Does Calvary Prove Divine Determinism?

 

John Piper, and many other Calvinists, appeal to God’s work to ensure Calvary (i.e. Acts 2:23 & 4:27-28) as their proof of Divine Determinism (as addressed on THIS PODCAST).

But does citing examples of events God has worked to bring about prove God brings about all events in this manner? If so, there are some significant issues that should be addressed.

A QUESTION FOR MY CALVINISTIC FRIENDS

When we object to the concept of divine determinism (God’s sovereign work to bring about all things whatsoever that come to pass) and you appeal to the crucifixion as your proof that God brings about all moral evil, are you saying that God is sovereignly working so as to redeem the very sins He sovereignly worked to bring about? Is Calvary just about God cleaning up His own mess — redeeming His own determinations?

Appealing to God’s sovereign work to ensure the redemption of sin so as to prove that God sovereignly works to bring about all the sin that was redeemed is a self-defeating argument. It would be tantamount to arguing that because a police department set up a sting operation to catch a notorious drug dealer, that the police department is responsible for every single intention and action of all drug dealers at all times. Proof that the police department worked in secretive ways to hide their identities, use evil intentions, and work out the circumstances in such a way that the drug dealer would do what they wanted him to do (sell drugs) at that particular moment in time does not suggest that the police are in anyway responsible for all that drug dealer has done or ever will do. We celebrate and reward the actions of this police department because they are working to stop the drug activity, not because they are secretly causing all of it so as to stop some of it. Teaching that God brings about all sin based on how He brought about Calvary is like teaching that the police officer brings about every drug deal based on how he brought about one sting operation.

Yes, at times the scriptures do speak of God “hardening” men’s hearts (Ex. 7; Rm. 9), blinding them with a “spirit of stupor” (Rm. 11:8) and delaying their healing by use of parabolic language (Mk. 4:11-12, 34; Matt. 16:20), and He always does so for a redemptive good. But the reason such passages stand out so distinctly from the rest of scripture is because of their uniqueness. If God worked this way in every instance these texts would make no sense. After all, what is there for God to harden, provoke, or restrain if not the autonomous will of creatures?

If everything is under the meticulous control of God’s sovereign work what is left to permit and/or restrain except that which He is already controlling? Is God merely restraining something that He previously determined? Why blind eyes from seeing something the were “naturally” predetermined not to see? Why put a parabolic blind fold on a corpse-like dead sinner incapable of seeing spiritual truth? These are questions many Calvinists seem unwilling to entertain at any depth.

129 thoughts on “Does Calvary Prove Divine Determinism?

  1. Excellent post. This is a tough nut to crack: “After all, what is there for God to harden, provoke, or restrain if not the autonomous will of creatures?”

    Although I am a Christian determinist, I am also a compatibilist. I think your “uniqueness” argument is powerful, pointing to the fact that it is most meaningful, and most Biblical, to talk about the freedom of people and their own responsibility for the choices they make (and to which God holds them accountable, and repays accordingly).

    Within our very chaotic universe, there is meaningful emergent autonomy of behavior and other phenomena that God does not micromanage (he abides everything that happens meticulously, but does not direct everything meticulously). This is made possible because deterministic chaos — complex physical systems with tons of internal interference — erodes purpose information over time, whenever God chooses to “let things wander.”

    In the Arminian vs. Calvinist debate, it is most often Arminians that are careful to safeguard the meaning of “wandering” — such a powerful Scriptural motif, from Moses to the Prodigal Son — against the absurd, collapsing reduction that many determinists mistakenly practice.

  2. Good post!

    I have commented several times on these pages that the fact that God says the “I planned your ways in the womb” things to David and Jeremiah is actual evidence that these actions were special.

    Calvinist/ determinists says, “See, God plans every person’s step in the womb—or before time…He says it.”

    And I respond, “Notice that He says it to that person… never as a generic ‘I do this for everyone’ kind of statement.”

    It actually weakens their argument that God says it in time and space to that person…. because those passages make it distinct and clear that it was special and that He does not do it with everyone.

  3. Leighton,

    Agreed.

    Its like the fire department putting out a fire they created. It’s their responsibility to put out the fire that they, themselves, created. They should not be treated as Heroes.

    Calvinist Robert Morey in his book “Studies in the Atonement” writes…

    “He hated the reprobate and planned their sin and damnation.”

    If true, then we don’t know for certain if man is really depraved and sinful.

    What if God had created man and then simply backed off? Would Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit? We’ll never know now. But according to Calvinists like Morey, it was necessary that man sinned. God would not be robbed of burning the reprobate for all eternity.

    If God is so meticulously involved in everything that everyone does, then we are nothing more than stage actors. Everyone has been given their script and everyone executes their part perfectly. Where’s the rebellion? And yet millions, perhaps billions, of actors and actresses are eternally damned for doing so.

    1 John 4:19 (NKJV)….
    We love Him because He first loved us.

    If Calvinism is true, then the Lost can justly say…

    “We hate God, because He first hated us.”

    If God is truly in back of everything, even sin (Edwin Palmer) then the Bible is nothing short of a Public Relations disaster.

    1. Phillip:
      Over the years I have made these points to Calvinists and they say “So what!?” ….followed by some phrase in Latin.

      Of course if what they say is true then even our questioning of it…. and all of man’s cursing God is part of what he put in as the script. There is just no way around that idea. As Luther said, “therefore sin boldly!”

  4. When a theology frequently says, “God is speaking from man’s perspective in this verse” he directly gives the lay person the idea that he is unable to understand important truths in Scriptures using God’s own words… he must trust that theology’s word instead.

    If that isn’t seen to undermine Scripture’s revelation of the truthful righteousness of God… I don’t know what will!

  5. When one reads through the exculpatory arguments here at SOT101 presented by representatives of Calvinism, what one finds is they hold to a DOUBLE-THINK concept of determinism. Determinism AS-IF NOT-Determinism.

    For example, a Calvinist will say concerning evil event [X] , that Calvin’s god -quote “doesn’t restrain” event [X] from coming to pass.
    Trying to paint the picture that Calvin’s god’s role in [X] event is PASSIVE.
    What Calvin himself would call “Mere” permission – which he completely rejects.

    But as Eric points out in his article, when one understands that Calvinism is based upon *UNIVERSAL* divine causal determinism- where *UNIVERSAL* means “Everything without exception”. it logically follows that [X] could not have happened unless Calvin’s god 1) First conceived [X]
    2) Decreed [X]
    3) Rendered certain [X] would happen and no alternative of [X] could happen.

    The notion then that Calvin’s god -quote “doesn’t restrain” [X] reveals itself as kindergarten logic – which is totally absurd.
    Calvin’s god in this case would be arm wrestling with himself.

    Therefore if there ever were an instance in which Calvin’s god did restrain [X] – he would be restraining what he rendered certain.
    Which an adult thinker should be able to understand as an attempt to evade logical thinking.

    1. BR.D writes, “it logically follows that [X] could not have happened unless Calvin’s god 1) First conceived [X]
      2) Decreed [X]
      3) Rendered certain [X] would happen and no alternative of [X] could happen.”

      Examples: X equals…
      – the creation of man;
      – the temptation of Eve;
      – the sin of Adam;
      – the expulsion of Adam/Eve from the garden;
      – the birth of Abel and Cain;
      – the murder of Abel;
      …..

      What event is not conceived, decreed; and rendered certain by God.

      1. Exactly why Dr. William Lane Craig writes:
        -quote
        [In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism)] god would be like a child who sets up his toy solders, moving them about his play world. And at the same time [IRRATIONALLY] treating them *AS-IF* their every movement was in fact – not of his own doing”

  6. “Therefore if there ever were an instance in which Calvin’s god did restrain [X] – he would be restraining what he rendered certain.”

    This is simply astute.

    Can Calvin’s ‘logic’ be exposed so easily and debunked so simply and effectively?

    Yes, this post and the noted comment prove it.

    Calvin’s god is inconsistent with himself and Scripture.

  7. One of the big problems with meticulous determinism is that ultimately it results in a zero-sum gain (at best, if you don’t believe people have any significant value) for the display of God’s love through grace and wrath / justice. As the sole determiner of all things, His grace and wrath ultimately must be reflected back upon Himself, resulting in this zero sum. This is where Calvinists try to apply responsibility to people for their sins via secondary causes, despite the actions being completely outside their determination. This a=b, b=c, but a=/=c logic ultimately holds no real weight.

    Conversely, if God created creatures capable of 1st cause decisions, His demonstration of love through both grace and justice is always a positive sum, displaying His glory as He shows love to those outside His deterministic control. In this view God is not redeeming or enacting divine justice on decisions He’s made, but on the decisions made by others, which again, results in a positive sum display of God’s love.

  8. Pastor flowers,i want you to receive God’s greatest blessing,since leaving a militant angry life of homosexual living ,and being transformed by GRACE,and from the beginning of my walk with Jesus,His grace and love began to soften my angry heart.when i understood how calvinism is misunderstanding God’s plan, my anger was inflamed the more i understood ,the more angry i got. please know i believe you are right in your view, but just as important is your humility,before God and the world> God has used your humility in my life,to share the Gospel.please i weep when i share the Gospel,i see the whole counsel of God His wrath against sin His graceful offer,and His love through the holy spirit and your humility …. thank you …… steven

    1. Thank you Steven for your encouraging post! The theology that defends truth but leads also to gracious compassion for the lost and for weak believers… seems to me like the theology that best represents God!

  9. Daily Bible reading gets me to Ezra, and 1 Cor 5.

    I find it amazing that Calvinists use this as one of their 40 (read-only-this) verses.

    1 Cor 5:5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
    ——————————

    The idea of “God gives the increase” or “God is making it grow” is vague. But it is clear in the passage that the one who plants and the one who waters will be rewarded according to their labor.

    This is similar to the phrases “I persuade men” or “I am all things to all men to win some” that Paul makes.

    Calvinists deny that the person receiving salvation has anything to do with it. They are “too-dead” and must be regenerated, then they irresistibly are given (forced) faith. Any participation by man would rob glory from God, says the Calvinist.

    But how about the many times the Bible mentions man’s participation in the “feet of those who bring good news”? Does this participation also rob God of His glory? According to Calvinisms if a man (any man: the receiver of salvation or proclaimer of salvation) participates at all then God’s glory is diminished.

    What are we to do with all these verse?

  10. More from today’s reading. Proverbs

    20: 27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit,
    exposing every hidden motive.

    ———–
    Wait. What?

    Man can have motives of his own that God did not give him? And they are hidden? And the Lord shines light on them….. revealing them? To whom?

    This is another of the the thousands of verses that do not sound like God planned it all out ahead of time. How refreshing to see that the Lord works with us, gently or firmly pointing us in the right direction.

    The Scripture spends a lot of time telling us that He reveals, calls, appeals, reminds, rewards, chastises, commends, teaches, trains, corrects. These are all personal verbs, depicting a personal God who works with man who is created in His image.

  11. Today’s Bible reading in 1 Cor 5.

    Let me make the additions to the text that a Calvinist Bible would / should have.

    5:5 I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do [but we know it is God’s divine secret will]. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother [All part of God’s divine secret will]. 2 You are so proud of yourselves [but doing what God decreed you to to], but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame [But obviously God did not give you that faith and repentance].

    ——————–
    Yes, I know, nearly sacrilegious on my part, but is this not indeed what the bottom line of Calvinism teaches?

    Calvinist friends —–without using double speak and illogical, non-understandable phrases —- please tell me where I am not understanding.

  12. Daily reading today Nehemiah 3-5.

    4:9 But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.

    —————–
    We see this kind of thing all over the Bible. Praying to God & a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other. Praying to God & protecting ourselves. God provides the process of the lamb’s blood on the door in Egypt & and with brush in hand they apply the blood on the door. God provides the process of the Lamb’s blood on the cross & and we apply the blood in faith.

    God does not do it all. He provides guidance and the process. He expects from us faith and obedience.

    That is the message of the Bible.

  13. Daily reading Nehemiah 9-10.

    I dont see how anyone can be a consistent Calvinist and Determinist when reading Nehemiah.

    9:7 “You are the Lord God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham. 8 You found his heart faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him…
    —————
    Sure God chose Abraham (highlighting THAT choosing as being unusual….meaning: if all things were chosen by God, why say it?).

    But it says here and elsewhere that God “found his heart faithful to you.” It doesn’t (here or anywhere) say ” God made his heart….” or “God gave him faith.” That is absolutely brought to the text by Greek-philosophy influenced Augustine and Calvin.

    9:9 You saw the suffering of our ancestors in Egypt; you heard their cry at the Red Sea.
    ————–
    This is all so understandable. God answered the cry of the people. Why make Him be the being that caused all the misery, then caused the crying out, then “answered” the crying out that He caused?

    9:16 But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. 17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them.

    ———————-
    They made choices. They were the CHOSEN people who obeyed and followed. Then they chose to disobey. They made good and bad choices. None of them are attributed to God “giving them” the faith or no-faith to make them.

    Then there is a long series of ” Their children went in and took possession of the land. You subdued …”

    Then… “they captured” …. “you gave them” ….

    It goes back and forth between “them” doing it and “You (Lord)” doing it. Why? Because many of them died trying to take that land. It was not all God.

    We cannot just quote John 15 “apart from me you can do nothing…” and say, “man cannot do anything” or “man does not participate.” Of course man participates! God “gave” them the land. But they still lost many lives in the “being given” the land. Their participation (even to death) was part of it. It

    Young YRR Jose quotes John 15 as though it wipes out the thousands of verses in the Bible that talk about faith, striving, sweating, dying, caring, hoping, trusting. That is just bad hermeneutics.

    Professional athletes that say, “I want to give all the Glory to Christ” are saying “by God’s grace I have done this.” But they are not saying that they did not participate.

  14. have a new idea and I may post it on several threads. The new post from Leighton (the Founders one) is all about “sticking with Scripture,” so let’s do that.

