No One Seeks God?

“…there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.” – Romans 3:11

In an effort to demonstrate that all people have fallen short of the glory of God and broken His law, Paul quotes from Psalm 14:2-3, which says:

“The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

There are basically two theological approaches for interpreting this passage:

(1) Calvinistic Approach: Apart from a Divine irresistible work of regeneration (by which God changes a chosen individual’s nature and desires), mankind cannot willingly seek to know, understand, or follow God.

(2) Non-Calvinistic (Traditionalist) Approach: Apart from God’s gracious initiative in bringing His Son, the Holy Spirit, and the inspired gospel appeal, no one can merit salvation or consistently seek to obey God in a way that will attain his own righteousness.

The contrast between these two perspectives can be illustrated by this simple question: Does proof that I am incapable of calling the president on the telephone also prove that I am incapable of answering the telephone if the president were to call me? Of course not, yet that is essentially the principle a Calvinist is assuming in their theological approach to this text.

Calvinists read this text to mean that our lack of initiative somehow proves our inability to respond positively to His initiative. They presume that God’s work in sending His Son, the Holy Spirit, and the inspired gospel, calling for all to be reconciled through faith in Christ, is insufficient to enable the lost to respond in faith. But the text simply never says this.

In Romans chapter 3:10-20 the apostle is seeking to prove that no one can attain righteousness by means of the law. But in verse 21 he shifts to reveal a righteousness that can be obtained by means of grace through faith in Christ.

Calvinists seem to think that because mankind is unable to attain righteousness by means of the law that they must equally be unable to obtain righteousness by means of grace through faith in Christ. This, however, is never established anywhere in the pages of Scripture.

Of course, we all can affirm that no one is righteous with regard to the demands of the law. But there have been many throughout the pages of Scripture who have been declared righteous by means of grace through faith.

Calvinists wrongly assume that because mankind is unable to fully keep the demands of the law that they are equally unable to admit their inability to keep those demands and trust in the One who has. Again, this is simply never established in the Bible. HERE>

Proof that mankind is morally incapable of earning their own righteousness by doing good works is not proof that mankind is morally incapable of believing and trusting in the righteousness of another.

It must also be understood that placing one’s trust in the righteousness of Christ is not earning one’s own righteousness. Those who trust in Christ are graciously imputed with His righteousness, they are not earning their own.

If we go back to examine the context of Paul’s original quote in Psalm 14, we read that he is specifically speaking of “the fool” who says, “there is no God,” and then he contrasts between the “evil doers” and “His people…the generation of the righteous.”

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good…Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord? There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. – Psalm 14:1; 4-5

Now, a Calvinist can make the theological argument that “the fool” who says “there is no God”does so because he could not have done otherwise due to an inborn nature sovereignly decreed by God as a result of the Fall. And the Calvinist can attempt to make the case that “the generation of the righteous” who are considered “his people” were made so by some kind of irresistible working of God. In contrast, a Traditionalist can argue that these “fools” trade the truth of God in for lies by denying His existence with a libertarian free choice, and those who become “His” do so by grace through a libertarianly free faith response.  Either way, that is the point of contention — neither side can just assume their position (see question begging fallacy).

It is the Calvinist’s burden to prove that fallen man is born morally incapable of responding in faith to God’s inspired and powerful appeal to be reconciled from that fall. They have to demonstrate how our fallen condition prevents us from responding willingly.

Additionally, Calvinists need to explain why a just God would seal mankind in a fallen/disabled condition from birth and still hold them responsible for their rejection of God’s appeals, even though they have no control over their naturally disabled condition and subsequent “choices” to reject God’s genuine offer of forgiveness.

Also, Calvinists need to explain how their interpretation of Romans 3:11 fits with other teachings of scripture about man’s responsibility to seek God, such as:

“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,”‭‭ – Acts‬ ‭17:26-27‬ ‭

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”‭‭ -Isaiah‬ ‭55:6-7‬ ‭

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the Lord.”‭‭ -Zephaniah‬ ‭2:3‬ ‭

“And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.”  -‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭12:14‬ ‭

“Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord.” –‭Psalms‬ ‭83:16‬ ‭

“Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”‭‭ -2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:3‬ ‭

“For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” –Luke‬ ‭12:30-31‬ 

‭“He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.”‭‭ -Romans‬ ‭2:6-8‬ ‭

“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” –‭‭Psalms‬ ‭9:10‬ 

“And those who had set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers.” –2 Chronicles‬ ‭11:16‬ ‭

Needless to say, the Bible certainly treats fallen men as if they are genuinely responsible (response-able) to His appeals and offers of grace and forgiveness. On what basis do Calvinists rest their presumption that, as a consequence of the sin of another, God has decreed that mankind would be born with “Total Inability” to respond willingly to the gospel?

This is a dogma yet to be found explicitly taught in the Bible.

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545 thoughts on “No One Seeks God?

  1. There is none who understands because they have been deceived. Deceived into thinking the way to understand is by reading the commentary of previous theologians rather than by trusting in the Lord with all their hearts and not leaning on their own understanding. Deceived into thinking that the way to learn is by attending seminary, divinity schools or religious universities rather than by discernment as taught by the in-dwelling Holy Spirit.

  2. Right on point, as always. I especially like the graphic at the end. Calvinism’s faulty logic seems so obviously without merit, it is difficult to believe that people still cling to it. The more natural, logical and consistent interpretation of scripture does not demand that you insert hidden clauses into so many verses, as Calvinism must.

  3. Excellent article. I love the verses that speak of seeking the Lord. I’ve not yet heard or read of a Calvinist even trying to explain how their interpretation of Romans 3:11 fits in or does not contradict the numerous other scriptures that teach and even command men to seek the Lord. Thanks for the list Leighton. Here are a few more to add to the list.

    Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad. Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.
    1 Chron 16:10-11

    “If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever” 1 Chron 28:9 (instruction to Solomon)

    and if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chron 7:14

    and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 2 Chron 15:2

    When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.” Psalm 27:8

    “I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me” Prov 8:17

    Look to me (seek me, turn to me) and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God and there is no other. Isa 45:22

    Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, ‘declares the Lord, … Jer 29:12-14

    “the Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the one who seeks him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lam. 3:25-26).

    7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matt 7

    16 ‘AFTER THESE THINGS I will return, AND I WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN,
    AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL RESTORE IT, 17 SO THAT THE REST OF MANKIND MAY SEEK THE LORD,
    AND ALL THE GENTILES [h]WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME,’ 18 SAYS THE LORD, WHO [i]MAKES THESE THINGS KNOWN FROM LONG AGO. Acts 15:16-17

    – And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
    (one of my favorites as this speaks of a man having faith and God rewarding Him because he sought Him. Calvinism has it completely backwards to what this passage teaches and is nonsensical. God first “rewards” them by giving them faith then they seek Him?

    Here’s a little gem I found in John MacArthur’s commentary on Hebrews.
    “Both testaments are filled with teachings that God not only can be found but that it is His great desire to be found”. John MacArthur, Commentary on Hebrews (Heb 11:6). Of course MacArthur’s Calvinism which teaches that men have no ability to seek God and find Him, that man would seek God only after God irresistibly drags him to God and changes his will, is a complete contradiction to this statement in his commentary and renders this commentary meaningless.

    1. AndyB
      Calvinists do not try to explain those piles of “seek God with your heart” verses. They just whisk them all away with the mere mention of Romans 3:10. Any verse they want to pick (especially under-girded by the presupposition that TULIP is true) is automatically a trump card over the dozens of verses stating the opposite.

  4. Great post Leighton that knocks down another proof text from which Calvinists try to prove too much.

    Underlying their view is two horrible ideas. One, that God is unable to take the initiative to clearly communicate to unregenerate hearts, giving light to help them start seeking Him. Or two, worse, that He hates many sinners, though Christ’s sacrifice was more than sufficient for their sins, but He desires not to take any initiative to help them seek the mercy they need.

    Very sad. But Scripture is clear that God does take the initiative with each person. Job 33:14-30, John 1:4-13, Acts 17:26-30, Rom 1, 2, 10:18, 11:32, Heb 3:7-8.

  5. “THE FOOL says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon THE CHILDREN OF MEN, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt, there is none that does good; no, not one. Have they no knowledge, THE EVILDOERS, who eat up MY PEOPLE as they eat bread, and do not call upon the Lord.” Psalm 14:1-4

    Like so many, these verses are twisted by Calvinists into meanings that were not only unintended, but are contradicted within the very passage itself!

    Psalm 14 is very clearly discussing ‘the fool’, the ‘children of men’, the ‘evildoers’ as opposed to ‘my people’. Despite Calvinism’s faulty attempt to wrench Total Depravity out of these verses, claiming that ‘all men without fail are corrupt, and do no good, not one’, the passage itself is speaking of fools, those who deny there even is a God, thus make no attempt to seek him. Such are contrasted to ‘my people’ who such evildoers ‘eat up’ like bread and for whom ‘the Lord is [their] refuge’.

    Then there is the obvious question, why would God speak of looking down upon men to see if they act wisely or seek after God, if there is no such possibility? As is so often the case, in defense of his theology the Calvinist is left making God look like a complete idiot. “La de da, I don’t have much to do today, maybe I’ll just look down to see if the men I cursed with Total Depravity, a complete inability do know and do good, are acting wisely and seeking after me.’ Huh?

    Not to mention, the faulty Calvinist interpretation leaves them with absolutely no rational explanation for Job, among others: “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” Actually, sounds very similar to a man named Noah, who ‘found favor in the eyes of the Lord’ due to the fact that he ‘walked with God’ being ‘a righteous man, blameless in his generation’. Any honest seeker after truth must, at the very least, acknowledge that there is no mention in such passages of Calvinism’s Total Depravity being revoked by a unilateral, unsought regeneration by God. It is, simply, as if it doesn’t exist; as if men actually could choose to fear God, turn away from evil and be declared blameless and righteous; a state which obviously does not require sinless perfection, as these men were revealed to have real failings.

    How often, hundreds, perhaps thousands of times, did I hear during my time in country that ‘no man does good, no not one’? And yet, upon closer examination, it is clear that such claims rest on words yanked out of context, creating meanings that were never intended by their authors. Great is the error of deifying men and their teachings, rather than carefully examining scripture, with honesty, an open mind and a willingness to be taught by the Spirit of God. Such is not allowed by those who demand that you submit, unquestioningly, to their particular interpretations. Such is what chased me out of Calvinism.

    1. TS00
      You can add others to your list.

      Luke 1 says this about Zechariah and his wife…. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.

      Luke 7 has Christ saying about the non-Jewish Centurion…. “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”

      It just goes on and on….

      God-fearing Gentile (many)

      Worshiper of God (Lydia)

      The Bible just does not leave us with the impression that mankind, created in God’s image is somehow “too-dead” to hear God’s call.

      Too sinful to earn salvation, yes. But not “too-dead” to do as Enoch who “walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”

  6. Great post Leighton.

    Romans 3 is such a great non-Calvinist passage!!

    Paul starts with

    “1 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! ”

    Why? Cuz they are closer to the Word. But then he says….. really ….. ‘basically, the bottom line guys’ ….

    “9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written….”

    He is saying in the whole passage that Jews have an advantage in that they Abraham’s line and they are the ones Christ came to…. BUT that is not enough cuz all have sinned…. and none are automatically righteous.

    These two verses have been terribly yanked out of context by Calvinists. (notice they never mention that WE ALL have viper venom on our lips?) For them, only parts of the passage are important, literal, necessary, and true.

  7. Once again, with clarity and simplicity, Leighton you have chopped another stilt from under the house of Calvin.

    I found this bit reminiscent of a “pessimistic agnostic,” who states that, if there is a God, we cannot possibly know him.

    (1) Calvinistic Approach: Apart from a Divine irresistible work of regeneration (by which God changes a chosen individual’s nature and desires), mankind cannot willingly seek to know, understand, or follow God.

    1. Norm,
      That is because they are so thoroughly entrenched in the total depravity idea that they think man is “too-dead” and needs to be made alive so he can be given faith and then be made alive in Christ.

      We understand “made alive in Christ” to be salvation. They need to be made alive so they can be then made alive.

      I often ask them… what if a person’s pilgrimage takes 10 years…. Bible studies, reading, dialog with believers….. is he seeking?

      If he is seeking, has he already been made alive? If already alive….is he alive for 10 years before he then exercises faith and calls on Christ? Then he is what…. made alive in Christ? Again?

  8. Dr. Flowers writes, “Calvinists seem to think that because mankind is unable to attain righteousness by means of the law that they must equally be unable to obtain righteousness by means of grace through faith in Christ.”

    Calvinists say that “…mankind is…unable to obtain righteousness EXCEPT by means of grace through faith in Christ.” Brian twists this to say, “God is unable to take the initiative to clearly communicate to unregenerate hearts, giving light to help them start seeking Him.” Why do you have to distort Calvinism in order to argue against it??

    It is God who must take the initiative to do “something” before any person will seek Christ. Brian says, “But Scripture is clear that God does take the initiative with each person.” We know that God does this for His elect. Does God do this for those who start out not seeking God and end up not seeking God? Paul assured the Philippians, “God who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Are we to think that God begins a work that He does not finish?

    It is God who extends grace to people to enable them to seek Him – then it is God who gives faith to people that they would believe in Christ. At least, that is what the Calvinists say.

    Then, “It is the Calvinist’s burden to prove that fallen man is born morally incapable of responding in faith to God’s inspired and powerful appeal to be reconciled from that fall. They have to demonstrate how our fallen condition prevents us from responding willingly.”

    They have done this. In John 6, Jesus says, “No one can come to me.” He says this not once, but twice. Paul, in Romans 8, says, “…the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” If Dr. Flowers actually believes what he says, what does he say that man’s righteousness is by means of grace through faith? If God’s grace and God’s gift of faith are preconditions for man to be righteous, how does Dr. Flowers then say that people have the ability to be righteous without grace or faith? How does Dr. Flowers write, “Calvinists wrongly assume that because mankind is unable to fully keep the demands of the law that they are equally unable to admit their inability to keep those demands and trust in the One who has, and,” and then, “Apart from God’s gracious initiative…no one can merit salvation or consistently seek to obey God in a way that will attain his own righteousness.” Attempts to dispute Calvinism lead people to say all kinds of goofy things.

    1. rhutchin
      Calvinists say that “…mankind is…unable to obtain righteousness EXCEPT by means of grace through faith in Christ.”

      br.d
      Calvinists say a whole lot of tap-dancing self-contradicting double-speak.
      Their language is a virtual library of subtle language tricks and semantic shell games.

      Jesus is not the means of such things.
      The Calvinist obtains them from another source.

  9. When a Calvinist says by Grace through faith, he doesn’t mean the grace of God in Jesus Christ on the cross atoning for the sins of the world for all men to either accept or reject.

    What he means is the
    “irresistible grace” which isn’t Christ but a mystical “call” that cannot be refused, given only to a few for no given reason from before they were born by a secret decree; leaving the mass majority of men never to receive this “irresistible grace” for the same unknown reasons from before they were born.

    Then this “irresistible grace” (which isn’t Christ and the cross) is used to irresistibly believe on Christ and the gospel.

    So you can see their “grace” is not Jesus Christ but a mere mystical, irresistible prompt to believe in Christ.

    This is Calvinism. Don’t be fooled by Calvinists using the same language but a different dictionary.

    1. When the the non-Calvinist talks about God taking the initiative he means Christ on the cross for all sinners to either accept or reject the salvation provided for them.

      When a Calvinist talks about God taking the initiative he means the “irresistible grace” given only to those few he selected to receive it for unknown reasons from before they were born by a secret decree.

      Same language, different dictionary. Don’t be fooled.

      1. Damon,
        Yes, a Calvinist imposes God’s initiative everywhere.

        Of course God took the initiative to save His people in Egypt with the angel of death and the blood on the door!

        But, he left the choice of whether to obey (slaughter the lamb, apply the blood, stay in the house) to man.

        Now, they double-down and say —even though Scripture in no way says it or implies it —- that God took the initiative and “gave them faith” to apply the solution He gave.

        We must all realize that they are clearly adding to Scripture. God provides a solution and in faith they take it.

        Calvinists ADD that God provided the solution and then “irresistibly gave faith” to the people to kill the lamb and apply the blood.

        Passover is the most cited ad re-told story in all Scripture. It is never stated or implied that God did anything more than provide the solution. ((I mean sure, He performed 9 miracles before that to bolster up their faith!!!))

        Applying the blood on the doorposts was a mark of faith that apparently was not limited to Israelites, but anyone who did it. We see that many others left Egypt with the Israelites (Ex. 12:38). Not the “chosen” people, but choosing to follow. A little later, (non-chosen) Rahab the harlot was able to save her family by “applying a red rope” to her home. (Josh. 6:25).

        Wait for a Calvinist response here saying that God “irresistibly gave her faith” to do that. Kind defeats the point of the story (and the hundreds like it!).

      2. I appreciate your insight. God gives all that we need, and faith receives it. This is the message of scripture, which believers have long taught and understood. Calvinism distorts and even prevents that very necessary faith, which gives us access to all that God desires to give to us. Which is why I cannot help but view Calvinism – at its source, not necessarily all who have been naively seduced by it – as from the Evil One.

      3. Damon,
        There is none who understand…
        No one understands. Not the Calvinists and not the non-Calvinists. NO ONE!
        Soteriology is universally misunderstood.
        Man is depraved, but not totally depraved. There are things a man can do having merit with God. He can choose to live by faith, but can be deceived into not understanding what Scripture says.
        Many are called, few are chosen…
        There were a few God sovereignly chose before He created the earth. Their calling was irresistible. For everyone else it’s different. Universally, salvation is by grace through faith in Christ, but grace comes only to those who humble themselves, faith without works is dead and submission to Christ’s lordship is essential.
        Is there ANYONE here who understands?

      4. George… Matthew 22:14 NKJV — “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

        Notice it does not say – “have been chosen” which is what you are reading into that verse. The word “are” is present tense, as Jesus is discussing what is and will be happening… Becoming one of the chosen happens after one’s response to being called.

        That is obvious from the grammar and context.

      5. Brian,
        You wrote, “Matthew 22:14 NKJV — “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

        Notice it does not say – “have been chosen” which is what you are reading into that verse. The word “are” is present tense, as Jesus is discussing what is and will be happening…”

        Notice the verb tense is the same for both called and chosen in Matthew 22:14. Thus, at the time Christ spoke these words, He had already called His disciples who had been chosen before God created the world. Should Christ have said, “Many have been called…” also? Are you claiming God’s Word has an error in verb tense here?
        Furthermore, are you suggesting Christ’s disciples weren’t foreknown and implying God does not know the beginning from the end?
        It’s amazing to me how little is understood and how much the lies of satan have corrupted the Church. These is none who understand, one who seek God….All have gone astray… How true! We should all be on our knees begging God for forgiveness for not seeking Him. Or, is that only for the two witnesses in Jerusalem? I suggest you study Isaiah chapter 2 beginning with verse 6 and pay special attention to verse 9.
        Why? Because when the truth is told, mankind refuses to receive the truth and they prefer the lies they have been told by those they trusted who had also believed the lies – going all the way back to Augustine, Luther and Calvin. They see the light, but don’t want to come into the light for fear their sins will be exposed (John 3:20).
        According to Matthew 24:24, in the end times there is a “very” elect that cannot be deceived, despite false christs (anointed ones) and false prophets showing great signs and wonders. Note: Calvinists claim they are anointed ones by being chosen before God created the earth, but do not claim to be Christ. Still, the verse applies to them. This “very” elect are ones chosen before the creation of the world. They help God’s people when spiritually lost as did the prophets of Israel.
        One of them is the end time prophet Elijah who restores all things (Matthew 17:11).

    2. ‘Grace’ under Calvinism is ‘tyranny’. The kindness of God, the ‘amazing grace’ of John Newton with which God woos all men is a far different animal that the ‘grace’ of John Calvin which has its way with those it desires, without their reciprocal desire or consent. Divine rape, however unpleasant the metaphor. It is easy to see how abuse and authoritarianism arise within institutions which have a false view of God.

      1. TS00,
        Indeed. I find it strange to hear them say they are the defenders of the “doctrines of grace.” (notice the “s”).

        Their doctrines.

        T. Start with T…. a guy “too dead” (from eternity) to do a thing. Not from anything he did back in eternity… just the way God set it up.

        U. Then Unconditionally God chooses. Not like Pentecost (where they had the condition to obey and apply the blood). Not like the serpent-on-a-pole (where they had the condition to look and live). Not like the thousands of conditions “if you do this… I will do this” that God clearly demonstrated in His word.

        L. Then there is the “Good News!” that Christ’s atonement is Limited to a very tiny few. Good News! Never intended for the masses.

        Say my father did not accept the Gospel after many years of me saying “Christ died for your sins Dad.” Really all those years I was lying. I should have been saying “Christ did NOT die for you and God has a wonderful plan for you life….. in Hell.”

        I. But…. and least He will Irresistibly force some to come. No choice. To any normal person God making it irresistible means “forcing”. Period.

        P. And once you are in— and are one of the Limited ones…who were irresistibly dragged in….. you will persevere. Usually “persevere” has some kind of condition on it….but not this P.

        Good News!

    3. Correct Damon,
      But we would also be fooling ourselves if we did not understand how “beautiful” Calvinists see this grace to be.

      They are completely convinced about Total Depravity (not Original sin…. TD says man can do no good at all at any time). They revel in and repeat relentlessly how “beautiful” this grace is that takes “too-dead” people and makes sure their salvation.

      But they do not (not many of them) take the time to see the other side of their “beautiful” grace. They are rejoicing that they will spend eternity with a God who purposely, unquestionably, unchangeably, created the vast majority of mankind (in His image) for torturous destruction for “His good pleasure.”

      If their philosophy is understood, man’s demise can in no way be man’s fault since before time began Christ had no intention of saving them. There was never, ever a “way out” for them that they could even reject.

      That makes His creation and destruction of them entirely His doing.

      That is also part of the definition of grace for them.

  10. This is my first time posting here, so I want to be clear that I’m not seeking to be antagonistic. I simply wish to uphold the true teachings of God’s Word. I trust that everyone who comments has that same intention.

    RHutchin writes, “Are we to think that God begins a work that He does not finish?”

    The context of Philippians 1:6 shows that it was addressed to “partakers with me of grace” (verse 7). Thus, God is guaranteed to complete His good work with believers. This says nothing about Him drawing or not drawing those who remain unsaved. Consider Acts 7:51, where Stephen tells the Jews, “You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.” When they resisted the Holy Spirit, weren’t they resisting God’s good work? The Holy Spirit certainly doesn’t perform bad works.

    RHutchin: “In John 6, Jesus says, ‘No one can come to me.’”

    He said more than this. The full quote is, “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). You are presupposing that God doesn’t draw everyone, and therefore most people never have the ability to come to Christ. This can’t be what Paul believed when he said that God “commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). The context shows Paul was referring to all people everywhere, not just the elect. In fact, Paul said God made all nations (i.e., everyone in existence) from one man (cf. Genesis 3:20) and “determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (verses 26-27). This obviously means God put each person in the place that He did so that “they might grope for Him and find Him.” But Calvinism says God wants most people to never grope for Him or find Him.

    RHutchin: “Romans 8, says, ‘…the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.’”

    Yes, but this in no way says God deliberately doesn’t draw the vast majority of humanity. Notice that later in Romans 8, Paul acknowledges the possibility that some of his listeners aren’t saved (verse 9). He then tells them, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (verse 13). How does this make sense in light of Calvinism? If Paul was addressing the elect, his words are pointless because the elect will inevitably put to death the deeds of the flesh by the Spirit. If Paul was addressing the non-elect, his words are disingenuous because the non-elect will never even have a chance to find life. In truth, Paul’s words coincide with Jesus’ statement that the Holy Spirit convicts the world (not just the elect) of sin (John 16:8). Whether or not people respond to the Spirit’s conviction is their responsibility.

    1. Welcome LS… Thank you for your thoughts. Your example of sticking with Scripture discussions and avoiding any ad hominem attacks is welcome! I agree with your Rom 8:5-8 assessment. Paul was only pointing to the inability of a man’s flesh to think God’s thoughts or to satisfy/please God’s will. That inability of the flesh continues after regeneration. But man’s spirit can be influenced by God’s Spirit before and after regeneration and can freely respond to that influence. Is God too weak?

      1. Keep your eye on Dr Brian, LS. He is our resident Greek scholar and has no particular “theology” to defend (and nicer than some of us!).

        Let’s stick with the message of Scripture…. not any of 40-ish verses pulled out of context to build (scaffold) a particular preference.

    2. RHutchin writes, “Are we to think that God begins a work that He does not finish?”
      LS8 responded, “…God is guaranteed to complete His good work with believers. This says nothing about Him drawing or not drawing those who remain unsaved.”

      Agreed. Now, the issue is whether God knows who will believe and who will not believe before He begins His work. The Calvinists says that God knows His elect and the non-elect before beginning His work in either one. I’ll guess and say that you oppose the Calvinist position, so you don’t think God knows His elect or the non-elect before one physically makes his choice in time – we differ on the meaning of God’s omniscience.

      Your sense is that Philippians 1 might be read, “God who began a good work in you will, now that you have chosen to believe, perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” I don’t buy into that. Thus, my question, Are we to think that God begins a work that He does not finish?

      Then, “(John 6:44). You are presupposing that God doesn’t draw everyone,…”

      No, the presumption is that all whom God draws are then raised by Christ. Thus, we have the Universalist position – God draws all; Christ raises all – and the non-Universalist position – God draws some; Christ raises some. Then, there is Brian’s position – God, draws all and those who respond positively to that drawing, Christ will raise.

      Then, “… therefore most people never have the ability to come to Christ.”

      That is the gist of the first part, “No one can come to Me.” No one can, or has the ability to, come to Christ. Had Jesus said, “No one will come to Me,” we could conclude that people have the ability and just need outside assistance to exercise that ability positively.

      Then, “This can’t be what Paul believed when he said that God “commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). The context shows Paul was referring to all people everywhere,…”

      The issue here is what Paul means by “all men.” Calvinists appeal to Ephesians 3 to say that Paul has in mind the distinction between Jews and gentiles whenever he says “all” or ‘”all men.” This is supported by the immediate context before, “He made from one, every nation of mankind,” and the following context, “He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” The proof is published to “all” men through the gospel where all means both Jews and gentiles but not necessarily to all man where all means each and every individual as not all individuals hear the gospel.

      1. brianwagner writes, “confirming my interpretation of “draw” in John 6:44 is grammatically possible!”

        And imaginative. How is one to argue against Calvinism without a vivid imagination?

      2. … says the Calvinist who depends on imagined anthropomorphisms in historical narrative passages in the Scripture! 😂😂😂 I think you are forgetting the good exegesis I gave with my so-called “imagined” interpretation of John 6:44.

        Did you forget the word study of the word “draw” in the NT and OT when it has to do with people.

      3. brianwagner writes, “… says the Calvinist who depends on imagined anthropomorphisms in historical narrative passages in the Scripture! ������”

        LOL!!! I enjoy your sense of humor.

      4. brianwagner writes, “Did you forget the word study of the word “draw” in the NT and OT when it has to do with people.”

        I don’t see a problem in your word study of draw. The issue is how this affects the understanding of 6:44. We have three straightforward statements in 6:44.

        1. No one can come to Me,… (No one – no person, individual has any ability to come to Christ)
        2. … unless the Father who sent Me draws him;… (a precondition for coming to Christ – God must draw the person, individual to Christ)
        3. … and I will raise him up on the last day. (result – Christ will raise up the person, individual)

        The issue is the relationship between “one…him…him” in the three statements, i.e., the grammatical sense. The use of “”Father which sent me” takes us back to v39, “this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.” We can then equate v39, “”this is the will of Him who sent Me” and v44, “unless the Father who sent Me” and then the two phrases, v39, “all that He has given me” to v44, “the Father…draw him.” In each case, we have the same concluding phrase, v39, “raise it up on the last day” and v44, “I will raise him up on the last day.” So, God has sent Christ, to lose none He has given to Christ, those whom God draws to Christ, these are the ones Christ does not lose by raising them up.

        The conclusion we draw is that any suggestion that “draw” in v44 is wishy-washy so as to allow for any given or drawn to Christ by God to be lost is not possible – except if one has a very vivid imagination.

      5. Roger, You are conflating “drawing” with “having been given” as if the two are equal. “Having been given” is equal instead to “having come”. It is the destination of the drawing. “Drawing” is better related to being “taught” by the Father in verse 45… which teaching (drawing) is given to everyone. But not everyone listens and learns.

        And the giving to Christ was going on in his day… Verse 37 says the Father was giving to Christ (present tense). That contradicts the idea of their having already been given to Christ before creation. And I know how you will “dance” around that contradiction. 😉

        So I will stick with my word study of “draw” as not meaning “must come” but means to be brought to an opportunity to come or reject the purpose of the drawing and to not come. That’s not imagination… but good exegesis. Take the last word in this rehash of John 6:44.

      6. brianwagner writes, “So I will stick with my word study of “draw” as not meaning “must come” but means to be brought to an opportunity to come or reject the purpose of the drawing and to not come. That’s not imagination… but good exegesis. Take the last word in this rehash of John 6:44.”

        Oh, Brian! Such confusion (or is it purposeful obfuscation?). We have the opening statement, “No one can come to me…” that we both seem to agree means that no person has any ability to come to Christ. Thus, the need for God to do something, “…except the Father…draw him:” This refers to an enablement to come and not “must come.”

        The Calvinist further says that the “coming” to which Christ refers means “believing” in Him. This passage is introduced with Christ saying, v36, “you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.” From that point, He uses “come to me” instead of “believe in me.” Thus, in v44, No person can believe in Christ without God drawing the person to Christ.

        The disagreement between us is whether Christ is saying that He will raise all those whom God draws to Him or whether another precondition is implied – that Christ will only raise those whom God draws to Him and whom also choose to respond positively to that drawing.

        I’ll address your other confusion on this verse later.

      7. Brian with the patience of Job!

        I have already mentioned that for every one verse a Calvinist builds their theology on, we have hundreds of verses. The OT is full (hundreds or thousands?) of verses showing God calling and drawing, and man NOT coming.

        Somehow this go-to verse in John (which they insist has only their meaning, not yours) is supposed to prove the T (or U) in TULIP.

        Once you show a Calvinist hundreds of the verses where God does not get what He wants (He calls but man does not come) …. they invoke the “two wills” idea that God did not really want man to come when He was calling.

        It’s all so confusing with all the presuppositions they need to make their ideas work! I prefer a straightforward reading of the Word and taking God at His word that His expressed disappointment/ sadness/ displeasure are real.

      8. FOH writes, “The OT is full (hundreds or thousands?) of verses showing God calling and drawing, and man NOT coming.”

        But you know that Calvinism makes this point repeatedly – Man responds to God by rejecting God and His overtures to them; this is the point made with total depravity.

        YOUR point is that there are verses highlighting where man responds by coming to God (Christ). Isn’t it???

        Then, “they invoke the “two wills” idea that God did not really want man to come when He was calling.”

        The two wills note the distinction between God willfully calling man to repent and then willfully choosing not to help man to repent.

      9. brianwagner writes, “You are conflating “drawing” with “having been given” as if the two are equal. ”

        Not in my mind. I cannot figure out how you came to that conclusion. But then, you seem to just throw out opinions every now and then to generate discussion.

        Then, “Having been given” is equal instead to “having come”. It is the destination of the drawing.”

        I disagree. In v37, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me,…” “Giving” is an action by God and “coming” is an action by the person. The verse tenses, present tense for “giving” and future tense for “coming” makes it clear that giving precedes coming. “Coming” is the consequence of giving and drawing.

        Then, ““Drawing” is better related to being “taught” by the Father in verse 45… which teaching (drawing) is given to everyone. But not everyone listens and learns.”

        I agree that “drawing” encompasses being “taught” by the Father in verse 45. No one comes to Christ who is not taught by God. I disagree that God teaches everyone. I limit God’s teaching to those whom He gives to Christ in v37.

        Then, “And the giving to Christ was going on in his day… Verse 37 says the Father was giving to Christ (present tense). That contradicts the idea of their having already been given to Christ before creation.”

        The issue here is when God makes a decision and when God executes a decision. That God “gives” strongly suggests that God made a decision to give. The decision to give precedes the actual giving as noted in v37. So, when did God decide whom to give to Christ? Christ does not tell us here. So, you have created a contradiction that does not exist. Paul, speaking to believers in Ephesians 1, says, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.” The Calvinist thereby concludes that God decided whom to give to Christ before the foundation of the world and executes that decision in the course of time as noted in v37. I don’t see how you imagine a contradiction here.

        You seem confused on this passage. v37 clearly tells us that God gives people to Christ and this is followed by those people coming to Christ. It is certain that those whom God gives to Christ actually come to Christ. This is emphasized by Christ in v39, ” …this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing…” v40 defines what Christ means by the term, “come,” – “…everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him…”

        There are two possible positions on v37-40. There is the Universalist position – God gives all to Christ so all will be saved. The non-Universalist position says God gives some number less that all to Christ and these alone come to Christ. We can label those given by God to Christ as God’s elect. The use of “all” at the beginning of v37 makes impossible the position that some of those given do not come.

        In v44, we see that “drawing” also precedes “coming.” So, we know that no person comes to Christ unless they are first given by God to Christ and then drawn by God to Christ. All those given will come and drawing is the mechanism to do this.

      10. RHutchin,
        For those few He elected before He created the world, God will finish His work. For those elected, because they humbly responded to their calling with sufficient faith and submit to Christ, He allows each individual to exert their own free will. Hopefully, they will grow in knowledge and understanding through discernment by persevering through trials of faith, hopefully they will be doers and not hearers only, hopefully they will help their brethren grow in knowledge and understanding as well. Hopefully, they will worship God in spirit and truth. Because they have free will, it’s up to them to seek the Lord, not the Lord to seek them.
        There is none who understands, none who seek God…All have gone astray, because of false doctrine written by Augustine, Luther and Calvin and taught in seminaries, divinity schools, religious colleges and universities worldwide.
        The in-dwelling Holy Spirit is our teacher, not our tenderizer. Sanctification is a position, not a process. Is there anyone who understands when Hebrews says we cleanse ourselves?

      11. George Fitt writes, ” Is there anyone who understands when Hebrews says we cleanse ourselves?”

        Doesn’t seem like it. What verse(s) in Hebrews did you have in mind?

      12. Rhutchin writes:
        “LS8 responded, “…God is guaranteed to complete His good work with believers. This says nothing about Him drawing or not drawing those who remain unsaved.”

        Agreed. Now, the issue is whether God knows who will believe and who will not believe before He begins His work. The Calvinists says that God knows His elect and the non-elect before beginning His work in either one. I’ll guess and say that you oppose the Calvinist position, so you don’t think God knows His elect or the non-elect before one physically makes his choice in time – we differ on the meaning of God’s omniscience . . .”

        Once again, we have here the not so subtle distortion of truth, as Rhutchin knows full well that non-Calvinists (as a rule) do not assert that God does not foreknow who will believe and respond to his call. Most believers assert that God foreknows all things; it is only Calvinists that conflate this foreknowledge with determination. It is this faulty conflation that is in contention, and that Rhutchin tries to casually slip in as if it were indisputable fact.

        It genuinely saddens me to see Calvinists come so close to understanding the beauty of the gospel, yet with one huge distortion – called determinism – turn it into something hideous.

