Why Compatibilism’s Theodicy Fails

 

I want to focus this post specifically on my ever-growing concerns about the philosophical view call “compatibilism” (a view most often held to by Calvinistic believers).  This view claims that one can affirm free will (as they define it) and divine determinism, as these two are considered “compatible” according to the claims of this perspective.*

Compatibilists (Calvinists) attempt to maintain that men are free in the sense that they are “doing what they desire.”  However, this appears to be an insufficient explanation to maintain any sense of true freedom considering that compatibilists also affirm that even the desires and thoughts of men are decreed by God. (i.e. WCF: “God has decreed whatsoever comes to pass.”)

This is an important circularity in the claim by Calvinists that humans can be considered genuinely free so long as their actions are in accordance with their desires (i.e. “voluntary”).  Given the long-held Calvinistic belief that all events and actions are decreed by God, then human desire (the very thing that compatibilists claim allows human choices to be considered free) must itself also be decreed. But if so, then there is nothing outside of or beyond God’s decree on which human freedom might be based. 

Put differently, there is no such thing as what the human really wants to do in a given situation, considered somehow apart from God’s desire in the matter (i.e., God’s desire as to what the human agent will desire). In the compatibilist scheme, human desire is wholly derived from and wholly bound to the divine desire. God’s decree encompasses everything, even the desires that underlie human choices.

This is a critical point, because it undercuts the plausibility of the compatibilist’s argument that desire can be considered the basis for human freedom. When you define freedom in terms of ‘doing what one wants to do’, it initially appears plausible only because it subtly evokes a sense of independence or ownership on the part of the human agent for his choices.

But once we recognize (as we must within the larger deterministic framework encompassing compatibilism) that those very desires of the agent are equally part of the environment that God causally determines, then the line between environment and agent becomes blurred if not completely lost. The human agent no longer can be seen as owning his own choices, for the desires determining those choices are in no significant sense independent of God’s decree.

For this reason, I feel human desire within the compatibilist framework forms an insufficient basis on which to establish the autonomy of human freedom (and from this the legitimacy of human culpability for sin).*

*Reference to Hamilton’s article reposted HERE.

113 thoughts on “Why Compatibilism’s Theodicy Fails

  1. I totally agree with you!
    However, I think its critical to point out that most Calvinists are SHAPE-SHIFTERS.

    The vast majority of Calvinists (who care about defending Calvinism) are:

    Calvinist-compatiblits-molinists-arminan-INdeterminist-determinsts. :-]

    They will wear whatever mask and produce whatever language tricks – they calculate will work for them in a given context.

    When they are preaching to themselves, they are proud staunch unflinching determinists.

    When attempting to deflect the focus from Calvin’s god who (at the foundation of the world) is the source and origin of every sin and evil which will come to pass – then they will flip in the totally opposite direction – put on a mask of an IN-determinism – and frame sentences that can only be logically coherent where determinism is FALSE.

    The society mentors them in doubles-speak talking points.
    John Piper is favored among them simply because he is a Grand Master in the use of their library of word games.

    IMHO:
    A Calvinist is an Determinist – wearing the mask of IN-determinism – reciting double-speak talking points. :-]

    Blessings! And thank you very very much for your wonderful work!

  2. As a non-Calvinist compatibilist, I believe it is improper to say that God “decreed” absolutely everything. “Decree” as a term ought to refer only to when God goes out of his way to make something happen — to MAKE true, by fiat.

    It is true that, under determinism, all things ontologically reduce to God’s decree. This is because (again, under determinism) there is a 100% faithful network of “tethers” tying all effects to prior causes, and ultimately the initial causation of God, in the forms he chose.

    But there’s an important nuance — one both Arminians and Calvinists fail to pursue.

    Here it is: “100% faithful ontological reduction does not mean 100% faithful teleological reduction.” In other words, just because the nooks and crannies in my English muffin are totally deterministic doesn’t mean God micromanaged them. (To say each nook and cranny is “decreed” is weird, to say the least, and Calvinists should probably stop saying it.)

    Let’s say that God is playing pool, and hits the cue ball to accomplish a certain end. He’s omniscient and a perfect pool player, so each ball ends exactly where he expected. We can say that ontological causation is faithful (determinism) and that teleological causation is faithful (all ends totally intended).

    But what if it’s a massive pool table with millions of balls? There may be some ends that are simply not pursuable GIVEN the elegant physical rules (God could always violate physics with a miracles, but let’s say he thinks that kinda ruins the point). Furthermore, the optimization of ends is going to involve a bunch of “collateral” ball motion that is not teleological significant — it is not intended, but a byproduct of intent. It’s not “decreed.” It’s not “micromanaged.” It’s noise.

    Now let’s say he hooks one of the table legs up to a belt sander and lets it run for a million years.

    This is deterministic chaos. Here, it’s not just false to say that meticulous ontological causation implies meticulous teleological causation — it’s obviously just absurd. “Everything decreed” my foot.

    In the real world, with subparticles as our billiard balls, it’s much more fun. Really, really cool things can emerge, non-micromanaged — like the genetic mapping that makes my daughter totally unique and special. And as my daughter grows, she grows in responsibility over how she chooses to accept and reject outside influences.

    In other words, God can give creation itself — not just behavior and thoughts but creation entirely — a significant degree of freedom simply by building an elegant ruleset and limiting his intrusive intervention, by using the power of deterministic chaos.

    1. Hi Stan… I think you might be forgetting in your illustration who set up the pool table exactly the way it is and takes all the shots… That’s determinism, especially if we are not given a free choice where we would like to take our shots.

      1. It shouldn’t matter that God was wholly responsible for the initial conditions. Let’s say God set up the original mega-pool-table with deliberately nonteleological arrangement, e.g., each ball arranged on grid points. Then he attaches the belt sander and lets it run for a billion years. This illustration shows that determinism can be true, and God can foreknow the ball positions at year 1 billion, but this does not say anything about the teleological significance of each ball position at year 1 billion. God would be superordinately responsible for each ball position at year 1 billion, but that doesn’t mean each ball position glows with divine purpose, meticulously arranged.

        Folks who believe in libertarian free will generally admit that much of creation is adequately deterministic. But does it then follow that, when God created, he micromanaged every plant cell in every leaf? Every crevice in every mountain? The course of every drop of water tumbling down every river? It’s much more meaningful to say that those particulars are the product of elegant physical rules taking wonderful, interesting, unique forms in an emergent way. Not “decreed,” but “emergent and abided.” We can take a similar emergent view of the human individual, their formal origination, and their growing personal responsibility as they age (and become more and more “their own person”) — and we’re left with the same morally-significant stuff we valued before, e.g., volition, choicemaking, individuality, and responsibility (especially through stewardship). And suddenly we have a wonderful compatibilism between the common language of volunteerism and human culpability from Scripture, and the Scriptural corollaries of sovereignty, e.g., St. Irenaeus, “The will and energy of God is the efficient and foreseeing cause of every time, place, age, and nature.”

        But again, this is not the compatibilism of the Calvinist.

      2. Needless to say! I didn’t arbitrate how to crack the things that affected me; only how to react to them. And that ability to react started out “pathetic” (as a newborn) and became “pretty resilient” (as an adult + some years) over time. Only this kind of (non-Calvinistic) compatibilism really comports with what we’ve experienced in our lives.

        I think again and again to Proverbs, where the parent shares responsibility for his child’s behavior. This only works when we take the buck of “buck-stops-here responsibility” and fling it into the ocean, and instead embrace a more complicated view of how we’re formed and influenced. From there, we can make authentic choices — not “ex nihilo” choices, as if free from prior causes, but causes that are our own, because we are emergent creations and unique individuals.

      3. So it seems you are saying, Stan, that I never get a turn at placing picking up the stick and hitting the cue ball myself… God set up the table, made the first and only strike and like dominos the reactions will only work out one way… that appears like my interaction with others was my doing freely.

      4. Man makes real choices and this cannot be denied, …that I also manifested – “the limited freedom in man”. If man has the choice to sin/not to sin, … it is also true that God has a choice for Himself whether to allow/dis-allow things to happen. If in case He permits sin it to occur, it does not teach us that God is impotent or helpless-this view makes man sovereign not God. It will appear that God is just an spectator and a helpless God.

        Also, It cannot be denied that God is Supreme over All. Nothing and no one is higher than Him. He is a perfect God and can never be blamed if He chose to let sin occur. He is not accountable to anybody else. Honestly, we cannot charge nor accuse Him as the author of sin. If we do that then, Jesus Christ will be disqualified to save sinners because this will mean that a sinner cannot save a fellow sinner.

        In all of these, it cannot be denied that God is still in the overall control and can never be dethroned by the use of man’s freedom.
        The “Permissive Will” of God to those that are seemingly contradiction to His will becomes a confusion and unacceptable to the non-Calvinists. Under such circumstance, Facts in Scripture pointing that both sides are true are now compromised (i.e. “God is in control of everything yet He permits man’s real choices to disobey”). The use of the term as “double talk” keeps on resounding as a way of offensive mode of attacking opponents.

        Here are just some of those verses that attests to this:

        1. Jeremiah 19:5 “They have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not
        command or speak nor did it come to My mind”

        2. Luke 8:32 “Now the herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter
        them. And He permitted them.”

        3. Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day to save
        many people alive.”

        4. Prov. 19:21 “There are many plans in man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel that will stand.”

        5. Prov. 16:23 “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”

        6. Psa. 135:6 “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places.”

        7. Psa. 115:3 “But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.”

        8. Isa. 14:24 “The Lord of hosts has sworn saying: “surely as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall
        stand.”

        9. Prov. 21:1 “The King’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wishes.”

        According to FOH : “… so what is it we are supposed to be doing?,

        I think we need to accept both. There is no need to make the two ideas quarrel with each other. Rules of logic cannot stand versus truths revealed by Scriptures.

        May the Lord bless us as we continue to provide useful information in this blog so that we may understand each side the better way.

      5. I accept the truth of all those verses, jtle… but none of them prove everything is eternally immutably predestined from before creation to work out only one way… And that conclusion or premise, which you must feel those verses do prove, would logically contradict very clear verses that indicate God determined things after creation and that many things are truly “might bes”. But look closer at those verses. They only prove God can and does control things He descides to control, or has promised to do. They do not prove the eternal immutable predestination of all things before creation.

      6. Brian writes : “They only prove God can and does control things He descides to control, or has promised to do. They do not prove the eternal immutable predestination of all things before creation.”

        Yet it can be assumed that even before the foundation of the world that: God was not ignorant of all of those things that would happen in the future even if there is no existing premise. God in his very nature and attributes He already possess all of these absolute, immutable knowledge before creation because He was already God without pre-existence, right? It would be erroneous to say that God’s omniscience only commence in some other time.

        Thanks Brian.

      7. Jtle. God to be knowledgeable of what “would happen” is only possible if the future is limited to and locked in to only one set of events forever. According to Scripture, it is not. God’s knowledge cannot know a falsehood as true. A locked in future is a falsehood.

        In His infinite understanding He always knows what could happen. And as He freely makes decisions to cause or permit certain things from among available possibilities He comes to know them as what will happen. Until then He truly only knows them as what could happen.

      8. Brian writes : ” God to be knowledgeable of what “would happen” is only possible if the future is limited to and locked in to only one set of events forever. According to Scripture, it is not. God’s knowledge cannot know a falsehood as true. A locked in future is a falsehood.”

        “In His infinite understanding He always knows what could happen. And as He freely makes decisions to cause or permit certain things from among available possibilities He comes to know them as what will happen. Until then He truly only knows them as what could happen.”

