. FOH writes, “I think you have interesting things to say but in one big block like that I dont think our Calvinist friends will read it.”

        Richard’s comments can seem incoherent because he ignores Scriptures that bear on an issue and over which disputes arise. His overall conclusions about that which the Scriptures say are normally not in dispute. His basic point is that a person must believe in Christ in order to be saved – there is no dispute about that.

      2. Calvinism suffers from the same evil that every tyranny and despotism on earth shares – the claim that some ‘outside power’ has the right to control and dictate what an individual believes. It is just as evil and despotic when the controlling power is said to be God as when the tyrant is a Communist Dictator or the head of a global organization.

        The ultimate beauty of the world God made lies in the genuine freedom each individual has been given to choose his own destiny. No one can ever take this free choice away, not even God himself, for it was established by Him from the beginning. Tyrants come and go, using varying degrees of force in attempts to control others, but they never have and never will take away the individual’s right to believe what he chooses to believe. A tyrant can torture and kill those who will not bow the knee to them, for instance, as John Calvin did, but can never touch his soul.

        God, who alone COULD HAVE made men without such freedom, chose otherwise, and no amount of false teaching can change that reality which is portrayed in countless narratives of scripture that cannot be hidden. One can easily distort or twist a doctrine, but it is much harder to hide the truth revealed in the stories of scripture, which is perhaps why Jesus taught by such stories.

      3. Yes TS00…

        I for one have been enjoying Leighton’s ubiquitous, Youtube videos where he carefully (and respectfully) dismantles Piper’s emotionally-voiced position. He shows direct clips from Sproul, Piper, the apologia guys and then rebuts them. He does not set up straw men (like they do), he just takes their direct videos…let’s them speak for themselves.

        I just point open-minded firends in that direction if they are wondering.

      4. I’m more of a reader, and have little patience for the slow pace of videos, but do you have a few in particular you would recommend? Not even sure of the best way to access a list.

      5. Wow…Leighton talks quickly and blends in verses and ideas very well. And answers directly to what would seem like “makes-sense” statments made by Piper, MacArthur, Sproul. He is ever so nice to them too. Not snarky like James White.

        Here is one about MacArthur
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqJjFDYT3ZY

        He must be picking up a following, cuz his videos have more hits faster than before. None are hugely viral (cuz he has sooooo many) but the newer ones gather steam faster than the old ones and I assume that is because of those who are following and get notifications (I’m not that young that I get into the whole “following” thing but I am glad that many are!!!)

        Pass the word!!

      6. rhutchin
        Richard’s comments can seem incoherent because……

        br.d
        1) Calvin’s god determines FALSE perceptions to come to pass within rhutchin’s brain – which Calvin’s god knows are FALSE.

        2) rhutchin’s brain is powerless to escape all of those FALSE perceptions which come to pass within his brain – because they are there by infallible decree.

        3) Calvin’s god also determines that rhutchin will perceive those FALSE perceptions as TRUE – which means all perceptions – whether TRUE or FALSE will all be perceived as TRUE.

        4) Which leaves rhutchin with no ability to discern a TRUE perception from a FALSE perception.

        5) The consequence of rhutchin’s discernment predicated on FALSE perceptions – is FALSE discernment.

        Good luck relying on rhutchin’s perceptions of what is “incoherent”! :-]

  10. God looks down the corridors of time….What in the world is that? I didn’t use pithy sayings invented by men, I used Scripture…..Isa 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Also, you are conflating non salvific election with salvation……Apples and oranges. Your statement on 1 Peter is incoherent to me. 1 Pe 1:2  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. The sprinkling of the blood of Jesus means it is referring to salvation election. I don’t even know what classic Arminian election is, nor do I care. I’m referring to Biblical salvation election only. It’s based on Scripture. It’s Scripture vs the Synod of Dort.

    1. Richard, I’ve already tried to show how people read into verses “before creation” when it’s not there. It’s not there in Is 46:10 or 1Pet 1:2. I think I tried to get you to see that in our discussion of Is 46:10.

      As for 1Peter 1, 2

      1Pe 1:2 NKJV – elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

      Peter is probably writing to those brought into the “elect” by becoming “known” by God in a primary way “before” – πρό meaning priority, not time – (not prescience). Paul used this special meaning of “foreknowledge” when he used that term (Acts 26:5, Rom 8:29, 11:2). That special relationship knowledge was begun by the HS when He applied the benefits of the cross, sanctification and forgiveness (through faith, see vs 5).

      But even if the idea of “prescience” is retained, then it only means God sees how people are responding to His drawing, and when He sees/knows they are trusting His mercy, He then chooses/elects to join them to the Elect One – Jesus. He saw after their birth and after their faith and before He chose them… not that He saw before creation their faith or before they even existed to freely exercise that faith.

    2. “….God knows beforehand what we will do, this is the basis of salvation election. People don’t believe because they’re elect, they’re elect because they responded positively to the Gospel.”

      Compare that with…..