        How is it that such people do not grasp with relief and joy the good news that God indeed loves all men? Who would not find it much more ‘comforting’ (the word so many Calvinists use to explain why they overlook the partiality and cruelty of their image of God) to understand that God did not choose any to be without hope of redemption, but allowed all to make the choice for themselves? Why is this so threatening?

        I can only guess that it is the preference for a salvation with no strings. If they can persuade themselves that God has predetermined the salvation of those who believe, and they believe, then they can deduce that they are, indeed, one of the ‘chosen’ ones. See how tidy? This would eliminate any fear that might arise from being less than faithful in their devotion to God, (unless you understand Calvin’s explanation of Evanescent grace, but that is kept mostly locked in the closet.) They can even retain a few of their most cherished sins, asserting that, since God doesn’t see them anyway, what’s the harm? But of course they don’t acknowledge such things; it’s simply an unstated benefit.

        However, the sincere seeker of God does not tremble at the truth that God both allows us to choose him, and allows us to not choose or even ‘unchoose’ him. Sincere men enter into a relationship with the living God because they love him, and desire to have an eternal relationship with him. This is the basis upon which people do, or should, get married. While most intelligent people understand that any spouse can be unfaithful, or can choose to someday cast them off for another, they choose to put their trust in a mere imperfect human being to remain faithful to their love. Unfortunately, Calvinism has also led to the distortion of marriage and divorce, frequently chaining hopeless men and women into permanent despair in a faulty belief in Once Married, Always Married.

        Genuine redemption does not require a Once Saved, Always Saved mindset. Men like Samson, Solomon and Saul (what is it with the S’s?) demonstrate that men may enter into a relationship with God, yet choose to be unfaithful. God will never initiate divorce, unless we are unfaithful. This need not make us afraid, but only committed to seeking God’s assistance as we walk with him. God did not, and would not, change his mind and cast any man or woman off because they were not ‘perfect’ by human definition.

        Nor, however, does God lock anyone into a Hotel California. The doors are open, to enter and to leave, but no one need fear that God will not provide all that we need, even to providing forgiveness should we succumb to sin. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?” Those who demand a OSAS, such as the Judaisers, do so because they do not trust God, or they do not trust the sincerity of their own faith. It is upon this rock that the Judaisers stumbled, for they did not want to be placed in the same category as others – sinners in the hand of a gracious God. They insisted that they were ‘better’ than other men, chosen, in a different category, and refused to be humbled and set on the same footing as the pagans, the despised Gentiles.

        Sadly, Calvinism’s vision of Heaven is even more hideous than Hotel California. The latter may be a Paradise that you can never leave, but Calvinism asserts a Paradise that few can enter. Scripture asserts neither, by the way, but a marvelous good news that God is preparing a Paradise that any can choose to enter; but this does require abandoning their wicked predilection for serving self and choosing to love God and others as they ought. All manner of distortions have been made as to what God’s Hotel Heaven looks like. And while the doors are truly open to all, there is a very costly entrance fee: it requires everything you have. Rich and poor, great and small, strong and weak; all must surrender all that they possess, recognizing that all is from God, belongs to God and was intended for his purposes.

        The good news is that Heaven is not limited to a lucky few. Unlike in this unjust world, it will not be a haven for the ‘haves’ of this world, who have usually made their fortunes on the backs of others’ misfortune. The entrance fee does not entail money, talent or other worldly goods or giftings. The simplest, neediest person may offer up the little he has, which may simply be a broken, needy soul. The real, beautiful message of the gospel was spoken by Jesus when he said, ‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

        Calvinism twists the prior verses into limiting that call to a preselected few, but the good news is that Jesus ‘chooses’ to reveal his father to all who are sincere and willing to give their all to him. It is actually a beautiful picture of God’s gracious character, that he provided us with some small thing to bring to the relationship. Like all brides, we would be ashamed and disgraced to come without dowry, to have nothing at all to offer him. He has given us this one, priceless thing – our own free will, which has chosen selfishness and evil. We must humbly come, offering our filthy rags as our only dowry, with the full assurance that he can restore them into something wholesome and beautiful. We may freely choose to enter into eternal relationship with him, and be washed clean, or we may, to our own great detriment, cling fiercely to our filthy rags and reject God’s gracious offer to redeem them. Inherent to the definition of ‘redemption’ is that a person is offering up something broken, not that they come with nothing in their hands.

        While it is true that this redemption is limited, it is only limited by the unwillingness of men to turn from wickedness and rebellion. We all know Calvinism asserts that God was forced to ensure come select few irresistibly respond to him (insert preferred Calvinistic euphemism for Cosmic rape), but the good news is that they are wrong. God knew that men could, of their own free will, respond to his plea to choose goodness over evil and love of others over love of self. We see this demonstrated each and every day, frequently in those Calvinism insists are ‘unchosen’. I believe that we will one day see that it is not those who cried ‘Lord, Lord’ and viewed all outside their doctrinal circle as unclean (not elect), but those who loved God and others who will be welcomed into God’s eternal Paradise.

      13. Or, for the short version, Calvinism offers a salvation that any Judaiser would recognize: God chose only a select few people, and the rest were never meant to be anything but fuel for the fire. Enter Jesus, to reject that distortion of God’s grace by painting the picture of a child with his most precious belonging, ruined beyond repair, throwing himself into his Father’s waiting arms, crying, ‘Fix it, Daddy!’

      14. TS00,
        Sticking with your children theme……..

        Matt 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

        ….Well, not ALL the children….and really not even MANY of the children. Most of those children are just created for destruction from before time….

        ((It’s even hard for me to type out the vicious, misleading scenario that Calvinism is putting on Christ here.))

      15. I share your dismay. There are a lot of issues over which people can remain in respectful disagreement. Whereas I tend to think that God’s unique treatment of national Israel is now finished, I am willing to allow others to see it differently. Ultimately, whether I am correct or in error, it makes little difference, if one understands that God provided redemption for all men, if only they believe. It matters not whether one claims a nationality of Israeli, German or Swedish – all who turn from evil and seek God’s grace will receive it. I have no great certainty in future, eschatological events, and remain open to others’ ideas.

        I do have a problem, however, with a worldview that asserts that God does not offer his grace (in any meaningful manner, i.e., so that the individual can be ‘saved’ from death) to all men. This barring of many from the kingdom of God is not merely an academic squabble; many an atheist has been created by viewing God as Calvinism paints him: partial, tyrannical, controlling, merciless and cruel, inventing evil merely to show off his ‘glory’. And many a secretly disturbed Calvinist has suppressed his dismay over the limited nature of God’s ‘salvation’ as they have been taught it. Not infrequently, such dismayed Calvinists turn into angry atheists.

      16. TS00,
        Two thing as response.

        1. We have heard hundreds of times Calvinists say something like, “God does offer His grace and give the choice to man, who is free to do what he naturally does—- choose evil.” They may add (due to their non-negotiable, entrenched, world-view, presupposition) that man will always choose evil since he is Totally Depraved. Never mind that history and daily examples show that man does not ONLY do evil ALL the time.

        So…. they think in terms of being thankful that they (sinful, always-do-evil) people are being rescued.

        We, however, see the other side of their coin that says that most of humanity was created with no intention to save it or offer it anything but eternal damnation. Nice. Good News!

        2. I have shared in several places on these pages the fact that my nephew was the baptized, high school youth group leader at his church when a new youth pastor rolled into town. He was a newly-minted YRR Calvinist and really, really pushed the “doctrines of non-grace” on to the kids. For some 15 solid years now my nephew is a staunch atheist. Trying to quote him…. “I found myself wanting to sin and wanting to doubt God. I figured that if the Calvinist was right…. so be it…. that is what I was to be.”

        Good News!

      17. I am truly sorry about your nephew. I just whispered a prayer for him, and the many others who have been discouraged and disenchanted by false and destructive teachings. There are far too many. I hope that he will look to you, and other faithful ones who have rejected this theology, and see that you represent the love, mercy and hope with which God reached out to mankind. I actually interact with several de-christianized atheists (nearly always thanks to Reformed Theology), and ask them if they mind if I pray that, if I am right in my thinking, they will learn to once again believe in a God who loves them.

    3. LS8 writes, “Notice that later in Romans 8, Paul acknowledges the possibility that some of his listeners aren’t saved (verse 9). ”

      Paul is writing to believers, but is aware that non-believers will be in the church and reading (listening in). Paul uses the opportunity to define that which distinguishes the believer from the unbeliever. A person is an unbeliever – in the flesh – until the Spirit takes up residence in him. So, I agree with your point.

      Then, “He then tells them, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (verse 13). How does this make sense in light of Calvinism? If Paul was addressing the elect, his words are pointless because the elect will inevitably put to death the deeds of the flesh by the Spirit.”

      Absolutely right. It is the presence of the Spirit indwelling the believer and the way the Spirit manifests its presence that give confidence to the believer of his salvation. In Galatians 5, Paul similarly contrasts the works of the flesh with the works of the Spirit. Calvinists again point to Philippians 1 – God began a work in the person – and His spirit continues that work until the day of Christ.

      Then, “If Paul was addressing the non-elect, his words are disingenuous because the non-elect will never even have a chance to find life. In truth,…”

      Of course, the non-elect have a chance – they have a free will to do as they desire. As a logical matter, all – each and every individual – should submit to Christ. Shows how illogical – even mad – a person must be to reject salvation.

      Then, “Paul’s words coincide with Jesus’ statement that the Holy Spirit convicts the world (not just the elect) of sin (John 16:8). Whether or not people respond to the Spirit’s conviction is their responsibility.”

      I agree. Only someone who is mentally insane would reject the Spirit’s conviction.

      1. Roger – “Only someone who is mentally insane would reject the Spirit’s conviction.” Either the conviction truly is not irresistible, for even an insane person shouldn’t be able to resist it… or Roger is setting up a strawman argument dor he knows God has allowed His conviction to be sufficient but able to be freely resisted.

  11. RHutchin writes, “Thus, my question, Are we to think that God begins a work that He does not finish?”

    With all due respect, you completely ignored my point about Acts 7:51. The Jews resisted the Holy Spirit, who was obviously performing a good work. Thus, they resisted God’s good work. Do you believe God draws some people irresistibly and draws others (like these Jews) with resistible, counterfeit means?

    RHutchin: “Calvinists appeal to Ephesians 3 to say that Paul has in mind the distinction between Jews and gentiles whenever he says ‘all’ or ‘all men.’ This is supported by the immediate context before, ‘He made from one, every nation of mankind,’ and the following context, ‘He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.’ The proof is published to ‘all’ men through the gospel where all means both Jews and gentiles but not necessarily to all man where all means each and every individual as not all individuals hear the gospel.”

    I’m not sure I understand your point here. Are you saying that Paul’s reference to “all men” in this entire passage are references to just the elect? If so, then we must conclude the following:

    1. Not all people who exist are descended from Adam and Eve (“every nation of mankind” means just the elect).

    2. God has not determined the preappointed times and boundaries of everyone in existence (just the elect).

    3. God does not hope that all people in existence will seek Him (just the elect).

    4. Not all people in existence live and move and have their being in God (just the elect).

    5. God does not command all people in existence to repent (just the elect).

    6. God will not necessarily judge everyone in existence (just the elect). Granted, it says “He will judge the world,” but why should “world” be interpreted literally when the seemingly universal references to “all men” are not universal?

    RHutchin: “Of course, the non-elect have a chance – they have a free will to do as they desire. As a logical matter, all – each and every individual – should submit to Christ. Shows how illogical – even mad – a person must be to reject salvation.”

    But you have said elsewhere that God is in control of our will. Thus, the non-elect are only “illogical” and “mad” because God wants them to be that way. Within Calvinism, we might liken humanity to a group of patients in a hospital who need special equipment to breathe. God gives this special equipment (irresistible grace) to some of them, but then He commands all of them to breathe. As the corpse-like patients predictably fail to respond, God says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11).

    1. LS* writes, “…my point about Acts 7:51. The Jews resisted the Holy Spirit, who was obviously performing a good work. Thus, they resisted God’s good work. Do you believe God draws some people irresistibly and draws others (like these Jews) with resistible, counterfeit means?”

      The resistance of the Jews noted by Stephan in Acts 7 refers to all of Jewish history and it is proof of the point Jesus then makes in talking to the Jews in John 6, “No one can come to me.” The Jews resisted God’s law. There is no reason to think that the Jews were resisting God’s drawing – that the Jews were given to Christ with the expectation that Christ would lose none of them or that Christ was to raise up all the Jews. The Jews to be raised up by Christ would be those identified by Paul in Romans 9, “they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;…it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.”

      Then, “But you have said elsewhere that God is in control of our will. Thus, the non-elect are only “illogical” and “mad” because God wants them to be that way. Within Calvinism, we might liken humanity to a group of patients in a hospital who need special equipment to breathe. God gives this special equipment (irresistible grace) to some of them, but then He commands all of them to breathe. As the corpse-like patients predictably fail to respond, God says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11).”

      I like the illustration. However, let’s get it right. Humanity can be likened to a group of patients in a hospital who need special equipment to breathe. If they are to live, they must breathe but none has the ability to breathe on his own (No one can come to me…). God provides the special equipment that each might use to breathe – this is the law. God commands that people use the special equipment – obey His law – in order to live. People refuse the special equipment – everyone chooses their sin over obedience to God. Now, God can heal those whom He chooses to save and leave the others to themselves – the law (special equipment) still being available to those who want to breathe.

    2. I had written, “Calvinists appeal to Ephesians 3 to say that Paul has in mind the distinction between Jews and gentiles whenever he says ‘all’ or ‘all men.’
      LS8 responded, “I’m not sure I understand your point here. Are you saying that Paul’s reference to “all men” in this entire passage are references to just the elect? ”

      No, I am saying that Paul’s reference to “all men” is a reference to “Jews and gentiles” and not specifically to each and every individual. Thus, we can say:

      1. All people who exist are descended from Adam and Eve and can be divided into two groups – Jews and gentiles.

      2. God has determined the preappointed times and boundaries of everyone – both Jews and gentiles – in existence.

      3. God does hope that Jews and gentiles will seek Him (not just Jews).

      4. All people, whether Jew or gentile, lives and moves and has their being in God.

      5. God does commands all people – whether Jew or gentile – to repent (not just the Jew).

      6. God necessarily judges everyone in existence.

      Then, “Granted, it says “He will judge the world,” but why should “world” be interpreted literally when the seemingly universal references to “all men” are not universal?”

      I agree. “World” is reference, universally, to both Jews and gentiles and not just the Jews or just the gentiles.

      1. ………And all because of Calvinism, which in the mind of Calvin he believes that the bible un-biblically states that God picked out a few to be saved for unknown reasons from before they were born by a secret decree, leaving the rest not picked for the same unknown reason from before they were born by the same secret decree.

        In other word’s “No one can come to me”, because if they were not determined to be drawn by the secret decree from before they were born for unknown reasons, then they have no hope of ever being drawn; because, they were never in God’s plan of redemption to be drawn. God never wanted them to be saved from before they were born………or I should i say – “He did want them to be saved”…wink wink, but chose not to want them saved; and just try and believe me….wink wink that there is a difference, when deep down i know there actually isn’t, but just believe me there actually is, but I’m telling you that there isn’t. Ok!

        I can talk out of both sides of my mouth if i want to because God determined that i could. Actually he didn’t determine that I could but that i would because all things that come to pass, come to pass by that same “secret decree”; And whatever comes to pass cannot be any different than what was meticulously determined to come to pass by the secret decree, including every rape, murder, lie, theft, that God asks us not to do. Actually God determined to ask you to not do the very things he determined that you do and comes to pass.

        This is Calvinism.

      2. RHutchin writes, “The Jews resisted God’s law. There is no reason to think that the Jews were resisting God’s drawing.”

        So, I guess the answer to my question is yes. You do believe God irresistibly draws some people but draws others (like these Jews) with resistible, counterfeit means. Does the Spirit’s deliberately inadequate work not count as a good work? Or are you admitting that the Jews resisted a good work performed by God?

        RHutchin: “God commands that people use the special equipment – obey His law – in order to live. People refuse the special equipment – everyone chooses their sin over obedience to God.”

        According to Calvinism, they choose sin because God wants them to do so. He controls their will, after all. How can anyone be said to rebel against God when God determined their actions, thoughts, and desires before time began? It seems to me they are being perfectly obedient to God.

        RHutchin: “No, I am saying that Paul’s reference to ‘all men’ is a reference to ‘Jews and gentiles’ and not specifically to each and every individual.”

        Thank you for clarifying. I’m still wondering, though, if you’re interpreting “all men” to include any of the non-elect. If even one member of the non-elect is included in Paul’s statement, then Paul was lying when he said God hopes all men “grope for Him and find Him” (Acts 17:27). After all, the God of Calvinism wants the vast majority of men to never find Him, and He ensures this by withholding irresistible grace and making Christ’s sacrifice nonapplicable to them. So, basically, Calvinists have two options with this passage: 1) Paul was referring to just the elect, or 2) Paul was not referring to just the elect. Option 2 would require us to conclude that God makes possible the salvation of all people, even those who remain unsaved. Thus, if you don’t believe Paul was referring to just the elect, you will be forced to deny Calvinism.

      3. LS8

        Haven’t we warned you about RH? There is basically nothing you can say. One verse for him equals a hundred verses for you.

        Even at 100-to-1 he will never concede one tiny inch.

        The CESV (Calvinist English Standard Version) says for Acts 17:27 that you quoted….

        ” that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him.”

        Now, there is no wiggle room here. Calvinists say people cannot seek God. So…. if they are regenerated TO seek God why does it way “perhaps feel their way”? There is no wiggle room there. If it is a done deal (Irresistible Grace), then why “perhaps”. This is not the only verse.

        God Himself says “perhaps they will want to go back to Egypt” in Exodus 13:17

        When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

        There are loads of this kind of verse in Scripture. But Calvinist just say, “nope, doesnt mean that cuz we know better!”

      4. LS8 writes, “You do believe God irresistibly draws some people but draws others (like these Jews) with resistible, counterfeit means. Does the Spirit’s deliberately inadequate work not count as a good work? Or are you admitting that the Jews resisted a good work performed by God?”

        Not exactly. God irresistibly draws His elect but takes no action with regard to the non-elect. God is active with regard to His elect and passive with regard to the non-elect. – there is no work by the Holy Spirit in the lives of the non-elect. The Jews resisted the law that God gave them – God did not transform them and then find them resisting His law.

        Then, “According to Calvinism, they choose sin because God wants them to do so. He controls their will, after all. How can anyone be said to rebel against God when God determined their actions, thoughts, and desires before time began? It seems to me they are being perfectly obedient to God.”

        God determined that they be free to choose. David was free to bring Bathsheba into his bedroom – God could have intervened to prevent that outcome but chose not to do so. God was present and watching everything that happened and could have stopped David at any point – He chose not to do so. God was in control of David’s will and could have redirected David’s fleshly thoughts at any point and did not. Obviously, God, in His law, told David not to commit adultery, but God did not remove David’s ability to disobey His law nor did God intervene to help David obey His law. David was perfectly disobedient to God’s law and God’s will was not to stop David from sin.

        Then, ‘I’m still wondering, though, if you’re interpreting “all men” to include any of the non-elect. If even one member of the non-elect is included in Paul’s statement, then Paul was lying when he said God hopes all men “grope for Him and find Him” (Acts 17:27).”

        As “all men” refers to “Jews and gentiles,” the term encompasses the non-elect but is not specific to the non-elect. For example, a movie theater may invite all people to come see a movie, but only those who buy tickets can see a movie. God invites all people to come to Christ but only those who actually come to Christ benefit – God is free to give some people help to come to Christ and not obligated to give similar help to each and every individual.

        Then, “After all, the God of Calvinism wants the vast majority of men to never find Him,…”

        No, God wants all people to find Him, but He will not intervene to help everyone to find Him.

        Then, “…and He ensures this by withholding irresistible grace and making Christ’s sacrifice nonapplicable to them. ”

        That God withholds irresistible grace does not negate Christ’s sacrifice being available to them. All people – each and every individual – are free to respond to Christ – Calvinist claim that only total depravity can explain why people do not come to Christ. Do you have a second explanation?

        Then, “So, basically, Calvinists have two options with this passage: 1) Paul was referring to just the elect, or 2) Paul was not referring to just the elect. Option 2 would require us to conclude that God makes possible the salvation of all people, even those who remain unsaved. Thus, if you don’t believe Paul was referring to just the elect, you will be forced to deny Calvinism.”

        Christ’s death on the cross made salvation available to each and every individual. The Calvinist concluded that total depravity explains why people uniformly rejected salvation. Then, God intervenes to draw some of those who have rejected Christ by means that ensure that they will come to Christ. So, Paul was referring to both elect and non-elect, but this is not s rejection of the points made by Calvinism.

      5. Rhutchin writes:
        “God invites all people to come to Christ but only those who actually come to Christ benefit – God is free to give some people help to come to Christ and not obligated to give similar help to each and every individual.
        Then, “After all, the God of Calvinism wants the vast majority of men to never find Him,…”
        No, God wants all people to find Him, but He will not intervene to help everyone to find Him.”

        More good examples of nonsense talk. God wants all people to find him, even invites all people to come to Christ, but is ‘free to give ‘some people’ help to come to Christ [make them able] and not obligated to give similar help to each and every individual.’ Of course, if God ‘wants all people to find him’ he would give all people the ‘help’ that he knows is the only way they can find him (under Calvinism), now wouldn’t he? Just as, if God wanted David to not commit adultery he would have, supposedly, (forcibly, if secretly) overruled David’s will.

        Rhutchin is always describing how God’s passively pursues his will by not doing anything. Thus, under his logic, God is ‘passively’ willing most people not to find him. [This is why you have to add in the magic two wills, which are opposed to one another. Makes no logical sense, but necessary to make the system work. A lot like Einstein’s physics.] You can’t have it both ways, switching out whenever it doesn’t ‘fit’ your needs. It is just nonsense doubletalk to suggest that he ‘wants’ but does not enable people to find him, knowing full well that the only way they CAN find him is if he helps them.

        Poor God, how does he ever keep straight which one of his wills he really desires? I guess that’s why he made the Divine decree, so he could keep straight who he was actually saving. Far too confusing to actually deal with rebellious men, and provide them genuine opportunity to repent.

      6. TS00 writes, “More good examples of nonsense talk. God wants all people to find him, even invites all people to come to Christ, but is ‘free to give ‘some people’ help to come to Christ [make them able] and not obligated to give similar help to each and every individual.’”

        The command is, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” This command is given when God, by foreknowledge, knows that many will reject the gospel. Through the preaching of the gospel, each and every individual hearing the gospel is invited to come to Christ, as Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Given the example of DG, there are some extraordinary people who hear the gospel preached and thereby come to Christ. Among the dregs who reject Christ, God is then free to exercise His free will to choose additional people to save and ignore the rest.

        Then, “Of course, if God ‘wants all people to find him’ he would give all people the ‘help’ that he knows is the only way they can find him (under Calvinism), now wouldn’t he?”

        That’s the argument made by the Universalist.

        Then, “[This is why you have to add in the magic two wills, which are opposed to one another. Makes no logical sense, but necessary to make the system work….)”

        All people have some form of the two wills argument. God expresses His will by giving the law to the Jews and thereby to all people. Then, God gives people the freedom to disobey His law and God willfully puts up with the disobedience of people.

        Then, ‘It is just nonsense doubletalk to suggest that he ‘wants’ but does not enable people to find him, knowing full well that the only way they CAN find him is if he helps them.”

        Who is the one who is not saved? He is the one who says, “There is no God.” Paul describes such people in Romans 1, “even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” Then, in 1 Corinthians 1, “the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness.”

  12. Rhutchin writes,
    “Christ’s death on the cross made salvation available to each and every individual”

    How can that be? when your Calvinism says that God selected only some to receive it from before they were born for reasons unknown? How can it be “available to every individual” when the whole argument from the Calvinist perspective is that it is not? That is the whole contention between Calvinists and Non-Calvinists. If you truly believe salvation is available to every individual then you better start rebuking Calvinists…..but I know that’s not what you “really” believe? What you seem to believe is that it was but then rejected, so God then had to use His foreknowledge and bring in plan B, which is irresistible Salvation for a few of the God haters.
    But even that fails because Calvinism says only a few were selected for reasons unknown, not because of God’s foreknowledge that all would be totally depraved God haters.

    Then Rhutchin writes,
    “The Calvinist concluded that total depravity explains why people uniformly rejected salvation”

    How can totally depravity explain why people “uniformly” reject salvation when it is clear that some totally depraved people like myself have accepted Christ as Savior………..unless you think that you are not totally depraved anymore?. I can tell you that even our best works are as filthy rags to the Lord, and the last time I saw filthy rags they looked totally depraved to me. So, that doesn’t make it too “uniform” then does it? We only have to look in the mirror to see our total depravity staring back at us. Praise God for salvation that accepted this totally depraved man! I can’t wait to put off the old man for good!

    Then Rhutchin writes,
    “Then, God intervenes to draw some of those who have rejected Christ by means that ensure that they will come to Christ”

    Why would God have to intervene to draw some to ensure they will come to Christ when they were never out of Christ according to Calvinism from before they were born – hand picked by a secret decree that saved them and put them in Christ from before they were born? Are you saying they were in Christ but then out of Christ and then in Christ again? Did they lose their salvation when they were born? And then irresistibly gain it again?

    See, Calvinism falls in a heap every time.

    1. DG writes, ‘How can that be? when your Calvinism says that God selected only some to receive it from before they were born for reasons unknown?”

      You are the free willer, aren’t you? Calvinism just works with the dregs who reject salvation under the free will philosophy. I don’t see what your problem is.

      Then, “How can totally depravity explain why people “uniformly” reject salvation when it is clear that some totally depraved people like myself have accepted Christ as Savior………..unless you think that you are not totally depraved anymore?”

      I guess there are exceptions. You are an extraordinary person.

    2. Rhutchin writes,
      “Christ’s death on the cross made salvation available to each and every individual”

      Damon writes:
      “How can that be? when your Calvinism says that God selected only some to receive it from before they were born for reasons unknown? How can it be “available to every individual” when the whole argument from the Calvinist perspective is that it is not? That is the whole contention between Calvinists and Non-Calvinists.”

      And this, of course reveals that the Calvinist’s agenda is to deceive. There is absolutely no way that a Calvinist can claim that “Christ’s death on the cross made salvation available to each and every individual”. None. Remember the ‘L’ in their pretty little tulip? And what’s it stand for? Everyone now: ‘Limited Atonement’. Which means that Christ did not die for all.

      The 1, 2, 3, over my knee Calvinist can state that they reject a particular prong, shall we say petal? of Calvinism, but it simply cannot be done. Tear off one petal, and the flower crumbles. Those who designed Calvinism were at least somewhat versed in logic, and grasped that if God were to have deterministically ordained who would be saved from eternity past, then it would be absurd to have Jesus shedding his blood for those who he never intended to save. In fact, Calvinists once spoke of how terrible it would be to ‘waste’ a drop of Jesus’ blood. (In attempts to avoid acknowledging the necessity of the limited value of the cross, they mostly don’t discuss it anymore.)

      I well recall the instant, when I was discussing something else with my Calvinist pastor, when it hit me like a ton of bricks out of nowhere – Calvinism makes the cross insignificant. And faith. Those are just shams, cover for God’s lack of love, if Calvinism is true. If God chose who would be saved, the cross was not even necessary. Nor the sin that I so struggle with and hate. Nor the evil in this world, that so grieves me. If all was predetermined, then all of the ugliness, suffering, sin and oppression man has endured all these years was unnecessary, and totally God’s fault, dreamed up and determined by him alone. I am sure that all of the color drained from my face as I found myself confronting the true meaning of Calvinism for the first time. Not because some anti-Calvinist told me what to think (my long period of searching and study was to follow), but because the light of understanding was turned on by the Spirit of God within me.

      I have had many since, but that was my first truly sleepless night, as I grappled – with a newfound understanding – with all of the Calvinist ‘lines’ I had been fed over the last twelve years or so. It was as if a light switch had been turned on. My Calvinist pastor, whom I trusted and loved, had been feeding me a pile of bull**** all these years, and I had been stupid enough consume it. (Sorry, simply can’t think of a more accurate term.) I had been fighting off nagging questions about Calvinism, and the ineffectiveness of our church’s ministry for some time, but that night, with the bright light of understanding finally shining in, I had a decision to make. Was I going to stick with a harsh theology simply to retain my marriage, my family and my community or was I going to carefully question and rethink everything I had been taught?

      There, in the deep of the night, I finally understood what it meant to ‘hate’ father, mother and spouse. We simply cannot use our loved ones as an excuse to not listen to and follow the light of truth when it is revealed to us. It is futile to explain to God that we would like to listen to him, but we must preserve our family, because ‘God hates divorce’. Romans explains that denying the inconvenient truth leads to Total Depravity, not some cruel curse from God. And if it costs us everything, we still gain.

      I still don’t know how it’s all going to shake out, but I know that we must embrace what little understanding we have if we want to keep growing in wisdom and knowledge. We must be willing to sell all that we have in order to pursue that pearl of great price, which is truth. The moment we put up a wall, and say, ‘This I will never even question’ is the moment we cease to think and grow. It is the moment we cease to listen to the Spirit of God.

      But once you break that lock on your brain that a loyal commitment to Calvinism (or any other ideology) creates, the understanding comes rushing in like a great wave. It was like having my old bible back, as I began to read scripture for the first time in years without the Calvinist lens. No longer did I have to limp along, mentally rewriting each passage in order to conform with a man-made theological construct. I could simply read, and allow the Spirit to lead. Just as I had done in my youth.

      It is wonderful to be alive once more, and I will never again allow anyone to persuade me to turn off my brain and ‘trust’ some so-called authority to dictate to me what is true. Note well that Jesus did not tell his disciples that the Father would send his prophet, John Calvin, or establish an institution called The Church to dictate orthodoxy, but that he would sent the Holy Spirit, who ‘will teach [us] all things’. He will not, however, ‘force’ us to heed this teaching, however much Calvinism teaches God works by secretly compelling us to do his will. We always have a choice as to whether or not we will continue to walk with God.

      1. TSOO,

        Thanks for sharing that journey brother. I think most of us that have ran into Calvinism and come out the other side have scars that still remain. I have a similar story so I totally relate to how you felt at that time. I thank the Lord for the scars. I was living the most lukewarm “Christian” life when I ran into Calvinism (which had been hidden under a bushel in the church that I attended at that time for 8 years). Looking into Calvinism and studying it brought me to my knees 6 years ago.

        It was looking into the Calvinists two major “proof passages” – Ephesians 1:4 & Romans 9 that led me to my knees & all because I started at Romans 1 to study like I had never studied before. I realized I was sinner just like anybody else – Romans 1-2. I realized that Christ was the only Savior – Romans 3-5. I realized that I was treating salvation like a mere ticket – Romans 6-8. I realized that salvation was not through a mere blood line and was available to anybody – Romans 9-11. I realized that my life didn’t reflect a blood bought Christian – Romans 12-16. I got on my knees and repented in tears and was saved.

        I can relate to you when you say the word of God came alive. It’s hard to express the joy that I feel being in a church now that is evangelistic in street witnessing and gung ho for the gospel. It’s a joy to walk up to somebody and tell them that God loves them and that Jesus paid for their sin on a cross, and tell them that they can be saved, and really mean it!

        Thanks again brother, that was refreshing.

      2. TSOO
        And this, of course reveals that the Calvinist’s agenda is to deceive.

        br.d
        You hit the bulls-eye with that one!!!

        With their institutes of square-circles, married-bachelors, active-passive, up-down, right-left, true-false, indeterministic-determinism.
        And their THEOS who chooses not to restrain things he decrees to infallibly come to pass. :-]

  13. RHutchin writes, “God irresistibly draws His elect but takes no action with regard to the non-elect.”

    Actually, according to Calvinism, He took action with regard to the non-elect before they were born—namely, by decreeing that they would be non-elect. Only then did He “passively” allow them to do the very things He decreed they would do.

    RHutchin: “[T]here is no work by the Holy Spirit in the lives of the non-elect. The Jews resisted the law that God gave them – God did not transform them and then find them resisting His law.”

    Then why does the Bible say the Jews resisted the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51)? The Holy Spirit is not God’s law. And if the Holy Spirit does not work in the lives of the non-elect, how can they resist Him?

    RHutchin: “David was perfectly disobedient to God’s law and God’s will was not to stop David from sin.”

    Again, this idea of God merely permitting sin cannot be reconciled with Calvinism. As Calvin famously said, “[H]ow foolish and frail is the support of divine justice afforded by the suggestion that evils come to be, not by His will but by His permission…It is a quite frivolous refuge to say that God otiosely permits them, when Scripture shows Him not only willing, but the author of them.”

    RHutchin: “For example, a movie theater may invite all people to come see a movie, but only those who buy tickets can see a movie. God invites all people to come to Christ but only those who actually come to Christ benefit.”

    I’m afraid this analogy fails. People who buy tickets to a movie need no “irresistible grace” to enable them to buy the tickets. They are not “dead” when it comes to buying tickets. Conversely, Calvinism asserts that the non-elect are, by God’s design, completely dead when it comes to God’s invitation.

    Calvinists often say that just as Christ needed to give Lazarus life before he could come out of the tomb, so God must give people life before they can answer His call to repent. If, as you said, “God invites all people to come to Christ,” then when it comes to the non-elect, God is essentially standing at the door of Lazarus’ tomb and urging him to come out while refusing to give him the life necessary to come out. Such an “invitation” cannot be considered genuine in any sense of the word.

    RHutchin: “Christ’s death on the cross made salvation available to each and every individual.”

    Are you a four-point Calvinist?

    RHutchin: “God wants all people to find Him, but He will not intervene to help everyone to find Him.” He also writes, “Paul was referring to both elect and non-elect, but this is not s rejection of the points made by Calvinism.”

    If God wants all people to find Him, and the only way for people to find Him is to be irresistibly drawn to Christ, then why doesn’t God irresistibly draw everyone? The only answer Calvinism can give is that He does not truly want everyone to be saved. In other words, Paul was lying when he said God wants everyone to grope for Him and find Him (Acts 17:27). Going back to the hospital analogy, if a doctor were to enable only some patients to breathe but then claim he wanted them all to breathe, would we not immediately recognize the dishonesty of his claim?

    1. LS8 writes, “Actually, according to Calvinism, He took action with regard to the non-elect before they were born—namely, by decreeing that they would be non-elect. ”

      That’s true and we can read about the manner by which this comes about beginning in Genesis 3. Adam sinned and plunged mankind into sin and corruption that they were unable to change. Being born in sin and corruption, people could not make any effort to seek God, so God’s judgment, ““There is no-one righteous, not even one; there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no-one who does good, not even one.” God knew all this before He created the world, and by God creating the world, God decreed the fulfillment of that future.

      Then, “Then why does the Bible say the Jews resisted the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51)? The Holy Spirit is not God’s law. And if the Holy Spirit does not work in the lives of the non-elect, how can they resist Him?”

      The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets. Jesus explains, ““Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Consequently you bear witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.” Then, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together…and you were unwilling.”