    What is happening now is that our Calvinist friends keep responding to our posts with circular reasoning, (and some people bother to answer them) (I stopped long ago…. senseless), or young zealous ones drop by, and say “heresy” “scripture is clear” Calvinism is the pure doctrine” “we are right!” repeating talking points but no new information.

    They bring nothing new to the table —just the same 10 (for the youngsters) or 20 verses over and over with dogmatic — “we know we are right cuz we know it!”

    So…. Let’s just read our Bibles and post good, Christ-honoring posts that speak of His great love for all men, His willingness to be personal with men, and His willingness to work with both our faults and our faith. Let’s just fill these pages with that, disregarding any “A = not-A” responses that do not add to the conversation (we have heard all that many times!).

    Share with us your readings from Scripture!

  15. Daily reading Ecclesiastes 1-3.

    2: 26 God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him.

    ———–
    When a sinner becomes wealthy…. did God micromanage-determine that? Doesn’t sound like it.

    When God sees that wealth and takes it away… and “gives it to those who please him,” what does He mean? Who at the time in the OT are those who please God?

    Can a “too-dead” I-can-only-do-evil person please God?

    Oh… I see.. according to Calvinism, God irresistibly makes them please Him and then says, “They sure do please me, so now I will give them some wealth.”

    The reason I left Calvinism is that in my daily reading I had to “explain away” so many verses. If I just stuck to reading and meditating on the same 40 verses each day I was a happy Calvinist.

    Read the whole Bible and see the message God is giving us!

    1. FOH writes, “When a sinner becomes wealthy…. did God micromanage-determine that? Doesn’t sound like it.”

      The cited verse does not tell us how the wealthy became rich. Seems like you make up stuff as you go.

    2. FOH writes, “according to Calvinism, God irresistibly makes them please Him”

      Given that it is God who gives a person faith and that faith then works what is pleasing to God in the person, I guess it is true that even a broken clock shows the correct time twice a day.

  16. Daily reading today Prov 22:16

    A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness,
    but physical discipline will drive it far away
    ———-

    Okay, let’s say that this ​”​foolishness​”​ is the same as the Calvinist’s “too-dead” idea (or is it the same as their “gospel is foolishness” idea?).

    Anyway…the youngster has a problem. What is one way that can fix it? God miraculously intervening and irresistibly changing his ways? That would be one great way! The way that is mentioned here is physical discipline (implied) from human authorities.

    So what we do does make a difference in someone’s heart? In someone’s future?

    I mean provide the discipline and you help the future of his heart; don’t provide it…. and he goes bad?

    Wow! That means that God has ​​created ​His world ​in such a way that what we do makes a difference for the future!

  17. ​Daily re​ading brings me to 2 Cor 6​.​

    ​6:1 ​As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. 2 For God says,

    “At just the right time, I heard you.
    On the day of salvation, I helped you.”

    Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

    3 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. 7 We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. 8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed.
    ——–

    ​A. ​ Why does Paul say “God’s partners”? In what way (why) does Paul elevate himself to be God’s partner? Calvin’s God does not need a partner for ANYTHING, yet here is Paul saying—- in the very topic of salvation —- that he is God’s partner.

    ​B​. Here Paul say that ​people “accept” the gift. No implication of it being irresistibly foisted on us. Always an active verb for salvation (not a “too-dead” passive one).

    ​C​. Then he says to watch out or we can “ignore it”. So that means that we play some kind of part in the Christian life? It’s not all determined for us? We can somehow “ignore” this gift that was before-time forced on us? What can that mean to a Calvinist?

    ​D​. ​On ​the day of salvation…. the “Lord heard us.” I dont understand how a “too-dead” person can make noise that can be heard. I also don’t understand w​hy​ God continually make​s​ the salvation process sound so “man-centered.” He “heard us” ​does not fit for Calvinists. It should​,​ for Calvinists​,​ always —-ALWAYS be some sort of ” I regenerated you first” idea (but in fact never is).

    Calvinist version: I brought you to life, then irresistibly caused you to cry out to Me, then “I heard you.”

    ​E​. Then Paul goes on with the most Paul-centered list of items beginning with “no one will stumble because of us.”

    Sure, everything we do is “by the grace of God,” but Paul sure does give us an example here that a person needs to participate.

    “In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God” is not focused on grace but on what Paul does with that grace.

  18. JESUS ASKS TWO CALVINISTS A QUESTION – DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS DISCOVERED BY SIMPLE MATH

    And Jesus turned to them and said ” I will ask you a question”

    If there are 100 loaves of bread in a basket to eat – and someone external to you eats *ALL* of the loaves of bread in your basket – how many loaves of bread are left for you to eat?

    And they reasoned among themselves saying:

    If we say SOME – he will say – You can’t even do simple math – how then do you question me.

    If we say NONE – then he will say:

    “Using simple math, you have well said. But you claim that Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world determined (predestined) *ALL* of the neurological impulses you will ever have in your basket of life. So, by your own simple math – how is it not double-think for you to them claim there are SOME neurological impulses Calvin’s god has left in your basket of life for you to determine?”

  19. IN-DETERMINISM – THE CALVINIST’S IMAGINARY FRIEND

    Jane was backing out of her driveway with her young child Jennifer safely strapped in the back, when Jennifer yelled “STOP MOMMY!” Brakes screeching – Jane looked but didn’t see anything. What is it Jennifer? You almost ran over Johnny! Johnny was Jennifer’s imaginary friend.

    Psychologists tell us that imaginary friends fill a void in the child’s physiological life. The child has a need for the imaginary friend to be real. Otherwise, the child experiences cognitive dissonance – a form of mental anguish.

    Calvinists also have imaginary friends.

    The belief system and its foundation – the template and cornerstone upon which the house of Calvinism is built – is the belief system of “Universal Divine Causal Determinism”. A form of pre-determinism which stipulates that all events universally (i.e. without exception) are fated/predestined to occur inevitably and unavoidable by a THEOS who first-conceives and is therefore the source/origin of their existence – at the foundation of the world.

    In Theological Determinism all events occur by supernatural factors – which are far outside of the Calvinist’s control.

    The Calvinist is conditioned mentally and emotionally to perceive this belief as consistent with Biblical ethics exemplified by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ – in the context of “good” or “salvific” events. The THEOS in this case is benevolent. Benevolence is easy to see as Biblically ethical.

    The cognitive conflict comes into play in the context of “sinful” “evil” events. Here the Calvinist has to find a way to evade the logical implications of Universal Divine Causal Determinism – while at the same time convincing himself that he is logically consistent with his embrace of it
    .
    John Calvin clearly understood this ethical dilemma – and instructed his disciples to -quote “Go about your office AS-THOUGHT nothing were determined in any part [by the THEOS].” In other words, to avoid cognitive dissonance with Biblical ethics, the disciple is to make-believe that SOME events are determined by himself and not the THEOS.

    This became a very effect psychological solution for the Calvinist! It puts him in the driver’s seat. It gives him (and not the THEOS) the sovereign control over determining which events he is to attribute to THEOS and which events not to. It also allows for a heavy dose of double-speak. The THEOS can magically determines ALL things – AS-IF he doesn’t – it being the case that SOME things already determined can be left OPEN for creature to determine.

    IN-deterministic events thus function as imaginary friends for the Calvinist. The THEOS did not CAUSE these events – he Permitted these events – but NOT in such a way as to “Merely” Permit these events – but in such a way as to Permit these events.

    The THEOS’ role in the event is that he KNOWS about the event and chose “not to prevent” the event, AS-IF the event were not “Rendered Certain” at the foundation of the world to occur by supernatural factors far outside of the creatures control.

    This is why we observe Calvinist language so highly equivocal in the context of “sinful”, “evil” events. Calvinist Language strategically crafts statements to be logically in-consistent with Determinism and logically consistent with IN-determinism. This is why we call it “shape-shifting” language.

    Constructing statements with shape-shifting terms allows the Calvinist to live-in and compartmentalize two opposing worlds which (per the law of non-contradiction) are logically impossible. One world in which the proposition “The THEOS determines ALL things In EVERY part” is TRUE. And another world in which this proposition can be treated AS-IF it is FALSE.

    Thus IN-determinism functions as the Calvinists imaginary friend.

    Just like Jennifer’s imaginary friend in our story above – the Calvinist’s illusion of IN-deterministic thoughts, choices and actions is VERY REAL. This imaginary friend allows him to speak about events AS-IF they occurred by factors very much in his control.

  20. Daily reading brings me to Ecclesiastes 10-12.

    10: 2 A wise person chooses the right road;
    a fool takes the wrong one.

    …. So be wise!

    10: 4 If your boss is angry at you, don’t quit!
    A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes.

    ….So have a quiet spirit!

    The choice is yours! Anyone can listen to these words. The Bible is instructional to all who read and listen.

    How funny to think that Calvinism teaches that a normal person can never choose to do the right thing…at any time. He is “too dead” to make any good decisions. Only evil.

    10: 17 Happy is the land whose king is a noble leader
    and whose leaders feast at the proper time
    to gain strength for their work, not to get drunk.

    Yes! Countries can have noble kings and good leaders. Is this talking only to “the church” (didn’t exist yet) or Israel? Nah to everyone.

    This just goes on and on….. How ’bout this one….

    10:18 Laziness leads to a sagging roof;
    idleness leads to a leaky house.

    So, don’t be lazy! The choice is yours!

  21. A bit more from daily reading in Ecclesiastes.

    12:13 That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. 14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.

    The writer says… “Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.” He must mean this is “all kinds” of people’s duty?

    Everyone’s duty is to fear and obey God. The Bible just does not sound like people are “too dead” to fear God. b

    1. FOH writes, “Everyone’s duty is to fear and obey God. The Bible just does not sound like people are “too dead” to fear God. ”

      So, a rational person would choose to fear and obey God. A person would have to be irrational to choose not to fear and obey God. Paul, in Ephesians 2, describes the irrational man in this manner, “…you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath,…” Paul refers to, “the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience,” and it is these people who do not fear and obey God. Are they “too dead” to fear God? That seems to be what Paul is telling us. What does Paul then say, “…even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).” If God did not make us alive, we would still be under “the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”

  22. NT reading today in 2 Cor 8:1-15.

    3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.
    ——–

    So much of the Bible talks about the choices people make. It’s almost as if our choices matter. It’s almost as if we do things “of our own free will.”

    Funny, why would God put that idea in His holy, eternal Word if none of our choices matter?

    Calvinist: “Of course our choices matter!”

    “Oh really, we can choose to give (see above) or not to give?

    Calvinist: “Yes of course, our daily lives are full of choices.”

    “And do our choices make a difference?”

    Calvinist: “Well, uh, yes, I feel like my choices each day make a difference.”

    “Do you always make good choices?”

    Calvinist: “Well, no, just yesterday I spoke very harshly and rudely to one of my kids. I regretted it later and apologized.”

    “Did God want you to speak harshly to your kid?”

    Calvinist: “Well… if I says that He did not want me to…. or that God did not get what He wanted (me to be kind) then, well, I guess that would deny my Calvinist definition of ‘sovereignty’. So, I guess, yes, God did want me to be harsh to my kid. Because we Calvinists teach that all that happens is what God wants, even our sin.”

    “Hummm… I’m pretty sure I have a different definition of sovereignty then you do. When I sin, I do not feel like I have done what God wanted me to do. Wow, so you dont really go about your day thinking about doing things that please the Lord?”

    Calvinist: “Well, yes I do, but when I do sinful things, I know that all that was His will also.”

    “Well, I dont get that impression reading the Bible, but it sounds like it sure could come in handy for you!”

    1. FOH writes, “So much of the Bible talks about the choices people make. It’s almost as if our choices matter. It’s almost as if we do things “of our own free will.”

      In the context of the Scripture reading and FOH’s comments, those in view are believers. God has saved them and they are no longer enslaved to sin. Thus, they are able to make choices (otherwise, their only choice is to sin). That God knows the things that believers will choose to do is not an issue because God does not force a person to do anything. God is always able to open doors and close doors in any person’s life, and we know that God is working in the believer’s life for, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Is anyone ungrateful that God is watching us and taking care of us – even to the point of executing decrees he made long ago?

  23. Daily reading 2 Cor 8 still.

    8:5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.
    ———-
    Paul is surprised here or at least says they did “more than we had hoped.” (Not expecting such a good response).

    They gave themselves to the Lord? Another “man-centered” idea in God’s word again.

    They did what “God wanted them to do.” So Paul is of course saying that we can do things God does not want us to do. I mean, otherwise, why even say such a thing— if everything that happens is what God wants?

    They chose to do what God wanted…. but could have chosen not to?

    Calvinist: “Of course they had a choice!”

    “Oh really, we can choose to “give ourselves to the Lord” (see above) or not to?

    Calvinist: “Yes of course, our daily lives are full of choices.”

    “And do our choices make a difference?”

    Calvinist: “Well, uh, yes, I feel like my choices each day make a difference.”

    “In what way do your choices make a difference?”

    Calvinist: “Well if, for example I choose to help my kids with their homework, they do better in school and likely do better in life! Or if I choose not to look at pornographic material I improve the relationship with my wife and my family. Those are real choices that make a difference.”

    “I agree with you! Those choices do make a difference and you are free to choose to help with homework or not! So, does that mean that you are shaping the future of you child?”

    Calvinist: “Well yes… we all try to influence our children toward wise decisions.”

    “So, in reality, your child could go one way, or another, or another, right?

    Calvinist: “Well, yes, that’s righ….. but …. well, no, because we teach that God has set the future, not by knowing it, but just by divinely setting it.”

    “So your child’s future is set no matter if you help them or not?”

    Calvinist: “Well I am an ‘instrument of secondary cause’ to influence him in the direction that God has already decided.”

    “So helping him with homework will change nothing?”

    Calvinist: “We are commanded to love our children, so I help him.”

    “But is helping one hour better than 15 mins? Is two hours even better? What about spending time with him in other ways? Is more time better? I mean is taking him fishing better than giving him fishing gear and telling him to go alone?”