        My Response :

        I understand your point Brian, but it so happens that I cannot force myself to go with you. Deep within my conscience I am fully convicted that God has no limits as to His attributes. God can still know what will happen in the future even though it is unlocked. If God prefers to let the future “unlocked” this would not restrain Him for establishing future outcomes that will not counter His previous plans. Human beings has no capabilities to lock or unlock the future. Only God can do that. I don’t treat you as an enemy. I can sense to myself your sincerity and you have been working so hard through the scriptures to keep you strong with your belief in the same scriptures where both of us here have anchored our beliefs. I do respect your points presented here.

        Nice knowing you in this blog.

      9. br.d writes : “Calvin’s god is not playing with a full deck of cards.
        His brain is a few french fries short of a happy meal! :-] ”

        My Response here: A careless statement done as a way of attacking opponents in a discourse will not help both sides here. Instead it will dishonor the God that we both worship and serve. Calvinist’s God is just the same God with the God of the non-Calvinists that you are trying to ruin down here.

      10. You’re made of pool balls, so you can hit other ones as far as that goes. What matters is not that we’re somehow circularly responsible for our entire selves in an infinite regression, but that we represent an emergent form that manifests things like uniqueness, practices things like choicemaking, and can be disciplined, can develop, and can grow. But I’m SURE we’re going to be at an impasse of “what matters” here. I can only insist that whether things are deterministic or not doesn’t really matter, and you can insist that it does, etc.

        However, to swing away from that impasse and back to the purpose of the analogy, the point is that what occurs is not necessarily meticulously purposed. With deterministic chaos as an ingredient in the mix, many things — in fact, most things — are noisiness, and emergence from noisiness. This is NOT an ontological kind of freedom — under determinism, that’s a bullet bitten — but a teleological kind of freedom, since it is not the case that every nook & cranny of an English muffin has a divine intention indwelling. The English muffin analogy is used because most of us, even those of us who believe in libertarian free will, often agree that the muffin nooks are adequately deterministic, but also that divine intention indwelling them is absurd, and thus might be interested in the function of deterministic chaos as a resolution to what would otherwise be a reductio ad absurdum.

      11. So Stan… even though in your scenario I don’t get a chance at lining up the cue ball for my own shots, and God only hit the ball once… are you saying He set up the table without a conscious choice of where He was placing the balls, waiting instead to see what would happen after taking His shot… or that He wasn’t even the one who set up the table, placing the balls on it?

      12. In the “grid & belt sander” example, he made a series of conscious choices that instantiated everything, and the ends were determined from those choices insofar as the ends were a deterministic procession, but this does not mean that every single outplaying result was “this way” and not “that way” for a purposeful reason. Perhaps this will help: A conscious desire that the initial layout be simple and straightforward, and the systemic rules be simple and procedural, does not yield a conscious desire that a certain ball strikes another certain ball at a certain vector at a certain time down the road. That initial conscious desire does yield that specific later effect, but does not imply an obsessed, meticulous desire about that later effect.

        Deterministic chaos acts in an entropic way against meticulous purposes. This is how it’s possible for God to be responsible and foreknowing, without exhaustively and perfectly fore-“wanting” everything that occurs in that result. At that point, is more meaningful to say that he fore-“abides” those byproducts (or has a miraculous intervention foreplanned).

      13. Stan… that sounds like are saying that God set it up for certain desired ends He had in mind that will surely result, but that He only had a conscious “guess” of possible negative outcomes that He was willing to “abide” or live with. How does He not know that His set up and first shot is still responsible for those negative outcomes? And if He knew… how did it not affect His wanting of those negative outcomes, since He would have known they would necessarily occur… unless His omniscience is not exhaustive.

      14. Brian, you said, ” And if He knew… how did it not affect His wanting of those negative outcomes, since He would have known they would necessarily occur…”

        He did know, and knew they would certainly occur. But that doesn’t mean he wanted them; rather, he wanted a set of things of which those things are byproducts, and he abided those byproducts.

        When I want a soda pop, I have to pay for it. I don’t like paying for it. Just because I do it doesn’t mean I want to do it; it’s a byproduct of what I truly want to do, and I’m just abiding that byproduct.

        When I’m discussing something with my coworker nearby, I know that another coworker can overhear us. This doesn’t mean that I WANT that coworker to overhear us — it just so happens that they shall, and I abide it with full knowledge of that of which I’m responsible.

        Abiding negative byproducts — and abiding trivial byproducts — of stuff I want does not translate to me “wanting those things,” except in an unfamiliar sense of the term.

      15. I hear you, Stan. Thanks for your patience in explaining your view… I’m still just not quite sure I understand. It still means to me that you are saying God set up the exact situation knowing the exact negative by-products would happen. Are you saying He was unable to set it all up any other way to avoid His being directly responsible for those specific negative by-products? He certainly only does what ultimately He wants to do… so I’m not quite sure how He is getting both what He wants as well as what He doesn’t want if He is controlling all outcomes as necessary. If He is not controlling all outcomes as necessary, I then can grasp how He might then get what He might not want secondarily though He would be still getting what He wants ultimately.

      16. Given determinism, this idea really only works if:

        (1) God has an innate interest in the “freedom of creation” — that is, he prefers to have elegant procedural rules, a simple starting state, and minimal intervention, so that stuff within creation can largely go its own way (via deterministic chaos).

        (2) He foresaw that the result would be amazing, and with that careful and incisive intervention, creation’s going-in-own-way could lead to a process of discipline and leading-back to a grand consummation of his relationship with his creatures. That is, he let the Fall happen knowing it would be unwound.

      17. Thanks Stan for the further explanation but it didn’t answer the question if God coulds have set it up differently to avoid the fall as necessarily happening. I also get the feel that your view locks all God’s interactions in history as almost deistic… for He takes no more free shots after the first one even though He becomes a pool ball too.

        In the end, your view imo makes all God’s communication of “might bes” and His decision making after creation, given in His Word, to be all anthropomorphic expressions that do not tell the truth of the superimposed deterministic reality that you suggest.

  3. Br.D writes : “IMHO:
    A Calvinist is an Determinist – wearing the mask of IN-determinism – reciting double-speak talking points. :-]”

    1. Even the non-Calvinists side manifests that according to them : “Free will of Humans” must be absolutely free from any manipulations, inside and outside influences. It cannot be called freedom if it cannot decide autonomous by itself alone.

    2. Actually man was not endowed with absolute freedom, why? very simple: the fallen man has been totally depraved, thus the so called free will is no longer free because it becomes the best friend and congruent, compatible to sin and satan, so … it is NO LONGER FREE.

    3. Even before the fall of Man, his so called “free will” was not absolutely free, why? because God can still manipulate it.

    4. The level of the “so called free will” that man have is not absolute. It can never be of equal level of amount with God, not even will surpass the level of freedom from God, his creator. Man exercise his “so called free will” on the basis of that limited freedom whether to obey or disobey God’s commandments. This is “NOT DOUBLE SPEAK” as what you are so joyfully, labelling our side. Even the apostle Paul have experienced this thing. Listen to his testimony in :

    Phil. 1:22-23 “But if I live in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”

    Romans 7:15 “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do”

    5. There is NO SUCH ABSOLUTE FREEDOM in man. If this is true ???… then man will become like God (in terms of attributes ) or even surpass the will power of God, his creator. This will make man uncontrollable and God becomes impotent over man’s actions and decisions.

    6. Non-Calvinists are also labelled as “double speak” – you claim that God is omniscient yet you idolize to much man to the point of making man more knowledgeable than God because God cannot determine ahead man’s future actions; that God can only act when it already come to pass. Non-Calvinists “god” possess partial omniscience, partial omnipotence, partial omnipresence, partial sovereignty. This is not the kind of God that saved us on our side.

    1. jtleosala
      Non-Calvinists “god” possess *PARTIAL* omniscience, partial omnipotence, partial omnipresence, partial sovereignty. This is not the kind of God that saved us on our side.

      br.d
      In Theological Determinism the creature “disobeying” the THEOS is no more possible than a square circle.
      Even Calvin’s god cannot make a married bachelor.

      Here is what you have in Theological Determinism:
      1)The THEOS at the foundation of the world decrees the creature will X
      2)The decree is INFALLIBLE
      3)Therefore the creature *CANNOT DO OTHERWISE* than *OBEY* what has been decreed
      4) The create WILL do X and CANNOT DO OTHERWISE than X

      CONCLUSION:
      The “Creature in disobedience” in Calvinism is Double-speak :-]

      jtleosala
      Man exercise his “so called free will” on the basis of that LIMITED FREEDOM whether to obey or disobey God’s commandments…..This is “NOT DOUBLE SPEAK”

      br.d
      Here we have the term LIMITED FREEDOM – after having asserted the argument that NOT determining *ALL* things which come to pass equates to PARTIAL omniscience.

      In logic X is either TRUE or FALSE – it cannot be both.

      In Theological Determinism, the THEOS (millennia before the creature is born) determines what neurological impulses *CAN & WILL* exist for the creature.

      CONCLUSION:
      LIMITED FREEDOM in Calvinism is Double-Speak.

      Thanks for providing examples of points I’ve been making :-]

      1. Hi… br.d

        Rules of logic is not authoritative over truths revealed in scripture. Both sides are true supported by scripture passages. Even if ignored by anyone it will continue to stand alone . Labeling Calvinists as double speak will never work. It is always a combustible hide out shield mode of defense.

  4. A picture is worth a thousand words.

    This picture depicts perfectly the LANGUAGE MODE displayed in the video
    https://www.123rf.com/photo_2257739_two-faced-woman.html

    -quote “Calvin’s god determines ALL things that come to pass”
    -quote “Their Nature determines what they do”.

    -quote “without them realizing he is controlling their very thoughts”
    -quote “they are in control their own thoughts”

    Replay the video again – and you will detect this constant flip-flop double-speak language.

    Question:
    Does Jesus Christ teach double-speak?

    This question always makes me wonder how a Calvinist can honestly consider himself a TRUE disciple Jesus Christ.

    1. Br.D writes : “Does Jesus Christ teach double-speak?”

      “This question always makes me wonder how a Calvinist can honestly consider himself a TRUE disciple Jesus Christ.”

      My Response :

      1. It seems to me that you have a very deep anger with our side. You know … that is very bad, and not the true marks of believers in Christ. It will not help you grow in the faith. Satan will take hold of your hatred.

      2. I will no longer answer your question because you have already an answer for that. I choose to remain silent. I might be the cause of your burning hatred again.

      3. There is no problem of your post quote, we know that… There is no need for you to remind. It is a fact that God is the one who controls everything, why? Because He is above all and no one else may ever exist higher than Him. Because of this you are treating us as your mortal enemy? Are you not happy that God is above all and supreme of all? Are you still considering other deities (maybe your too much idolizing of man’s capabilities) higher than God the creator of the universe?

      1. Take this logic and apply it to Jesus’ statements in Mathew 24 where he calls people “vipers” and “whitewashed sepulchres”
        Or his cleansing of the temple.

        The TRUTH of Jesus’ statements can be discounted because he must have had a very deep anger.

        Logic and emotions are not the same thing.

        To avoid logic by attributing it to emotions is illogical – and its simply an easy way to avoid unflattering realities.

        If one wants to affirm the fact that Calvinists are SHAPE-SHIFTERS and rely on language tricks as I have described – one can simply read Calvinist posts here for excellent examples.

        If one has an eye to see – one can also watch the video (above) – scrutinize the language – and discern its two-faced nature for themself.