      1. LS8 writes, “Actually, according to Calvinism, He took action with regard to the non-elect before they were born—namely, by decreeing that they would be non-elect. ”

        rhutchin
        That’s true and we can read about the manner by which this comes about beginning in Genesis

        br.d
        More wonderful examples of Calvinist double-speak – they just keep coming!
        AS-IF the beginning was in Genesis – instead of the foundation of the world – where the antecedent event (the immutable decree) functioned as the SOURCE and ORIGIN of the fated event. A fate which Adam was powerless to avoid.

        That is what LS8 refers.
        That Calvinist’s magic trick is to deflect attention to somewhere else – so you wont see the SOURCE and ORIGIN.

        To understand Calvinism – all one must understand:
        The Calvinist is a DETERMINIST – wearing a mask of IN-DETERMINISM – reciting double-speak talking-points.

    2. LS8
      You are doing well grasshopper against the Jedi Mind Master…. but it is to no avail.

      Expect in return to hear what TS00 repeatedly hears (after long, passionate, logical, scriptural posts), some sort of cheesy “you never really said anything.”

      Actually here is what you said:

      —According to Calvinism, He took action… by decreeing that they would be non-elect. Only then did He “passively” allow them to do the very things He decreed they would do. [they will deny this or try to wordsmith it to death].

      —The Jews resisted the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51). The Holy Spirit is not God’s law. And if the Holy Spirit does not work in the lives of the non-elect, how can they resist Him? [and dont forget, many OT Jews DID respond to God, then rebelled, then responded, then rebelled — and dont forget these are the “chosen people.”]

      —This idea of God merely permitting sin cannot be reconciled with Calvinism. [Calving insists that God is actively — not passively— behind all of the sin and mayhem. See on another thread my dozens of quotes from Calvin on this].

      — I’m afraid this analogy fails. People who buy tickets to a movie need no “irresistible grace” to enable them to buy the tickets. They are not “dead” when it comes to buying tickets. Conversely, Calvinism asserts that the non-elect are, by God’s design, completely dead when it comes to God’s invitation [I, too, chucked young one when I read the movie theater example. It is very much like the “college class” example that non-Calvinists give — every one who signs up for the course and shows up are the ones chosen for the course that the professor referred to 6 months BEFORE the course]

      — God is essentially standing at the door of Lazarus’ tomb and urging him to come out while refusing to give him the life necessary to come out. Such an “invitation” cannot be considered genuine in any sense of the word.

      RHutchin: “Christ’s death on the cross made salvation available to each and every individual.”

      Are you a four-point Calvinist? [Yes he is. Leighton did a whole post on James White making the same claim].

      Be forewarned LS8 that this will go around and around in circles.

      1. FOH Speaks the truth!!!

        Rhutchin has routines – the dancing boxer – the greased pig – etc.
        He wants people to take him seriously.
        And I suspect he gets a sense of efficacy from drawing people around in circles.

        Sometimes its better to sit back and let the puppy dog chase his own tail. :-]

    3. I had said, “David was perfectly disobedient to God’s law and God’s will was not to stop David from sin.”
      LS8 responded, “Again, this idea of God merely permitting sin cannot be reconciled with Calvinism.”

      I did not use, nor imply, that God permitted David to sin. I said that “God’s will was not to stop David from sin.” this means that God made a specific, active decision – Because God is sovereign, He always exercises perfect control over everything and He is the final arbiter of all that happens. Thus Paul in Ephesians 1, “God works all things after the counsel of His will.” As you know, Calvin actually uses the word, permit, of God’s actions and his complaint is against “bare” permission as is suggestive of passivity on His part.

      Then, “People who buy tickets to a movie need no “irresistible grace” to enable them to buy the tickets. They are not “dead” when it comes to buying tickets. Conversely, Calvinism asserts that the non-elect are, by God’s design, completely dead when it comes to God’s invitation.”

      By dead, Calvinists mean that stated by Paul in Ephesians 2, “you were dead in your trespasses and sins,” and further that they “walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” Thus, there is no desire for the things of God – concerning salvation, as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 1, “the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness,”

      Then, “Such an “invitation” cannot be considered genuine in any sense of the word.”

      Yet, it is an invitation that atheists understand – it is foolishness to them. If unbelievers made a logical decision, they would choose life over death just as they choose those things which benefit them in every other decision of life. Unbelievers are illogical when it comes to salvation, as Paul describes in Romans 1, “Professing to be wise, they became fools.”

      I said, ““Christ’s death on the cross made salvation available to each and every individual.”
      LS8 responded, “Are you a four-point Calvinist?”

      Five point all the way. The distinction here is between God’s intent in sending Christ to the cross and the value of Christ’s death. John Owen, in his “Death of Death…” provides a good explanation of this distinction.

      Then, ‘If God wants all people to find Him, and the only way for people to find Him is to be irresistibly drawn to Christ, then why doesn’t God irresistibly draw everyone? The only answer Calvinism can give is that He does not truly want everyone to be saved.”

      By “everyone” is meant not just the Jew but the gentile also. In the OT, we find that God has very little to do with the gentiles, often commanding their complete destruction because of their evil ways. In the NT, that changes, as Paul explains in Ephesians 3, “you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.”

      1. rhutchin
        I did not use, nor imply, that God PERMITTED David to sin. I said that “God’s will was NOT TO STOP David from sin.” this means that God made a specific, active decision

        br.d
        Too funny!
        Calvin’s god makes a “specific active decision” NOT TO STOP something he decreed to infallibly come to pass.
        The art of Calvinism is to be able to point 10 fingers in 20 directions at the same time.

        Another confirmation that God gave mankind Calvinism as a form of entertainment! :-]

      2. Rhutchin writes:
        “I had said, “David was perfectly disobedient to God’s law and God’s will was not to stop David from sin.”
        LS8 responded, “Again, this idea of God merely permitting sin cannot be reconciled with Calvinism.”

        I did not use, nor imply, that God permitted David to sin. I said that “God’s will was not to stop David from sin.” this means that God made a specific, active decision – Because God is sovereign, He always exercises perfect control over everything and He is the final arbiter of all that happens. Thus Paul in Ephesians 1, “God works all things after the counsel of His will.” As you know, Calvin actually uses the word, permit, of God’s actions and his complaint is against “bare” permission as is suggestive of passivity on His part.”

        Here we see on display, once again the Calvinist’s word games or doublespeak, as he attempts to wiggle out of his corner by creating an imaginary distinction between ‘bare permission’ and a ‘specific, active decision’ to permit. (Appealing to the deceiver-in-chief does not add to his credibility.)

        This requires one to imagine that there is some way for a deterministic deity to passively permit an action that he does not desire and has not irresistibly predetermined. In fact, one who wields absolute authority neither grants nor withholds permission; his subjects cannot ignore his lack of ‘permission’ and do as they please, as he has absolute authority and the future has been set in stone since before time began.

        But the Calvinist, as his contradictions necessitate, seeks here to manufacture imaginary, contradictory classifications: an active passivity, or a passive activity by a non-determining, deterministic God. Or you can simply say that he pulls whichever definition suits his purpose out of his sack of endless possibile meanings. (Think Alice in Wonderland – a word means whatever the Calvinist wants it to mean.) One might as easily say, ‘Ah, this is due to the magdabusity of God.’ It is meaningless, but as long as it remains unexamined, it seems to be a perfectly good answer.

        A young couple I know, determined to marry despite the reluctance of the young woman’s parents, was counseled by their pastor to seek the parent’s blessing rather than permission, as the latter grants the right of refusal. Since the two were of age, the parents had no legal authority to prevent the marriage, and they knew it was futile, and potentially damaging, to withhold their ‘blessing’.

        Is the Calvinist suggesting that God has no ‘right of refusal’, no authority or power to prevent David’s sin, or anything else? This, of course, demands that either God is powerless, or, as the non-Calvinist asserts, has freely set aside his rightful authority and power to enable free choice. The Calvinist does not appear to renounce Calvinistic sovereignty, stating forcefully that ‘God is sovereign, He always exercises perfect control over everything and He is the final arbiter of all that happens.’ Note the similar ruse, different terminology, of pretending that being in ‘perfect control’ and being ‘the final arbiter’ is not contradictory. Calvinism’s theology does not grant a God who can give his blessing (bare permission?) rather than permission; and logic does not grant that one can be both in ‘perfect control’ (with nods to Calvinistic determinism from eternity past) and merely a ‘final arbitrator’ (others have a say, but he gets to make the final call). Coupling two opposing realities with the use of ‘and’ does not make them feasible.

        What we have here is the ages old ruse, first practiced by Calvin, of borrowing the free will concept of God allowing men the ‘freedom to choose’ against his will, while attempting to claim, at the same time, that God’s will is always done. What could be simpler?

        A sovereign, omnipotent God, who has ordained and decreed whatsoever will ever come to pass, actively permits men to irresistibly do his evil will by resisting his good will, as opposed to when he passively permits them to do his good will by actively permitting them to resist their sinful nature.

        This is simply another iteration of Calvinism’s constant doublespeak, in an attempt to claim that the sovereign, omnipotent God’s deterministic, long ago ordained will is always, irresistibly accomplished; while at the same time proposing that he simply ‘allows’ or ‘prevents’ individual choices, rather than compelling his own decisive will to be done. Reason, logic and the laws of contradiction forbid both to be true.

  14. rhutchin
    October 2, 2018 at 6:45 am

    FOH writes, “The OT is full (hundreds or thousands?) of verses showing God calling and drawing, and man NOT coming.”

    RHutchin
    But you know that Calvinism makes this point repeatedly – Man responds to God by rejecting God and His overtures to them; this is the point made with total depravity.

    br.d
    Yeh right! this DOUBLE-SPEAK repeatedly.
    Speaking AS-IF Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world didn’t’ “render certain” every neurological impulse man could ever have.
    “man responds to overtures” – what a farce! :-]

    To understand Calvinism – all one must simply understand:
    A Calvinist is a DETERMINIST wearing a mask of INDETERMINISM – reciting double-speak talking points.

  15. Just reading through my Bible…. Isaiah 66.

    “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts,
    who tremble at my word.
    3 But those who choose their own ways—
    delighting in their detestable sins—
    ———————-

    We are told by Calvinists that God passively stands by and lets man do the ONLY thing he can do, choose detestable ways.

    But that is not what we see in hundreds and hundreds of places in God’s word. God says here that He will bless those with a contrite heart. He does not say (here or ever) that He will give them a contrite heart (irresistibly)…. make them be humble…. and then bless them for their contrite heart.

    That just makes a mockery of God’s word. It is just plain unbiblical (shown by hundreds, thousands? of verses) to say that sinful man cannot humble himself before God. God says it right here and all throughout Scripture.

  16. Isaiah 66 still…

    For when I called, they did not answer.
    When I spoke, they did not listen.
    They deliberately sinned before my very eyes
    and chose to do what they know I despise.”
    ————-

    Calvinists tell us that He was calling but also not giving them what they needed to heed His call. What? When does it say that silliness?

    They sinned (His chosen people—-the ones He rescued from Egypt and led around the desert by pillar of fire)…and chose to do what He despises. [He does not get what He wants]

    But they dont always choose to sin. How about with Nehemiah and Ezra— “we will follow the Lord.” With Moses…. “we will follow the Lord.” Jesus says about Mary….. “Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)

    It is just unbiblical to say that “God stands by and passively watches man do the ONLY thing he can do rebel.”

    There is no reference in any of the above cases that God gave a special immutable, irresistible faith that made them obey. Nah, Augustine just made that up and guys just keep falling for it.

  17. Philippians 3
    Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!

    5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
    ————-

    Of course Paul is not saying these good things are enough without Christ…..we all know that.

    But they are still “good things”.

    Growing up Paul was seeking God in the way he knew how (the Law) . Was he “always doing evil” like Calvinists tell us? Of course not. The same is said about Zechariah and Elizabeth….. Luke 1:6 “Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.”

    Why does God say that in His word?

    Was Paul seeking God? Doing what God told him? or was he just “doing evil all the time”? Was God standing passively by while Paul “did evil all the time”?

    Elizabeth was called blameless. Was she “doing evil all the time”? Where does it say here (or anywhere) that they were given a special immutable, irresistible faith that made them be blameless. That is just adding to the Scriptures.

    Calvinism is so unbiblical.

  18. THE OLD CALVINIST JOKE – IS THERE EVIDENCE ITS TRUE?

    Pretty much everyone who knows anything about John Calvin’s Institutes of square-circles and married-bachelors – is familiar with this famous old joke. “The scripture says God made man in his image. And John Calvin decided to return the favor”

    What makes jokes funny – is the degree to which the audience knows them to be true.
    Lets take a look at some possible evidence that may show the degree to which this old joke can be true.

    Firstly:
    We know that the philosophy of Theological Determinism is considered the most sacred of all Canon to the devout Calvinist. Taking at face-value any Bible verse that does not affirm the sacred doctrine is rejected.

    Secondly:
    In dialogs with Calvinists, we can easily observe how they make fast detours around logic with a reliance upon double-speak.

    Thirdly:
    If one keeps abreast of philosophy one knows Theological Determinism is classified a belief system impossible to live-out in the real world.

    Dr. William Lane Craig explains:
    “A determinist cannot live consistently as though everything he thinks and does is causally determined—especially his choice to believe that determinism is true! Thinking that you’re determined to believe that everything you believe is determined produces a kind of vertigo. Nobody can live as though all that he thinks and does is determined by causes outside himself. Even determinists recognize that [they] have to act “AS-IF” [they] have free will – and so weigh [their] options and decide on what course of action to take, EVEN THOUGH at the end of the day [they believe they are] determined to take the choices [they] do. Determinism is thus an unliveable view.” – #564 Calvinism and the Unliveability of Determinism

    Fourthly:
    Calvin himself was keenly aware of what Dr. William Lane Craig describes. That is why he crafted specific instructions for his disciples: – quote “Go about your office AS-IF NOTHING IS DETERMINED IN ANY PART”.

    Finally:
    Now if our joke is true – then we’ll find Calvin’s god dutifully following his instructions!
    Lets look at some examples of Calvin’s god doing this – provided by the testimony of Calvinists.

    According to one Calvinist, Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) decrees X will come to pass. He believes his decree is immutable and infallible and thus believes X WILL come to pass infallibly. He thus believes no Alternative of X will come to pass. But then incredibly – according to this Calvinist X does NOT in fact come to pass! But an ALTERNATIVE of X comes to pass instead of X!
    OOPS!…..how did Calvin’s god get that one wrong?!?

    Well it makes perfect sense – if he was just dutifully following Calvin’s instructions.
    He was simply going about his office AS-IF he didn’t determine what he actually determined!
    Just as Calvin instructed him to do!

    Another Calvinist insists that Calvin’s god “Makes an active decision NOT TO STOP or RESTRAIN things he decrees to infallibly come to pass”. Here like before, Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) believes he determined X to infallibly come to pass. But then incredibly he appears to be following Calvin’s instructions again! He treats what he determined to infallibly come to pass AS-IF it weren’t determined.

    He appears to be following Calvin’s instructions – going about his office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part.

    Well – John Calvin isn’t alive any more, so he can’t be returning the favor making god in his own image.
    But it sure looks like current Calvinists are picking up where Calvin left off! :-]

  19. With all due respect, I can’t help but notice RHutchin’s tendency to either ignore my points or contradict himself.

    Earlier, RHutchin wrote, “[T]here is no work by the Holy Spirit in the lives of the non-elect.” When I pointed out that the Holy Spirit does, in fact, work in the lives of the non-elect (Acts 7:51), RHutchin responded, “The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets,” apparently admitting that there is a work by the Holy Spirit in the lives of the non-elect.

    Next, RHutchin quoted Matthew 23:37: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together…and you were unwilling.”

    According to Calvinism, these Jews were only unwilling because God hated them before they were born and refused to give them irresistible grace. One wonders why Jesus wasted His tears on people that He determined from eternity to damn forever.

    RHutchin: “God is sovereign, He always exercises perfect control over everything and He is the final arbiter of all that happens.”

    So, are you agreeing with Calvin that God is the “author” of all evils that come to pass? How do you explain this to skeptics who accuse God of being the author of evil?

    When I pointed out that Calvinism makes God’s invitation dishonest, RHutchin replied, “Yet, it is an invitation that atheists understand – it is foolishness to them.”

    The word “yet” suggests that RHutchin is conceding to my argument. He’s basically saying, “Even though God is being disingenuous with the non-elect…” Once again, if Jesus called Lazarus but refused to give him life, would we fault Lazarus for remaining in the tomb? Remember, this analogy comes from Calvinists.

    I asked if Paul was referring to everyone (elect and non-elect) when he said that God wants everyone to seek and find Him (Acts 17:27). RHutchin answered, “Paul was referring to both elect and non-elect.” I then pointed out that this would make Paul (and the Holy Spirit) a liar. After all, the God of Calvinism refuses to enable most people to seek Him, betraying the fact that He does not want them to find Him. To this point, RHutchin responded, “By ‘everyone’ is meant not just the Jew but the gentile also.”

    The Jew/Gentile aspect is completely irrelevant to my argument. In logical terms, RHutchin has committed the fallacy of irrelevant thesis. My argument is as follows:

    1. God wants all people (every individual to ever live) to seek Him and find Him (Acts 17:27). RHutchin admitted, “Paul was referring to both elect and non-elect.”

    2. Calvinism says God deliberately arranges it so most people are never able to seek Him. Or, to use RHutchin’s words, ““God…takes no action with regard to the non-elect.”

    3. Therefore, whenever God says He wants all people (every individual) to seek Him, He is lying (according to Calvinism).

    Any theology that calls God a liar cannot be true.

    1. LS8,

      Ignore your points and contradict himself? Yep. Others have been saying that about him for a couple years here.

      Your presentation is correct. But others just like it have had no effect. But he and JTL just says “Nope. God is this way” (and then add some Calvinist talking point) and that somehow whisks away all the biblical references.

      The “O Jerusalem” verse is the topper really. I have mentioned that several times —- and indeed have NEVER found a Calvinist explain it. But to see him quote Jesus saying “He wanted… but they would not….” and then deny the very fact, that just steals the day.

      Carry on LS8. Fix your eyes on Christ.

    2. LS8 writes, “I can’t help but notice RHutchin’s tendency to either ignore my points or contradict himself.”

      When a person writes long comments, I tend to hit the highlights and correct misconceptions or clarify positions. Continuing dialog is for dealing with other points.

      Then, “I pointed out that the Holy Spirit does, in fact, work in the lives of the non-elect (Acts 7:51), RHutchin responded, “The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets,” apparently admitting that there is a work by the Holy Spirit in the lives of the non-elect.”

      Agreed. My distinction is that the Holy Spirit works in different ways in the elect and the non-elect. Certainly, the Holy Spirit deals with the non-elect in some manner – the Spirit came upon King Saul at various times – but I don’t think we can conclude that the Holy Spirit is working in the lives of the non-elect as He does n the elect. For the non-elect, the HS works through outward means, e.g., preaching. For the elect, the HS works through inward means also, e.g., convicting of sin, quickening per Ephesians 2. Why is this an issue for you?

      Then, “According to Calvinism, these Jews were only unwilling because God hated them before they were born and refused to give them irresistible grace. One wonders why Jesus wasted His tears on people that He determined from eternity to damn forever.”

      The Jews are unwilling because they are dead in sin – a condition derived from Adam. They have no desire for God or Christ (as is obvious in reading the gospels). Is Jesus really wasting His tears on the non-elect? His concern here is for the children; I don’t see Jesus wasting tears on the Jewish leaders to whom He is speaking.

      Then, “are you agreeing with Calvin that God is the “author” of all evils that come to pass? How do you explain this to skeptics who accuse God of being the author of evil?”

      That will depend on your definition of “author.” What do you mean by that term? Nonetheless, the major point I made earlier is true. God is sovereign; God exercises perfect control over everything; God is the final arbiter of all that happens. Given this, evil cannot be done unless God decrees it to happen – e.g., Satan cannot afflict Job until God tells him he can do so. Even if God is the author of the evil done to Job – which, as sovereign, he must be – God did not compel Satan to do that evil to Job. So what do you think the skeptic means when he says that God is the author of evil?

      Then, “I pointed out that Calvinism makes God’s invitation dishonest, RHutchin…is conceding to my argument. He’s basically saying, “Even though God is being disingenuous with the non-elect…”

      I don’t see why. In John 6, we read, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me,…” God is only dealing with those He has given to Christ – God interacts with His elect to ensure they come to Christ. What is God’s point in preaching the gospel to the non-elect? Paul explains it this way, “we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.” Does this make for a “dishonest” invitation to the non-elect? I don’t think so as the invitation is not to the non-elect but to the elect – those God has given to Christ per John 6.

      Then, “Once again, if Jesus called Lazarus but refused to give him life, would we fault Lazarus for remaining in the tomb? Remember, this analogy comes from Calvinists.”

      Exactly right. If God calls a person, God must give them life. Paul, in Ephesians 2, speaking to the elect believers says, “even when we were dead in our transgressions, God made us alive together with Christ.” Lazarus could not have come out of the tomb unless Christ had given him life. Similarly, sinners cannot come to Christ unless they are given life.

      Then, “I asked if Paul was referring to everyone (elect and non-elect) when he said that God wants everyone to seek and find Him (Acts 17:27)….I then pointed out that this would make Paul (and the Holy Spirit) a liar. After all, the God of Calvinism refuses to enable most people to seek Him, betraying the fact that He does not want them to find Him.”

      Certainly, Paul writes, “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent.” God has declared that everyone needs to repent. God has commanded this of everyone knowing that no one has the ability to repent. In John 6, Jesus said, “No one can come to me.” Does God really enable each and every person to seek Him or just His elect? There is no way for you to know. You know that God enables His elect to seek Him because we observe that they seek Him and find Him. What of the non-elect? Their behavior does not change – they are not seeking God and do not start seeking God. Did God enable them to seek Him? Not that anyone can tell.

      Then, ‘The Jew/Gentile aspect is completely irrelevant to my argument. In logical terms, RHutchin has committed the fallacy of irrelevant thesis. My argument is as follows:
      1. God wants all people (every individual to ever live) to seek Him and find Him (Acts 17:27). RHutchin admitted, “Paul was referring to both elect and non-elect.”
      2. Calvinism says God deliberately arranges it so most people are never able to seek Him. Or, to use RHutchin’s words, ““God…takes no action with regard to the non-elect.”
      3. Therefore, whenever God says He wants all people (every individual) to seek Him, He is lying (according to Calvinism).”

      Your first premise – God wants all people (every individual to ever live) to seek Him and find Him – is wrong according to Calvinism. John 6 is specific to this point – All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me. God is specifically dealing with His elect – those He gives to Christ. That God declares (or commands) each and every person to repent does not mean that God has given each and every person to Christ nor that God will enable each and every person to come to Christ. God is only dealing, on an individual basis, with those He has given to Christ – His elect. God deals with the all people in a more general sense – speaking to Jews and gentiles.

      Then, “Any theology that calls God a liar cannot be true.”

      I agree.

      1. A word to my fellow non-Calvinists: I understand and appreciate your warnings that dialogue with RHutchin is futile. However, my zeal for biblical truth compels me to defend the teachings and character of God. Despite the unlikelihood of changing RHutchin’s mind, I hope to encourage the non-Calvinists who may read our exchange.

        RHutchin writes, “For the non-elect, the HS works through outward means, e.g., preaching. For the elect, the HS works through inward means also, e.g., convicting of sin, quickening per Ephesians 2. Why is this an issue for you?”

        Because it directly contradicts your earlier position. Here you list “convicting of sin” as a work done only for the elect, but the Holy Spirit also convicts the non-elect (John 16:8), and you previously said, “I agree. Only someone who is mentally insane would reject the Spirit’s conviction.” As it stands, you’ve refuted yourself, unless you misspoke in one of your posts.

        RHutchin: “Is Jesus really wasting His tears on the non-elect? His concern here is for the children; I don’t see Jesus wasting tears on the Jewish leaders to whom He is speaking.”

        Jesus is weeping for “you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you” (Matthew 23:37). This sure sounds like the non-elect, especially since you admitted that the prophets were sent to the non-elect in Israel’s history.

        RHutchin: “God did not compel Satan to do that evil to Job.”

        But did God create Satan with free will? Given your other posts, you seem to think anyone with free will must make the most rational choice. How then did Satan choose to rebel against God and tempt Eve in the beginning? That decision wasn’t rational! Either individuals with free will are capable of making irrational choices (like Satan did), or God created Satan with a will inclined toward evil but called this “very good” (Genesis 1:31). This second option, which Calvinism seems to demand, makes God blameworthy for evil. Any doctrine that makes God blameworthy for evil cannot be true.

        RHutchin: “Does this make for a ‘dishonest’ invitation to the non-elect? I don’t think so as the invitation is not to the non-elect…”

        Your previous posts refute this: “God invites all people to come to Christ” and “God wants all people to find Him.” Will the real RHutchin please stand up? 😊

        RHutchin: “Your first premise—God wants all people (every individual to ever live) to seek Him and find Him—is wrong according to Calvinism.”

        Apparently you don’t agree with Calvinism, because earlier you wrote, “God wants all people to find Him, but He will not intervene to help everyone find Him.” I think you’re contradicting yourself here because you recognize the thrust of my argument: God cannot simultaneously want all people to seek Him and deliberately refuse to enable most people to seek Him. Calvinism forces us to draw the blasphemous conclusion that God is a liar.

      2. LS… your input is much appreciated. Keep it up. It will be a benefit to other readers and also help sharpen your own thinking. And Roger, imo, is still able to be changed by truth and our prayerful concerns for him.

      3. Brian
        LS… your input is much appreciated. Keep it up. It will be a benefit to other readers and also help sharpen your own thinking. And Roger, imo, is still able to be changed by truth and our prayerful concerns for him.

        br.d
        Yes I agree – the Lord can deliver one from this mental-cage of double-think, if one cries out to be delivered.

        In the mean time – be prepared for Calvinism’s library of double-speak

        Calvinism’s LANGUAGE MODE – a picture is worth a thousand words.
        https://www.123rf.com/photo_2257739_two-faced-woman.html

      4. Agreed. The more one explores these issues from every angle, the more one is enabled to understand other perspectives and clarify one’s own. Eventually, one’s theology becomes so much more than a few prooftexts here or there, but a full-orbed understanding of the heart of God as revealed in his Word and in his dealings with mankind.

      5. One can hardly blame the poor Calvinist for being confused. I will quote, once again, my new favorite Calvinist – the honest one:

        “He [the Calvinist] realizes that what he advocates is ridiculous … The Calvinist freely admits that his position is illogical, ridiculous, nonsensical, and foolish.”

        – Edwin Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism

        Except that most have been led to believe that what Calvinism asserts is logical, sensible and reasonable, and are utterly unprepared to explain the inconsistencies and absurdities of their positions when pointed about by thinking people. Calvin had the luxury of tyrannical control, and simply banished, tortured or murdered anyone who challenged his thinking. Today’s Calvinists must actually defend the indefensible, causing them to tie themselves in knots, bounce from one explanation to its complete contradiction and grasp for euphemisms to hide their need to constantly redefine words so as not to repudiate scripture. It must be exhausting!

      6. TS00 quotes Palmer, ““He [the Calvinist] realizes that what he advocates is ridiculous …”

        Not having read Palmer, but having some understanding of the Calvinist system, I suspect there is a sarcasm here that has gone over your head. The context for this statement is likely Romans 1, “[ungodly men] became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools,…” The Calvinist system is ridiculous to ungodly people as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 1, “…the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness…we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness…”

      7. No sarcasm. He continues, in reference to how God reprobates people “unconditionally” (because He himself foreordained sin and rendered it certain) and yet the reprobate are solely responsible and deserve their eternal punishment :

        “this secret matter [the previously described illogical, ridiculous, nonsensical, and foolish position] belongs to the Lord our God, and we should leave it there. We ought not to probe into that secret counsel of God.”

        Apparently, one must embrace the most ‘illogical, ridiculous, nonsensical, and foolish’ concepts and chalk them all up to ‘mystery’. Of course, the wise man would initiate a much deeper study, for the possibility exists that such nonsense is not from the secret counsel of God, but simply the confused counsel of men.

      8. Again TS00,

        The problem is with us! We are ungodly because they say so. According to them, we need to repent.

        But that’s the sticky part….. we can’t repent unless God gives that to us. What to do!?

        We “ungodly” think their message is ridiculous (Palmer’s words) because we have not been given the faith to see otherwise. God is actually glorifying Himself by withholding faith from us to believe this ridiculous turn of words.

        Good News!

      9. TS00 writes, ‘Apparently, one must embrace the most ‘illogical, ridiculous, nonsensical, and foolish’ concepts and chalk them all up to ‘mystery’.”

        Let’s read Palmer in context:

        “Here is the great mystery, the title of this chapter: How to solve this overwhelming problem of reconciling God’s foreordination and man’s freedom. It is a mystery of divine sovereignty and human responsibility, of God’s freedom and man’s freedom, of God’s love and God’s omnipotence. How to reconcile the two?…There are two ways to solve the problem: one is rationalistic and the other is biblical. In spite of all the Arminian’s appeal to the Bible,…He reasons that he cannot logically reconcile these two apparently contradictory facts. So he holds to one set of facts and denies the other. He holds to man’s freedom and restricts God’s sovereignty. In this way, he has no rational problem. The contradiction dissolves. Diametrically opposite to the Arminian is the hyper-Calvinist. He looks at both sets of acts—the sovereignty of God and the freedom of man—and, like the Arminian, says he cannot reconcile the two apparently contradictory forces. Like the Arminian, he solves the problem in a rationalistic way by denying one side of the problem. Whereas the Arminian denies the sovereignty of God, the hyper-Calvinist denies the responsibility of man….

        Over against these humanistic views, the Calvinist accepts both sides of the antinomy. He realizes that what he advocates is ridiculous. It is simply impossible for man to harmonize these two sets of data. To say on the one hand that God has made certain all that ever happens, and yet to say that man is responsible for what he does? Nonsense! It must be one or the other, but not both. To say that God foreordains the sin of Judas, and yet Judas is to blame? Foolishness! Logically the author of The Predestinated Thief was right. God cannot foreordain the theft and then blame the thief. And the Calvinist freely admits that his position is illogical, ridiculous, nonsensical, and foolish. This is in accord with Paul, who said, “The word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:18). The Greeks seek after wisdom and logic, and to them the Calvinist is irrational.”

        Palmer, Edwin H.. The Five Points of Calvinism:

        So, Palmer is saying that the Calvinist view is Biblical but is illogical to those who seek to resolve the problem through human reasoning. I read a bit of sarcasm in that which Palmer says. He ends his argument with this, “To many people such a position seems foolish. It is unreasonable. So the Calvinist has to make up his mind: what is his authority? His own human reason or the Word of God?”

      10. rhutchin
        So the Calvinist has to make up his mind: what is his authority? His own human reason or the Word of God?”

        br.d
        AS-IF the Calvinist’s *INTERPRETATION* of scripture is not HUMAN RELIANT.

        William Lane Craig:
        It needs to be kept in mind that Universal Divine Theological Determinism (aka Calvnism) is an *INTERPRETATION* of scripture.
        An interpretation that some Reformed divines themselves regard as irreconcillable with other clear teachings of scripture.

        Additionally, Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. So when one’s interpretation of scripture leads one into these sorts of cu de sacs (self-contradictions), its a good idea to reassess whether one has indeed rightly interpreted scripture.

        Further – Universal, divine, causal determinism cannot offer a coherent interpretation of Scripture.
        Determinists reconcile universal, divine, causal determinism with human freedom by re-interpreting freedom in compatibilist terms. Compatibilism entails determinism, so there’s no mystery here. The problem is that adopting compatibilism achieves reconciliation only at the expense of denying what various Scriptural texts seem clearly to affirm: genuine indeterminacy and contingency.

      11. TS00,
        You see. The problem is YOU!

        If you do not agree with Palmer “that is is illogical, ridiculous, yet absolutely right…” then the problem is you!

        “The Calvinist system is ridiculous to ungodly…”

        Once again…. all readers….. if you do not agree with the Palmer/RH version of salvation by faith, you are ungodly.

      12. Then there is the “you don’t understand Calvinism” argument.

        Once you recognize their language is a tool-box of double-speak talking-points – theirs not much left to not understand!! :-]

      13. I was able to make myself tolerate Calvinism – until I ‘understood it’ better. When God urged me to examine Spoul’s ‘scary stuff’, kept in the dark closet, I couldn’t straddle the fence any longer.

      14. TS00 and br.d,

        Since leaving Calvinism I have posted what I understood about Calvinism many times on blogs and book reviews. I almost always receive a response, “Buddy, you just don’t understand Calvinism.”

        This is humorous on several levels:

        1. I usually understand Calvinism better then the newly-minted, zealous YRR person making that statement.

        2. It is humorous to say “we dont understand it” when by their own admission it is not understandable! Mystery. Hidden. What’s to understand or not understand?

        3. It is always a deflection to tell a person that does not agree with you that HE (the person listening) is at fault and does not understand.

        4. It gives a superior felling. “I understand God’s point, but you dont.”

        On another humorous note. Once a non-Calvinist wrote on a blog “Are you saying this is what Calvinism is?” and then listed several ideas. He was immediately greeted with “No! We don’t mean that— you don’t understand Calvinism!” To which he replied that all of the points he listed were direct quotes from Calvin or modern Calvinists.

      15. FOH
        On another humorous note. Once a non-Calvinist wrote on a blog “Are you saying this is what Calvinism is?” and then listed several ideas. He was immediately greeted with “No! We don’t mean that— you don’t understand Calvinism!” To which he replied that all of the points he listed were direct quotes from Calvin or modern Calvinists.

        br.d
        I love it when that happens!!
        Dr. Flowers describes a similar situation in one of his correspondence debates – where he quotes a leading voice in Calvinism only to have the Calvinist he provides the quote to totally reject it. Dr. Flowers responds by providing the name of the Calvinist whom he quoted.

        His interlocutor responds with: “He [the Calvinist whom Dr. Flowers quoted] knew what he meant and he didn’t mean the words that he said.

        That’s the consequence of Calvinism’s duplicitous language.
        Since they tend to speak out of both sides of the mouth – when one of them states something that’s 180º backwards from their own reasoning – the Calvinist mind simply re-interprets the statement – so that it conforms to what the mind has been conditioned to accept.

      16. br.d
        Yes…. RH just did it to TS00 when he quoted Palmer saying his beliefs are ridiculous. RH said that TS00 obviously missed the intended sarcasm.

        One thing of which you can be sure….. if anyone disagrees with Calvinism either that person (a) is “the ungodly” to whom the gospel is foolishness, (b) ‘just doesn’t get the intended sarcasm, (c) just misunderstands the ‘beauty’ of Calvinism….. or (d)…… wait for it…….. wait….. “is a Universalist”!

      17. And that degree of blank-&-white thinking should serve as a red-flag to the discerning Christian.

      18. The Lord must have built into you some resistance to the virus prior to that – I would say.
        You’d been put through some hard knocks and perhaps lessons that gave you the ability to have that discernment.
        The school of hard knocks is often a place where the Lord builds up vaccinations within us – to things He wants to protect us from.

      19. LS8,
        Right. Let me be clear. I only wanted to let you know that your logical biblical answers would likely not affect RH.

        I agree and I have posted on several of these threads that we need to provide lots of information for young guys who are getting caught up in the YRR wave. True. Like you said…. give people the information they need

        That is why I often post the passages from my daily readings. Reading through the Bible (without the help of Sproul and Piper) one would never come to be a Calvinist.