    Calvinist: “Yes, we all live by the idea that the more quality time spent with kids, the better it is for them.”

    “But how is it ‘better’? I mean, if the outcome has already been decided, there is no real better or worse, right? I mean one hour helping with homework is ‘loving your child’ so why spend 2 hours? You spend two hours —not because you are ‘commanded to love’ but because you know deep down that you are shaping your child’s future. In fact, if at any time on any day, you allow yourself to think ‘I will do this, because that will bring a better result,’ then you are shaping the future.”

    Calvinist: “We do not teach that we can impact the future since it is all set.”

    “Okay, I see how that works for you…. You can do whatever you want and say that ‘God wanted me to do this.’ That must include sin since you teach that all that happens is what God wants to happen.”

    Calvinist: “Yes in God’s secret will, He has already determined all that we do, sin included.”

    “So now I am wondering why Paul writes such strange words in 2 Corinthians 8:4 ‘And they did it of their own free will.'”

  24. I have been posting some daily readings on other threads.

    Last night for our devotions, my wife and I read Ps 118. I know that monergism is all the rage with Calvinists and synergism is a dirty word, as is “man-centered,” but look at what King David says …

    118: 7 The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
    I look in triumph on my enemies.
    8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in humans.
    9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.
    10 All the nations surrounded me,
    but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
    11 They surrounded me on every side,
    but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
    12 They swarmed around me like bees,
    but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
    13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
    but the Lord helped me.
    14 The Lord is my strength and my defense;
    he has become my salvation.
    ————

    7. “The Lord is my helper.” What? That’s pretty synergistic sounding!

    10, 11, 12, “I cut them down…” Of course David says the Lord helped him, but he still had to act, fight, see his men killed. Men died winning battles that Calvinists will say “was all of the Lord.” The whole taking of the promise land was synergistic! They had to fight. Even in the case of Jericho where they did not fight and “God did it all” they still had to march around the city for 7 days. No marching, no victory.

    God created a world where man participates. Man even helps decide the outcome. You can call me heretic, and man-centered, and say I “don’t believe God is sovereign” all you want, but I’m just reading the message of the Bible. Besides, we all live this way. We live like our decisions matter.

    13 “…about to fall, but the Lord helped me.” Wow… sounds like this is about David and how the Lord helped him. Not David helped the Lord, or the Lord did it all and David just watched. Nope. The Lord helps David.

    How does that make any sense if monergism is the filter for all Scripture?

    1. FOH writes, “7. “The Lord is my helper.” What? That’s pretty synergistic sounding!…How does that make any sense if monergism is the filter for all Scripture?”

      FOH knows the Calvinist mantra, “Salvation is monergistic; sanctification is synergistic.” The above verses speak to sanctification as David is regarded as a believer – thus, it is a mystery why FOH made this comment. Very puzzling!!

      1. Hilarious! If you go to monergism.com you will see many people dancing on the head of a pin to try to avoid the word synergism even in sanctification … and then finally, redirecting you to TGC and the DeYoung article, they admit ….

        “So what do we see in this short survey of Reformed theologians. For starters, we do not see the exact language of monergism or synergism applied to sanctification.”

        [Great, let’s make up some new ideas that we will make fit to our position: “Synergism is bad/awful… unless we say it is not.”]

        “Second, we see that, given the right qualifications, either term could be used with merit. “Monergism” can work because sanctification is God’s gift, his supernatural work in us. “Synergism” can also work because because we cooperate with God in sanctification and actively make an effort to grow in godliness.”

        [Fantastic. I guess “synergism” is not a dirty word after all! Same sentence with some word change “’Monergism’ can work because salvation is God’s gift, his supernatural work in us. ‘Synergism’ can also work because because we respond to God in faith.”]

        “Third, we see in this Reformed survey the need to be careful with our words. For example, “passive” can describe our role in sanctification, but only if we also say there is a sense in which we are active. Likewise, we can use the language of cooperation as long as we understand that sanctification does not depend ultimately on us.”

        [What did he just say here? Nothing! By saying “as long as we understand that sanctification does not depend ultimately on us” he is simply saying it is “monergistic” — and around and around we go. “…uh… it is, but it isn’t…” Let me just borrow that sentence above, “Likewise, we can use the language of cooperation as long as we understand that salvation does not depend ultimately on us.”

        “And if all this is confusing, you can simply say: we work out our sanctification as God works in us (Phil. 2:12-12). Those are the two truths we must protect: the gift of God in sanctification and the activity of man.”

        [What? I honestly cannot believe my eyes. The verse clearly says, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” and he misquotes it to say sanctification??

        How about this closing statement very similar to his: “Those are the two truths we must protect: the gift of God in salvation and the activity of man in faith.”

        Wow…. now that is “doing theology” alright. They just make up any rules they want for sanctification (based on “cooperation words” from Scripture) but when the Scripture uses the VERY same cooperation words… noooo we get to say “it doesn’t really mean that, cuz we know better!”

      2. FOH quotes someone, “So what do we see in this short survey of Reformed theologians. For starters, we do not see the exact language of monergism or synergism applied to sanctification.”

        These guys need to read more of RC Sproul. from the Ligonier website:

        “Ligonier Ministries adheres to the ancient statements of faith (the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Creed of Chalcedon) and affirms the historic Christian faith as expressed in the five solas of the Reformation and the consensus of the historic Reformed confessions (Westminster Standards, Three Forms of Unity, and 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith).

        The Holy Spirit

        The Holy Spirit is of one substance with the Father and the Son. He eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son, and He dwells in the hearts of believers, effecting their regeneration monergistically and operating in their sanctification synergistically.”

  25. What does it mean that David was “a man after God’s own heart”?

    Acts 13: 21 Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
    ———–

    First of all we are reminded that the people asked for a king and God said “not a good idea” but then relented. (That’s not very monergistic sounding!).

    God hand-picked Saul and then because of Saul’s actions (yes, I know that is “man-centered” to say) He “repented that He picked Saul” and unpicked him. God changed His mind and His plan. (He tells Saul “I would have made you… if you had not…”)

    God tells us that he “found” David who is a man after His own heart.

    Now, if you go on line and look for what this means, you will see that most sites (including Sproul’s Calvinist site) will say that this is because David X, and David Y, and David Z. All of it is about David. All of it (even with Sproul, what a disappointment!!) is “man-centered-ly” placed on David and what he could do and did.

    I mean it’s just so human. Why do they then theologize and turn around and say NOTHING is about humans? I just dont get it. Did God micro-manage-ly decide everything, or did He create in such a way that man synergistically participates? Which one is the message of the Bible?

    It does not help the discussion to superimpose the idea (not stated in Scripture) that God regenerated David, gave him faith, led his every action and decision. Then that makes God responsible for all of David’s sin too.

  26. Daily Bible brings me to 2 Cor 12.

    20 For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior. 21 Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, God will humble me in your presence. And I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.

    ————-
    Remember that these believers are “dead to sin” they are “buried with Christ” “crucified with Christ”.

    Somehow Calvinists teach that we are dead to sin but can do all of the sins above and more…. but being dead in sin, we can do nothing BUT sin. What happened to “dead men dont make choices”?

    Apparently they do!

    1. FOH writes, “Calvinists teach that we are dead to sin but can do all of the sins above and more…. ”

      By “dead to sin,” FOH means that the person is a believer. Everyone, even FOH, recognizes that even believers sin.

      Then, “but being dead in sin, we can do nothing BUT sin. What happened to “dead men dont make choices”? Apparently they do!”

      No one, not even a Calvinist, says that “dead men don’t make choices.” Everyone agrees that people have free will (disagreeing on what that is) and make choices – the issue is whether a person who is dead in sin can decide to follow Christ without God giving them the gift of faith.

  27. God can never be ignorant nor helpless of all things that happens in the universe. He is the supreme being that have ever existed without beginnings. Nothing escapes from His absolute and immutable attributes that are His very nature. It did not just commence at the start of Creation nor a mere response to those events that will happen in the future that are caused by man’s disobedience. His plans can no longer be modified not be revised by the use of man’s so called “free will”.

    We cannot teach God to base His decisions on the laws of Logic. He decides according to His own pleasure. If he permits man to use his freedom without medling from it, then man becomes accountable. It is just like a “one way road traffic”. man can still enter in by the use of his freedom but it does not mean that God tells him to do that.

    So, Christ did not went to the cross of Calvary just to clean up God’s own mess. He loves the sheep even if they rejected Him as the Messiah and the elect Gentiles scattered in the world. He needs to offer His life for them, not to the reprobates. I see no Problem with divine determinism here. The end result still accomplishes God’s decrees.

  28. Dr. Sean Cole (from Understanding Christianity) has said he would love the opportunity to debate and cross examine Dr. Flowers in front of a live audience. He said he is not sure that will ever happen though. This he said in an interview that can be heard on his site where Dr. Flowers views are being refuted called “Dr. Cole Guest on Sonic Reformation Podcast DIscussing “Traditionalism”

    https://www.seancole.net/audio-podcast

    1. Eric Kemp is also refuted in this interview with Dr. Sean Cole on his views of John 3 and being born again of the Spirit of God. If He or anyone is interested in listening to further the discussion.

    2. Hi Kevin,
      I’ve listened to a little bit of this sermon – and so far – within the first few minutes of it – if the person speaking is trying to represent Theological Determinism – he’s doing a very poor job of it. He’s actually doing the opposite.

      Here are a few quotes:
      Sean
      -quote
      “God’s anger burned against them”

      br.d
      How can that possibly be LOGICAL – since on Theological Determinism:
      1) Nothing about anything is UP TO the creature
      2) The THEOS does not create any alternative possibility to be available to them
      3) The THEOS does not permit them to be/do OTHERWISE.

      Why should the THEOS be angry about what he decreed come to pass?

      Would you be angry at your 5 year old daughter for not coming out of a closet you locked her in – knowing that it was logically impossible for her to do so – because you didn’t permit her to do so?

      Would you consider yourself to be logical for being angry at her?

      Why is the THEOS angry about things that are not logically possible?
      Is this THEOS not intelligent enough to think logically?

      Sean
      -quote
      “Moses said “who is on the Lord’s side”

      br.d
      What – how does that makes sense?
      If Theological Determinism is true – Moses would not have asked this question.
      He would have asked:
      “which side has the lord put each one of you Israelites on?”

      Why does Moses ask them a question that he knows is IRRATIONAL?
      Is Moses not intelligent enough to be logical?

      Sean
      -quote
      If you are an Isrealit – think about what you are going through emotionally.

      br.d
      What – how does that make sense?
      If Theological Determinism is true – then each Israelite would be thinking about what emotions the THEOS had divinely planted within his brain

      How can an Israelite be thinking about emotions *AS-IF* they AUTONOMOUSLY occur of his own LFW – since that world doesn’t exist for him?

      Sean
      -quote
      As an Isrealite you are probably embarased by the golden calf.

      br.d
      What? How does that makes sense?
      If Theological Determinism is true – then nothing about your part in the golden calf is UP TO YOU.

      Are the Israelites in the bible DOUBLE-MINDED?

      So far – Sean’s comments on this bible story line up with LFW very nicely.
      If he is trying to show this narrative as an example of Theological Determinism – he sure appears to be going in the opposite direction.

      1. br.d
        Well done.

        I am writing because my through-the-Bible reading program had me in that passage (burning anger, golden calf) just two days ago.

        I was —of course— tempted to get on this site and write out the very things you just said…. but I am actually tempted to do that EVERY day. Because EVERY day reading through the Bible I am confronted with how (my former) Calvinism makes no sense!!!

        Determinism and “sovereignty” (the way Calvinists define it) make no sense.

        What we see is…for example … Sean and all the “YRR reformed guys” teaching the Bible with LFW and then saying “but we know God controlled every action” (which we know means Hitler, Stalin, rape, sex traffic etc). For them, God wants all of that—because He willed it/ ordained it.

        My reformed friend accuse me of having a “weak God” cuz I say that man is capable of doing things He does not want.

        I will take a weak God (does that remind anyone of a meek and humble Christ?) over their sadistic version any day.

      2. Hi BRD. good to hear from you.

        I think I might have confused the matter somewhat. It is not the Sermon that the link goes to directly.

        What I am talking about is in my first comment entitled Dr. Cole Guest on Sonic Reformation Podcast DIscussing “Traditionalism”Sean Cole|Calvinism
        August 22, 2019

        You can find it on page 10 under the date and Title I mentioned above.

        But since you brought up Dr. Cole’s sermon being very LFW leaning I will have to check that out.

        Thanks BRD

      3. Ok – so I’ve found the podcast you described.
        And I’ve listened to the first 17 minutes.

        So far there are only opinions expressed – that Dr. Flowers holds a position different from what Sean calls the standard Reformed position. But I think everyone knows that already.

        Also Sean makes the point that he believes the early church fathers were influenced by Platonic thought.
        And so by that – he casts a dispersion on the early church fathers.

        The problem with that – is that he fails to acknowledge that Augustine is classified by all academia as being the primary source and influence of mixing NeoPlatonism into Catholic doctrine – and Calvin carrying forward Augustine’s synchretistic system.

        Augustine derives much of his doctrines from Plotinus – a Greek philosopher who took Plato’s doctrines on metaphysics – and shaped them into a religious belief system – which Augustine fell in love with.

        So if we are going to cast aspersions on the early church fathers for adopting Plato – while not being intellectually honest about Augustine’s adaptations from the doctrines of Plotinus – then what we have is simply a pot calling a kettle black.

        However – you stated that in your mind somewhere in that podcast he refutes Dr. Flowers.
        So far I don’s see any evidence of that – but rather him simply expressing his personal opinions.

        Can you point to any specific minute in the podcast in which that occurs?

      4. Ok at minute 25 he hits on the topic of Dr. Flowers reference of the parable of the prodigal son – where he says – we don’t build doctrine from parables.

        I’m sorry to say – this is not an entirely valid point.

        The point of using a parable of Jesus is to ask the question – is Jesus presenting a story which assumes the LOGICAL opposite of what Jesus believes?