      “As John Wesley stated the classic Arminian doctrine of election, it is God’s foreknowledge of who will freely receive the prevenient enabling grace which God gives in equal measure to everyone. God also foreknows who will resist that grace, and they are the reprobate. Since humans decide who is elect and who is reprobate, both election and reprobation are conditional.”

      Sounds like both are saying the same thing.

      “….you are conflating non salvific election with salvation….I’m referring to Biblical salvation election only.”

      So there are two forms of election. One where God decides (Israel). And one where man decides (salvation).

      Still sounds Arminian.

    3. You will find that Phillip is a Johnny one note, and is here to push the concept that ‘it is all about the Jews’. He rejects the scriptural proclamation that there is now no more Jew and Gentile, and all are exactly the same before God, believers or non-believers. Not sure why he is hanging out on a soteriology blog, but, he is interested only in persuading people that there God still views Jews and non-Jews in separate categories.

      1. Dear Brother,

        Why does your blood boil when I point out that the children of Israel are still the chosen people (Romans 11:1-2)? Doesn’t the Jew have an advantage (Romans 3:1-2)? Don’t you know that our, or Gentile, salvation came at their expense (Romans 11:11)? Don’t you understand that they were cut off so that we might be grafted in (Romans 11:19)? Doesn’t Paul warn us not to be disdainful over the natural branches, but to fear (Romans 11:20-21)? Didn’t the Lord himself tell us that “salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22)? After all, Jesus is their promised Messiah (Romans 9:5).

        Do you not know that the nations will be judge by how they treat His Jewish brothers and sisters (Matthew 25:14-30)?

        I have never said “it is all about the Jews”, brother. God loves all and Christ died for all. Both Jew and non-Jew. But the book is Jewish in its origins. Its authors are all Jewish. Most of the OT is about God’s relationship with the chosen people. Much of the OT is about the dispersion of the children of Israel and the promise of her future restoration. It isn’t all about the Jews, but most of the book is.

      2. First of all, I do not think your discussion belongs on this forum, so would appreciate you taking it where people care to debate such things.

        Secondly, I reject your claims as being a legitimate interpretation of scripture, representing the initial faulty determinism that existed in Jesus’ day, which was soundly denounced by the apostles. There are not separate plans for the future of Jews and non-Jews. The entire New Testament makes clear that those walls of distinction and separation were forever torn down, never to be rebuilt. To ignore this, and overlook all of the explanations that the ‘true’ Israel is, and always has been, the subset of people who put their trust in God, regardless of their heritage, is to misread scripture and misunderstand all that lies therein.

        It is the exact same mistake that Calvinism makes – only defines ‘the elect’ under the original false reading. Calvinists see clearly that the apostles soundly disputed all false claims about the Jews being the ‘elect’, as far as salvation goes, but instead of understanding that arbitrary, deterministic control is unjust and false, they ‘fixed’ it by expanding God’s arbitrary choosing to all kinds of people. Such a false theory of salvation as being limited and irresistible, whoever its object it, is not just wrong, but dangerously so, as it prevents people from taking the necessary steps to put themselves ‘in Christ’ and become a part of the one, everlasting, true Israel, which is all who believe.

        I doubt that any here would question that one descendant of Abraham was chosen to produce the Messiah, and lay the groundwork so that his message could be understood. This Messiah, long awaited by national Israel, was eventually to bring good news of salvation unto all people, not just a small tribe. Paul makes clear, that this election of national Israel did not ever indicate that all who were of that selected tribe would inevitably, inescapably, receive salvation. This is the same arbitrary, limited determinism that Calvinist preaches, only reverting back to the disproven claim that God loves ‘the Jews’ more than other men, rather than Calvinism’s falsely limited subset of some of ‘all kinds of men’.

        If anything makes my blood boil, it is the claim that God does not freely offer the exact same salvation and blessings to all people, for this is the gospel, the good news of which angels sang, which was to be unto all men. There is no partiality with God, no choosing favorites, no secretive, irresistible salvation of some subset of men, but a full and free, genuine offer made unto every single human being ever born. Please take your faulty message elsewhere.

      3. If you find my comments to be hurtful, just don’t read them, brother (and notice I still call you “brother”). I have skipped over several of your comments in the past (many still unread to this day) because I know my views upset you. Did you ever stop to think that there might be others who are blessed by them? Do you represent everyone (on-lookers included) here at soteriology101?

        No doubt you believe many of my views are illegitimate. That’s fine. They are not salvific. But I know many of the commenters here share them with me. Would you like us to leave in alphabetical order?

        Perhaps you should reach out to Eric, or Leighton himself, and ask him to delete my article on “Who Are The Elect?” which you found to be so distasteful, and yet they, obviously, felt to be scriptural sound enough to post on Leighton’s website with his stamp of approval.

        Ironically, I agree with much of what you just wrote. I find Calvinism to be a skin cancer to the body of Christ. I also understand that some my rebukes of Calvinism might give some non-Calvinists (especially Arminians) a bloody nose. That I can’t help.

        I freely admit I could easily be wrong. However, I could just as easily be right.