        My point was that you will likely go ’round and ’round with the same points (over and over) with RH … scratching your head about material you have so obviously already covered.

      20. LS8 writes, “…the Holy Spirit also convicts the non-elect (John 16:8),… ”

        John 16
        7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
        8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment;
        9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;
        10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me;
        11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
        12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
        13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;

        Here we see that the Holy Spirit is promised to the disciples and by that Spirit, the preaching of the disciples will be powerful. As Paul adds, “[The gospel] is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Paul defines “everyone” to mean Jew and Greek (gentile). We can take “world” in John 16 also to mean Jew and gentile. Who is the Spirit convicting? It is those whom God is giving to Christ (John 6:37) and the result of this will be their coming to Christ. This is emphasized in John 6:44, ‘unless the Father who sent Me draws him;” with this drawing defined by v45, “Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.” that mirrors v37. As Jesus clearly stated that only those will come to Him whom God is giving to Him, He does not now deny or negate that earlier statement in John 16 by suggesting that those not being given to Him are the targets of the Spirit.

        Then, “…and you previously said, “I agree. Only someone who is mentally insane would reject the Spirit’s conviction.” As it stands, you’ve refuted yourself, unless you misspoke in one of your posts.”

        The earlier discussion concerned Acts 17:30, “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” As a matter of logic, all should repent based on the evidence of God raising Christ from the dead, but being totally depraved, people are not logical but insane because of sin. It is because people reject this command and do not repent that the need arises for the Holy Spirit to convict those whom God is giving to Christ.

        What you need to do is show that any people other than those whom God is giving to Christ (i.e., the non-elect) are the intended recipients of the Spirit’s work.

    3. In participation of dialog here (as in many online discussion forums) its easy for an individual to assume all participants are here operating in a manner in which they are forthright and open minded. And therefore dialog with them will have a progressive success-fullness, as concepts, definitions, terms, etc are clarified, and differences can thereby be resolved.

      Its quite natural to make this assumption, especially when someone your in dialog with professes to be a follower of Christ (and therefore seeks to honor Christ by operating in an honest manner)

      Unfortunately, this eventually becomes understood as a false assumption.
      There are people here who participate in dialog whose ***ONLY*** strategy is to win by hook or by crook – while masquerading integrity etc.
      You’ll get to know who those participants are when you reach the point of frustration you appear to have reached.

      Sorry to say – its the nature of the condition of fallen man.

      1. LampStand – I should add a little more information for your benefit

        The more logical you are – the more they will ignore your points.
        They are pretty much left with not much other choice – due to the preponderance of self-contradictions in their position.

        A person who is an allegiance to truth understands the necessity of sound logic.
        A person who has an allegiance to an earthly power-base or membership in a social group which gives one a self-perceived sense of special status will not.

        One of the most consistent strategies I’ve noticed with Calvinists responding to logic is to evade it and deflect to anything they can find.
        99% of the time – what they will do is look for some term or phrase in your post which they feel they can attack.
        1001 red herrings is something you’ll observe consistently.

        They know they can’t defeat sound logic.
        So the strategy is to craft a response that masquerades as a rebuttal.
        If you try to reason with them and resolve their irrational position- they will simply dance in circles to wear out your patience.
        Using that as an escape strategy.

        A few tactics given nick-names here are “The dancing boxer”, “The greased Pig”, and “The magician”.
        Keep your eyes open for these tactics with Calvinists and your diligence will be rewarded :-]
        That will reduce alot of your frustration.

  20. My Response to the Issue : “No One Seeks God”

    1. In God’s supremacy in all things, He also incorporate Human Freedom and Responsibility into His Plan for eternity. Though He is incharge over all His creation, there are also some instances (not all the time) that He lets man decide on their own. The fact that He judges sin is to prove that He is not responsible. When a person sins it is because he has freely chosen to do so. I also believe that Man’s freedom is not autonomous because if that is so, then man is no longer controllable. It will come out that God as the creator can no longer control man’s activities. This view makes the created man more sovereign than God which is denied in Scripture.

    2. Man is morally incapable to seek God due to the Sin that penetrates and have corrupted his whole being, body, soul , spirit according to I Thess. 5:23. It is this very reason why God does not hear or denies all of man’s effort to reconcile himself to God-This is supported by Romans 3:10-11 “None righteous, no one seek God..” and also in Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear”. Man now, becomes helpless, except when God will monergestically rescue humans by His grace to enable them to reconcile with the creator of the universe.

    3. Non-Calvinists will still surely insists all of those verses leaning to man’s fleshly efforts to reconcile themselves to God in their own accord, but this will never work. God’s plan for Salvation is totally the work of God. Man has nothing to offer in order to appease God’s wrath.

    1. JT,

      Having a choice doesn’t make man autonomous. In regard to salvation it’s a very narrow choice and that’s the way God designed it. We can either repent & believe in gospel or not repent & believe, and that’s it!. But by the grace of God it’s still a choice that we can make. How do you conclude that would make us more sovereign than God? When it was God that set it up this way? Romans 5:18 KJV

      Using the above God given choice to admit that our iniquities have separated us from God and that no one is righteous no not one, and that we need to believe in Christ for salvation, and that we have nothing to offer toward our salvation, doesn’t make it a “fleshly effort” – Romans 3:27. We can even admit that if it wasn’t for God seeking us then we wouldn’t have sought Him. But where in the bible does it say that God only seeks some of the lost? Luke 19:10. Where in the bible does it say God only tasted death for some men? Heb 2:9.

      Now, don’t accuse me of universal salvation at this point because that’s not what I’m saying. Just the same as you I believe that there will only be a few believers in Christ in comparison to those that reject Christ – Matt 7:13-14.

      The difference is in why you and I believe that it is so.

      I believe that God has given us a choice in this matter of believing or rejecting the gospel.

      Whereas you believe God hasn’t. You believe in Calvinism which says that God before the foundation of the world saved only a few by a secret decree. You believe that those picked out by the secret decree have no choice whether to believe or not….they just irresistibly will because God decreed that they will.
      You and Calvinism believe the others that were not picked out for salvation do not have a choice either because God didn’t decree that they would be saved. If they were not part of the few picked out to be saved by the secret decree then they don’t have a choice to be saved.

      You will now then appeal to the sinfulness of man to justify God picking out a few when He is not obliged to pick out any. But that doesn’t explain why because according to Calvinism God picked out only a few before anyone sinned. Calvinism says it was a “secret decree”.
      It doesn’t matter if all were without sin or all were with sin at the time of this selection. If all were equally without sin then why didn’t God pick everyone? If all were equally with sin then why didn’t God pick everyone?

      You see, that is why it doesn’t make sense? Calvin wrote – ““that men are rejected or chosen by the secret counsel of God, alleges no cause” (John Calvin, Commentary, Romans 9)

      “No Cause” is the predominant consensus within Calvinism – i.e. it wasn’t because of anything foreseen but is hidden in “the secret counsel of God”.

      So you can come up with all these arguments and chase your tail trying to justify this un-biblical teaching but it always comes back to – NO CAUSE.

      1. DG to LT writes, “Having a choice doesn’t make man autonomous.”

        That is the Calvinist claim. Dr. Flowers, with others, has concluded that “true” free choice requires that man be autonomous with respect to God. I think LT was responding to that position.

        Then, “But where in the bible does it say that God only seeks some of the lost?”

        Calvinists point to John 6:37, where Jesus declares, ““All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me,…” If God gives “all” meaning each and every individual to Christ then all are saved (the Universalist position). If God gives some to Christ all of whom come to Christ, then only some are saved (the non-Universalist position). God then seeks only those whom He has chosen to give to Christ.

        Then, “I believe that God has given us a choice in this matter of believing or rejecting the gospel.
        Whereas you believe God hasn’t.”

        Not exactly. Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists believe that God has given each person a choice. The Calvinist then adds that people are totally depraved and their choice is to reject salvation. This is why the Arminian position incorporated prevenient grace and the Calvinists, saving grace – both systems affording man a second choice or redo.

      2. Rhutchin writes –

        “Not exactly. Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists believe that God has given each person a choice”.

        What Rhutchin means is a “choice” that has already been made for them, determined by a secret decree before anyone was born for reasons unknown….. as I pointed out “No cause” is the Calvinist reason.

        So don’t be fooled by the word juggling double speak.

        When a Calvinist says “not exactly”. What he means is yes that it is exactly it but just don’t say it that way. They like to say it in a non- exact way that sounds better than the exact way.

        It’s the difference between say my father is a murderer or a life taker. Life taker sounds much better than a murderer, but upon close examination it just means the same thing. But the Calvinist will say “not exactly”.

      3. Damon hits the bulls-eye here!!

        Hiding dark truths one doesn’t want you to see – behind Euphemistic terms and phrases – is a manifestation of a deceptive language.

      4. DG writes, “…a “choice” that has already been made for them, determined by a secret decree before anyone was born for reasons unknown…”

        And, coincidentally, a choice that they would make as it was in accord with their wants and desires. God knows people so well. Nothing secret about this decree – God decreed that people get their wants and desires (but, granted, not in all cases).

      5. DG writes, “…a “CHOICE” that has already been made for them, determined by a secret decree before anyone was born for reasons unknown…”

        rhutchin
        And, coincidentally, a CHOICE that they would make as it was in accord with their WANTS and DESIRES.

        br.d
        This statement is designed to be a DECEPTIVE REVERSAL.
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) a person cannot have one single neurological impulse that Calvin’s god did not decree.

        Thus CHOICES, WANTS, DESIRES are ALL as Damon stated “determined by a secret decree before anyone was born – for reasons unknown”

        Let the discerning Christian observe how Calvinist language is designed to mislead.

      6. br.d writes, “In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) a person cannot have one single neurological impulse that Calvin’s god did not decree.”

        This is true in Calvinism, also. The source of the impulse is the person’s sin nature affecting itself within the person and that sin nature is not restrained by God and this by decree.

      7. rhutchin
        This is true in Calvinism, also. The SOURCE of the impulse is the person’s SIN NATURE affecting itself within the person and that sin nature is not restrained by God and this by decree.

        br.d
        This is FALSE in Calvinism.
        Since THE SIN NATURE has its conception at the foundation of the world (In Calvin’s god’s mind).
        The SOURCE/ORIGIN of the SIN NATURE – along with everything else – including ALL SIN AND ALL EVIL obtains is existence from an immutable decree – first conceived in Calvinist god’s mind.

        When sin is first-conceived it brings forth death.

      8. Rhutchin writes:
        “DG writes, “…a “choice” that has already been made for them, determined by a secret decree before anyone was born for reasons unknown…”

        And, coincidentally, a choice that they would make as it was in accord with their wants and desires. God knows people so well.”

        Just cracks me up, as he tries to pretend that God’s ‘knowing people so well’ is a result of anything other than his designing every thought, word and deed in advance. Are we all supposed to forget that Calvinism asserts that God’s foreknowledge is due solely to, in fact REQUIRES, the fact that he determined all things? How else could God foreknow what not yet is, and all that.

        The fact that people choose in accord with their wants and desires is no ‘coincidence’ in a world in which God determines all things by secret decrees, and Rhutchin darn well knows it. All ‘whatsoevers that come to pass’ and whatsoever ‘wants’, ‘desires’ or other secondary means might be necessary to irresistibly ensure his plan have been effectively put into place by God and God alone. ‘God knows people so well’ indeed.

        Gosh, golly, what a coincidence – Man just happened to ‘desire’ to do exactly what God decreed would take place in eternity past! Maybe br.d. is right, Calvinism exists simply to make us laugh.

      9. DG states : “But where in the bible does it say that God only seeks some of the lost? Luke 19:10. Where in the bible does it say God only tasted death for some men? Heb 2:9.”

        My Response : Here is the content of Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost”.
        1. Both elect and non-elect have been lost. This is what Jesus meant here in this verse.

        2. DG, you cannot do anything if Christ decides to offer His life to some groups of people only. According to Jesus Himself (not to Calvinists) “I lay down my life for the sheep” – John 10:11, 15. And who are the sheep? Answer is Jacob-Israel (not to Esau, the Edomites). The gospel was also extended to the elect Gentiles- but not the entire Gentiles on earth. Only those elect coming from every nation, tongue.

        I quote your ques. here : “If all were equally without sin then why didn’t God pick everyone? If all were equally with sin then why didn’t God pick everyone?”

        My response : God has already picked out before time those that will compose the flock of God. – (Ephesians 1:4-5) He can do this even if man has not ever existed yet before the universe was created which most of your colleagues here cannot accept. When God picks out, this means that someone has been left out. He did not pick them all. Just leave to God His decision. Don’t advise God on how to choose. If His action is against the rules of logic, then tell your ally BR.D, to keep his mouth shut in his circular posts in all of the threads in this blog his favorite utterances “double speak”.

        Here is the content of Hebrews 2:9 “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering and death crowned with glory and honor, that He by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone”.

        My Response : Our friend DG here seems to me that he would like to tell me that the wording : “everyone” in that verse does not limit the beneficiaries of Christ’s death. On the other hand, I am happy that he also stated in his post above that he don’t believe in the position of the “Universalists”. I quote here your statement : “Now, don’t accuse me of universal salvation at this point because that’s not what I’m saying. Just the same as you I believe that there will only be a few believers in Christ in comparison to those that reject Christ – Matt 7:13-14.”

        So,… in order to erase in my mind the impression of a “double talk” as your cohorts here always throws at me, May I ask now if we are in the same journey with my position that the word used “everyone” in Hebrews 2:9 refers only to the elect Israel (Esau-Edomites not included) and only the elect Gentiles that are coming from the different nations and tongues scattered in the world? = (not the entire human race on earth)

      10. Simple- every man means every man.

        “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” Hebrews 2:9 KJV

        The only way to explain why every man is then not saved is because of the free choice whether to accept Christ or not.

        ………Calvinists are so complicated 🙄

      11. jtleosala
        So,… in order to erase in my mind the impression of a “double talk” as your cohorts here always throws at me, May I ask now if we are in the same journey with my position that the word used “EVERYONE” in Hebrews 2:9 refers only to the elect Israel (Esau-Edomites not included) and only the elect Gentiles that are coming from the different nations and tongues scattered in the world? = (not the entire human race on earth)

        brd.
        This argument simply makes void the Greek word “παντὸςι” used by the Holy Spirit within the text – which means EVERYONE.
        Calvinisms strategy is to remove this word and change it for a different Greek word “ὃ”which means SOME.

        The Holy Spirit is certainly intelligent enough to know the difference between EVERYONE and SOME.
        If the Holy Spirit used the word EVERYONE – then EVERYONE is what the Holy Spirit meant.

        Additionally, If what the Holy Spirit meant was SOME people out of different nations and tongues scattered in the world – then the Holy Spirit would have clearly stated – SOME peoples from out these groups.

        Instead the Holy Spirit clearly and plainly said EVERYONE.
        And when the Holy Spirit says EVERYONE he means EVERYONE.

        Thus Calvinism’s tradition (of interpretation) makes void the text.
        Calvinists do the same thing with the word ALL – they change it to the word SOME.

        Which those who are unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
        2 Peter 3:16

  21. Reading through the Bible…. I come to Jeremiah 6

    16 This is what the Lord says:
    “Stop at the crossroads and look around.
    Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
    Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.
    But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’
    17 I posted watchmen over you who said,
    ‘Listen for the sound of the alarm.’
    But you replied,
    ‘No! We won’t pay attention!’

    18 “Therefore, listen to this, all you nations.
    Take note of my people’s situation.
    19 Listen, all the earth!
    I will bring disaster on my people.
    It is the fruit of their own schemes,
    ————

    The LORD (Yahweh) says this …directly….

    Look. Ask for the godly way. Walk in it. Travel that way for rest.

    His chosen people respond “No, we dont want it.”

    He says…. I sent watchmen to help you. “No, we dont want it.”

    The Lord says, Everyone listen….I will now deal with their disobedience…. BECAUSE they chose to disobey.

    Calvinists say God planned all this. Calvinists say they did not obey because God did not give them faith to obey. He pleads with them to obey, but in reality He does not give them faith to obey.

    Not only does that leave us (for thousands of times!) with the impression that God’s invitation (“Stop. Look. Ask. Walk!”) is insincere and deceptive (since He didnt want them to anyway), but we have to ask ourselves what is the point of telling us all this?

    We can’t learn from it, since we can only have faith if He gives it. Calvinism renders these thousands of passages pointless.

    1. Wonderful post FOH!!

      Whatever Calvin’s god does not decree – does not have existence.
      Whatever does not have existence – is not accessible to man.
      If Calvin’s god does not decree man to be a frog – then being a frog is not accessible to man.
      If Calvin’s god does not decree man’s obedience – then man’s obedience is not accessible to man.

      This philosophy forces the poor Calvinist to live in an *AS-IF* world.
      In order to appear aligned with scripture.

      Calvin’s god decreed X *AS-IF* he didn’t decree X
      What he decrees – comes to pass infallibly *AS-IF* it is doesn’t.
      He decreed Adam’s disobedience infallibly come to pass *AS-IF* he didn’t
      He decrees Israels disobedience infallibly come to pass *AS-IF* he didn’t

      True *AS-IF* False
      Up *AS-IF* Down
      Determinism *AS-IF* IN-determinism

      This is not C.S. Lewis’ land of Narnia.
      This is John Calvin’s world of *AS-IF*

    2. FOH writes, ” Calvinists say they did not obey because God did not give them faith to obey”

      If they did not obey, we know they had no faith. Where do they get the faith to obey if not from God???

      1. Damon and LS8,

        New guys. Please look and learn from this reply from RH.

        The question I ask myself while reading through the Bible is basically: “Why does God say over and over and over and over that He wants them to repent, return, walk straight, look and live…. but then (if Calvinism is true) refuses to give them the faith?”

        That is a legitimate question that any Bible reader (both believer or skeptic) could ask, right?

        Notice two things in the response:

        1. Take the high road and say “faith is from God…who else?” making me of course look like I dont recognize and affirm the sovereignty of our Creator God…. or horrors, want to preach a “man-centered” idea.

        2. Ignore. Absolutely ignore the honest question and deflect.

        In regard to #1, of course “all things come from God” even the bread we eat (“give us this day our daily bread”), but not without plowing the ground, sowing the seed, harvesting, and baking. There is no reference in the Bible that the people “commended for their faith” (and Cain who was told he could and should exercise faith) required anything more than what God has already given mankind.

        In regard to #2, they must at all times deflect to this “spiritual high ground” sounding more honoring because there is no Calvinist answer to this honest question. God is indeed being insincere and disingenuous if He “makes it known to all the nations” that He is calling, pleading, warning, urging, hoping, that His CHOSEN people will listen to His call… but then it is He who actually denies them the faith, decreeing their unbelief.

        The fact that this simple question cannot be honestly and openly discussed by Calvinists shows an allegiance to a man-made system that ignores and make a mockery of Scripture.

      2. So true FOH,

        They deflect away from the main issue every time. Of course the faith to obey comes from God. And, isn’t that what men are judged for? For not exercising their God given faith toward God? They will be rejected because – “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;” – but they refuse to confess and believe.

        But the Calvinist will say the word of faith was never in their heart or in their mouth, or nigh unto them.
        What do we believe? The Calvinist or the bible? I’m going with the bible!

      3. DG writes, “And, isn’t that what men are judged for? For not exercising their God given faith toward God?”

        WRONG. People will be judged for their sins. “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” (Revelation 20)

        Faith is defined in Hebrews 11 as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” What assurance and conviction? “our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction;” (1 Thessalonians 1)

      4. rhutchin
        Faith is defined in Hebrews 11 as “the assurance of things hoped for….etc

        br.d
        And the doctrine of decrees is defined by Calvinism.
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism), faith – along with every neurological impulse – is the direct result of whatever is decreed for the given individual.

        Nothing has existence – that is not decreed to exist.
        If faith doesn’t exist within a man – then Calvin’s god didn’t decree it to exist within that man.

        Obviously – whatever does not exist – is not available to man – including faith.

        If Calvin’s god has a logical brain then:
        Calvin’s god NOT decreeing X to exist – is the logical equivalent of Calvin’s god decreeing X to NOT exist

        So it logically follows
        1) Calvin’s god does not decree X to exist – knowing by virtue of its non-existence – it is not available to man.
        2) Calvin’s god then judges man for the very thing he decreed (i.e. for not having something that does not exist)

      5. DG writes, “And, isn’t that what men are judged for? For not exercising their God given faith toward God?”

        DG writes, “And, isn’t that what men are judged for? For not exercising their God given faith toward God?”

        Rhutchin writes- WRONG. People will be judged for their sins. “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” (Revelation 20)

        This is a classic example of what Calvinists do. They pick out one little section of scripture and run with it, while totally ignoring the rest of scripture.

        Yes men will be judged for their sins, but that is only because they refused to have their sins forgiven. That’s the biblical view using bible interpretation correctly and not taking a snippet to create a false premise.

        “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
        ‭‭John‬ ‭3:18-19‬
        Here we have the correct view in 2 consecutive verses.

      6. DG writes, “Yes men will be judged for their sins, but that is only because they refused to have their sins forgiven. That’s the biblical view using bible interpretation correctly and not taking a snippet to create a false premise.”

        Then we agree. I said that people are judged for their sins to which you now agree. You then add that a person can escape that judgment by believing in Christ to have those sins forgiven. By not believing in Christ, a person is judged for their sins. I agree to that.

      7. rutchin
        DG writes, “Yes men will be judged for their sins, but that is only because they refused to have their sins forgiven. That’s the biblical view using bible interpretation correctly and not taking a snippet to create a false premise.” Then we agree. I said that people are judged for their sins

        br.d
        The strategy of this response is to evade the point Damon presented
        Damon does not think or speak Calvinism’s double-speak language.

        Damon is arguing that Calvin’s god blames the creature for the existence of the very things he himself decreed to infallibly exist.

        Thus Calvin’s god doesn’t bear responsibility for his own decrees.
        He blames what he decrees on its recipient – who is powerless to do otherwise than what he was decreed/fated to infallibly do.

        I think Calvin’s god is a byproduct of Calvin’s imagination.
        Because he dutifully follows Calvin’s instructions.
        He decrees things to exist – and then per Calvin’s instructions – goes about his office AS-IF he didn’t.

      8. FOH is totally correct!!

        br.d
        Jesus – without fail – speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

        Calvinism’s language is designed to strategically evade doing so.

        Keep a sharp eye open this characteristic – and the Lord will enrich your discernment.

      9. FOH wrote, ” Calvinists say they did not obey because God did not give them faith to obey”
        rhutchin responded, “If they did not obey, we know they had no faith. Where do they get the faith to obey if not from God???
        FOH then reacted, “God is indeed being insincere and disingenuous if He “makes it known to all the nations” that He is calling, pleading, warning, urging, hoping, that His CHOSEN people will listen to His call… but then it is He who actually denies them the faith, decreeing their unbelief.”

        FOH is saying that God gives all people faith to obey. Thus, he agrees with the Calvinist position that faith is necessary to obey and no one can obey until God gives them faith.

        So, what is FOH’s problem? He doesn’t like the idea that God might not give some people faith with the result that those people would be lost eternally. I think he advocates for God giving all people faith. For some reason, he cannot just come out and say that.

      10. rhutchin
        FOH is saying that God gives ALL PEOPLE faith to obey. Thus, he agrees with the Calvinist position that faith is necessary to obey and no one can obey until God gives them faith.

        br.d
        This statement is FALSE in Calvinism.
        In Theological Determinism – the only thing Calvin’s god gives people – is whatever he decrees come to pass concerning them.
        If they don’t have faith – that is exactly what Calvin’s god decreed to infallibly come to pass concerning them.

        Calvinists try to talk their way around this by using double-speak – designed to blame people for the very things Calvin’s god decrees infallibly come to pass concerning them. This is part of Calvinism’s double-speak language.

      11. br.d writes, “If they don’t have faith – that is exactly what Calvin’s god decreed to infallibly come to pass concerning them.”

        That’s right!! As Jesus said in John 6, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me…” God only gives faith to those whom He decreed to give to Christ .

      12. br.d writes, “If they don’t have faith – that is exactly what Calvin’s god decreed to infallibly come to pass concerning them.”

        rhutchin
        That’s right!! ………..God only gives faith to those whom He decreed to give to Christ .

        br.d
        More precisely: Calvin’s god only decrees faith to exist within those whom he decreed to give to Christ

        Again – whatever is not decreed – does not exist.
        Whatever does not exist – is not available for man.

        Thus it follow:
        Calvin’s god then judges them for not having the very thing he WILLED them not to have.

      13. Rhutchin writes…. “our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; (1 Thessalonians 1)”

        Once again, our Calvinist brother takes a simple verse and twists it to fit his theology. 1 Thessalonians 1:5 is not implying that these believers were somehow given an extra dose of irresistible grace. No. Rather Paul is simply stating that they didn’t come to believe by word only, but also thru the divine miracles performed by himself (and others).

        Acts 15:12 (NKJV)….
        Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.

        Galatians 3:5 (NKJV)….
        Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

      14. phillip writes, “Rather Paul is simply stating that they didn’t come to believe by word only, but also thru the divine miracles performed by himself (and others).”

        Not divine miracles, but a reiteration of Jesus’ promise in John 16.

  22. Most of the bloggers here (the non-Calvinists alliance) are in one accord to insist “Human Will” to find merit in seeking God, but this will never work. God’s plan for Salvation is totally the work of God, given to the sinner as a free gift. Man has nothing to offer nor to contribute on Christ’s death at the cross of Calvary.

    Man’s choice becomes possible only because there is a legitimate offer made to the elect groups of people on earth. Others may claim it, however it is just a false assurance to claim for things which does not belong to them., even though how trying hard for them to seek God in their own accord.

    1. jtl writes:
      “Man’s choice becomes possible only because there is a legitimate offer made to the elect groups of people on earth. Others may claim it, however it is just a false assurance to claim for things which does not belong to them., even though how trying hard for them to seek God in their own accord.”

      I suppose you do not see, or perhaps do not care, how callous and unloving your picture of God is. I cannot imagine going through life with such a callous lack of concern for others, as, due to my faulty view of God, I assume it is ‘godlike’.

      I assume you have friends and loved ones. You must have or had a mother, grandmother, perhaps siblings, a spouse or friends? If you are alone in the world, I am truly sorry. If not, could you really look any person you love in the eye and calmly state, ‘Of course, God may not make a legitimate offer of salvation to you. You do not deserve his love, or his grace, so there is no use claiming things which do not belong to you . . . or trying hard to seek them. Just leave to God His decision. Don’t advise God on how to choose. If His action is against the rules of logic, then just keep your mouth shut.’

      I hope, I truly hope that sounds cruel, harsh and unthinkable to you. And to make such a caricature of the gracious, loving, merciful God who has given so much to reveal his love for mankind is simply beyond the pale. May you someday know the true height and breadth and depth of God’s love.

      1. TSOO states : “I assume you have friends and loved ones. You must have or had a mother, grandmother, perhaps siblings, a spouse or friends? If you are alone in the world, I am truly sorry. If not, could you really look any person you love in the eye and calmly state, ‘Of course, God may not make a legitimate offer of salvation to you”

        My Response : I also felt like you TSOO with my relatives and friends. Your explanation is understandable and it is the understanding of most of my countrymen here, however I must admit to myself that I cannot save them even if I desire it. They don’t have also the power to save themselves or to seek God for themselves. It is a fact that only Christ can save them monergestically.

        Honestly I think, no one from among us will say directly to our love ones, “God may not make a legitimate offer of salvation to you”.

      2. Thank you for saying that. Some of my own loved ones call themselves ‘Reformed’, but cannot bring themselves to embrace what Sproul used to call ‘the scary stuff’. That is enough for me, to know that they do not truly embrace these doctrines. And, as they are in the typical Reformed lite sort of church that does not discuss them, they can call themselves ‘Reformed’, and never be exposed to what it really means. It is those who do know, and are ready to embrace that which is exclusive, cruel and merciless, that concern me.

        If you cannot tell your beloved five year old, or any other loved one, what your own belief system insists is true about God, he is not the loving Father that Jesus told us we could so readily come to. I too, was willing mentally to embrace hard things, because I was persusaded that I ‘must’ in order to be consistent with scripture. Today I am persuaded that such things are not so, and I rejoice that there are other, not only more logical and more morally acceptable interpretations, but sweet and lovely interpretations for the message of God to man that I can state plainly to all who are weary and heavy laden, and to all whom I love.

        There are times, such as last night, when I have spoken to several loved ones and heard of some of the struggles they face, that my heart seems as if it will break. I begin to think of all of the evil, suffering and misery in this world; people who do not feel loved, people who are afraid and it seems as if it is more than I can bear. Even as I cry out to God, in grief, ‘How long?’ I do not fear that he will be angry with me for ‘not trusting’ his plan, but that he will rejoice that my heart, breaking in love, is becoming more like his. I did not like what my heart looked like under Calvinism, and I can honestly say that I never felt love for others like I have since rediscovering how great God’s love truly is for all men.

        It is true that some men become so calloused, so resistant to goodness and mercy that they can no longer hear the voice of God calling them to do what is loving and right. But I tend to believe that most men and women I meet simply do not know of the great love that the living God has for them; they do not fully grasp the lengths he was, and is, willing to go to to rescue us from the misery we brought upon ourselves by rejecting his rightful authority. It seems to me that the best thing I can do is try and live in such a way – and it is not easy for me – that others begin to imagine it just might be true that there is joy, meaning and hope for a better world.

        I do know quite well, as most here do, what Calvinism asserts. I entertained its doctrines as unpleasant necessities for many years, and have studied them extensively since then, so it is not as if they are new, or difficult to comprehend. I have heard, and can recite, all of the prooftexts, all of the explanations for why ‘this’ must be so, and ‘this’ must mean ‘that’, and I simply no longer believe them to be necessary, consistent or true. I rejoice that I have, once again, come to know and walk with the gracious, loving, trustworthy God of my youth, whose love is limitless, whose mercy is sure and whose help is our only hope. I no longer have to ‘hide’ the ‘scary stuff’ from the young or the old, for I can gladly share who God is and what he offers, without shame; sure in the knowledge that, whoever they are, he longs to be their redeemer and hope. I once again have faith in good news of a great joy, which [has] come to all the people.

      3. Great point TS00

        My first introduction to Calvinism was via a pastor who didn’t dare tell his congregation he was teaching them Calvinism
        He was deceiving them – out of concern they would leave.

  23. JT Writes,
    “When God picks out, this means that someone has been left out. He did not pick them all. Just leave to God His decision. Don’t advise God on how to choose. If His action is against the rules of logic, then tell your ally BR.D, to keep his mouth shut in his circular posts in all of the threads in this blog his favorite utterances “double speak””

    My reply –
    First – I don’t think BRD types with his mouth open so that could be a hard thing to ask of him.

    Second – Notice how the Calvinist just reads Ephesians 1:4 like it is “against the rules of logic”. Have they even read Brian’s logical exegesis of this passage? Which is the non-Calvinist view which I am sure he has shared the link dozens of times.

    It’s just so simple when you read the passage – God predetermined before the foundation of the world that us (Believers – which are those found in Christ) were chosen in Him to be holy and without blame before him in love.

    It doesn’t say that individuals were hand picked by him through a secret decree leaving others out for unknown reasons. I think it is JT that is advising God on how to choose……..and not to choose.

    Notice the Calvinist claim “against the rules of logic”. But then they try to explain their Calvinism “as if” it could be logically understood.

    Brd is just confirming what JT has stated – “against the rules of logic”. That’s why it comes across as double speak. Brd is not being condescending but just reiterating the Calvinists own claims – “against the rules of logic”.

    I’ll try and keep my mouth shut when I type so i don’t get accused of the same thing 🙂

    1. Thank you for that belly laugh. I’m still chortling. Are you there br.d.? You don’t really type with your mouth open do you . . .? 😮😮😮

      1. Too funny!

        I could never be as talented as Calvinists who are taught how to point 10 fingers in 20 directions at the same – while speaking with forked tongue. :-]

    2. DG writes, “Second – Notice how the Calvinist just reads Ephesians 1:4 like it is “against the rules of logic”. Have they even read Brian’s logical exegesis of this passage? Which is the non-Calvinist view…”

      Apparently, you have not read Brian’s eisegesis of Ephesians 1. It is more than a non-Calvinist approach; it is an open future approach under which God is not omniscient (knowing all future events). For example, Brian argues, “5. The grammar (semantic meaning) of “us” therefore in 1:4 must be anachronistic.” Yet, we read, “Paul…to the saints who are at Ephesus…God has blessed us…God chose us…God predestined us…” I don’t know what logic you see in Brian’s argument – it is based on his eisegesis that “No individuals or group of persons existed before the foundation of the world to be chosen between except the members of the Godhead.” Paul writes to the believers in Ephesus, but the Holy Spirit writes to all believers, including us today – so we understand this to mean that God blessed us…God chose us…God predestined us. When? The word, “pedestined,” tells us that all this happened in our past – even before we were born. The phrase, “before the foundation of the world” accurately describes when this occurred in the past. You say that these conclusions are against the rules of logic – one wonders what rules of logic you have in mind.

      1. For those want to see my exegesis for themselves and decide of it is “eisegesis” or “illogical” as evaluated by Roger, you can find it here – https://www.academia.edu/31113015/Ephesians_1_4_-_exegetical_dialog

        But if one thinks we existed as individuals before creation to be chosen… which actually does not mean to the Calvinist going from unchosen to chosen, but eternally immutably viewed as chosen in an eternal immutable plan that God is locked into and limited to forever…I think I am not the one with the problem being logical. 😁

      2. brianwagner writes, “if one thinks we existed as individuals before creation to be chosen… which actually does not mean to the Calvinist going from unchosen to chosen, but eternally immutably viewed as chosen…”

        God says to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Consistent with this, David writes, “you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” we can extrapolate this to each individual – it is God who decrees the joining of sperm and egg and then oversees the natural dividing of cells according to the DNA that God created. To think that God somehow does not know the outcome of any conception seems off to me. As God works all things according to the counsel of His will and specifically works all things for good to believers that certainly encompasses all children conceived, we should conclude that God knows more than you are willing freely to admit.

      3. Thankyou Roger for confirming you were extrapolating more meaning from verses that was not really there in those verses. That is another way of saying eisegesis! 😊

        I use this example of faulty extrapolation with my students when teaching logic.

        1 2 3

        I ask them which number is next.

        The problem is one cannot be dogmatic, because of different presuppositions 4, 5, 10, 0, or 1 all can be reasonably guessed as the next number. 4 the integer, 5 next in the Fibonacci sequence, 10 next in base 4, 0 next if working backwards in integers, and 1 if starting the same sequence over.

        The Calvinist reads “before birth” and sees before creation. He reads God knows and thinks it can only be knowing only “will bes” and never “might bes”. These assumptions don’t seem as reasonable as others when looking at the clear evidence.

      4. brianwagner writes, “The Calvinist reads “before birth” and sees before creation. He reads God knows and thinks it can only be knowing only “will bes” and never “might bes”.”

        No. When the Calvinist reads “before birth” he sees “before birth.” Thus, Jeremiah, and every other human, existed before birth, even before conception, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” Jeremiah is chosen and that choosing by God is locked in – “I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”. So, the question is then, How much before God formed Jeremiah in the womb did God know Jeremiah? Jesus spoke of some in the church saying, “I never knew you.” :by “never” we understand that this extends into eternity past. So, when does God know His elect? In Revelation 5, “Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” Then, in Ephesians 1, “God chose [His elect] in Christ before the foundation of the world.” So, God chose Jeremiah in Christ before the foundation of the world. Here your philosophy forces you to argue a difference between προ and απο that no one has ever argued for but against.