        I touched on this from Sean’s other sermon on the Exodus story – where everything Sean says – affirms LFW
        And how his statements are LOGICALLY incoherent if he assumes Theological Determinism to be true.
        See the questions I asked about his statements – and how they are IRRATIONAL without assuming creatures have AUTONOMOUS functionality.

        That serves also as to how one examines Jesus’ parables.
        Is Jesus also DOUBLE-MINDED?

        In other words – does Jesus create stories that assume a world-view that he knows to be logically impossible?
        Why would he do that?

        After making that point – Sean goes on to assert that Dr. Flowers simply “imports” his notion of LFW into didactic teachings of Paul etc.
        Those verses in scripture – which in Sean’s mind should be used as sources of teaching on the subject of free will.

        However – is he really giving Dr. Flowers an intellectually honest review?
        I don’t think so.
        I have seen Dr. Flowers address the type of verses that he is pointing to.
        Obviously the Reformed position has its tradition of interpretation for those verses.

        But again Dr. Flowers tends to examine the Reformed interpretation – often showing how IRRATIONAL it is.
        As Dr. William Lane Craig states concerning the Reformed interpretation:
        – quote
        “When one’s interpretation brings one into so many logical dead-ends – its time to reassess whether or not one’s interpretation is correct.”

        I think that is more than not – Dr. Flower’s argument.
        And I don’t see how any LOGICAL person could disagree – that interpretations of scripture should not turn scripture into double-speak.

      5. When it comes to Theological Determinism. BRD you know I have no real defense or argument that I personally feel is philosophy cogent. I feel I can from Holy Scripture show from passages where God has determined some things but that does not mean all things and at every moment. I also think that Ephesians 1:11 is a strong passage of Scripture that is for Theological Determinism and a tough one for LFW. I can also find many verses on how the Providence of God, on how it seems God rules and governs among mankind. But I cannot say that I have an overwhelming case for Theological Determinism and one that refutes LFW.

        Like I was told by one blogger, “exercise my LFW.” I would say if he believes in LFW he knows I am already doing that right?. But he was saying that in connection with the command in 1 John

        To love not the world, or the things in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and pride of life.

        I asked if since their is this autonomous self-governing LFW that is independent from God, can an evil wicked sinner who hates God just do what “He” exhorted me to do exercise his autonomous LFW and “do otherwise” because it is ultimately “up to him”, and “love not he world, indulge the lust of the flesh,or the lust of the eyes and the Pride of Life.”

        I was rebuked by Eric for this question as being dishonest. And not for the question only but actually thinking I am just “cloaking” myself as one who is (as Eric said) “perhaps seeking to understand but I am actually poisoning the well with questions that are stated in my favor and will only get answers that will sound absurd to me”

        Basically I am a trogan horse in deceitful disguise and not sincerely discussing the matters.

        I know you will not comment on this matter and do not expect you to. But I do know if I had said this about Eric those on Soteriology would have been on me like a chicken on a bug. I think you would have given me one of those warnings.

        But what Eric says is not true. The original blogger is the one who brought up LFW and I wanted to know what the difference of LFW in the life of the Christian and the wicked sinner who hates God.

        I wanted to know what else he believed in connection with his philosophy of LFW.

        Since in the Christian and the wicked sinner both possess a will that is free. Free from what? And it what way is the will free? And both are able do otherwise.

        I do not know but I would like to hear the different answers I would get before anyone on Soteriology101 saw what the other person believes of free will ? What it is free from and it what manner? I think I would get many many different answers

        Hope you get a chance to listen to the interview with Dr. Cole.

  29. Ok BRD, appreciate you listening and your commentary.

    I tell you what.. I am going to listen from the beginning and give you my honest commentary of what I think is being said.

    If there is double talk as you say I will be logical and honest and admit to it.

    But let’s see what two different people with somewhat different biases and preconceived ideas compare with each other.

    First I am going to tackle the impeccability of Christ issue. Maybe this evening or tomorrow some time.

    Then I am going to listen to this whole interview again. Stop and start, giving my understanding and commentary of how I think it is going down. As to how Dr. Cole is representing Flowers and refuting him. If that is the case. I will take your word that maybe I need to take a second listen to it.

    I will take what you have said above into consideration as I listen and comment

    You don’t interact with anything they really said so I have no way of evaluating your assertions.

    I am going to try and give specific examples as I listen along.

    As always thanks BRD

  30. I personally would like to see this debate happen. I think it would be helpful. Dr. Cole and Leighton cross examining one another in front of a live audience. It would be interesting.

    1. I like the debate format that I saw between Dr. White and a Catholic theologian one time.
      The rules didn’t allow either of them to speak extraneously.

      They used rules similar to what one finds in a court room where a person is put under oath and must tell the truth – the whole truth – and nothing but the truth. And they must answer yes/no questions.

      IMHO that makes for a much more honest debate forum
      Because it doesn’t give people room to hide behind equivocal and misleading language.
      And self contradictions can then be observed much more readily to everyone listening.

      1. I am not sure if I would agree with that kind of debate where you only get to answer yes or no.

        BC it works both ways when it comes to that. You are able to set the person up you are questioning, and not give him a chance to explain why he said yes or no. Thus misrepresenting him and his position. This can happen for both sides.

        No, I think both sides need to be able to explain their positions. If one side is being dishonest and hiding something a good debater will be able to flush that out.

        I have seen Dr. White do it.

      2. Sorry I didn’t mean to say they would only be able to answer yes or no.
        But that as it is in a court of law – if they were asked a yes/no or true/false question – they would be required to answer it
        And as such – they could not evade telling a truth that they don’t want people to know about – because of how it would look.

      3. Oh, I misunderstood. I see what you are saying now BRD. Yes that might be a good way of doing the debate. Instead of just wandering off who knows where to avoid answering the question. I think that is what you are getting at. Not that you cannot answer yes or no and then give reasoning for your answer. Correct?

      4. Not to cast aspersions specifically on Calvinists – but I do find there are times when they don’t want to give straight answers to straight questions.

        For example – Dr. Flowers has a you-tube video where he plays clips from an interview that Ben Shapiro has with Allie Stuckey who is a Calvinist.

        Ben asks her questions – and instead of answering them with straight answers – she talks her way around them.

        In one instance Ben asks her “how do you square that circle”
        And she says “the way we square that circle is ………etc…etc….
        But the answer she gives him is REALLY just to tell him he’s not supposed to ask the question

        I suppose Ben Shapiro is just being nice to her and doesn’t want to press her on the issue.
        But if he is like me – he recognizes that her responses are simply memorized statements she has been taught to recite in order to hide irrational thinking.

        There is another youtube video – called “Calvinism: Intrinsically Irrational” – you might find it interesting to watch.
        This one is an atheist interacting with the arguments of a Reformed professor.
        If you watch that video you will see the Atheist point out – some of the answers are non-answers

        So in a debate forum I think it would be a benefit for each debater to be put under oath – to speak the truth – the whole truth – and nothing but the truth.

        And I think that would not allow people do evade answering questions they don’t want to give straight answers to.

      5. Kevin – when you have a few minutes – take a look at a youtube video on James White and Middle Knowledge
        The video is only about 5 minutes.
        Just go to youtube and type in the following search words:

        James White accepts Molinism and middle knowledge

      6. This one just listening to it I did not agree with it. Not to mention there are numerous other videos on youtube where Dr. White exposes Middle Knowledge as false teaching. If you really want to know DR. White’s views on middle knowledge Then here is what you need to listen to get a fair and honest understanding of what he believes of middle knowledge,

        Dr. White’s Explanation and Refutation of Middle Knowledge

        I liked what this response to the 5 mn video from one person who watched it.

        “I believe that you are mistaken about the differentiation between James’s White’s views and those of Molinism.

        The example that Dr. White gives is being used to demonstrate to an atheist that they cannot judge God’s actions of allowing a baby to die in infancy as evil because the atheist does not recognize that their own perspective is limited to a human standpoint.

        In no way was James White saying that God is confined to only having middle knowledge, it was a plain and simple thought experiment he proposes to atheists. If you understand his comments in that context, they make perfect sense. The reason why you find some flaw in his comments is because you were purposely searching for something that you could use out of context to show inconsistency in Dr. White’s beliefs.

        You don’t seriously believe that this assertion will hold up to scrutiny do you? Be serious and honest please.”

      7. I know that James white has created 2 or 3 videos dedicated to his rejection of Middle Knowledge.
        And yet – in the context of answering an Atheist – he appeals to the very notion that he publicly rejects.

        The author of the video is correct when he says – White has just appealed to Middle Knowledge.
        Lets give White the benefit of the doubt and say he didn’t mean to purposefully appeal to it.
        That doesn’t remove the fact that he in fact did appeal to it – at least in its definition.

        Now I think the author of the video was wrong in concluding that White has also appealed to Molinism.
        I have seen numerous times a Calvinist appeal to Middle Knowledge when giving answers on the concern over the “Author of Evil” problem – without appealing to Molinism.

        Sometimes these Calvinists do not know they are appealing to Middle Knowledge.
        Sometimes however I happen to personally know a Calvinist enough – to know that he in fact internally knows he is appealing to Middle Knowledge.

        At the very minimum – this shows a problem that I have spoken about.
        That Calvinists often very strongly claim to reject certain things.
        When in fact – all they really reject is its label.

        For example – Calvinists will often strongly claim to reject Arminian arguments.
        And I know that all I have to do is wait a little bit – and it won’t be long before that Calvinist will be using the very Arminian argument he would normally claim to reject.

        I think this is a psychological phenomenon within Calvinism

  31. Good morning BRD.

    I went back and listened to the 5 minute video of where the person who created the video says Dr. James White accidentally he accepts Molinism as a subtle or as the title to his video reads James White accepts Molinism and Middle Knowledge. I actually took the time to write out what was being said by both sides so I could go both and really focus upon what was being said.

    First of all a 5 minute video that is taken out of context of an entire debate does not negate what Dr Flowers really teaches concerning Molinism and Middle Knowledge.

    Saying that, I will admit. I think Dr. White is confusing by intermingling the two illustrations in the way he did.

    The person who made the video says Dr White just ignores the fact that God has knowledge of all possible worlds.

    This is just a cheap shot. Dr. White is well acquainted with Natural Knowledge which is orthodox.

    Natural knowledge is God’s knowledge of all possible worlds, all that concerns the necessary and possible in God’s understanding This is orthodox. This is God’s knowledge of all necessary and all possible truths. In this “moment” God knows every possible combination of causes and effects. He also knows all the truths of logic and all moral truths.

    God’s free knowledge, on the other hand, is His knowledge of His decree (of that which, in His wisdom, God freely and unchangeably ordained to come to pass). That which God decrees is obviously a subset of all the possibilities (Natural Knowledge) that are known to Him. His decree also has its source solely in His mind and will.

    Then the guy who made the video says Dr. White just ignores the Scriptural evidence that the creature has free will, in the LFW sense where they act autonomously and independent of God’s Sovereignty.

    Well, he is not being honest here. BC Dr. White just does not believe this. I know you believe Dr. White is incorrect also but the guy just cannot make empty assertions like that.

    We must remember that Dr. White has done sermons over an hour explaining what Molinism and Middle knowledge is and refuting it. We must keep this in context as we listen to this 5 minute video taken out of context. And many Dividing Line topics where he interacts with Bill Craig and Molinism in refuting it. If we do not we are not being intellectually honest.

    And you can go and listen to Dr White’s Diving Line, Radio Free Geneva or other discussions and sermons and debates he has done and you will not find him advocating Molinism which is middle knowledge that he emphatically rejects.

    Saying that. I will admit it does sound like Dr. White is saying that it is an act of mercy for God to kill the infant to die (who might have grown old and been exceedingly sinful and multiplying his evil and sin before God) rather than letting the child grow old and piling up his sins and receiving a much worse punishment in hell. Does seem inconsistent with God determining all things from eternity that will happen for certain. Not that he will in mercy take the life of a child before he grows old and become very sinful and wicked and reap God’s wrath in Hell.

    Deuteronomy 32:39 – See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

    Of course Dr. White would argue this would be done through second causes/agents so that God is not culpable. I know that you disagree with that. But happened with all of Pharaoh’s and Egypt’s first born including little baby infants. God sent the angel of death. BRD you cannot deny that the Word of God says God sent the angel of death to kill all the first born which would consist of new born baby infants.

    What Dr. White says does not correspond with what he believes about God’s Specific Sovereignty over all things and all of every one’s lives right down to the smallest aspect and detail.

    So you are correct about this video. But I do not see it as a big deal.

    Does Dr. White talk in this manner all the time as you say you have personally experienced Calvinist do. I do not think so or do I think you believe that either despite what you have said.

    BRD
    ” Sometimes these Calvinists do not know they are appealing to Middle Knowledge.
    Sometimes however I happen to personally know a Calvinist enough – to know that he in fact internally knows he is appealing to Middle Knowledge.”

    Kevin
    That is quite a claim.

    I do know that Flowers is flat out inconsistent and in contradiction when it comes to autonomous LFW and that the Christian cannot lose his salvation. If the sinner through autonomous LFW chose Christ the now Christian still retains that LFW (to have what has been called on Soteriology101 authentic love) so that means the Christian with autonomous LFW can reject Christ and the Spirit leave him and the Christian reverts back to a wicked sinner again.

    Where does Flowers teach this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoWPotB99bg&t=1318s

    and you can find an article on Soteriology101. Not just a mistake like Dr. White but a flat out contradiction.

    Not meant to be disrespectful toward Non-Calvinist. But I have found Non-Calvinist who follow Dr. Flowers unwilling ti not call him out on this very apparent contradiction.

    1. Hi Kevin,
      It was not my intent to mix this particular example into the conversation having to do with Dr. Flowers.
      All I noticed in the short video was that the author of the video was correct when he stated that White was appealing to Middle-Knowledge. And this appeal was obviously made in response to the “author of evil” problem.

