Dr. David L. Allen – What Semipelagianism Really Is

Dr. David Allen’s post entitled “Claims, Clarity, Charity – Why the Traditional Baptist Statement on Soteriology is not and cannot be Semipelagian” is quoted below in its entirety with permission. You can find his published works here

“Periodically over the past couple of years I read a post at “The Baptist Review” that addresses some aspect of Calvinism. Sometimes in the comment threads the Traditional Baptist Statement on Soteriology (TS) is referenced and occasionally the claim of Semipelagianism pops up. This occurred recently in the post “I’m Now An Arminian,” (Posted on “The Baptist Review,” September 21, 2018, 1:53 pm.) based on the five points Dr. Leighton Flowers listed at his website Soteriology101 as “The 5 Points That Led Me Out Of Calvinism.”

While there are numerous worthy matters to discuss in the post and comments (and I always benefit from these comments and learn from them), I would like to focus only on one: the claim that the TS is Semipelagian.

In short, the TS is not and in fact cannot be legitimately interpreted as Semipelagian. Here is why.

First, let’s identify what Semipelagianism is . . . and what it is not.

What is the heresy of Pelagianism? Simply put, it is this: a person can take the initial steps toward salvation by his own efforts, apart from divine grace (Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 1058). Pelagianism denies original sin and asserts wrongly that human nature is essentially unimpaired by the Fall.

Many labor under the mistaken notion that “Semipelagianism” was a term originating in the debates during and after Augustine and Pelagius in the fifth century. This is in error. Actually it was Theodore Beza who invented the term in 1566, and applied it to the Roman Catholic view of grace and human will.

Beza used the term by way of analogy with “Pelagianism” to denote the Catholic conception of original sin which, after baptism, leaves only an inclination to sin. He considered the Catholic teaching to be somewhat different, though not fundamentally so, from the Pelagian conception of original sin as not transferrable to Adam’s descendants.

According to Beza, the central tenet of Semipelagianism is that it attributes salvation partly to God’s grace, and partly to what he described as human effort. Faith is viewed both as a gift of God and a choice of the human will.

In 1571, Nicholas Sanders, a Roman Catholic, began to use the term “Semipelagianism” with a shift in meaning, where he for the first time applied it to the fifth-century Massilians. The Massilians considered Pelagius a heretic and sided with Augustine on the priority of divine grace before human response, but also differed with Augustine because they believed the human will acts freely in appropriating saving grace. The Massilians affirmed original sin, the necessity of divine grace for salvation, sought a balance between grace and human freedom, “and doubted whether a just predestination could avoid being based on foreknowledge.” “Semipelagianism” is a misleading term for this kind of theology and is more fittingly called “Semi-Augustinianism.” The term “Semipelagian” as used at this point indicated a rejection of Pelagian theology by siding with Augustine, but rejecting some of the implications of Augustine’s views. (D. F. Wright, “Semi-Pelagianism,” New Dictionary of Theology: Historical and Systematic, 2nd ed., eds. Martin Davie, et. al. [Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2016], 833–34. The Catholic Encyclopedia likewise concurs that “Semipelagianism” is a misnomer.)

“Semipelagianism” came to be used for a variety of post-Reformation positions that postulated a greater or lesser degree of human free will in the process of salvation. By the 1680s the term had become common currency while its original sixteenth-century meanings and usages were virtually forgotten. Interestingly, early Catholic catalogues of heresies of the Reformation period make no mention of Semipelagianism. (See Irena Backus and Aza Gourdriaan, “‘Semipelagianism’: The Origins of the Term and its Passage into the History of Heresy,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 65.1 (January 2014): 25–46; and Rebecca Harden Weaver, Divine Grace and Human Agency: A Study of the Semi-Pelagian Controversy, Patristic Monograph Series 15 (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1996).

Thus, it is important to note that there was no theological position identified by the term “Semipelagianism” in the fifth and six centuries. This is not to say that the idea of Semipelagianism did not exist in the fifth and sixth centuries. The Council of Orange (529) condemned the theological position which was later identified with Semipelagianism.

It is also important to note the elasticity of the term and its usage from the sixteenth century until today. Semipelagianism means different things to different people.

And that is part of the problem with respect to those who want to label the Traditional Statement as “Semipelagian.” The historical-theological context of the fifth-century debates between Augustine and Pelagius and their surrogates really have no correlation to the current conversation Southern Baptists are engaged in regarding the TS, as Dr. Harwood rightly points out (Harwood, “Is the Traditional Statement Semi-Pelagian?”, in Anyone Can Be Saved: A Defense of “Traditional” Southern Baptist Soteriology, eds. David L. Allen, Eric Hankins, Adam Harwood [Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2016], 157–68. Harwood’s chapter is an excellent resource on this subject and is the best refutation of the Semipelagian charge.).

According to The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, the so-called Semipelagianism of the 4th and 5th centuries “maintained that the first steps toward the Christian life were ordinarily taken by the human will and that Grace supervened only later.” As recent scholars have noted, this definition needs to be refined in light of the historical evidence. But setting that aside, let’s go with this definition for a moment, since this is, generally speaking, the way the term is used by many today.

By that definition, Baptist theologians Malcolm Yarnell and Adam Harwood have demonstrated from the language of the TS itself that it clearly denies Semipelagianism. The Statement affirms the priority of divine grace in nearly every article, including Article Two, which is the focus of the Semipelagian charge. Article Two states, “While no sinner is remotely capable of achieving salvation through his own effort, we deny that any sinner is saved apart from a free response to the Holy Spirit’s [prior] drawing through the Gospel.” Article Four, “The Grace of God,” states, “We affirm that grace is God’s generous decision to provide salvation for any person by taking all of the initiative in providing atonement, in freely offering the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in uniting the believer to Christ through the Holy Spirit by faith.” The TS makes clear that sinners are saved through a faith response to the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the Gospel prior to the response of the sinner. The TS prohibits the Semipelagian understanding of a sinner taking the first steps toward salvation. The TS does not prioritize the human will over the grace of God. The free response of any sinner is not possible without God’s initiation. Semipelagianism does not argue for the priority of grace in the matter of salvation. The TS does.

Now, here is what I have observed in some of the comments by Calvinists labeling the TS as Semipelagian. First, there is the presumption and presupposition that concepts like total inability, irresistible grace, and regeneration preceding faith are matters of fact. These are of course all disputed by those of us who are not Calvinists. (The latter is disputed by many Calvinists as well, but I digress.)

Second, presuppositions like “original sin entails original guilt” are considered fact and any denial of such is considered to be a part of Semipelagianism. This was the approach of Herman Bavinck and appears to be followed by some Calvinists, including some commenting in “The Baptist Review.” As Dr. Yarnell has accurately pointed out, on such a partisan definition of Semipelagianism, The Baptist Faith and Message would likely be classified as “Semipelagian” since the BFM makes no reference to original guilt. Not even Reformed theologians are in agreement on whether original sin includes original guilt. Henri Blocher in his book Original Sin notes the different views among the Reformed.

Third, it appears to me that some Calvinists have only two theological boxes and some have only three. A few, thankfully only a few, seem to believe that the two boxes are Calvinism and Unbiblical. This is a classic case of the False Dilemma Fallacy. Others operate under the three box system: Calvinism, Arminianism, Unbiblical (where Arminianism barely escapes the third category, i.e., it is wrong on many points, but it is not heresy). As Dr. Harwood noted in his critique of Roger Olson’s points concerning the TS, as Traditional Baptists, we don’t necessarily need to utilize the Arminian doctrine of prevenient grace (which is in need of careful definition as well) to state our position against aspects of Calvinism.

While we are at it, let me state for the record that the term “prevenient grace” antedates Arminius and all orthodox Christians affirm some form of prevenient grace in the general meaning of the term: a grace coming from God prior to any human response to the Gospel and enabling any human response to the Gospel. This is what lies behind Augustine’s use of the term (grace is “prevenient to human will”) and Calvin’s use of the term in their writings and, more recently, Fleming Rutledge’s statement in her book on atonement, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ (Eerdmans, 2015) that we need to retain the valuable term “prevenient grace.” The initiating act of God for salvation as defined by the TS falls well within this category.

Now back to point number three above. Calvinists and Arminians err when they claim that theologically, it’s either Calvinism or Arminianism. This approach does not do justice to the varieties of orthodox Christian traditions. Augustinianism is not identical with Calvinism. Nor can Lutheranism be identified as Calvinism. As Michael Horton rightly noted, Confessional Lutherans “cannot be pressed into Calvinist-Arminian categories” because they affirm unconditional election and monergism, but deny double predestination, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of believers (Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, 314.n.11). Douglas A. Sweeney (professor of Church History at Trinity) informs us that Lutheranism is . . . Lutherans. They are neither “hesitant Calvinists” nor “two-and-a-half-point Calvinists.” (See https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/was-luther-a-calvinist/). Baptists are Baptists, and we are a varied bunch! Those who affirm the TS reject the notion that one has to be either Calvinist or Arminian . . . and Baptist history is on our side. Seehttp://www.baptisttheology.org/white-papers/neither-calvinists-nor-arminians-but-baptists/.

Fourth, and this may be the most problematic of all, some critics of the TS seem to assume or believe that anything that is not Calvinism is, by entailment, Semipelagianism. Since the TS authors and signers deny such things as regeneration preceding faith, total depravity entails total inability, and that faith is a special grace gift given only to the elect, some Calvinists wrongly interpret the TS as denying prior divine initiative in salvation, and thus they conclude it is Semipelagian. This is a misuse of the term . . . and a serious mistake. It reads Semipelagianism into the words of the TS rather than finding it there.

I would urge all to read the last three pages of Richard Muller’s Divine Will and Human Choice(Baker, 2017) to see that today’s Reformed understanding of Compatibilism is not equivalent to that of the early Reformed theologians who placed more emphasis on genuine free will. Spoiler alert—heavy dependence on Jonathan Edwards for your understanding of the freedom of the will, or the lack thereof, is problematic according to Muller! Edwards did the Church no favor when he wedded Calvinism with Thomas Hobbes’ determinism (See Allen Guelzo’s Edwards on the Will [Wipf and Stock, 2008]. Even the 19th century Calvinist theologians B. B. Warfield and Charles Hodge were not on board with Edwards).

Conclusion.

God’s prior initiative in salvation does preclude Semipelagianism.

The TS affirms God’s prior initiative in salvation.

The TS is not Semipelagian.

God’s prior initiative in salvation does not preclude libertarian freedom.

God’s prior initiative in salvation does not have to include Calvinism’s paradigm of total inability of the human will. Denial of total inability is not Semipelagianism. As Arminius rightly made clear in his refutation of the charge of Pelagianism, the sinfulness of humanity is so complete that only by grace, and by grace alone, is human freedom even a possibility. (W. Stephen Gunter, Arminius and His Declaration of Sentiments, 189.)

The Biblical reality of humanity’s responsibility to God militates against a wholesale rejection of freedom of the will. A will that is not free is not a will, as the early Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas all affirmed. Libertarian freedom, rightly understood, has always been a qualified freedom. A person does not act outside of the influences of his sinful human nature or contrary to the judgment of his intellect or outside God’s providence.

In this vein, serious problems exist with Augustine’s exegesis of Romans 9 and Ephesians 2, coupled with his concept of original sin. Prior to the later Augustine, with the exception of the Pelagians, all Christians held the concept of an inherited sin nature and propensity to sin which prohibited any human approach to God apart from an initiating divine grace. As Kenneth Wilson has recently demonstrated, Augustine redefined the standard notion of original sin to include original guilt. Free will for Augustine becomes Stoic “non-free free will” requiring God’s infusion of faith for regeneration to occur. Augustine borrowed from Stoic moral theory to validate his novel notion of individual unconditional election à la his interpretation of Romans 9. Wilson states:

Stoicism’s internal “evil will” precluded any possibility for a human to have a positive response [to the gospel]. . . . Therefore “free will” meant only that humans were capable of responding negatively, not that humans could believe. His novelty blatantly contradicted the universal Christian doctrine of the God-given (and post-fall retained) capacity/principle to receive/accept/believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God (cf. John 1:12–13; John 20:21). (Kenneth Wilson, Augustine’s Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to “Non-free Free Will,” in Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity, vol. 111 [Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018], 270).

This ground-breaking book is a bombshell in Augustinian studies and demonstrates Augustine derived much of his later theology more from Stoic, Manichaean, and Neo-Platonic philosophies, which he then superimposed on key biblical texts. See especially pp. 265–69, on Augustine’s departure from traditional Christian theology of original sin. Calvinists cannot afford to ignore Wilson’s scholarly treatment. He is one of the few scholars to have read and examined all of Augustine’s writings in Latin, in chronological order. Augustine is the fountainhead of Reformed theology and the primary influencer of Calvin.

So, back to the title of this piece: “Claims, Clarity, Charity.” Claims have to be substantiated. The claim that the TS is Semipelagian remains unsubstantiated. Clarity—definitional, historical, theological—must be the order of the day. Charity must rule as we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.”

168 thoughts on “Dr. David L. Allen – What Semipelagianism Really Is

  1. This article said….

    “Edwards did the Church no favor when he wedded Calvinism with Thomas Hobbes’ determinism…”

    Yeah and life-long, slave-holder Edwards did the Church no favors when he vehemently defended slavery from the pulpit!

    The article also said, “Even the 19th century Calvinist theologians B. B. Warfield and Charles Hodge were not on board with Edwards.”

    What? Calvinist disagree? You mean they are not a monolithic bloc of “always-right” “we are the only ones who are biblical” defenders? Phew, that is good to know!

  2. FOH, … Not actually disagree. It just that some choose to left out some parts, thus they choose to be called e.g.: 3 pts, or 4 points Calvinism variants. Baptists are also divided with differing variants e.g.: Bible Baptists, Conservative Baptists, Fundamental Baptists, Southern Baptists, Ana Baptists, etc.

    Let me see if I can also contribute just a little to the call of clarifying issues on Semi-Pelagianism…

    1. I really hold on to the monergestic plan of Salvation of God to sinners. Man has nothing to contribute to the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary in order to be saved. Salvation is a free gift of God to man.

    2. Man is morally incapable to take any initiative to reconcile himself to God due to his sinful nature that caused him to be totally separated from the Holy God. Due to this hopeless condition, God must take the first initiative in rescuing man in his hopeless state. Christ came in order to seek and to save those that are lost not vice versa. It was not an idea of a sharing of efforts between the two parties for man to be reconciled to God.

    3. When we talk about charity, this is one of the main teachings of Jesus Christ. His love for the sheep has been affirmed according to Him that He lays down His life for the sheep. The sheep then must learn to love even those that are oppose to their ideas and to exercise elasticity of understanding those that seems to provoke anger. We have just the same God that we worship and serve as bloggers here. We might be offending some of the readers if we fail to become cordial to each bloggers that are oppose to our ideas.

    4. Here I quote the title piece heading info. in this thread: “According to The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, the so-called Semipelagianism of the 4th and 5th centuries “maintained that the first steps toward the Christian life were ordinarily taken by the human will and that Grace supervened only later.” I disagree with this one. I maintain the position that Man has nothing to offer, Man is morally incapable. He is spiritually dead and that all of Salvation is the total work of God. Man has no whatsoever share in the process. Salvation is the work of God, a free gift offered to sinners.

    1. JTL,
      I am not sure why I am responding to you since I have told myself I wouldn’t. Sometimes it seems that you take my words and purposely misunderstand me…. and you were rude at the beginning (you’re better now!).

      Let me just point out a couple of things from what you said.

      1. We know you hold to monergism and that “man is morally incapable.” You repeat that very often, almost as if just saying over and over makes it true. In the past you have used verses from Isaiah where God tells His (sinning) people (in a very precise context) that He cannot hear them anymore to be the doctrine that people are “too-dead” and God can’t hear them. That just is not enough for most of us reading my friend. No cherry-picking a verse out of context.

      2. You say this “Salvation is a free gift of God to man.” No one here is arguing that salvation is God’s gift to us. Story: We lived on the mission field for 30 years and never owned a TV. A guys shows up one time with a very nice one in his trunk. He says, “I noticed that you didnt have a TV and we have this great spare one.” He thought we were too poor to own one. I thanked him cheerfully and then helped him put it back in the trunk of his car. We did not want his free gift. Calvinism takes away that option. God is not “giving” anything….. he is “irresistibly forcing it on someone.” It is no longer a free gift at that point. Irresistible grace is just not a biblical idea. There are thousands (not tens or hundreds) of situations in the Bible where people (including God’s chosen people) resist the very gift He wants to give them.

      “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Christ longed to do it…. they resisted.) Luke 13, Matt 23.

      3. “Man is morally incapable to take any initiative to reconcile himself to God” Amen! That is why God took the initiative and takes it every day! Christ came to seek and to save…. and then said “when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32.

      4. In your #3 you said Christ loves the sheep, and “the sheep then must learn to love even those that are oppose to their ideas…” And in fact we are to love our enemies. Interesting that you have made it very clear many times that Christ loves ONLY His sheep … yet He tells us to love our enemies. Have you ever stopped to hear the message of Calvinism: God does NOT love the world, only His sheep. Christ does NOT love the world, only His sheep….. but His sinful sheep are then to turn around and love people He does not love.

      5. I know you dont mean to say it like this, and I know English is not your first language, but you said: “Salvation is the work of God, a free gift offered to sinners.” Many Calvinists say this. This is just not a Calvinist statement. For Calvinists God does not “offer” anything. He imposes. If someone offers you something, it is understood that you can say no. There is no saying no in Calvinism. That is not an offer.

      Thanks for being nice lately.

      1. FOH writes : “…There are thousands (not tens or hundreds) of situations in the Bible where people (including God’s chosen people) resist the very gift He wants to give them.”

        My Response : Those people resists for the simple reason that, they were not the elect. The gospel call was illegitimately offered to wrong people.
        On the other hand, The elect may refuse for the mean time because God allows them to use their freedom. Their temporal resistance is not yet the final dead end of God’s decree for them, because in the end God’s will for them shall come to pass. This is supported by the unbelieving Israel that – All Israel shall be saved in the future plans of God according to Romans 11:26-27

        Libertarian theology as being cuddled here faces a great problem. This theology cannot explain the reason why man chooses to dis-obey God. Libertarian promoters holds on to the dictionary meaning for freedom of man that it cannot be called freedom if there are intervening factors. It must be absolutely autonomous.

        Question : Why did you pull the trigger ? If the person fails to cite the cause why did he pull the trigger, then he did not really pull the trigger. = This is illogical. There must be a cause in order for one to arrive into the logical result. This is the problem in libertarian free will, they failed to explain the cause.

      2. jtleosala
        Those people RESIST for the simple reason that, they were not the elect. The gospel call was illegitimately offered to wrong people.

        br.d
        This is all part of Calvinism’s double-speak.
        Firstly, its a logical impossibly to RESIST something being given to you – when that something is NOT being given to you.
        So this statement is a manifestation of complete double-mindedness.

        jtleosala
        God allows them to use their freedom.

        br.d
        In Calvinism – this statement is deceptive

        The ONLY freedom Calvin’s god allows is the freedom do be/do whatever he has decreed one be/do – nothing more nothing less.
        Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world renders-certain EVERY neurological impulse one will ever have.
        You are ONLY free to have those neurological impulses which are rendered-certain – nothing more – nothing less.
        And you don’t get to decide what they are – because they are rendered-certain before you exist.

        jtleosala
        in the end God’s will for them shall come to pass.

        br.d
        John Calvin would have a burning hot iron run through your tongue for saying this – and then he would refer you to his institutes where he clearly states -quote: “NOTHING comes to pass without his direct knowledge and decree”. There is NO point prior to the end when this will not be the case. So this is also double-mindedness.

        Jtleosala
        This is the problem in libertarian free will, they failed to explain the cause.

        br.d
        That may be the case and they don’t know how big the universe is either.
        But they are at least honest enough to admit it.

        Calvin teaches that his god is the CAUSE of ALL THINGS which come to pass.
        Not that includes ALL sin and ALL evil
        Calvinists are simply not intellectually honest enough to admit it.

        To understand Calvinism is simple:
        A Calvinist is a determinist wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting double-speak talking-points.

        Jesus without fail – speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
        This fact alone differentiates Calvinism from Christ.

      3. br.d said this :
        “This is all part of Calvinism’s double-speak.”
        “Firstly, its a logical impossibly to RESIST something being given to you – when that something is NOT being given to you.”
        “So this statement is a manifestation of complete double-mindedness.”

        My Response : It is not a manifestation of complete double-mindedness, but rather it is the obedience to the command of Jesus Christ to preach the gospel to all people. We are just simply obeying the command, as you can see, all of the types of soil has been sown, but only the seed that was sown to the good soil has been successful, the rest are all failure. Why? because the seed was not intended for them. So… what you have been accusing from us is always burned to the ground.
        ———————————————————————————————
        br.d said this :
        “In Calvinism – this statement is deceptive”

        “The ONLY freedom Calvin’s god allows is the freedom do be/do whatever he has decreed one be/do – nothing more nothing less.”
        “Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world renders-certain EVERY neurological impulse one will ever have.”
        “You are ONLY free to have those neurological impulses which are rendered-certain – nothing more – nothing less.”
        “And you don’t get to decide what they are – because they are rendered-certain before you exist.”

        My Response : Nothing of God’s decrees has been violated. Why?, because it has been decreed by God for man to use his freedom so that man becomes culpable. The use of this God given freedom has been incorporated within God’s decrees to the fulfilment of the finalities/dead end result of God’s decrees for man. It is the non-Calvinists side that keeps on throwing at us that idea that man is not free to use his freedom — just to always follow and never to disobey. This is not true. All believers in Christ including BR.D. still commit sins is a valid proof of man’s use of his free will.