        Of course, the Calvinist affirms that God has always known the might be’s as well as the will be’s. God does not do anything without knowing that He could have done differently. God is, after all, omniscient.

      5. Thank you again Roger, for showing another examine of eisegesis, that you believe the word “know” in Jer 1:5 has to mean “intimate already saved knowledge” a meaning you borrowed from Matt 7 and imported dogmatically into that verse… eisegesis indeed!

        But the parallel phrase is “ordained you to be a prophet.” We both agree God knows the details of the plan He has made for every life. We disgree that God knows that plan as not just what will happen but what might happen. [That things “could happen” differently is a contradiction in an eternally immutably predestined reality].

        Romans 8:9 NKJV — But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

        Romans 9:25 NKJV — As He says also in Hosea:
        “I will call them My people, who were not My people,
        And her beloved, who was not beloved.”

        God knows everyone in the womb as “not His”. He comes to know them as His people and His beloved when they are joined to Christ through faith. That is how to understand the word “know” in Jer 1:5… that God planned for Jeremiah to be a prophet and knew he could become freely a saved prophet or an unsaved prophet. He hadn’t predestined one or the other.

      6. Brian,
        What’s more….. I have always taken from this Jeremiah (and the David called me and knit me before I was born) to show the “specialness” of the situation.

        Meaning….. they are pointing out that God had a special task and call for them.

        They are not establishing this as a doctrine! Will be the same for everyone.

        Example: Paul retells his story to people of how God struck him down with a light on the road (Acts 26). He is using that as a means of certification/ affirmation/ call. He is not saying….. “Doctrine: this will be the same for everyone!”

        So I would say that there is something special about this knowing of Jeremiah…. but that is just the point. It is mentioned because it is special, not because it can be extracted out and made to the be the norm.

      7. BrD… I actually believe “fearfully and wonderfully made” with a plan to glorify God and enjoy Him forever is for every man. But each plan has conditonal elements that must be enacted by the free choice of each man. God knows those conditional elements as possibilities and then comes to know them as events and counterfactuals after the free choice is made.

      8. I assume you meant that for FOH (not BRD).

        I do not disagree. I do believe that God has a plan. He made it clear to Jonah with a clear call. Jonah said no.

        I take all the times in the Bible seriously when God says “I would have done XYZ for you, but you guys…. so now I will…” “I wanted you to ….XYZ but you did not.”

        Now for Calvinists, all of these verses mean nothing (or worse they are deceptive, misleading).

        For them… God cannot tell King Saul “I would have made you king permanently, if you had…” because for them (a) God has already fixed all His decision before time and (b) how “man-centered” to think that God would say that He had a plan but altered it because of man’s decisions!!!!

        But He does say these phrases. Many times.

        All you have to do is google “does God regret” and the top listings are from desiringgod, the gospel coalition…. all telling that those many verses do NOT mean — cannot mean— what they say. These folks never say what the verses do mean…. just that they cannot mean what they say.

        Very dangerous place to find oneself constantly saying what normally-clear verses do not mean all the time!

      9. Brian, I may not fully agree with, or even grasp your perspective of how it works (part dullness of mind, part little Calvinist on my shoulder whispering in my ear how evil Open Theism is), but I agree without question that God’s desire and ‘plan to glorify God and enjoy Him forever is for every man’. And that ‘each plan has conditonal elements that must be enacted by the free choice of each man’.

        When I realized that Calvinism required that I perceive God as disingenuously playing games with those whose destiny he completely determines and controls, I could no longer remain on the fence. This is not merely a difficult or challenging theology, it is an utterly cruel and grotesque one; one that removes all possibility of the hope that the gospel offers for many who most need it.

      10. Hold still TS00 while I try to shoot that lying “little Calvinist” demon off your shoulder! 🤣

        But we are definitely on the same page about God’s loving gift of freewill to create a covenant relationship with us based on true reciprocated love.

      11. I like to think I’ve knocked him off, but I suspect that those whispers can sometimes continue to echo long after their source has been eliminated. It is those echos that I must track to their source and learn when to ignore.

      12. TSOO
        When I realized that Calvinism required that I perceive God as disingenuously playing games with those whose destiny he completely determines and controls, I could no longer remain on the fence. This is not merely a difficult or challenging theology, it is an utterly cruel and grotesque one; one that removes all possibility of the hope that the gospel offers for many who most need it.

        br.d
        Wonderful testimony!!
        The Lord is able to open eyes – and I have been similarly blessed! :-]

      13. brianwagner writes, “that you believe the word “know” in Jer 1:5 has to mean “intimate already saved knowledge” a meaning you borrowed from Matt 7 and imported dogmatically into that verse… eisegesis indeed!”

        Says the professor who cannot offer an alternative definition (other than a confused explanation that we will look at below). Brain dismisses that part of the verse where God says, “before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Such language means nothing to Brian in terms of giving meaning to the statement, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” We have, “I knew you…I consecrated you…I appointed you…” That points (surely intimates such) to a special relationship between God and Jeremiah but Brain does not want to describe that as ‘intimate already saved knowledge.” Can we relate this to Matthew 7 where Jesus says that He did not have a relationship with certain people. We should be able to say that those people did not share a similar relationship as existed with Jeremiah. Brian sets a high bar for exegesis that even he cannot attain judging from his meager attempts so far cited.

        Now Brian says, “That is how to understand the word “know” in Jer 1:5… that God planned for Jeremiah to be a prophet and knew he could become freely a saved prophet or an unsaved prophet. He hadn’t predestined one or the other.”

        God says to Jeremiah, ““Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Brian says that this only means that God planned for Jeremiah to become a prophet but God “hadn’t predestined one or the other.” What does one say to this? God says “I appointed you a prophet,” and Brian says this really means, “I only planned to appoint you a prophet. Jeremiah had the final say on whether he would actually become a prophet and God could only wait to see what would happen.” I think Brian has an active imagination.

      14. You misrepresented what I said Roger… perhaps you read too fast. I said – God “knew he [Jeremiah] could become freely a saved prophet or an unsaved prophet.” So I was affirming he was going to be a prophet of God and hear God’s voice… but like Balaam he could remain lost himself, like those who “prophesied” in Jesus name mentioned in Matt 7.

        And besides misrepresentation, you didn’t deal with my counter argument how Scripture shows God calls/knows individuals as not His “people” or “beloved” until they are in Christ through faith. Then He calls/knows them as His!

      15. brianwagner writes, “I said – God “knew he [Jeremiah] could become freely a saved prophet or an unsaved prophet.” So I was affirming he was going to be a prophet of God and hear God’s voice… but like Balaam he could remain lost himself, like those who “prophesied” in Jesus name mentioned in Matt 7.”

        OK. I don’t think the outcome was ever in doubt. But I’ll allow that you have goofy reasoning.

        Then, “you didn’t deal with my counter argument how Scripture shows God calls/knows individuals as not His “people” or “beloved” until they are in Christ through faith. Then He calls/knows them as His!”

        You stated several opinions:
        1. God knows everyone in the womb as “not His”.
        2. He comes to know them as His people and His beloved when they are joined to Christ through faith.
        3. “That is how to understand the word “know” in Jer 1:5… that God planned for Jeremiah to be a prophet and knew he could become freely a saved prophet or an unsaved prophet. He hadn’t predestined one or the other.

        Expressing your opinions does not make an argument. We know from John 6:37 that God gives His elect to Christ and then they come to Christ. In the same way God draws people to Christ and they come to Christ. If God gives someone to Christ, He surely “knows” them by some definition of the word and He knows them before they “come” and are joined to Christ through faith. John also quotes Jesus to say, “Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.” If God is teaching certain people, then we can say that God ‘knows” them by some definition of the word and this also occurs before the people being taught come to Christ or are joined to Christ through faith.

      16. Roger… thank you again for your example of eisegesis from John 6:37. You read the word “elect” into that verse. And you called my take on the literal meaning of “not His people” and “not beloved” as opinion when I linked that declaration of God to show His not knowing them personally as His until they are in Christ through faith.

        To believe He knew those He calls “not His” as actually already being “His” is believing God lies about what He knows. I choose my “opinion” therefore in the literal logical inference from God’s Word than choosing rather your illogical inference that God lies about what He knows.

        Take the last word in this thread. We gave other readers another example again our obvious differences in understanding God’s Word.

      17. brianwagner writes, “…example of eisegesis from John 6:37. You read the word “elect” into that verse.”

        Oh Brian!!! We can call those whom God gives to Christ the elect. Nothing wrong with that. We can also call “whoever believes in Him” in John 3:16 the elect. We can also call, “everyone who believes” of Romans 1:16 the elect. The elect are identified in many places in the NT.

        Then “…And you called my take on the literal meaning of “not His people” and “not beloved” as opinion when I linked that declaration of God to show His not knowing them personally as His until they are in Christ through faith.”

        It was the conclusion you jumped to that made it an opinion. How exactly did you go from “not His people” and “not beloved” to the conclusion that God does not know them personally. Romans 9 has Paul explaining how God always intended to save the gentiles with Hosea cited as proof. Certainly, God knew that He was going to save gentiles for Paul refers to certain gentiles as “vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory.”

        Then, ‘To believe He knew those He calls “not His” as actually already being “His” is believing God lies about what He knows.”

        No. The Jews were God’s chosen people. The “not his” were the gentiles that God always intended to save as Paul explains in Ephesians 3, “when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,…”

        Then, ‘ I choose my “opinion” therefore in the literal logical inference from God’s Word than choosing rather your illogical inference that God lies about what He knows. ”

        Such a sense of humor. It’s not what you say, but how you say it that makes me chuckle. I think you should use more scripture and less finagling of words to make your points or, at least to show how you jump from here to there without implying mystery.

      18. Rhutchin writes,
        “Paul writes to the believers in Ephesus, but the Holy Spirit writes to all believers, including us today – so we understand this to mean that God blessed us…God chose us…God predestined us”

        My reply – This is typical of the Calvinist to leave out “in Christ” in this passage.
        The passage says we (believers plural) were chosen (past participle) In Christ.
        We were not there as individuals or even a group at that stage – “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
        ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭

        Peter says we not a people in times past and had not obtained mercy, but the Calvinist insists we were, being picked out of multitudes obtaining mercy by some weird secret decree.

        Christ was there and we were not. He was the one who was foreordained before the foundation of the world – 1 Peter 1:20.
        All spiritual blessings that were bestowed upon Jesus we can count as if that have happened to us through faith. If Christ was Chosen, If Christ was crucified, If Christ was buried, If Christ was raised, If Christ was glorified, If Christ is seated in heavenly places, we as believers can count the same spiritual blessings even as if they have happened to us. Not in a literal sense but in in a spiritual sense.

        Paul says “I am crucified with Christ”.
        We all know that he wasn’t literally there being crucified with Christ, but in a spiritual sense he can count the spiritual blessing as if he were because he is “in Christ”

        The Calvinist just doesn’t use Scripture to interpret scripture, sad 🙁

      19. Rhutchin writes,
        “Paul writes to the believers in Ephesus, but the Holy Spirit writes to all believers, including us today – so we understand this to mean that God blessed us…God chose us…God predestined us”

        br.d
        And John Calvin writes concerning the Calvinists church:
        – quote
        “There is a LARGE MIXTURE OF HYPOCRITES who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance.
        He [Calvin’s god] temporarily holds out salvation to these as a SAVOR OF CONDEMNATION
        He [Calvin’s god] eventually will STRIKE THEM WITH GREATER BLINDNESS.

        That’s Calvin’s description.
        Calvin’s god (within scripture) leads Adam and Israel to believe he WILLS one thing – while he SECRETLY wills the opposite.

        If that is the way Calvin’s god communicates to Adam and Israel – who is to say he isn’t communicating that way to Calvinists.
        Holding salivation out to them as a SAVOR OF CONDEMNATION is something he does.

        This is why historically within the Calvinist psyche – we observe Calvinism’s DREADED FALSE HOPE.

      20. br.s writes, ‘And John Calvin writes concerning the Calvinists church:
        – quote
        “There is a LARGE MIXTURE OF HYPOCRITES who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance.”

        Even Jesus said the same thing,
        24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
        25 “But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away.
        26 “But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.
        27 “And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
        28 “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ And the slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’
        29 “But he *said, ‘No; lest while you are gathering up the tares, you may root up the wheat with them.
        30 ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

      21. br.s writes, ‘And John Calvin writes concerning the Calvinists church:
        1) “There is a LARGE MIXTURE OF HYPOCRITES who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance.”
        2) He [Calvin’s god] temporarily HOLDS OUT SALVATION AS A SAVOR OF CONDEMNATION
        3) He [Calvin’s god] will eventually STRIKE THEM WITH GREATER BLINDNESS

        rhutchin
        Even Jesus said the same thing,……etc

        br.d
        Obviously then – you accept it as a reality – that any Calvinist INCLUDING YOURSELF may be among that MIXTURE whom Calvin’s god holds out salvation to as a SAVOR OF CONDEMNATION – and will eventually strike with GREATER BLINDNESS.

        If that is the case – then it logically follows you have no idea whether or not you are elect or not.
        You may – as Calvin describes “Have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance”

        Not elect – then not saved
        Not saved – then no Holy Spirit
        No Holy Spirit – then not trustworthy as a representative of Christianity.

        Its your doctrine not mine :-]

      22. DG writes, “My reply – This is typical of the Calvinist to leave out “in Christ” in this passage.”

        So, DG excises the phrase “in Christ” from the passage and then develops his philosophy without taking into account the context of the passage and calls that interpreting Scripture with Scripture. I’m not buying his methodology for interpreting Scripture with Scripture. Perhaps, DG could address God’s actions to bless, choose, and predestine believers and tell us how he came to agree with Brian that these are anachronistic. Perhaps, he will even be inspired to read Brian’s alleged exegesis and explain why he thinks Brian must be correct.

      23. Rhutchin writes,
        “So, DG excises the phrase “in Christ” from the passage and then develops his philosophy without taking into account the context of the passage”

        My reply – Is it just me or can everyone see how ridiculous this reply is?
        I am accused of not looking at context when it was Rhutchin that left out the vital part “in Christ” which is in the immediate context of the passage.

        What can say? Logic just seems frivolous at times 😂

      24. DG,
        We all see it. It’s not just you. But we did try to warn you. I pay no heed to him since once you make a valid point (or point out two quotes from him that contradict each other) he just re-directs to something else. It is truly dysfunctional, and I wish someone had warned me at the beginning.

      25. The Dancing boxer
        The Greased pig
        The magician
        The kindergarten playground bully

        Its typically one of the above modes :-]
        Most of the act is simply pretense.

      26. DG writes, “I am accused of not looking at context when it was Rhutchin that left out the vital part “in Christ” which is in the immediate context of the passage.”

        Your point earlier was, “The passage says we (believers plural) were chosen (past participle) In Christ. We were not there as individuals or even a group at that stage…” You do not then argue that “in Christ” affects our understanding of this verse – your point being that the word, “us,” is in the plural and therefore cannot refer to any individual. Is this true? You fail to address the context of Ephesians 1 where Paul writes, “God blessed us…God chose us…God predestined us.” Then, Paul writes, “In Him we have redemption…” In each case, Paul uses the plural thereby referring to the Ephesian believers and himself. Paul’s point is clear – Each of the Ephesians believers has been redeemed in Christ; each has been predestined for adoption; each has been chosen by God; each has been blessed by God. Paul uses the unique phrase, “before the foundation of the world,” as the point where all this began. You conveniently ignore any reference to this. So, you left out any reference to “before the foundation of the world,” and then argue that I made no mention of “in Christ” when even you don’t tie “in Christ” to explain the timing of God’s blessings on His elect. If there was a logic to your argument, it went over my head.

      27. Rhutchin writes,
        “when even you don’t tie “in Christ” to explain the timing of God’s blessings on His elect. If there was a logic to your argument, it went over my head”

        My reply – You are so close to understanding this passage Rhutchin, don’t let it go over your head.
        Read over and over this part of your reply. You don’t even realise what you have just stated. It is the timing of God’s BLESSINGS for his church which was chosen before the foundation of the world. They were chosen IN CHRIST because He was there and you were not, which is what I have already addressed.

        All believers were not there at every moment of every blessing or every action bestowed upon Jesus. Every believer can “likewise reckon ye also” as if you were or are – Romans 6:6-11.
        Christ was chosen therefore you can say you were chosen. Not in literal sense but in a spiritual sense. You were not added to what was chosen (Christ), before you were born. You were added the moment you were born again. No one was in Christ literally before they were born.
        Paul even says “salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsman, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, WHO ALSO WERE IN CHRIST BEFORE ME”.

        The passage is a statement that those found in Christ will be blessed. Which was started “in Christ” in the past and continues “in Christ” into the future.

        The passage states nothing about choosing individuals out of a group to be saved before the foundation of the world by a mysterious “secret decree”.

        What it does say is that if you are in Christ, then you get all the BENEFITS (blessings) that were bestowed upon Him.

        Now if that goes over your head, I’m sorry, I can’t do any more than that.

      28. DG.
        The “in Christ” concept is a game-changer. Unfortunately it only “games” that they play with it.

      29. So true FOH, it’s like they are just blinded by the so called “secret decree”

        There’s no perfect illustration but I like to use this one –
        If I decided to pick a soccer team for myself, and I have son who I know will win any game all by himself because he is that good, but I decide to pick a team.
        I go to a soccer gala day and declare to all the players “I have the perfect player who is my son, who I know is going to win the game on his own for the rest of the team; in fact, he has already won the game for you as far as I am concerned, so put your hand up and step forward if you believe my son can do it! Step forward if you want to be in his team!
        A few players believe me and put their hand up and step forward, so I pick them to be on my team.
        The game is played and won easily with my son scoring every goal and defending every strike from the opposition, with the rest of the team doing their best but failing miserably. My whole team get to bask in the glory of the win on the merits of my son.
        Just before the trophy presentation one of the players stands up and proclaims while pointing at my son “We (the team) were chosen (past participle) in him (my son) before the game began, to bask in the glory that had already been prepared, even before we were picked for the team or had formed a group”.
        The team then enter the presentation and are showered in glory and are not blamed at all for playing badly. It was my predestined plan for the whole team of believers in my son to share in his glory – this does in no way imply that the individuals who joined my team were pre-selected for the team by an unrevealed “secret decree” selection process before they believed. They were picked because they believed in my son and others were not because they did not believe.

      30. A Calvinist is like a monkey desperately clinging to a banana – which is inside a glass jar- which is glued to the floor.
        He’s too invested to let go
        And thus he’s stuck.

        He’ll still be there clinging to his double-speak talking-points – long after you and I have moved deeper into the grace of the our Lord :-]

      31. No br.d….. I dont think it’s like that.

        You speak (I think) a bit too harshly about them as if they are intentionally deceptive. I do not think that is the case.

        They sincerely believe what they think and they sincerely think it works (make sense).

        When I was a Calvinist (and I bet this is true for all the young bearded, YRR guys these days getting on the wave) I would not have been persuade at all by people slinging monkey comparisons at me.

        Believers are used to being ridiculed for saying Christ walked on the water, turned water to wine, created all that we see —-and especially rose from the dead to pay for our sins. So for Calvinists, what is a bit more ridicule from people saying they are like moneys and a banana.

        But again, I dont think it helps the dialog.

        For me what helped was was reading every day and seeing EVERY day that Calvinism does not fit the tenor and theme of the Bible. It rendered, for me, so much of the Bible either irrelevant or worse, deceptive and disingenuous.

        We know that Augustine was heavily influenced by Greek philosophers (and he worshiped Mary and the saints), and we know that he in turn influenced Calvin (who of course refused anyone —even himself— to be baptized if they have been baptized Catholic—- he actually sinfully persecuted many for this). We know that he is held up as some kind of break-away-from-the-Catholic-church hero and his indiscretions are excused at every chance by followers.

        We know that he never re-baptized anyone baptized Catholic as an infant, and most of what he did was political (retaining territory just as Luther did with Earls, Dukes, Counts, Princes, and Lords that broke away from Rome) …. but for the most part….. they cannot hear us when we say that.

        Neither can they hear all the derogatory comparing to monkeys with hands caught in a jar.

        What may convince them to take a new look at a humble Christ who draws and calls all men, everywhere to come to Him for rest is Scripture. God’s word wins the day. Let’s stick with that.

      32. You obviously have a much bigger concern for them FOH.
        My concern is not for the Calvinist but for those who will be deceived by them.
        I can understand. Many people including moonies, Jehovah witnesses, and Calvinists sincerely believe what they’ve been taught to believe.
        But that doesn’t mean we don’t outfit people with information that will enable them to see how such groups are deceptive.
        Calvinists may not be consciously aware of the deceptive language they’ve been taught to embrace.
        Never the less it is a deceptive language.

        Jesus used parables in order to describe peoples conditions knowing they were going to be insulted.
        I don’t go out of my way to insult people – that would be senseless and un-Christ-like.
        But I am certain Calvinists are stuck – because they manifest the symptoms of a mind that is locked.
        My concern is to give people who may be vulnerable to getting sucked into that – information that will enable them to see through Calvinisms deceptive language tricks.

        Many years ago when I was young in the lord – there was a fellow who went head-long into an obsession about the tongues of fire in acts.
        It was all he every talked about.
        At Bible studies everyone would be sharing what the Lord would be showing them.
        And everything everyone shared – he would always see as a confirmation of his tongues of fire doctrine.
        We started to wonder if he was mentally touched because his mind was so locked into that mode.
        Calvinist thinking often reminds me of him.

      33. Yessir br. d!

        We certainly need to “outfit people with information that will enable them to see how such groups are…” incorrect (your word here was “deceptive”).

        I agree with you on the outfitting people part. Show where the teaching is illogical and unbiblical. Deceptive implies intention on each person’s part.

        I believe they are sincere and incorrect. But I dont think they are intentionally deceptive. They have just read “regeneration precedes faith” so many times on so many blogs that they think it is etched in stone.

        I think you have witnessed me being very, very critical of Calvinism as a philosophy. But I dont think individual Calvinist are “trying to deceive” —they just believe, sincerely, something that, in my opinion, does not line up.

      34. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression – I didn’t mean to say I think they purposefully mean to deceive people.
        However there are some times when Rhutchin gets close to going over the line – mostly when he’s trying to evade something – and there have been a few times when it was hard to not suspect he was at least getting dangerously close.

        What I’ve consistently said is that Calvinisms’ language is deceptive.
        And it is a language they’ve been mentored in.

        To use an example – consider a father who uses deceptive language – and his children pick it up from him.
        The children don’t have any intention of being deceptive – yet it is a characteristic of the language they’ve been taught.
        Calvinists sincerely embrace what they’ve been taught and they don’t see it as wrong.

        Every religious group has its own hierarchy of sins for example.
        And I think the deceptive elements in Calvinist language – they do not categorize as sin.
        Many of them don’t categorize religious pride as sin.

        Some times I think they should be open minded enough to see the deceptive elements in their language.
        But they don’t appear to allow themselves to do that.
        Hence the “they are stuck” statement.

      35. DG writes, “There’s no perfect illustration but I like to use this one –”

        Your illustration does not work. Paul is writing to the “saints at Ephesus (the team in your illustration) and then he speaks as one who is on the team also by using “we” and “us.” When Paul says that “God has Blessed us” he means God has Blessed you saints and me. In terms of your illustration, the saints are players and already on the team – they already believe and don’t have to raise their hand a second time. However, you are in the place of Paul and you are on the team talking to the rest of the team. What you have left out is how you guys got on the team in the first place (this point you bungled badly by having a group of guys decide to join the team). The players on your team were all brought together by some outside person who choose each one.

        So, basically, your illustration has nothing to do with the situation we read about in Ephesians 1.

      36. You don’t understand the illustration Rhutchin. I am speaking from God’s perspective not Paul’s. The son in the illustration illustrates Christ………I should have known you wouldn’t get it, but it was worth a try😐

      37. DG writes, “You don’t understand the illustration Rhutchin. I am speaking from God’s perspective not Paul’s. The son in the illustration illustrates Christ……”

        My misunderstanding arose because I thought your illustration had something to do with Ephesians 1. This was because the point you had raised earlier concerned the phrase, “in Christ,” in Ephesians 1. You just used that phrase as the takeoff point to illustrate your free will philosophy. My bad.

      38. “Accept, I beseech thee, the FREEWILL offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments”. Psalm 119:108

        At least I get my philosophy from the bible😁

      39. DG writes, “At least I get my philosophy from the bible”

        You are wise to quote a believer who wrote the Psalm. Everyone agrees that the Bible says that believers have free will because God has freed them from slavery to sin.

        You, of course, add that the lost also have free will and are not in slavery to sin – this being the part of your philosophy that you added all on your own.

      40. So the lost don’t sin of their own free will…….now that’s biblical isn’t it!
        “God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?” Romans‬ ‭3:6‬ ‭

      41. DG writes, “So the lost don’t sin of their own free will…….now that’s biblical isn’t it!”

        The lost sin because they love sin. They are slaves to sin. If they were free – they knew the truth – they would not love sin. Jesus said, ““If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed…”

      42. rhutchin
        The lost sin because they love sin. They are slaves to sin. If they were free – they knew the truth – they would not love sin. Jesus said, ““If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed…”

        br.d
        Calvinism’s language is so full of double-speak – where to begin!

        “The lost sin because they love sin.”
        This is called blaming the murder on the gun.
        In Theological Determinism Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) decrees every neurological impulse a person will ever have.

        In this scheme the lost sin because Calvin’s god makes each and every sin their unchangeable fate – via infallible decree.
        Pathetic little creatures are powerless to disobey the almighty all-powerful decree.

        – they [the non-elect] knew the truth
        Augustine argues that Jesus uses parables to HIDE the truth from the non-elect.
        This is a foundational teaching in Calvinism.

        So the Calvinist ends up with “The truth is hidden from them – but in such a way that they knew the truth”

        How many self-contradictions does it take to turn John Calvin’s light bulb :-]

      43. DG writes, “The passage states nothing about choosing individuals out of a group to be saved before the foundation of the world by a mysterious “secret decree”.”

        Earlier, you said, “The Calvinist just doesn’t use Scripture to interpret scripture, sad” So, let’s look at the Scripture and see if we can get a complete picture of what is going on.

        1. “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me,…” (John 6:37)
        Prior to “giving” a person to Christ, God chooses the person whom He will give.

        2. “God chose us in Christ…that we should be holy and blameless before God.” (Ephesians 1)
        The “coming to Christ’ in John 6 leads to one becoming ‘holy and blameless before God.”

        3. “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-20)

        “whom God foreknew” would be those God chose in Ephesians 1 to “give” to Christ in John 6. It is those “chosen in Christ” and then given to Christ that are “predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” or in the language of Ephesians 1, to “be holy and blameless before God.”

        We have this sequence of events” (1) God chooses people in Christ; (2) God gives these people to Christ; (3) These people are predestined to salvation; (4) they are then called, justified, and glorified. The end result: these people are “holy and blameless before God.”

        So, when did God begin this process? From Ephesians 1, “before the foundation of the world,…” The remaining question is whether God knew those chosen as individuals when He chose them and gave them to Christ. We know that the people chosen by God to give to Christ are His elect because they are the people who come to Christ and are saved.

        I understand you to claim that individuals are not in view but this is all about the church – God chooses the church, gives the church to Christ, predestines the church, and the church is called, justified, glorified.

        If I understand your position, we have two ways to understand the Scriptures at this point.

      44. Rhutchin writes,
        “I understand you to claim that individuals are not in view but this is all about the church – God chooses the church, gives the church to Christ, predestines the church, and the church is called, justified, glorified”

        My reply – You have jumped around a lot passages to get to this statement.
        If you are referring to me saying “that individuals are not in view” in Ephesians 1:4, then yes you are correct, they are not. The letter is addressed to the “saints” (plural) in Ephesus and to the “faithful in Christ Jesus”. Which is the “us” in verse 3 and the “we” in verse 4. Which runs with the context of the whole passage being the revealed blessings for the church. As an individual you can add yourself as a partaker of these blessings but the focus is the blessings for the church which is the body of Christ. When and how as an individual becomes part of the body is not mentioned until verse 13.

        I guess it could be said like this – God in Ephesians 1:4 did not state that unbelievers were picked out to be believers before the foundation of the world. But that believers (plural) were picked out in Christ to be blessed with all spiritual blessings that are found in and bestowed upon Christ before the foundation of the world.

        Using John 6:37 as a template to read Ephesians 1:4 is incorrect.

        The context of the gospel of John is Jesus proving he is God to people who refuse to believe he is. He is simply saying in 6:37 that the Father gives to Him all those that will come to Him. What Jesus is saying, as He does right throughout the book of John is that He and the Father are one and the same.

        Here’s another analogy you that you might be able to ridicule.

        If I have an email address it is made up of my name followed by the servers name. For you get an email through to me you have to send it to my email address. When you send the email it goes to the server and the server gives it to me, but if you didn’t address the email to me the server or me would not receive it.
        I can say then – all that the server gives me will come to me.
        Or in other words the server will not receive your email unless it is addressed to me, and all the emails addressed to me will be given to me by the server. We work together and you cannot have one without the other. That’s the point Jesus is making in John 6:37.

        Sorry to confuse you with another analogy, but there you go!- go for your life and ridicule it to pieces as you always do.🙂

      45. DG writes, “He is simply saying in 6:37 that the Father gives to Him all those that will come to Him.”

        Actually, the verse says the opposite – “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me…”

      46. That’s what I meant by Him (Jesus)

        See Rhutchin, even you are falling for the same folly and missing the point of the verse.

      47. DG writes, “you are falling for the same folly and missing the point of the verse.”

        When you figure out the point of the verse, perhaps you will share it with everyone else.

      48. How funny – maybe it was this verse that Calvin and Servetus were quarrelling over 😂

        Somebody collect the kindling, I’ve got a lighter! Who’s got some rope? Anybody’?

      49. It seems that vs 40 explains who they are, that the Father gives to the Son:

        40And this is THE WILL OF HIM that sent me, that EVERY ONE WHICH seeth the Son, and BELIEVETH on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day

      50. That’s true Clare.

        The verses around their gotcha verses usually explain. Calvinists dont often go that route.

        I have seen Calvinists get miles out of the last 1/3 of the verse of John 15:5 “apart from me you can do nothing.”

        They will go on for a long time about determinism and how everything that happens is cuz wants it to happen just from that 1/3 of a verse. But context is everything….. just not to them.

      51. FOH writes, “I have seen Calvinists get miles out of the last 1/3 of the verse of John 15:5 “apart from me you can do nothing.”

        John 15
        1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
        2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.
        3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
        4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
        5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.
        6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
        7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.
        8 “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

        Within this context, Jesus said, “…apart from Me you can do nothing.” There are miles to be gotten from this verse as you note.

      52. Clare Ansah writes, “It seems that vs 40 explains who they are, that the Father gives to the Son:”

        That would be saying that those who come to Jesus are then given to Jesus so that they can come to Jesus. To come to Jesus requires that one see and believe in Jesus. The promise here is that those whom God gives to Jesus will then see and believe in Jesus (come to Jesus).

      53. rhutchin
        The promise here is that those whom God gives to Jesus WILL THEN see and believe in Jesus (come to Jesus).

        br.d
        This is an interpretation designed to affirm the philosophy of Theological Determinism – so no mystery here.

        In this statement the words “WILL THEN” logically infers AS A CONSEQUENCE OF.
        Calvinists are careful to not use language that is to logically precise.
        When they do – their self-contradictions become to easily detected.

        As Brian continually points out – Calvinists assume to much from verses they cull out of scripture.
        As the old saying goes: “Calvinism drinks too deeply from the well of Augustine”

        Calvinism works to read 4th century NeoPlatonism and Gnosticism into scripture.

      54. Hi
        Chpt17
        2As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him

        6:
        40And this is THE WILL OF HIM that sent me, that EVERY ONE WHICH seeth the Son, and BELIEVETH on him, MAY HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE: and I will raise him up at the last day

        So the Father gives to Jesus those who believe in Him, that Jesus may grant them eternal life, AND raise them up in Last Day

        Also in Chapter 17
        Jesus is specifically praying for the 11 Apostles:

        ¶I pray for them: I pray not for the world, BUT FOR THEM WHICH THOU HAST GIVEN ME; for they are thine.
        10And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
        …..
        12While I was with them in the world, I KEPT THEM IN THY NAME: THOSE THAT THOU GAVEST ME I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled

        So in this specific case, we see that the other role Jesus played, and still does as we abide in Him through His Word and Holy Spirit, is to KEEP us.

        To be given to Jesus one is to first believe on the one He (The Father) sent. Once you believe He hands/ gives the believer over to Jesus

        To be given to Jesus is so that we are given eternal life and kept by Him

        In context, Jesus was talking about people whom had Listened to the Father via the Words of the Prophet of the expectation of the messiah,
        Jesus comes and proves through Truth and Grace, signs and wonders that He is that messiah,
        Those that believe are given to Jesus to be granted eternal life and to be kept for its fulfilment in the Resurrection,

        6:40…….and I will raise him up in the last day

        Rgds
        Clare

      55. You make an excellent point Clare.

        Why bother to send Jesus to spend 3.5 years teaching, debating and contending with people – if all of those people’s fate were “settled” at the foundation of the world anyway.

        Why bother trying to convince people whom the Father has decreed to not be convinced.

        What is the most likely answer?
        In Calvinism – Jesus in his 3.5 year ministry dutifully follows the instructions John Calvin gives to his disciples.
        He goes about his office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part. :-]

      56. Clare Ansah writes, “So the Father gives to Jesus those who believe in Him, that Jesus may grant them eternal life, AND raise them up in Last Day.”

        We have:
        1. All that God gives to Christ will come to Christ. (6:37)
        2. Christ gives eternal life to those whom God gives to Him (17:2)
        3. Christ gives eternal life to those who believe in Him (6:40)
        4. Whoever believes in Christ will have eternal life. (3:16)

        So, all whom God gives to Christ will come to Christ by believing in Him and Christ will give them eternal life. I don’t see how you conclude that it is those who believe in Christ whom God then gives to Christ. These verses describe God as initiating the action (giving) after which the person responds (by believing and coming). V44 tells us that the person can only respond after God draws them. So, God has two actions, (1) to give a person to Christ) and then (2) to draw the person He is giving to Christ.

        Then, “So in this specific case, we see that the other role Jesus played, and still does as we abide in Him through His Word and Holy Spirit, is to KEEP us.”

        Agreed.

        Then, “To be given to Jesus one is to first believe on the one He (The Father) sent. Once you believe He hands/ gives the believer over to Jesus.”

        I don’t see anything in the verses you cite that leads to the conclusion that a person believes and that belief is the basis for God to give the person to Christ. You might argue this order: (1) God draws; (2) God teaches; (3) the person believes; (4) God gives to Christ; (5) The person comes to Christ; (6) Christ gives eternal life. That order seems awkward to me.

        Then, “In context, Jesus was talking about people whom had Listened to the Father…”

        v45 says, “heard and learned from the Father.” You reduce this to listening in order to get your outcome. I don’t think that is kosher.