      Any other claims in this short video concerning Dr. White beyond that – I didn’t take any consideration of.
      For example – the author claims Dr. White is acknowledging Molinism – which we both agree is false.

      My only focus in this is to point out the fact that Calvinists will often claim to reject something.
      And when they do that – I typically wait and watch – because I know they will eventually appeal to the very notion they claim to reject.

      However, in one of Dr. White’s videos in which he rejects Middle-Knowledge I did notice an error

      In that video he states that the doctrine limits the divine freedom to bring to pass anything god wants to bring to pass.
      The error here is that the REAL limitation has only to do with what is LOGICALLY possible.

      For example, can god make himself exist and not exist at the same time?
      Can god tell a lie?
      Can god make square-circles and married-bachelors?

      In orthodox thinking – these are all classified as LOGICALLY impossible.
      And as such they are not considered REAL limitations to divine freedom.

      So White’s argument that god making a choice among one LOGICALLY possible world over another – represents a limitation on divine freedom is short-sighted.

      However a Calvinist who is a purist will want to reject Middle-Knowledge for two reasons.
      1) It facilitates creatures being granted Libertarian Freedom
      2) It represents a compromise to Calvinism in that it appeals to “mere” permission.
      In other words, for the Calvinist it is very similar to divine knowledge via observation
      But in this case – rather than looking into the future of what “WILL” happen – god is looking into his own infinite understanding of what “WOULD” happen without him CAUSING it to happen.

      And a Calvinist who seeks to be a pure follower of John Calvin would reject that – because it appeals to “mere” permission.

      And as I’ve said – I have seen Calvinists appeal to Middle-Knowledge in cloaked form.
      By labeling it as “infallible understanding” of what the creature would do in any given circumstance – and then decreeing the creature do that very thing.

      This represents a cloaked appeal to Middle-Knowledge
      The strategy here is to put the blame for sins and evils onto the creature – because in this case god “merely” permits the creature to do what it would have done without god CAUSING the creature to do it.

      But John Calvin rejects the notion of “mere” permission.

      So as I’ve said – Calvinists may appeal to Middle-Knowledge as way of SMUGGLING in “mere” permission.
      And this is done for the sake of reducing the “author of evil” problem that is inherent in pure Calvinism.

      Jame White probably did not intend to do this.
      I suspect he did it without thinking it through – that he was in fact doing it.
      But it still remains – he did appeal to what is in fact Middle-Knowledge as a response to the “author of evil” problem that is inherent within Theological Determinism.

      1. Yes your correct BRD and he did. It seems you have made your mind up concerning the Calvinists and that what they believe they believe with evil malice.

        At least with some of the words you use like “smuggling”

        I am not offended. Who knows maybe you are right. I do not know where I fit in right now at all.

        You have been a great help to me BRD. It was not until you made me take a closer look did I really realize that Dr. White committed the error.

        It is ok about Flowers. I understanding you not wanting to touch that one. But it is enough that I have put it our there about his contradiction of LFW, authentic love and a Christian not being able to reject Christ with that LFW (that is absolutely necessary for authentic love) for salvation.

        Until later BRD,

        I think I need a break, so it may be sometime before I comment again.

      2. Thanks Kevin,
        I use the word “smuggling” from a quote given by Ravi Zacharious
        -quote
        Its human nature – whenever a person adamantly rejects an absolute – he will sooner or later need to smuggle it back in.

        On Discussions over Dr. Flowers – its difficult for me to accurately address those without an actual quote from him.
        I’m sure there are things that Dr. Flowers and I would probably disagree on – as that would be normal.

        What I appreciate about Dr. Flowers is his focus on the question of how can a doctrine or bible interpretation be considered Holy Spirit inspired – when it resolves to being irrational, equivocal, or self-contradicting.

        Blessings for now! :-]

      3. Hey that is true about you and Dr, Flowers and everyone on Soteriology101.

        There are numerous and a variety of beliefs on here.

        You guys have united together for a common cause and that is to expose what you believe to be the false teachings of Calvinism.

        May God’s blessings be upon you all and God be glorified either way in your purpose in pursing that.

        Remember, you speak how you want with me. I am not concerned with the word “smuggling” or how you personally feel the Calvinist are.

        I personally think I am going to take a break from here. I told myself I would from time to time. But I mean an extended break.

        I will not forgot things you have told me BRD. I know not all believe it but I do not hold so firmly to the Calvinist teachings as I once did. Especially Calvinist Determinism.

        My wife and I are praying about a church change. Back to a Pentecostal church believe it or not. They have good sound teaching. The Pastor really likes Gordon D Fee.

        I feel like I just want to read my Bible and pray like FOH said. Quit reading the books and focus on Christ and living worthy of the Gospel.

        God bless 🙂

      4. I pray that the Lord blesses you and your good wife with warm fellowship and good teachings that raise you both up into the measure and stature of Christ!

        BTW: If you where you go – you have access to the recorded seminary teachings of Dr. Gordon Fee – I think you’ll really be impressed with the depth of information he provided.

        Its been my pleasure to chat with you Kevin.
        The Lord has given you a good heart!

        Your friend,
        br.d :-]

      5. Thank you BRD,

        I will never forget the respect and patience you have shown me while discussing on here.

        I really do not think this Calvinism thing is really a big deal to me anymore. At least not to the degree it once was

        I love Dr. Gordon Fee and would really like to hear his seminary teachings. He is actually very esteemed even among Calvinist. I do have a couple of his commentaries and really good book entitled “God’s Empowering Presence”

        I am not sure where you stand on this issue. But I find Dr. Fee is very balanced when it comes to teaching in the Word of God and that today there is still the very Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit in connection with Word of God.

        I find this lacking within Calvinist churches. I have only attended one but have visited a few.

        Not emotionalism. trying to work things up in the flesh. But that today. There still is the possibility of God-Sent Holy Spirit Revival.

        I think the Body in Christ at large needs a Divine Invasion of the Spirit from on High.

        Well I am probably freaking people out now.

        Take care and maybe I will pop in from time to time. Kevin Klosski

      6. No problem at all Kevin – and thank you.
        And yes – I totally loved Dr. Fee’s seminary lectures!
        Opened up a whole new world of Biblical scholarship to me that I was not aware of.
        And the stories he told were great also!

        One does however have to get used to his manner
        He tended to get very loud! :-]

      7. Kevin
        Yes your correct BRD and he did. It seems you have made your mind up concerning the Calvinists and that what they believe they believe with evil malice.

        br.d
        I’m not sure what you mean by this – but I don’t see Calvinists as holding to some form of evil malice.

        Are you familiar with the term “Altruistic Dishonesty”?
        This is observed for example with battered women.
        A wife for example – with a husband who beats her – and she protects him – and will never divulge his behavior.

        Dr. Bella Depaulo, Social Scientist, in her book: The Hows and Whys of Lies writes:
        “Altruistic dishonesty occurs when a person is working to protect a ‘target’. A high percentage of people who rationalize the use of dishonest language, experience some sub-level degree of discomfort, but which is effectively outweighed by rationalizations. And they generally do not regard their lies as lies. And this is especially true with people who are working to protect a ‘target’.”

        These are called “other-oriented” or “altruistic” dishonesties. Protecting the ‘target’ allows them to perceive themselves as honest rather than dishonest.

        For the sake of protecting the ‘target,’ a high percentage report they would have felt worse if they had been honest, because honesty would have revealed things about the “target” they do not want people to see.”

        I think this is phenomenon is a part of the Calvinist behavior pattern.
        it is a natural human reaction to the “author of evil” problem inherent within Theological Determinism.

        So I don’t see that as a form of evil malice on the part of Calvinists.
        They are like the battered wife – who is trying to protect the husband she loves.

      8. I understand and no disrespect was intended. I just felt this as an opinion BC on here I have seen you talk of Calvinist purposely lying, smuggling, double minded, double talk in several different places here on Soteriology101.

        I promise you though BRD I am in no way offended if that is the way you see it. Although I understand now how you mean now that you have explained it.

        You have been a great help to me. Patient and understanding. That I do appreciate.

      9. br.d writes, ” think this is phenomenon is a part of the Calvinist behavior pattern. it is a natural human reaction to the “author of evil” problem inherent within Theological Determinism.”

        The attitude you express here reflects your humanist philosophy where the “THEOS” is not the God of the Scriptures. Because Calvinism is centered on the God of the Scriptures, your humanist inspired “Theological Determinism” is not the “Theological Determinism” of Calvinism derived from the Scriptures. Any theology (e.g., Calvinism) derived from the Scriptures will always be in conflict with and seem irrational to a humanist philosophy.

      10. rhutchin
        The attitude you express here reflects your humanist philosophy

        br.d
        I find this humorous – since all academia knows the link between Calvin and Augustine – and all academia knows the link between Augustine, and Gnosticism, and his adoration for the doctrines of Plotinus (i.e. NeoPlatonism)

        Good luck to the Calvinist who points the finger of “humanist philosophy” – while trying to escape his own four fingers – pointed right back at himself. :-]

        Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.
        But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

      11. br.d writes, “I find this humorous – since all academia knows the link between Calvin and Augustine – and all academia knows the link between Augustine, and Gnosticism, and his adoration for the doctrines of Plotinus (i.e. NeoPlatonism)”

        Calvin appealed to Augustine in the explanation of the Scriptures, as others have done. The appropriate response would then to be to challenge Augustine’s explanation of the particular Scripture. If the complaint is that Augustine appealed to Plotinus to understand the Scripture, then the challenge begins there. If Plotinus appealed to the Scriptures to defend his doctrine, then, challenge Plotinus on that point. Otherwise, what is the point of this comment.

        Then, “Good luck to the Calvinist who points the finger of “humanist philosophy” …”

        Thank you for not objecting to my associating you with a humanist philosophy that ignores the God of the Scriptures.

        Then, “– while trying to escape his own four fingers – pointed right back at himself.”

        So. You still start from a humanist philosophy regardless how many fingers you think point back to the Calvinist or what you imagine those fingers to represent.

        Thank you for not challenging my basic assertion – that you rely upon a humanist philosophy for your worldview.

      12. br.d
        I find this humorous – since all academia knows the link between Calvin and Augustine – and all academia knows the link between Augustine, and Gnosticism, and his adoration for the doctrines of Plotinus (i.e. NeoPlatonism)”

        rhutchin
        Calvin appealed to Augustine in the explanation of the Scriptures, as others have done.

        br.d
        Others following after Calvin of course :-]

        rhutchin
        The appropriate response would then to be to challenge Augustine’s explanation of the particular Scripture. If the complaint is that Augustine appealed to Plotinus to understand the Scripture, then the challenge begins there. If Plotinus appealed to the Scriptures to defend his doctrine, then, challenge Plotinus on that point. Otherwise, what is the point of this comment.

        br.d
        The doctrines of Plotinus are a re-framing of the doctrines of Plato – into a religious form.

        NeoPlatonism and Christianity – Wikipedia
        -quote
        Neoplatonism was a major influence on Christian theology throughout Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages in the West. This was due to St. Augustine of Hippo…..

        Therefore: Good luck to the Calvinist who points the finger of “humanist philosophy – while trying to escape his own four fingers – pointed right back at himself.

        rhutchin
        Thank you for not objecting to my associating you with a humanist philosophy that ignores the God of the Scriptures.

        br.d
        Thank you for not objecting to the irony of four fingers pointing back at yourself :-]

        rhutchin
        So. You still start from a humanist philosophy regardless how many fingers you think point back to the Calvinist or what you imagine those fingers to represent.

        br.d
        If pointing a finger makes one feel good – then one should expect to feel four times better – with his four fingers pointing back at himself :-]

        rhutchin
        Thank you for not challenging my basic assertion – that you rely upon a humanist philosophy for your worldview.

        br.d
        The irony of the finger pointer is – whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.

        Thus the finger pointer manufactures his own reword.

        No sense in challenging the irony of that! :-]

      13. br.d writes, “The irony of the finger pointer is…”

        So, I accurately point the finger at you noting that you adhere to a humanist philosophy that ignores the God of the Scriptures. You then refer to four fingers pointing back to me, but you don’t identify what those four fingers re[resent. So, what do you mean by the four fingers pointing back to me??

        rhutchin: “Calvin appealed to Augustine in the explanation of the Scriptures, as others have done.”
        br.d: “Others following after Calvin of course ”

        People can cite Calvin who cited Augustine in the understanding of certain Scriptures. It is commonly done and there is nothing wrong with it. If a person has a problem with the Calvin/Augustine explanation of a Scripture, he explains his objection and provides an alternative. So, what is your point here, if any?

      14. rhutchin
        So, I accurately point the finger at you noting that you adhere to a humanist philosophy that ignores the God of the Scriptures.

        br.d
        And I’ve told you I don’t AUTO-MAGICALLY take without question – whatever notion pops into someone’s imagination.

        rhutchin
        You then refer to four fingers pointing back to me,

        br.d
        Which is the irony of the consequence the whole finger pointing business.
        whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.
        Thus the finger pointer manufactures his own reword.

        rhutchin
        but you don’t identify what those four fingers re[resent. So, what do you mean by the four fingers pointing back to me??

        br.d
        I’ll leave the finger pointing business to those who need to rely on it.

        Rhutchin
        Calvin appealed to Augustine in the explanation of the Scriptures, as others have done.”

        br.d
        Calvin looked to Augustine – and Augustine looked to Plotinus
        As academia recognizes.

        For the link between Augustine/Calvin/Gnosticism/NeoPlatonism see the following articles:

        https://soteriology101.com/2019/03/11/was-st-augustine-the-first-to-introduce-calvinism-to-the-church/
        https://soteriology101.com/2019/08/05/did-the-early-church-fathers-teach-calvinism/

        rhutchin
        People can cite Calvin who cited Augustine in the understanding of certain Scriptures. It is commonly done and there is nothing wrong with it. If a person has a problem with the Calvin/Augustine explanation of a Scripture, he explains his objection and provides an alternative. So, what is your point here, if any?

        br.d
        A question you’ve asked – and I’ve answers – probably 100 times.
        When one’s thinking is IRRATIONAL – one’s interpretation of any data is going to be IRRATIONAL
        Whether that data is scripture or not.