      4. jtleosala
        Those people RESIST for the simple reason that, they were not the elect. The gospel call was illegitimately offered to wrong people

        br.d :
        “This is all part of Calvinism’s double-speak.”
        “Firstly, its a logical impossibly to RESIST something being given to you – when that something is NOT being given to you.”
        “So this statement is a manifestation of complete double-mindedness.”

        jtleosala
        It is not a manifestation of complete double-mindedness

        br.d
        Your obligation will be to show (using rational thinking) – how someone can resist receiving something that is NOT ever given to them.
        Otherwise your left with double-mindedness

        br.d said this :
        “In Calvinism – this statement (Calvin’s god gives man freedom) is deceptive”

        1)
        “The ONLY freedom Calvin’s god allows is the freedom do be/do whatever he has decreed one be/do – nothing more nothing less.”

        2)
        “Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world renders-certain EVERY neurological impulse one will ever have.”

        3)
        “You are ONLY free to have those neurological impulses – nothing more – nothing less.”

        4)
        “And you don’t get to decide what they are – because they are rendered-certain before you exist.”

        jtleosala
        Nothing of God’s decrees has been violated.

        br.d
        This statement is red-herring designed to deflect from the point.

        Your obligation will be to show (using rational thinking) which of the statements (1-4) are NOT LOGICALLY TRUE in Calvinism.

  3. This ground-breaking book is a bombshell in Augustinian studies and demonstrates Augustine derived much of his later theology more from Stoic, Manichaean, and Neo-Platonic philosophies, which he then superimposed on key biblical texts. See especially pp. 265–69, on Augustine’s departure from traditional Christian theology of original sin.

    br.d
    This totally affirms EVERYTHING I’ve read from recognized academic materials on Augustine including historian experts on his life.

    Neoplatonism became widely influential at around the 3rd century A.D. and persisted until shortly after the closing of Plato’s Academy in Athens at around 520 A.D. After Plato’s death (approximately 347 BC), various Greek schools of thought vied to claim the name of Plato for their tradition, with each claiming theirs as the premier representative of Plato’s thought. One such school, which rose to predominance, was that of NeoPlatonism. NeoPlatonism was essentially the works of Plato framed into religious form.

    In NeoPlatonism all things exist in the “one”, in the form of undifferentiated unity, as elements divinely synchronized within the “one”; of necessity containing good and evil along with all other constituents of the cosmos. Sin and evil can then be stated as beautiful and good, since they are necessary parts of the wholeness of the “one”.

    These constructs would be imbibed by the Catholic NeoPlatonists, and Augustine would carry them forward, and in his eloquent writing, baptize them as Christian, just like the Catholic church had baptized the great god Pan and other pagan constructs.

    Author, Stephen MacKenna in The Influence Of Plotinus (the father of NeoPlatonism) traced In St.Augustine – observes within Augustine’s confessions, evidences of at least two mystical meditation experiences, which clearly follow the Neoplatonic model. Mystic medication was a practice emphasized by the NeoPlatonist’s to aid the believer in becoming assimilated into the “one”.

    Augustine on his death bed quotes Plotinus – the father of NeoPlatonism.

  4. FOH states : “Irresistible grace is just not a biblical idea. There are thousands (not tens or hundreds) of situations in the Bible where people (including God’s chosen people) resist the very gift He wants to give them.”

    I’m apologetic to you for that first impression that you got from me before. Thanks for extending me your love and understanding. Here is my exchange of ideas to your post:

    1. …But most of the Israelites rejected the Messiah openly when Christ descended to them. This is a fact that in God’s eternity plan He also incorporated in that decree the inclusion of human freedom which I also affirm and the thousands of verses of bible verses you have been quoting through out your post. I must also accept the fact that even though the Israelites resisted the gift (meaning they use to exercise their freedom), yet it cannot be denied also that their resistance during the time of Christ on earth is not yet the final end of God’s decree upon them. God will never deny His covenant promise to His people. Those remaining Israelites who keeps on resisting will soon find themselves receiving the gift during the future events set up by God for them. This is supported by the 144 k Israelites (coming from the 12 tribes, 12k for each tribe) who will receive the SEAL on their foreheads, mentioned in Revelation Chap. 7:1-17

    This bible passage alone (although there are still other passages) I mentioned above teaches the doctrine of Irresistible grace. They cannot resist the gift because they are the elect of God chosen before time. We have the opposite understanding about Irresistible grace… yours is unbiblical but for me it’s biblical.

    2. I can also take the word “impose” rather than “offer” to lessen the tensions in our engagement. Just like your experience in the mission field for over 30 years as you have said, that you did not want the TV offered to you so you helped the man put it back to his trunk. I thought that it must be your experience also when you entered a personal union with Christ and hat you resisted the gift, then accept it later. This is just my assumptions here… peace ….

    1. JTL,

      My point is not to get into a discussion about whether physical Israel will be saved. That is a different topic.

      My point is that if you read the Scriptures, with an open mind, and without Reformed presuppositions, you will see that God offers, to many people (not just His chosen people), His gracious hand…. and people often resist it. He allows (not decrees) people to say no to him.

      Acts 17:30 says “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.”

      I know that Calvinists say “all” does not mean “all” and “whosoever” does not mean “whosoever” and spend a lot of time saying it means “all kinds of men” but this is the Word of God trying to be clear. “He commands all people [then to be clear He says] everywhere to repent.”

      He commands it

      It is for all people

      It is for all people everywhere

      to repent.

      We have two choices here.

      1. Some Calvinists say, “We know He always gets what He wants…. and we know that all men do not repent…. so it must not mean what it says (we need to give God’s word a helping hand). We have to add to the Scripture and say He commands all KINDS of men to repent.”

      or,

      2. He is commanding people to repent (all people, everywhere) but He is allowing them to say no. They are commanded to repent, therefore capable of it. He wants them to, but does not force what He wants. He does not force obedience or love [I have several children. I know what this is like]

      There are literally hundreds of beautiful, general calls like this in the Bible.

      Matt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

      When we read this we see a loving, gentle, humble Christ calling (not forcing) all people, everywhere to repent and come find rest. Christ offers to give rest to sinners (very man-centered!) because He cares about man.

      None of the hundreds of invitations like this in the Bible “sound” limited (“all kinds of men”). You have to come to the Bible with that idea. It’s just not there.

      Many people stood on mountainsides and listen to Christ’s invitations…. “Come unto me all you who labor!” … Many, many people in His three and a half years heard His sincere calls and that “He will draw all men to Himself.” Calvinist cry “he invited but He did not give them faith.” But we see not one verse saying that. Not one. We see Christ calling out to people “Come unto me…” We see Christ looking the rich young ruler in the eye and saying “follow me” and yet the man said no. That is resistible grace.

      Those invitations that they heard from the lips of Christ were sincere.

      Indeed, if those invitations from Christ’s own mouth “Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden” are all really just followed by the Calvinist disclaimer (but these invitation are only for a very few who are selected….not for the rest of you hearing them…. or the millions that will read them later….. then it is truly an insincere, dishonest invitation.

      We spend time with our hurting, unbelieving friends, and we grab our Bibles and we say to them….. “You are hurting and burdened by your sins my friend, but Good News…. listen to what Christ says… ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’ Christ wants to give you rest! He is calling all men, everywhere to repent! Listen to His voice my friend!”

      You read God’s word to them as if Christ’s invitations are sincere. And they are!

      When I was a Calvinist…. I was confused…. I felt that I could not offer Christ’s rest to those who were burdened with sin.

      Now I see that His many invitations are sincere. Not insincere invitations that He makes to men, but does not give them what they need to accept them.

      That my friend is Good News!

      1. Thank you FOH, … This is just to clear myself about the elect Israelites. I don’t just limit this to them. I also do believe those elect Gentiles coming from different nations and tongues that are scattered all over the world that will compose God’s flock.

  5. The first commandment is to love the Lord thy God with all our heart, mind , soul and strength, But God first loved us. Now, did we do any thing to cause God to love us? Absolutely not! He loved us freely and now we can freely respond in loving Him in return. Does it take a love pill from God to do it ? I think not, that would mean His act of love (at the cross for us) was not enough to move sinners to come to faith and a love for God freely from their heart. God wants our love because we freely give it, anything less would not be love. If God was somehow forced to love us , we could not trust in Him or His love! Oh how marvelous is His love to us

    1. This is a beautiful post Brent!

      But of course – there are schools within Calvinism who will insist “Calvin’s god does NOT love everybody”
      Other Calvinists are more duplicitous in their language.
      They will say Calvin’s god DOES love everybody – but each individual in a different way.

      Thus:
      LOVE is defined as decreeing/fating/predestining (at the foundation of the world) the vast majority of the human race to an eternal lake of fire.

      This serves as an example of how Calvinism crafts its on unique definitions for biblical words and terms.

      Thanks for you nice post!

      1. br.d

        John MacArthur has commented a lot lately on the new YRR Calvin guys and the love of God. He has seen that many of the beard-loving, tattoo-wearing, cigar-smoking YRR guys are trying to out-Calvinize each other and many are more and more loudly proclaiming that God does NOT in fact love the world, or anybody but the elect.

        MacArthur’s push-back is to say that “God is love” (no kidding!) and that has to mean something. He then goes on with what I feel is his simply ridiculous version of “God makes it rain on the just and the unjust.” If I hear that again, I’ll be ill.

        MacArthur is saying that God is showing love by giving sunshine to people… even the 9-year-old girl caught in sex-slavery (already diseased and dying)….. or the stretcher-bound disfigured/ dismembered person who would rather NOT see another day of sunshine…..or the 12-year-old boy who never comes out of a slimy mineral mine in Myanmar (and will die of disease at 16) ….

        It is arrogant for Southern California pastors with pools and season tickets to every sports team to say “Isn’t life great …the non-elect might be doomed to eternal hell, but at least the sun is shining on them like the rest of us…. and that proves that God loves them. So all you YRR guys stop saying God does not love everyone. He gives us all sunshine!”

        Hey, you may not be part of the elect, but at least you get 20 years or so of painful misery here on earth. Is that Good News to them?

        No, the Good News is that God loves the world and is calling all men, everywhere to repent and find rest in Jesus Christ. It is a sinful broken world, but it is neither God’s doing, nor is He happy about it.

      2. For me, there is a silver lining to those cigar smoking tattooed Calvinists.
        They are not as sophisticated as the McArthurs and the Pipers – and therefore their language is not as serpentine in nature.
        Its therefore easier for a Christian who thinks critically and logically to see through the double-speak – when they speak it.
        Also since they are more hard-core – they are a much more accurate reflection on the true nature of Calvinism.

        The McArthurs and Pipers are much more experts in duplicitous language tricks and sophism.
        So they are much more likely to deceive especially younger people.

        What McArthur and Piper probably want – is for the cigar/tattoo crowd to become more subtle like them.

  6. Brent states part of his post : ” …….Does it take a love pill from God to do it ? I think not, that would mean His act of love (at the cross for us) was not enough to move sinners to come to faith and a love for God freely from their heart….”

    May I also be given the chance to connect to your post:

    Freely loving God is not denied since that I also adhere to the fact that not all the time God will exercise his authority to control human freedom. God’s engagement with man is not one way. He also willed for man to exercise his freedom even before the fall of man to sin until now. Even all of us who claims as the child of God still commit sin, meaning we can still choose to obey or disobey, to love or not to love. If we are going to far on the use of that freedom that will result to ruin us, He also disciplines us and even trim us without asking permission from us-the branches that are connected to the True Vine.. When it comes to the plan of Salvation I believe that God is completely in-charge. Once the sinner is hooked by the love of Christ, he can no longer make use of his will to eject from that union, Why? because God is the one in-charge not man.

      1. Here I quote the heading info in this thread:

        “Second, presuppositions like “original sin entails original guilt” are considered fact and any denial of such is considered to be a part of Semipelagianism. This was the approach of Herman Bavinck and appears to be followed by some Calvinists, including some commenting in “The Baptist Review.” As Dr. Yarnell has accurately pointed out, on such a partisan definition of Semipelagianism, The Baptist Faith and Message would likely be classified as “Semipelagian” since the BFM makes no reference to original guilt. Not even Reformed theologians are in agreement on whether original sin includes original guilt. Henri Blocher in his book Original Sin notes the different views among the Reformed.”

        My Response to this :

        The fact that the a two year old child learns for himself to disobey and to say bad words without being taught is valid proof that the Original Sin has been continuously passed all through out generation. I don’t know why they still disregard the scripture saying that “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23. For me, Semipelagianism is an attempt to insert human freedom as part of man’s share in order to obtain Salvation if I’m going to base it’s meaning from the oxford dictionary of the christian church.

      2. JTL,
        My friend, let’s not mix original sin and total depravity. You said…

        “The fact that the a two year old child learns for himself to disobey and to say bad words without being taught is valid proof that the Original Sin has been continuously passed all through out generation.” Fine.

        Can that two year old also do an obedient act? Can a 5-year-old share with his little sister? Can a twelve year old give his bike to a poor child? Can an 18-year-old be almost-late to school because he helped an elderly lady with her groceries up three flights of stairs?

        Can people, even unbelievers, do good acts?

        Of course.

        Do we all sin? Yes. Is one tiny sin enough to enough to keep us from heaven? Yes. Do we earn our way to heaven with the kind acts mentioned above? No.

        But Total Depravity says we are always bad, all the time. Sin sin sin. That is all a man can do. He is To-tally De-praved. Not just sin-bearing. Not just sometimes disobedient. Tooootally Depraved.

        So….. Zechariah and Elizabeth “were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.” (Luke 1). Were they totally depraved? No.

        Could their good deeds get them to heaven? No. Could they hear the voice of the Messiah when He came through town saying, “Come to me all you who labor and I will give you rest.”? Yes!!

        Do they get to say “I earned my way to heaven!”? No.

        Do they get to say “I was much better, smarter than someone else because I accepted Christ”? No. No more than Israelites could as they were leaving Egypt after 10 plagues they did not orchestrate. No more than Joshua’s priests after marching 7 times around Jericho, “We sure brought those walls down with our marching and trumpets. We’re so good!”

        Nah….. that’s just silly. Nobody does that. That’s a Calvinist straw man.

        In all my years of hanging around believers I have NEVER one time heard someone say they accepted Christ because they were better than someone else. They all say they were sinners and salvation is God’s gift. All they did is what the Bible told them to do….. believe.

      3. Agree with you FOH, that the child can also do good things, and these are being applauded by their parents and even by the teachers in school. I have nothing bad impressions about this. My only concern here lies in the issue of Salvation, that in God’s eyes man’s good works, self-righteousness is nothing to Him.

        I am with you concerning man’s goodness done to their fellowmen, but the problem is that we cannot make use of these in order to please God for us to obtain Salvation, this I believe but not saying yours is wrong.

      4. JTL,
        That is the beauty of the Gospel. A song says “The vilest offender who truly believes, That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.”

        No good deed —whatsoever…. at all …period….. nada…… can do man one inch of good toward salvation. Even the “vilest offender” (who has nothing to offer) receives rest from Christ.

        When? When he believes.

        Ironically, what is the name of that song? “Oh how great man is”??? No. It’s called….

        To God be the Glory.

      5. JTL,
        I’m not sure what to do here.

        You keep saying things I am not saying. I am not saying that man’s good works please God and obtain salvation. Why do you even bring that up?

        My point is that we are not Totally Depraved. Sinful, yes. Disqualified in ourselves for salvation, yes. Need Christ, yes. Need the power of the Cross, yes.

        We see over and over in Scripture Paul, Peter, they preach Christ crucified and people repent and believe. We see that —- we do not see preach, “quicken”, “made alive in Christ,” believe…then “again made alive in Christ.”

        Peter preaches the Cross and people believe.

        Is the power of the Cross enough? Yes.

        Is the power of God’s Word enough? Yes.

        For you, no. A person needs something more. He needs a step we do not see in the Bible. He needs to be “made alive” in Christ so he can “freely choose” Christ and be “made alive” in Christ. Then of course he can still “brag” about being the one who “freely chose” Christ.

        Nah….. just leave all that man-made thinking and believe in the power of Christ crucified. That has the power to save any man. Any man who believes.

      6. Here I quote DG : “Does a person by the grace of God have the ability to choose between life or death in regard to salvation. THAT’S THE ISSUE! ………which is always deflected. (whether or not they realize they are doing it or not…I don’t know?)”

        My answer is YES. For that to happen a sinner needs first to be regenerated (enliven, quicken by the Holy Spirit) so that he can freely choose Christ. He can also possibly resist for the moment for any reasons, but later he will finally acknowledge the Messiah to the accomplishment of God’s plan for him. This is also true to the hard headed Israelites who rejected the Messiah.

        Human freedom was also incorporated by God under His Plan for eternity. This makes man accountable not God. It’s a two way engagement. All believers will face at the the judgment seat of Christ in the future to receive reward for all acts done whether good or bad. Salvation of the believers is not in view here. We don’t believe in the loss of Salvation. This I believe but not saying yours is wrong. I can understand your own views only that I cannot accept. but respect it.

      7. JTL,
        Please allow me respond to a couple things you said.

        You (and Calvinists) insist that there is another action that must happen (quicken, enliven) and you feel that gives glory to God.

        Others of us think that this (1) is not found in the Word and (2) diminishes the Cross. The Scripture talks about the power of the Cross and the power of the Word. Calvinism says….. not really. There needs to be something more…. the Cross is not enough.

        Then you said something (actually you are just repeating Calvinist talking points like I was). You said, “so he can freely choose Christ.” I think we get so used to saying things over and over, hearing them over and over, reading them in books/blogs over and over that we do not realize how nonsensical they sound.

        The Cross and the Word are not enough. God needs to quicken man (we all agree that we are “made alive” in Christ—but this is because of salvation, not long before salvation).

        Then once quickened (not yet saved—but made alive— so we are “made alive” in Christ twice?) man can “freely choose Christ.”

        Can he “freely” not choose Christ? Calvinists say no.

        Therefore the word freely does not fit. At all. There is nothing “free choice” about one choice.

        And furthermore….. if he is “freely choosing Christ” —– then once again the Calvinist argument comes in….that he can “brag about choosing Christ.”

        It just does not make sense my friend….. and it does not fit all the verbs “persuade” “convince” “reason with” that Paul uses. There is no need for all this kind of language from Paul if God “quickens” man and then God makes man “freely” choose Christ.

        “Human freedom was also incorporated by God….”

        Not really. That’s not freedom if you are “too-dead” to choose, and once alive you have only one choice. That’s not freedom. Saying it over and over does not make it so. I, myself got so tired of repeating those talking points (that I felt gave God the most glory) when I did not see that being the story and the Good News of the Bible.

      8. jtleosala
        a two year old child learns for himself to disobey

        br.d
        The creature CANNOT disobey that which Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) has decreed the creature to infallibly do.
        The creature CANNOT DO OTHERWISE than OBEY the decree.

        Calvinist James White calls this – THE TRAUMA OF SOVEREIGNTY

    1. JT writes,
      “Even all of us who claims as the child of God still commit sin, meaning we can still choose to obey or disobey, to love or not to love”

      My reply – This is a good example of the main issue being deflected every time. The Calvinist will always appeal to some sort of freedom to obey or disobey or to love or not to love. They somehow think that this justifies their position. The issue is salvation! Has a person got the ability to choose between life or death in regard to salvation? That’s the issue.

      Forget whether they have to ability to choose to love their great aunt Thelma or not, that’s not the issue. Forget whether they have the ability to obey or disobey the school teacher, that’s not the issue.

      Does a person by the grace of God have the ability to choose between life or death in regard to salvation. THAT’S THE ISSUE! ………which is always deflected. (whether or not they realize they are doing it or not…I don’t know?)

  7. It seems some believe God is in charge of every thing concerning salvation so let’s see 1 God loves sinners 2 God (Jesus) dies on the cross for sinners 3 God sends the Gospel by preaching 4 God makes sinners hear and believe 5 this is only done for and to the elect sinners 6 God can now love Himself through elect sinners.
    Yep, there nothing for sinners to do but sit back and wait for it all to happen!

    No feeling of guilt when the law is preached, no humbling in repentance, no thankfulness when mercy is extended, no stir in a the soul when God’s mighty love given.
    Remember God calls all to repentance , but in this system the sinners must wait for God to fix them so they can repent. And its even after they hear the Gospel call to repent!
    And wait they will, for ever! if they are not the elect. That’s not the God I find in the Bible. Love to ALL in Christ

    1. Hi Brent,
      You make an excellent point – but consider the possibility that its much worse than you describe

      Calvinist thinking is AS-IF thinking.
      A circle AS-IF a square
      A bachelor AS-IF a married man
      True AS-IF NOT true.

      So what yo point out is half of the Calvinist thinking.
      The other half-is is the opposite.

      Calvinists are taught:
      Calvin’s god determines ALL things AS-IF he doesn’t determine ALL things

      Calvinists are forced into this world of double-think because of the very thing you point out.
      And how it conflicts with the general narrative of scripture – and how it conflicts with their every-day experiences in life.

      You will never get a straight answer out of a Calvinist.
      They can’t think that way.
      Its pretty close to a waste of time to even try.

      Jesus without fail – speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
      This is fact separates Calvinism from Christianity.

    2. Hi Brent : I quote here your statement : “It seems some believe God is in charge of every thing concerning salvation so let’s see 1 God loves sinners 2 God (Jesus) dies on the cross for sinners 3 God sends the Gospel by preaching 4 God makes sinners hear and believe 5 this is only done for and to the elect sinners 6 God can now love Himself through elect sinners.”
      “Yep, there nothing for sinners to do but sit back and wait for it all to happen! ”

      “No feeling of guilt when the law is preached, no humbling in repentance, no thankfulness when mercy is extended, no stir in a the soul when God’s mighty love given.”
      “Remember God calls all to repentance , but in this system the sinners must wait for God to fix them so they can repent. And its even after they hear the Gospel call to repent!”
      “And wait they will, for ever! if they are not the elect. That’s not the God I find in the Bible. Love to ALL in Christ”
      ————— ooo —————-
      My Response :

      It is a sweeping statement to say believers have nothing to do, no feeling of guilt, no humbling in repentance, no thankfulness when mercy is extended…” = This is not true. All believers will face the judgment seat of Christ someday to take account of all of their deeds on earth whether good or bad for rewarding purposes.