        That’s the blessing of SOT10 :-]

  5. The Calvinist will do backward somersaults to try and prove that their compatibilism (Calvinism) allows for free will and will go around in circles and down rabbit trails to try and prove it. But it always comes back to how they believe God saved. This is the heart of the issue. They believe God picked out only a certain few out of multitudes before the world began for reasons unknown to be saved. Now hear that! For reasons unknown. Nothing to do with the gospel. Yes the gospel came later on and was the mechanism to do it according to Calvinists, but it wasn’t the reason.The reason is unknown and is still a mystery to them.

    The Mechanism is known but not the reason. They cannot tell you why God decided to save only a few and not the rest by a “secret” selection process from before they were born.

    The Calvinist will say…..”oh, but he didn’t have to save anybody”. That may be true if this “secret” selection process to salvation is even true and can be found in the bible.

    According to Calvinism this “secret decree” as Calvin calls it to hand pick only some has nothing to do with anything foreseen, and I mean nothing! – sin, rebellion, wickedness, the fall, men’s choices……nothing foreseen! Actually, it cannot be even seen as “saved”. Saved from what? As the Calvinist say it has nothing to do with anything foreseen. It is merely just a “secret election” for no given reason.

    So they can argue all they like but the fact still remains – they have put their trust in a secret selection process to salvation from before they were born with a mere mechanism called the gospel which just merely plays it out in their deterministic understanding, with another mechanism thrown in called “free will” which as Leighton has pointed out isn’t actually free at all but one step removed.

    As Leighton says “it’s untenable”. And I would say unbiblical

    1. D.G Writes : “The Mechanism is known but not the reason. They cannot tell you why God decided to save only a few and not the rest by a “secret” selection process from before they were born.”

      My Response :

      1. The apostle Paul have something to say for you D.G. According to the Apostle Paul : “Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens – Romans 9:18 ( I will no longer give any comment on this verse, you might get angry again)

      2. “Does not the Potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for Dishonor?” – Romans 9:21. ( I will not give any comments on this verse… you might get mad again with me)

      3. “As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated?” Romans 9:13 (still the Non-Calvinists will have a hard struggle on this because they promote Universal Salvation. They will say : Oh… God loves all people and will become mad at Calvinists’ Limited Atonement)

      1. JT,

        Your point 1. Is totally out of context as usual. That passage is not talking about having mercy on pre-selected individuals before they were born for no given reason and hardening the rest to fulfil a so called “secret decree”.

        Your point 2. Is also totally of context as well, unless you believe Paul is saying that God creates most men for the purpose to burn in hell (dishonor) and a few for heaven (honour) for no given reason from before they were born.

        Your point 3. is also terribly out of context. It is a shame you believe that God hates most of mankind and damned them to hell from before they were born for no given reason.

        It’s much better and biblical to believe men are condemned to hell for not accepting Christ as Saviour. It puts the blame solely on them and not God.

        No anger at all JT. Just stating the facts.🙂

      2. DG Writes : “It’s much better and biblical to believe men are condemned to hell for not accepting Christ as Saviour. It puts the blame solely on them and not God.”

        Me :

        1. But it is more un-biblical to say that “men are in hell because they rejected Christ”. How can they accept/reject the offer if there was no legitimate offer of the gospel? Also, without the drawing power of God the Father to the Son it would be impossible for them to be able come to Jesus. Please don’t be so negative to this because, it is Jesus Christ who said this not the Calvinists. Listen to what He says : “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” – John 6:44, He repeated this in verse 65 “And He said, “therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My father”. Do you think He is just playing jokes here?

        Nothing can bend this statement of Jesus in order to conform to those who promotes universal salvation. Trying hard … will never work.

        2. God cannot be blamed if He decided beforehand for them to go to hell for unknown reasons. He is not accountable to anybody else because no one ever existed above Him. Judas Iscariot before he was born, he was already destined to hell. Jesus foreknow it already from the beginning. Listen to what Jesus said : “But there are some of you who do not believe”. For Jesus knew from the beginning (meaning before they were born) who they were who do not believe, and who would betray Him. – John 6:64

      3. JT,

        It’s a shame that you believe God created most people for the purpose of burning in hell for no reason, and all because of terribly misconstrued bible reading.

        At least you put forth a good example for others to read on this site so that they can see where Calvinism leads. Most Calvinists are not as brazen as you are and won’t admit these facts – That Calvinism teaches most men are created for the purpose of burning in hell, predetermined to that end by a secret a decree from before they were born.

        Thanks, keep exposing them.👍

  6. Good post. This topic is very near to my heart, as it was Compatibilism that drew me into the web of Calvinism. I had very thoroughly researched Calvinism years before, and knew that I could never accept that God deliberately chose to save only a select few and deliberately chose to condemn the rest.

    However, in my research, the Calvinists I read always insisted that one had to be either Calvinist or Arminian – there were no other options. I regret to admit that I was ignorant and naive enough to believe that, but in my heart of hearts, I always thought that there must be some other option. Surely I could not be the only believer in the world who could not side with either Calvinism or Arminianism?

    Upon moving, and trying out a new little Reformed church at the urging of a relative, I was cheerfully told by the young pastor (to be) that, thanks to Compatibilism, I could have my cake and eat it too. He assured me that he simply read and preached what scripture said, and sometimes it sounded Calvinistic, and sometimes it did not. I was told – wait for it – that it was a ‘mystery’ that could not be understood, and must simply be left in God’s hands. I was foolish enough to think this was the solution I had been seeking, and ended up serving under that pastor for over a decade.

    Fast forward many years, and an odd set of circumstances led me to finally face the many questions and concerns I had been keeping locked in my subconscious. Be warned – just allow a small crack in the facade of ‘we have all the answers’, and the next thing you know you will be thinking for yourself again! It was like emerging from a deep spell, and despite many heartaches, lost relationships and vast changes, I have been healing, growing and being restored in my faith in God and my trust in his promise to lead me by his own personal Spirit – just the way my relationship with him used to be.

    I assert that Compatibilism is a facade, a front built and maintained by the doublespeak so many point out here on these pages. It misleads the unwary through word games, distraction, constantly changing definitions and the ever present doublespeak. As someone who was once Arminian, strongly anti-Calvinist, then became quasi-Calvinist, and is now merely a child of God who walks with him and seeks his guidance, I can say that I have looked at Calvinism from four perspectives: totally ignorant and never in, semi-educated but still never in, carefully brainwashed and mostly in, and, finally, fomerly in and definitely out, and much more informed as to both the theology and practice of those who call themselves Reformed.

    I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself an expert, but I do believe I have dealt with Calvinism from a broader range of perspectives than many. Add to that the very real damage to the lives I saw come and go through our church, which will never cease to haunt me. A good friend, who was not Calvinist, but attended our church part time due to friendship with most of the members, put it like this: “It seems that most people leave the church wounded in one way or another, in worse shape than when they came in.” That was one of the realities which I was finally forced to face, and which persuaded me that what I was a part of was not a healthy church. In spite of my spouse’s reluctance, once my nearly grown children all admitted that they also no longer viewed it as a healthy place, we made the decision to leave.

    I was deeply traumatized, and still suffer from the effects of the spiritual abuse I felt I was under in my time in Calvinism country. I felt manipulated, mind-controlled, and used for the pastor’s own personal agenda, rather than built up, fed and equipped to serve others as I had desired. I saw marriages ruptured, families broken up and many individuals leave deeply hurt, confused or antagonistic to God. This, my friends, is not the work of a true shepherd loving and serving the body of Christ. Only after discovering on various spiritual abuse blogs that many others had experienced much the same thing in a Reformed church that I came to believe that it was not just one pastor or one church, but that the very authoritarian, unloving, cruel, controlling view of God created by Reformed Theology creates the same sort of people, particularly in pastors who perceive themselves as uniquely sent to ‘save the church’ and ‘build God’s kingdom.

    My experience with Calvinistic Compatibilism has inspired me to seek to rescue or prevent others from suffering the same sort of abuse and faith-destroying teaching that I underwent, which is why I find it difficult to let doublespeakers go unchallenged.

    1. TSOO Writes : “I have been healing, growing and being restored in my faith in God and my trust in his promise to lead me by his own personal Spirit – just the way my relationship with him used to be.”

      Question : you say : “You have been restored to your faith ” so… the question is:

      1. What kind of faith you possess before you embrace the pure gospel of Salvation of the Calvinists?

      2. Are you saying here that you are still unborn again before you ejected yourself in the side of Calvinism?

      3. Is there such as : You become born again and then unborn again, then re-born again? – this is the practice of the Pentecostals and Charismatics that I have ever met. Every time there is an altar call, even their Pastors come forward in order to receive Christ by saying the so called “Prayer to receive Christ”. They do this because (as I asked them) for fear that they already lost their salvation because they committed sin. This is crazy… why? how many times you will commit sins in one minute?. Under this teaching it will encourage everyone to embrace “unlimited” receiving Christ as personal Lord and Savior. … It is really crazy ?

      Calvinists don’t believe in “falling away” from the grace of God. There is no such thing, why? Because there is no legitimate offer of the gospel to the reprobates. If there was no legitimate offer for them, then there is nothing to be lost … for nothing have been possessed at all. The elect are well kept and watched closely by Jesus Christ Himself, the good Shepherd of the flock. Our Salvation is not maintained by any human being.

      1. – quote : Embrace the pure gospel of Salvation *OF* the Calvinists

        br.d
        A confirmation that Calvinists perceive themselves has having a gospel that is unique to Calvinism.
        A discerning Christian can connect the rest of the dots. :-]

  7. As you mentioned before Leighton, compatibilism is the determinist’s way to make determinism sound more palatable. It introduces a antinomy that must just be believed… though it breaks the law of non-contradiction.

    I still think these are just attempts by Calvinists, Arminians and Molinists to hold on to neo-platonist immutable omniscience that locks God in and limits Him to knowing only one set future forever. They each come up with their own brand of determinism that makes it sound like God is not culpable for sin but also adequately explains, they think, that existence of immutable omniscience.

    They each say God has freewill… but He actually never exercises it in a way where His mind/plan is actually changed by freewill choices of creatures created. The plan was set and limited to only working out one way before the creation of any other will. And who do you think set that plan that way… including that all sins must happen each in their own immutable way?

    1. Brian Writes : “I still think these are just attempts by Calvinists, Arminians and Molinists to hold on to neo-platonist immutable omniscience that locks God in and limits Him to knowing only one set future forever. They each come up with their own brand of determinism that makes it sound like God is not culpable for sin but also adequately explains, they think, that existence of immutable omniscience.”

      “They each say God has freewill… but He actually never exercises it in a way where His mind/plan is actually changed by freewill choices of creatures created. The plan was set and limited to only working out one way before the creation of any other will. And who do you think set that plan that way… including that all sins must happen each in their own immutable way?”

      My Reaction :

      1. Molinists uphold absolute Libertarian Free will of man-same with the non-Calvinists side in this thread…. therefore, the Non-Calvinists here are also labelled as Molinists.

      2. Molinists still uphold “Absolute Omniscience of God”, but not with the non-Calvinists side posting their comments in this thread. God’s omniscience for the later is undermined. They say “God can still change His original plan based on the free will choices of creatures”

      3. I may have found common agreement with Luis de Molina’s thesis regarding God’s Absolute Omniscience but will surely in conflict with him when it comes to Limited atonement and Total depravity. John Calvin is far away ahead with the Jesuit priest. He was able to formulate his theology based on Calvin’s arguments which some parts of his so called “ROSES” ideas are just copied from Calvin.

      4. God alone can come up with His eternal plans without sharing it to humans. or even seeking the help of human beings. He is doing this because He is a perfect God, and His plans are also perfect not defective nor there is a need to be modified based on the so called “free will” of choices of man.

      1. jtle… I’m surprised how dogmatically you can speak about God’s plan and the definition of His omniscience without even one clear verse that teaches everything is eternally immutably predestined from before creation.