        Brian – bless his heart – spent hours going in circles with you over scriptures.
        His patience in that painful process granted an assumption of sincerity on your part – which I never assumed.

        So here we are once again:
        You get to dream up adhoc inventions – claiming them to be scripture or claiming them to be Calvin – or Paul Helm’s – or whatever else you want.

        I get to put them under the scrutiny of RATIONAL reasoning.
        And SOT101 readers get to observe how IRRATIONAL and adhoc they are.
        Its a win-win situation for everyone!

  32. Does Calvary Prove Divine Determinism ?

    The answer is YES. If you will ask Jesus Christ, His answer has been divulged in John 10:11 where He said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep”.

    And… who are the sheep? – The answer is Israel the original olive tree and also those engrafted branch [Gentile Believers] into the Olive tree [Romans 11:22-26]. Also, Jesus said: “I have still other sheep [Gentile Believers], I must also find them so that there will be only one sheepfold and one shepherd.”- [John 10:16]

    To whom did Christ gave His Life? – His answer is to the Sheep (not to the goats reprobates)
    Are you still doubting Christ’s final word on determining the legitimate recipients of the atonement?

    1. jtleosala
      Does Calvary Prove Divine Determinism ?

      The answer is YES. If you will ask Jesus Christ, His answer has been divulged in John 10:11 where He said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep”.

      br.d
      The actual question should be – does Calvary prove “Universal Divine Causal Determinism” in which it LOGICALLY follows:
      1) Absolutely NOTHING is UP TO the creature
      2) Absolutely not alternative possibilities (outside of what Calvin’s god determines) is made available to the creature
      3) The Creature is NOT PERMITTED to BE/DO otherwise than what Calvin’s god determines.

      So your burden is to show how all of that is proved by John 10:11 – or any other verse you choose.

      jtleosala
      And… who are the sheep? – The answer is Israel the original olive tree and also those engrafted branch [Gentile Believers] into the Olive tree [Romans 11:22-26]. Also, Jesus said: “I have still other sheep [Gentile Believers], I must also find them so that there will be only one sheepfold and one shepherd.”- [John 10:16]

      br.d
      And that is supposed to prove “Universal Divine Causal Determinism”?

      jtleosala
      To whom did Christ gave His Life? – His answer is to the Sheep (not to the goats reprobates)
      Are you still doubting Christ’s final word on determining the legitimate recipients of the atonement?

      br.d
      Well – that is consistent with Calvinist doctrine – in which Calvin’s god DESIGNS the vast majority of his creatures for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

      And I wonder how many Calvinists have personally signed up for that?

      I suspect they see everyone else except for themselves in that boat.
      How Christ-like of them.

  33. Br.d posted this one:

    “br.d
    The actual question should be – does Calvary prove “Universal Divine Causal Determinism” in which it LOGICALLY follows:
    1) Absolutely NOTHING is UP TO the creature
    2) Absolutely not alternative possibilities (outside of what Calvin’s god determines) is made available to the creature
    3) The Creature is NOT PERMITTED to BE/DO otherwise than what Calvin’s god determines.”

    ——-My Response——–

    The one that I copied from the title of this thread is : “Does Calvary Prove Divine Determinism?” – but Br.d revised it by inserting an additional 2 words : “Universal and “Causal”, thus it becomes: “Does Calvary prove Universal Causal Determinism?”. These 2 words that he added does not appear from the original title found in the portal of this thread.

    You keep on insisting to me that numbered 1, 2 and 3 above. What I say is about the Scriptures that you cannot ignore: That both free will and determinism are both true and obviously supported by the scriptures. If you cannot accept that, then that is your problem on how to reconcile the conflict. I don’t have the burden to prove that to you because the Scriptures teaches both.

    1. JTL writes, “What I say is about the Scriptures that you cannot ignore: That both free will and determinism are both true and obviously supported by the scriptures.”

      Free will is true because God made man in His image. However, the freedom one is able to exercise is relative. A person with X amount of information and a person with X+Y information are equally free to choose relative to the information they have but a person with greater information has more options to pursue. Under Calvinism, no one is born with saving faith, so even though the person is “free” to make choices, the option of salvation is not available to him. Thus, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, “…we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,…” Until God gives a person saving faith, the outcome Paul describes prevails.

      That God determines all things is revealed in Ephesians 1, “…God works all things according to the counsel of His will…” and emphasized, for believers, in Romans 8, “we know that God works all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This is possible because God has an infinite understanding of His creation and by that understanding can promote good and restrain evil such that no good or evil occurs without God understanding all the ramifications of that good or evil and ordaining it. Consequently, nothing can happen that surprises God or occurs outside the counsel of His will.

      1. rhutchin
        Free will is true because God made man in His image……etc

        br.d

        Dr. James N. Anderson – of the Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte NC
        -quote
        Westminster Calvinists are not free to be libertarians

        “Libertarian” Calvinism rejects compatibilism, according to which a human free choice can be *CAUSALLY* determined……

        It is clear the Westminster confession teaches a “monergistic view”…….

        In short, God determines (indeed, *CAUSALLY* determines)….

        Once again we find the Westminster Divines affirming both sides of the *COMPATIBLIST* coin: divine determination and human freedom.

        We contend that Calvinism….is implicitly committed to theological determinism, and even if it were not so committed, it would still *RULE OUT* libertarian free will on other grounds” -end quote

        Monergism.com
        -quote
        “Compatibilism is directly contrary to libertarian free will.”

        Calvinist John Frame
        -quote
        God *CONTROLS* man’s free decisions.

        Dr. William Lane Craig:
        -quote
        The compatibilist thinks that free will is “compatible” with my choice’s being *CAUSALLY* determined by external factors outside me.
        That’s why it’s called “compatibilism”!
        My choice is *CAUSALLY* determined but nonetheless free.
        So they believe in being causally determined by external factors, *IN CONTRAST* to libertarians like me.
        -end quote

      2. Dr. William Lane Craig: -quote-
        The compatibilist thinks that free will is “compatible” with my choice’s being *CAUSALLY* determined by external factors outside me.”

        Then Calvinism cannot be compatibilism because Calvinism attributes the choices people make to internal factors (a corrupt nature and absence of saving faith0.

        Then quoting Craig again, “So they believe in being causally determined by external factors, *IN CONTRAST* to libertarians like me.”

        Craig seems to define “libertarian,” as involving choices determined by something other than external factors. That would mean that Craig agrees with Calvinism on this point.

      3. Dr. William Lane Craig: -quote-
        The compatibilist thinks that free will is “compatible” with my choice’s being *CAUSALLY* determined by external factors outside me.”

        rhutchin
        Then Calvinism cannot be compatibilism because Calvinism attributes the choices people make to internal factors (a corrupt nature and absence of saving faith0.

        br.d
        You are fun to watch rhutchin :-]

        You select that one single quote – while ignoring all of the other Calvinist quotes – stipulating that Calvinism acknowledges compatibilism and rejects Libertarian Freedom.

      4. br.d writes, “You select that one single quote – while ignoring all of the other Calvinist quotes – stipulating that Calvinism acknowledges compatibilism and rejects Libertarian Freedom.”

        The point was that Craig defined compatibilism to reflect only the influence of “external” factors. If we accept Craig’s definition, then Calvinism does not hold to compatibilism. That is because the Calvinist system bases choice on internal factors. The other Calvinist quotes – stipulating that Calvinism acknowledges compatibilism and rejects Libertarian Freedom – define compatibilism to be based on internal factors therefore contrary to Craig. The reason that Calvinists reject Libertarian freedom is that no one has defined libertarian freedom in such a way as to distinguish it from compatibilism. To the Calvinist, libertarian freedom cannot exist in the absence of “saving faith,” but even with faith compatibilism ends up being no different than libertarian freedom.

      5. br.d
        You select that one single quote – while ignoring all of the other Calvinist quotes – stipulating that Calvinism acknowledges compatibilism and rejects Libertarian Freedom.”

        rhutchin
        The point was that Craig defined compatibilism to reflect only the influence of “external” factors.

        br.d
        A Calvinist will often want to hide the fact that in Theological Determinism – Calvin’s god (who exists external to persons) determines every internal state of nature that exists within every person – at every nano-second in time. And thus we have CAUSAL DETERMINISM which entails “factors external” to a person which CAUSALLY DETERMINE all “internal factors”.

        Unlike the Calvinist – Dr. Craig simply chooses to speak the WHOLE TRUTH

        Dr. Edwin Locke
        -quote
        “Determinism is the doctrine that everything we think, feel, believe, and do is caused by factors outside our control”

        rhutchin
        If we accept Craig’s definition, then Calvinism does not hold to compatibilism. ….etc

        br.d
        All to easy!
        See answer above

        rhutchin
        That is because the Calvinist system bases choice on internal factors.

        br.d
        Which is just another way of evading speaking the WHOLE TRUTH

        rhutchin
        The other Calvinist quotes – stipulating that Calvinism acknowledges compatibilism and rejects Libertarian Freedom – define compatibilism to be based on internal factors therefore contrary to Craig.

        br.d
        Oh did they?
        Where did you see that in those quotes?

        And we’ve already seen that that is simply a way of evading the WHOLE TRUTH.
        Which Dr. Craig simply chooses not to do.

        rhutchin
        The reason that Calvinists reject Libertarian freedom is that no one has defined libertarian freedom in such a way as to distinguish it from compatibilism.

        br.d
        And that claim can be backed up with an OFFICIAL statements from academia?
        Good luck with that! :-]

        rhutchin
        To the Calvinist, libertarian freedom cannot exist in the absence of “saving faith,” but even with faith compatibilism ends up being no different than libertarian freedom.

        br.d
        I provide quotes from academia showing that compatiblist freedom and Libertarian freedom are acknowledged as mutually exclusive.
        I provide quotes from leading Calvinists in academia which reject Libertarian Freedom in lieu of compatiblist freedom.

        And your claim provides what?

      6. br.d writes, “Dr. Edwin Locke -quote- “Determinism is the doctrine that everything we think, feel, believe, and do is caused by factors outside our control”

        He could have written this, “Determinism is the doctrine that everything (the culture one is born into, the education we receive, our life experiences, hereditary characteristics, nature, etc determine what) we think, feel, believe, and they are factors outside our control”

        So what? Name one thing that a person feels, thinks or believes that is not determined by factors outside them. That’s not the issue. The issue is whether a person is free to make choices hat are determined by outside factors. The Calvinist says that the person is still free to choose according to his greatest desire even when is desires are determined by outside factors. Those who espouse LFW don’t have examples where a person escapes the effect of outside factors in determining who he is. Nonetheless, people are made in the image of God and are free to act within the constraints placed on them by God – a person in a 9×9 ft cell is free to act within the constraints (nature, education, experience, etc.) of the cell.

        Then, “I provide quotes from academia showing that compatiblist freedom and Libertarian freedom are acknowledged as mutually exclusive. I provide quotes from leading Calvinists in academia which reject Libertarian Freedom in lieu of compatiblist freedom.”

        That which is observed to exist in the choices people make is mutually exclusive to that which has not be observed to exist in choices people make. Those who espouse LFW still don’t have an example of a choice that any person makes that is not determined by their desires (as compatibilists conclude) with their desires determined by a host of outside factors. LFW remains an imaginary concept that has yet to be shown to manifest in the choices people face,

        So, my claim is that LFW remains an imaginary concept that has yet to be shown to be reflected in the choices people face, None of your quotes dispute this.

      7. br.d
        Dr. Edwin Locke -quote- “Determinism is the doctrine that everything we think, feel, believe, and do is caused by factors outside our control”

        rhutcin
        He could have written this, “Determinism is the doctrine that everything (the culture one is born into, the education we receive, our life experiences, hereditary characteristics, nature, etc determine what) we think, feel, believe, and they are factors outside our control”

        br.d
        He was honest and didn’t try to hide the WHOLE TRUTH behind “partial” truths. :-]

        rhutchin
        So what? Name one thing that a person feels, thinks or believes that is not determined by factors outside them. That’s not the issue.

        br.d
        Sorry but that is the LOGICAL consequence of Universal Divine Causal Determinism – and it therefore is the main point.
        So to say “internal” factors are not themselves determined by “external” factors (i.e. Calvin’s god and his immutable decrees) is a matter of dishonesty.

        rhutchin
        The issue is whether a person is free to make choices hat are determined by outside factors.

        br.d
        Well of course – the “freedom” we are speaking of here is “compatiblilsm” just exactly as Dr. Craig and all academia understand it.
        Where one is ONLY “free” to BE/DO what Calvin’s god determines.
        NOTHING MORE and NOTHING LESS.

        Which resolves to 3 internationally recognized LOGICAL consequences
        1) Absolutely NOTHING is UP TO the creature (see Peter Van Inwagen’s consequence argument)
        2) Calvin’s god does NOT make available any alternative possibility – at pain of falsifying the immutable decree
        3) Calvin’s does NOT PERMIT the creature to BE/DO otherwise – at pain of falsifying the immutable decree

        Now with that – its totally understandable why a Calvinist won’t want to sleep in the bed his theology has made for him. :-]

        rhutchin
        The Calvinist says that the person is still free to choose according to his greatest desire even when is desires are determined by outside factors.

        br.d
        Just as long as we acknowledge that his inclinations are determined *FOR* him by an external mind.
        Just like a car is said to be “free” to turn to the left – when an external mind determines its inclination makes it turn to the left.
        And just like a robot is “free” to turn to the left – when an external mind determines its inclination makes it turn to the left.

        rhutchin
        Those who espouse LFW don’t have examples where a person escapes the effect of outside factors in determining who he is.

        br.d
        And if they did have an example – I know someone who would AUTO-MAGICALLY insist they didn’t :-]

        rhutchin
        Nonetheless, people are made in the image of God and are free to act within the constraints placed on them by God

        br.d
        In Theological Determinism – those constraints are internationally recognized as (1-3) above

        rhutchin
        – a person in a 9×9 ft cell is free to act within the constraints (nature, education, experience, etc.) of the cell.

        br.d
        In Theological Determinism – that freedom and its limitations are enunciated as (1-3) above

        So I provide quotes from academia showing that compatiblist freedom and Libertarian freedom are acknowledged as mutually exclusive.
        And I provide quotes from leading Calvinists in academia which reject Libertarian Freedom in lieu of compatiblist freedom.
        And with your claim provides what?

        rhutchin
        That which is observed to exist in the choices people make is mutually exclusive to that which has not be observed to exist in choices people make.

        br.d
        All this says – in goble-de-goop language – is that [A] is mutually exclusive to [NOT A] — what else is new?
        You’ve still not provided any OFFICIAL quote to back up your latest theory.
        So what we have is one placing ASSUMED authority upon one’s own adhoc inventions – while ignoring how contrary it is to what is acknowledged.