        I might not agree with everything you post, but as long as you act brotherly with others, I feel you have every right to be here (still, ultimately, that is Leighton’s decision; we are playing in his backyard). Isn’t the goal of soteriology101 to rebuke Calvinism with biblical truth? Does it help anyone to rebuke one error only to replace it with another? Is “truth” defined by a popularity contest?

        I pray you stop to ponder these questions.

        Grace

      4. Just to be clear, I am not asking you or anyone else to leave – just to stay focused on soteriology, and the errors of Calvinism.

      5. The reason I find all of this appalling is not that I am anti-Israel, but anti-racist. Your theory declares God a racist, as pro-semitism is just as racist as anti-semitism, treating one race of men as being above, or different from other races of men. It is no different from white supremacism, the belief that the Aryan ‘race’ is unique and superior to other ‘races’. I reject all racism, period.

        God has declared himself non-partial and does not view any human being on the basis of their ‘so-called’ race, or upon the beliefs and/or actions of their genetic father. Race is a man-made, political construct, as we all descend from the same father, Adam, thus are all one race of ‘Man’. What God calls ‘Israel’ is the family of believers, beginning with a subset of those within national Israel (not all Israel is Israel, see Romans), where God first revealed himself, then extending to the entire world upon the incarnation of Jesus, who brought the message that the gospel was, and had always been, intended for all men. If there are men, who call themselves ‘Jews’, who put their trust in God, but are deceived by the machinations of the ruler of this world, God is most definitely concerned with rescuing them from their deception, just as he is all sinners who have embraced the lies of the deceiver. But it is not to recreate the theocracy of national Israel, which God has declared will never be again. What we call ‘Israel’ today is a man-made entity built by political force, upon the abuse and bloodshed of many innocent men, women and children.

        If your beliefs do have anything to do with politics, Zionism is not even about race, but about politics, hiding behind the facade of religion. Zionism is premised upon the religion known as Judaism – even though the political leaders of modern Israel are rarely concerned with religion of any form, but only use it for their own agenda. Judaism is based upon the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God – something one would presume most here would not affirm. The Law of return denies that a Christian can be considered a ‘Jew’, but again, this is inspired by a political, not religious agenda.

        This is why it seems to me particularly inappropriate, and perplexing that any so-called Christian could believe in the racist concept of Zionism, or God viewing and treating one so-called ‘race’ of men differently than others. As I have pointed out before, even when God was working with the original nation of Israel, it was never confined to the physical descendants of Abraham, but the spiritual, welcoming all who put their trust in the God of Abraham. Any foreigner could become a member of national Israel, thus, it was never about race, but belief in the living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Which would make you, me and all who put their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, a full-fledged member of Israel. To hold up the illegitimate concept of a national or racial Israel is to distort the gospel, as surely as Calvinism does.

      6. TS00,

        I dont feel compelled to comment or agree with everything you said on the Israel idea, but I will back you up on one thing you said…

        “As I have pointed out before, even when God was working with the original nation of Israel, it was never confined to the physical descendants of Abraham, but the spiritual, welcoming all who put their trust in the God of Abraham.”

        It seem that God, to prove this point, even went to the trouble of getting pagan Rahab and Ruth not just into Israel but into the line of Christ. Let’s face it, they had not one ounce of Jewish blood (and 100% “enemy” blood).

        But arent we in fact taking a long time to talk about this when you said Phillip should stay focused on the issue of Soteriology?

        So…that was my first and last comment on this.

      7. Phillip,
        I thought you said you were done?

        And TS00, you wanted him to stopped and then launched one last salvo?

        May I kindly suggest that you two save your powder for the real target (er, I mean TULIP).

      8. I apologize for my poor phrasing. It was not intended as a slam, just a nod to the greater cultural discussion. I harbor no ill will toward you, I simply grow weary of what I perceive as ‘proselytizing’ on peripheral issues on the forum.

      9. You didn’t injure me, brother. I understand. Often words can be taken out of context and misconstrued. You’re my brother in Christ. And I am proud to call you “brother”.

        Just think. There are 66 books in the Bible. 1,189 chapters. 31,102 verses. And yet only 4 united us all…

        “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…”

        I look forward to the day when I get to see your face, and others here, on the other side of glory. When we can all worship together our awesome Savior. Hopefully, that day is approaching soon.

        Please have the merriest Christmas of all.

      10. Amen. I too hope that day is approaching soon, and that you have a safe and love-filled Christmas.

  11. All,

    First, the very definition of Soteriology is the study of salvation. And that is what we are discussing.

    I agree with this comment (always have)…

    “As I have pointed out before, even when God was working with the original nation of Israel, it was never confined to the physical descendants of Abraham, but the spiritual, welcoming all who put their trust in the God of Abraham.”

    Wasn’t a mixed multitude allowed to tag along with the chosen people during the exodus? Of course!

    “This is why it seems to me particularly inappropriate, and perplexing that any so-called Christian could believe….God viewing and treating one so-called ‘race’ of men differently than others.”