  24. DG states : “Simple- every man means every man.”

    “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” Hebrews 2:9 KJV”

    “The only way to explain why every man is then not saved is because of the free choice whether to accept Christ or not.”

    ………Calvinists are so complicated 🙄”

    My Response to DG:

    1. I’m not complicated. The one that is complicated is to claim for things which does not belongs to you. It is a false assurance. Everyone
    can claim for that salvation, but the question is that, were they able to really possess it?

    2. To offer Salvation for the entire human race will mean that :

    2.1 Christ’s death on Calvary does not work, ineffective, empotent to those who reject.
    2.2 Christ’s blood that was paid for their sins (includes those who reject) is just a mess and becomes powerless to them due to the choice
    they have made for themselves.
    2.3 It will become as a “double payment” and “double punishment”, why? because those who reject Christ are as till to be thrown to hell as
    a punishment and payment for their acts even though Christ has already been punished and paid for them at the cross of calvary.

    1. jtleosala
      those who reject Christ are as till to be thrown to hell as a punishment and payment for their acts ……etc.

      br.d
      Calvin’s god says:

      “Now you’ve gone and done it!
      How dare you do the very thing I decreed you do!
      So now I blame you for what I at the foundation of the world decreed infallibly come to pass.

      And that is not double-speak?
      God must have given Calvinism to mankind as a form of entertainment. :-]

    2. DG to LT, ““The only way to explain why every man is then not saved is because of the free choice whether to accept Christ or not.”
      LT to DG, “2. To offer Salvation for the entire human race will mean that :…”

      To add to LT’s argument. Each and every person has a free choice to accept Christ and John 6 tells us how that choice can be exercised, “No one can come to Me,…” This is validated in Romans 8, “the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so;” How can a person choose Christ? Again, John 6, “unless the Father who sent Me draws him;” This drawing is described in the following verse, “They will all be taught by God.” Then we are told, “Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.” This mirrors v37, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me,” It is God who gives those He chooses to Christ and God brings them to Christ by teaching His chosen about Christ.

      1. The concept of “Free choice” of the creature within Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) is amorphic.
        Its like a desert mirage – a house of mirrors.
        It exists only as an illusion.

        In Theological Determinism a creature’s every neurological impulse is per-programmed/fated/decreed from the foundation of the world.
        The only thing the creature is “free” to do in this scheme – is obey whatever is decreed.

        There is no such thing as disobedience from that which one is fated to obey.
        The creature is no more “free” to disobey Calvin’s god’s infallible decree – than he is “free” to be a frog.

        “Free choice” of the creature in Calvinism is an excellent example of Calvinist double-speak.

        This is why Social Psychologist – Dr. Erich Fromm in his analysis of Calvinism – gave it the title “Escape from Freedom”

      2. Hi

        John 6:45 KJV — It is written in the prophets, And THEY SHALL BE ALL taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

        The Father teaches ALL, from that group comes the EVERY MAN…… that hath heard (not only heard) AND LEARNS of the Father comes to Christ.By reason of their hearing and listening.

        But the Father teaches ALL. The choice to listen and learn is theirs. Those who hear and learn are by consequence, prepared to believe in Jesus

        Those who don’t listen and learn, like the Pharisees, do not by their own choosing miss out on that which would have prepared them to believe in Christ.

        So because they didn’t listen to the Father but listen to their own interpretations they did not believe in His Christ.

        John 5:39 KJV — Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

        45Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.

        46FOR HAD YE BELIEVED MOSES, YE WOULD HAVE BELIEVED ME: for he wrote of me.
        47BUT IF YE BELIEVE NOT HIS WRITINGS, HOW SHALL YE BELIEVE MY WORDS?

        So this is an example of people who The Father teaches but they didn’t listen nor learn from Him.
        If they did hear, they didn’t listen and therefore are ill equipped to believe in The Christ, and therefore cannot be given to The Christ because they do not believe.

        Rgds
        Clare

      3. Exactly! Just as in a room full of schoolchildren, the teacher presents the lesson to all alike. How is it, then, that only some ‘hear’ it and receive passing marks when test day arrives? Even the dullest, most hard-hearted schoolteacher would not allow deaf children to remain in her class without offering special education assistance. On the whole, schools seek to offer the extra measures necessary to help those who are disabled in any way receive the ‘helps’ that will allow them to be able to hear and understand the lessons that others receive more easily. Even if the issues are emotional, or physical – perhaps the child comes from a home in which adequate nutrition is not available, or physical abuse is present – the attempts are made, albeit not perfectly, to deal with those needs as well, and give all children a chance to learn and have real opportunities that will lead to a decent future.

        Do we really think God is less compassionate? Do we really think that he not only deliberately disabled all men – which, frankly, is an unthinkable doctrine in itself – and then mockingly presents the gospel to countless men, women and children who simply cannot hear it, no matter how they might try? He, who cruelly disabled them for the sins of their father, also retains the power to heal them. But he doesn’t. Simply because he doesn’t want to. And come test day, he presents the test and holds those who ‘could not hear’ responsible for their unavoidably failing marks. This is the false dogma of Calvinism, which, frankly, few Calvinists would applaud; but they have been misled, distracted by talk of ‘Sovereignty’ and ‘Glory’ and have simply never thought through all of the ramifications of their adopted system.

      4. Clare,
        I appreciate your input. You are new. I do think that you need to put all these good ideas out there so others can learn from them and see the message of the Bible…. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32). He is drawing all me. Some just will not believe.

        But just know however that some of us are strengthened by your words, and others may even be convinced to re-think Calvinism with your help (yes!) but some on this blog will just take you ’round and ’round in illogical, unbiblical fashion no matter what you say. Just saying….

      5. FOH
        Some on this blog will just take you ’round and ’round in illogical, unbiblical fashion no matter what you say. Just saying…

        br.d
        FOH speaks the truth here!
        Getting drawn into a dialog can sometimes simply legitimize someone who is only interested in drawing people around in circles while masquerading sincerity. The continued dialog simply works to reinforce the masquerade.

      6. CALVINISM’S DOUBLE-SPEAK VERSION OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

        There once was a shepherd who had 100 totally depraved sheep.
        For one of the totally depraved sheep, the he dedicated a room in his house, ensuring it all the lush comforts his good house could provide.

        And the 99 totally depraved sheep, he sent to a torture chamber to be violently tortured to death.
        Once the shepherd’s good pleasure was accomplished, he turned to the 1 totally depraved sheep he had saved and said:

        “I saved the 1 totally depraved sheep and passed over the 99, because the 99 were totally depraved.” :-]

      7. THE CALVINIST – THE GROCERY CLERK – AND THE CHANGE.

        At a grocery store, a certain Calvinist, handed the clerk a $10.00 bill, to purchase a $3.00 item.
        The clerk dutifully gave the Calvinist back $2.59 using all kinds of coins.

        WAIT! Said the Calvinist. I gave you $10.00 for a $3.00 item – so you didn’t give me back ALL of my change!

        The clerk looked the Calvinist straight in the face and said: “That is wrong. I did give you back ALL of your change”

        No you didn’t! said the Calvinist – I can do simple math! And $2.59 is not ALL of my change!

        The clerk smiled and answered:
        You’re a Calvinist
        In Calvinist semantics ALL means “All kinds”.
        I gave you back “All kinds” of change.
        Therefore according to your own semantics – I gave you back ALL of your change. :-]

      8. br.d writes, “THE CALVINIST – THE GROCERY CLERK – AND THE CHANGE.”

        I guess you really don’t understand Calvinism. All kinds of change would have meant a variety of coins but they would have added up to $7.00. All kinds of people still add up to all of humanity.

      9. br.d writes, “THE CALVINIST – THE GROCERY CLERK – AND THE CHANGE.”

        rhutchin
        I guess you really don’t understand Calvinism. All kinds of change would have meant a variety of coins but they would have added up to $7.00. All kinds of people still add up to all of humanity.

        br.d
        That guess would be wrong.
        I understand Calvinism extremely well – and explain it more precisely than some Calvinists I know.
        But that’s only because I don’t have any need to masquerade it as something it isn’t.

        Now back to how Calvinism shifts the meaning of the logical term ALL – and turns it into its logical contrary SOME.

        Since its the case that Calvin’s god defines ALL as (SOME of all kinds)
        Then obviously he would want the Calvinist to get ALL of his change back in the form of (SOME of all kinds of coins).

        That’s only fitting – since in Calvinism’s double-speak world ALL = NOT ALL :-]

      10. br.d writes, “Then obviously he would want the Calvinist to get ALL of his change back in the form of (SOME of all kinds of coins). ”

        That’s what I said. You are not arguing against that. At least, you seem to understand this better, now.

      11. br.d
        “Then obviously he would want the Calvinist to get ALL of his change back in the form of (SOME of all kinds of coins). ”
        That’s only fitting – since in Calvinism’s double-speak world ALL = NOT ALL :-]

        rhutchin
        That’s what I said. You are not arguing against that. At least, you seem to understand this better, now.

        br.d
        Your thinking double-speak again.
        :
        Here is the TRUE logic:
        You no longer have ALL = ALL
        Because you’ve changed that for ALL equals SOME of ALL kinds
        So that is what the Calvinist gets for change
        Something other that ALL is what he gets.
        $2.95 fulfills that model perfectly.
        That’s what makes the Calvinist at the grocery store joke a good chuckle at Calvinism.

        But I know – Calvinists having their minds conditioned to embrace double-think want to have it both ways.
        They want ALL to NOT mean ALL – and at the same time they want ALL to mean ALL.
        Sorry – the law of non-contradiction doesn’t let one have that.

        When the Calvinist mind becomes thoroughly conditioned in its double-think – thinking in self-contradictions becomes their normalcy.
        That’s the way double-think works.

        Like I said – I know Calvinism extremely well! :-]

      12. br.d writes, “Calvinists having their minds conditioned to embrace double-think want to have it both ways.
        They want ALL to NOT mean ALL – and at the same time they want ALL to mean ALL.
        Sorry – the law of non-contradiction doesn’t let one have that.”

        The problem here is that br.d cannot explain what the contradiction is – he only opines continuously that there is one. The Calvinist understanding of “all” is compatible with context and br.d cannot show otherwise. He doesn’t even have his own definition of “all’ – at least, he hasn’t put one forth.

      13. br.d
        “Calvinists having their minds conditioned to embrace double-think want to have it both ways.
        They want ALL to NOT mean ALL – and at the same time they want ALL to mean ALL.
        Sorry – the law of non-contradiction doesn’t let one have that.”

        rhutchin
        The problem here is that br.d cannot explain what the contradiction is ….etc

        br.d
        Anyone who recognizes ALL = NOT ALL as a contradiction will recognize this as a pretty funny joke.

        Its not that Calvinists can’t UNDERSTAND what a contradiction is.
        Its that double-think is the process of EMBRACING contradictions as NON-contradictions.
        J.A. Packer following Calvinism’s classic strategy of RE-DEFINING TERMS, (this is called goalpost shifting) wants to re-define TRUE contradictions by calling them APPARENT contradictions.

        If one is so invested that they can’t discern ALL = NOT ALL as a contradiction – there is nothing I can do to help.

        The Grocery Store Joke is a humerus way of showing how Calvinism is fully invested in playing shell games with the meanings of words in scripture – in order to make verses mean what they want them to mean. When faced with verses they don’t like JWs will simply remove the offending word and replace it with the word of their choice.

        Calvinists can at least be thanked for not going that far.
        So instead of physically altering words – they simply change the MEANINGS of those words – to another words meaning.
        The most stark example is with their shifting the meaning of the word ALL in 1st Timothy 2:3 so that it means SOME.
        Then, in order to hide the fact that the MEANING of ALL has been shifted to SOME – they add the phrase “off all kinds” to the verse.

        But the critical thinker who understands categorical logic recognizes this resolves to ALL = NOT ALL.
        Which simply confirms Calvinism’s double-speak.

        Its quite understandable that an individual so invested – would not be able to see the resulting logical contradiction.
        So any further dialog with you on this issue is a waste.

      14. br.d writes, “But the critical thinker who understands categorical logic recognizes this resolves to ALL = NOT ALL.
        Which simply confirms Calvinism’s double-speak.”

        So, what exactly is wrong with the Calvinists defining all to be all as in ALL humanity = Jews plus gentiles.” Where is the double-speak in that?

      15. br.d writes, “But the critical thinker who understands categorical logic recognizes this resolves to ALL = NOT ALL.
        Which simply confirms Calvinism’s double-speak.”

        rhutchin
        So, what exactly is wrong with the Calvinists defining all to be all as in ALL humanity = Jews plus gentiles.” Where is the double-speak in that?

        br.d
        You consistently refer to statements as “wrong” – when logic focuses on whether a statement is “true” of “false”.

        A statement is “wrong” when it doesn’t conform to a Calvinist talking-point.
        Whether it is a false statement – is irrelevant.
        I understand this as a characteristic of Calvinist psychology.

        For the benefit of the Non-Calvinist reader:
        SOME Jews and gentiles does not equal ALL Jews and gentiles.
        Therefore it does not equal ALL humanity.
        It in fact equals SOME humanity.

        Which a person who isn’t invested in Calvinism’s practice of shifting word meanings in scripture would be able to recognize.
        But a Calvinist has a significant investment – and is thus predisposed to not understand.

        What you have in Calvinism is SOME humanity = Jews and gentiles
        And SOME does not equal ALL.
        Its just that simple.

        Nuf said. :-]

      16. br.d writes, “For the benefit of the Non-Calvinist reader:
        SOME Jews and gentiles does not equal ALL Jews and gentiles.
        Therefore it does not equal ALL humanity.
        It in fact equals SOME humanity.”

        Under Calvinism, Jews plus gentiles = ALL humanity or ALL men or the world.

      17. rutchin
        Under Calvinism, Jews plus gentiles = ALL humanity or ALL men or the world.

        br.d
        Yup – this is understood as SEMANTICS (i.e, talking-points).

        And the logic of it resolves to the following true statements:
        1) SOME Jews plus SOME gentiles = SOME humanity.
        2) SOME does not equal ALL
        3) SOME = NOT ALL

        And finally:
        3) ALL = NOT ALL is a clear and present contradiction.

        So Calvinism embraces contradictions – this is understood! :-]

      18. br.d writes, ‘So Calvinism embraces contradictions – this is understood!”

        Except that nothing you have said has anything to do with Calvinism. You merely express your personal opinion.

      19. A CALVINIST – THE HORSE – AND THE LIQUOR STORE

        A certain Calvinist drove his horse to the liquor store.

        At the check-out counter, the clerk while putting his bottles into the bag, smiled at the Calvinist and said:

        I noticed you permitted your horse to come to the liquor store.
        Would that be permission or “mere” permission? :-]

      20. br.d writes, “A CALVINIST – THE HORSE – AND THE LIQUOR STORE”

        More evidence that br.d does not understand Calvinism. “A certain Calvinist drove his horse…” That was grace. “For God who has compassion on them will lead them, And will guide them to springs of water.”

      21. br.d writes, “A CALVINIST – THE HORSE – AND THE LIQUOR STORE”

        rhutchin
        More evidence that br.d does not understand Calvinism. “A certain Calvinist drove his horse…” That was grace. “For God who has compassion on them will lead them, And will guide them to springs of water.”

        br.d
        Yes and remember – he makes going to springs of water “irresistible”.

        Now we notice (above) that “drove” and “guide” are used interchangeably to mean the same thing.

        And we must remember – in Calvinism ALL does not mean ALL – it means SOME of ALL kinds.
        So obviously Calvin’s god does not “drive/guide” ALL horses to springs of water.
        Only SOME of ALL kinds does he “drive/guide” to springs of water.

        Since it is the case that he “drives/guides” SOME horses to springs of water – under the universal claim that nothing can come to pass unless he specifically decrees it

        Then it follows that under that universal claim he also “drives/guides” a hole lot more horses to liquor stores.

        But of course in Calvinism that is called “PERMITTING” the horse to go to the liquor store.

        And lets not forget – just like the springs of water – he makes going to the liquor store “irresistible”. :-]

      22. br.d writes, ” in Calvinism ALL does not mean ALL – it means SOME of ALL kinds.”

        More evidence that you do not understand Calvinism. Calvinists define “ALL” to mean “ALL KINDS” at times. It is from all kinds that God chooses to save some of each kind – some Jews and some gentiles. This is no different that the non-Calvinist who defines “ALL” to mean each and every person and then has God saving some people.

        br.d writes, “Then it follows that under that universal claim he also “drives/guides” a hole lot more horses to liquor stores.”

        Or he could just let the horse go when it wants without interference from him. In Calvinism, this is called permitting. You should be able to understand this.

      23. br.d
        ” in Calvinism ALL does not mean ALL – it means SOME of ALL kinds.”

        rhutchin
        More evidence that you do not understand Calvinism. Calvinists define “ALL” to mean “ALL KINDS” at times.

        br.d
        Now your just adding a new term to introduce juggling words.

        Its very simple categorical logic:
        Calvinism asserts that ALL does not mean ALL – that is clear.
        As Calvin himself states – if his god willed ALL to be saved then ALL would be saved.
        He only wills SOME to be saved (of all kinds)
        SOME of all kinds – from every tribe, nation, tongue, etc.

        Because 1 Timothy 2:4 uses the word πάντας – which means ALL – and not the word ὃ which means SOME.
        So I can understand Calvinists need to play the shell game with the word ALL.

        I have an excellent grasp of categorical logic.
        And I think the Non-Calvinist reader who understands categorical logic will recognize the truth value of what I’ve stated.

        But more than that – I totally understand you want to have it both ways.
        You want to have [A] = [NOT A] because you want both of them at the same time.
        That’s the way double-think works.

        So I’m going to leave this dialog with you – since I’ve made it clear enough for the Non-Calvinist reader to grasp.

      24. br.d writes, “Because 1 Timothy 2:4 uses the word πάντας – which means ALL – and not the word ὃ which means SOME.”

        1 Timothy 2
        4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

        The Calvinist says that “all men” has the general meaning of both Jews and gentiles and in context refers back to v1-2 where we read, “…all men, for kings and all who are in authority, …”

        So God desires the salvation of both Jews and gentiles and even the salvation of kings and all who are in authority,

        Does God actually save “all” Jews and gentiles or just “some.” The Universalist says that God saves all Jews and gentiles; the non-Universalist says that God saves some Jews and gentiles but not all.

      25. br.d
        “Because 1 Timothy 2:4 uses the word πάντας – which means ALL – and not the word ὃ which means SOME.”

        rhutchin
        The Calvinist says that “all men” has the general meaning of both Jews and gentiles and in context refers back to v1-2 where we read, “…all men, for kings and all who are in authority, …”

        br.d
        Right – what we have here is the process of shifting the MEANINGS of words rather than physically altering them.

        Which logically equates to SOME Jews and gentiles
        Which logically equates to NOT ALL Jews and gentiles.
        Which logically equates to NOT ALL
        Which (withing the text) logically resolves to ALL = NOT ALL

        The Non-Calvinist critical thinker can understand this.
        So again – since you are psychologically invested otherwise – further dialog with you on this topic is pointless.

      26. br.d writes, “Right – what we have here is the process of shifting the MEANINGS of words rather than physically altering them.”

        Yes, there are two established positions on the term, “all men.” (1) “All men” means each and every person; (2) “All men” means Jews and gentiles.

      27. br.d
        “Right – what we have here is the process of shifting the MEANINGS of words rather than physically altering them.”

        rhutchin
        Yes, there are two established positions on the term, “all men.” (1) “All men” means each and every person; (2) “All men” means Jews and gentiles.

        br.d
        Right – and (1) and (2) each have their own unique logical outcomes.
        With (1) ALL = ALL
        With (2) ALL = NOT ALL

        Now it should be easy to see that one of these resolves into a logical contradiction.
        I’ll let let the reader guess which one it is. :-]

      28. br.d writes, ‘Now it should be easy to see that one of these resolves into a logical contradiction.”

        Unfortunately, br.d cannot explain what makes it a logical contradiction. Probably because it is not.

      29. Trying to show something to someone who is predisposed not to see it is futile.
        I’ll let the reader discern which statement contains is based on a semantic language trick – and resolves to crooked logic. :-]

      30. I suppose you are just toying with the mouse? 🙂

        So God desires ‘all men’ to come to the knowledge of the truth, but not really. He wants some of all, but he did not know how to say that, so he was forced to say ‘all’ when he really meant ‘some’. Some Jews. Some Gentiles. Some rulers. Some evildoers. The rest, he prefers to remain in ignorance and continue in their evildoing.

        Wait; remind me of why he desires (ordained) anyone to do evil at all, let alone remain in their evildoing if he neither desires or delights in evil, and does not have a wayward, rebellious people at hand thanks to granting them real freedom of choice? Of course, according to Calvinism, it’s all his doing, ordaining, permitting, fill-in-the-blanking – good, evil, whatsoever comes to pass and all that. Oh, right; it brings him glory. I keep forgetting how God needs evil to bring him glory. My bad.

      31. Right TSOO!
        This really dates back to Augustine – who synchronized Gnostic NeoPlatonism into Catholic doctrine.

        You’ve heard of the doctrine of “yin-yang”
        Here good and evil stand in opposition.
        But they also stand as co-equal in status.
        “yin-yang” is modern term – but is a derivative of ancient Gnostic NeoPlatonism

        Its important to recognize how good and evil having co-equal status – is an inherent characteristic of Calvinism.
        The doctrine of “yin-yang” can be seen in Auguste’s statment:

        -quote:
        Because this orderly arrangement maintains the HARMONY OF THE UNIVERSE by this very contrast, it comes about that evil things must need be. In this way, the BEAUTY OF ALL things is in a manner configured, as it were, from ANTITHESIS, that is, from opposites: this is pleasing to us even in discourse”. (ord 1.7.19)

        For this reason, the Gnostic NeoPlatonists called evil “beautiful”
        Augustine reiterates this with the phrase “the beauty of ALL things”

        Jonathon Edwards: “the shining forth of God’s glory would be very imperfect [without his shining forth of the glory of evils]…..the glory of his goodness, love, and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all”

        David Bentley Hart writes: “Frankly, any understanding of divine sovereignty so unsubtle that it requires the theologian to assert (as Calvin did) that God foreordained the fall of humanity so that his glory might be revealed in the predestined damnation of the derelict, is obviously problematic, and probably far more blasphemous than anything represented by the heresies that the ancient ecumenical councils confronted. ”

        Now from a logical perspective – its easy for me to see that incorporating this thinking into scripture – and arguing that it aligns itself with scripture – is going to require a whole lot of sophisticated double-speak.

        So this characteristic of “Antithesis” is one of the pronounced things Non-Calvinists observe in Calvinism

      32. To give them due credit, it is something of an art to be able to hold so many completely contradictory things to be true.

        God predetermined whatsoever comes to pass; man is responsible for his own free choices.
        God desires all men to be saved; having disabled all alike, God only enables some men to be saved.
        God sovereignly controls all things; God is not the author of evil.
        God curses all men with an inability to do well; God commands all men to do well or be punished.
        No man can choose to do well; God angrily punishes those who obediently do not do well.

        How DO they do that?

      33. TS00,

        To be honest they hold these contradictory views because they think that the Scripture teaches it.

        And that explains what we are doing here on these pages. Discussing their few gothca texts (40-50 verses) to see if they in fact require us to hold such contradictory views. I feel they dont.

        But again to be honest, we do hold some contradictory views. Christ is both God and man. God is one but in three persons.

        But in defense of that, when we are required to suspend our logical mind, it is about the NATURE of God. We cannot grasp it. I am okay with suspending some logic —- since God’s nature is so “beyond us.” But is everything He ever did as beyond us? Especially when He goes so out of His way sometimes to say things…

        “They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal–something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.” (Jer 19)

        No…. when He makes this kind of statement, many times …. and many ways …. in many books…. it is so we will understand something clearly about how He created. Some things happen that He did not want and did not plan. This part aint rocket science.

      34. Of course, if one were bold enough to take on christianity’s most sacred cow, they might point out that it was upon this institutionalized inconsistency that the scaffolding for Calvinism’s inconsistencies was erected. History suggests that the official, orthodox statement on the Trinity, enforced by loss of position and worse, has always had dissenters. While still viewed as heresy, it is just possible that even these beloved contradictions arise from the faulty thinking of men. This Nicene declaration was, arguably, the most pivotal moment for the institutional church; only time will tell if it was also a Trojan horse, granting both supreme authority to mere men to declare ‘orthodoxy’ (truth) and to compel men, even against personal conscience, to embrace contradiction. (Interestingly, it is Calvinists who have launched the most recent challenge to the orthodox teaching on the Trinity with their ESS.)

        I grant that there is much about God that is beyond our comprehension. Nor would I, for a moment, pretend to have understanding greater than those who were and are significantly more knowledgeable and wise than am I. But I tend to suspect that if, and when, our beliefs lead to logical contradiction they could very possibly be laced with human error.

      35. TS00,
        I get what you are saying. I have studied this idea a bit too.

        Years ago I noticed/studied that a lot of people in the old wild west of the US …. as they moved west….questioned the doctrine of the Triunity of God more and more…. They were scattered around…. but eventually got united in various movements that became Mormons, JWs etc.

        No problem for me breaking away from traditional orthodoxy on some things. But Scripture rules.

        I began a many-year study to look for the things said about God. I found that all of these things (100%) were also said about Christ. Indeed that is where I stand. Not on the orthodoxy of some council but on the idea that in Christ is found all that is ever stated about God.

      36. An intensive study on the subject is among the many on my ‘to do’ list. Until then, I acknowledge that what I believe has been essentially handed down to me, and not scrutinized minus preconceptions. I have read a little here, and a little there. As with Calvinism, it is only when you recognize how your lens uniquely shapes the meaning of the words you read that you become better equipped to grapple honestly with difficult concepts. Being, for the most part, a doctrine that is unlikely to have great effect on how I view God or live, and one that most acknowledge is difficult to understand, it is one to which I have little difficulty admitting uncertainty. As one doctor put it in discussing a complicated situation: ‘I’ve already told you more than I know.’ The dissenters among the Nicene crowd called for leeway, and my limited understanding suggests the same. I would agree with br.d. that at the very least one can question whether or not it actually presents a contradiction.

      37. TS00,
        Absolutely. Scrutinize Christ all you like! I recommend it!

        The more you fix your eyes on Christ the more you see He is unique. And the more you understand the message of the Bible.

        “Come unto me all who labor…. I will give you rest.”

        “When I am lifted up I will draw all men….”

        “For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

        “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

        “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

        “But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

      38. FOH
        But again to be honest, we do hold some contradictory views. Christ is both God and man. God is one but in three persons.

        Br.d
        Although embracing self-contradictions is something common to fallen man – theologians from early on resolved this one.

        A contradiction occurs when we take a TERM and conjoin (implicitly or explicitly) it with its NEGATION.

        The statement: “God exists in ONE person AND in THREE persons” – is a logical contradiction
        The statement: “There is only ONE god AND there are THREE gods” – is a logical contradiction.

        However, the statement: “One God – in three persons” – doesn’t do that – and therefore doesn’t resolve to a contradiction.

        Calvinists have a special problem in this regard.
        Since a significant percentage of their belief system exactly follows the mode I’ve detailed above – which is the mode of contradiction.

        Additionally, they have the problem of Calvin’s god himself (per their own descriptions) appearing to follow that mode.

        Calvinists here at SOT101 consistently describe Calvin’s god as:
        1) Treating things infallible AS-IF they are not infallible.
        2) Treating events that cannot defy what they were decreed to be AS-IF they can
        3) Treating creatures who think/say/do exactly what was decreed AS-IF they do not.

        Which raises the question whether or not Calvin’s deity (per their own descriptions) is simply a byproduct of their own thinking.

      39. Yes!
        Why all the double-think in Calvinism?

        The reason is pretty clear.
        The general narrative of scripture as well as the Calvinist’s every-day experience in life both presuppose INDETERMINISM.
        Yet the Calvinist is taught to reject INDETERMINISM – while claiming to be aligned with scripture.

        So they have a conundrum!
        John Calvin saw this conundrum head on – and his answer was to embrace double-think.
        He teaches:
        1) Calvin’s god determines ALL things IN EVERY PART.
        2) Go about your office AS-IF nothing is determined IN ANY PART

        But think about this TSOO:
        If Calvin’s god is simply a deity created in Calvin’s image – then what we will see – is him following Calvin’s instructions!
        And the descriptions of him which our Calvinists friends here provide – work perfectly to affirm that as the case.

        This is why I say – God must have given Calvinism to mankind as a form of entertainment :-]

      40. TS00 writes, “…so many completely contradictory things to be true.
        God predetermined whatsoever comes to pass; man is responsible for his own free choices.
        God desires all men to be saved; having disabled all alike, God only enables some men to be saved.
        God sovereignly controls all things; God is not the author of evil.
        God curses all men with an inability to do well; God commands all men to do well or be punished.
        No man can choose to do well; God angrily punishes those who obediently do not do well.
        How DO they do that?”

        Because people like you can’t seem to explain the contradictions, so why should anyone believe you when you claim they are contradictions?

      41. Thank you FoH and to all the other brothers for your supporting feedback.

        I have learnt from you all as your statements/responses in general have given me clarity on the scriptures.

        Thank you for your warning lol. Even responses that fall into that category have helped me to see where there’s been an erring. It all contributes to me learning, as I hear verses taught in ways that seem twisted to me I can gain even more clarity to the truth as I try to untwist it.

        Thanking God for His Word and this ministry that has been such a blessing!!

        Rgds
        Clare

      42. Thank you very much Clare for you sincere heart.
        Its wonderful to see sisters participating here at SOT101!

        As you’ve probably surmised by now – a large percentage of dialog here between Calvinists and Non-Calvinists is like two ships trying to pass cargo to one another – while passing each other in the dark of night.

        Calvinists have their own unique way of thinking and their own unique logic – which often resolves to whole lot of self-contradictions.
        Never the less – they are invested to the max in their unique world.

        If you’re interested in watching a youtube video which will help make that clear – here is one:

        Calvinism is intrinsically irrational – even an atheist can discern it.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5hrTkrd1JI

        blessings!

      43. Clare:
        Who says we are all “brothers”? We might be sisters! Women are welcome to contribute here too!

      44. I forgot to add, am also still learning, and so am happy to receive feedback on were maybe I’ve erred or my understanding is weak…….Because at end of the day, I want to hold on to truth, not the teachings of my imagination or men

      45. Clare Ansah writes, “The Father teaches ALL, from that group comes the EVERY MAN…… that hath heard (not only heard) AND LEARNS of the Father comes to Christ.By reason of their hearing and listening.”

        v37 – All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me.
        v44 – No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him.
        v45 – Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

        The term, “everyone,” refers back to “All that the Father gives” and encompass those whom God then draws. You however, make “all” to be every unbeliever – but nothing in the surrounding context provides for that conclusion

        Then, “So this is an example of people who The Father teaches but they didn’t listen nor learn from Him.”

        Is it? The term, “everyone,” most certainly draws context from the preceding verse and would be those drawn by God. Those drawn would, in context, be those God is giving to Christ. As Christ is addressing the failure of his audience to believe Him by saying “No one can come to me,” we see him explaining why some believe Him – they are being drawn by God. Whatever explanation one uses, we then have to go to Romans 8 and make the explanation work in the context of Romans 8.

      46. Hi

        44No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
        45It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

        Jesus (not I) says that no one can come to Him unless The Father draws them…. and Jesus backs up this claim by proven that the Prophets have written the same thing, when they (inspired by God ) said they shall All Be taught (not just the pre elect aka as you say the drawn) because the verse hasn’t finished there. Jesus goes on to say Everyone THEREFORE that heard and LEARNS, these are the ones that come to me (Jesus).

        If not you are saying that the ALL are the drawn ones and therefore the only ones that are taught. BUT
        Paul didn’t take it like that.
        He teaches that The All is Isreal not an elect few.
        In Rom 10
        two questions are asked
        Have they not heard, talking about those who rejected Christ ie whom don’t believe

        18¶But I say, Have they not heard? YES verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

        19¶But I say, Did not Israel know?
        And the answer is:
        21¶But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people

        So The Father did teach ALL but not everyone heard(listened) and learnt.
        Instead:
        3For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, HAVE NOT SUBMITTED THEMSELVES unto the righteousness of God.

        The problem Jesus says (and not I) is:
        John5:38And ye have not HIS WORD ABIDING IN YOU: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not

        This Word which if it was abiding in them would have caused them to believe in Jesus, whom The Father sent, is not a hidden word for the pre elect but The Scriptures which is for ALL. Jesus said (not I)

        John 5:39 KJV — Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

        Jesus (Not I) also revealed that the Father taught ALL not just the “drawn” aka the elect (by you)

        46For had ye believed Moses (he taught all Isreal), ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
        47But if ye believe not his writings ( which are for All Isreal), how shall ye believe my words?

        This is why I believe that ALL means ALL. And the Everyone is a sub group of All and are the drawn because they heard and learnt.
        This is why I reject the ALL being a pre elect drawn, because Jesus and The Apostles show that The Father taught ALL but not ALL listened nor learnt. And yet those that did, were given to Christ to grant eternal life, to be Kept and Raised up. They were given to Christ because The Father gave the responsibility of granting eternal life to Jesus. This was part of His 2nd mentioned will in
        John 5:40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

        The “everyone” in this verse is the same”everyone” of vs 45….. The subgroup of ALL who listened and learnt from The Father’s Teachings.

        Rgds
        Clare

      47. Clare Ansah writes, “Jesus goes on to say Everyone THEREFORE that heard and LEARNS, these are the ones that come to me (Jesus).”

        I think your point is that God draws each and every person to Christ and God does this by teaching them. Then, those who accept God’s teaching are the “everyone” of v45. My position is that God only draws His elect; God teaches them; every one of them then comes to Christ.

        You support your argument with Romans 10. I find Rom 10 a little difficult to understand as Paul strings several OT quotations together to make his argument. All that seems to be a lead in to Chap 1 , “I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means!” But then Paul says, “…God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened,…” Your conclusion is, “So The Father did teach ALL but not everyone heard(listened) and learnt.” I am not sure that Romans 10 supports your argument because I don’t see God teaching Israel but sending prophets, including Jesus, to preach to them. The only ones whom God would be teaching would be the “remnant according to God’s gracious choice.”

        So, we look at this from two different perspectives. I look at John 6 beginning in v37, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me,…” and take v37 to identify those drawn in v44 and taught by God in v45. You view v37differently in your analysis and get a different conclusion. So, we each know what the other is doing.

        Then, “This Word which if it was abiding in them would have caused them to believe in Jesus, whom The Father sent, is not a hidden word for the pre elect but The Scriptures which is for ALL.”

        I agree with this. The Scripture is preached to each and every person and not just to the elect. However, the act of preaching does not cause the word to abide in those hearing the preacher. We still need God/Holy Spirit to take action to cause the word to abide in a person. That takes us to v44-45.

        Then, “Jesus (Not I) also revealed that the Father taught ALL not just the “drawn” aka the elect (by you)”

        I don’t think so. v39 just says that the Jews studied the Scriptures and then rejected what those Scriptures said about Christ. There is no presumption that God teaches a person just because the person studies the Scriptures. Even today, many atheists study the Scriptures for no other reason that to ridicule those Scriptures. I don’t think God is teaching them in the sense of v45.

        Then, relying on 5:38-47, you write, “This is why I believe that ALL means ALL. And the Everyone is a sub group of All and are the drawn because they heard and learnt.
        This is why I reject the ALL being a pre elect drawn, because Jesus and The Apostles show that The Father taught ALL but not ALL listened nor learnt.”