        Lets see if you can provide a legitimate quote from Reformed academia – that stipulates that Libertarian freedom is compatible with having all of your choices made *FOR* you by an external mind.

        But I already know the response to this is simply going to be another rhutchin quote. :-]

        rhutchin
        Those who espouse LFW still don’t have an example of a choice that any person makes that is not determined by their desires (as compatibilists conclude) with their desires determined by a host of outside factors. LFW remains an imaginary concept that has yet to be shown to manifest in the choices people face,

        br.d
        It is entertaining to watch someone assert that LFW doesn’t exist one minute and then assert that LFW does the next :-]

        rhutchin
        So, my claim is that LFW remains an imaginary concept that has yet to be shown to be reflected in the choices people face, None of your quotes dispute this.

        br.d
        Not of importance to me.
        However you are still faced with the LOGICAL consequences (1-3) above – as acknowledged by Christian academia.

        And its not difficult to understand why those consequences are not palatable to a Determinist.
        And why he would want to reject LFW one minute – and then try to SMUGGLE it back in the next.

        The quintessential definition of rational reasoning is making a choice between multiple options (e.g. TRUE vs FALSE concerning a given proposition).

        And where one’s every perception of every proposition is totally determined by an external mind – that functionality is non-existent.

        Alas – that’s just the way it is. :-]

      8. rhutchin
        Then quoting Craig again, “So they believe in being causally determined by external factors, *IN CONTRAST* to libertarians like me.”

        Craig seems to define “libertarian,” as involving choices determined by something other than external factors. That would mean that Craig agrees with Calvinism on this point.

        br.d
        That conclusion punts to a “little truth” while evading the WHOLE TRUTH.

        Dr. Craig explicitly states
        1) That compatibilism entails being CAUSALLY determined by external factors (i.e. a THEOS and immutable decrees which are external to the person) – and how those external factors determine a person’s internal factors.

        2) That that form of freedom is *IN CONTRAST* to Libertarian Freedom.

        Dr. Craig simply chooses to speak the WHOLE TRUTH.

      9. br.d writes, “Dr. Craig explicitly states
        1) That compatibilism entails being CAUSALLY determined by external factors (i.e. a THEOS and immutable decrees which are external to the person) – and how those external factors determine a person’s internal factors.
        2) That that form of freedom is *IN CONTRAST* to Libertarian Freedom.
        Dr. Craig simply chooses to speak the WHOLE TRUTH.”

        You attribute to Craig a humanist philosophy when you say, “i.e. a THEOS and immutable decrees which are external to the person,” that does not incorporate the truth found in the Scriptures. By “a THEOS” you do not refer to the God of the Scriptures. Do you??

        That might be correct since Craig is a philosopher who know dabbles in theology. If Craig does not actually incorporate the truth of Scriptures into his argument, then it would be incorrect to say that Craig “chooses to speak the WHOLE TRUTH.”

      10. rhutchin
        You attribute to Craig a humanist philosophy when you say,( “i.e. a THEOS and immutable decrees which are external to the person,” )
        that does not incorporate the truth found in the Scriptures. By “a THEOS” you do not refer to the God of the Scriptures. Do you??

        br.d
        rhutchin
        Perhaps you do not know the language of the Greek N.T.?
        And perhaps you do not know that the term “Theology” is a compound word – derived from “THEOS” and “logos”

        rhutchin
        That might be correct since Craig is a philosopher who know dabbles in theology.

        br.d
        And little boys sometimes pretend to be adults! :-]

        rhutchin
        If Craig does not actually incorporate the truth of Scriptures into his argument, then it would be incorrect to say that Craig “chooses to speak the WHOLE TRUTH.”

        br.d
        A Calvinist who chooses to HIDE the WHOLE truth – cloaked behind “partial” truths – is not taught by scripture to do that.

      11. br.d writes, “Perhaps you do not know the language of the Greek N.T.?
        And perhaps you do not know that the term “Theology” is a compound word – derived from “THEOS” and “logos””

        Then the “THEOS” to whom you often refer is the God of the Scriptures. Good that you now realize this. That means that both determinism and free will are equally expressed in the Scriptures and neither denies the other. So, what are you arguing by only addressing the determinism claims of the Scriptures and ignoring the free will claims of the Scriptures??

        Then, “A Calvinist who chooses to HIDE the WHOLE truth – cloaked behind “partial” truths – is not taught by scripture to do that.”

        Agreed. Equally applies to non-Calvinists. Anyone who ignores relevant Scripture is hiding the whole truth of Scripture.

      12. br.d
        Perhaps you do not know the language of the Greek N.T.?
        And perhaps you do not know that the term “Theology” is a compound word – derived from “THEOS” and “logos”?

        rhutchin
        Then the “THEOS” to whom you often refer is the God of the Scriptures. Good that you now realize this.

        br.d
        Is that supposed to be an example of a logical conclusion?

        Obviously the Calvinist assumes that Calvin’s god is the THEOS of scripture.
        But that doesn’t require any other Christian to assume that.

        rhutchin
        That means that both determinism and free will are equally expressed in the Scriptures and neither denies the other.

        br.d
        Now your back to square 1 – with a classic enunciation of compatiblist freedom.
        I can understand you circling back to that point.

        rhutchin
        So, what are you arguing by only addressing the determinism claims of the Scriptures and ignoring the free will claims of the Scriptures??

        br.d
        Here you are once again superimposing your own approach to these things onto me.
        Oh yes – that’s called “reverse attribution” – I’ve seen that many times :-]

        Even at this point I don’t think you’re willing to accept the LOGICAL consequences – of Universal Divine Causal Determinism – as recognized in academia.

        A Calvinist who chooses to HIDE the WHOLE truth – cloaked behind “partial” truths – is not taught by scripture to do that.

        rhutchin
        Agreed. Equally applies to non-Calvinists. Anyone who ignores relevant Scripture is hiding the whole truth of Scripture.

        br.d
        And what shall we say of one who appeals to scripture without acknowledging the fact that those who INTERPRET scripture are not above being human – and not above IRRATIONAL thinking. And that IRRATIONAL thinking will inevitably result in an IRRATIONAL INTERPRETATION of any data.

        As Dr. Craig says:
        “When one’s INTERPRETATION leads one into this sort of Cul-de-sac (i.e. A LOGICAL DEAD END), it is a good idea to re-asses whether one has indeed rightly interpreted scripture.” (Four Views on Divine Providence)

        A DOUBLE-THINK mind will not only quite naturally speak DOUBLE-SPEAK
        It will quite naturally superimpose DOUBLE-THINK onto authors of sscripture.

    2. JT – all of academia – Reformed and Non-Reformed – acknowledge the only “freedom” that exists in Theological Determinism is a “Freedom” that is compatible with *ALL* things being determined by a THEOS.

      Hence we have the following internationally recognized “Consequence Argument”:

      Peter Van Inwagen – on Universal Divine Causal Determinism
      -The consequence argument:

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

      2) Those thoughts, choices, and actions additionally are framed within the boundaries of nature, which exist at the time in which those thoughts, choices, and actions are actualized.

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

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

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

      And that is how the Theological Determinist has the following
      1) Absolutely *NOTHING* is UP TO the creature
      2) The THEOS does not make available any alternative possibility – outside of what is decreed
      3) The THEOS does not permit the creature to BE/DO otherwise than what is decreed

      So I its easy for a RATIONAL person to understand why the Calvinist doesn’t want to sleep in the bed he has made :-]

      1. br.d writes, “And that is how the Theological Determinist has the following
        1) Absolutely *NOTHING* is UP TO the creature
        2) The THEOS does not make available any alternative possibility – outside of what is decreed
        3) The THEOS does not permit the creature to BE/DO otherwise than what is decreed”

        This holds under a humanist philosophy where the “THEOS” is not the God of the Scriptures. If we incorporate the Scriptures into this, then we get a different set of premises and different conclusions.

        Then, “So I its easy for a RATIONAL person to understand why the Calvinist doesn’t want to sleep in the bed he has made ”

        The Calvinist relies on the Scriptures for his Theology (As JTL has already noted) so the bed the Calvinist has made is not based on a humanist philosophy. Thus, the Calvinist has no problem sleeping in the bed (or theological system) he has made.

      2. br.d
        And that is how the Theological Determinist has the following
        1) Absolutely *NOTHING* is UP TO the creature
        2) The THEOS does not make available any alternative possibility – outside of what is decreed
        3) The THEOS does not permit the creature to BE/DO otherwise than what is decreed”

        rhutchin
        This holds under a humanist philosophy where the “THEOS” is not the God of the Scriptures. If we incorporate the Scriptures into this, then we get a different set of premises and different conclusions.

        br.d
        You can take that claim up with Dr. Peter Van Inwagen – Dr. Alvin Plantinga, and Dr. William Lane Craig

        I’m sure they’ll get a kick out of it! :-]

        So I its easy for a RATIONAL person to understand why the Calvinist doesn’t want to sleep in the bed he has made ”

        RHUTCNIN
        The Calvinist relies on the Scriptures for his Theology ……etc

        br.d
        William Lane Craig
        -quote
        “It needs to be kept in mind that Universal Divine Causal Determinism is an *INTERPRETATION* of Scripture.
        An interpretation that some Reformed divines themselves regard as irreconcilable with other clear teachings of Scripture.

        When one’s INTERPRETATION leads one into this sort of Cul-de-sac (i.e. A LOGICAL DEAD END), it is a good idea to re-asses whether one has indeed rightly interpreted scripture.”-end quote

        br.d
        IRRATIONAL thinking will always result in an IRRATIONAL interpretation of any data.
        Whether that data is scripture or not – there is no escaping that fact.

        So its easy to see why Calvinism has evolved a language of DOUBLE-SPEAK.
        Its a LOVE-HATE relationship with one’s own theology! :-]

      3. br.d quotes Craig to say, “An interpretation that some Reformed divines themselves regard as irreconcilable with other clear teachings of Scripture. ”

        The key phrase here – “…some Reformed divines…” Compatibilism recognizes the tension between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will within the Scriptures and says that they are reconcilable simply because they are in the Scriptures. This is true even if a person cannot reconcile them in a formal manner.

      4. br.d
        William Lane Craig
        “An interpretation that some Reformed divines themselves regard as irreconcilable with other clear teachings of Scripture. ”

        rhutchin
        The key phrase here – “…some Reformed divines…”

        br.d
        Yup – and that is why Dr. Craig noted it.
        Which makes one wonder if every Calvinist who comes up with his own adhoc inventions – perceives himself to be a “Divine” :-]

        rhutchin
        Compatibilism recognizes the tension between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will within the Scriptures

        br.d
        Again I provide quotes from Reformed and Non-Reformed acedimia
        And in this claim – you provide what?

        rhutchin
        and says that they are reconcilable simply because they are in the Scriptures. This is true even if a person cannot reconcile them in a formal manner.

        br.d
        This is another excellent example of a Calvinist asserting [A] = [NOT A]

        Here compatiblism is:
        [A] – reconcilable because it is in scripture
        (which conveniently ignores the fact that that is only by a human’s interpretation of scripture)

        And yet at the same time compatibilism is
        [NOT A] – reconcilable in a formal manner

        Perhaps this presupposes scripture was written by non-persons – or was not written in a formal manner? :-]

  34. rhutchin
    The other Calvinist quotes – stipulating that Calvinism acknowledges compatibilism and rejects Libertarian Freedom – define compatibilism to be based on internal factors therefore contrary to Craig.

    br.d
    Then I have two questions for you:
    1) Are Calvin’s god and his immutable decrees “external” to you as a person – YEH or NAY?

    2) Give me one “internal” factor that has come to pass within yourself – that was not itself DETERMINED by Calvin’s god and his immutable decree at the foundation of the world.

  35. Just read Isaiah 30:1, which says ‘Woe to the rebellious children declared the Lord. Who execute a plan but not mine’. I could not see how that would make any sense from a deterministic view, in that how does someone execute a plan other than God’s plan, if God determining their actions.

    1. Hello John and welcome

      Excellent point BTW
      This shows the challenge the Calvinist mind has in creating virtual bridges between a 100% predetermined world and the world of scripture.
      The most frequent way to accomplish that is with double-think.

      Blessings!

    2. John asks, “I could not see how that would make any sense from a deterministic view, in that how does someone execute a plan other than God’s plan, if God determining their actions.”

      God understands His creation perfectly and understood all the wants and desires of people before they even think to want or desire anything. God determines what people want and desire by doing nothing to stop people from pursuing their ants and desires. That is why Isaiah says, “Woe to the rebellious children declared the Lord. Who execute a plan but not mine.” It is the desire of people to do hat they want to do and not what God wants them to do. This happens because people have no fear of God or no faith in God.

      The problem comes because God has infinite understanding of His creation and knew all that would happen before He created the universe. God understood that Adam would disobey Him and that subsequent generations would similarly seek to disobey Him. By creating the universe, God determined the certainty of all this. Yet the only one who could have changed that future was God, so that the events and outcomes that play out are exactly what God wanted. To get another conclusion, one would have to deny that God has infinite understanding as even br.d is unwilling to do.