      After man has been regenerated the “dead man” becomes alive and could have an access now to participate in a two way engagement with God. The fact that the believers still commit sins is a valid proof that man is still held accountable.

  8. Reading through my Bible…. I come to Jeremiah 14.

    13 Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, their prophets are telling them, ‘All is well—no war or famine will come. The Lord will surely send you peace.’”

    14 Then the Lord said, “These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts. 15 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never sent them.
    —————–

    Jeremiah says to the Sovereign Lord…. there are prophets telling your people such-and-such.

    The SOVEREIGN Lord says, “I did not send them or tell them to speak.”

    How could God be more clear? We see He is Sovereign….. then He defines sovereignty for us (listen well all you who want to insist on your definition of sovereignty).

    He says, “I did not send them or tell them to speak.” What does that mean? Well…. He goes on (just to make it clear!)

    “I did not give them any messages.” [It wasn’t my doing]

    “They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts.” [This is not my will or my plan or my desire in ANY way.]

    “15 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never sent them.”

    He says they spoke in His name but He did not send them. What does that mean, “I never sent them”?

    1. Calvinist/Determinist need (once again) to add to the Scripture and say, “Well of course He sent them, since he preordained all actions.”

    2. Calvinist/Determinist need (once again) to add to the Scripture and say, “Well of course God wanted them to do that since we believe that all that happens is what God wants.”

    3. Calvinist/Determinist need (once again) to add to the Scripture and say, “We know these many passages do not mean what they say, since we know better how ‘God must be.'”

    4. Calvinist/Determinist need (once again) to add to the Scripture and say, “We know that these false prophets were God’s will — uh, one of God’s many wills. These prophets were His divine will or maybe His hidden will …but not his spoken will… or His revealed will…or one of those wills we made.”

    Nah….. those are just man-made ideas. Man comes along and says “sovereignty” means that everything that happens is what God wanted to happen (even when He says it is not). That is just Greek philosophy talking.

    God comes along (many times and many ways) and shows us that He can be Sovereign and still say that people do things He does not want or did not plan.

    I’m not making this up —- or just repeating a talking point mantra– I’m just seeing it over and over in the Bible.

    1. Excellent! – parallels Jeremiah 19:5

      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 INTO MY MIND.

      Pretty hard to decree something to come to pass – if it never enters into one’s mind! :-]
      But I’m sure Calvinist have a strategy to talk their way around this verse also.

      1. br.d,

        Yes these ideas “It never entered my mind” “I did not want this nor did I tell them to do this” are numerous.

        You see, that’s the point. They find some half verse and build a lot on it, and leave us to wonder what to do with the plethora of verses saying something else.

        This kind of “Thus sayeth the Lord, If you would do this XY then I will do ….. but you do AB then I will do this…” is ALL OVER THE BIBLE.

        And yet….. you are right….. they find some kind of puzzling “No, God cannot be that way” exit door, once again claiming that what the Scripture says (many times and many ways) it does not mean.

      2. Yes – exactly correct.
        They apply their own form of crooked logic – designed to force scripture to affirm Calvin’s doctrines

        Then they say things like “your logic will never superseded the authority of scripture”
        Making believe that isn’t what they’ve just done using their crooked logic.

        I’m afraid there is very little honesty to be found among them.

      3. Here I quote my friend FOH’s statements :

        “You (and Calvinists) insist that there is another action that must happen (quicken, enliven) and you feel that gives glory to God.”

        “Others of us think that this (1) is not found in the Word and (2) diminishes the Cross. The Scripture talks about the power of the Cross and the power of the Word. Calvinism says….. not really. There needs to be something more…. the Cross is not enough”.

        “Then you said something (actually you are just repeating Calvinist talking points like I was). You said, “so he can freely choose Christ.” I think we get so used to saying things over and over, hearing them over and over, reading them in books/blogs over and over that we do not realize how nonsensical they sound.”

        “The Cross and the Word are not enough. God needs to quicken man (we all agree that we are “made alive” in Christ—but this is because of salvation, not long before salvation).”

        “Then once quickened (not yet saved—but made alive— so we are “made alive” in Christ twice?) man can “freely choose Christ.”

        “Can he “freely” not choose Christ? Calvinists say no.”

        “Therefore the word freely does not fit. At all. There is nothing “free choice” about one choice.”

        “And furthermore….. if he is “freely choosing Christ” —– then once again the Calvinist argument comes in….that he can “brag about choosing Christ.”

        “It just does not make sense my friend….. and it does not fit all the verbs “persuade” “convince” “reason with” that Paul uses. There is no need for all this kind of language from Paul if God “quickens” man and then God makes man “freely” choose Christ.”

        “Human freedom was also incorporated by God….”

        “Not really. That’s not freedom if you are “too-dead” to choose, and once alive you have only one choice. That’s not freedom. Saying it over and over does not make it so. I, myself got so tired of repeating those talking points (that I felt gave God the most glory) when I did not see that being the story and the Good News of the Bible.”

        Here is my Response my Friend:

        1.Regeneration precedes faith. I believe in this. By Regeneration, the dead sinner is being made alive by the quickening of the Holy spirit through the gospel. Regeneration is just the first step to obtaining salvation. It is now in this stage (being made alive) that the sinner can now exercise freely the God given faith for him to choose Christ.

        2. In my own position, Man is not a robot. I already manifested that in my previous posts that in God’s eternity plan He incorporated man’s freedom and WILLED, PERMITS for man to be able to use that freedom without being influenced by God, thus man becomes accountable. This is supported by the fact that all believers will face at the judgement seat of Christ someday in order to take account of all he have done on earth whether good or bad for rewarding purposes. God’s sovereignty here is not undermined because what He decreed is the accomplishment at the dead end result of all things.

        3. For me, the verbs used to “persuade”, “convince”, “reason with” that are used widely in Scriptures are proofs of God’s two way engagement with man. I also admit that there are times in Scripture that God meddles or manipulate man’s freedom especially when we talked about irresistible grace. As an independent God He has the right to choose for Himself whether to meddle/manipulate or to not meddle man’s freedom.

        4. I know the stand of the Non-Calvinists concerning the word freedom is in line with the dictionary meaning of that word. It cannot be called freedom if it is not autonomous by itself. But for me, this dictionary meaning will not apply for our God because He has the right for Himself whether to manipulate or not manipulate man’s freedom. This I believe and can be proven in scripture.

        5. The “too dead man” , I also admit that they have the real capacity to seek God and decide, but the problem is that God refuses to hear them due to the SIN that is in them. That “too dead man” for me has been separated from the Holy God due to SIN. God must do something and this is to regenerate man so that the God given faith can be freely exercised to choose Christ. Example : The “unconscious patient” is revived by the doctors in the hospital. They cannot resist because they are unconscious. It is being done even without the permission coming from the relatives in order to save the patient. Once the patient has been revived, then he can use now his God given faith to choose Christ.

        This I believe and just to express it here to shed light for the readers understanding of our side. It is never meant to insult other views that are opposed to mine. In can sense very well in my engagement with you… your great love for God and sincerity in your service to our God for over 30 years which I think I have not yet attained. I praise God for that.

        Those below the belt attacks on me don’t worry, I can understand them and will not take it seriously for it is just an exchange of ideas here.

      4. JTL,

        That is a very kind response and I appreciate it.

        By the way, I still lead a big team of missionaries, some from my organization but some from other ones. We come from all ends of Christ’s body: some are Pentecostal and some are Reformed. We get along.

        Now to your response:

        I am very familiar with this idea: “Regeneration precedes faith,” but I do not find it in the Bible. It is a pithy phrase that Sproul has made familiar, but that does not make it so.

        So, you have man “being made alive” and then perhaps taking years to then decide for Christ? We all know examples of friends reading/ studying with us for years before coming to Christ. Were they seeking all those years? If seeking then they were “made alive” so they could seek Christ (according to Calvinism). So they are “made alive” years before they are saved?

        When we read Scripture and see “we are alive in Christ” we think of what Christ does for us with His salvation. We are not “made alive” twice are we?

        You said: “Regeneration is just the first step to obtaining salvation. It is now in this stage (being made alive) that the sinner can now exercise freely the God given faith for him to choose Christ.” Of course you read about this idea and procedure from books and blogs (as I did) since we do not ever see it described this way in Scripture. It is therefore just an idea, or theory.

        “The sinner can now exercise freely the God given faith for him to choose Christ.” This I find both humorous and sad. There is NOTHING freely done in Calvinism. Once quickened— the grace is irresistible. You are only kidding yourself to say it is freely chosen. It just sounds good to you so you say it….. but it is not resistible. Therefore not freely done. You should just own that idea and stop saying the “freely chosen” part.

        If God irresistibly makes man choose Him, then you should not say that this is freely done (your points 3, 4).

        Your number #5 does not make any sense to me. You say, “they have the real capacity to seek God and decide, but the problem is that God refuses to hear them due to the SIN that is in them.” So they are seeking God, and deciding, and pleading for Him to save them, but He doesn’t because they are sinful?

        That is not biblical. If man calls on the Lord, He saves them. We are all sinful. I dont think you said that very well (or meant what you said). God does not turn away people calling on Him, because they are sinful!

        Calvinism says that people do not seek….they are totally depraved. They are not “persuaded” not “reasoned with” (that would imply that man had something to do with it). Not looking for God. No good acts. No reading, no studying… Just God-haters, all the time.

        I think your following illustration does not work and you certainly did not find it in the Bible…. “Once the patient has been revived, then he can use now his God given faith to choose Christ.”

        What? That makes no sense. A patient is revived and then goes on and does whatever he wants. No patient is revived then has to do exactly what the doctor says? “We revived you—now you have one choice.” Illustration does not work. I get the “revived by no choice of his own” part —- but not the now he can “freely choose” only one choice (that aint choosing if there is only one choice!).

        Furthermore you keep saying “God-given faith.” We have hundreds of verses that talk about people’s faith, but never once is it called (or implied to be) God-given. Never.

        You keep saying, “he can use now his God given faith to choose Christ.” There is no choice if it is irresistible. Could God make men choose Him (if He had designed the world that way) … yes of course. But you cannot call that a free choice.

        You mentioned judgment and free choice.

        Illustration: A man is dragged into a deep pit. Later, he is on trial before you (the judge) for being in that pit. You tell the man he was not supposed to be in the pit and ask him why he did not attempt to leave the pit. He tells you —-there were no doors, or windows, or ropes, or ladders… I could not leave. You ask the police and they confirm this is true. Do you judge him guilty for not leaving. Of course not.

        Calvinism says man is born guilty and is totally deprave and “too-dead” to respond to Christ. Christ stands there as judge asking the sinner why he did you not leave the pit (his sin)? He says that there was no doors, windows, ropes, or ladders (he was never quickened). He had no way out. Does Christ judge him guilty?

        Calvinist often do not hear themselves. They say you cannot get out of the pit unless Christ quickens you (gives you a ladder). Yet Christ will still judge you for not leaving! Makes no sense! Does not match the message and Good News of the Bible.

      5. You must have posted this for someone else – it doesn’t appear to apply to anything I posted.

        The bottom line for me – is I can clearly see that Calvinists are taught *AS-IF* thinking.
        True *AS-IF* NOT True
        Calvin’s god determines everything that comes to pass in every part AS-IF he doesn’t determine everything that comes to pass in every part.

        I understand that is the thinking pattern your mind has been conditioned in.
        Therefore I understand the reason for the Calvinist’s dislike for simple logic.
        Maybe some day you’ll see it as clearly as I do.
        Maybe you won’t.
        I’ll keep on speaking the truth and leave the deliverance to the Lord.

      6. Here I quote FOH’s statement : “If God irresistibly makes man choose Him, then you should not say that this is freely done (your points 3, 4).

        This is my response : Irresistible grace is only applied to those who resist after regenerated. As I’ve pointed out that man can still resist even yourself you can still disobey God and commit sin that’s your choice. If you continue sinning then God will discipline you even if you don’t like. God the Father will trim you (the branch connected to the Vine). He will no longer ask permission from you, even if you resist God can still do the trimming on you.

        On the other hand, if the patient that has been revived by the doctors in the hospital after becoming conscious becomes grateful for the air infused to him, and decide for himself to choose Christ, then there is no need for God to apply irresistible grace.

        FOH said : “Calvinism says man is born guilty and is totally deprave and “too-dead” to respond to Christ. Christ stands there as judge asking the sinner why he did you not leave the pit (his sin)? He says that there was no doors, windows, ropes, or ladders (he was never quickened). He had no way out. Does Christ judge him guilty? ”

        My answer : Yes, The man is guilty and will remain in the pit no rescue. why? Because as what you have said there is no way-out door, windows, ropes or ladders. Meaning there is no legitimate offer of the gospel to that man. Christ is the one who decides as to whom He will offer His life.

        FOH Said : “Furthermore you keep saying “God-given faith.” We have hundreds of verses that talk about people’s faith, but never once is it called (or implied to be) God-given. Never.

        My response : Yes, you are correct it was never called or implied to be God-given. The totally depraved unbelievers have their own faith even the cults and the devil they have faith, but this will never save them nor will find merit from God. Why? because of the sin that is in them that caused their separation from the Holy God. Christ have declared that if anyone who is disconnected with Him, he can do nothing.

        True faith comes to man through the hearing of the Gospel. – (Romans 10:17) This means that God gave that faith to man for him to exercise to put his trust to God. The Samaritan woman in John 4:22 was a worshiper at the foot of Mt Gerizim and yet Christ said to her “you worship what do not know , we know what we worship for Salvation is for the Jews”. If Jesus already honored her faith then why is it that Christ said that she don’t know anything of her worship and still offering her the living water? Another one is Lydia in the book of Acts .Your ally quoted her as a worshiper praying to God while on the boat, and yet she finds the Messiah later by the time she heard the gospel preached. That means her previous faith and being a devout worshiper is nothing and void. She only have known and acknowledged the Messiah after being regenerated, then faith was provided by God to her for her to exercise and be saved.

        FOH said : “…A patient is revived and then goes on and does whatever he wants. No patient is revived then has to do exactly what the doctor says? “We revived you—now you have one choice.” Illustration does not work. I get the “revived by no choice of his own” part —- but not the now he can “freely choose” only one choice (that aint choosing if there is only one choice!)”

        My Response : That’s not always true, you failed to tell also the other side. Most patient will follow the doctor’s prescription so they will live. I also admit that there are patients that disobey the Doctor’s prescriptions. This is only possible with human doctors, but not with God. If God wishes to manipulate man’s freedom, He can do it any time He may wish – and this is Irresistible Grace that will suspend man’s freedom.

        FOH said : “Calvinism says that people do not seek….they are totally depraved. They are not “persuaded” not “reasoned with” (that would imply that man had something to do with it). Not looking for God. No good acts. No reading, no studying… Just God-haters, all the time.

        My response : I am already through explaining this in the previous post. I don’t deny the total depravity followed by my explanation that God totally deny the dead Man’s efforts due to his SIN that separates him from God. On the other hand I do not deny man’s good deeds to fellowmen, religiousity to God, but all of this stuff will not appease God’s wrath. Salvation is the 101 percent the work of God. He did not gave any part of this work to anyone else. It is a free gift provided to sinners.

        FOH Said : “That is not biblical. If man calls on the Lord, He saves them. We are all sinful. I dont think you said that very well (or meant what you said). God does not turn away people calling on Him, because they are sinful!

        My Response : I quote Isaiah 59:2

        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”

        The verse itself denies man’s attempt to call God due to his SINS that caused his separation from the Holy God, yet, FOH says this is not biblical and that God does not turn away people calling on Him.

        Another verse in Matt. 7:22-23 “… many call Him Lord, Lord…. sad to say they are being denied by Jesus Christ… ” I never knew you…”

      7. JTL,

        It does not work for me (or normal hermeneutical (interpretation) principles) to pull one verse from Isaiah 59 —which was spoken to specific people at a specific time— and apply that wherever you want. That verse has nothing to do with our conversation.

        That is almost like saying since Christ told someone “Take up your bed and walk” (John 5:8) that all believers are to walk around with their beds! Please do not continue to yank one verse out of context.

        Furthermore you said: “That means her previous faith and being a devout worshiper is nothing and void. She only have known and acknowledged the Messiah after being regenerated, then faith was provided by God to her for her to exercise and be saved.”

        You are only saying “… acknowledged the Messiah after being regenerated, then faith was provided…” because you learned that idea from books and blogs (as I did). There is no reference at all (ever!) in the Bible of such a procedure.

        JTL, Please read that whole story of this woman in John 4. In the natural reading of the story you will NOT see regeneration first, then Christ giving faith. You are just imposing that on the story. In fact you have never seen that in the Bible, only learned it in books and blogs.

        In this story you will not see these Calvinist ideas. You will see:

        4:19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. [Has she been regenerated already? Does she have saving faith already? Yet she can see He is a prophet (not needing any help).]

        Jesus says…..
        23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

        [The Father is “seeking” those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. If Christ was preaching Calvinism, He would say “the Father is created/ giving faith to people so they will worship Him.” But He doesn’t say that…. He says the “Father is seeking.” Why is the Father “seeking” if He is the one giving the faith? That makes no sense.]

        25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” [Is she regenerated yet? She knows that Messiah is coming and will explain. She even knew that before this encounter. That does not sound like she is “too-dead” and totally depraved and cannot understand. For you, she must be regenerated already, right? To be able to say such things, right?]

        28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” [Whoops… she cannot be regenerated yet with faith, since she is still wondering if this is the Messiah].

        39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” [They believed —- because she said “He told me everything.” It never says they were regenerated and given faith. It is very dangerous to continually read into the Bible things that are not there.]

        40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

        [“Because of His words” —- not because they were regenerated and given faith! We all have the Word of God now! Hearing his words can be enough for people to believe. That is why I say that Calvinism does not believe in the power of the Cross or the power of His Word. We dont need the man-made idea of an extra thing. We have His Word!)

        42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” [She told them “he told me everything” and they “heard for themselves.” These are the two elements that helped them believe. “We know that this man…” “We know…” “We…” There is no mention here —or anywhere in the Bible —- that they were specially regenerated first and given faith. Nah, they just heard the Word and believed!]

        Sir, are you really putting forward the Samaritan woman as a proof of Augustine’s Greek idea that man has to be regenerated first so that he can hear the Word of God?

        Really? The Bible does not say that in any way. Man just made that up. TULIP.

        The power of the Cross. The power of the Word. The Father is seeking those who believe His Word!

  9. WHAT KEY CHARACTERISTIC DO ALL BIBLE BASED CULTS HAVE IN COMMON

    THE DIVINE EXEGESIS:
    In her book Twisted Scriptures, Mary Alice Chrnalogar describes a narrative concerning a large congress of various congregations, all functioning under one specific leader. This leader has brought his congregations together for a Bible Convention. There he announces he will be laying out a teaching from scripture, and in intricate detail. The teaching will require seven full days of intensive Biblical exegesis.

    At the end of the seven day intensive – all of the groups under his ministry are then asked to come to a vote over whether or not young virgin girls from each of the groups should be set forth to function as a divine surrogate wives for him.

    Through the intensive seven-day Bible study he has shown them that scripture teaches this irrefutably. But it also teaches that the decision for granting God’s divine will concerning this, should be done as a “Free Will” Offering unto the Lord.

    Having been convinced that his teaching comes straight from scripture – the elders in each group come to a unanimous vote in favor of the “Divine Plan”.

    LOGIC STANDS IN OPPOSITION:
    One of the primary problems he must address, is the question of whether or not God is logical. Because the “Divine Exegesis” which he lays out, appears to be in contradiction to many scriptures. How are God’s people to understand this? Are these REAL contradictions or just APPARENT contradictions?

    His answer is – the God of the Bible is not logical. However that is not to say the God of the Bible is “illogical”. It’s just that God is “above” logic, and therefore the truth of the “Divine Exegesis” can only be discerned by divine inspiration and not by human logic.

    It is critical here, that you understand, the crucial role this argument against logic plays in this minister’s ability to convince people to accept his “Divine Plan” as scriptural.

    In Ephesians 4:14 Paul warns the church – writing:
    “We should no longer be children tossed to and fro by waves of doctrines. Being blown about, here and there, by every wind of teaching – by those who are cunning and crafty.”

    Paul’s terminology here, where he refers to “waves” and being “blown about” can be seen as a reference to a ship driven by strong winds – not having any anchor to rely on.

    Out Bible teacher and his “Divine Exegesis” however does not leave his congregations without an anchor. But what anchor does he offer? He has convinced them that the anchor they are holding to is scripture. But is it really?

    In Luke Chapter 10 Jesus is tempted by an expert in the law. Jesus asks him two questions.
    1) What does scripture say?
    2) How do you read it?

    Clearly Jesus is showing us that what we believe scripture dictates, is powerfully anchored to “how we read it”.

    So while our Bible teacher has successfully convinced his congregation that the anchor they are holding to is scripture – the truth is, the anchor he as REALLY given them to hold on to is “His Reading” of scripture.

    But our Bible exegetic has a serious obstacle to overcome here. His reading of scripture is in contradiction to many verses within scripture. His exegesis contains many self-contradictions. If the elders in his congress of congregations are logical thinkers, this will lead them to see his “Divine Exegesis” is false.

    To get around this obstacle, he must convince them that “God is not logical”. This he argues; is not to say, “God is irrational”. It just means that the authority of scripture stands above our human logic.

    Embracing this, they cast aside the anchor of logic, and grab hold of a different anchor which he provides. He has successfully convinced them the anchor they hold to is scripture. While the REAL anchor they are holding to is simply the authority of his reading of scripture.

    These believers have no fixed anchor. And are thus tossed two and fro by every wind of his “Divine Exegesis”. In order to embrace this, they must embrace a host of logical contradictions.

    Teaching people to let go of the anchor of sound reasoning and sound logic – is the one key characteristic which all Bible based cults have in common.