        But there are many “might be” statements by God in His Word which means His omniscience knows those things only and truly as “might be” until there is a change by Him in His plan. This contradicts His knowing them all eternally and immutably as “will be” and “won’t be”.

        Also, all the clear Scriptures that speak of God making decisions after creation contradicts the premise that He made all His decisions eternally immutably before creation.

      2. Brian Writes : “Also, all the clear Scriptures that speak of God making decisions after creation contradicts the premise that He made all His decisions eternally immutably before creation.”

        My Reaction :

        1. 2 Tim. 1:9 “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” – This verse disproves Brian’s statement above.

        PREMISE : God has already planned before time to save and to call sinners with a holy calling
        The plan has been specified by God as :

        a. that it was not in accordance to man;s good works as the non-Calvinists insists in this blog.

        b. It was according to His purpose and grace, however the non-Calvinists do some insertion of man’s good works and self-righteousness
        to the grace of God in order to obtain salvation.

        OUTCOME : The outcome does not contradicts the premise. The Israelites and believing Gentiles are saved that compose the flock entrusted by God the Father to Jesus Christ. This verse does’t say God making another decision after creation. He will no longer do that because it has been planned out already.

        2. Eph. 1:4 “Just as he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

        When was the plan made ? – Answer : Before the foundation of the world

        What was the plan all about ? – Answer : for those chosen to become holy and without blame

        What is the Outcome ? Answer : Christ’s imputed righteousness to the believers. Listen to Apostle Paul’s declaration in Phil. 3:9: “And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.”

        The plan of God made before time began is immutable as it is proven in this verse. It can never be bended nor can be revised by the Non-Calvinists in this blog by the theology they uphold, the “Libertarian free will” choices of man that according to them, makes God to change His mind.

        There is no whatsoever contradiction of the premise in elation to the fulfillment of it’s outcome.

      3. jtle – I noticed you didn’t deal with my Scriptural argument but ran to hide behind two favorite proof texts of Calvinists from which they try to prove too much. You and I didn’t exist before creation to be given anything… only the persons of the Godhead existed.

        I will show you my exegesis for Eph 1:4, which fits with 2Tim 1:9 because both have “us” and “in Him (Christ Jesus)”. Here’s the link. https://www.academia.edu/31113015/Ephesians_1_4_-_exegetical_dialog. Maybe you could then deal with the Scriptural argument I gave you for God revealing an uncompleted future and now also my thoughts on Eph 1:4. Thanks.

      4. jtleosala:
        Molinists uphold *ABSOLUTE* Libertarian Free will of man

        br.d
        Please provide a quote from any authoritative Molinist who states that Molinism upholds *ABSOLUTE* Libertarian free will of man.
        Where the term ABSOLUTE is preciously qualified.

        Otherwise – this becomes good example of how Calvinist language is designed to be misleading.

        Jesus without fail – speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
        The disciple of Jesus will do the same.

        You shall know them by their fruits.
        Every tree brings forth fruit of its own kind.
        Calvinism’s fruit is misleading language.

  8. Dr Leighton, you’re more philosophical than biblical. Did you say you’re a theologian? If you wanted to do a good work of destroying compatiblism, you should have taken all those scriptures that speak for it and done a good exegesis better than what compatiblists have done and put it here for intelligent minds to consider. I have never met a more unscriptural theologian.

    1. Welcome ezi. You’re free to critique what was said in the op by Leighton, and present your own Scriptural support for compatibilism. But just attacking the op as substandard to your measurement is unhelpful. And using exaggerations like – “I have never met a more unscriptural theologian” – to attack Leighton shows a shallowness in Christian love, imo. Future comments like that will be deleted.

      1. and your comments of “Calvinists sneaking in the fact that God predestined from eternity that Adam will was immutable” Which first of all is incorrect. Second of all the use of the word ‘sneaking” suggest of the Calvinist character being “shady. underhanded, disingenuous.” Will you delete that comment to Mr. Wagner. The protector of Dr. Flowers. I have noticed many of your character assassinations of Calvinists on here Sir. Your tongue seems to be one of duplicity at times. Which shows a shallowness in your Christian love, IMO. You should go back over all your the comments you have made and delete where you have done the same exact thing even calling the Calvinists disingenuous right out in one of your comments. I am sure that this will not be post but hopefully it will continue to show you your heart and the disposition and character of this site.

      2. Sorry, I must admit I wrote that out of irritation. I am truly sorry. Yet, my main point is that he is being philosophical more than biblical. I have listened to the calvinist/Arminian debate for a long time, and I have never seen any of the camps do the debates in this manner. Sincerely speaking, I am not helped to understand the Arminian perspective more by Dr Leighton. Biblical exegesis is the best way to deal with biblical issues of this sort. I have not studied theology, I only depend on those who have studied it formally. I definitely should expect more from a PhD in theology. Forgive my tone earlier, nevertheless

      3. Ezi – your humble response was a blessing. Don’t sell yourself short though when it comes to understanding theology. Almost every book of the Bible was addressed to laypeople, giving them the responsibility to clearly understand what God has revealed. We’re not dependent on scholars for the most important truths in Theology.

        But man’s philosophy also has to be critiqued when some lean more heavily on it for some of their theology than on Scripture. If you go to the main page of this blog you will find exegetical discussions for all the major proof texts of Calvinism. Let me know which one you especially want to study… maybe I can help point you to the best ones for that passage.

    1. Hi Tom… notice that there is a manuscript issue in that verse (by checking other translations), plus note there is a quotation of the OT verse issue, plus note it says “from the beginning of the world” and not “before”, plus “known…are all His works” is a strange phrase which does not clearly mean everything is eternally immutably predestined from before creation… but might just mean God understands fully everything He has been doing since the beginning.

  9. BRIANWAGNER
    SEPTEMBER 22, 2018 AT 5:40 AM
    jtle – I noticed you didn’t deal with my Scriptural argument but ran to hide behind two favorite proof texts of Calvinists from which they try to prove too much. You and I didn’t exist before creation to be given anything… only the persons of the Godhead existed.

    I will show you my exegesis for Eph 1:4, which fits with 2Tim 1:9 because both have “us” and “in Him (Christ Jesus)”. Here’s the link. https://www.academia.edu/31113015/Ephesians_1_4_-_exegetical_dialog. Maybe you could then deal with the Scriptural argument I gave you for God revealing an uncompleted future and now also my thoughts on Eph 1:4. Thanks.

    Dr. Sean Cole already effectively dealt with this man made understanding of these two verses to get around the easily understood and plain reading of Holy Scripture. That Brian Wagner is yet to respond to and I think is unable to provide and adequate response as he reads his presuppositions into the Biblical Greek as Dr. Cole exposes that very fact below.

    “Sean Cole said in response to Brian Wagner:
    Let me give you my thoughts on this. In the grand scheme of things, a dative (indirect object or interest) has no bearing on the meaning of the passage. Let’s break it down.
    What did God give? In the immediate grammatical context, it is probably grace but it could be both purpose and grace

    Here’s the question: To whom was this grace given? TO US—(dative—if a normal dative indirect object—we are the recipients of this grace that was given. Even if it is a dative of interest it could be translated that this grace was given “for our benefit or advantage”—but the Greek does not allow the grace to be given to Jesus to then someday in the future turn around give to us.

    He does believe that the grace was given before (pros) times eternal or before creation or in eternity past—however, you want to translate it.
    Here is his problematic statement: That grace was given before creation to Christ Jesus to possess and reveal later (vs. 10) for us who are now saved and called
    Why would God give grace to Jesus too, later on, give us? Nowhere else in the NT do we see this concept of God giving grace to Jesus before time and then coming later to reveal this grace. The grammar will not allow the grace to be given to Christ. Even if he takes it as a dative of interest the grace is still given to US (for our benefit or advantage or interest) in Christ—not that the grace was given to Christ. Here is his other problematic statement: Neither was grace given TO you or me individually before salvation as if we had it placed into our lives back then, for our lives did not exist back then. One can speak anachronistically and say “grace that was given to us” but it would be more logical and literal to say “grace that was given for us”. This “us” is a dative of interest, not a dative indirect object. sans-serif;”>The grammar will simply not allow this. The direct object or recipient of the grace is “US”—not Christ. Even though our lives did not exist back then, God still predestined us to be saved. This would mean that when God created He had no knowledge of you or me. Or we can believe what the Bible says that God predestined US and chose US before the foundation of the world. In God’s mind, even though we didn’t exist, God still shows specific electing love to all those whose names were written in the Lamb’s book of life before the foundation of the world. >Even if the grace was given TO us or given FOR us, he still has to answer his own objection. How can something be given FOR us if we did not exist? I guess he thinks this salvation was a plan that God would enact one day when Christ came but that there was no eternal decree by God to save anyone in particular. Even if the grace was given for us or to us, we are still the recipients of that grace and God did it before time and only the elect will be saved.
    I’m afraid he is trying to make the text say something it doesn’t in order to not deal with unconditional election. Which is probably the case since he is a corporate election guy. >This is a minor detail and one that I wouldn’t be dogmatic on. The real question is this—if sinners are spiritually dead and unable to come to Christ on their own, how then do they come? Are they drawn? can they resist that drawing? Does God foresee who will be saved and then ratify their decision based upon what he sees? Does a dead sinner use his or her free will to come to Christ and then once they come to Christ they are one of the elect?

  10. Brian Writes : “You and I didn’t exist before creation to be given anything… only the persons of the Godhead existed.”

    Me : I agree with you Brian, that no humans ever existed before creation in relation to Eph. 1:4, and I respect that. For us, humans it would be very difficult to believe and admit God’s act of choosing humans that don’t exist before creation. I also have read the link of your exegesis of Eph. 1:4

    If we will just contain our understanding within the level of Man’s understanding, then we might be undermining God’s Omniscience. For me I am not delimiting God’s capabilities to do the act of choosing (There are things that are impossible for man but possible with God) that could be unacceptable or illogical with humans way of reasoning. My point here is well supported by the following verses:

    1. I Cor. 2:16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that we may instruct Him?” (let us no longer instruct God on how He will do the act of choosing before Creation)

    2. Romans 11:34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has become His counselor?”

    3. Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways:, says the Lord.” – (If God says: He has already chosen us before time began in Eph. 1:4, then just respect it, because no man can ever dispute with God)

    4. Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways (includes His pre-choosing of humans before creation) higher than your ways (includes objections that God cannot choose just because man was not yet in existence before creation) and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

    My Conclusion : God’s act of choosing of people before creation was a real choice. It was not something that will occur in the future. No matter how we argue using grammar, exegesis, etc. … will never work, thus we cannot charge God as violating rules of logic or “double speak.”

    1. Thank you jtle for taking the time to read my exegesis of Eph 1:4. There are others I have done at that site for other favorite Calvinist proof texts if you are interested.

      But if you believe there are illogical things that must be believed in theology, then we can not have any further fruitful conversation. I believe the 4 laws of logic are necessary for determining truth from error. I wish you all the best.

      We certainly will not fully understand, but what has been revealed is understandable and never contradictory.

      1. Hi Brian,
        I see this dialog finally came to a point I’ve seen numerous times.
        The laws of logic must be avoided or made void if under their scrutiny fallacies are revealed.

        The truth is – Calvinism uses its own unique cherry-picked logic to interpret scripture.
        Easy then to simply refuse to knowledge the truth – that scripture is interpreted under its force.

        Jesus said: If I cast out demons by the power of Lucifer – then by whom do your sons cast them out?
        The Son of God – the Holy Spirit – and Father God – what wonderful perfection!
        Such wonderful logic!