      1. rhutchin
        God understands His creation perfectly

        br.d
        Calvin’s god’s infinite understanding of how he conceives and designs sins, evils, and vessels of wrath – to glorify himself.

      2. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god’s infinite understanding of how he conceives and designs sins, evils, and vessels of wrath – to glorify himself.’

        Apparently so, given what the Scriptures tell us about God.

      3. br.d
        Calvin’s god’s infinite understanding of how he conceives and designs sins, evils, and vessels of wrath – to glorify himself.’

        rhutchin
        Apparently so, given what the Scriptures tell us about God.

        br.d
        A more truth-telling representation would be:

        Apparently so, given what the Scriptures tell Calvinists about God.

        But sometimes more truth-telling is not advantageous! :-]

      4. brd writes, “Apparently so, given what the Scriptures tell Calvinists about God.”

        The Scriptures tell Calvinists that God:
        – has infinite understanding,
        – is omnipotent,
        – is omnipresent,
        – is all wise,
        – is sovereign,
        – does all things after the counsel of Hi will,
        – and other things

        Coincidentally, most non-Calvinists believe the same things about God. I suspect that most anyone would hold to the same things if they were not wedded to a humanist philosophy.

      5. rhutchin
        Coincidentally, most non-Calvinists believe the same things about God. I suspect that most anyone would hold to the same things if they were not wedded to a humanist philosophy.

        br.d
        Well – the big difference is that Non-Calvinists are not wedded to a Gnostic/NeoPlatonic scriptural theology :-]

      6. br.d: “Well – the big difference is that Non-Calvinists are not wedded to a Gnostic/NeoPlatonic scriptural theology ”

        Good, Neither do Calvinists. Non-Calvinists seem to hold to the same views of God as the Calvinists.

      7. br.d\
        Well – the big difference is that Non-Calvinists are not wedded to a Gnostic/NeoPlatonic scriptural theology ”

        rhutchin
        Good, Neither do Calvinists.

        br.d
        Well – we know they don’t acknowledge it! :-]

        rhutchin
        Non-Calvinists seem to hold to the same views of God as the Calvinists.

        br.d
        Big differences!
        The non-Calvinist god is not a Gnostic/NeoPlatonic Good-Evil deity

      8. rhutchin: “Non-Calvinists seem to hold to the same views of God as the Calvinists.”
        br.d: “Big differences! “The non-Calvinist god is not a Gnostic/NeoPlatonic Good-Evil deity’

        No difference, The Calvinist god is not a Gnostic/NeoPlatonic Good-Evil deity’, Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists draw their conclusions about God from the Scriptures.

      9. rhutchin
        Non-Calvinists seem to hold to the same views of God as the Calvinists.”

        br.d
        “Big differences!
        The non-Calvinist god is not a Gnostic/NeoPlatonic Good-Evil deity’

        rhutchin
        No difference, The Calvinist god is not a Gnostic/NeoPlatonic Good-Evil deity’,

        br.d
        Well – we hardly expect Calvinists to acknowledge that now do we!

        rhutchin
        Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists draw their conclusions about God from the Scriptures.

        br.d
        Nah!
        Calvinists conclusions are predestined to infallibly actualize within their brains.
        Those conclusions were rendered-certain before they were born
        Take for example the more than a dozen FALSE perceptions Calvin’s god decreed you to infallibly perceive as true.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        Men may not even agitate anything in their deliberations but what He inspires.
        (A Defense of the secret providence of god)

        Mr. Spock is still keeping track of your predestined FALSE perceptions you know.
        And if history serves as an indicator we should expect to see more of those. :-]

    3. Thanks for joining John.

      There are hundreds of verses about man not doing what God wants. You can expect to hear some convoluted response saying God “knows” or “allows” or “permits” man to do what He (God) knows man really wants …but somehow all that is what God has deterministically decreed (as if man can be “free to want” something and God can be “deterministically/ immutable/ decreeing” that he want it.)

      Let the reader note: It is not the same to say “God wants/wills to allow man to be free to do things that are against God’s will,” as it is to say “God has several wills, including: the will he tells man to do and the will He “sovereignly/ secretly” makes/decrees man do.”

      The latter is Piper’s version.

      The former is Tozer’s version, and IMO the one that you find in the Scriptures if you let them speak for themselves (and not superimpose some man-made idea of what “sovereign” must mean).

      1. FOH writes, “There are hundreds of verses about man not doing what God wants….”

        Oh, FOH. You know that the dividing line in Calvinism is faith. Those with faith obey God; those without faith do not obey God. The T – in TULIP – depend on this distinction for its conclusion of total inability.

      2. rhutchin
        Oh, FOH. You know that the dividing line in Calvinism is faith…..etc

        br.d
        10 easy lessons in how to hide the Horrible Decrees behind something else.

        NAH!
        The dividing line in Calvinism is Decretal Theology (aka Universal Divine Causal Determinism)
        Every FALSE perception within the Calvinist’s brain is rendered-certain at the foundation of the world – to be infallibly perceived as true.

        Where can we sign up for that!!?! :-]

      3. br.d writes, “The dividing line in Calvinism is Decretal Theology (aka Universal Divine Causal Determinism)”

        In Calvinism, the dividing line between obedience and disobedience is faith. Those with faith obey God; thse without faith disobey God.

        Why do you have to distort Calvinism ito argue against it??

      4. rhutchin
        In Calvinism, the dividing line between obedience and disobedience

        br.d
        NAH!
        That’s just one of Calvinism’s illusions.
        There is no dividing line between obedience and disobedience in Calvinism.
        There is no such thing as disobedience to neurological impulses which are infallibly actualized within the brain

        No such thing as a human resisting an infallible decree! :-]

      5. br.d wriites “There is no dividing line between obedience and disobedience in Calvinism.”

        Despite br.d’s imaginative claims, In Calvinism, the dividing line between obedience and disobedience is faith. This is taken from Romans 8 where Paul contrasts those in the flesh (without faith) with those in the spirit (with faith). Paul writes, “the carnal (flesh) mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

      6. rhutchin
        Despite br.d’s imaginative claims, In Calvinism, the dividing line between obedience and disobedience is faith.

        br.d
        This is an excellent example of a Calvinist following John Calvin’s instructions – go about your office *AS-IF* nothing (in this case obedience/disobedience) is determined in any part.

        Calvinists are funny tying to make-believe they can disobey what is infallibly decreed! :-]

      7. rhutchin: “Despite br.d’s imaginative claims, In Calvinism, the dividing line between obedience and disobedience is faith.”
        br.d: “This is an excellent example of a Calvinist following John Calvin’s instructions – go about your office *AS-IF* nothing (in this case obedience/disobedience) is determined in any part.”

        If there is one thing that is not *AS-IF* thinking and has definitely been determined, it is that the dividing line between obedience and disobedience is faith – those with faith obey God; those without faith disobey God. This is foundational in Calvinism.

      8. br.d
        This is an excellent example of a Calvinist following John Calvin’s instructions – go about your office *AS-IF* nothing (in this case obedience/disobedience) is determined in any part.

        rhutchin
        If there is one thing that is not *AS-IF* thinking and has definitely been determined, it is that the dividing line between obedience and disobedience is faith – those with faith obey God; those without faith disobey God.

        br.d
        The entertaining thing about Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking – is how it makes everything they think DOUBLE-THINK

        rhutchin
        This is foundational in Calvinism.

        br.d
        Calvinist lesson #59
        Always try to hide the underlying foundational doctrine (i.e., Theological Determinism) behind a cosmetic mask.

      9. br.d writes, “Always try to hide the underlying foundational doctrine (i.e., Theological Determinism) behind a cosmetic mask.”

        The underlying foundational doctrine of Calvinism is the doctrine of God. Under this doctrine God has infinite understanding and is omnipotent. and these lead to the conclusion of Theological Determinism – that God is sovereign and always gets His way.

        A second foundational doctrine is the doctrine of man under which is the doctrine that the dividing line between obedience and disobedience is faith – those with faith obey God; those without faith disobey God.

      10. br.d
        Calvinist lesson #58
        Always try to hide the underlying foundational doctrine (i.e., Theological Determinism) behind a cosmetic mask.

        rhutchin
        The underlying foundational doctrine of Calvinism is….God has infinite understanding and is omnipotent. and these lead to the conclusion of Theological Determinism – that God is sovereign and always gets His way.

        br.d
        Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking is so entertaining!

        In Theological Determinism – whatsoever neurological impulses come to pass within the Calvinist’s brain – are infallibly actualized by an external mind.

        And the Calvinist goes about his office *AS-IF* nothing about the conclusion within his brain was predetermined in any part.

        rhutchin
        A second foundational doctrine is the doctrine of man under which is the doctrine that the dividing line between obedience and disobedience is faith – those with faith obey God; those without faith disobey God.

        br.d
        This is an excellent example of how *AS-IF* thinking always leads to more *AS-IF* thinking

        *AS-IF* Calvin’s god permits man to disobey an infallible decree.
        *AS-IF* Calvin’s god makes available – any alternative possibility – outside of what is infallibly decreed
        *AS-IF* 100% of whatsoever comes to pass is up to Calvin’s god – with some percent left over up to man.

        I still think God gave Calvinism to mankind as a form of entertainment! :-]

      11. br.d writes, “In Theological Determinism – whatsoever neurological impulses come to pass within the Calvinist’s brain – are infallibly actualized by an external mind. ”

        Actually, whatsoever neurological impulses come to pass are understood by God even before they come to pass because of God’s infinite understanding. They do not have to be actualized or initiated by God as God created people with brains able to react on their own to their external environment so that the interaction of the person and his environment is sufficient to generate neurological impulses.

      12. br.d
        In Theological Determinism – whatsoever neurological impulses come to pass within the Calvinist’s brain – are infallibly actualized by an external mind.

        rhutchin
        Actually, whatsoever neurological impulses come to pass are understood by God even before they come to pass because of God’s infinite understanding.

        br.d
        Right – understanding what he – before creatures are created – conceived and rendered-certain infallibly come to pass

        rhutchin
        They do not have to be actualized or initiated by God….etc

        br.d
        Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking is so funny!

        *AS-IF* a fallible natural object – like the human brain – can make anything come to pass infallibly! :-]

        I don’t know what is more humorous – Solipsism or Calvinism :-]

  36. rhutchin
    Why do you have to distort Calvinism ito argue against it??

    br.d
    Its impossible to distort something that is already distorted.
    And that explains Calvinism’s well earned reputation for DOUBLE-SPEAK.

    Dr. Jerry Walls says:
    -quote
    If Calvinists didn’t rely so heavily on misleading rhetoric – Calvinism would lose all credibility in two years.

    Dr. William Lane Craig
    – quote
    The Calvinist consistently fails to enunciate the radical distinctions in his belief system”

    Norman Geisler – chosen but free
    -quote:
    “Some Calvinists use smoke-and-mirror tactics to avoid the harsh implications of their view”
    “This is done by redefining terms and Theological Doublespeak”

    Laurence M. Vance – the dark side of Calvinism
    -quote
    “The confusing labyrinth of Calvinist terminology

    Micah Coate – The Cultish side of Calvinism:
    “Calvinists arguments are buried in theological and grammatical doublespeak.”

    Ronnie W. Rogers – Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist:
    -quote
    “As mentioned in several places throughout this book, within Calvinism there is a problem of what I call doubletalk. But I am not implying immoral or clandestine trickery. Nor am I suggesting conspiratorial deceit. I must admit that upon reflection on my time being a Calvinist, I did the same thing. I did not do this out ill motive or intent to deceive, or because of a lack of desire to be faithful to the scripture. Nor do I ascribe this to my Calvinist brothers. As a matter of fact, I did it because I believed Calvinism and the Scripture; and this brought about conflicts, or at least unconscious responses to the conflicts, which I now see as doubletalk. This doubletalk obscured the harsh realities of Calvinism and the inconsistencies between Scripture and Calvinism. ”

    David L. Allen – Anyone Can Be Saved: A Defense of “Traditional” Southern Baptist Soteriology
    -quote:
    “This is a clear example of what I call Calvinism’s double-talk. By double-talk, I specifically and only mean thinking….speaking in such a way that obscures the disquieting realities of Calvinism. If a person accepts these realities, then he can be a knowledgeable and consistent Calvinist. But if one is unwilling to face them and accept them, he cannot be a consistent Calvinist. Additionally, I am not calling anyone a double-talker nor is my use of this term intended in any sense to be a pejorative.”

    Gilbert VanOrder, Jr – Calvinism’s Conflicts: An Examination of the Problems in Reformed Theology
    -quote:
    “Calvinists then have to resort to double-talk in order to explain how human responsibility is still involved even though it isn’t. If a man can do nothing to change his condition, then he cannot be held responsible for changing his condition”.

    Ex-Calvinist Daniel Gracely – Calvinism a closer look:
    -quote
    “Calvinist and Non-Calvinist do not share the same meaning of words….. Remember, Calvinism is merely the invoking of associative meaning, not real meaning. By ‘not real’ I mean that the meaning is destroyed in the overall thought of the clause or sentence. For, of course, at one level the Calvinist understands the general meaning of words. But when he strings them together in such a way that it forms an idea that is false…

    This is what I used to do as a Calvinist. I liken these non-sense statements, or propositions, to the riding of a rocking horse….. Thus I would go back and forth in seesaw motion, lest on the one hand I find myself accusing God of insufficient sovereignty, or on the other hand find myself accusing God of authoring sin. All the while, there remained an illusion of movement towards truth, when in fact there was no real movement at all. At length I would allow the springs of dialectical tension to rest the rocking horse in the center, and then I would declare as harmonious propositions, which in fact, were totally contradictory to each other. Calvinist riders still ride out this scenario.”

    Francis Hodgson – The Calvinistic Doctrine of Predestination Examined and Refuted, 1855
    -quote:
    “The apology for this gross misapplication of language…..is found in their distressing emergency.
    In no other way can they, with any plausibility, meet their opponents.”

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