  10. JTL,
    I am reading another encounter with Christ in Mark 10. The rich young ruler.

    21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

    23 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!”

    —–

    Here is clearly a case where Christ loves someone and calls someone…. and yet Christ’s grace is resisted.

    That is resistible grace.

    Christ goes on to say “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy….”

    What? Why? Why harder for them? I mean everyone is the same “too-dead” right? If Calvinism is true, it is not any harder for rich or poor…. they all need to wait to be regenerated, right? What…. is it harder for God to regenerate a rich person?

    Yet another beautiful story of Christ loving someone and calling someone that makes no sense in Calvinism.

  11. FOH Said : “…What…. is it harder for God to regenerate a rich person?

    1. So… you are now complaining Christ’s statement concerning the rich. Well you can say that to Him as you pray before you sleep.

    2. By the way, I noticed that you evaded to type John 4:22, Why?

    3. By saying a “prophet” is not conclusive to say she (the Samaritan Woman) have already possessed a saving faith. Anybody can say that.

    4. Actually, the Samaritan Woman became an effective witness to her fellow Samaritans after her conversation with Jesus. This never happened prior to her encounter with Jesus. Meaning there must have something happened in her during her actual engagement with Jesus. The grace of God was already operative during that actual encounter, Augustine here, never heard and I don’t care he is not important to me at all. No connections here.

    5. No one here argues with the power of the Cross and the word of God.

    1. JTL,
      I will try this again.

      Perhaps my style of writing is not that easy to understand.

      First I skip verses that do not have to do with the conversation (topic). The topic is that you impose on this passage that she is regenerated and given faith. No one reading that story would have any idea what you are talking about. You cannot find that idea in Scripture. It was fabricated by Augustine-then Calvin then today’s reformers (Piper), but is not in any of the passages.

      I repeat. No one reading ANY biblical encounter with Christ or salvation story found in the Bible would naturally come to the idea that there was some extra regeneration/ faith giving going on. In fact Christ even tells many people in many places “your faith has made you whole” or “I have never found such faith in all the land.”

      Of course saying “prophet” does not express saving faith (I never said that) …. but it certainly is not a totally depraved “dead” person! That is my point there.

      Long before any such (Calvinistic) pre-regeneration took place in her, she is talking about a Messiah etc. That is not a “totally depraved” person in the TULIP definition. She is not a God-hater. For Calvinism to work…. ALL people at ALL times before they are regenerated must be God-haters. Period. That is one of Calvinism’s non-negotiables. But she apparently is not (neither was Cornelius, Lydia, etc).

      As for my other post (you are mixing posts now) about the rich young ruler. It is a simple question: Why does Jesus say “It is harder for a rich man to come …”? I am not the one arguing with Christ’s word— Calvinists are! You missed my point completely.

      I agree with Christ that it is hard for a rich person. Why? He has to stop depending on himself and his riches and turn to Christ. That is hard because it is the rich person’s decision.

      Since Calvinism teaches that it is not the rich man’s decision…. only God’s… then why is it harder?

      Since it has nothing to do with the person (Calvinists say) or his riches…. it makes no sense (in Calvinism) that Christ says that.

      Phew! This is why I stopped writing the first time with you. You miss my point or purposely twist it.

      Can I encourage you to please read my responses more than once before you send off a quick answer.

    2. Not really JTL,

      I think that the power of the Cross and the actual word of God are enough.

      Take that Word of God to any sinner, anywhere and it has the power to bring him to repentance.

      Calvinism does not teach that. It teaches that the Cross itself…. the Word itself are not enough. They are powerless unless there is some kind of special giving-of-faith. That giving-of-faith is never seen one time in Scripture, just brought over from Greek philosophy.

  12. FOH
    What…. is it harder for God to regenerate a rich person?

    jtleosala
    1. So… you are now complaining Christ’s statement concerning the rich. Well you can say that to Him as you pray before you sleep.
    2. By the way, I noticed that you evaded to type John 4:22, Why?

    FOH – did you see how JT totally twisted your question to him?
    You asked him a question based on logic
    He apparently can’t find a logical response – so must evade the question.

    The strategy of evasion is to dismiss your logical question – calling it a complaint against Jesus
    A masquerade tactic to give himself the appearance of having some kind of imaginary moral high-ground.

    I suspect he picket up this tactic from Rhutchin
    So after evading your question – he then cold-faced accuses you of evasion!!

    I’m wondering if at some point – you’re going to agree with me about the monkey and banana. :-]

    1. br.d,

      In JTL’s defense, English is not his first language. He misses stuff. I have studied 7 languages. I miss stuff in all of them!

      And I think he just reads my post one time and gets mad and whips off a response.

      I did see his poor, not-connected response, but I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

      I have commented again asking why Christ would say “it is harder for a rich man” if the whole things depends on God. To most readers that question is logical and would make us have to reflect on / question a Reformed position. I think he just missed it. I tried again.

      So, to put it clearly to the anyone reading.

      Calvinism says that God does everything and man (elected, irresistible-grace-forced, faith-given) does nothing.

      Why then does Christ say it is harder for a rich man? What is it that is harder if God is doing everything?

      Non-Calvinists believe that what is hard is that a rich man has learned to “make his way in life” or “to buy his way in” or to “trust in his money.” Rich people “dont need anyone” ….. so humbling himself before God is hard (as we see in the young man). That non-Calvinist position makes sense… logically and biblically (according to Christ’s words).

      But a Calvinist world view makes no sense of what Christ is saying.

      Just like it makes no sense in Calvinism when Christ says “your faith has made you whole” or “I have never FOUND such faith in all the land”.

      Just like it makes no sense when Paul says “he persuades men” “he reasons with men” “he convinces men.” That makes no sense if Christ does it all.

      1. Yup!
        I totally agree with you – good sound reasoning!
        And giving the benefit of the doubt is good.
        I’ll keep monitoring your patience to see if there is any progress in the dialog.

        But I’m a firm believer that psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton knew what he was talking about when he detailed how powerful “Milieu control” is.
        And it is well documented as having a very long term effect on the minds of people within religious groups.

        So as I’m monitoring – if my previous experience gets confirmed once again – at least you extended yourself in grace and patience.

    2. Classic! ………monkey and banana, thank you brd, now I’m getting a good belly laugh😂 I’ll agree with you (lightheartedly of course)

      1. FOH Said : “I have commented again asking why Christ would say “it is harder for a rich man” if the whole things depends on God. To most readers that question is logical and would make us have to reflect on / question a Reformed position. I think he just missed it. I tried again.”

        “So, to put it clearly to the anyone reading.”

        “Calvinism says that God does everything and man (elected, irresistible-grace-forced, faith-given) does nothing.”

        “Why then does Christ say it is harder for a rich man? What is it that is harder if God is doing everything?”
        ———————————- 000 ——————————————–
        My Response : It is understandable that for those who strongly opposes the doctrines of Election and Irresistible grace would naturally find ammunition to shoot us down. To answer your question : “Why Christ would say it is harder for a rich man if the whole things depends on God”? — just proceed reading the passage and stop at verse 27, where it says : “… with men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27):

        It could be impossible for FOH as a human being because he just stopped reading in verse 23 where Christ have said : “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God”, but in Christ all things are possible — that includes the illogical reasonings that your ally continuously protest here. Actually there is no such hardship in Christ because Christ said also that for Him all things are possible which does not negate Irresistible Grace and the Omnipotence of God – This supports Calvinists claim that God can do everything.

        You said I just missed it. I really did not miss it, you did in verse 27.

      2. JTL,
        I may not be able to keep doing this. You continue to miss my point.

        Of course I know verse 27 is there and of course it has a context too!!

        The point still stands…. which you never answered ….and cannot.

        Why does Christ say it is harder for a rich man? That make zero sense for a Calvinist.

        Now the rest of the context
        ————

        24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

        [Once again Jesus repeats that rich people have a hard time humbling themselves. He says for a second time it is hard for a rich man. Why? Who is it hard for?]

        26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”

        [The disciples do not know all the treasures of Christ’s wisdom. They live in a “dog eat dog world” where the rich and powerful get what they want. This man was a “child of God” (in that he was of the chosen people) and he was rich (taken as a sign of blessing). They are amazed that it will be hard for the him. “It is hard for the rich….. then who even can be saved!?” they are thinking.]

        27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

        [Yes! It is impossible for man to save himself. But God can save him! It does not matter if you are rich or poor—- you can be save. Harder for the rich though! Impossible for everyone without God! The disciples do not know of salvation by grace…and the sacrifice of Christ yet….. they are still in the “might is right” thinking and Christ tells them …No! Impossible for man.]

        28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” [What? Very “man-centered” Peter! A Calvinist Jesus would rebuke him and say —- you did nothing!! I gave you the faith…. you had no choice…. you did nothing! But He doesn’t!!]

        29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

        [Woah doggies! Christ does not rebuke him with Calvinist ideas saying he does not matter and did nothing…. Nope! What are the words of Christ?! He does not scold Peter for telling the Son of God “we left everything.” Nope !!!! He says he will not “fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age…. and in the age to come eternal life.” There is no reference to given-faith, forced irresistible grace. None of that here. That is just an idea man brings to the text. We need to look at the word of Christ.]

        Sorry JTL, but even the broader context does not explain why Christ says it is hard for a rich man.

      3. You made an excellent point FOH – when you asked WHO IS IT HARD FOR?

        If its hard for Calvin’s god – then it contradicts Calvin’s assertions
        If its hard for the rich man – this clearly contradicts a scenario in which the man’s fate is determined by forces outside his control – which is totally the case in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism).

        However, if Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) is FALSE then it makes perfect sense.
        Another example where scripture much more apply affirms the world-view of INDETERMINISM – the opposite of Calvinism.

      4. I quote hereunder BR.D’s post:

        “jtleosala
        Regarding your question to me : Why does Christ say it is harder for a rich man? – My answer is NOTHING hard for God to save him”

        “br.d
        The term HARD logically incorporates the concept of EFFORT.”

        “The Calvinist here is arguing that Jesus’ reference to HARD – has nothing to do with God’s EFFORT in man’s salvation process.”

        “Two possible options exist for the Calvinist after taking this position:
        1) He directly contradicts Jesus’ statement.
        or
        2) His response hinges upon Jesus’ reference to HARD as a reference to some EFFORT being HARD for man – since NOTHING is HARD in the EFFORT of God.”

        “So now – God’s EFFORT having been excluded – the Calvinist is left with only one EFFORT to which Jesus must be referring.
        Some aspect in man’s EFFORT towards the goal of salvation is HARDER for a rich man.”

        “But Calvinism strictly rejects the concept that any aspect of the salvation process is dependent upon man’s EFFORT.
        I’m wondering if a Calvinist can escape from the doctrinal corner he has now painted himself into here.”
        —————————— ooo —————————————–

        Here is My Response : “The rich man’s effort (if in case he will throw away his material possessions) is still SIN infected, the reason why Christ stated it’s hard for him to be saved. Salvation can never be obtained by any good works like : to set aside material things. Salvation is totally the work of God given free to sinners without any conditions for no one on earth deserves for it. All humanity is guilty of SIN and deserves to be thrown to hell. God is the one who decides as to whom He will extend a legitimate offer of Christ’s death at the cross of Calvary”. It is not the choice of the rich man. The possibility or not possibility of throwing away of his material possessions is not actually the basis of the Doctrine of Salvation.

      5. jtleosala
        Here is My Response : “The rich man’s effort (if in case he will throw away his material possessions) is still SIN infected, the reason why Christ stated it’s hard for him to be saved.

        br.d
        This response acknowledges that the process of throwing away material possessions is an EFFECTUAL part of the process of salvation in this case. Thus EFFORT on the man’s part is REQUIRED. And this is confirmed because this EFFORT is stated as being HARDER for this man than for another.

        EFFORT logically entails WORK.

        Therefore by this acknowledgement – the assertion that Calvin’s god does ALL of the WORK in the salvation process is contradicted.

  13. FOH Said : “…..That giving-of-faith is never seen one time in Scripture, just brought over from Greek philosophy.”

    My Response :

    FOH’s claim is a lie. I can prove in more than one Scripture that Faith is God given, gift of God to man, i.e.:

    Romans 10:17 “So then Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – The verse tells us that Faith is being infused to man the moment he hears the word of God., yet FOH denies this.

    Luke 17:5 “And the apostles said to the Lord, increase our faith”. = Here the verse itself speaks that Faith originates from God. The apostles will not ask of it if they have the capacity to produce such faith or the by product of their will. Human will cannot do it by itself to produce the faith, rather it must come from God, yet FOH denies this.

    Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for joy that was set set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” = This verse itself is saying that God is the author/creator of Faith not man, but FOH insists the opposite. as far as I understand for him faith is created by man himself. My goodness…

    Rom. 12:3 “For I say through their grace given to me to everyone who is among you, do not think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly as God has dealt EACH ONE A MEASURE OF FAITH.” =This verse clearly teaches us that God is the one responsible in the distribution of the different levels of faith to man, yet FOH denies this according to him never seen one time in Scripture. FOH is lying.

    Galatians 3:22-23 “But the scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise of faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believes. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which afterward be revealed.” = This verses again are telling us that faith has been promised by God to be given to man, yet FOH denies this and quick to say “giving of faith is never seen one time in Scripture, just brought over from Greek philosophy. The readers on this blog can judge who is really telling the truth and whose in hold of the truth.

    I Cor. 13:2 “And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have faith, so that I could move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” = Again, the gift of faith is mentioned in this verse along with the gift of prophecy, yet FOH denies this.

    1. JTL,
      I am afraid I will not be able to continue this. Your language is too harsh calling me a liar, and your posts dont make enough sense to me.

      One post (Egyptians).

      Any Egyptian with blood on the door would have been saved. The passage tells us that many people from other groups left with the Israelites. A person only needed blood applied to his door. THAT is how God would be selective. He did not forbid the Egyptians.

      Another post (verses)

      Romans 10:17. What? Exactly the Word of God has power. But this is saying nothing about God giving faith. Why are you quoting this?

      Luke 17:5. What? Exactly. They HAVE faith and they are asking God for help with their feeble faith (in His grace, God gives people encouragement to help them with their faith),

      Hebrews 12:2. Col 1:16 says “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Of course by Him all things were created. Of course He is the reason for our faith “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” If He did not do what He did, we have no “foundation” for our faith. But this does not in any way say that He individually gives faith….. then later commends people for their faith “such great faith I have not found in all the land!”

      Rom. 12:3 This one is longer and I will do it in another post.

      Galatians 3:22-23 This compares faith and the law and now we have “a way of faith.” So that the things promised “might be given to those who believe.” Says nothing about God giving faith to people. What?

      I Cor. 13:2. No connection. It says “I have faith.” I dont even believe you put that. Really? These are the verses that serve to prove that all the faith that is spoken of about people (all of Hebrews 11) is forced on them by God? Then what is the point of any of those verses? We cannot learn from those people— since you have nothing to do with your faith. So why is God pointing out their strong faith to us?

      Third post (Impossible)

      It is impossible for man to save himself. That statement does not affirm Calvin’s elections and irresistible-forced grace (only because you have been taught to think that). Man can do nothing but believe. “Whosoever believes…” He does not work for it or earn it. It is impossible to work for it. This in no way affirms any part of TULIP. Believing in Christ is not a work. Paul goes on and on about how faith is not a work in Romans 4.

      Again…. I think I will post on Romans 12 and then I will be done again interacting with you. No one likes to be called a liar.

  14. FOH said : “[Yes! It is impossible for man to save himself. But God can save him! It does not matter if you are rich or poor—- you can be save. Harder for the rich though! Impossible for everyone without God! The disciples do not know of salvation by grace…and the sacrifice of Christ yet….. they are still in the “might is right” thinking and Christ tells them …No! Impossible for man.]”
    —————-ooo——————
    My Response :

    In your statement above, you say …. “it is impossible for man to save himself. But God can save him! it does not matter if you are rich or poor— you can be saved.”, First question: Are you affirming now the doctrine of Election and Irresistible grace?, Yes or No ? _____

    2nd Question : If not, then what do you mean with your affirmation YES ?

    3rd Question: You are affirming that it is impossible for man to save himself in your statement quoted above. If you are really true with your words, then what makes sense of all of those verses you have been posting leaning to human efforts, good works, human righteousness, etc.. when according to your statement above it is impossible for man to save himself?

  15. JTL,

    You mentioned Romans 12:3 as a proof-text for TULIP.

    Paul starts this chapter saying “In view of God’s mercy” do these things:

    “offer your bodies”

    “do not conform”

    “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”

    “test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (notice that he says there is “a will” of God…. not multiple wills)

    “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought”

    “think of yourself with sober judgment”
    ————
    Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
    3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…

    ————

    He goes on to say…

    “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”

    “If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith”

    “if it is serving, then serve”

    “if it is teaching, then teach”

    “if it is to encourage, then give encouragement”

    “if it is giving, then give generously”

    “if it is to lead, do it diligently”

    “if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully”

    He ties this all together….. the “hard things” (“offer your bodies”) and the “gift things” …. with the phrase “in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

    Does God give us faith? Of course! I ask for more faith every day! Faith to be bolder for Christ. Faith to be humble and kind to others (knowing He will defend me). Faith in my finances. Faith in my attempts to do new bold things with the team of missionaries I lead.

    But he is talking here about daily walk-in-Christ faith, like he says here: “If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith.”

    This passage should not be used to make a doctrine that a very small percentage of mankind created in God’s image was given faith and the rest were designed to be tortured for eternity. That is not the context here. That is not what Paul is saying here. If Paul wanted to teach that the elect are given faith, he could made it clear. Looking for the word “faith” and pulling it out of context to make it support TULIP is not a good idea.

    Again, this (above) is practical-living faith for believers. If you want to see “first-encounter” or “saving” faith you see Christ talk about that many times in the Gospel: “your faith has made you whole,” “Never have I FOUND such faith in all the land,” “If only you had faith……”

    In every case like this (every one) Christ is commending the person for initial, first-encounter, personal faith.

    1. FOH States : “Does God give us faith? Of course! I ask for more faith every day! Faith to be bolder for Christ. Faith to be humble and kind to others (knowing He will defend me). Faith in my finances. Faith in my attempts to do new bold things with the team of missionaries I lead.”

      My Response : Your statement above affirms that God is really the one who gives faith to man. You even say that You are asking for it everyday, and yet you are contradicting this in all of your statements as you respond to the verses affirming God gives faith to man. Here below I quote what you have said above:

      “But this is saying nothing about God giving faith.” – (this is your response with Romans 10:17)

      “… But this does not in any way say that He individually gives faith…” – (this is your response with Romans 12:2)

      “Says nothing about God giving faith to people. What?” – (this is your response with Galatians 3:22-23)

      It seems that you are rattled now, You cannot totally hold on with your first statement, you say: “Does God give us faith? then you say …Of course !…”. You should be man enough to stand by your words or else you may retract.

      If God for you does not give faith then you must explain your claims in Scriptures where does man gets his faith?.-This you need to tell the readers your basis in scripture.

      You said in your reply above : “It is impossible for man to save himself. That statement does not affirm Calvin’s elections and irresistible-forced grace (only because you have been taught to think that). Man can do nothing but believe. “Whosoever believes…” He does not work for it or earn it. It is impossible to work for it.”

      My question to you is this : If man cannot work for it, then who can save man? What is your answer? ___________ If your answer is GOD, then what is your motive for posting all of those verses leaning to man’s efforts, man’s self righteousness, good works, etc.? ____________________________________. What is that for if it has nothing to do with earning favor to access salvation. You need to tell me with all honesty and clarity. If you don’t then it will just mean to me that:

      1. Your Salvation is not totally (absolute) the work of God.
      2. That the Salvation provided by Christ on the cross is still lacking.
      3. That man has a counterpart in his claim for Salvation

      1. JTL,

        You are right. I did not say that clearly enough for you.

        Trust me friend. I am not rattled.

        I ask God to strengthen my faith every day —- “I believe, help my unbelief.” I say to Him, “Lord give me faith to …..” It is in that respect that I said “He gives us faith.” Of course He adds to our faith. “Oh you of little faith!” He says because He wants us to have more!

        Mark 9: 23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

        24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

        I will admit that I did not word that well enough for you to understand me, but there is not a contradiction. He gives us faith —in that he adds to our faith.

        That is why he says to His own disciples…

        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.” (Matt 17:20)

        It is their faith He is referring to…. and they can ask Him to strengthen it. Or to “give them more faith.” He doesn’t say “Oh you of NO faith.” If He is the one that gave them the “little faith” they have, why is He scolding them for it? Why did He give them “so little”?

        Why don’t we let Paul explain it to us:

        “Romans 4:2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ 4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”

        Can’t work for it. But you can believe. But to the one “who does not work….but trusts…. their faith is credited as righteousness.”

        God saves. Salvation is 100% from God….. with conditions. God puts conditions:

        —Noah’s salvation was from God. Conditions: Build the ark and get in.

        —Israelites in Egypt are saved by God at Passover. Conditions: Kill a perfect lamb. Apply the blood on the door. Stay in the house.

        —Israelites bitten by snakes were save by God. Conditions: put the bronze snake on a pole. Each person go and find the snake on the pole and look and live.

        —Every man, everywhere is called to believe in Christ for salvation. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32). Condition: Believe. Works— no. Trust. Faith. Period. Did Abraham work for it? No? Did he believe? Yes.

        I think I was pretty clear in my post that nowhere does it say God gives us that saving faith. He does “give us faith” in that He strengthens our faith like Romans 4 says about Abraham: 4:20 “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God….”

        God strengthens our faith—- that is biblical. And in that sense “He gives us faith” adding to our faith. We see that everywhere in the Bible.

        I know you want so badly to believe that God gives saving faith to some and purposely withholds it from most (condemning them for His glory), since it is part of TULIP and you feel it gives God the most power and glory. I know that, because I lived that too.

        But it just is not there.