        And no double-speak!! :-]

  11. Thank you Brian.

    br.d writes :
    “Please provide a quote from any authoritative Molinist who states that Molinism upholds *ABSOLUTE* Libertarian free will of man.
    Where the term ABSOLUTE is preciously qualified.”

    Me : I say “absolute libertarian free will of Molinism” … this is how I understand the attempt of Luis de Molina to pull together “God’s absolute omniscience” of the Calvinists with “Man’s free will of choice”. The result is what they call as “Middle Knowledge”. In a sense, though he (Luis de Molina) may be sincere or not sincere on his part in accepting the doctrine of God as Omniscient.

    1. br.d:
      “Please provide a quote from any authoritative Molinist who states that Molinism upholds *ABSOLUTE* Libertarian free will of man.
      Where the term ABSOLUTE is preciously qualified.”

      jtleosala
      Me : I say “absolute libertarian free will of Molinism” … this is how I UNDERSTAND the attempt of Luis de Molina to pull together….etc

      br.d
      By using the term ABSOLUTE in your claim you’ve shown your testimony to be unreliable.
      You’ve simply added evidence – to Calvinism’s reputation of using misleading language.

      No Christian theologian would be immature enough to claim ABSOLUTE Libertarian Freedom from the the God by whom all things live and move and have their being. Such a claim would be totally irrational.

      It is correct however, that Molina did develop the concept of Middle Knowledge based upon his analysis that Theological Determinism is inconsistent with scripture – because the logical consequence of its scheme is that the THEOS functions as the Source and Origin of every sin and evil.

      Luis De Molina – “On Predestination” – Matthew Levering
      -quote:
      “While preserving God’s transcendent causality, Molina seeks to ensure that divine foreknowledge and divine will do not take away the ability of free creatures TO CHOOSE THE OPPOSITE PART.”

      God exercises his own causality primarily in his act of freely determining which ordering should be created NOT IN CAUSING WHAT THE CREATURE DOES in any particular ordering [i.e., possible world].”

      Luis de Molina: The Life and Theology of the Founder of Middle Knowledge – Kirk R. MacGregor
      -quote:
      “To sum up, Molina concurred with Luther and Calvin that placing God’s counterfactual knowledge after his creative decree would OBLITERATE Libertarian Freedom. A consequence that Luther and Calvin (following Augustine) fully accepted. But which Molina judged as in conflict to the whole counsel of scripture.”

      br.d
      An ABSOLUTE difference between Calvin’s thinking and Molina’s – is Calvin’s thinking is full of double-mindedness.
      This is well recognized by Christian Philosophers.

      William Lane Craig – #564 Calvinism and the Unliveability of Determinism
      -quote:
      “Nobody can live as though all that he thinks and does is determined by causes outside of himself. Even determinists recognize that we have to act *AS-IF*” we had free will and so weigh our options and decide on what course of action to take, even though at the end of the day we are determined to take the choices we do. Determinism is thus an unliveable view.”

      Dr. William James – on Determinism/Compatiblism:
      -quote:
      Compatibilism is a QUAGMIRE OF EVASION. The Compatibilists strategy relies upon stealing the name of freedom to mask their underlying determinism. They make a pretense of restoring the caged bird to liberty with one hand, while with the other they anxiously tie a string to its leg to make sure it can’t get beyond determinism’s grasp.”

      Immanuel_Kant – on Determinism/Compatilbilism
      -quote:
      Compatibilism is a WRETCHED SUBTERFUGE with which some persons ……have solved lives problems with PETTY WORD JUGGLERY.

      Which brings us back to why the primary fruit of Calvinism is DOUBLE-SPEAK. :-]

      1. Hi .. br.d

        The Jesuit priest is not so important to me in any way, but what you have posted addressed to me could be understood better if done not out irritations.

  12. Leighton,
    You said….

    “then human desire (the very thing that compatibilists claim allows human choices to be considered free) must itself also be decreed.”

    Yes! This is why Piper’s idea of “desiring God” and “Dont waste your life” make no sense.

    He writes passionately about us “desiring God” but in the end…. if his philosophy is true…. even the desire is God-given… so what is it we are supposed to be doing?

    1. Great Point FOH!

      That is why William Lane Craig says Calvinism makes god look like a boy who sets up toy solders – moving them about determining everything they do.

      But then LIKE A CRAZY PERSON treating them AS-IF all of that were FALSE.
      AS-IF their DESIRE were NOT fated to infallibly occur.

      This is why Calvin instructs his disciples to -quote: “go about your office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part.”

      Calvin’s god is not playing with a full deck of cards.
      His brain is a few french fries short of a happy meal! :-]

  13. jtleosala
    September 24, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Hi .. br.d
    The Jesuit priest is not so important to me in any way, but what you have posted addressed to me could be understood better if done not out irritations.

    br.d
    You seem sincere in this response – so I will respond in kind.
    My concern has been very consistent.
    Jesus without fail – speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
    The follower of Jesus will be careful to do the same.

    The Holy Spirit, in Genesis, describes the serpent as the most SUBTLE beast in the field.
    What attribute of the serpent is the Holy Spirit pointing to here by the word SUBTLE?
    The Holy Spirit is pointing to the serpent’s language.

    Your language is the measuring-rod of your honesty.
    When a professing Christian manifests SUBTLE language attributes – he dishonors Christ.
    And God allows even Atheists to see it – while the Christian who falls into it remains blind.

    How will a Theology saturated with Double-Speak represent the God of scripture?
    It will make him look like he is a deceiver.

    The truth here is – like the serpent in the garden – Calvinism has created its own reputation for having a SUBTLE language.
    Please consider this dialog as an opportunity for you to take an unbiased inventory of this concern.
    Do it for your own sake.

  14. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, i.e. do unto others as we would have them do unto us. We are to worship God, and Him only, in spirit and in truth. We are to read His Word and believe it to be inerrant and infallible. We are to keep His commandments. We are to persevere through trials of faith. When we lack wisdom, we are to ask God in faith, without doubting He will reveal His answer to us. We are to forgive others, not judge our brethren, but if one of our brethren sins against us, we are to go to them to point out their error in kindness and seek their repentance. We are to do good works and not be hearers only. Most importantly, we are to share our knowledge and understanding of the Lord with others.
    Are all these things God-given?
    Yes, in the sense they are written in Scripture. Without Scripture we would be in darkness. God-given in the sense that God foreknew and predetermined a few to further His kingdom. “Many are called, few are chosen.” For a few, God directs them and compels them to fulfill His will, like He did with Jonah. Thus, for those few He chose from the beginning, it cannot be said they have free will. However, everyone else does have free will.

    1. George Fitt
      Without Scripture we would be in darkness.

      br.d
      This statement is logically consistent in Non-Deterministic Christian theology.
      But not in Theological Determinism.
      In Theological Determinism scripture does not determine the creatures condition – the THEOS determines *ALL* things.

      George Fitt
      “Many are called, few are chosen.” For a few, God DIRECTS them and COMPELS them to fulfill His will, like He did with Jonah.

      br.d
      Again, this is logically consistent with Non-Determinist Christian theology.
      But not in Theological Determinism.
      In Theological Determinism the THEOS (at the foundation of the world) determines EVERY neurological impulse the creature “CAN & WILL” have.

      In such case the terms “DIRECT” and “COMPEL” infer a degree of autonomy.
      Such autonomy CANNOT EXIST in Theological Determinism any more than sound can exist in a perfect vacuum.

      George Fitt:
      Thus, for those few He chose from the beginning, it cannot be said they have free will. However, everyone else does have free will.

      br.d
      Same answer as above.
      In order to accurately represent Theological Determinism it follows:
      The THEOS (at the foundation of the world) determines every neurological impulse you “CAN & WILL” have.
      Free will in this scheme is a mirage.
      Whatever you think and believe is exactly what the THEOS determined you to think and believe.
      No alternative is available to you – since nothing exists outside of what has been decreed.

  15. HI… BR.D.

    I see no problem with the so called “Man’s free will” to be Compatible with God’s Determinism. Both are true as revealed in scriptures and needs to be accepted if you want or reject it. This platform is just a venue provided for us in order to reveal our beliefs of what the scriptures are saying about God and His plans for humans. If in case there is some conflicts that may arise in between the two sides, anger and bad words needs to be properly managed. Let us give due respect to the God that we worship and serve. It cannot be denied that the God of the Calvinist is also the same God with the Non-Calvinist.

    I find Brian a nice guy here as he engaged with me. Though I don’t accept all the details of his posts, he remains calm and no personal below the belt attacks.

    I wish you all the best.

    1. But under compatibilism whether or not I want to reject compatibilism is determined by God. I can’t simply choose what I want to do on your view. But you can’t help but assume we can choose what we want because compatibilism is untenable in the real world and you know, deep in your bones, that you are choosing between competing desires and so you live like it and write like it.

      1. Eric,
        That’s right.

        On almost every string of this blog I have commented that in reality it makes no difference to be a Calvinist.

        We all think/ feel/ know that our decisions matter. Helping our kids with homework will help their chances in the future.

        The Scripture does not say “go out and kick a ball with your son” but deep down (and even in most books, web sites, and research) it is known that the more time spent with our kids in quality time, the better for that kid. So that begs the question of “different results” (meaning that future is not set yet…. we can affect it).

        That begs the questions of “our decisions matter” since things can go one way if we….. do X and one way if we…. do Y.

        Wow… doesn’t God’s word even say hundreds and hundreds of times, “If you do this, I will do this…. If you do this, then I will do this.”

        We matter. Our decisions matter. Calvinists want to pound on me because they like to take the “high road” and say it is all about God and I am “man-centered,” but I am just taking God at His word.

        The Lord even says several times “For the sake of my servant David I will…. so and so.” He Himself lifts man up at moments that should, by Calvinist terms, be called “man-centered.”

        I am not making this up. I am simply taking God’s word at what it says and not making Him (and us) into something that He does not say.

        Determinism is not a way of life.

      2. BR.D. Writes : “This is how discerning Christians will see you.
        You will not understand why they see you that way – as long you are chained to it.
        This is why so far you haven’t understood what I’ve expressed to you in my posts.
        And why you don’t have the ability to discern Calvinisms double-speak.
        You are predisposed not to discern it.”

        Rebuttal : I can hear what you are saying here. It is understandable to subject all of my posts here given that this platform is manged by the Non-Calvinists side. I think nobody from among both sides will be swayed to deflect as far as I can feel your emotions here. But who knows God is always at work. Either the future has been locked or unlocked this will not hinder God’s plan if He desires for you to embrace “Compatibilism” someday. Saul was so angered with the Christians before. He persecuted them, kill them but the ending is the other way around.

      3. Hi… Eric :

        Even Jonah the prophet was able to resist God just for the time being, but the actual product of all those various means that man can do is not yet the final end. God can still use them to accomplish His decrees and purposes in His own time regardless the future is locked or unlocked. Nothing is impossible with our God.

        Compatiblism for me is tenable. Both sides (the so called “mans’s free will” vs. God’s determinism) are both true and is supported by Scriptures. The facts in this world about the existence and multiplication of Sin is a valid proof that God does not ruin down man’s will, also the fact that God triumphs at the end is also true. I really find no problem with this two views.

      4. BR.D. Writes : “Additionally, if Theological Determinism is true – then the THEOS at the foundation of the world has determined my every neurological impulse.Thus everything I am posting to you is exactly what the THEOS at the foundation of the world decreed I infallibly do.
        And since no alternative of what has been decreed can exist – then I cannot do otherwise – than what I have been fated to do.”