    And, yet, this is precisely what God did when He elected the children of Israel. He singled them out. He treated them differently than all the other nations. He married her for Pete’s sake. But even though He single her (Israel) out, He did so that she (Israel) could be a blessing to all the other nations. All the covenants and promises where given to the Israelites by birth (Romans 9:4-5). They are the natural branches. They are the Covenant People. But only the faithful would obtain the inheritance.

    However, we are not the natural branches. We have to get in another way (though still by faith) and that way is thru adoption. The adoption was a blessing predestined to Israel (Romans 9:4) to be used by God to save the rest of us. That was always a part of His master plan. God used rebellious Israel to fulfill His plan and save the rest of us (those who believe in the God of Abraham).

    The Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional. Only God could keep it. The Mosaic Covenant was conditional. Both parties had to keep. However, both the House of Israel and the House of Judah broke that covenant by committing adultery. The curse for being under the law was being scattered among the Gentiles (Deuteronomy 28:58-64). Basically, its separation from God. Judah was shown mercy (Hosea 1:7). Israel was not (Hosea 1:6). She was divorced (Jeremiah 3:8). However, for every prophecy of Israel’s scattering among the Gentiles, there is a prophecy which speaks of her return to her God.

    Israel’s curse (being scattered among the Gentiles) was a blessing to us. We get grafted in with those faithful Israelites who return to their God (Romans 11:19).

    My point is simple. If there were no “natural branches” we would be out of luck. If Israel hadn’t fallen, if there were no broken off branches, we would be out of luck.

    Paul could not have made it more clear….

    “But through their fall (their trespass), to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.”

    Anyone who has read my comments, while keeping their emotions in check, knows I believe that salvation is available to all who believe in the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. I just believe that election, not salvation, is limited to the physical descendants of Israel. Now I could be wrong, but I think it is the most consistent use of the term throughout the scriptures. This is why I believe the Calvinistic notion of election is wrong. And the Arminian notion as well, for what its worth.

    I’m done.

    Merry Christmas to all my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus!

  12. Who is the “YOU” in the OP verse? = Answer : Elect Israel and gentile believers in Christ. This is backed up by John 10:11 – sheep, Elect Israel; John 10:16 – “Other sheep” referring to Gentile Believers, then Matt. 15, 24 – lost sheep of Israel, then in v. 28, Canaanite woman, a Gentile, though a little dog was granted by the bread.😊

  13. Through-the-Bible reading gets me to Haggai today.  In chapter one it says this: 

    —-Then the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? 5 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 6 You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!…. Why?  Because my house lies in ruins, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, while all of you are busy building your own fine houses. 10 It’s because of you that the heavens withhold the dew and the earth produces no crops. 11 I have called for a drought on your fields and hills—a drought to wither the grain and grapes and olive trees and all your other crops, a drought to starve you and your livestock and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to get.”
    ———

    Clearly, once again, the Lord reprimands His people for not obeying.  He tells them that things are going poorly for them because He made things go poorly…. but He says why:  “It’s because of you that the heavens withhold the dew…” 

    He….the Lord God Almighty…the Sovereign God is saying that what is happening to them is a direct result of their actions and choices.

    It is nonsensical and just plain bad hermeneutics to insist that “in reality” what is happening is that before time He immutably decided to make them rebel so that He could scold them for disobeying….and then disciplin them. 

    That is such an affront to the character of God!   

    Calvinists have no answer for the hundreds and hundreds of times we see this in every book of the Bible. They just keep foisting their nonsensical ideas on the rest of us.

    1. FOH
      It is nonsensical and just plain bad hermeneutics to insist that “in reality” what is happening is that before time He immutably decided to make them rebel so that He could scold them for disobeying….and then disciplin them

      br.d
      Absolutely CORRECT!

      It is logical impossibility to rebel against Calvin’s god’s SECRET will.
      And Calvin’s god’s SECRET will is his DETERMINATIVE will.

      Now Calvin’s god also has an ENUNCIATED will
      But the ENUNCIATED will can function as a FALSE representation of the DETERMINATIVE will.

      And what does scripture say about – rebelling against a FALSE representation? :-]

      1. br.d. writes, “Now Calvin’s god also has an ENUNCIATED will
        But the ENUNCIATED will can function as a FALSE representation of the DETERMINATIVE will.”

        God’s enunciated will is expressed in the law – the 10 Commandments – and the regulations in Leviticus and elsewhere in the Scriptures. God’s enunciated will is His will telling people how they need to conduct themselves ub order to receive His blessing. Deuteronomy has, “I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.”

        Then, “It is logical impossibility to rebel against Calvin’s god’s SECRET will. And Calvin’s god’s SECRET will is his DETERMINATIVE will.”

        As God is sovereign over His creation and has the power and authority to stop any sin, then the performance of a sin is the will of God. Thus, David took Bathsheba to his bed even though it was sin and God did not stop him when He could. All sin was understood and foreknown by God before creation, and in creating the universe, God set in motion His plan for His creation and that plan included the free expression of people to sin. People sin because they love their sin – such is the case with people who have no faith and are totally depraved.