        FOH
        ps. Is all this “I gotch you FOH!!” blustering because you dont want to answer so many questions I have asked like: Why does Christ say it is harder for a rich man?

      2. FOH States : “I think I was pretty clear in my post that nowhere does it say God gives us that saving faith. He does “give us faith” in that He strengthens our faith like Romans 4 says about Abraham: 4:20 “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God….”
        ————– ooo ————————-

        Here is My Response Friend:

        1. Can you explain to me and the readers here, how many percent of the faith does God provides for those who asks for it ? and How many percent of Faith on man’s part does he hold within himself ?

        2. If God did not gave any sort of faith to Man, then Who gave that thing to man ?, or How did man possess it for himself, if according to Job we own nothing when we existed on this earth, we are naked ?. The Psalmist also said that : “The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof”. Paul even said to the Corinthian believers that even our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit is not ours but God’s possession bought with the precious blood of Christ. Even your life and mine are not ours. We own nothing on this earth. This you need to explain to the readers here.

        3. Regarding Romans 4:2-5, 20 as you have cited to defend your side, Here is my reaction to that:

        3.1 I agree with you that Abraham did not earn his righteousness by his deeds. On the contrary I firmly believe also that he did not earn it by his belief.

        3.2 Wages are given by the employer to the laborers as payment of their services. The laborer can even seek the help of the court in the demands of his payment if in case the laborer refuses to pay. This is only applicable to human-employer relationship on earth, but it can never be applied to God, why? Because there is no one else on earth who can command God to do that thing for all human race are guilty sinners bound to be thrown in hell. For no one else deserves that will obliged God to pay human sinners. No person on earth has a just claim on God for ALL are guilty sinners.

        3.3. Verse 5, doesn’t teach us a doctrine that Man’s self-produced faith imposes an obligation to God that our works failed to do.

        3.4 Regarding verse 20, — Abraham was not consistent of his deeds of righteousness, e.g. His telling a lie before a King concerning Sarah as her sister – (Genesis 12:10-20) This indicates his fear and unbelief to God’s promise to make his seeds as the number of the stars in heaven. Another one, he took matters in his own hands by taking Hagar as his mistress – an indication again of his doubts with his wife concerning God’s promise. In other words he does not deserve to be commended of his own faith because it is defective. If he was among the lists of the Heroes of faith in Romans chap 11, that I believe that Faith is still a gift from God. It is not something that was produced by themselves.

        4. You said : “God strengthens our faith—- that is biblical. And in that sense “He gives us faith” adding to our faith. We see that everywhere in the Bible.”

        Here is my Response : Your statement is compatible with Pelagian or even Semi-Pelagian Belief . Man has a share in his claim for Salvation. This is very clear for me now that even though you go with God saves not man, yet their is a tricky insertion of that “meritorious righteousness” earned by man. That could be the main reason why you keep on posting all of those thousands of verses in the Bible that are leaning to man’s efforts, good works, self-righteousness, etc….

        5. You also said : “God saves. Salvation is 100% from God….. with conditions. God puts conditions:”

        My Response : If you say 100% from God, then what’s the point of asking for additional faith and also the giving of condition if Salvation is a Free Gift from God?. It seems to me that Salvation for you can also be conditional depending on Man.

        In fact God’s Grace is one that is the unmerited favor given by God to sinners without any condition, because all humanity are bound to hell and no one deserves. God gives that gift unconditionally based on His own discretion as to whom He will offer it.

        Salvation is not doing our best. It is having Christ’s best putting it in our account.
        A genuine gift is unconditional without any “string attach”.
        If Salvation can be lost (because according to you there is a condition), then who is righteous enough to keep their own salvation?

        6. Regarding your question to me : Why does Christ say it is harder for a rich man? – My answer is NOTHING hard for God to save him, because all things are possible with God. God can even decide to offer it to him irresistibly if that would be His plan for that rich man, or He may not. God is the one who decide not man concerning the legitimate beneficiaries of Christ’s death on the cross.

      3. Jose,
        Are you by nature a contentious person?

        I feel like you are trying to be antagonistic and mis-directing my words to mean something else. Perhaps you do this so that “at all costs” you can “defend God.”

        You said this:

        “On the contrary I firmly believe also that he did not earn it by his belief.” The following verses is repeated in the OT and the NT several times…. yet you say that it doesnt mean what it says:

        “What does Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'”

        I often comment with long portions of Scripture. I find you doing what most Calvinists do. You tell us that Romans 4 does NOT mean what it looks like it mean. No explanation of what it means or what it supposed to teach us.

        Basically I am saying that there are dozens and dozens of places in Scripture where it is clear that there is no work we can do to please God, all we can do is have faith.

        You (and Calvinists) are saying that there is no work we can do to please God, all we can do is irresistibly use the faith that He forces on us. If you get that faith….. phew. If not…. you cannot have faith. Basically works do not do it. Only forced-faith for the few that are allowed to have it. That does not sound like the Good News of the Bible.

        So, friend, what do any of these passages about faith teach us? How do they help a person believe in Christ (I mean he cant if God did not allow it)? How do they help us grow in Christ? They do not teach us anything. When Christ is saying, “Oh you of little faith” He is admonishing us (them) to have more faith! Not scolding them for the “little faith” He gave them.

        That is what Hebrews 11 is teaching us… Be like Abraham…. have faith. Be like Noah… have faith.

        “By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.” [Abel is still teaching us —- have faith!].

        When I was a Calvinist, I did not see what these passages teach us…. since either we have given-faith or not…. so nothing to learn from those examples.

        You keep doing this to me…. “Salvation is not doing our best. It is having Christ’s best putting it in our account.” That is a straw man and a useless accusation to make at me. We are wasting our time if you keep repeating this kind of thing. This is where you are showing yourself to be contentious, antagonistic…. making it look like I think salvation is doing our best. Silly.

        “A genuine gift is unconditional without any “string attach”.” This is just not biblical. Got attaches conditions all the time. He is going to give them the unbeatable town of Jericho…. but they must march around 7 time and blow their trumpets.

        Passover is the most quoted image/comparison to the Cross in the Bible. God’s GIFT was their deliverance from bondage and the angel of death. The strings attached were that they had to take the blood of the lamb and apply it to the door, and stay in the house. Jose, if they did not do those things (strings) then they do NOT get His gift.

        “A genuine gift is unconditional without any “string attach”.” I have already told you of the man that showed up with a nice TV for us. A real gift in his mind. I did not accept it. The “stings attached” were that I let him take it from his trunk and put it in my house. I said thank you…. no thank you. It was still a gift. But I refused it.

        So, you finally answered…. “My answer is NOTHING hard for God to save him” and yet there is Christ saying those very words. So you dont explain it….. are you just saying that Christ was mistaken when He said that?

        Jose says it is not hard for a rich man….. but Christ says it is hard for a rich man.

        Why does Christ say it is hard for a rich man? Not impossible, just hard. Hard for rich, means not as hard for poor.

      4. FOH States : “So, friend, what do any of these passages about faith teach us? How do they help a person believe in Christ (I mean he cant if God did not allow it)?”

        Your statement affirms that man is totally dependent from God. You say : “I mean he (man) cant if God did not allow it),
        You sound like a determinist now in that statement… Wow !

        Man’s faith is DEFECTIVE, it cannot stand on his own to trust God because of the presence of DOUBT-the virus of SIN that has been injected by satan to Eve during the temptation long ago.

        In other words the faith that you are heralding here to make it as the share of man to claim for his salvation is SIN INFECTED. —- This is why God will never be pleased if that is the one activated. God totally gives faith to man disregarding man’s self-produced faith so that no one can boast or say he has a share in claiming Salvation – the Pelagian, Semi-Pelagian is just like the Roman Catholic views on Salvation with mixture of man’s efforts of his self-produced faith.

        What those passages about faith mean ?…. For me those are proofs of God’s choice not to intervene in man by the time he uses his freedom so that man is held accountable not God. Man cannot exercise that freedom by himself if God will always suppress him. The fact that even believers (that includes you and me) still commit sins is a valid proof that man is not always under God’s control. Man’s use of his God given freedom can never win to counter with God’s decrees, thus God’s absolute freedom and sovereignty is never undermined or can never be threatened by the use of man’s freedom.

        God cannot commend those heroes of faith in Hebrews chapter 11 if the faith they present to God is SIN INFECTED. God is at work. The good work that He started in the believer, He will finish it until the coming of Christ. – Phil. 2:13 “For it is God who works in you both to WILL and to do His good pleasure.” Phil 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He who begun a good work (includes regeneration, giving faith …) in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

        The rich man’s effort (if in case he will throw away his material possessions) is still SIN infected, the reason why Christ stated it’s hard for him to be saved. Salvation can never be obtained by any good works to set aside material things. Salvation is totally the work of God given free to sinners without any conditions for no one on earth deserves for it. All humanity is guilty of SIN and deserves to be thrown to hell.

      5. Jose,
        Are you kidding me?

        You miss so many of my nuances in English! When I say this….

        “So, friend, what do any of these passages about faith teach us? How do they help a person believe in Christ (I mean he cant if God did not allow it)?”

        …. the nuance is that “I mean he cant if God did not allow it, right? — ACCORDING TO CALVINISM.” Aye aye aye, you’re killin’ me man!

        In your response, I have no idea what you are saying.

        Jose, A person reads Hebrews 11, the long list of those “commended for their faith”….

        “This is what the ancients were commended for.”

        “3 By faith we understand….”

        “4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did…..”

        “5 By faith Enoch ….”

        “7 By faith Noah…..when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family….”

        “8 By faith Abraham, …obeyed and went… ”

        “20 By faith Isaac ….”

        “21 By faith Jacob…. ”

        “22 By faith Joseph…”

        “23 By faith Moses’ parents… ”

        “24 By faith Moses…”

        “29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea ….”

        “30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.” [condition… they had to march!]

        “31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies …”

        “32 ….Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets…”

        “39 These were all commended for their faith.”

        There is NO WAY in a naturally reading of this text that ANYONE would say…. “Oh he is not talking about their faith…. They can’t have faith… they are sinful and tainted…. ‘too-dead’ to have faith. No, we Calvinists know that the author of Hebrews is talking about an irresistible, given-faith that these people had NOTHING to do with. NOTHING. That faith was a given-faith. And once they had it they could not say no.”

        So now…. I repeat my question clearly… So, friend, what do any of these passages about faith teach us? How do they help have faith? How do they help us grow in Christ? According to Calvinism a person either has given-faith that is irresistible….or not. He has nothing to do with it…. so he has nothing to learn here (according to Calvinism). So what do we learn?

        You can’t just say “their faith does not count” and have that automatically be the gospel-truth when the Bible talks all about THEIR faith. Calvinists dont get to to just make up the rules…. “Oh yeah, the Bible says ‘they are commended for their faith’ many times… but WE KNOW BETTER we Calvinists…. They cannot be “commended for their faith’ because it is not their faith. The Bible can’t really mean what it says.”

        Man… it looks like you are putting your preference for Calvinism (what you learned from books and blogs) before what what the Scripture says.

      6. FOH’s Question : “So, friend, what do any of these passages about faith teach us? How do they help a person believe in Christ (I mean he cant if God did not allow it)?”

        My answer has been shown already in my previous post, but anyway I will repeat the same here : What those passages about faith mean ?….

        “For me those are proofs of God’s choice not to intervene in man by the time he uses his freedom so that man is held accountable not God. Man cannot exercise that freedom by himself if God will always suppress him. The fact that even believers (that includes you and me) still commit sins is a valid proof that man is not always under God’s control. Man’s use of his God given freedom can never win to counter with God’s decrees, thus God’s absolute freedom and sovereignty is never undermined or can never be threatened by the use of man’s freedom.

        Another Ques of FOH : How do they help a person believe in Christ ? = My answer : “It doesn’t help in any means. In fact I have explained further that man’s self-produced faith is infected with SIN, feeble, and was injected with doubts so that God will never been pleased if that faith is the one activated. God needs to provide the God given Faith or add it to some level in order for man to exercise.”

        Rom. 12:3 “For I say through their grace given to me to everyone who is among you, do not think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly as God has dealt EACH ONE A MEASURE OF FAITH.” =This verse clearly teaches us that God is the one responsible in the distribution of the different levels of faith to man, yet FOH denies this according to him never seen one time in Scripture.

        When God commended those heroes of faith in Hebrews chap 11, He commends hem for using the faith that God gave them, not those man’s self-produced faith that you keep on insisting.

        This is very clear for me now that even though you go with God saves not man, yet their is a tricky insertion of that “meritorious righteousness” earned by man. That could be the main reason why you keep on posting all of those thousands of verses in the Bible that are leaning to man’s efforts, good works, self-righteousness, etc….

        And so… are you a Pelagian or Semi-Pelagian ?

      7. JTL,

        You said this….

        “The fact that even believers (that includes you and me) still commit sins is a valid proof that man is not always under God’s control.”

        You are saying that man can do things that are not “always under God’s control.” So, you are saying that man can do things that God does not want? I suggest you go to monergism.com and verify this with the top Calvinist guys before you post that “man is not always under God’s control.”

        Then you said, “And so… are you a Pelagian or Semi-Pelagian?”

        What?

      8. Dr. Alvin Plantinga in his lectures often starts out by introducing a funny story.

        In one lecture he used a true story of a professor in a college who embraced Solipsism.

        A Solipsist believes he is the only REAL person who exists – and all other people are figments of his imagination.
        Imagine a Solipsist passenger in the back seat of a taxi – going down the road 65 mph.
        He believes the car is real – and the other cars coming in the other direction are real – but nobody is driving the cars.

        Imagine the complex gymnastics the human brain has to go through in order to make something like that make sense!

        Anyway Plantinga continues to tell this story – how this professor published a book.
        And a certain woman in Europe bought the book and came to the U.S. to thank him for writing it.

        She said to him: “Now I realize I’m a Solipsist. And I’m so relieved to know that I’m not the only REAL person in the world!”

        Too funny!!
        Calvinists always remind me of her. :-]

      9. FOH States : “The fact that even believers (that includes you and me) still commit sins is a valid proof that man is not always under God’s control.”

        “You are saying that man can do things that are not “always under God’s control.” So, you are saying that man can do things that God does not want? I suggest you go to monergism.com and verify this with the top Calvinist guys before you post that “man is not always under God’s control.”

        My Response : Yes of course,… because it is part of God’s Decree to let man use his freedom for him to become accountable. This is my personal position. I don’t care with the other positions. When I say “man is not always under control” – it means that man is allowed by God to use his God given freedom so that he can decide whether to obey or dis-obey by himself, … but it does’t mean that when man disobey God is already the loser. I never say that God becomes out of control. God is in control of everything, why? Because the end result or final dead end is still the completion of God’s decree. This is supported by God’s future action to be done for His people Israel as illustrated in:

        Romans 11:26 “And so, All Israel will be saved as it is written : The deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Question: Who is responsible to cleanse the sins in the house of Jacob-Israel? = The answer is the pronoun “HE” according to the verse which refers to God.

        The issue you brought about “God changing His mind” is never a problem with me, Why? Because that is a proof of God’s engagement with man. It is not a one way engagement that is always manipulated by God, rather it is a two way engagement. When God says, “I change my mind” it is a real response by the time man chose to disobey. This does not undermine God’s omniscience because He had already seen all of man’s disobedience before time. God can never be ignorant. I repeat, When the believer disobeys that is not yet the final dead end of God’s decrees. God’s over all decrees will surely come to pass.

        FOH Said : “Day after day…. relentlessly the Bible just dismantles Calvinism ….. and I wasn’t even looking for it ” = That’s not true. You are quick to say this because you are becoming near sighted. This is understandable because man’s mind and judgments is limited (finite) in contrast to God’s infinite knowledge and absolute power. So, don’t be in a hurry… You cannot see yet at present the final dead end of God’s decree.

        My Friend… you have not yet clearly answered my question. Are you a Pelagian or a Semi-Pelagian ?

      10. Is that a person from Pelagia? Most of my ancestors are from Europe. Where is Pelagia and where is that mentioned in the Bible?

        Just messing with you. I know that Pelagia is in the South Pacific.😉

        I want to talk about what the Bible says. Anyway, I’m sorry I can’t quite understand your responses. I have to read them several times and then I’m still not sure.

        Besides, I thought I was in thoughtful debate with a Calvinist, but from what I can understand from your responses you are not a Calvinist or Reformed (great!).

        I dont think I have time to keep this up, but I hope I can post from my daily readings once in a while. Thanks for talking….. and for being nicer.

        FOH the Polynesian

      11. The Calvinists asks
        Are you a Pelagian or a Semi-Pelagian?

        The Non-Calvinist could easily return the appropriate question
        Are you a Gnostic-NeoPlatonist or a Semi-Gnostic-NeoPlatonist?

        Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
        -quote: “Augustine is a fourth century philosopher whose philosophy INFUSED Christian doctrine with Neoplatonism.”

        Jesus would call this straining at the gnat of Pelagianism while swallowing the camel of Gnostic-NeoPlatonism. :-]

      12. FOH States : “The fact that even believers (that includes you and me) still commit sins is a valid proof that man is not always under God’s control.”

        “You are saying that man can do things that are not “always under God’s control.” So, you are saying that man can do things that God does not want? I suggest you go to monergism.com and verify this with the top Calvinist guys before you post that “man is not always under God’s control.”

        My Response : Yes of course,… because it is part of God’s Decree to let man use his freedom for him to become accountable. This is my personal position. I don’t care with the other positions. When I say “man is not always under control” – it means that man is allowed by God to use his God given freedom so that he can decide whether to obey or dis-obey by himself, … but it does’t mean that when man disobey God is already the loser. I never say that God becomes out of control. God is in control of everything, why? Because the end result or final dead end is still the completion of God’s decree. This is supported by God’s future action to be done for His people Israel as illustrated in:

        Romans 11:26 “And so, All Israel will be saved as it is written : The deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Question: Who is responsible to cleanse the sins in the house of Jacob-Israel? = The answer is the pronoun “HE” according to the verse which refers to God.

        The issue you brought about “God changing His mind” is never a problem with me, Why? Because that is a proof of God’s engagement with man. It is not a one way engagement that is always manipulated by God, rather it is a two way engagement. When God says, “I change my mind” it is a real response by the time man chose to disobey. This does not undermine God’s omniscience because He had already seen all of man’s disobedience before time. God can never be ignorant. I repeat, When the believer disobeys that is not yet the final dead end of God’s decrees. God’s over all decrees will surely come to pass.

        FOH Said : “Day after day…. relentlessly the Bible just dismantles Calvinism ….. and I wasn’t even looking for it ” = That’s not true. You are quick to say this because you are becoming near sighted. This is understandable because man’s mind and judgments is limited (finite) in contrast to God’s infinite knowledge and absolute power. So, don’t be in a hurry… You cannot see yet at present the final dead end of God’s decree.

        My Friend… you have not yet clearly answered my question. Are you a Pelagian or a Semi-Pelagian ?

      13. FOH Said : “Is that a person from Pelagia? Most of my ancestors are from Europe. Where is Pelagia and where is that mentioned in the Bible?”

        “Just messing with you. I know that Pelagia is in the South Pacific.😉”

        “I want to talk about what the Bible says. Anyway, I’m sorry I can’t quite understand your responses. I have to read them several times and then I’m still not sure.”

        “Besides, I thought I was in thoughtful debate with a Calvinist, but from what I can understand from your responses you are not a Calvinist or Reformed (great!).”

        “I dont think I have time to keep this up, but I hope I can post from my daily readings once in a while. Thanks for talking….. and for being nicer.”

        “FOH the Polynesian”
        ——————————— ooo ———————————–

        My Response : What I mean is the Term indicated on the introduction opening topic on this piece of thread. I’m not referring to a particular race or Nationality. Any way… this is just an exchange of ideas nothing very personal. Thank you also for being nice to me.

  16. FOH
    Why does Christ indicate some aspect of the salvation process is HARDER when it concerns a rich man?

    jtleosala
    Regarding your question to me : Why does Christ say it is harder for a rich man? – My answer is NOTHING hard for God to save him

    br.d
    The term HARD logically incorporates the concept of EFFORT.

    The Calvinist here is arguing that Jesus’ reference to HARD – has nothing to do with God’s EFFORT in man’s salvation process.

    Two possible options exist for the Calvinist after taking this position:
    1) He directly contradicts Jesus’ statement.
    or
    2) His response hinges upon Jesus’ reference to HARD as a reference to some EFFORT being HARD for man – since NOTHING is HARD in the EFFORT of God.

    So now – God’s EFFORT having been excluded – the Calvinist is left with only one EFFORT to which Jesus must be referring.
    Some aspect in man’s EFFORT towards the goal of salvation is HARDER for a rich man.

    But Calvinism strictly rejects the concept that any aspect of the salvation process is dependent upon man’s EFFORT.
    I’m wondering if a Calvinist can escape from the doctrinal corner he has now painted himself into here.

  17. Reading through the Bible…. Jeremiah 26:1-27:22; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18; Psalm 85:1-13; Proverbs 25:16

    I come to Jeremiah 26.

    26:1 This message came to Jeremiah from the Lord early in the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah. 2 “This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard in front of the Temple of the Lord, and make an announcement to the people who have come there to worship from all over Judah. Give them my entire message; include every word. 3 Perhaps they will listen and turn from their evil ways. Then I will change my mind about the disaster I am ready to pour out on them because of their sins.
    ————

    Remember that I am just reading along in God’s Word seeing what it will teach me. Listening to the message of the Bible….not cherry-picking a half verse from here and there to defend a man-made philosophy (that I read about on a blog and I think gives God the most glory).

    We read here that God (the LORD, meaning He is using His Yahweh name to get our attention) tells Jeremiah,

    “Give them the message…. perhaps they will listen.”

    What? Why does the determinist God of Calvinism ever (ever!) say “perhaps”? Why?

    Calvinist friends…. Please provide a biblical answer. Please note that the typical Calvinist answer “This passage really doesn’t mean what it says” will not do for an answer for most of us.