        “In such case you should be thanking the THEOS for my posts – as his gifts to you.
        Otherwise you find yourself disliking what the THEOS has decreed come to pass. :-]”

        My Response :

        You may not notice yet at the moment God’s Decrees reserved in the future for your life. What I mean here is the actual dead end of God’s activities in our lives that somehow unrevealed to us. You may just realize it when that time comes. God’s time is different from ours.

        Actually there are alternatives for man at the moment. This is supported by the fact that man can disobey God is a proof that man can still exercise his will.

        “Copy” – Yes, I do thank God for your posts here. These are God’s gifts for me so that I can understand the better way those whom at this present time choose to resist the doctrine of “Compatibilism”.

    2. jtleosala
      September 25, 2018 at 9:45 am

      HI… BR.D.
      I see no problem with the so called “Man’s free will” to be Compatible with God’s Determinism. Both are true as revealed in scriptures and needs to be accepted if you want or reject it

      br.d
      That’s quite understandable given the social influences you’ve been subjected to.
      However, under scrutiny, the irrationality and double-mindedness of that view will be detailed – as they are here.

      At that time, you’re heart will be put to the test by the Lord.
      In order to cling to Theological Determinism you will remain as person chained to its double-mindedness.
      You will not be able to release yourself from the chains of its double-mindedness without giving it up.

      With the additional consequence of discerning Christians recognizing its double-speak talking points and your condition.
      Like the picture of the two-faced woman I provided the link to above.

      This is how discerning Christians will see you.
      You will not understand why they see you that way – as long you are chained to it.
      This is why so far you haven’t understood what I’ve expressed to you in my posts.
      And why you don’t have the ability to discern Calvinisms double-speak.
      You are predisposed not to discern it.

  16. jtleosala
    September 26, 2018 at 1:48 am

    BR.D. Writes : “This is how discerning Christians will see you…….I think nobody from among both sides will be swayed to deflect as far as I can feel your emotions here”

    br.d
    This response of attributing logic to emotions – appears to be one you will rely upon consistently.

    Your responses to my posts and to Brian’s follow a consistent model.
    That model is to ignore points that are based on sound logic.
    And look for something superfluous – like emotions – or a phrase in the post – that can be responded to.

    Any critical thinker will tell you those responses simply masquerade as rebuttals.

    Additionally, if Theological Determinism is true – then the THEOS at the foundation of the world has determined my every neurological impulse.

    Thus everything I am posting to you is exactly what the THEOS at the foundation of the world decreed I infallibly do.
    And since no alternative of what has been decreed can exist – then I cannot do otherwise – than what I have been fated to do.

    In such case you should be thanking the THEOS for my posts – as his gifts to you.
    Otherwise you find yourself disliking what the THEOS has decreed come to pass. :-]

  17. jtleosala
    September 26, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    BR.D. Writes : “Additionally, if Theological Determinism is true – then the THEOS at the foundation of the world has determined my every neurological impulse.Thus everything I am posting to you is exactly what the THEOS at the foundation of the world decreed I infallibly do.
    And since no alternative of what has been decreed can exist – then I cannot do otherwise – than what I have been fated to do.”

    “In such case you should be thanking the THEOS for my posts – as his gifts to you.
    Otherwise you find yourself disliking what the THEOS has decreed come to pass. :-]”

    jtleosala
    My Response :

    You may not notice yet at the moment God’s Decrees reserved in the future for your life. What I mean here is the actual dead end of God’s activities in our lives that somehow unrevealed to us. You may just realize it when that time comes. God’s time is different from ours.

    br.d
    This is a common understanding in all forms of determinism.
    The Calvinist doesn’t have “A PRIORI: knowledge (Latin: Knowledge Before Hand)
    Knowledge of what Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) has decreed to infallibly come to pass and therefore to be the Calvinists fate.

    But the Calvinist does have “A POSTERIORI” knowledge (Latin: Knowledge After Hand)
    You do have knowledge of what has been decreed to infallibly come to pass (after it comes to pass).
    The doctrine stipulates that whatever has already come to pass (past tense) could not have come to pass without Calvin’s god decreeing it.

    jtleosala
    Actually there are ALTERNATIVE for man at the moment. This is supported by the fact that man can disobey God is a proof that man can still exercise his will.

    br.d
    This argument asserts that when Calvin’s god decrees X to infallibly occur that decree is NOT infallible.
    And an ALTERNATIVE of X can occur INSTEAD OF X.

    In order to show that this is logically TRUE – you will have to show how Calvin’s god’s decrees are infallible and NOT infallible at the same time. Or else your argument is Calvinist double-speak.

    jtleosala
    Yes, I do thank God for your posts here. These are God’s gifts for me so that I can understand the better way those whom at this present time choose to resist the doctrine of “Compatibilism”.

    br.d
    That is a god thing! Because Calvin says that -quote “on account of their ungratefulness” Calvin’s god -quote: “strikes them with greater blindness”. And I wouldn’t want to see Calvin’s god do that to you. So its a good thing you are grateful for my posts – which Calvin’s god has decreed with infallibly decrees – as those things I am fated do. :-]

    1. BR.D.
      Since no ALTERNATIVE of what has been decreed can exist – then I cannot do otherwise – than what I have been fated to do.”

      jtleosala
      Actually there are ALTERNATIVE FOR MAN at the moment.

      br.d
      I just noticed your wording here “ALTERNATIVE FOR MAN” at the moment.
      I have heard Calvinists make this double-speak argument before.

      Here is what logic dictates:
      If Calvin’s god’s decrees (at the foundation of the world) are infallible – then no ALTERNATIVE of what has been decreed can come to pass. Unless you want to argue that Calvin’s god’s decrees are FALLIBLE.

      What you are saying then – is Man PERCEIVES that ALTERNATIVES exist.
      However, if that man is a Calvinist – then he also knows that PERCEPTION if FALSE – because the Calvinist has “A Priori” knowledge that the decree is infallible and NO ALTERNATIVE of what has been decreed can exist.
      Therefore the Calvinist knows a PERCEPTION of an ALTERNATIVE (from what has been decreed) is a FALSE PERCEPTION.
      But he accepts the FALSE PERCEPTION as true.

      CONCLUSION
      This makes Calvinism a doctrine that teaches man to accept FALSEHOODS as true.
      Which I agree is the case with Calvinism. :-]

      1. Br.D. Writes : “What you are saying then – is Man PERCEIVES that ALTERNATIVES exist.
        However, if that man is a Calvinist – then he also knows that PERCEPTION if FALSE – because the Calvinist has “A Priori” knowledge that the decree is infallible and NO ALTERNATIVE of what has been decreed can exist.
        Therefore the Calvinist knows a PERCEPTION of an ALTERNATIVE (from what has been decreed) is a FALSE PERCEPTION.
        But he accepts the FALSE PERCEPTION as true.”

        Rebuttal:

        It is not always true that God works just “one way” as He engage with man. Man can still exercise his “limited freedom” . This is supported by scriptures e.g. Man’s choice to dis-obey or obey, and the multiplication of sin on earth. In all of these, still it cannot be denied the fact that God’s decree cannot be modified by man himself. The dead end outcome is still the accomplishment of God’s decree. This will only show God’s absolute and immutable knowledge and power over man (not vice versa). Too much idolizing the so called “free will of man” makes our brother here arrogant and so angry with the Calvinists in this blog.

        The accusation as “falsehood” is denied. Calvinists will not become so firm and influential to the whole world if the ones we believe was just based on shaky foundations in Scriptures. Your anger toward us may perhaps attests to this.

      2. The Bible does speak of man disobeying the God of scripture.
        But this is where simple logic reveals that Theological Determinism/Compatibilism is not compatible with scripture.

        The Holy Spirit is not going to inspire the author of scripture to write things that are totally irrational or double-speak.

        Since Calvinism’s doctrine of decrees specifically stipulates that the decree (at the foundation of the world) is immutable and infallible – then simple logic shows us that NO ALTERNATIVE of that which is decreed can come to pass.

        To help the poor Calvinist – indoctrinated in double-think to see this – we can add the doctrine of divine omniscience.
        1) Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) decrees X to infallibly come to pass.
        2) Calvin’s god is omniscient and believes that X will infallibly come to pass
        3) What Calvin’s god knows and believes is also infallible and without error.

        CONCLUSION:
        If an ALTERNATIVE from what has been decreed can come to pass then it follows:
        1) The decree was not immutable and infallible
        2) His belief is FALSE – he believes X will infallibly come to pass – and instead an ALTERNATIVE comes to pass
        3) Thus Calvin’s god is not omniscient

      3. BR.D. concludes : “Thus Calvin’s god is not omniscient”

        Rebuttal :

        1. The presupposition reflected above is denied. Calvinists always affirm the absolute, immutable knowledge of God.

        2. Your allegiance to LOGIC is very good and understandable, however LOGIC cannot stand against the authoritative teachings of Scripture which both of us here treasures in our lives. It so happened that God’s decrees cannot be modified by man’s future responses to obey or disobey. Since that man was not a created “robot” his choices in life are real not fictitious. It is also a fact in Scriptures that God possess immutable infinite Knowledge that you and I acknowledge unless you have other definitions. He cannot be ignorant of what will happen before time and the future whether it is a “locked future” or “unlocked future”. His decrees for man are perfect as a reflection of His being a perfect God. There is no need for Him to modify His plans (although man can resist for a time being) because it was already done perfectly before time.

        Conclusion : I really see no problem with “Compatibilism”. Man’s will vs. God’s will complements with each other and the end result of these engagements between God and man is the accomplishment of God’s decrees. Letting these two views quarrel with each other might result to just confusions for those readers who does not fully understand both views.

  18. jtleosala
    September 30, 2018 at 9:33 pm
    BR.D. concludes : “Thus Calvin’s god is not omniscient”
    Rebuttal :
    1. The presupposition reflected above is denied…..etc

    br.d
    Again you tag onto a phrase or term from a post and simply respond to that one phrase – ignoring sound to which it refers.

    That is not a rebuttal at all – its simply masquerading as a rebuttal.
    A REAL rebuttal must respond to the logic contained within.
    Which you’ve simply ignored – because you can’t get around sound logic.

    However, thank you for the compliment – about my discipline to logic – because the God of scripture is not irrational and does not speak double-speak like Calvinism does.

    Again, the burden is on you to show how Calvin’s god’s decrees can be immutable and infallible – and yet an ALTERNATIVE from what Calvin’s god decrees can come to pass INSTEAD of what was decreed.

    The only answer Calvinism has for this is double-speak. :-]

  19. BR.D. Writes : “Again, the burden is on you to show how Calvin’s god’s decrees can be immutable and infallible – and yet an ALTERNATIVE from what Calvin’s god decrees can come to pass INSTEAD of what was decreed.”

    Rebuttal : The burden has been shown already, only that the opponent refuses to accept that :

    1. Scripture Teachings on both views i.e. (Man’s use of his God given freedom vs. God’s exercise of His Absolute Freedom – the bestower of Freedom) are more authoritative than the rules of logic.

    2. The opponent wants to insist his idea that if man opposes God, then the outcome will be man’s product, not the original decrees of God. This view, makes man more sovereign than His creator. It is the result of the too much idolizing the “will of Man” than becoming amazed of the absolute and immutable attributes of God that we both serve.

    3. The opponent might be offended by the term “alternative” which I refer to the freedom of man in exercising his will whether to obey or dis-obey. It seems that he is opposed to the Scripture teachings that man possess freedom. He sounds like to embrace just a “one way engagement of God” with humans in order to prove God’s decrees to come to pass. It seems to him that God becomes helpless with man’s interference.