      2. br.d
        Now Calvin’s god also has an ENUNCIATED will
        But the ENUNCIATED will can function as a FALSE representation of the DETERMINATIVE will.”

        rhutchin
        God’s enunciated will is expressed in the law – the 10 Commandments –…..etc

        br.d
        Regardless – the statement is still TRUE.

        Thus in Calvinism – rebelling against the ENUNCIATED will – equates to rebelling against a FALSE representation of Calvin’s god’s DETERMINATIVE will.

        So
        1) You are only doing what Calvin’s god has made you IRRESISTIBLY do
        2) You are rebelling against a FALSE representation.

        You do to the math! :-]

        So t is logical impossibility to rebel against Calvin’s god’s SECRET will.
        And Calvin’s god’s SECRET will is his DETERMINATIVE will.”

        rhutchin
        As God is sovereign over His creation and has the power and authority to stop any sin, ….

        br.d
        1) Its a logical impossibility for Calvin’s god to “stop a sin” that he infallibly decreed come to pass – at pain of making something infallible and NOT-infallible at the same time. Calvinism’s 1001 square-circles! :-]

        2) Its a logical impossibility for a sin event to come to pass without Calvin’s god decreeing that event into existence

        Once again – rhutchin – you failed to MASQUERADE Calvinism as something less than Exhaustive determinism. :-]

    2. FOH writes, “He….the Lord God Almighty…the Sovereign God is saying that what is happening to them is a direct result of their actions and choices. It is nonsensical and just plain bad hermeneutics to insist that “in reality” what is happening is that before time He immutably decided to make them rebel so that He could scold them for disobeying….and then discipline them.”

      God has infinite understanding, and that understanding expends to all future impacts of current events. God understood, before creation, that Adam would sin and be expelled from the garden. God understood that the punishment He would enforce for Adam’s sin would be the absence of faith from Adam’s descendants and the destructive consequences for this absence of faith. God understood all future impacts of His creation and He initiated everything that was to happen when He created.

      FOH cannot accept God as a sovereign God with infinite understanding who exercises complete control over His creation so that nothing happens without His prior knowledge and without Him decreeing that it should happen.

      1. rhutchin
        God understood, before creation, that Adam would sin and be expelled from the garden.

        br.d
        Calvinists do love their DOUBLE-SPEAK talking points! :-]

        John Calvin
        -quote
        He foresees future events only in CONSEQUENCE of his decree (Institutes)

        If Calvin’s god doesn’t know what he decrees – perhaps his brain is a few french fries short of a happy meal! :-]

      2. rhutchin
        FOH cannot accept God as a sovereign God

        br.d
        Here we have Calvinism’s classic case of “Psychological Projection”

        Psychological projection:
        A defense mechanism in which the ego seeks to escape its own condition by attributing its condition onto others.
        Sometimes called “Reverse Attribution”.

        The Calvinists use of *AS-IF* thinking – is a clear indicator he struggles accepting Calvin’s god’s sovereignty.

        Going about their office *AS-IF* they are all elect
        Going about their office *AS-IF* they are not TOTALLY DEPRAVED
        Going about their office *AS-IF* some things (which they get to cherry pick) are not determined in every part.

        Who would love to live a life – of 1000 daily infallibly decreed FALSE perceptions divinely coming to pass within one’s brain!

        Its a wonderful life! ;-D

  14. The so called “FREE WILL” that is espoused by the other camp: Debunked:
    1. Sends many people to hell
    2. Never brings people to heaven. Why? God is the ultimate Savior who decides not man’s will.- John 1:13 “born in spirit by the will of God”
    3. Man can make a choice for himself, but the choices provided to him by God is limited. Just like the google/browser. It will only show you the data that are available but it can’t show you those data that are not available.
    4. Man cannot resist God’s will of terminating physical life even though man will resist, so where is free will?
    5. There are untouchable things in this world like natural calamities, time, and aging. Man is always subject to all of these, but God is not for He is outside and cant be controlled by these.
    6. Man cannot get ALL what he wants. Persons are forced to do things that are against their will.
    7. If “free Will” really exists then why is it that, that will cannot be used to NOT to sin. both unbelievers and believers in Christ still commit sins?

    1. JT
      The so called “FREE WILL” that is espoused by the other camp: Debunked:
      1. Sends many people to hell

      br.d
      So the God of scripture is sent to hell because he has Libertarian choice?

      JT
      2. Never brings people to heaven. Why? God is the ultimate Savior who decides not man’s will.- John 1:13 “born in spirit by the will of God”

      br.d
      Don’t forget – Calvin’s god designs the MANY – specifically for eternal torment in the lake of fire – for his good pleasure.
      And you have no absolutely way of knowing if Calvin’s god isn’t deceiving you with a FALSE salvation.
      If you wake up in the lake of fire some day in the future – at that time you will know.

      JT
      3. Man can make a choice for himself, but the choices provided to him by God is limited.

      br.d
      In Calvinism that is FALSE
      Calvin’s god determines 100% of whatsoever comes to pass – leaving ZERO% undetermined – and thus ZERO% left over for man to determine.