    Then…. the LORD says….. “Then I will change my mind about the disaster I am ready to pour out on them because of their sins.”

    What? Why does the determinist God of Calvinism ever (ever!) say “Then I will change my mind …..”? Why?

    Calvinist friends…. Please provide a biblical answer. Please note that the typical Calvinist answer “This passage really doesn’t mean what it says” will not do for an answer for most of us.

    I only got three verses into my OT/NT/Psalm/Proverbs reading for the day and already Calvinism/determinism is debunked.

    You can only imagine how conflicted I was, day after day, as a young Calvinist when I decided to put my van Til, Boettner, and Pink books down and read through the Bible!!!!

    Day after day…. relentlessly the Bible just dismantles Calvinism ….. and I wasn’t even looking for it!

  18. More from Jeremiah 26…

    4 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: If you will not listen to me and obey my word I have given you, 5 and if you will not listen to my servants, the prophets—for I sent them again and again to warn you, but you would not listen to them— 6 then I will destroy this Temple as I destroyed Shiloh, the place where the Tabernacle was located. And I will make Jerusalem an object of cursing in every nation on earth.’”
    ———–

    We are constantly told that insignificant man has no influence and makes no decisions that God has not decreed.

    Yet…. here is Yahweh repeating Himself….making sure that man understands some things about Him.

    It appears here, and in thousands of other passages like this, that God is NOT ONLY saying that man has a choice, but He is also saying that He will make His choice based on man’s choice.

    Yes, yes…. I can see those Calvinist stones being raised to throw at me as blasphemous….

    I’m not making this up. Just reading what the LORD says over and over.

  19. More in Jeremiah 26…

    12….“The Lord gave me every word that I have spoken. 13 But if you stop your sinning and begin to obey the Lord your God, he will change his mind about this disaster that he has announced against you. 14 As for me, I am in your hands—do with me as you think best. 15 But if you kill me, rest assured that you will be killing an innocent man! The responsibility for such a deed will lie on you…”
    ————-

    Jeremiah was not a Calvinist. He just keeps telling us that the Lord will change His mind if man does a certain thing.

    Then he goes on to say you can kill me but that will be your own doing (not God’s). Meaning of course that man can do things that God did not decree/ will/ desire.

    ps. Puuuuuleeeese do not bother quoting the two verses (IN CONTEXT) where it says that God will not change His mind. Been there, done that. Both those verses have a clear context that is saying — in that instance God has made up His mind and will not change it— not a man that He would just willy-nilly change His mind for no reason.

    There are hundreds (not two) verses where God shows that He wants people to repent, return, or obey SO THAT He can change His mind and not bring the judgement that He promised.

  20. More from Jeremiah 26.

    19 “But did King Hezekiah and the people kill him for saying this? No, they turned from their sins and worshiped the Lord. They begged him for mercy. Then the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had pronounced against them. So we are about to do ourselves great harm.”

    ————–
    Well, there you go. The Lord changed His mind.

    Now, go on a Calvinist web site and look these up. They will always quote the two verses (OUT of context) about the Lord not changing His mind (in that instance) and use them to override all the hundreds of verses that say “Then the Lord changed His mind…”

    They must do the most incredible linguistic-gymnastics to work around the idea of God changing His mind. Because for them, God changing His mind would naturally have to mean that He has not decreed everything from before time (or He decreed these false ultimatums to man —using the word “perhaps” —- but really scripted it all. Kind of insincere that would be.).

    So, no matter how many times we see God say “If” “perhaps” “I might” “I would have” “if only” “I repent” “I will change my mind” — no matter how many times and in how many ways, and in how many books, and in how many genres (narrative, poetry, history, proverb) …. God says He changes His mind…. Calvinists will always tell us they know better.

    1. FOH Said : “So, no matter how many times we see God say “If” “perhaps” “I might” “I would have” “if only” “I repent” “I will change my mind” — no matter how many times and in how many ways, and in how many books, and in how many genres (narrative, poetry, history, proverb) …. God says He changes His mind…. Calvinists will always tell us they know better.”

      My Response :

      My friend FOH, I don’t negate those statements of God that you have been posting from your so called “thousands of verses in Scriptures” leaning towards man’s use of his freedom. Those are God’s actual responses in His engagements with man by the time man attempts to disobey or have disobeyed already. It is just the completion of what God have seen in all of man’s future responses before time. It is not yet the finalities or the dead end result of God’s Decrees. All of those stuff are all incorporated within God’s overall Decrees. It will not cause to modify nor revise God’s Decrees.

      The expression, “God changes His mind”, is just the completion of what God have seen that He will do before the foundation of the world. It does not undermine God’s Omniscience and His omnipotence. God is in charge of everything even if He does not suppress man’s freedom to decide independently.

      1. jtleosala
        The expression, “God changes His mind”, is just the completion of what God have seen that He will do before the foundation of the world. It does not undermine God’s Omniscience and His omnipotence. God is in charge of everything even if He does not suppress man’s freedom to decide independently.

        br.d
        This is a great example of CONTORTED language – (i.e., double-speak).

        “God changes his mind” is not just a “expression” – It is a proposition.
        And as a proposition it is either true of false.

        So which is it for the Calvinist?
        Obviously in this Calvinist’s thinking – it can be both true and false at the same time.

        Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world renders-certain EVERYTHING that will come to pass in the process of time.
        If this Calvinist claims – the “completion of what Calvin’s god has seen he will do” alters what he at the foundation of the world rendered-certain – then it was NOT rendered-certain in the first place.

        Now this is what the Calvinist needs:
        He needs things to be both “rendered-certain” and “NOT-rendered-certain” at the same time.
        And he cannot discern this as double-speak because he is taught to embrace (true AS-if False) – and (false AS-IF true).

        If X is TRULY rendered-certain – then Calvin’s god “at the completion of what he will do” CANNOT deviate or alter X.
        Otherwise he is negating or making-void his own decrees.

        Additionally, If Calvin’s god believes X is rendered-certain – and then “at the completion of what Calvin’s god has seen He will do” X is not rendered-certain – then Calvin’s god is NOT omniscient – because he believes X is true when it is false.

        Reason dictates X is either rendered-certain or NOT.
        The Calvinist needs it to be both.

        To understand Calvinism is simple:
        A Calvinist is a determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting double-speak talking-points :-]

  21. ANGEL OF LIGHT AND CALVINISM

    To the Corinthians Paul writes: “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (KJV).
    Certainly Paul is not inferring that Satan – as an angel of darkness – has the power to change his state from darkness to light.
    Of his own power change himself into a TRUE angel of light.

    Perhaps the KJV rendering of the Greek word μετασχηματίζεται Paul is using is less than a precise rendering. Indeed other translations render this word as either “disguise” or “masquerade”. So we can logically assume these are indeed what Paul means.

    Satan therefore CREATES AN APPEARANCE or a FACADE. He goes about AS-IF he were an angel of light.
    Satan presents himself AS-IF he is something he is not.

    So scripture tells us that it is a demonic tactic to present something that is false AS-IF it were true or present something that is true AS-IF it were false.

    Now this is interesting, because John Calvin, in his instructions to his disciple teaches how to –quote “go about your office”.
    This phrase “go about your office” was probably common vernacular in Calvin’s context and simply means – go about in a certain manner – go about with a certain mindset or thinking.

    If we were to use Calvin’s phrase in regard to Satan, we would say: Satan goes about his office AS-IF he is an Angel of light.
    But the essence that we understand in this is that Satan is presenting something false AS-IF true. And yet interestingly enough – Calvin instructs his disciple to incorporate this very mode.

    Firstly, Calvin teaches a Universal Proposition – that Calvin’s god determines everything in every part. Calvin insists this Universal Proposition is infallibly and unquestionably TRUE.

    But Calvin, is very keen to recognize how un-biblical and un-ethical the logical implications of this doctrine are. He knows if his disciple goes about his office AS-IF the doctrine were true – the result will be significant cognitive dissonance. Calvin keenly realizes this – quite perhaps because a sufficient number of his disciples convey it to him.

    To resolve the conundrum he instructs his disciple to –quote “go about your office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part”. In other words – the doctrine is infallibly true – but you are to “go about your office” AS-IF the doctrine is false.

    The disciple is to believe the doctrine is true – but TRANSFORM his mindset and manner of thinking and speak AS-IF it were false.

    This curiously enough instructs the disciple to function in the very same mode described of Satan, who knows what is true – but goes about his office presenting it AS-IF it were false. Calvin is asking the poor disciple to function the same way – holding Theological Determinism as true – yet going about his office speaking AS-IF it were false. Holding Theological Determinism as true – yet presenting it AS-IF it were false.

    This is why we observe Calvinism’s vast library of double-speak. They are taught to TRANSFORM their manner of thinking and speaking – presenting things false AS-IF true, and things true AS-IF false.

    Eventually conditioning becomes one’s normalcy – and the poor Calvinist can be found reciting a library of double-speak talking-points.

    And this explains why Calvinism’s language is the language of double-speak.

  22. JESUS’ SPEAKS WITH EVE ABOUT THE SERPENT’S LANGUAGE

    Jesus:
    Eve – what happened in the garden?

    Eve:
    Well – its like I said then – the serpent beguiled me.

    Jesus:
    Yes, the Holy Spirit does says in the text – that the serpent was the most SUBTLE beast in the field. But Eve, how did the serpent manifest that “Subtlety”?

    Eve:
    I don’t know what you mean?

    Jesus:
    Well, what was the first thing the serpent did that you recognized as beguiling?

    Eve:
    He spoke to me.

    Jesus:
    Yes – so when scripture uses the word SUBTLE concerning the serpent – isn’t it referring to his use of language?

    Eve:
    Yes! I can see that now – scripture was referring to the way he used language!

    Jesus:
    Yes – and looking back at his language – what do you identify in his language strategy?

    Eve:
    Well – he posed a question about what God had said.

    Jesus:
    Yes – so he brought into question what God said – right?

    Eve:
    Yes – Prior to the serpent – I thought I knew what God meant when he said “you shall surely die”. But afterwards, what God meant by those words became ambiguous and uncertain. The meaning became unstable.

    Jesus:
    Yes exactly! The serpent’s language strategy is to alter the meanings of terms and phrases. This is a key method of misleading people. Are you familiar with the classic shell game Eve?

    Eve:
    Yes they put a pea under a shell – along side two other shells – and shift them around so fast you cant tell which one is the one you think it is.

    Jesus:
    Right – this is what the serpent does with words. He introduces altered meanings to them. And then he carefully uses those words, terms and phrases within sentences – and the meanings are shifted so you can’t correctly identify which one is the one you think it is. He can mislead you with carefully crated statements without even having to tell a lie.

    Eve:
    Wow! THAT IS SUBTLE!

    Jesus:
    Yes – he is VERY SUBTLE!
    Do you remember how the scripture says I cleansed the temple – with the moneychangers?

    Eve:
    Yes – that was cool!

    Jesus:
    Well the money-hangers were using the serpent’s trick with their balancing scales. When they bought coins – they would slip altered weights onto the scale to make the coin weight less than it was worth. When selling that coin, they would again slip altered weights on the scale to make the customer pay more than it was worth.

    By using altered weights – they gained the advantage over their customers. They learned that trick from the serpent – because that’s what he does with words.

    An honest merchant will conform himself to commonly agreed upon weights and measures. But a dishonest merchant will never conform to commonly agreed upon weights and measures – because altering them gives him an advantage.

    Similarly, an honest person will conform himself to commonly agreed upon meanings for terms and phrases within – for example – the English language. But dishonest groups never conform to commonly agreed upon meanings for words and terms – because their ability to alter meanings is how they gain advantage over people. So this is a characteristic in their language that you can learn to recognize.

    A sure sign people are not being honest with you – is when you see these types of patterns in their statements.

    Eve:
    Thank you Jesus!

    Jesus:
    Your very welcome!

  23. Man has no whatsoever share in the Salvation provided by God. It is given for free for those sinners whom Christ chose to offer His life on the cross of Calvary – John 10:11, 15. Many are still claiming for it, but it is just a false claim without really possising it.

    Those who oppose to this “monergistic” work of God in Salvation, will opt to insert man’s self-produced meritorious faith and self-righteousness” in obtaining salvation. They won’t deny Salvation by Grace through faith in Christ but there is a tricky insertion of man’s efforts, self-righteousness, self-produced faith as man’s share in obtaining salvation. A denial of total depravity, thus man is not totally bad or a total sinner. = This is false and a contradiction of God’s assessment and declaration that all humans are sinners and deserve to go to hell.

    1. jtleosala
      Man has no whatsoever share in the Salvation provided by God…..etc.

      Those who oppose to this “monergistic” work of God in Salvation, will opt to insert man’s self-produced meritorious faith and self-righteousness” in obtaining salvation. ….etc

      br.d
      WHAT IS BURDEN OF PROOF:
      When parties are in a discussion – and one makes a *CLAIM* that is under dispute or question, THE ONE WHO MAKES THE CLAIM HAS THE BURDEN OF PROOF to justify or substantiate that *CLAIM*.

      Asserting a *CLAIM* without logical evidence or proof – suggests the *CLAIM* is FALLACIOUS because it cannot be substantiated.

      Any *CLAIM* that cannot be logically substantiated SHOULD BE CONSIDERED UNTRUSTWORTHY

      Prove all things – hold fast to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
      A fool believes every word. Proverbs 14:15

      1. br.d,

        There’s brave you again, trying to make sense of what he is saying and taking the time to respond.

        We have found that JTL prefers to just repeat things over and over and say them very authoritatively (by all means a Calvinistic attribute!).

        No one takes the time to respond to my examples. God gave us examples of the Cross before the NT. These are Noah, the serpent on the pole, and —- above all Passover. Christ’s work is compared to all three of these. They are clearly prequels or types of the Cross.

        In all three cases, God is the originator of the idea and the one who brings about salvation. We can say that “it is 100% of Him.” We can say that man did not think of his salvation, deserve his salvation, or merit his salvation.

        In all three cases there was a condition: faith.

        Noah built his boat for 100 years despite ridicule.

        Those bitten/ dying could go find the bronze serpent (in the large camp) and look upon it (look and live).

        Passover: the most cited event in the Bible is a clear example. Take the blood from the lamb and apply it to the doorpost. If the blood stays in the bucket, you die. You have to apply the blood in faith.

        Does God still “save them 100%”? Yes. Are there conditions? Yes. Did they get special faith in order to do this? No reference to that in the Bible ever. Look and live. Apply the blood in faith and live.

        Now…. br.d …. if I get any response it will be some disparaging “universalist” “sleeping in class” remark or … “Oh my goodness… man has nothing to do with God’s salvation by doing good work and righteousness…” [none of which address the biblical concept, but I dont expect them to].

        And ’round and ’round we go.

      2. Thanks FOH.

        Yes – I know – they falsely claim their logic has its source in scripture.
        And do so with their BIG WIZARD OF OZ authority
        Any discerning Christian should be able to see what spirit that is of! :-]

        BTW: Years ago I listed to a lecture from a Christan Sociology professor on that Wizard of Oz scene.

        He revered to Rev 13:15
        And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should speak

        This professor was an expert on Egypt.
        Apparently this was a trick the ancient priests of Egypt used to pull on the ignorant masses.
        Archeologists have discovered Egyptian statues which had moveable jaws and sometimes a hole coming up from below the statue into its mouth. The priests would be underground below the statue speaking up through the hole.

        Looks like a very ancient form of “making the image speak” doesn’t it.

        But we see JTLs little feet under the wizards curtain.
        So his BIG WIZARD claims are nothing more than an image speaking with authority. :-]

      3. br.d,

        You are much more “conspiracy” oriented than I am.

        I believe that JTL is very sincere and has no intention of using trickery or deception.

        The situation that I see is that he has 5-6-7 verses that he sincerely thinks teach TD and the rest of TULIP. He will not spend any time looking at the possibility of other interpretations of these verses— therefore they become the bedrock of all else that he does.

        I can exegete a daily passage of the Bible and show many, daily, passages (from all the books of the Bible) that contradict Calvinism, but it is the conviction that Calvinism is right (based on the 5-6-7 verses taken the Reformed way) that keep him repeating over and over in his authoritarian manner. Sure, I normally say 40-50 verses, but his foundation is those 5-6-7 that he repeats.

        It is the same for baptismal regeneration people. They see the verses that say, “believe and be baptized for the remission of sin,” and they say —- “See, baptism is necessary for salvation.” They filter all other verses through their key verses—- and unique interpretation of them.

        It is the same for my Pentecostal friends who see verses that they insist show that we should all speak in tongues. (Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them). They filter all other verses through their key verses—- and unique interpretation of them.

        JTL filters all the Scripture through his key verses. It is what a lot of people do and Calvinists are no different.

        They also come to the table with their own understanding of sovereignty and omniscience. If you have presuppositions, you find what you need in the Bible.

        So, he is not two-faced and deceptive. He just has presuppositions and key verses.

        I know. I did too.

        But I got tired every day reading whole long passages that contradicted Calvinism. I realized that the Good News of the Bible was not that God rejected 95% of humanity and forced the other 5% to accept Him. I was announcing “Good News” to people on the mission field thinking (realizing that Calvinism teaches) that most of them were not included in this “invitation” —- which began to look like a very “insincere invitation” if God had no intention of inviting them.

        You have asked him a couple times “Do you know that there are other interpretations of those verses?” It is when I began to realize / look at the other interpretations of the 40-50 key Calvinist verses that my burden began to lift. I was then free to read (and rejoice in… and understand) the rest of the 99.5% of the Bible that clearly teaches Good News to every man.

        I was then able to stand on street corners with my guitar and say to all the people passing by, “Christ loves you and He died for you.”

        Something a Calvinist cannot do.

      4. Thanks FOH
        I’m not sure I stated that JTL was himself two faced – but that the language he is reliant upon is two-faced.
        So if I communicated that he “personally” is two-faced – I should re-look at the way I communicated that.

        Do you have a quote from me that your thinking of?

        Now rhutchin – he is another matter altogether!
        He is much more sophisticated and crafty in the art of drawing people around in circles using words and terms with hidden meanings.
        I find it very difficult to believe he doesn’t know when he is crossing over the line into dishonesty.

        But you’re right – JTL is much much less sophisticated than that.
        He reminds me of a little boy who watches a bombastic minister “Speak with authority not as the scribes and Pharisees”
        And he simply assumes he can do the same.

        I don’t believe he is deliberately attempting to be dishonest.
        Its just the language strategies that have been drilled into his brain are dishonest based on how misleading it contently is.
        It is not normal for people to use language that consistently has that decree of a misleading nature.
        And that speaks of a language that is misleading by design. (what you would expect from sleazy lawyers etc. )

        Are you familiar with the term “Moral Inversion” ?

        Moral Inversion – defined as a sociological phenomenon – when a social group for specified reasons, inverts right and wrong without perceiving themselves as doing so deliberately.

        Guy B Adams, in his published work “Unmasking Administrative Evil” uses the Holocaust as an example. A percentage of the common German population, many without hesitation, perpetrated horrific acts of evil upon others. Acts, which they themselves would have instantly identified as evil if perpetrated by someone else. But since they participated, justifications were developed allowing them to perceive themselves innocent of any wrongdoing. And we can see that it readily occurs within and for the sake of a social group which has a need to protect its social identity.

        This is “Moral Inversion”.
        The Milgram Experiment – clearly shows how this can work in a social structure with authoritarian persons. People were willing to apply lethal electric shocks to others – by justifying they were simply obeying another person’s orders.

        So people can be engaging in unethical behavior without being cognizant they are deliberately doing so.

        I think Calvinism as a social group uses language that is consistently misleading. And they don’t consider this a form of sin. And when even an atheist can discern when a Christian is consistently using this type of language – Christ is dishonored.

        Why that Christian group would continue in that practice when they must know they are seen as dishonest – tells me that the end justifies the means for them.

        Does that make sense?

      5. br.d,

        I think more like this…. oh before I start…. I did not mean that you were making accusations about JTL. I meant simply to say that to a large decree we cannot assume that all (or most) Calvinists are intentional in any sort of deception.

        Now…. what I think they do is gradual. I have seen with my own eyes (many times!) the following:

        Our national co-worker (because of his 20-something YRR son) declared that he has discovered Calvinism (after being a believer and full time worker for 40 years). I ask him if he believes XYZ (God determines all things; we dont make any decisions He has not decreed to us; God never responds to us or changes His mind, etc). I remember distinctly him reacting and saying “Of course God changes His mind— the Bible says so).

        You see, I was approaching him as if he understood where it all led (he didnt). I was approaching him as if he had been in it 5 years, not 5 months. Some of the points I shared with him (with me knowing they are where Calvinism leads) he found disgusting and unbiblical.

        For a time.

        Time passed and he read more from Calvinists. He eventually believed “the whole package” —- accepting so many things he felt contrary to his entire life as a believer…. and even things he said “I will never believe that!”

        Incremental. One belief after another, built on the foundation of Calvinist interpretation of 40 verses.

        No one goes directly to Piper’s teaching that all sin/ misery/ destruction/ rape/ murder/ Holocaust comes from God for His good pleasure. No, they start with Piper’s “Dont waste your life” and “desiring God” and think “Boy Piper sure does want to honor God.”

        Eventually they come to learn that “honoring God” means that they attribute everything to Him —- even the vilest sin.

        They are repulsed by this idea at first (and rightly so!) but incrementally they see it is the only answer to “avoid open theology and the faith movement.” They eventually agree with and promote things that they never would have believed when they became believers.

      6. Thanks FOH and yes your description of his progression into it fits the video Dr Flowers showed – the testimony of the former Calvinist pastor.

        This statement you made is very insightful:

        They are repulsed by this idea at first (and rightly so!) but incrementally they see it is the only answer to “avoid open theology and the faith movement.” They eventually agree with and promote things that they never would have believed when they became believers.

        I think this is one of the big playing cards that works for Calvinists. They paint false dichotomies. Your either a Calvinist or a Universalist – your either a Calvinist or Pelagian – your ether a Calvinist or some boogy-man, or straw-man.