    4. For me, anything of man’s actions whether to obey or dis-obey will never hinder God’s decrees to be accomplished. It will not deter nor modify God’s decrees, why? Because God is the supreme being. Man’s will vs. God’s will = who will win?. Of course God is still the winner, but to my opponent he wants man to become winner…

    1. BR.D. Writes : “Again, the burden is on you to show how Calvin’s god’s decrees can be immutable and infallible – and yet an ALTERNATIVE from what Calvin’s god decrees can come to pass INSTEAD of what was decreed.”

      jtleosala
      Rebuttal : The burden has been shown already, only that the opponent refuses to accept that :

      1. Scripture Teachings on both views i.e. (Man’s use of his God given freedom vs. God’s exercise of His Absolute Freedom – the bestower of Freedom) are more authoritative than the rules of logic.

      br.d
      What you are arguing is DOUBLE-SPEAK is more authoritative than rules of logic.

      The scripture you appeal to affirms INDETERMINISM which works against you.
      INDETERNIMISM cannot exist within DETERMINISM any more than sound can exist in a pure vacuum

      Additionally your position is so irrational even a high-school student could see through it.
      Even Calvin’s god cannot “render certain” a decree that is NOT “rendered certain”
      This is kindergarden logic which your mind cannot yet grasp.

      jtleosala
      2. The opponent wants to insist his idea that if man opposes God, then the outcome will be man’s product, not the original decrees of God. This view, makes man more sovereign than His creator. It is the result of the too much idolizing the “will of Man” than becoming amazed of the absolute and immutable attributes of God that we both serve.

      br.d
      FALSE
      It is actually your argument that says man can ALTER what Calvin’s god decrees.
      Your augment makes man more sovereign than Calvin’s god’s decree.
      Your just not rational enough to recognize it.
      John Calvin would give you a strong tongue lashing for saying man can ALTER what Calvin’s god has decreed

      jtleosala
      3. The opponent might be offended by the term “alternative” which I refer to the freedom of man in exercising his will whether to obey or dis-obey. It seems that he is opposed to the Scripture teachings that man possess freedom. He sounds like to embrace just a “one way engagement of God” with humans in order to prove God’s decrees to come to pass. It seems to him that God becomes helpless with man’s interference.

      br.d
      No offense at all – I find Calvinists chasing their own tails quite entertaining :-]

      I have already shown through simple logic that your appeal to scripture proves Theological Determinism/Compatibilism is FALSE.
      You want scripture to affirm falsehoods and double-speak.
      And by that you dishonor the Holy Spirit of scripture.

      Your argument asserts that Calvin’s god’s decrees are both immutable and infallible and NOT immutable and infallible.
      Because – quote “ALTERNATIVES from has been decreed exist for man at the moment”.

      jtleosala
      4. For me, anything of man’s actions whether to obey or dis-obey will never hinder God’s decrees to be accomplished. It will not deter nor modify God’s decrees, why? Because God is the supreme being. Man’s will vs. God’s will = who will win?. Of course God is still the winner, but to my opponent he wants man to become winner…

      br.d
      You missed the mark on the last response and this one takes you further off course.
      Your mind is programed to embrace double-speak.
      Even Calvin’s god cannot make something exist and NOT exist at the same time (which is what you want to believe).

      Your logic is so FALSE that you have Calvin’s god both “rendering certain” X and NOT “rendered certain” X.

      Absent of simple logic – you have nothing to rely upon except double-speak talking points.
      Thanks for providing another example :-]

      1. Rebuttal to BR.D.: Again your rules of logic will never stand against the authoritative teachings of scripture on the facts about man’s freedom vs. God’s absolute immutable attributes. God may exercise anytime his power over man’s freedom, but not all the time. He hardens Pharaoh’s heart but this does not apply to all humans all the time. Maybe you may be one of them as your heart is so hard now keep on insisting that “double speak” and rules of logic. There are also times that He does not meddle so that man becomes accountable of his acts. This is how God engage Himself with man. It’s just like a “one way road traffic”. Man can still counterflow by using his own decisions to do it for himself, but God did not told him to do that thing, thus we cannot charge God as the author of sin to clean up His own mess at the cross of Calvary.

        Our opponent brother has been stumbled with the doctrine of Compatibilism, but God is in the over-all control of everything. Who knows someday He will embrace the doctrine… Wow…

      2. jtleosala
        Again your rules of logic will never stand against the authoritative teachings of scripture on the facts about man’s freedom vs. God’s absolute immutable attributes. …etc

        br.d
        To insist that scripture affirms that a THEOS can great something that both exists and NOT exists at the same time.
        To insist that scripture affirms that a THEOS can both make X “rendered certain” and NOT “rendered certain” at the same time.
        To insist that scripture affirms an IMMUTABLE INFALLIBLE decree that is NOT IMMUTABLE AND INFALLIBLE
        To insist that scripture affirms a THEOS at the foundation of the world who believes that X will infallibly come to pass – only to find an ALTERNATIVE of X comes to pass INSTEAD OF X.

        These insistences represent Calvinist double-speak wonderfully.
        But to attribute them to scripture is to mock the Holy Spirit.

        Dr. Jerry Walls was correct when he stated that Calvinist are like Pharaohs magicians.

        Sometimes Calvinism looks more like a Harry Potter novel – with the magical imaginations they come up with.

        jtleosala
        Our opponent brother has been stumbled with the doctrine of Compatibilism, but God is in the over-all control of everything. Who KNOWS someday He will embrace the doctrine… Wow…

        br.d
        Yeh right! Like your THEOS who decreed X concerning man to infallibly come to pass – KNOWS X would infallibly come to pass. Only for X NOT to come to pass – but an ALTERNATIVE comes to pass INSTEAD.

        Lots of luck with that one! :-]

        But in all fairness – I do appreciate the examples of double-speak you’ve provided.

        So we continue to conclude – to understand Calvinism one must understand:
        A Calvinist is a DETERMINIST wearing a mask of INDETERMINISM – reciting double-speak talking-points.

      3. BR.D. Writes : “One things for sure – I won’t be drinking the cool-aid Calvinists are served any time soon :-]”

        God is patient with you.. you might be cursing now but who knows someday you may embrace the “double speak” you keep on saying here – the facts in scripture’s teaching that: Man’s use of his freedom will never hinder with God’s decrees. The dead end result is the accomplishment of God’s decrees not man’s.

      4. BR.D. Writes : “One things for sure – I won’t be drinking the cool-aid Calvinists are served any time soon :-]”

        jtleosala
        God is patient with you.. you might be cursing now but who knows SOMEDAY YOU MAY EMBRACE THE “DOUBLE-SPEAK”. You keep on saying here – the facts in scripture’s teaching that: Man’s use of his freedom will never hinder with God’s decrees.

        br.d
        And thank you for affirming that Calvinism is DOUBLE-SPEAK :-]

        jtleosala
        The dead end result is the accomplishment of God’s decrees not man’s.

        br.d
        Right! And Calvin’s god makes square-circles, married-bachelors, false-truth, infallible-fallible decrees, and indeterministic-determinism.

        The blessing here for SOT101 readers – is that Calvinists are so willing to provide examples of what double-mindedness looks like. :-]

      5. jtleosala
        October 3, 2018 at 1:26 am

        BR.D. Writes : “I think God gave Calvinists to mankind as a source of entertainment. :-]”

        jtleosala
        Your Blood Pressure might be so high now. Just relax … your mockings might fall on you as a blessing in disguise in favor of embracing the doctrine of Compatibilism someday…

        br.d
        Too funny!
        Take a look at the differences in our thinking.
        As focused on discerning falsehood as I am – and as focuses on double-speak as Calvinists are – I think you’ll be embracing Solipsism much sooner than I’ll be embracing Calvinism. :-]

        A Solipsis believes that he is the only REAL person alive in the world and everyone else is a figment of his imagination.
        A Calvinist Solipsis would then be a person who believes he is NOT the only REAL Solipsis in the world. :-]
        Too funny!!!

      6. BR.D. Writes : “I think God gave Calvinists to mankind as a source of entertainment. :-]”

        Your Blood Pressure might be so high now. Just relax … your mockings might fall on you as a blessing in disguise in favor of embracing the doctrine of Compatibilism someday…

      7. BR.D. Writes : “INDETERNIMISM cannot exist within DETERMINISM any more than sound can exist in a pure vacuum”

        But it did exist in several scriptures just like the ff::

        1. The prayer of Jesus Christ in Gethsemane : “…. take this cup of sufferings away from Me, but not my will instead Your will be done”
        (Freedom Exists but the end result is the accomplishment of God’s decree, yet my opponent says both cannot exist together)

        2. Jonah dis-obeyed God using his freedom, yet at the end it was God’s decree that come to pass.
        (here the freedom of choice was used and it worked, yet the end result is still God’s decree. According to my opponent the two
        cannot exists together – he is lying)

        3. Joseph’s brother sold him yet God used it in order to accomplish His purpose.
        (freedom to do evil co-existed with God’s original plan in this circumstance, yet the end result is still the accomplishment of God’s
        decree, – this is compatibilism, however my opponent denies this)

        4. The temptation of Eve happened. God did not meddle with Eve’s decision to disobey, but the end result is that out of their own
        volition they receive the special clothing taken from the Lamb’s skin that was given to them by God, a shadow of Christ decreed
        atoning work as the lamb who will be slain to take away their sins.

        Divine Determinism will always prevail despite God’s non-intervention in man’s use of his freedom. The statement of my opponent is here again burned into ashes.

      8. By your logic Calvin’s god can exist and NOT exist at the same time.
        By your logic TRUTH=FALSE, HOLY=UNHOLY, LEFT=RIGHT, UP=DOWN, INFALLIBLE=FALLIBLE, [X] = [NOT X] ….etc.
        To insist the scripture affirm such things is to dishonor the Holy Spirit.

        The scriptures you sight simply affirm INDETERMINISM.

        Your challenge is to believe [X] = [NOT X] in your theology – and still be able to daily interact with people in the world who don’t.
        In order to accomplish that you must do what Calvin instructs
        -quote “go about your office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part”

        The scripture says “How long will you halt between two opinions” and “A double-minded man is unstable”.

        Good luck with that!
        You’ve got your work cut-out for you. :-]

      9. BR.D. Writes : “Your challenge is to believe [X] = [NOT X] in your theology – and still be able to daily interact with people in the world who don’t.In order to accomplish that you must do what Calvin instructs-quote “go about your office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part”

        I find no problem here, only that my opponent is the real problem himself: Man has been proven already by those scriptures cited that it is true that man can independently exercise his freedom. Man’s freedom was not compromised, not undermined. On the other hand, God choose not to interfere so that both sides are now independent/ autonomous. There is no conflict between the two. Putting them together becomes compatible-the fallen man is restored.

      10. BR.D. Writes : “Your challenge is to believe [X] = [NOT X] in your theology – and still be able to daily interact with people in the world who don’t…..In order to accomplish that you must do what Calvin instructs-quote “go about your office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part”

        jtleosala
        I find no problem here…..

        br.d
        I promised Brian I would discontinue this thread per his good oversight.
        He is right – no need for me to further highlight what is obviously irrational.
        I’ll leave this one that way as well.

      11. I agree Brian. We just leave here to God all of those things we have said and let God judge us someday when we face Him at the judgement seat of Christ, though some of the other posts of mine I have made here have been missing. Thank you and God bless you all.

  20. Reading my Bible through. I come to Isaiah 65. Remember this is not cherry-picking Gotcha! verses. There are thousands of verses like this in the Bible. Do they mean anything?

    11 “But because the rest of you have forsaken the Lord
    and have forgotten his Temple,
    and because you have prepared feasts to honor the god of Fate
    and have offered mixed wine to the god of Destiny,
    12 now I will ‘destine’ you for the sword.
    All of you will bow down before the executioner.
    For when I called, you did not answer.
    When I spoke, you did not listen.
    You deliberately sinned—before my very eyes—
    and chose to do what you know I despise.”