      So now you are espousing the very “FREE WILL ” you say is debunked
      DOUBLE-MINDED
      How am I not surprised!!! :-]

      JT
      4. Man cannot resist God’s will of terminating physical life even though man will resist, so where is free will?

      br.d
      Exactly! – Every impulse that appears in your brain occurs IRRESISTIBLY.
      Unless you think you can defy an infallible decree! :-]

      JT
      5. There are untouchable things in this world like natural calamities, time, and aging. Man is always subject to all of these, but God is not for He is outside and cant be controlled by these.

      br.d
      DUH!
      In Calvinism – man is SUBJECT to whatever Calvin’s god decrees – and Calvin’s god decrees 100% of everything.

      JT
      6. Man cannot get ALL what he wants.

      br.d
      Another example of Calvinist DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS
      In Calvinism – man is not the determiner of “what he wants” – Calvin’s god is sole and exclusive determined of whatsoever comes to pass.

      JT
      Persons are forced to do things that are against their will.

      br.d
      Another example of Calvinist DOUBLE-SPEAK

      Persons are not forced against their will because in Calvinism their will is NOT UP TO them.

      JT
      7. If “free Will” really exists then why is it that, that will cannot be used to NOT to sin. both unbelievers and believers in Christ still commit sins?

      br.d
      If Libertarian freedom does not exist – then your every sin is determined *FOR* you by infallible decree – which makes your every sin IRRESISTIBLE. And there is no escape from an infallible decree. So every sin you commit – you had no escape from.
      Unless you think you can defy an infallible decree! :-]

      1. br.d writes:
        “So the God of scripture is sent to hell because he has Libertarian choice?”

        My Response: Br.d is again activating his fertile imaginations. He is the only one here who says God is sent to hell because of LFW. He could be seeing his own self-created Br. d’s god that he can damped to hell. The God that I am serving is the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac, a transcendent God and is never subjected to any law, authority or power because He is absolutely above ALL. This is the reason why Br.d keeps on protesting when God decided for Himself to pick up some and drops the other.

      2. JT
        The God that I am serving is the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac, a transcendent God and is never subjected to any law, authority or power because He is absolutely above ALL.

        br.d
        Ok – we’re still attempting to follow your thinking here.

        So you have a god who is transcendent – he is never subjected to any law, authority or power – because he is over all.
        Therefore there is nothing to prevent him from having Libertarian freedom in his choice making

        He has the following Libertarian capabilities in his choice-making:
        1) He can choose from multiple options
        2) Multiple options which are logically available to him from which to choose
        3) His choice is not determine FOR him by an external mind – or by factors outside of his control
        4) His choice is compatible with his nature.

        So he has Libertarian freedom

        But do you know whether your god has designed you for eternal torment in the lake of fire or not?

      3. br.d writes, ‘He has the following Libertarian capabilities in his choice-making:
        1) He can choose from multiple options…which are logically available to him from which to choose
        3) His choice is not determine FOR him by an external mind – or by factors outside of his control (i.e., he is not coerced)
        4) His choice is compatible with his nature.
        So he has Libertarian freedom”

        This is not really different than compatibilism. One unique difference is that compatibilism recognizes the influences on a person from outside factors, but even LFW types recognize this or else conclude that LFW is not always operative.

        Then, “But do you know whether your god has designed you for eternal torment in the lake of fire or not?”

        Yes. God designed man to enjoy him forever. Adam decided not to go in that direction and condemned everyone to eternal torment when he sinned..

      4. br.d
        He has the following Libertarian capabilities in his choice-making:
        1) He can choose from multiple options…which are logically available to him from which to choose
        3) His choice is not determine FOR him by an external mind – or by factors outside of his control (i.e., he is not coerced)
        4) His choice is compatible with his nature.
        So he has Libertarian freedom”

        rhutchin
        This is not really different than compatibilism.

        br.d
        This statement shows ignorance of what compatibilism is.

        Firstly compatibilism is a logical derivative of determinism.
        Compatibilism is freedom that is said to be “COMPATIBLE” with what is determined
        And in Determinism – what is determined is determined by factors outside of one’s control.

        When a coin is determined to land heads-up – that coin has freedom to land heads up.
        That coin’s freedom to land heads-up is “COMPATIBLE” with what is determined.
        But the coin does NOT have freedom to for what is NOT COMPATIBLE with what is determined.

        Which brings us to the principle of PAP (principle of alternative possibilities) which does not exist in determinism
        A predestined event can only resolve to one single RENDERED-CERTAIN future

        Which excludes multiple options from which to choose
        Because only one single option can be RENDERED-CERTAIN – at pain of falsifying what was determined.

        As Peter Van Inwagen says:
        Determinism may now be defined – it is the thesis that only one single future is physically possible
        In other words – only one single future can be RENDERED-CERTAIN.

        So no – those attributes I listed above are EXCLUDED by Determinism
        And therefore do not exist in compatibilism.