        These are manipulation techniques.
        Jesus’ sheep follow his voice – he leads and they follow.

        Horses on the other hand are driven into funnels to be corralled being driving from behind. Calvinists corral people by playing boogie-man games – because they work. They work for corralling people who think they are escaping from something. That is not following Christ – its being manipulated by men.

  24. FOH the Pelagian writes the 4 quotes below:

    1. “No one takes the time to respond to my examples. God gave us examples of the Cross before the NT. These are Noah, the serpent on the pole, and —- above all Passover. Christ’s work is compared to all three of these. They are clearly prequels or types of the Cross.”

    2. “In all three cases, God is the originator of the idea and the one who brings about salvation. We can say that “it is 100% of Him.” We can say that man did not think of his salvation, deserve his salvation, or merit his salvation.”

    3. “In all three cases there was a condition: faith.”

    4. “Does God still “save them 100%”? Yes. Are there conditions? Yes. Did they get special faith in order to do this? No reference to that in the Bible ever. Look and live. Apply the blood in faith and live.”

    Here’s my reaction:

    1. If no one takes time to respond to you, then here I am. Let me cross examine your claims of “man’s self-produced faith” that according to you made possible to access Salvation: (mine is the opposite: Faith is given by God to the sinner after being regenerated – this is my position)

    2. In your post # 2, you say that God is the originator and the One who brings about salvation. you further say that it is 100% of God and that man did not think of his salvation, deserve his salvation, or merit his salvation.

    If you are really honest and serious of saying that man did not think of his salvation, then man is really dead spiritually, totally depraved and morally incapable to come back to God in his own accord, yet you deny this (total depravity). Do you recant now your : “man’s self-produced faith in accessing Salvation and embrace now the doctrine of “Total Depravity?, if not, then Br D and his god must castigate you for a “double speak” and a double-faced Polynesian.

    If man according to you does not deserve his salvation or merit his salvation, then what is the use of that “man’s self-produced faith” that you are cuddling when it is SIN infected produced by a sinner that God will never accept. God needs to provide him the faith for him to exercise after having been regenerated (made alive) ? How do you respond to this ? ___________

    3. You said, “in all 3 cases there was a condition of faith” — Your statement is not compatible with the grace of God. God’s grace of salvation is given by God unconditionally to sinners without any condition. This only means that the grace that you believe and endorse to people is a “decoy grace”. The kind of Salvation that you have is conditional based on man-made faith.

    4. In your # 4 statement you again say that God save them 100% and yet there are conditions. —- If Salvation is really 100% the work of God for humans, then why is it that you are still doing additions of your “man-made faith” that is SIN infected and to brag it in front of Jesus Christ?

    All human beings have their own versions of faith even the demon possess faith, but this never saves them. Presenting these sin infected-faith before God is unacceptable and will never please God. God is providing faith to the sinner so that no one can boast of himself in obtaining salvation. = This is the clear truth taught in Scriptures. Other teachings that will deviate from this are false.

    1. jtleosala
      FOH the Pelagian writes the 4 quotes below:

      br.d
      Is there any such thing as a rational Gnostic NeoPlatonist? :-]

      For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2

      1. br.d,

        My point is simple. God shows mercy all throughout Scripture. Three times it is a simple “type” (look before hand) of the Cross. All three times it is conditional. Man must act in faith. No one ever refutes that… they simply impose on it Calvin’s idea that man is “too-dead” and must be given faith.

        So…. in the Israelite camp, thousands are bitten by snakes. They are dying. God comes up with the plan of redemption… the bronze snake on the pole. They are told…. to go look and live. We are told by Calvinists…. somehow…. with no scriptural reference…. that each person who looked (some didnt) was given a special, secret, hidden dose of faith in order to go look. Not biblical. Not necessary. They have what they need to go look. They are not “too-dead”. They are the chosen people.

        Imagine a man in a cell who has grown quite used to prison life. He has friends, a routine, a bed, and free meals. The governor comes along and pardons him. The pardon is there, but he doesn’t want it. Does the governor drag him out? Throw him out? No. This has happened in history. That man can reject the honest offer of pardon and stay in his situation.

        God’s chosen people were dying. God 100% provided the solution they needed. But they had to act in faith.

        Our friends, especially JTL, keep trying some sort of “gotcha” with me. Some tricky little play on words…. (to be honest I cannot even understand his posts most of the time).

        I just want to see what God says in His word….. What does He say….

        I will destroy the earth! Hummmm… Good News Noah! …. I’m gonna save you. But you have to build a boat.

        I will punish my chosen people! Good News! I will make a way of escape, but you have to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole and people have to go find it.

        I will kill the first born in each family. Good News! I will spare your firstborn if you kill a perfect lamb (condition: not one with a blemish); and, (condition) apply (in faith) the blood on the door; and, (condition) stay in the house.

        I will judge man for his sin. Good News! I will spare all those who (condition) “look and live” in Christ. I will spare all those who (condition) apply (in faith) the blood of Christ by believing.

        All these little “gotcha” games are so petty.

        The Calvinistic presuppositions and interpretation of 40 key verses cannot change the Good News message of the Bible of Christ: “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

        We are told to “come” in faith. There isn’t anything else needed.

        Good News!

      2. Absolutely!
        Look at all of the miracles in scripture – including Jesus healing – and you will see a pattern.
        Take the 10 lepers for example.
        1) Jesus commands them to do something
        2) As they obey – God produces a RE-GENESIS in their bodies.
        – I use the word RE-GENESIS because that is the frame-work of the word παλιν-γενεσίας “Regeneration” in Titus 3:5
        I am not saying they are “saved” in this process – but simply that there is a pattern of regeneration in scripture.

        Take the blind man – same pattern
        1) Jesus commands him to wash mud off his eyes
        2) As he is obeying – God produces a process of RE-GENESIS in his body.

        In Mark 5:34 Jesus says “Your faith has made you whole”
        With Calvin’s PRESUPPOSITION – god would have had to put faith in that person that she did not already have.

        What the Calvinist demands is NOT EXPLICITLY STATED in scripture.
        The Calvinist forces his philosophy on scripture to make it say what he wants it to say.
        We know this is what Calvinists do because – they have to resort to dishonest word games in order to maintain their position.

        You know what the biggest hypocrisy of all is in Calvinism?
        Not one of them knows whether or not he is TOTALLY DEPRAVED or not.
        John Calvin teaches there is a LARGE MIXTURE of them that are NOT SAVED
        Therefore by their doctrine – there is a LARGE MIXTURE of them who are TOTALLY DEPRAVED

        For all we know JT and rhutchin are TOTALLY DEPRAVED Calvinists.
        So why should us WE CHRISTIANS be listening to the words of a TOTALLY DEPRAVED person?

    2. jtleosala
      man did not think of his salvation

      br.d
      Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30
      Funny the scripture doesn’t indicate this man didn’t have a brain
      Where does the Calvinist ADD that PRESUPPOSITION to the text?

      jtleosala
      Deserve/Merit Salvation

      br.d
      Notice the Calvinist strategy here – He ALWAYS begins with a fabricated straw-man – an accusation
      The scribes and the Pharisees – hypocrites – sit in the seat of Moses. Matthew 23:2

      His strategy is to pigeon-hole you.
      This is a manifestation of a spirit of manipulation.

      jtleosala
      you deny this (total depravity).

      br.d
      Total Depravity is a Calvinist conception.
      Further – the Calvinists definition of “dead” is ALWAYS a moving target
      This is called goal-post shifting.
      And is a sign of dishonest argumentation.

      jtleosala
      Do you recant now your : “man’s self-produced faith

      br.d
      You appointed you judge over anyone?
      Perhaps there were Calvinists in Geneva who lusted after burning people to the stake.

      jtleosala
      what is the use of “man’s self-produced faith” that you are cuddling

      br.d
      This is your fabrication – one could ask you about Gnostic NeoPlatonism that one is cuddling.
      But why lower ourselves to those manipulation games.

      jtleosala
      God needs to provide him the faith for him to exercise after having been regenerated (made alive) ?

      br.d
      If you had a scripture that EXPRESSLY states that regeneration precedes faith – you wouldn’t be playing manipulation games.

      jtleosala
      You said, “in all 3 cases there was a condition of faith” — Your statement is not compatible with the grace of God.

      br.d
      Calvinist **ALWAYS** start with a man-made PRESUPPOSITION and then find verses to affirm it.
      This is the method that men use to read tea-leaves.

      jtleosala
      God’s grace of salvation is given by God unconditionally to sinners without any condition.

      br.d
      That is ONLY a Calvinist doctrine.

      jtleosala
      The kind of Salvation that you have is conditional based on man-made faith.

      br.d
      Notice the Calvinist strategy here – He ALWAYS begins with a fabricated straw-man – an accusation
      The scribes and the Pharisees – hypocrites – sit in the seat of Moses. Matthew 23:2

      His strategy is to pigeon-hole you.
      This is a manifestation of a spirit of manipulation.

      jtleosala
      All human beings have their own versions of faith even the demon possess faith, but this never saves them.
      No one can boast of himself in obtaining salvation.

      br.d
      More fabricated straw-man arguments.
      The Calvinist mind apparently survives in a tiny little world of false dichotomies.
      No one would desire to have such a mental condition.

  25. FOH, the Pelagian writes : “JTL filters all the Scripture through his key verses. It is what a lot of people do and Calvinists are no different.”

    You accused me as you typed and post here that I filter all the scripture through my key verses and that other Calvinists are doing the same. Exposing the facts and truths that are intrinsically embeded in the verse is not filtering.

    You are using the word “filtering” in order to cover up your attitude of spewing out easily those 5-6-7 verses (as what you call it) as it becomes bitter to you, and against the one that you are protecting and endorsing to people, — “the man-made faith” ??? in accessing salvation as man’s share in the grace of Salvation process that is conditional ??? What kind of Grace is that ? where did you get that grace? My goodness…

    You are asserting to yourself that you don’t filter? Then, what is that you are doing ? — presenting us your so called “thousands of verses” used to filter the key verses you mean for me? then spew out easily those key verses? You even complained in your post here that you are so tired now of reposting those “thousands of verses” which I doubt it will not reach to thousands if it is individually counted, it’s an exaggeration. For you to be exact, then you should number all the verses here you posted in order to convince the readers that you are telling the truth for claiming those “thousands of verses”…. how many thousands by the way?

    1. JT I don’t think your going to be able to manipulate FOH (or anyone else here at SOT101) with a library of fabricated boogee-man arguments. :-]

  26. br.d and his god posted the 3 quotes below”

    “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30”
    “Funny the scripture doesn’t indicate this man didn’t have a brain”
    “Where does the Calvinist ADD that PRESUPPOSITION to the text?”
    —————–

    Here’s my reaction:

    You are mis-representing me. I never said that : “man didn’t have a brain”
    Any normal unregenerated person can ask that question but the question is: Was the gospel being offered to them legitimate? Does it goes to the “good soil” ? – In the case of Acts 16:30 it was a legitimate offer that is why he was able do the real asking or inquiry. Others ask for it also but. still a failure and will never succeed. Look at the attempts done by the other types of soil? Did they succeed or just all failed Br.D. and your god? What is your answer Br D. and your god? ____

    1. jjtleosala
      November 22, 2018 at 6:22 pm
      Man did not THINK of his salvation

      br.d and his god posted the 3 quotes below”

      br.d
      “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30”
      “Funny the scripture doesn’t indicate this man didn’t have a brain”
      “Where does the Calvinist ADD that PRESUPPOSITION to the text?”
      —————–

      You are mis-representing me. I never said that : “man didn’t have a brain”…the question is: Was the gospel being offered to them legitimate?

      br.d
      This is where we see Calvinism’s definition of “dead” is a goal-past that he moves around the field.

      If that is what you meant by your post – then why didn’t you take the time to post it as precisely as you explain now?
      You need to slow down a little and try to make statements that are more coherent and more understandable.

      But you will see that I understood the proposition of Calvinist philosophy forced on the text of scripture
      And so I actually did address the underlying proposition in your post anyway.

    2. jtleosala
      How can they respond to the invitation when they are dead spiritually?

      br.d
      Can you respond to an invitation today – how do we know you are not totally depraved?

      jtleosala
      How can they come if they are dead and disconnected to the True Vine?

      br,d
      Can you come if you are disconnected from the true vine – how do we know you are not totally depraved?

      jtleosala
      Are you antagonistic to Christ’s declaration that anyone can do nothing if disconnected to Him?

      br.d
      What do you mean by “do nothing”?
      Again – if you want to engage with people – you need to be more precise in your posts.

      jtleosala
      What is needed is “Regeneration”

      br.d
      The scripture says “believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved”
      Why does Calvinism force scripture to say what it does not EXPLICITLY says?

      One thing is obvious here JT.
      If the Calvinist had scripture that EXPLICITLY stated regeneration comes before faith – he wouldn’t need to resort to manipulation tactics.
      The very fact that Calvinism has a dishonest language – and resorts to manipulation tactics – reveals the Calvinist’s TRUE condition.

  27. FOH the Pelagian posted the 2 quote below:

    1. “I was then able to stand on street corners with my guitar and say to all the people passing by, “Christ loves you and He died for you.”

    2. “Something a Calvinist cannot do.”
    ———————
    Questions:

    1. Are you singing also while you play the guitar? What song did you sing?
    2. Did you promise them eternal life even if they don’t even responded to your song? What if they are still in hell someday?
    3. You claim and teach that God loves all people, right? Why you don’t evangelize the Pope, the magicians, the false prophets, Cult Leaders, people doing witchcraft? If you don’t then, are you really serious of your claim as a universalists?

    1. jtleosala
      1. Are you singing also while you play the guitar? What song did you sing?

      br.d
      How does this not look like an angry drunk person?
      Calvinists sure have a strange way of trying to impress people! :-]

      jtleosala
      2. Did you promise them eternal life even if they don’t even responded to your song?

      br.d
      Where did FOH state *HE* was offering anyone salvation?
      Are you doing the same thing with FOH’s statements that you do with scripture?

      jtleosala
      3. You claim and teach that God loves all people, right? Why you don’t evangelize the Pope, the magicians, the false prophets, Cult Leaders, etc

      br.d
      Here again the Calvinist FALSIFIES his own doctrine
      Why are so many Calvinists double-minded?

      Calvin’s god does not elect people based upon ANY characteristic of the person (good or evil)
      It is SOLELY according to the secret counsel of his will

      rhutchin would tell say that you missed this lesson in Calvinism indoctrination class

      But I thank you for affirming Calvin’s god does not love everybody.

  28. FOH the Pelagian posted the 2 quotes below:

    1. “The Calvinistic presuppositions and interpretation of 40 key verses cannot change the Good News message of the Bible of Christ: “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

    2. “We are told to “come” in faith. There isn’t anything else needed.”
    ——————————————–

    My questions to the Pelagian are the following: He cannot do away to answer this. I am not soliciting any response coming from Br D and his god.

    1. How can they respond to the invitation when they are dead spiritually?
    2. How can they come if they are dead and disconnected to the True Vine?
    3. Are you antagonistic to Christ’s declaration that anyone can do nothing if disconnected to Him?
    4. What is needed is “Regeneration” to make their dead spirit alive and Only God can do this thing, not even man himself. Are you still denying this? and insists your own “man-made faith” to brag in front of Jesus Christ?

  29. “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13

  30. BRD
    Calvinist James White calls this – THE TRAUMA OF SOVEREIGNTY

    Kevin
    Found the Dr. White’s article you alluded to. Will quote from it because it has been my own argument when I first came on here. It is the weakness of LFW and Flowers would try to escape its strength by calling it the “You Too Argument” I do not know what the truth is but now I am not even sure if it is what BRD is espousing.

    DR. James White
    Many of you probably realize the above arguments are those typically launched by atheists against theists that use free will to absolve God of evil and determinism. One thing should jump out immediately: garden variety non-Reformed people really share a similar dilemma as the Reformed. Rarely though will a non-Reformed person admit that their view of sovereignty if scrutinized by an atheist, ends up with the conclusion that people are puppets and God is ultimately the author of evil. When the non-Reformed argue against us, they need to explain why they aren’t arguing against themselves. Then they should explain why they use our paradigms when trouble or evil enters their lives. They can’t escape their own heart of faith that knows “God is in control” and that all works according to His purposes. Everything is a free will adventure until tough circumstance befall a non-Reformed person. Then come cries for God’s sovereign control

    https://www.aomin.org/aoblog/2010/03/09/god-and-evil-the-trauma-of-sovereignty/

    1. It doesn’t appear that James White here is differentiating between “compatiblist” freedom and “Libertarian” freedom.

      I should think he knows the difference.

      But one difference is that “Libertarian” freedom does not have the logical consequences of Determinism.

      In Determinism/Compatibilism:
      1) Nothing is UP TO US
      2) No Alternative Possibility is made available to us
      3) We are not permitted to BE/DO otherwise

      Those three consequences don’t exist outside of Determinism
      So that is why the Non-Reformed believer doesn’t have what White calls the Reformed “paradigm’.

      The bigger question for the Reformed believer then is – why does Calvin instruct him to -quote “go about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part” since that is in fact the “Reformed paradigm”.

      In other words – why is the Reformed believer saddled with the burden of believing Determinism is TRUE – while going about his office *AS-IF* it is FALSE?

      1. BRD, you know I understand what you are saying and have agreed with it. But the person who wrote this article is espousing my thoughts (in a much stronger way) when I first came on here against the Non-Calvinist.

        You have the same problem. You too are accused by the atheists as being puppets by God and could be so by Calvinist also. I could do that as a Calvinist. Once again knowing you believe in God’s Eternal Infinite Exhaustive, All-Knowing, Perfect Foreknowledge. That there has never been a time that God has not known something.

        That from eternity, before God ever created the universe, which includes humanity, he knew every person who would ever exist, every choice they would ever make, every person that would come into existence and in up in hell, and commit the most horrendous evil acts, those who would commit suffer the hurt, pain, sorrow and suffering of those evil wicked acts and he chose to create this world anyway. This world that in your view, in your system of belief BRD God Foreknew would be, the God who knows past, present and future all at the same time.

        He could have created another world but he did not. This is why atheists know your actions are fixed. Your choices are fixed. Thus making God guilty of sin by association and even the very author of sin.

        He says something else very interesting I would like to mention.

        “One of the problems with non-Reformed argumentation on this subject is it’s application of extra-Biblical reasoning rather than simply taking sola scriptura to its logical conclusion. This isn’t readily admitted. No Christian wants to admit their core belief on this issue is tainted.”

        Kevin My Words
        Now I still do not know what the truth is. But I do know I am confused and I have always found this argument to be cogent against what you are saying. But at the same time what you are saying above makes sense. So I now go to the authority of Scripture (not discounting philosophy completely) but answer has to be found within the Word of God. It has to be.

      2. Kevin.,
        I think you should think this through a little further.

        This argument when taken to its logical conclusion – has God as a puppet.
        Think about it.

        Does God have “Libertarian” freedom?

        Or are all of his choices determined *FOR* him by forces outside his control – and where nothing UP TO HIM – as is the case with determinism?

        And secondly – how is it that divine omniscience AUTO-MAGICALLY turns all creatures into puppets?

      3. BRD
        This argument when taken to its logical conclusion – has God as a puppet.
        Think about it

        Kevin my response
        I do not think so, WIllling to clarify?

        BRD
        Or are all of his choices determined *FOR* him by forces outside his control – and where nothing UP TO HIM – as is the case with determinism?

        Kevin
        In my opinion this has nothing to do with the argument being made against your position. You may want to clarify here also

        BRD
        And secondly – how is it that divine omniscience AUTO-MAGICALLY turns all creatures into puppets?

        Kevin My response
        This answer has been given more than once already. The response of the creature is fixed. God knew from eternity before he ever created what every person who ever would come into existence would do. God created that reality so in a sense they are puppets carrying out the reality God determined to create from all eternity. God could have chosen to create another world. I do not have all the answers. But I do know that it seems logically that this is what it leads to. God could even stop and prevent the evil but he does not. He will one day the word of God says so. But from your position of God being holy loving and all powerful why does it just watch it happen passively. Would you not stop a child from being molested and violate the “free will” of another person? Are you more loving holy and power than the Non-Clavinist god BRD?

      4. BRD
        This argument when taken to its logical conclusion – has God as a puppet.
        Think about it

        Kevin my response
        I do not think so, WIllling to clarify?

        br.d
        There are two types of freedoms in the current understanding.
        1) Compatibilist freedom
        2) Libertarian freedom

        In Compatibilist freedom – everything a being is and does is determined *FOR* that being by factors outside that being’s control.

        The argument as presented states that “Libertarian” freedom does not escape a being – being a puppet
        Following that reasoning to its logical conclusion – if the THEOS has Libertarian Freedom – then he is a puppet.

        BRD
        Or are all of his choices determined *FOR* him by forces outside his control – and where nothing UP TO HIM – as is the case with determinism?

        Kevin
        In my opinion this has nothing to do with the argument being made against your position. You may want to clarify here also

        br.d
        So perhaps we are speaking past one another.
        Can you present your argument in a Syllogistic form?

        BRD
        And secondly – how is it that divine omniscience AUTO-MAGICALLY turns all creatures into puppets?

        Kevin My response
        This answer has been given more than once already. The response of the creature is fixed. God knew from eternity before he ever created what every person who ever would come into existence would do. God created that reality so in a sense they are puppets carrying out the reality God determined to create from all eternity. God could have chosen to create another world. I do not have all the answers. But I do know that it seems logically that this is what it leads to. God could even stop and prevent the evil but he does not. He will one day the word of God says so. But from your position of God being holy loving and all powerful why does it just watch it happen passively. Would you not stop a child from being molested and violate the “free will” of another person? Are you more loving holy and power than the Non-Clavinist god BRD?

        br.d
        For me this is a leap in logic – that I cannot see the connections to.
        I cannot see how divine omniscience of what creatures will freely do equates to those creatures being controlled like puppets.