    13 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
    ——————-

    The Sovereign Lord is going to say and do something as a reaction to what His chosen people did.

    They forsook the Lord
    They forgot His temple
    They prepared feasts to false gods
    They mixed wine to false gods
    ….. now….. now… (not forever in time past) …. now He will destine them for the sword.

    He called (drew them “my father shall draw them”) but they did not answer.

    He called but they did not come.

    He spoke, but they did not answer.

    They did things that He despised. They did things He did not want them to do.

    Therefore…. therefore…. because of what they did….. he will now do something.

    Our friends say “FOH, you have a man-centered Bible. God does not do thing as a result of man….. He is above all that and makes all the decisions.”

    I read this kind of thing every day!

    Does it mean anything to Calvinists? Nope. “It does not mean what it says. We know better than that!”

  21. Just reading along and hit Psalm 73

    1 Truly God is good to Israel,
    to those whose hearts are pure.

    13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
    Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?

    21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
    and I was all torn up inside.
    22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.

    25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    I desire you more than anything on earth.

    27 Those who desert him will perish,
    for you destroy those who abandon you.
    28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter….
    ———-

    Wow! Talk about man-centered! Asaph brings it!

    God helps those who are pure.
    Asaph kept his heart pure.
    Asaph kept himself innocent.
    Asaph realized (himself) that his heart was bitter.
    Asaph desires God
    Asaph warns against those who desert God.
    Asaph made the Lord his shelter

  22. CALVINISM’S PET THEOLOGY – ITS NOT A DUCK – IT’S A COW

    We’ve all heard the saying “if it walks like a duke, quacks like a duck, swims and flies like a duck – then guess what……..IT’S A DUCK! Now imagine a man who describes a duck in almost every detail – yet adamantly refuses to call it a duck – but instead unflinchingly demands it be called a cow.

    This is actually the condition the Calvinist is in, as it relates to his pet theology DETERMINISM. He unflinchingly demands it be called DETERMINISM. Yet when he starts to describe many of its characteristics in detail, what he ends up describing is INDETERMINISM. This act under logical scrutiny, ends up making him come off as quite irrational. And explains why Calvinism’s language long ago evolved into a language of double-speak.

    The poor Calvinist is not as fortunate as the Atheist, who can coherently embrace Determinism and Compatibilism without Calvinism’s tap-dance of self-contradictions and double-speak. This is because the Atheist has no concern whatsoever for the authority of scripture.

    But the Calvinist, in order to be perceived as Christian, must align himself with the general narrative of scripture. And this is what creates the problem for him. Because a preponderance of the narrative of scripture, (as Reformed Divines have acknowledged) can only be logically coherent within the context of INDETERMINISM.

    As William Lane Craig describes -quote: “Determinism, some Reformed divines themselves regarded as irreconcilable with the clear teachings of scripture” – Four Views on Divine Providence

    Thus in order to appear to be in sync with the narrative of scripture, the poor Calvinist is forced to halt between two opinions. He must figure out how to embrace DETERMINISM and INDETERMINISM at the same time. And this is what turns his language into double-speak.

    The Calvinist wants to call his pet theology DETERMINISM – but in order to appeal to the authority of scripture, what he ends up detailing can only be logically coherent within the context of INDETERMINISM.

    Jesus teaches: “Let your Yea be Yea, and your Nay be nay – for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil”.
    In regard to DETERMINISM and COMPATIBILISM, the Atheist can coherently follow Jesus’ command. But the poor Calvinist cannot.

    His double-speak language continuously declares “Yea” for DETERMINISM one minute and “Nay” for it the next. And thus he is forced into a continued state of sin – double-speak.

    So the poor Calvinist becomes like the man who describes in detail – what are in fact the characteristics of a duck.
    While unflinchingly demanding it be called a cow.

    1. So…. the Duck becomes a Cow according to my brother opponent here. Well, …. if that is your belief it could be possible because you also believe in the absoluteness and immutability of God’s attributes. God is always at work in your life. your indignance to the doctrine of Compatibilism at present might be turned to your full acceptance of this doctrine someday… wow…

      1. BR.D
        OCTOBER 2, 2018 AT 8:40 AM
        Another great post FOH!!

        And thus – they make void scripture – for the sake of their tradition

        Rebuttal :

        1. Making scriptures void is denied.

        2. The accusation : “for the sake of their tradition” is denied. It is actually our solid beliefs based on tenable solid teachings of Scriptures.

      2. jtleosala
        So…. the Duck becomes a Cow according to my brother opponent here. Well, …. if that is your belief it could be possible because you also believe in the absoluteness and immutability of God’s attributes. God is always at work in your life. your indignance to the doctrine of Compatibilism at present might be turned to your full acceptance of this doctrine someday… wow…

        br.d
        I guess that’s supposed to be an example of a Calvinists attempt at comprehending rational reasoning.
        One things for sure – I won’t be drinking the cool-aid Calvinists are served any time soon :-]

        Jesus without fail, speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
        He never speaks double-speak.
        The Calvinist learns double-speak from another source.

      3. jtleosala
        October 2, 2018 at 7:42 pm

        BR.D
        OCTOBER 2, 2018 AT 8:40 AM
        Another great post FOH!!

        And thus – they make void scripture – for the sake of their tradition

        Rebuttal :

        1. Making scriptures void is denied.

        2. The accusation : “for the sake of their tradition” is denied. It is actually our solid beliefs based on tenable solid teachings of Scriptures.

        br.d
        That’s supposed to be a rebuttal?!?
        What a hoot!!

        I think God gave Calvinists to mankind as a source of entertainment. :-]

  23. BR.D. Writes :
    “Jesus without fail, speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
    Jesus does not speak double-speak – The Calvinist must learn that from another source”

    jtleosala
    Accused of lying here… but that accusation goes back to my brother opponent here. Why?

    jtleosala
    Some day you may EMBRACE THE DOUBLE-SPEAK

    br.d
    Take a look at these two (above) posts by you.
    I clearly aligned Jesus speaking truth – in opposition to his speaking double-speak.
    I posted nothing about lying
    But you equated double-speak with lying all by yourself

    Prior to that (above post) you affirmed Calvinism is double-speak
    By your testimony then Calvinism’s double-speak is lying.

    Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world must have decreed you fall into that trap – for his glory of-course :-]

  24. BR.D. Writes : “Prior to that (above post) you affirmed Calvinism is double-speak”

    Me: No, it is you who keeps on saying that to me in most of your posts here. I never affirm that. In fact, some of my response posted here just for you have been missing. Why?

    1. BR.D. Writes : “Prior to that (above post) you affirmed Calvinism is double-speak”

      jtleosala
      Me: No, it is you who keeps on saying that to me in most of your posts here. I never affirm that. In fact, some of my response posted here just for you have been missing. Why?

      br.d
      Too late to deny it now – here is your post:
      jtleosala
      October 3, 2018 at 1:16 am
      God is patient with you.. you might be cursing now but who knows someday YOU MAY EMBRACE THE “DOUBLE SPEAK”

      Calvin’s god must be having a lot of fun twisting you into a pretzel today! :-]

      1. Jtle and BrD…. I’m thinking you are both going beyond helpful conversation that would edify each other. I recommend you drop this thread of conversation about what you both think the other is inferring by what is said. Thanks.

  25. Just reading through the Bible (in case you are wondering….I post these on different threads, not always the same one).

    I am not cherry-picking 40-50 gotcha verses. Just reading God’s message. I come to Jeremiah 2-4

    3:6 During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what fickle Israel has done? Like a wife who commits adultery, Israel has worshiped other gods on every hill and under every green tree. 7 I thought, ‘After she has done all this, she will return to me.’ But she did not return, and her faithless sister Judah saw this. 8 She saw that I divorced faithless Israel because of her adultery. But that treacherous sister Judah had no fear, and now she, too, has left me and given herself to prostitution.
    ———-

    Does it look in any way like God “wanted” Israel to act like a prostitute? No! He did not want that…but they did it. He does not always get what He wants.

    Why does God say (v7) “I thought….After she has done this she [Israel] will return…”? Why does God say “I thought she would” …..?

    But she did not return. God wanted Israel to return…. and hoped she would….. and “thought” she would….but she didnt. Is that a picture in any way of Calvin’s determinism? Not at all.

    Then Judah did the same thing, but God didnt want her to. People do things that God does not want/ plan/ decree/ ordain.

    This is all so confusing and misleading if Calvin’s man-made God-determined-all-things-exactly-as-they-will-be is true. Here He says He even expected a different outcome.

    This just goes on and on…..

    3:12 This is what the Lord says:

    “O Israel, my faithless people,
    come home to me again,
    for I am merciful.
    I will not be angry with you forever.
    13 Only acknowledge your guilt.
    Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God
    ————-
    God wants them to admit and they CAN admit. Sometimes they do and other times they don’t.

    And more…..

    3:19 “I thought to myself,
    ‘I would love to treat you as my own children!’
    I wanted nothing more than to give you this beautiful land—
    the finest possession in the world.
    I looked forward to your calling me ‘Father,’
    and I wanted you never to turn from me.
    20 But you have been unfaithful to me, you people of Israel!
    You have been like a faithless wife who leaves her husband.
    I, the Lord, have spoken.”
    —————-
    God would have loved to treat them like His children, but they did not let Him.

    He “WANTED nothing more” than to give the land to them…. but they disobeyed. He does not always get what He wants.

  26. br.d writes : “Calvin’s god is not playing with a full deck of cards.
    His brain is a few french fries short of a happy meal! :-] ”

    jtleosala
    My Response here: A careless statement done as a way of attacking opponents in a discourse will not help both sides here. Instead it will dishonor the God that we both worship and serve. Calvinist’s God is just the same God with the God of the non-Calvinists that you are trying to ruin down here.

    br.d
    There’s no problem in making fun of a graven image – especially when that image is fickle. :-]

    1. BrD… “making fun” of someone’s view of God which they think is biblical is not an effective way in helping them see the non-biblical elements in their view of God, in my experience.

      1. Hi Brian,
        I understand that sentiment. But when continued patient rational reasoning is responded to by irrational insistences and/or sophistry and deceptive language tricks – one would wonder if anything would be effective in helping such a one to see non-Biblical elements in their view.

        Perhaps I should try to think of a way to convey the oxymoronic-ness of Calvin’s god without it coming off as making fun.
        I’d have to think of how to do that.

      2. br.d
        You are correct to wonder if anything will make sense to them, but Brian is right that making fun is not an effective tool.

        When our friends call me heretic, blasphemer, or say “poor ‘ol FOH, must have been sleeping in class” I certainly do not have a greater interest in what they say next.

      3. Good point!
        Ok – I’ll have to think about how to convey the idioticness of Calvin’s god without being so sharp or making fun.
        This will be a good challenge for me! :-]

      4. BrD and FOH… I need to constantly remind myself that “love is longsuffering and kind” which I think means I will need to suffer a long time and still be kind sometimes to show love. 😉

      5. And I believe the Lord will say “well done good and faithful servant” someday to you Brian for that.
        We all see how much patience you have – especially with those who are less than honest in their tactics.

        You and FOH are both brothers who have my respect.

      6. Yes – and thanks!
        The journey is what its all about isn’t it.
        Running the race that’s set before us.
        He is our prize – that we all may come to the measure and the stature of Christ.
        I’m honored to consider both of you friends!

      7. The honor is mine also. You and FOH have added such great reasoning and Scripture to the conversation. I’m thinking there has to be fruit, unseen for now, growing as a result.

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