        But I understand full well – why you want them! :-]

        rhutchin
        One unique difference is that compatibilism recognizes the influences on a person from outside factors, but even LFW types recognize this or else conclude that LFW is not always operative.

        br.d
        Thank you for once again proving my point.

        Here you have god’s choices influenced by outside factors.
        And that is in direct contradiction to the Westminster confession – where it states
        -quote
        “god knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions – yet he hath not decreed anything because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions”. His determinations are made -quote “Solely within himself”

        Sorry rhutchin – no cigar! :-]

        But do you – as a Calvinist – know whether your god has designed you for eternal torment in the lake of fire or not?

        rhutchin
        Yes.

        br.d
        Oh really!?!?
        Now your telling me you know the SECRET will of Calvin’s god – which is a fib!!
        How many Calvinists does it take to tell fibs! :-]

        rhutchin
        God designed man to enjoy him forever.

        br.d
        Ah! – but not Calvin’s god.

        Calvin’s god is the divine potter – who at the foundation of the world – as he is conceiving each individual – determines whether he will design that individual a vessel of wrath or a vessel of honor.

        As Calvin states it:
        -quote
        Those who perish are destined to hell by the eternal good pleasure of god….though the reasons do not appear…they are not found, but MADE worthy of destruction

        -quote
        Some are pre-ordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation, and accordingly as EACH HAS BEEN CREATED

        The “FEW” are designed vessels of wrath
        The “MANY” are designed vessels of honor.

        And for every Calvinists – that means – Calvin’s god may be:
        -quote
        “illumining them for a time to partake of it – and then at some point “strike them with greater blindness” – because he “holds salvation out as a savor of condemnation” to them.

        rhutchin
        Adam decided not to go in that direction and condemned everyone to eternal torment when he sinned..

        br.d
        One more Calvinist fib!!

        John Calvn
        -quote
        men can deliberately do nothing unless he inspire it. (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God)

        Calvin’s god determines 100% of whatsoever comes to pass – which includes 100% of what Adam decides.
        Every impulse that comes to pass in Adam’s brain – does so by infallible decree – and therefore occurs IRRESISTIBLY
        And since 100% is determined prior to creation – that leaves ZERO% UP TO any man – including Adam.

        The fact that Calvinist’s work so hard at painting deceptive pictures of their belief system – tells us everything!! :-]

      5. “The fact that Calvinist’s work so hard at painting deceptive pictures of their belief system – tells us everything!! :-]”

        I try to think the best, I really do. But for the life of me, I cannot decide if Calvinists like rh and jtl truly don’t understand their self-claimed system, or if it is the inevitable necessity for the poor Calvinist to have to vacillate between contradictory, illogical positions in order to try and uphold both scripture and their man-made theology. I don’t know whether to laugh, groan or pity them.

      6. TS00
        the poor Calvinist to have to vacillate between contradictory, illogical positions in order to try and uphold both scripture and their man-made theology. I don’t know whether to laugh, groan or pity them.

        br.d
        I totally agree TS00!
        I do all three!!
        And sometimes all at the same time! 😀

  15. br.d
    I don’t know of any philosophical scholar on the subject–who defines LFW as the ability to do otherwise in *ALL* situations
    The Frankfurt analysis blew that out of the water.

    Mike
    (No? See the quote from Wikipedia below.) Of coarse not, excluding the “all” is the libertarian’s back-door way to weasel out of contradictions. This is why LFW dies of a hundred exceptions. This is the double standard. You condemn compatibilist’s contradictions but ignore and embrace libertarian’s contradictions. So you are just as DOUBLE-MINDED as Calvinists!

    br.d
    This fails – because it fails to distinguish a critical component of Calvinism.
    Calvinism entails determinism that is ABSOLUTE /EXHAUSTIVE /UNIVERSAL in scope.

    Calvin’s god determines 100% of whatsoever comes to pass.
    Not 90% – not 80% etc.

    So any time a Calvinist tries to have even a fraction of 1% NOT determined – is DOUBLE-MINDED.
    So then the difference has to do with the UNIVERSAL scope in which Calvinism entails determinism.

    If I held to ABSOLUTE / EXHAUSTIVE / UNIVERSAL IN-Determinism
    And then I tried to have it both was – as the Calvinist always does – then YES – I would be DOUBLE-MINDED also.

  16. Mike
    Yes, Frankfurt demonstrated the LFW contradiction!

    br.d
    Mike – where do you see it stated anywhere that Frankfurt demonstrated LFW is a contradiction?
    What Frankfurt demonstrated in regard to LFW is that “Do Otherwise” cannot be sighted as an absolute entailment of LFW.

  17. Mike
    Did you read “Deviant Calvinism”? Here’s another quote: “To derive hard determinism from the sort of Reformed confessional statements one finds in places like the Westminster Confession, the objector would need to provide evidence that the Reformed view (if we call it this) implies or entails hard determinism.

    br.d
    Mike – Dr. Crisp defines “Hard Determinism” differently than you do. The academic definition for “Hard” Determinism – is a form of determinism in which compatibilism does not exist – because free will does not exist in Hard Determinism. William James was a Hard Determinist for example.