        I take 5:38-47 to describe how the Jews studied the Scriptures, but Jesus points to Moses (or the law) and says, “…the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me.” Moses is the teacher here. I don’t see this describing what we read in 6:44-45.

        Then, “…those [who listened and learned from God], were given to Christ to grant eternal life, to be Kept and Raised up.”

        So, we have two different ways of looking at John 6. You say that v37 is a subset of v44-45 – All who listen to God and learn from God then believe in Christ whereupon God gives these people to Christ to come to Christ for eternal life. I make v44-45 the same as v37 – All whom God gives to Christ He then draws to Christ by teaching them; they then believe and come to Christ receiving eternal life.

        So, two positions, at least one of which is a wrong understanding.

      48. Wonderful post Clare!

        Let the SOT101 reader take note of how the verses Clare sighted DO NOT OPPOSE IN-DETERMINISM.

        And then take note of how Calvinism’s foundational premise DOES OPPOSE IN-DETERMINISM.

        This explains why Calvinists are forced into a mode of DOUBLE-SPEAK in order to stay aligned with scripture.

  25. JT writes,
    “Everyone can claim for that salvation, but the question is that, were they able to really possess it?”

    My reply – How then do you know that you are saved JT? If everyone can claim for that salvation, but then be questionable whether they really posses it? How do you know?

    I know, because I believe God’s promise to save the believer. When he says it, I believe it! I don’t have any doubts in God’s promises.

    it is sad that Calvinists really believe that somebody can be genuinely repent and believe Christ as their Lord & Savior, and yet posses a false assurance because they might not be elect. What a shaky foundation when you can’t even believe God’s promises.

    1. Damon
      How then do you know that you are saved JT?

      br.d
      This is a totally excellent question to ask a Calvinist Damon!

      Here is John Calvin’s answer:
      – quote: “In this church [of Calvinists] there is a VERY LARGE MIXTURE OF HYPOCRITES.
      Who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance.
      He [Calvin’s god] holds out salvation to these – as a savor of greater condemnation.
      And he will later strike them with greater blindness…..etc.

      So Calvin’s answer is – each Calvinist ASSUMES he is elect without really knowing if its true or not.
      Each one assumes he is elect – even though Calvin insists A LARGE MIXTURE of them are not.

      The Calvinist will typically say he has the confirmation of the Holy Spirit.
      But Calvin would then insist that that Calvinist must be deceived
      Because the Holy Spirit would not give confirmation to someone who is not elect.

      With a god like that – who needs Lucifer :-]

      1. Mr. “Logic Man” – I say to you, … Calvinists are the mostly assured when it comes to their Salvation. God is the one who saved them not man’s self-efforts. We don’t believe on falling away from the grace. God is the one who kept us and makes us persevere to the end. We operate the christian life through the grace of God.

      2. jtleosala
        Mr. “Logic Man” – I say to you, … Calvinists are the mostly assured when it comes to their Salvation. …..etc.

        br.d
        hmmm….if I am a “Logic man” then that would make Calvinists “Crooked logic men”

        John Calvin was ASSURED that within the Calvinist fold there are -quote “A LARGE MIXTURE OF HYPOCRITES who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance”.
        Calvin was ASSURED that salvation is held out to these Calvinists as a -quote SAVOR OF CONDEMNATION.
        And that at some time these Calvinists will be -quote STRICKEN WITH GREATER BLINDNESS.
        (Institutes 4.1.7)

        If a follower of John Calvin says he has an assurance of the opposite – then the question is who is correct?
        Who is the authority on being a Calvinist – John Calvin or his followers?

        If my analysis is correct – the answer will eventually boil down to double-speak. :-]

      3. Mr. Logic Man states : “With a god like that – who needs Lucifer :-]

        I say to you Mr. Logic Man,… I cannot afford to throw back to your face your statement above. I still consider you as a child of God even though we differ from our exchange of ideas here. This will not help benefit or uplift the readers in this blog. I just remind you of your promise to Brian.

      4. jtleosala
        I say to you Mr. Logic Man,… I cannot afford to throw back to your face your statement above. I still consider you as a child of God even though we differ from our exchange of ideas here. This will not help benefit or uplift the readers in this blog. I just remind you of your promise to Brian.

        br.d
        The Redundancy of Satan within the philosophy of Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) is already a well established logical consequence – pointed out here at SOT101
        https://soteriology101.com/2017/10/14/the-redundancy-of-satan-on-calvinism/

        As a suggestion from a standpoint of maturity: One does not do himself any favors by simply cherry-picking terms and phrases out of posts while evading the main point. SOT101 readers will recognize that as a simple reliance upon indoctrination.

    2. “Everyone can claim for that salvation, but the question is that, were they able to really possess it?”

      DG States : “My reply – How then do you know that you are saved JT? If everyone can claim for that salvation, but then be questionable whether they really posses it? How do you know?”

      “I know, because I believe God’s promise to save the believer. When he says it, I believe it! I don’t have any doubts in God’s promises.”

      ‘it is sad that Calvinists really believe that somebody can be genuinely repent and believe Christ as their Lord & Savior, and yet posses a false assurance because they might not be elect. What a shaky foundation when you can’t even believe God’s promises.”

      My Response to DG : Those who believes in the offer are those whom God the Father draws to the Son. Those who are not drawn to the Son are not picked by God. This is the assurance of this thing. I will also agree with you DG on your statement that you are assured of your Salvation because you believe in God’s promise of Salvation, i.e only true, if that Faith that you have activated in your life was the same Faith that was provided for you by God at the time of regeneration-(meaning not your own self-generated faith)

      1. JT Writes –
        “I will also agree with you DG on your statement that you are assured of your Salvation because you believe in God’s promise of Salvation, i.e only true, if that Faith that you have activated in your life was the same Faith that was provided for you by God at the time of regeneration-(meaning not your own self-generated faith)”

        But don’t you believe that God activates the faith JT? So why do you say that “you have activated in your life”? …..But then go on to say “not your own generated faith”

        You see, JT, this is why BRD points out the double speak so often. Who activates the faith JT? “you”or “God”….and if you say God, then why did you say “you”?

        Please understand that I believe that it is only by the grace of God that we can exercise faith toward Him, just as much as it is by the grace of God we can choose not exercise faith toward Him.

    3. DG to LT, “it is sad that Calvinists really believe that somebody can be genuinely repent and believe Christ as their Lord & Savior,…”

      Not genuinely repent. As Jesus said in Matthew 7, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;” Paul, in 2 Corinthians 7, reinforces this, “the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

  26. Whose statement is this one in this thread? : “Which those who are unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
    2 Peter 3:16”

    He is the one unstable twisting this verse. The verse within its context tells about those scoffers who are inflicting doubts to the believers (Peter’s audience) on the issue of the validity of the promise of the Second Coming of Christ. The verse has nothing to say about his theology of “Universal Salvation” with reference to the word used “everyone” in 2 Peter 3:16.

    1. The answer is – review the post I was responding to.

      Again – there is a categorical difference between the word ALL and the word SOME.

      Take for example ALL men have fallen short of the glory.
      Now replace that with SOME men have fallen short of the glory.
      The Holy Spirit certainly knows the difference.

      Calvinism’s twisting of word meanings in scripture doesn’t work.

  27. JT Writes,

    “2. To offer Salvation for the entire human race will mean that :”

    My reply – Notice that the Calvinists here acknowledges that the offer of salvation is not even to the whole human race…….maybe he and Rhutchin can go toe to toe on that one….but what’s the bet Rhutchin doesn’t say anything.

    JT – “2.1 Christ’s death on Calvary does not work, ineffective, empotent to those who reject.”

    My reply – Because they reject the free gift. There is nothing wrong with the gift. Rejecting a gift does not make a gift anything less than a gift. If I receive a forced “gift” against my will, well I won’t be calling it a gift! because I didn’t want it.

    JT – “2.2 Christ’s blood that was paid for their sins (includes those who reject) is just a mess and becomes powerless to them due to the choice they have made for themselves.”

    My reply – Who said that rejecting Christ’s blood makes the blood a mess? Scripture and verse please? …….or “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” Hebrews 10:29.
    Are you saying that men cannot tread under foot the blood of Christ? When the bible clearly says you can.

    JT – “2.3 It will become as a “double payment” and “double punishment”, why? because those who reject Christ are as till to be thrown to hell as a punishment and payment for their acts even though Christ has already been punished and paid for them at the cross of calvary.”

    My reply – See Hebrews 10:29 above.

    1. JT – “2.1 Christ’s death on Calvary does not work, ineffective, impotent to those who reject.”

      DG replied : – “Because they reject the free gift. There is nothing wrong with the gift. Rejecting a gift does not make a gift anything less than a gift. If I receive a forced “gift” against my will, well I won’t be calling it a gift! because I didn’t want it.

      My response to DG : You affirmed that it is a “gift” offered, but you don’t call it as a gift. BR.D. your ally, … (I hope he will not to consent) will chasten you for being illogical on your statement here.

      The elect Israel cannot resist/reject the offer, they will acknowledge Christ as their Messiah even at the last moments of God’s timeframe. Supported Rev. chap 7.

      1. JT Writes,

        DG replied : – “Because they reject the free gift. There is nothing wrong with the gift. Rejecting a gift does not make a gift anything less than a gift. If I receive a forced “gift” against my will, well I won’t be calling it a gift! because I didn’t want it.

        My response to DG : You affirmed that it is a “gift” offered, but you don’t call it as a gift. BR.D. your ally, … (I hope he will not to consent) will chasten you for being illogical on your statement here.

        My reply – Nice try JT. Now what I actually said was “if I received a forced gift against my will”, which I didn’t, The gift I received was offered to me and I accepted it, so therefore can be called a gift. If it was just shoved in my face while kicking and screaming like the gift you received, well then I personally wouldn’t call it a “gift”.

        The gift I received always looked good, and that’s why I received it! The gift you received forced you look at it as good. What sort of “gift” is that? That’s the difference.

  28. That is why, Christ does not offer His life to the entire human race. He states that: “He only offer His life to the sheep” … so that His atonement, His Blood poured on the cross of Calvary will not come into a mess or become ineffective. In other words His over-all work at the cross will work only to the elect groups of people coming from the different nations, tongues scattered all over the world.This is God’s Plan concerning Salvation that will surely come to pass. It is only a false assurance if you continue holding on to the “universalism” theology.

  29. DG states : “But don’t you believe that God activates the faith JT? So why do you say that “you have activated in your life”? …..But then go on to say “not your own generated faith”

    “You see, JT, this is why BRD points out the double speak so often. Who activates the faith JT? “you”or “God”….and if you say God, then why did you say “you”?

    My Response to DG : You might misunderstood me DG. I am directing that pronoun “YOU” to yourself, your faith, not mine. You are the one who needs to answer that question. Who activates your God given faith, is it You or God? The other question is : Who activated your “own self-generated faith” ?

    1. JT,

      I have already answered that silly question. I will say it again – It is by the grace of God that anyone can either accept or reject Christ as Savior. It is by the grace of God in Jesus Christ that anybody can exercise faith toward God. It is by the grace of God in Jesus Christ that those same anybody’s can reject God. That is God’s activated plan of Salvation.

      If you don’t like it JT, then take it up with God, not me. He states the way of Salvation, not the Calvinist.

      The reason I have probably misunderstood you JT, is because as you have stated your theology is “against the rules of logic”. So it doesn’t matter what I say, I will never receive a logical response 🙂

      1. So… until now DG, you still refuse to accept your illogical statement, i.e. affirmed a “a gift” but “not a gift”. It means that your ally BR.D. doesn’t truly loves you. He is cuddling you of your errors.

      2. jtleosala
        So… until now DG, you still refuse to accept your illogical statement, i.e. affirmed a “a gift” but “not a gift”. It means that your ally BR.D. doesn’t truly loves you. He is cuddling you of your errors.

        br.d
        Damon’s logic is fine. Calvinism’s logic is crooked.
        A gift is by definition something its recipient can accept or refuse.
        If it cannot be rejected or refused – then it does not meet the criteria for being a gift.

        Cain and Able both offered gifts of sacrifice to the Lord.
        The Lord accepted Able’s gift offering and rejected Cain’s.

        According to Calvinism’s crooked human logic – the Lord would not have not had the liberty to reject Cain’s offering – because a gift cannot be rejected.

        Calvinists are word jugglers.
        And most of it is double-speak, crooked logic, and scripture twisting.

      3. br.d
        According to Calvinism’s crooked human logic – the Lord would not have not had the liberty to reject Cain’s offering – because a gift cannot be rejected.

        I see this statement is not exactly correct – since the argument was made that the creature cannot ACCEPT something given unless the THEOS makes/enables etc the creature do so.

        Damon’s argument was – if something given cannot be REJECTED then it is not a gift.
        The Calvinist shifted the point to focus on something being ACCEPTED.

        So back to Damon’s point: If something cannot be REJECTED – then it does not meet the criteria of being a gift.
        This is sound logic.

        Additionally, Calvinism’s logic back-fires on itself.
        According to their logic – sin and damnation would be classified as gifts – and the THEOS does not give the creature the liberty to reject them.

      4. Actually, BrD, I agree with Jtle that a gift can be given irresistibly… the definition of the term “gift” cannot be limited to only those things actively received. Think of cpr to an unconscious person.

        But reception by faith should be defined as always active and not passive… especially when one looks closely at the word “receive” (lambano) in Greek. It is always active, cognitive reception.

      5. I tend to agree that, technically, a gift that ‘cannot be refused’ is not a gift in the commonly recognized sense. Although we have become accustomed to referring to ‘the gift’ of life, I consider this misleading, perhaps deliberately so by our masterful deceiver.

        In a sense, even life, this pearl of great price, only possible by the ‘giving’ of God, is rejectable, as the history of human existence, replete with its misery and death demonstrates. God provided us with this incomparable, unthinkable gift, intending us to walk rightly with him for eternity. Yet, ignoring his warning, we believed and continue to believe the slander of Satan: ‘God is not really good, he is not warning you to resist sin for your own sake. He is concerned for his own glory, worried that you will become like him, and no longer need him. He is deliberately withholding ‘the best’ from you, keeping you in ignorance and dependency.’

        Sadly, this same sort of slander is presented in many of the claims of Calvinism.

        Thus, we could, and did throw God’s gift back in his face, and chose sin, rebellion and death rather than a peaceful, loving coexistence with the heavenly Father who made us and loves us. So he took his ball and went home. No. Okay, he decided to start over with a chosen people, and love only them and provide to them, and only them, all that he desired to give. No, that was the error of the Judaizers, and it is the same error that Calvinists make; they claim that the elitism and exclusivity rejected by Jesus and the apostles is made acceptable by changing it into ‘all kinds’ of [chosen] people. (Apparently, exclusivism is only wrong if it is racist.)

        But God, who IS love, cannot help but freely give love. He offered mankind a second chance. He provided forgiveness for sin, so that we need no longer fear the frightful penalty, which is death. This allows us to look upon him, once again, without fear, knowing not only that he has more wisdom, power and incomprehensibleness than we can wrap our arms around, but that he has a love for us that is so deep, so wide, so limitless that he would do the unthinkable – offer up his own Son to suffer tragically in our place; that we might, once again, have access to that gift of life that we forfeited. It is only those who stubbornly refuse this most costly gift, this second chance, who will, by their own hands, make themselves fit only for destruction.

        This, God does not desire for anyone, as he states repeatedly and quite unequivocally. He genuinely calls, urges and pleads with men to turn from wickedness, which only produces death, and embrace goodness, justice and love, which lead to life. On another forum, a Calvinist asserted that, since ‘free will’ was so essential, there must be the possibility of ‘falling out of heaven’. This, however, is simply based upon misconception. First, because all things will become new, there will be no more in existence a place in which God’s will is not done – heaven and earth will be one. Second, this state of affairs, though produced by the power of God, will indeed be inhabited by us of our own ‘free will’, for our will will have become indeed, and at last, like that of Jesus:

        ‘Not my will, but thine, be done.’

        Thanks be to God, and may it be ever so soon. Amen.

      6. Yes Brian,
        There are many verbs in addition to “receive” that show that the action is not passive on the believer’s part:

        Call upon, repent, turn, believe, received, return, come unto me, draw near…. and many others.

        What about the ones done by the proclaimer of the good news?

        Persuade, convince, reason with, appeal, implore ….

        All of these do away with the passive idea (just drug along “irresistibly”).

        Calvinists want to say that all of these “active” verbs take place after the “passive” action (think: after the CPR you mentioned…i.e. he is revived and then freely makes these active choices).

        There are several problems with their idea:

        1. There is no indication in Scripture that we need the CPR before we can believe (Zechariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1) were blameless per the Scripture). (Yours was a good example, but by no means applies to everyone).

        2. Sometimes there are years and years taking place (let’s say 8 years) when a person is obviously open to the things of God and when he accepts Christ. Think of a person reading his Bible and going to Bible study for 8 years before he finally comes to Christ. He was obviously “seeking” Christ during all those 8 years (not “too-dead” and not calling it “foolishness” all 8 years). But since it took him 8 years to repent and turn to Christ…. the “ordo salutis” (Calvinists love their Latin!!!) does not fit Calvinism. RH has told us numerous times that the “regeneration precedes faith” happens almost instantaneously from the salvation. Do we say then that this “too-dead” seeker was “not seeking” for those 8 years? His “‘seeking” only counts in the minutes before he accepts Christ!? He was “not seeking” and called it “foolishness” right up until the minute he was regenerated, then saved instantly? Wow.

        3. Using the CPR as a “regeneration” concept —- that does not insure that the revived person will then follow that CPR-giver. That is where the irresistible part comes in. Taking that CPR example further….. that would then give the CPR-giver the right to say to the revived…. “You must now follow me everywhere as my servant.” “Nah, thanks for the air bro, but I’m going this way.”

        When that revived person has to THEN accept any following gift irresistibly — that is when the “gift” idea breaks down.

      7. Thanks Brian,
        There are some different points here.
        When we are talking about CPR (within the scheme of Calvinism) aren’t we moving too close to the grey edge of propriety in our definition?

        Firstly, if a person has filled out an end-of-life directive for example, no CPR would be performed in order to respect his wishes.
        So respect of one’s wishes takes president.
        And we would say this president is derived from Biblical/Christian ethics – (not found within Calvinism’s scheme).

        Secondly, since it is the case that the creature’s condition is caused by Calvin’s god’s decree.
        Then the “unsaved” condition as well as the “saved” condition are both equal in ethical status.

        To follow that line of reasoning, take for example the well known argument:
        Calvin’s god rushes to go put out the fire which he himself started.
        Do we thank someone for putting out the fire he started – or do we thank Biblical/Christian ethics?

        Can we then honestly state that his putting out the very fire he started qualifies as a gift?
        Somehow I think such a claim would fall short of coming under the rubric of Biblical/Christian ethics.
        And in Calvinism’s case certainly such a definition is tainted.

        Additionally since the line of demarcation between good and evil (taught by Jesus) is obliterated in Theological Determinism – if a decree of salvation is classified a gift, then to be logically consistent, everything decreed, including sin, damnation etc would also meet that qualification – since good and evil within Calvinism stand in co-equal status as byproducts of the divine will.

      8. BrD… I was just saying that logically gifts can be received passively. I actually believe regeneration is a passively received gift after the condition of personal faith is exercised in the gift of truth about God’s mercy. And I don’t believe regeneration can be rejected after it is received.

        There are other gifts that can be given passively. One can become an owner to an inheritance passively. He of course must personally confirm his ownership or actively reject it, but he was legally recognized as owner without his prior approval.

        We receive many blessings from God passively daily imo.

      9. Yes I agree with what you’ve said.
        Lazarus for example received a revival of life passively – although it was only temporary – and for a special testimony of the Father working in Jesus. And the girl whom Jesus brought back.

        But would Jesus do such things to individuals knowing that that individual would reject it – if they could?
        Doesn’t sound like Jesus does it?

        If we review the preponderance of miracles by Jesus – what we find – is him giving people commands as a preliminary qualification to receive regeneration gifts of various sorts. And in the case of the 10 lepers Jesus retorts about the 9 who did not return to thank him. This is a pretty clear indication that God expects people to be not only intelligent willing recipients of his regenerative love – but that they be thankful also.

        Calvinism’s scheme makes all of that a farce – since a human robot will call something a gift and be thankful simply because he was programmed by immutable decrees to do so.

        But yes – I understand what you’re saying. :-]

        Good conversation to flesh out the particulars in this topic.

      10. br.d,
        You gave me a hankerin’ to look at the Story of the Ten Lepers in Luke 17.

        13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” [were they “too-dead” to ask? Did He give them faith to cry out? Kind of changes the story, right?]

        14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. [Notice that their remedy was conditional— like at Passover, when they had to apply the blood. They had to go show the priests. No “going and showing” no healing.]

        15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.

        17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” [Looks like Calvinist teach that God gives them the irresistible-faith to ask for help, but not the good sense to thank God for it. Kinda wrecks the story again.]

        19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” [ And once again Jesus closes off one of His healing times with the famous “Your faith has made you well.” Does He ever say “The faith I gave you so you could ask for help has made you well.”? Nah, that would defeat the point of the story!]

      11. Scripture has a way of being a blessing!

        It was my reading through the Bible each year as a young Calvinist that helped me realize that the theme of the Bible, the tenor of the Bible, and certainly the-nearly-100% of Bible verses do not support man-made Calvinism.

        Sure, you can find 40-50 verses and interpret them exclusively one way and scaffold this man-made idea on that, but, that’s no fun reading the Bible every day, saying to yourself “this passage doesn’t make sense if I’m a Calvinist.”

        I have to admit it was hard. It was hard to wrench free, cuz one is totally convinced that Calvinism is the “God-honoring” system, and any other idea is just an unbiblical, man-centered idea. Nah, it ain’t ….. Just look at what God says Himself in so many places and ways!

      12. FOH
        When that revived person has to THEN accept any following gift irresistibly — that is when the “gift” idea breaks down.

        br.d
        I think FOH has a point here.

        Say I programmed a human robot to think and say “thank you” after I recharged his battery.
        He calls it a gift only because I programmed him to perceive it as a gift and call it that.
        Does that really qualify as meeting the definition of a REAL gift – from a Biblical/Christian perspective?

        In Calvinism a person perceives something as X – only when Calvin’s god decrees his neurological impulses to do so.
        I find it hard to classify that as meeting the definition of a REAL gift – from the perspective of Biblical/Christian ethics?

  30. I guess you won’t be sending Brd a Christmas card this year.:) ………..just like I said, I will never receive a logical response.

    1. Christmas cards are no longer in existence nowadays DG in most of the bookstore outlets. Anyway, its just a matter of emotions and exchange of ideas here. Not really an enemy. Christ said that we must love each other.

    2. With this idea of receiving a gift I can give a good example. My brother is a Paramedic. He tells me that sometimes they arrive at a heroin overdosed man and have to give him a dose of Adrenalin to reverse the affects to save his life.
      My brother tells me that they have a police unit called to meet them there because of the response that may happen upon the reversal. Some addicts are immediately sober and get up swinging punches because the Paramedic has ruined his heroin hit. Other addicts are immediately sober and can’t thank the Paramedics enough for saving his life.

      Yes it was a free gift, but the addict throwing punches refuse to call it a gift. To them it wasn’t a gift.

      The one addict takes all the help he is offered, his life is saved and enrolls in a recovery program. The other addict walks away and takes another hit of heroin and they usually find him dead.

      The Gospel (the Adrenalin), The illumination of it (When shown what it has accomplished), The saved life (A life then lived in the Spirit which includes the recovery program), are all the free gift to every man. The response is just the free response of each recipient.

      I think it is at this point we can say along with the Paramedics – “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” 1 Corinthians 1:18.

      Yet under the Calvinist system the Paramedics are only reviving (forcing the gospel) on the ones that were predetermined to irresistibly be revived. There’s no need for the police to be called because the response will always be as it was predetermined to be. All the while the paramedics “pass over” all the unconscious addicts and leave them to die because they were not predetermined to receive even the gospel or the illumination of it from before they were addicts.

      1. Damon:
        Some addicts are immediately sober and get up swinging punches because the Paramedic has ruined his heroin hit. Other addicts are immediately sober and can’t thank the Paramedics enough for saving his life.

        br.d
        A wonderful analogy!!!
        And I think it really fits.
        Would Jesus perform a miracle on someone whom he knew didn’t want it.

      2. DG writes, “Yes it was a free gift, but the addict throwing punches refuse to call it a gift. To them it wasn’t a gift.”

        Or, the addict just didn’t like the gift. He complains about the gift but was not asked if he wanted the gift – it was just given to him. Of course, no one comes up swinging when the Holy Spirit raises them from the deadness of their sins.

  31. The whole point of Rom3 from what I can see, is just to prove to the Jews from their own law that they are not Righteous. IE JUSTIFIED as Righteous through the Law, they also are sinners in Gods eye, just like the obvious Gentiles.

    In this chapter Paul is not speaking about all humanity as such.

    TALKING TO THE JEWS:…
    VS9¶What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; ( Gentilies have been addressed prior when Paul talks about their conscience accusing them)

    ADDRESSING THE JEWS:
    10¶As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
    12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
    13Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
    14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
    15Their feet are swift to shed blood:
    16Destruction and misery are in their ways:
    17And the way of peace have they not known:
    18There is no fear of God before their eyes.

    VS 19 BELOW, SHOWS THAT THE ABOVE IS AIMED AT THE JEWS
    19¶Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law:(I.E.THE JEWS) that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

    20 THEREFORE BY THE DEEDS OF THE LAW there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
    21¶But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: ….

    CONCLUSION: ALL HAVE SINNED…. NOT ALL ARE INCAPABLE OF RESPONDING TO GOD THROUGH FAITH

    ….for there is no difference:
    23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

    THEREFORE ALL APPLIES TO THIS VERSE BELOW
    24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:….( etc)

    IT DOESN’T SAY JUSTIFIED….THROUGH IRRESISTIBLE GRACE, OR REGENERATION BEFORE FAITH

    This is what I’ve observed through the reading of this chapter

    1. Funny meme br.d!

      But real question! Why does the Scripture say it is difficult for the rich? That misleads us right? We read it and naturally think that a rich man wont want to give up his riches…. but according to Calvinism that makes no difference at all!

      Yet another passage of scripture renders senseless by Calvinism.

      1. Yup! Absolutely right FOH!

        And for the same reason Calvin’s god commands Adam to obey – after having decreed Adam infallibly do the opposite.
        Deceiving Adam into believing he desired obedience when he secretly willed the opposite.

        Based on Calvinism’s interpretation of that event – how can any Calvinist trust what the god of scripture tells them?
        They read assurances in scripture – but they have no assurance that he hasn’t secretly decreed the opposite for them.
        If that’s the way he communicated to Adam and Israel – whose to say he’s not communicating the opposite of his will to them.

        A human being cannot trust what he cannot know.
        And Calvin’s god’s decisions concerning every soul are hidden behind the veil of the secret counsel of his will.
        Up until the point a Calvinist discovers what has been decreed as his eternal fate – he might as well assume the best and hope its not the worst.

        That’s the extent of the “good news” for them I’m afraid.

      2. Yes br.d,

        Speaking of “commanding Adam to obey – after having decreed Adam infallibly do the opposite…”

        TS00 has these long quotes by Calvinist Palmer saying himself how ridiculous Calvinism and compatibalism are.

        They really, really double down on the idea that God ordains/decrees/ wills all things but man is responsible for the sin part. RH loves to triple down on this and say that it’s cuz man is doing what he naturally does: all-sin-only-sin-all-the-time.

        But Adam presents a problem…. cuz he did not have that sinful nature that RH pins everything on.

        So, either God “commands Adam to obey – after having decreed Adam infallibly do the opposite,” or God truly does give sinless Adam a free choice (meaning he could have chosen not to sin—and still be in the garden smelling the daisies). I have room in my theology for a free-choice Adam. Calvinism does not.

        Furthermore, their no-free-choice Adam is (like you said) commanded to obey – after God decrees that he will not obey.

      3. Yes I know RH is simply playing a mental evasion game – very much a form of magical thinking.
        RH doesn’t want to come out and actually acknowledge a foundational assertion of the doctrine of the decrees
        That Calvin’s god MUST have decreed Adam’s disobedience – in order for it to come to pass.

        The double-speak comes in where they wan to believe that Calvin’s god can decree something to both exist and NOT exist at the same time.
        AS-IF Calvin’s god can create square-circles, married-bachelors, immaterial-material and false-truth.

        The bottom line:
        Nothing exists that is not decreed to exist.
        If something does not exist – then it is not available to Adam.
        Calvin’s god cannot decree something to exist and at the same time decree it NOT to exist
        Because one decree cancels out the other.

        Therefore
        Calvin’s god cannot decree Adam’s obedience as what will come to pass – and also decree Adam’s disobedience as what will come to pass
        Because one decree will cancel out the other.

        John Calvin himself insists that Adam’s disobedience was what was decreed – and not the other.
        In Calvin’s day there were very few of his followers who would be queezy about asserting that.
        So he had no qualms at all about asserting it strongly.

        And those Calvinists who tried to weasel out of it in his day – he charged them with “Frivolous Refuge”

      4. br.d writes, ‘Based on Calvinism’s interpretation of that event – how can any Calvinist trust what the god of scripture tells them?”

        We can trust God to tell us the truth. To Adam, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” To people. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.”

      5. rhutchin
        We can trust God to tell us the truth. ….To Adam, – “from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat”…

        br.d
        Thanks for posting this.
        Its a very good example of evading logic in order to embrace magical thinking.

        While Calvin’s god told Adam those words – he knew that he had (at the foundation of the world) decreed what would exist for Adam – the opposite of what he communicated to Adam.

        Its understandable that Calvinists will try to hide behind self-contradicting double-speak.
        Its an obvious psychological burden to know that Calvin’s god may say one thing to a Calvinist having previously decreed its opposite.

        Calvin calls a Calvinist trying to weasel out of the doctrine of decrees “Frivolous Refuge”

        The good knows is – readers of SOT101 get excellent examples of Calvinism’s world of double-speak

      6. nr.d writes, “While Calvin’s god told Adam those words – he knew that he had (at the foundation of the world) decreed what would exist for Adam – the opposite of what he communicated to Adam. ”

        this is a false statement. God communicated the truth to Adam. Your complaint seems to be that God did not tell Adam everything in excruciating detail that was going to happen.

      7. br.d “While Calvin’s god told Adam those words – he knew that he had (at the foundation of the world) decreed what would exist for Adam – the opposite of what he communicated to Adam. ”

        rhutchin
        this is a false statement.

        br.d
        If this is a false statement – the burden is on you to show how/where it is false.

        rhutchin
        Your complaint seems to be that God did not tell Adam everything in excruciating detail that was going to happen.

        br.d
        Attributing a logical statement as a “complaint” is fallacious.
        You’re not doing yourself any favors by it.

        Secondly, you use the phrase “excruciating detail”.
        And I agree – it would be “excruciating” for Adam if Calvin’s god divulged that he had already “rendered certain” Adam’s disobedience while he communicated the opposite to Adam.

        Your euphemistic way of phrasing Calvin’s gods presentation to Adam doesn’t work for me.
        He lead Adam to believe he WiLLED Adam’s obedience – when his **SECRET** WiLL was the opposite.
        According to Biblical Ethics – such an act is a manifestation of a deciever.

        And that manifestation parrallels the model of language we observe Calvinists operating in.

        Psalms 115:8
        “They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.”

  32. I pointed out that RHutchin contradicted himself about whether the Spirit convicts the non-elect. He replied, “The earlier discussion concerned Acts 17:30…”

    Actually, when you mentioned people resisting the Spirit’s conviction, it was in response to my point about John 16:8 (refer back to your post on September 30). Thus, to show that the non-elect are the intended recipients of the Spirit’s work, I need only quote your earlier post. 😊

    RHutchin: “We can take ‘world’ in John 16 also to mean Jew and gentile. Who is the Spirit convicting?”

    According to your earlier post, the Spirit is convicting everyone, including the non-elect (otherwise how could they “resist the Spirit’s conviction”?). Moreover, your Jew/Gentile interpretation is little more than a smokescreen, since you previously said, “All people who exist are descended from Adam and Eve and can be divided into two groups – Jews and gentiles.” If “world” equals “Jews and Gentiles” and “Jews and Gentiles” equal “all people who exist,” then by your logic, the Holy Spirit convicts all people who exist.

    RHutchin: “It is because people reject this command and do not repent that the need arises for the Holy Spirit to convict those whom God is giving to Christ.”

    If the Spirit only convicts the elect (as you are implying), you must believe that “world” means “only the elect” in John 16:8. The Bible does not permit this interpretation. After Jesus said the Holy Spirit would convict the world, He referred to Satan as “the ruler of this world” (John 16:11). If “world” means “only the elect,” that means Satan is ruler only of the elect!

    1. LS8 writes, “If the Spirit only convicts the elect (as you are implying), you must believe that “world” means “only the elect” in John 16:8. The Bible does not permit this interpretation.”

      The term, “world,” generally refers to people in the world, and people in the world can be identified as Jews and gentiles. One who is in the world is either a Jew or a gentile. That the Holy Spirit convicts the world means only that the Spirit convicts both Jews and gentiles generally but not specifically each and every Jew and gentile. The Holy Spirit will specifically convict those whom God has given to Christ per John 6:37.

      In Acts 17:30, “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent,…” This is accomplished through the preaching of the gospel. The gospel is proclaimed to all – each and every person whether Jew or gentile, elect or non-elect (obviously those within the hearing of the preacher). That is a separate activity from the work of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin even though the Holy Spirit works through that same preaching – the Holy Spirit’s target would be those God is giving to Christ.

      Then, “According to your earlier post, the Spirit is convicting everyone, including the non-elect (otherwise how could they “resist the Spirit’s conviction”?). ”

      Let me correct any confusion I caused. The Spirit is only convicting those whom God has given to Christ per John 6:37. Through the preaching of the gospel or through the law, each and every person is called/commanded to repent and believe the gospel. As Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 1, “the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness,…” then, Paul adds, ” but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Those who are being saved are the ones whom the Holy Spirit is convicting of sin and in this context would not be each and every person.

      Then, “Moreover, your Jew/Gentile interpretation is little more than a smokescreen, since you previously said, “All people who exist are descended from Adam and Eve and can be divided into two groups – Jews and gentiles.” If “world” equals “Jews and Gentiles” and “Jews and Gentiles” equal “all people who exist,” then by your logic, the Holy Spirit convicts all people who exist.”

      Not necessarily. The Holy Spirit can be described as convicting both jew and gentile of sin without convicting each and every Jew and gentile of sin. We read, “The Pharisees therefore said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.” He did not mean that each and every person in the world was going after Christ or that each and every person in the vicinity was going to Christ as obviously, the Pharisees were not. What he meant was that both Jews and gentiles were going after Christ and doing so in great numbers (even though we know that maybe only about 500 were following Christ at the end (1 Corinthians 15). The great numbers being saved after the Holy Spirit was given (and began convicting the world of sin) also supports the use of hyperbole by the Pharisee.

      Call it a smoke screen if you want. It only contrasts the opinion of some that “world” must mean each and every person.

      1. RHutchin continues to contradict himself depending on which of my arguments he is addressing.

        RHutchin: “Through the preaching of the gospel or through the law, each and every person is called/commanded to repent and believe the gospel.”