    But the only Calvinists I know who claim there is no such thing as free will in Calvinism – are young immature Calvinists whose views are yet to be corrected by the older ones.

    The Westminster confession states that man comes -quote “Most Freely”.
    That statement disqualifies Hard Determinism.

  18. Br.d. writes: “Which excludes multiple options from which to choose
    Because only one single option can be RENDERED-CERTAIN – at pain of falsifying what was determined.”

    My Response:
    1. Yes, it includes options available provided by God for man to exercise his will. But from among these options whichever man will choose, still the dead end result – the one determined by God will surely come to pass.

    2. Man has will but not free. Man’s will is always triggered by internal and outside factors, thus it can’t be called anymore free unless Br.d. believes in fate.

    3. Man has the capability to choose, but his choice has been already determined by a Sovereign God.

    1. My Response:
      1. Yes, it includes options available provided by God for man to exercise his will.

      br.d
      FALSE

      John Calvin explains:
      -quote
      They are merely instruments, into which god constantly INFUSES what energy he sees meet, and
      TURNS and converts to any purpose at his pleasure. (Institutes)

      Calvin’s god makes every impulse which comes to pass within the brain – come to pass infallibly – and this IRRESISTIBLY.
      In Calvinism – there is no such thing as man exercising his own will.
      Calvin’s god is the one who is exercising man’s will

      JT
      But from among these options whichever man will choose, still the dead end result – the one determined by God will surely come to pass

      br.d
      FALSE AGAIN
      It is LOGICALLY impossible for Calvin’s god to RENDER-CERTAIN multiple options at pain of falsifying an infallible decree.
      He can RENDER-CERTAIN [A]
      He can RENDER-CERTAIN [NOT A]
      But if he RENDERS-CERTAIN both of them – one falsifies the other

      JT
      2. Man has will but not free.

      br.d
      Your getting warmer!!

      JT
      Man’s will is always triggered by internal and outside factors, thus it can’t be called anymore free unless Br.d. believes in fate.

      br.d
      And man’s internal and outside factors are determined SOLELY and EXCLUSIVELY by Calvin’s god.
      And if you can deduce a rational thought – then you tell me if that doesn’t resolve to a form of fate

      JT
      3. Man has the capability to choose

      br.d
      But man is NOT PERMITTED to make any choice that Calvin’s god has not determined man to make.
      That is what COMPATIBLISM means.
      Therefore Calvin’s god does NO PERMIT man to have multiple options
      Only one option can be RENDERED-CERTAIN

      JT
      but man’s choice has been already determined by a Sovereign God.

      br.d
      CORRECT!

  19. br.d writes:

    “Don’t forget – Calvin’s god designs the MANY – specifically for eternal torment in the lake of fire – for his good pleasure.”
    “And you have no absolutely way of knowing if Calvin’s god isn’t deceiving you with a FALSE salvation.”
    “If you wake up in the lake of fire some day in the future – at that time you will know.”
    ———————————————————–
    My Response:

    1. Br.d is again protesting why God designs many for eternal torment in the lake of fire. Even if he uses his WILL to resist, this decision made by God according to him – still he will remain helpless for his WILL was not made FREE. It is ignored by a Sovereign God, especially when it comes to the issue of salvation. God is the One who decides not man.

    2. Br. d has no security in his salvation, just like the RC he does not rely on the promises of Christ written in Scriptures. He said : “… no absolute way of knowing…”

    3. Br. d. still have a double way of thinking that someday if he will wake up in the lake of fire. According to him : “… at the time you will know”.

    1. JT
      1. Br.d is again protesting why God designs many for eternal torment in the lake of fire.

      br.d
      This is called Psychological projection.
      A defense mechanism in which the ego tries to escape its own condition by attributing its condition to others

      br.d wasn’t making a protest at all.

      You can call it a gentle reminder of the doctrines your mind is inclined to purposely forget 😀

      JT
      Even if he uses his WILL to resist, this decision made by God according to him – still he will remain helpless for his WILL was not made FREE.

      br.d
      Calvinist DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS often reminds me of the ever-ready bunny – it just keeps on ticking!

      How in the world do you get a human brain RESISTING impulses which come to pass by infallible decree?

      JT
      God is the One who decides not man.

      br.d
      You’re getting warmer now!! :-]

      JT
      2. Br. d has no security in his salvation,

      br.d
      Calvin tells you that Calvin’s god may be
      -quote “Holding out salvation as a savor of condemnation” and
      -quote “give you a sense such as can be felt without the Spirit of Adoption” and
      -quote “illumining you for a time to partake of it – and eventually
      -quote “strike you with greater blindness”

      And you say br.d has no security in his salvation?
      That is DEFINITELY Psychological Projection!! :-]

      JT
      3. Br. d. still have a double way of thinking that someday if he will wake up in the lake of fire. According to him : “… at the time you will know”.

      br.d
      All I did was lovingly remind you of what Calvinism teaches regarding your UNKNOWABLE election.

      But I can understand why the Calvinist treats that *AS-IF* it only applies to other people :-]

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