        So now you’re back to saying all people are called by God to believe the gospel. This contradicts what you wrote on October 5: “[T]he invitation is not to the non-elect but to the elect – those God has given to Christ per John 6.” And that post, of course, contradicted your October 2 claim that “God invites all people to come to Christ…” You are back to the problem of Christ “inviting” dead Lazarus to exit the tomb without enabling Lazarus to do so.

        RHutchin: “Those who are being saved are the ones whom the Holy Spirit is convicting of sin and in this context would not be each and every person.”

        So I guess, contrary to your September 30 post, there is no such thing as a person who “resists the Spirit’s conviction.” The elect can’t resist it and the non-elect never experience it.

        RHutchin: “We read, ‘The Pharisees therefore said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.’ He did not mean that each and every person in the world was going after Christ…”

        This is the fallacy of irrelevant thesis again. The words of Jesus’ enemies in John 12 have nothing to do with what Christ said in John 16. As I pointed out earlier, if Jesus meant “only the elect” in John 16, it would mean Satan is ruler only of the elect (John 16:11). Are you suggesting Jesus drastically changed the meaning of “world” in three short verses without explaining Himself? Did He expect His disciples to somehow know that “world” meant “only the elect” in one breath and “all unbelievers” in the next?

      2. LS8,
        Woah….. we tried to tell you.

        I you were to take all the stuff said by RH on one thread and compare it to other stuff on another thread (actually sometimes on the same thread) …..you would see MANY contradictions.

        I think br.d tried this for a while, but there were just too many.

      3. FOH speaks the truth.
        I scrutinize rhutchin’s language with an eagle eye – and he knows it.
        He’s very careful to use as many weasel words and phrases as he possibly can think up.

        Calvinism is heavily reliant upon the use of INFERENTIAL language.
        They need X to be TRUE in one argument – and they need X to be FALSE in another

        This is accomplished by using INFERENTIAL sentence framing.
        Using INFERENTIAL framing allows them to make statements that are a hairs breath away from lying without actually doing so.

        Read Genesis 3:1

        And remember Calvinism’s “greased pig” mode. :-]

      4. LampStand – your very smart to remember statements made by Calvinists and then show how they contradict themselves.
        Self-contradictions is one of the primary characteristics of their system.

        They teach people to embrace an AS-IF belief system.
        True AS-IF False
        Up AS-IF down
        Determinism AS-IF IN-Determinism

        And your very smart to point out that Calvinists are all about shifting the meanings of words to make them support this crooked logic.
        For me the is “goal-post” shifting.

        In categorical logic, a UNIVERSAL POSITIVE statement (ALL frogs are green) , is in opposition to a PARTICULAR POSITIVE statement (SOME frogs are green).

        SOME frogs are green logically infers SOME frogs are NOT green – (a PARTICULAR NEGATIVE statement).
        When one conjoins a UNIVERSAL POSITIVE with a PARTICULAR NEGATIVE one gets self-contradiction.

        ALL frogs are green (with) SOME frogs are not green.

        For example:
        God wills ALL to be saved (with) God wills SOME NOT to be saved.
        These types of self contradictions are part of Calvinism.
        In order to hide contradictions – they’ve become experts in double-speak sophistry.

        Calvinism is full of categorical falsehoods in logic.
        You are very wise to be on the look-out for them. :-]

      5. jtleosala
        If God really wants to take all, then why did He left out the Egyptian babies. The instruction was only given to the Jews not to the Egyptians. Isn’t this a proof hat God is selective ? and yet FOH denies this ? The readers can judge here whose really telling the truth.

        br.d
        The answer to this question is found in the text.
        God instructs Moses to tell Pharaoh these words “Israel is my first born son” Exodus 4:22
        This was a very specific message that God wanted to convey to Pharaoh.
        God was highlighting the difference between his relationship with people – in contrast to Pharaoh’s relationship to people.
        To Pharaoh – people are nothing more than ASSETS for him to dispose of “for his good pleasure”.
        But Pharaoh would never dream of treating his first born son that way.

        Calvin’s god is just a bigger Pharaoh.
        who according to Calvin simply out-Pharaohs Pharaoh.
        But the God of scripture shows the contrast.

        The God of scripture does not say SOME of Israel are my first-born son.
        Calvinism takes the word ALL and replaces it with the word SOME.
        They might as well take a pencil and eraser to the text like the JWs do.

      6. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:35-40)

        The Calvinist ignores the dis-ingenuousness that their theology necessarily ascribes to this and all other proclamations of God’s offer to mankind of forgiveness and redemption. Nearly all believers assert that the offer of salvation is genuinely proclaimed to all men, with one small asterisk. The most beloved and well known statement of this offer is Jesus’ own words: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

        Nor did Jesus make this statement without disclosing the ‘asterisk’ immediately, explaining: “He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.” (John 3:18-21)

        Thus, from the start, scripture presents the offer of ‘salvation’ from sin and death as being conditional, predicated upon the receipt and ‘belief’ of the listener. Of course, this concept of ‘belief’ has been widely debated, some describing a mere intellectual or verbal assent, others, in light of James, asserting that legitimate ‘belief’ leads, without fail, to fruits of righteousness (or works). Then there is Calvin, who asserts that ‘belief’ is impossible for any man, unless God chooses and supernaturally enables such.

        The most natural reading of Jesus’ words, understood by the majority of men, is that God offers salvation to all men, and only those who take him, and his offer seriously receive its benefits. Easy Believism was not initially an issue, as it was understood that even Satan and his demons ‘believe’ in Jesus. The proscribed ‘believing’ was further described by Jesus’ disciples, with Paul using Abraham as the prototype, whose belief led to costly obedience. James went to great lengths to explain that faith without works (Easy Believism) is ‘dead’ or false faith.

        Thus, it has long been held that the glorious good news of God’s forgiveness of the sin debt and offer of eternal life was predicated upon a sincere trust in God, evidenced by the receiving of the Holy Spirit and a transformed (or transforming) life. What Calvin proposed, and was met with resistance even in his day, was to change around the meaning, order and most of all, application of the ‘good news’ of the gospel.

        Calvinism, in my opinion without justification, adds an additional asterisk to Jesus’ words, which Calvin proceeded to explain in his lengthy and ever expanding ‘Institutes of the Christian Religion’. Calvin set out (with some degree of success, as he has always had a following) to further explain, or some would say ‘redefine’ the gospel declared by Jesus, as it was not the interpretation that was commonly held by the earliest church fathers, with the lone exception of Augustine, who was not terribly ‘early’.

        With lengthy explanations and proof texts, Calvin philosophized, based on Augustine’s teachings, that it would be too weak and risky for God to simply offer a blanket pardon and see if anyone takes him up. What if no one believed? Then Jesus’ great sacrifice would be for naught! And if man was able to refuse God’s glorious offer, man’s will would – God forbid! – prevail over God’s! Endless writings, only beginning with Calvin’s Institutes, describe Calvin’s reasoning, and I would encourage the reader to study them carefully, along with their refutations.

        In a nutshell, Calvin asserted that the only explanation that upheld the true greatness and power of God is that God did not simply offer salvation to all and leave them to respond freely, but effectually offered salvation to a preselected few, who uniquely could, and irresistibly would, respond as supernaturally enabled. This requires lengthy logical twists, but ultimately asserts that God meticulously determines who could and would be saved from even before creation, and sets in place the means necessary to carry out his plan without fail. As has long been pointed out, and leads to the vast majority of men rejecting this theory, Calvinism’s system, positing God as the source of ‘whatsoever comes to pass’ leads to the inevitable conclusion – despite defenders’ attempts to deny it – that God must be the source of evil, an undeniable subset of the ‘whatsoever’ that he brings to pass.

        I doubt that the average layperson in Calvin’s day either had, or desired, a copy of The Institutes to read. Most, as today, likely heard only the lofty declarations of God’s sovereignty, power and glory, without being exposed to Predestination’s ugly underbelly, or ‘the scary stuff’ as R.C. Sproul jokingly referred to concepts like limited atonement and the hopelessly damned unregenerate. Calvin’s intellectuals peers who did read the fine print, and were astonished and repulsed, quickly discovered the iron grip of power which Calvin had established, so that to even speak against his new doctrines was to risk punishment and torturous death. A few brave men nonetheless risked their lives to oppose Calvin’s dreadful teachings, mostly under false names, but were usually discovered and punished by Calvin’s long reach, Servetus being the most well known.

        Serious students of scripture, who desire to understand who God is and what he desires and requires of us, must seek to ascertain, as best they can, with the promised help of the Holy Spirit, what the words spoken by Jesus really mean. This is not a casual or insignificant task, but one that the sincere will pursue for the length of his days. This is the ultimate Truth, the pearl of great price, under which all else fades in significance.

        The Universalist asserts that there is no asterisk, and indeed, every man will someday ‘believe’ and be saved. (Many, like myself, who struggle to see how this interpretation aligns with all of scripture, nonetheless remain ever hopeful of being pleasantly surprised.) More commonly, theologians assert that Jesus, from his very first proclamation of the gospel, taught that this was not some universal, unconditional transaction, an understanding which eventually became so well understood that it was referenced by asterisk. This theory holds that man, created in the image of God, having the powers of reason and choice, and having used these powers to rebel against their maker, is called to use these same powers of reason and choice to be redeemed and restored to relationship with God.

        In other words, God offers man the chance of a do-over: he cleaned the slate, paid the sin penalty – which is death – and now offers, once again, as if sin had never occurred, the choice by each man to choose life or death, to believe in God’s gracious love and mercy, as demonstrated by Jesus, or to rationalize it away.

        The imperialistic Calvin would have none of the ‘iffiness’ of this understanding of the gospel. A great and sovereign God, in his opinion, would not consult with or leave the choice to weak mortals as to whether or not they would comply with his perfect will. All of scripture can, and must, be reinterpreted by adding the second asterisk of Total Depravity, and all that it entails, as described by Calvin.

        He provided the novel theory that the curse of sin was a ‘spiritual’ death rather than the commonly held physical death. This spiritual death entailed man becoming universally ‘Totally Depraved’, that is incapable of knowing, hearing, understanding or believing that which is true and good. This novel theory leads to the necessity of the next – since man has been rendered totally unable to make a good choice – of God’s regeneration being an unsought, unilateral, supernatural work of God, making the requisite ‘belief’, which had been ‘disabled’, possible for those chosen to be thus enabled (the elect).

        In other words, the countless depictions of God revealing himself to individuals, and either being met with ‘faith’ or lack thereof are to be read with the hidden asterisk, never stated but, according to Calvin, implied, that God performed a secret, unsought work of regeneration upon all of these individuals, supernaturally enabling them to hear, understand and ‘believe’ God. Nowhere in scripture is such a secret, pre-belief work defined or described; it is simply deduced, as it is logically essential to maintain Calvin’s system of God’s meticulous control over all things.

        I could go on, but this is enough to provide some of the back-story that most modern defenders of Calvinism either don’t know or don’t tell. Endless debate over surrounding issues and details seeks to cloud the essential point of contention: Does God truly desire, and offer, salvation to each and every man, woman and child who chooses to trust him, or has a limited, irresistible salvation been ordained and wrought by secret decree?

      7. TS00,
        This is a very good post. And your words here…

        “In other words, the countless depictions of God revealing himself to individuals, and either being met with ‘faith’ or lack thereof are to be read with the hidden asterisk, never stated but, according to Calvin, implied, that God performed a secret, unsought work of regeneration upon all of these individuals, supernaturally enabling them to hear, understand and ‘believe’ God.”

        Reading the OT and the Gospels and Acts we see God …
        calling
        imploring
        pleading
        sending prophets
        giving signs as proof
        reasoning with
        waiting patiently
        desiring.

        He wants His people to come to Him or come back to Him. Calvinism adds the asterisk (as you say) to go read the tiny footnote and see that He did not give them faith to come…. just commands and begs them to.

        I get the “beauty” of Calvinism (as they see it): God did not have to do anything for sinful man, but chose a few undeserving ones and “made sure” their salvation. Phew! Good News!

        They do not see the “horrible decree” part that this automatically means. The other side of Calvinism proclaims that His plan all along was to purposely, intentionally, immutably decree that the vast majority of those He created in His image were intended all along for eternal torture. No salvation intended or offered. They are not refusing it; He never offered it.

        That is the part they do not want to own. They call it “hyper-Calvinism” or say “you dont know Calvinism dude!” But indeed this must be owned by them if they are to call themselves Calvinists. Calvin certainly owned it gladly…. and put people to the sword in defense of it.

      8. “In other words, the countless depictions of God revealing himself to individuals, and either being met with ‘faith’ or lack thereof are to be read with the hidden asterisk, never stated but, according to Calvin, implied, that God performed a secret, unsought work of regeneration upon all of these individuals, supernaturally enabling them to hear, understand and ‘believe’ God.”

        Yes totally agreed
        Never EXPLICITLY STATED in scripture – so therefore must be ASSUMED.
        Then argue human philosophy doesn’t have anything to do with that ASSUMPTION.

        That creatures every neurological impulse is “rendered certain” by immutable decrees before the creature even exists.
        By who?
        Here the THEOS is presented at the forefront of the picture.

        But then watch the total complete about-face when it comes to sins and evils
        All of a sudden those immutable decrees have magically disappeared from the picture

        Calvinists can make their THEOS appear an disappear – like a magicians rabbit. :-]

      9. Reminds me of one of the few television commercials I see, when I watch football with my son, to be sociable. Two lawyers are presenting their final offer to a personal injury victim, calmly describing it as their fair and reasonable final offer. Then they respond to the ‘unheard voice’: “You contacted X,Y,Z law firm?” The lawyers look at one another with barely concealed dismay, and one gulps and adds, “Well, it’s not our Final, final offer.”

        Whenever Calvinists are confronted with scripture in context, they gulp and quickly backtrack, contradicting their earlier contradictions in their panic. ‘It’s not God’s final, final call’, the one that actually, irresistibly works. It’s his non-final, final call, which merely serves to give him cover when he judges men for not responding to his real ‘call’. Calvin invented lawyer-speak.

      10. Great point!
        And why does an infallible supernatural being need fallible humans to give him cover!?!? :-]
        Guess we know the know the answer don’t we.

      11. TS00 writes, “Then there is Calvin, who asserts that ‘belief’ is impossible for any man, unless God chooses and supernaturally enables such.”

        Calvinists say that people are not born with faith and faith is required to believe as “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Faith is a gift from God, so God chooses whom to give faith and supernaturally enables that faith. TS00 says, ‘The most natural reading of Jesus’ words, understood by the majority of men, is that God offers salvation to all men, and only those who take him, and his offer seriously receive its benefits,” so he apparently believes that God gives faith to each and every person. If that were true, then all would believe and be saved as that faith given by God always manifests as belief in Christ – it has no other purpose as “by grace you have been saved through faith.”

        Then, “What Calvin proposed, and was met with resistance even in his day, was to change around the meaning, order and most of all, application of the ‘good news’ of the gospel.”

        This is wrong. Calvin made God the final arbiter of salvation and this met with resistance from those who wanted man to be the final arbiter of salvation.

        Then, “Calvin philosophized, based on Augustine’s teachings, that it would be too weak and risky for God to simply offer a blanket pardon and see if anyone takes him up. What if no one believed?”

        Off base again. Calvin maintained that God did offer a blanket pardon and this pardon is refused by each and every person – this because of Total Depravity. However, let’s grant that some people are not totally depraved and do accept the pardon. Calvin gives God the freedom to choose whom to save more people from among those who reject the pardon and to bring those people to salvation..

        Then, ‘In a nutshell, Calvin asserted that the only explanation that upheld the true greatness and power of God is that God did not simply offer salvation to all and leave them to respond freely, but effectually offered salvation to a preselected few, who uniquely could, and irresistibly would, respond as supernaturally enabled.”

        This reflected the depravity of man making that doctrine a battleground as reflected in Dr. Flowers blogs. If one is to understand Calvinism, he must understand Calvinism’s doctrine of man and not just its doctrine of God.

        Then, “He provided the novel theory that the curse of sin was a ‘spiritual’ death rather than the commonly held physical death.”

        Adam’s sin resulted in “spiritual death” followed by expulsion from the garden followed by physical death because access to the tree of life was no longer available.

        Overall, TS00 offers a somewhat biased explanation of Calvinism.

      12. TS00,

        You got it right…. but Calvinists just dont like to admit it. Here is one of Calvin’s red herrings.

        “…so he apparently believes that God gives faith to each and every person. If that were true, then all would believe and be saved as that faith given by God always manifests as belief in Christ – it has no other purpose as “by grace you have been saved through faith.”’

        Well…. they just make up the rules as they go and pronounce what “has to be.”‘ They just impose these ideas on the conversation.

        There is absolutely no basis for a statement like this: “faith given by God always manifests as belief in Christ.” I mean, sure Calvinists operate with their presuppositions as “givens” and expect everyone to do the same, but for no reason.

        Christ regularly says things like:

        “Oh you of little faith’

        “If you had the faith of a mustard seed”

        “I have not FOUND such faith in all Israel”

        “Go, your faith has made you whole”

        “Who touched me? …. Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me…. your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

        “Oh Jerusalem…. I wanted to gather you… but you would not.”
        —-

        We also see plenty of these:

        “I believe….help my unbelief.”

        “Give what you have and follow me…” (but the rich young man that “Christ had compassion for” is face-to-face with Christ and hears his call…. and does NOT follow Him).

        Not to mention the hundreds of times Israel had faith (put blood on the door) and then just days later didn’t have it (for food and water in the desert).

        —–
        They just make up their own presuppositions for faith (not from Scripture) and impose them on all dialog.

        This is why dialog with so many Calvinists is futile. They have certain things that are “givens” (presuppositions) that are just not in the Bible. Here is another: “If that were true, then all would believe and be saved.”

        That’s just silly and unbiblical.

        Let’s put another word in there. Patience. “…he apparently believes that God gives patience to each and every person. If that were true, then all would be patient with each other.”

        Do you know unbelievers that show patience to people? I do. Do they do it ALL the time. No. Is that patience a gift from God. Of course!

        This is why it is so important for RH and other to base everything on Total Depravity (it’s not PILUT, you know…. it starts with T!!!).

        He tells us that all men… are all evil…. all the time, until regenerated. No good ever. Only evil. God-haters, wife-haters, children-haters. All sin…all the time.

        Why? Because for RH if unbelieving man demonstrates one ounce of patience then that means (unregenerate) people CAN have patience, faith, love, etc. Hum…. that won’t work will it? Man has to be totally depraved. We have to make man totally depraved!

        You and I both know that unbelievers can be patient, kind, loving, concerned for others. We all know that to be true.

        Therefore….. if “an unregenerated man” is sometimes kind (even Christ says that unbelieving fathers know how to be kind to their children. the Bible is FULL of good acts being done by non-believing people), then the Calvinist Total Depravity presupposition comes down.

        Let me simplify/repeat this before our Calvinist friends try to distort what I mean.

        RH starts with the axiom (presupposition) “if man could have faith…. he would have it all the time.”

        So….. they must make man unable to do any good act before they are believers. Which any honest person would see to be untrue.

        Men can be patient before they are saved.

        Men can be kind before they are saved.

        Men can be gentle before they are saved.

        ((((Before Jose JTL jumps on me with misunderstanding, I am not saying they earn salvation with these things!!!)))

        So if a man can exercise patience before he is saved…. why cant he exercise faith?

        The ONLY way that a person does not understand what I am saying is if the comes to the table with two presuppositions:

        1. Man can only have faith if God directly-gives it to him (in a special way).

        2. Once God directly-gives man faith, it “always manifests as belief in Christ.” Or… “it will always be used”

        If you start with those presuppositions…. then you can build Calvinism with a half verse here and half verse there.

        Let’s put patience in there and see if it works….

        1. Man can only have patience if God directly-gives it to him (in a special way).

        2. Once God directly-gives man patience, it “will always be used.”

        Why is faith so different for Calvinists? I mean unbelievers show patience (some of the time). Well, not for RH…. they are just evil all the time and in ever way…. but most Calvinists can see that an unbeliever can exercise patience. Why not faith?

        This is what just-learning Calvinists like JTL don’t understand. They think Total Depravity is the same as Original Sin. Original Sin means that man is tainted by his sin and incapable of doing enough good deeds to earn his salvation and he needs Christ. Total Depravity means (and MUST mean for it to work) that all men, do all evil, all the time…. until they are regenerated.

        TD means a “too-dead” man cannot be patient.
        TD means a “too-dead” man cannot be kind.
        TD means a “too-dead” man cannot be loving.
        TD means a “too-dead” man cannot love his wife. Cannot love his children.
        TD means a “too-dead” man cannot have any faith in his wife.

        Because you see…

        If a “too-dead” man is patient, that means he CAN be —- but might not be all the time.
        If a “too-dead” man is kind, that means he CAN be —- but might not be all the time.
        If a “too-dead” man is loving, that means he CAN be —- but might not be all the time.
        If a “too-dead” man is loving, that means he CAN love his wife and children — but might not all the time.
        If a “too-dead” man can have faith in his wife that means he CAN have faith—- but might not all the time.

        We all function this way. All of us. But Calvinists then presuppose that man cannot have faith…. and then impose that idea on the discussion.

        For most Calvinists, unbelievers can do good things (that must come from God) like be patient, be kind, have faith in one another. So, for them, unbelievers can have faith in their wife, but cant have faith in Christ.

        Oh well….. I guess if you come to the Bible with certain presuppositions “that must be true” — you can find what you want in the Bible.

      13. Great post FOH!

        A huge red-flag that something is very wrong with Calvinism is the fact that one of their primary debate strategies is goalpost moving.

        God says:
        “Remove not the ancient landmarks”
        and
        “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord”

        Calvinism does both – with logic – with language – and with scripture.

      14. FOH writes, “There is absolutely no basis for a statement like this: “faith given by God always manifests as belief in Christ.””

        Sure there is. Hebrews 11 tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith. If God gives a person faith, then the person is able to please God. So, what is faith? Again Hebrews 11 tell us, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” The things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen have to do with Christ for there is no hope outside Christ and the unseen things relate to that which Christ has promised (e.g., “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”) In addition, Faith is the mechanism God uses to save a person – “by grace you have been saved through faith;” In Philippians 1, “God who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” God begins the work in His elect and that work includes the giving of saving faith – and God will perfect that which He has begun until the end – the day of Christ. There is ample basis to conclude that the faith God gives to a person will manifest as belief in Christ. It is God who begins a saving work in His elect; it is God who ensures its completion. Christ also promises, ” this is the will of God who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”

      15. FOH writes, “There is absolutely no basis for a statement like this: “faith given by God always manifests as belief in Christ.””

        Sure there is. Hebrews 11 tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith. If God gives a person faith, then the person is able to please God.”

        Rh’s false syllogism is:

        It is impossible to please God without faith.
        God gave me faith.
        It is impossible for me to not please God.

        Of course, the logically correct conclusion would be:
        It is now possible for me to please God.

        Even if you could somehow be persuaded to buy RH’s faulty logic, you would nonetheless be left with a God who is narcissistic, disingenuous and controlling, or, at best, a moron.

        Calvinism’s God:
        ‘Your lack of faith is very displeasing to me.’

        Human:
        ‘But you made me unable to have faith due to the sin of my father, despite proclaiming through Ezekiel that ‘The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.’ (Ez 18:20) In other words, you were lying. My father’s iniquity landed on my head.’

        C’s God:
        ‘Ah, but just to show how gracious I am, as well as the most powerful being in the universe, holding the power of life and death, I gave some people this faith, so that they can please me and have life. Or is it have life and please me? Anyway, whatever the order, they do both, so all’s good.’

        Human:
        ‘Oh, well, goody for them. What about me? Why not give me some of us this faith; or do you have a limited supply? Better yet, if you hadn’t cursed me in the first place, for something I didn’t do, it is just possible that I would have demonstrated this faith on my own. Then you would have had a genuine reason to be pleased, and I wouldn’t be suffering for my so-called father’s iniquity.’

        ‘C’s God:
        ‘Who are you, a man, to answer back to God? Besides, you only reveal how simple you are. If I had not cursed you and made you Totally Depraved, and you believed in me of your own power, then I would not have gotten all the glory. So, you see, it was all necessary.’

        Human:
        ‘Do you really think I am so simple that I can’t see through your little games? What good is any man’s faith if you ‘gave it’ to him? It is not authentic if a person has no other choice. I would have this ‘great’ faith too, if you had not deliberately withheld it from me. You simply pull the strings, and we move.’

        C’s God:
        ‘Au, contraire; that’s why I worked in the believing bit. I give some men the ‘gift’ of faith, then they freely choose to believe in me. Then I am pleased and grant him eternal life. Wait, I already gave him life, so he could believe. Oh, stop confusing me.’

        Human:
        ‘That makes about as much sense as crippling me, healing me and then praising me for ‘choosing’ to be healed. And who do you think you’re fooling by punishing the poor cripples – who you refused to heal – for not walking? As if they had any choice either. Sheesh.’

        C’s God:
        ‘Don’t be so unreasonable. If Adam, whom you never knew, had not sinned, you would not have been cursed. And if you had been one of the lucky ones I chose, you would have been as free to do well as the rest of the elect. As long as everyone sees that it’s all about me, it’s all good, right? You’re just pouting because you don’t get to be the final arbiter of salvation. All you want is to steal some of my glory. Well, the earth is my ball, and we’ll play the game however I say.’

        Human:
        ‘Actually, I’m crushed, no, doomed, because you cursed me for a sin I did not commit, made me totally unable to do what is right and are now going to torture me forever for doing the evil that you ordained me to do before I was ever born, and for not having the faith that only you could give, but refused to. Who’s being unreasonable?’

        Making false, illogical statements are not improved by tacking on a bunch of scripture, as if to say, ‘But hey, I can quote scripture, too!’

      16. TS00,

        Oh did RH answer with some nonsensical answer saying “we have to have faith so therefore God gave us faith”? I really don’t take notice of that Calvinist “trumping of all other verses just by what we say is so” approach. But I see you have answered.

        Speaking of quoting verses about faith. Here are a few below. Many of them all rendered basically meaningless by the forced-faith idea of Calvinism.

        John 5:5
        Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

        1 John 5:13
        I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

        1 Timothy 4:12
        Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

        Galatians 3:22
        But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

        Galatians 2:20
        I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

        [these are all “faith in Christ” but there are more and more Calvinists who want us to translate these verses “faith of Christ.” Nah, doesn’t say that— but watch… they will promote translations like that.]

        John 1:12
        Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God [receive–active verb]

        John 3:16
        For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

        John 3:18
        Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

        John 3:36
        Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

        John 6:35
        Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
        [but you can’t come unless Christ lets you…. so He doesn’t really mean “whoever”]

        John 7:38
        Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” [again…not really “whoever”]

        Mark 10:52
        “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

        Mark 16:16
        Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

        John 11:40
        Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” [And He meant the ones that He would make believe.]

        Psalm 119:30
        I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.

        Romans 1:17
        For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

        Romans 10:9
        If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

        Romans 10:10
        For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. [yes, I know, I know we can’t really profess with our mouths….]

        Matthew 17:20
        He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” [They could ask: “Why did You give us such little faith?”

        Romans 14:1
        Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. [Another person who only gets a weak dose of faith.]

        Matthew 21:21
        Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.

        Galatians 2:15-16
        “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

        John 11:25-26
        Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

        Matthew 14:31
        Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” [small dose!!]

        Matthew 15:28
        Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. [big dose!]

        Matthew 9:2
        Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” [when HE SAW their faith?? There is no way that anyone would think that He gave them forced-faith, then says “saw” their faith!]

        1 Peter 1:7
        These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

        2 Corinthians 5:7
        For we live by faith, not by sight.

        1 Corinthians 15:14-17
        And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

        1 John 5:4
        for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

        1 Corinthians 16:13
        13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. [stand firm in the faith! Stand!]

        1 Timothy 6:11
        But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. [pursue faith!!??]

        1 Peter 5:9
        Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. [Standing firm in faith]

        1 Thessalonians 3:7
        Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.

        1 Corinthians 13:2
        If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

        2 Corinthians 1:24
        Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.

        2 Timothy 4:7
        I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. [“kept the faith”???]

        Ephesians 6:16
        In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. [take it up!]

        Galatians 3:11-12
        Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”

        Habakkuk 2:4
        “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness —

        James 1:3
        because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. [our faith can be tested?]

        John 14:12
        Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

        Luke 17:6
        He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

        Romans 10:17
        Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

      17. FOH to TS00 writes, “Speaking of quoting verses about faith. Here are a few below. Many of them all rendered basically meaningless by the forced-faith idea of Calvinism.”

        LOL!!! FOH can some of the strangest things. Many of the verses he cited refer to believers, that would be those who have faith and have exercised that faith to believe Christ. How exactly have these verses been, “rendered basically meaningless by the forced-faith idea of Calvinism.” We don’t know because FOH cites many verses but can’t explain what they have to do with his argument.

        Many other verses tell us that one must believe to be saved. How exactly have these verses been, “rendered basically meaningless by the forced-faith idea of Calvinism.” We don’t know because FOH cites many verses but can’t explain what they have to do with his argument.

        Then we have verses that describe how people exercised faith to believe Christ and be healed. So, we ask the same thing as above.

        So, what does FOH accomplish by citing all these verses? Nothing that I can see other than to demonstrate that his claim – Many of them all rendered basically meaningless by the forced-faith idea of Calvinism. – is not supported.

      18. It is impossible to please God without faith.
        God gave me faith.
        It is impossible for me to not please God.

        br.d
        Did rhutchin actually make this statement?

      19. br.d
        “Did rhutchin actually make this statement?”

        rhutchin
        No. That was TS00’s attempt to be cute.

        br.d
        Didn’t think that was you.
        I’ve come to know your subtle ways of juggle words – so I didn’t think you would use the word “impossible” that way.
        That’s why I asked.

      20. br.d, as you know, RH tries very hard to never say anything in concrete, succinct language, lest it actually be understood. 😉 I provided the syllogism for his comment. Here is what he wrote, with some of the lengthiness edited out. You can scroll back a bit to see the entire comment.

        RH:
        FOH writes, “There is absolutely no basis for a statement like this: “faith given by God always manifests as belief in Christ.””

        Sure there is . . . In Philippians 1, “God who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” God begins the work in His elect and that work includes the giving of saving faith – and God will perfect that which He has begun until the end – the day of Christ. There is ample basis to conclude that the faith God gives to a person will manifest as belief in Christ. It is God who begins a saving work in His elect; it is God who ensures its completion. Christ also promises, ” this is the will of God who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”

        I will leave it up to you to decide if my syllogism is an accurate portrayal of what he said, as I believe it is. If I misunderstood, it was not intentional, and I will stand corrected.

      21. First – I jumped for joy when I saw you using a syllogism. They are very powerful when they are laid out with high precision.
        I’ve given a few to rhutchin which he could not deny. So he tried to re-write them using Calvinism’s double-speak semantics.
        And then simply said “Their – I’ll go with that one”.

        In order to reject the conclusion of a logically valid syllogism – a person has to reject at least one of its premises.
        rhutchin wanted to reject the conclusion – but he couldn’t reject either of the premises from which the conclusion logically followed.
        So he simply wrote his own – using Calvinist double-speak talking points.

        But I didn’t think rhutchin would use the word “impossible” the way it was framed in that statement.
        He’s very subtle in his use of words – and using it that way would be out of character for him.

      22. TS00 writes, “false syllogism is:

        It is impossible to please God without faith.
        God gave me faith.
        It is impossible for me to not please God.”

        The last line should be: It is possible for me to please God.

        Faith by itself accomplishes nothing. Ephesians 1, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed,…” “…having also believed…’ is made possible by faith. Otherwise, the word would still be foolishness.

      23. RH writes:
        ‘Faith by itself accomplishes nothing. Ephesians 1, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed,…” “…having also believed…’ is made possible by faith. Otherwise, the word would still be foolishness.’

        “’…having also believed…’ is made possible by faith” does not make any genuine sense. Faith IS believing, it does not make believing possible. ‘I have faith that my spouse will not cheat on me’ means nothing other than ‘I believe that my spouse will not cheat on me.’ We ‘have faith’ in what is promised because we ‘believe’ that it will occur as promised. Any semantic distinctions are meaningless. Easy believism is simply faith without works, or professing belief without exhibiting any of the characteristics of one who genuinely believes something. Of course anyone can claim to believe something, or have faith, but the proof is in the pudding. As James put it, ‘Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.’

      24. TS00 writes, ““’…having also believed…’ is made possible by faith” does not make any genuine sense. Faith IS believing, it does not make believing possible.”

        A difference between “faith” and “belief” is noted in:

        Galatians 2 – “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ,”

        Romans 4 – “to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,”

        Galatians 3 – “the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”

        Hebrews 11 – “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is,”

        1 Peter 1 – “Christ was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

        I think these verses illustrate a distinction being made between faith and belief. Faith is something given to a person so it is a quality outside the person. “Belief” appears to be something internal to the person and is an act of the will. So, until someone shows otherwise, I will treat “faith” and “belief” as two different things.

      25. Thanks Roger for listing the verses you think “prove” faith is something given before believing can happen. A very strange view of those verses, I’d say.

        I think what you mean is that though an unregenerate person exercises believing in many things, even the gospel (parable of the sower), that such believing ability needs to be either “juiced” with a spiritual pill of “faith” so that it will now “really” believe the gospel, or that the old ability of believing is replaced by a new engine you are calling “faith” that enables a new spiritual believing, which those verses you listed talk about.

        It does sound complicated… like you are making it sound that way so you can hang onto determinism. It does make God’s Word in those verses look very confusing… like they are in need of scholars to say what they “really” mean even though they were written for the layman.

        So it sounds you think there is a new will, new ability (faith), and then believing… in your view… before salvation and everlasting life, which is different from your “regeneration” life. It is just like your after-“faith” believing is different from the believing a person is able to do before “regeneration”.

        This is, imo, a very strange opinion about the meaning of verses just to remain loyal to determinism that makes God look unjust and mostly unmerciful. I think I will stay with the normal meaning in the verses you listed in that the noun “faith” (a noun of action) is being described further in the verb “believe”… which happens before coming and salvation as indicated clearly in those verses.

      26. Brian
        It does make God’s Word in those verses look very confusing… like they are in need of scholars to say what they “really” mean even though they were written for the layman.

        br.d
        This should serve as a HUGE red-flag to the Non-Calvinist.
        Calvinism – having sprung from the tree of Augustinian Catholicism – still carries many of Catholicisms’ characteristics.
        One of them being the PRIEST who stands over your shoulder while you read verses – telling you what each verse means.
        Without the Calvinist PRIEST Bible readers get it wrong – not being trained to read scripture as double-speak

        Take 1st Timothy 2 “God wills ALL men to be saved” – where ALL doesn’t refer to ALL MEN but instead to ALL KINDS of men making up humanity. This double-speak rendering: “God wills *SOME* humans to be saved and *ALL* of the humans he wills to save are human”

        One cannot understand scripture without Calvinism’s secret decoder ring. :-]

      27. br.d writes, ‘Take 1st Timothy 2 “God wills ALL men to be saved” – where ALL doesn’t refer to ALL MEN but instead to ALL KINDS of men making up humanity. This double-speak rendering:”

        Why is the definition of “all men” as “Jews and gentiles” double-speak? That definition has a solid basis in Ephesians 3.