        I think you will find that Paul Helm’s for example – would not agree.
        Take his response to “Middle Knowledge” for example
        “Middle Knowledge” is a form of divine omniscience which allows for Libertarian freedom of the creature.
        Paul Helm’s position on this – is that he sees it as unnecessary
        But he doesn’t argue it fails logically.

      5. Kevin My response
        This answer has been given more than once already. The response of the creature is fixed. God knew from eternity before he ever created what every person who ever would come into existence would do. God created that reality so in a sense they are puppets carrying out the reality God determined to create from all eternity. God could have chosen to create another world. I do not have all the answers. But I do know that it seems logically that this is what it leads to. God could even stop and prevent the evil but he does not. He will one day the word of God says so. But from your position of God being holy loving and all powerful why does it just watch it happen passively. Would you not stop a child from being molested and violate the “free will” of another person? Are you more loving holy and power than the Non-Clavinist god BRD?
        br.d
        For me this is a leap in logic – that I cannot see the connections to.
        I cannot see how divine omniscience of what creatures will freely do equates to those creatures being controlled like puppets.

        Kevin My Response
        Maybe I am not saying they are being controlled like puppets. But I am saying, (take into account now BRD the understanding of God’s eternal Infinite Omnicence)

        Again:

        “This answer has been given more than once already. The response of the creature is fixed. God knew from eternity before he ever created what every person who ever would come into existence would do. God created that reality so in a sense they are carrying out the reality God determined to create from all eternity. God could have chosen to create another world. I do not have all the answers. But I do know that it seems logically that this is what it leads to. God could even stop and prevent the evil but he does not. He will one day the word of God says so. But from your position of God being holy loving and all powerful why does it just watch it happen passively. Would you not stop a child from being molested and violate the “free will” of another person? Are you more loving holy and power than the Non-Clavinist god BRD?”

        I took out the word puppet. God knew BRD from all eternity what the action of every person would be.

        You have actually admitted it on here before. I guess I am going to have to find that quote.

        I know you are somewhat of a Craigian. But I have a book where Paul Helm Categorically denies Bibically Middle Knowledge.

      6. Kevin My response
        This answer has been given more than once already.

        br.d
        Kevin – you can’t just keep on repeating the same claim over and over.
        This is called argument by tautology

        Kevin
        The response of the creature is fixed.

        br.d
        Yes – that is the case in Theological Determinism – but not in IN-determinism

        Kevin
        God knew from eternity before he ever created what every person who ever would come into existence would do.

        br.d
        Here is another example of equivocal language for a Calvinist.
        This language creates and appeal to Middle-knowledge.
        And Middle-knowledge has been shown to be logically coherent with libertarian freedom.

        If you are representing Calvinism in this statement – you are not representing it accurately.
        As a Calvinist you should be saying the THEOS knows what he will *MAKE* the creature be/do

        Kevin
        God created that reality so in a sense they are puppets carrying out the reality God determined to create from all eternity.

        br.d
        Again – this is true with Theological Determinism – but not with IN-determinism.

        Kevin
        God could have chosen to create another world.

        br.d
        This is another example of language that would be consistent with appeals to Middle-knowledge.

        Kevin
        I do not have all the answers. But I do know that it seems logically that this is what it leads to.

        br.d
        As I’ve said – you’ve come to a conclusion that divine omniscience turns people into puppets
        And you’ve repeated that over and over – but without showing the sequential logical steps that get you there.

        Kevin
        God could even stop and prevent the evil but he does not.

        br.d
        This is another example of language that is less than honest for a Calvinist.
        In Calvinism
        1) Nothing happens without an infallible immutable decree which cannot be prevented.
        2) The THEOS cannot make a decree that is both immutable and mutable at the same time
        3) Therefore he cannot prevent anything that will come to pass.

        This is another example of how Calvinists use language that is contradictory to their belief system.

        Kevin
        He will one day the word of God says so. But from your position of God being holy loving and all powerful why does it just watch it happen passively. Would you not stop a child from being molested and violate the “free will” of another person? Are you more loving holy and power than the Non-Clavinist god BRD?

        br.d
        Why are we attempting to make determinism APPEAR to be IN-deterministic?
        See my answer above about Calvinists using language that is self-contradicting

        Kevin
        Maybe I am not saying they are being controlled like puppets. But I am saying, (take into account now BRD the understanding of God’s eternal Infinite Omnicence)

        br.d
        Kevin – I wish you could see that you’ve come to a conclusion without showing any sequence logic that got you there.
        There is some hidden presumption that your thinking is resting on – that you may not realize is operative.

        Kevin
        I know you are somewhat of a Craigian. But I have a book where Paul Helm Categorically denies Bibically Middle Knowledge.

        br.d
        I find it humerus when a person appeals to infinite inexhaustible knowledge of what the creature would do – and at the same time deny Middle Knowledge. Its like the farmer who drove around on his tractor arguing that tractors don’t exist.

  31. Dr. James White
    God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:[1] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3]

    1. Psa. 33:11: Eph. 1:11: Heb. 6:17
    2. Psa. 5:4; James 1:13-14; I John 1:5; see Hab. 1:13
    3. Acts 2:23; 4:27-28: Matt. 17:12; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33

    If one were going to dispute this statement, it shouldn’t be by philosophic speculation, tradition, or an emotional feeling. It should be done by proving the Biblical texts used don’t support the statement being made. Such though typically isn’t the case. The counter charge often begins with the assertion that Reformed theology turns God into a puppet master and the author of evil. The ingredient said to be missing is free will. It’s touted that by adding free willto a biblical summary statement, a completely different view of sovereignty emerges, one which absolves God of being the author of evil and provides humanity with true freedom. Some go as far to say that the God of Reformed theology is far from Biblical.

    Before a Reformed person pounces on such a counter view, one thing shouldn’t be overlooked. Those who find Reformed theology illogical often have no other intent than to vigorously defend the honor of God as not being the author of evil, and wanting to place responsibility for evil and sin clearly on the shoulders of mankind. The irony of course is that the Reformed don’t hold God to be the author of evil, nor do they consider men to be mere puppets. We agree with them that God is good and men are responsible. We’re on a similar page in some respects, but the theological explanation as to how we both got there is very different. There are also crucial ramifications on other important areas of soteriology based on those differing explanations.

  32. Dr. James White
    When non-Reformed people argue against the Reformed understanding of sovereignty, I have to immediately ask them how they also avoid their own argument. If we apply their argument against their own position what happens? They similarly believe God created all that is, and knew the beginning from the end before He created. If I knew in advance that a person was going to get in their car by their own choice, and while driving down the road strike and kill someone, and I let them do it,I share responsibility. It’s actually a severely culpable responsibility because I knew and they didn’t. When God chooses to create knowing full well what evil will happen, and creates anyway, I don’t see how a non-Reformed person can avoid the same charge they place on us. Also, if God knows what we’re going to choose when he creates us, do we really have free will? We certainly can’t choose otherwise at that point. Further, to really make a free choice, those choices would have to be uncaused by circumstances surrounding us. Don’t genetic and environmental factors place quite a burden on the proper and pure operation of free will? The long chain of events leading up to our point of choosing can’t in any way be caused by God for our choices to be truly free. If God is behind that long chain of events, shouldn’t God share at least some responsibility?

  33. Actually the quotes from the above articles were not from Dr. James White as I and BRD thought but from James Swan. Comments Off on “God and Evil: The Trauma of Sovereignty”

    https://www.aomin.org/aoblog/2010/03/09/god-and-evil-the-trauma-of-sovereignty/

    So how about you? Are you a “garden variety non-Reformed people really share a similar dilemma as the Reformed. Rarely though will a non-Reformed person admit that their view of sovereignty if scrutinized by an atheist, ends up with the conclusion that people are puppets and God is ultimately the author of evil.”

    Because “Many of you probably (don’t) realize the above arguments are those typically launched by atheists against theists that use free will to absolve God of evil and determinism.

    (“Don’t” my addition)

    1. If one read’s Swan’s article here – one should be able to discern it creates a straw man – with misrepresentations.

      Swan gives no official quotes to show his representation are accurate.
      He proceeds *AS-IF* his representations are correct.

      He appears to be unaware he misrepresents the current understanding held by Christian Philosophy – and appears to have superimposed his own in its place.

      For one thing he AUTO-MAGICALLY assumes that divine omniscience logically entails Theological Determinism.

      He also does not appear to know that “freedom” entailed with Theological Determinist as “compatibilist” freedom and the Non-Determinist as “Libertarian” freedom.

      His article would better hit the mark if he firstly attempted to address an accurate representation of the IN-determinist position.

      1. Plantinga thinks that in order to do good someone must be significantly free, therefore:
        (6) It is necessarily true that: no significantly free possible human can produce
        moral good without also producing moral evil.54

        But this last premise seems to generate a lot of new problems for Plantinga. LaFollette thinks
        that Plantinga is committed to claiming that God is significantly free, and if this is the case then
        why is it that God can act freely and only commit moral good, but humans cannot act good
        without producing moral evil. To avoid this criticism LaFollette thinks Plantinga needs
        something along the lines of:
        (7) It is necessarily true that: no significantly free possible creatures except God
        can produce moral good without also producing moral evil.55

        Here LaFollette rests in case because he thinks that this is “clearly indemonstrable (if not
        preposterous).”56 LaFollette knows that Plantinga could respond by saying that God is not free,
        but he doubts that Plantinga would make such a bold statement, as such a claim would hinder
        other arguments for the Free Will Defender.

        Simply stated: Plantinga
        cannot make the necessary leap to saying that all free creatures necessarily suffer from transworld depravity, and even if Plantinga could show this, it has rather bad implications for
        God that Plantinga probably isn’t willing to sacrifice.

        Kevin
        Remember BRD I am now arguing the case that Calvinst theological Divine Deteminism is true. But I am questioning LFW and I think you may be taking some things for granted,

        Look at the argument above. It puts a major crack and doubt in the “Free Will Defense” in my estimation and many others.

        “no significantly free possible human can produce
        moral good without also producing moral evil.”

        Is God significantly free and morally so?

        Don’t just use the part of the argment I have taken. Use it all from above.

        Ultimately I see it as possiblly as diminishing the Eternal God and Humanizing Him with your Person A knowing that Person B is going to commit a crime.

        This is the temperment and disposition of the sinful human crearture which is all of us.

        I just as this time cannot accept your A and B example as it applies to the Eternal God who always was and always will be and whose ways are past finding out.

        This is where the Non-Calvinist says, there they go again saying we cannot understand God.

        Yes I am saying as loudly as I can. Even in glory, we will stand in awe and fear with adoration and still not understand perfectly and completly who this Divine Being is.

      2. You may have not read my last response to this.
        There is a presumption that is being superimposed on Plantinga’s argument that is not actually there.
        Plantinga’s argument does not logically entail tha tGod does not have the potential or freedom to do evil.
        That is a straw-man representation of Plantinga.

      3. Kevin
        Swan is speaking of God and the Problem of Evil and how it relates to the indeterminist position.

        I do not get how you feel he has misepresented since you give no examples. Even as you know I have gave this same argument on here myself.

        With your freedom you can choose from 2 or more options and then you can reject those options is the basics. You can do otherwise.

        But not from a position of the Eternal God from all eternity from your own system of beleif of the God’s Eternal speaking of His Infinite Exhaustive, All-Knowing Omnicience. That God knows Past, present and future all at the same time, That there is never a time that God has not known something.

        So when before God created the Universe, which includes all humanity, God knew all human evil actions and choices that would be made of every individual that would come into existence. He knew who would rape, commit molestion of little chilren, murder, and commit the wicked acts you could think of. There actions and choices to the eternal God from the position of His infinite perfect Exhaustive Omnicience is fixed.

        But this Non-Calvinist Eternal God who knew all this from eternity, but created this reality anyway, and is all loving, holy, and powerful allows it to happen so He can have what satifies Him. A genuiene free real relationship. To the Non-Calvnist God it is worth it. But to those suffering from all the evil and who will burn in the lake of fire for all eternity. I think they would have a differenet opinion. So the Problem and Great Difficulty of sin and evil with a Holy Loving God remains.

        So that is why the atheist tell the Non-Calvnist they are puppets.

        This is the argument I have not seen you engage with yet BRD. You would rather refute the Calvinist Positon. But I have always told you I see this as a fatal flaw to the position you espose.

        There are more flaws to Alvin’s Position I have found. Will post latter

      4. Kevin
        Swan is speaking of God and the Problem of Evil and how it relates to the indeterminist position.
        I do not get how you feel he has misepresented since you give no examples. Even as you know I have gave this same argument on here myself.

        br.d
        Are you able to put his argument into syllogistic form so it can be examined?

        Kevin
        With your freedom you can choose from 2 or more options and then you can reject those options is the basics. You can do otherwise.

        br.d
        Correct

        Kevin
        But not from a position of the Eternal God from all eternity from your own system of beleif of the God’s Eternal speaking of His Infinite Exhaustive, All-Knowing Omnicience. That God knows Past, present and future all at the same time, That there is never a time that God has not known something.

        br.d
        This again is a claim that must be shown to be true through rational reasoning.

        Kevin
        So when before God created the Universe, which includes all humanity, God knew all human evil actions and choices that would be made of every individual that would come into existence. He knew who would rape, commit molestion of little chilren, murder, and commit the wicked acts you could think of. There actions and choices to the eternal God from the position of His infinite perfect Exhaustive Omnicience is fixed.

        br.d
        The way this is stated – is a false representation of Theological Determinism
        1) It presents a picture of the THEOS who simply looks into the future and uses his infinite understanding to LEARN what the creature would be and do.

        *AS-IF* it weren’t the case that in Universal Divine Causal Determinism – nothing can come to pass – including what the creature will be or do – without it being AUTHORED by him.

        So in order for the Calvinist to speak the “whole” truth – he must say the THEOS doesn’t use his infinite understanding of the creature.
        But rather the THEOS uses his infinite understanding of what he will AUTHOR.

        2) The actions and choices represented in this statement are not really being made by the creature
        To say that they are – is to appeal to a Libertarian freedom which is ruled out by Theological Determinism.

        All actions and choices are made by the THEOS *FOR* the creature.
        You keep forgetting – in Calvinism – nothing is UP TO YOU
        You don’t get to have any actions or choices that are your own.

        Kevin
        But this Non-Calvinist Eternal God who knew all this from eternity, but created this reality anyway, and is all loving, holy, and powerful allows it to happen so He can have what satifies Him. A genuiene free real relationship. To the Non-Calvnist God it is worth it. But to those suffering from all the evil and who will burn in the lake of fire for all eternity. I think they would have a differenet opinion. So the Problem and Great Difficulty of sin and evil with a Holy Loving God remains.

        br.d
        You think they would have a different opinion.
        But you need to show that to either be true or false.
        We are now back to the issue of Biblical Ethics.

        If you have a 1 year old baby will you throw it into a fire pit because it doesn’t have a college education?
        Of course you would say that is evil for you to do.
        But why is it not evil for a THEOS to do it?

        Kevin
        So that is why the atheist tell the Non-Calvnist they are puppets.

        br.d
        That still doesn’t make LOGICAL sense to me.
        Can you provide any quotes from Atheists?

        Kevin
        This is the argument I have not seen you engage with yet BRD. You would rather refute the Calvinist Positon. But I have always told you I see this as a fatal flaw to the position you espose.

        There are more flaws to Alvin’s Position I have found. Will post latter

        br.d
        Well – I can understand why one would want to think Plantinga’s position has flaws.
        But the free will defense was published in 1977
        Plenty of time for there to be an OFFICIAL recognition of it having defeating flaws.
        Do you have any OFFICIAL statements that prove Plantinga’s position is OFFICIALLY known to have such flaws?

        Do you not understand how peer-reviewed processes work?
        There are what you might call the “big guns” in scholarship
        And then there are the “wana-bes”
        There are hundreds of articles written by a “wanna-bes” who pro-port to refute current positions in scholarship.
        Their articles hardly ever reach the level of engagement with scholarship because they are deemed too sophomoric to even bother with.

      5. Kevin
        But not from a position of the Eternal God from all eternity from your own system of beleif of the God’s Eternal speaking of His Infinite Exhaustive, All-Knowing Omnicience. That God knows Past, present and future all at the same time, That there is never a time that God has not known something.

        br.d
        This again is a claim that must be shown to be true through rational reasoning.

        Kevin MY Response
        Once again, in what I said above, what is it you disagree with?

        Kevin
        So when before God created the Universe, which includes all humanity, God knew all human evil actions and choices that would be made of every individual that would come into existence. He knew who would rape, commit molestion of little chilren, murder, and commit the wicked acts you could think of. There actions and choices to the eternal God from the position of His infinite perfect Exhaustive Omnicience is fixed.

        br.d
        The way this is stated – is a false representation of Theological Determinism
        1) It presents a picture of the THEOS who simply looks into the future and uses his infinite understanding to LEARN what the creature would be and do.

        Kevin MY Response
        Ok, I see where you are completely misunderstanding my argument. First of all BRD, respectfully I am not arguing from a Calvinist perspective, but from a Non-Calvnist perceptive.

        Second of all we need to clear of the definition of God’s eternal Omnicience. I am not talking about God looking down through the corridors of time and history and seeing the actions and choices of men. I know that has been a position that has been held but it limits God’s Eternal Infinite Perfect Omniscience.

        I never said anything about God “seeing” I always spoke of God “knowing” from “eternity” before the “creation of the universe” being able to “know” the “action, choices, and those who would end up in hell, before they were created.

        You see BRD. as I have said before. If God has to look into the future to obtain or retreive some information that would mean there was a time God did not know something.

        But God from all eternity knew past, present and future all at the same time. Still does! He is GOD!! Blows your mind huh!! Me too!! We try to bring God to our level and humanize God to understand Him and forget his ways are higher than our ways and past finding out.

        Other than what he allows and reveals to us in His Holy Word.

        Just remember you are trying to bring back in Calvinist determinism and I am not arguing for that but trying to show you a fatal flaw in your own position. I can understand why you would want to change and divert.

        Big guns and wanna-bes. I admit I am a wanna-be. Which are you BRD? The Scholary works I have here at my home like John Feinberg, James Anderson, Scott Christensen and others I think are big guns but in your book are wanna bes. On that we will have to disagree.

        Oh and I gave you a statment that Platinga’s position had a flaw. Do you not rememeber? Go back and re-read please Sir. If you disagree tell me why. I actually could have given you another. It was by someone that was well known.

      6. Kevin
        But not from a position of the Eternal God from all eternity from your own system of beleif of the God’s Eternal speaking of His Infinite Exhaustive, All-Knowing Omnicience. That God knows Past, present and future all at the same time, That there is never a time that God has not known something.

        br.d
        This again is a claim that must be shown to be true through rational reasoning.

        Kevin MY Response
        Once again, in what I said above, what is it you disagree with?

        br.d
        Kevin – there is a problem here with the way things are being written out.
        If you would put your argument into a syllogism – it would not be so confusing.

        No one disagrees with divine omniscience – just the conclusions you’ve drawn from it.

        Kevin
        Ok, I see where you are completely misunderstanding my argument. First of all BRD, respectfully I am not arguing from a Calvinist perspective, but from a Non-Calvnist perceptive.

        Second of all we need to clear of the definition of God’s eternal Omnicience. I am not talking about God looking down through the corridors of time and history and seeing the actions and choices of men. I know that has been a position that has been held but it limits God’s Eternal Infinite Perfect Omniscience.

        I never said anything about God “seeing” I always spoke of God “knowing” from “eternity” before the “creation of the universe” being able to “know” the “action, choices, and those who would end up in hell, before they were created.

        br.d
        Yes but this language is equivocal for me and I’m hoping I can get you to see that.
        A Calvinist is not speaking honestly if he is talking about divine knowledge of what creatures will be/do.
        What the Calvinist should be enunciating is divine knowledge of what the THEOS will *MAKE* the creature be/do.
        Otherwise you have language that can be interpreted as looking down the corridor of time – i.e. via knowing OBSERVATION
        And that is what makes it equivocal language for a Calvinist.

        Kevin
        But God from all eternity knew past, present and future all at the same time. Still does! He is GOD!! Blows your mind huh!! Me too!! We try to bring God to our level and humanize God to understand Him and forget his ways are higher than our ways and past finding out.

        br.d
        Yes – he is still limited.
        He cannot be or do that which is illogical
        For example he cannot falsify himself
        He cannot make a decree that is both immutable and mutable at the same time.

        Kevin
        Just remember you are trying to bring back in Calvinist determinism and I am not arguing for that but trying to show you a fatal flaw in your own position. I can understand why you would want to change and divert.

        br.d
        If you could enunciate what you are thinking in some kind of syllogistic form it would make a great difference.
        We could then examine it and see if it stands or falls.

        Kevin
        Big guns and wanna-bes. I admit I am a wanna-be. Which are you BRD?

        br.d
        Most certainly!! :-]

        Kevin
        The Scholary works I have here at my home like John Feinberg, James Anderson, Scott Christensen and others I think are big guns but in your book are wanna bes. On that we will have to disagree.

        br.d
        Yes – lets take John Feinberg for example.
        Since Plantinga’s free will defense was published in the 1970s why hasn’t John come up with an OFFICIAL peer-reviewed rebuttal which has been acknowledged as such?

        Kevin
        Oh and I gave you a statment that Platinga’s position had a flaw. Do you not rememeber? Go back and re-read please Sir. If you disagree tell me why. I actually could have given you another. It was by someone that was well known.

        br.d
        I believe you indicated this flaw was asserted in that article – sorry I don’t remember the author’s name.
        But lets ask the same question that we asked about John Fienberg.
        Since the free will defense established its place in the 1970s why hasn’t a Reformed argument OFFICIALLY shown it to fail in any way?

        And here is what I was alluding to before – if there was a rebuttal and that rebuttal was seen as having any strength – then Plantinga would respond to it with a peer-reviewed response. And from the 1970s up to today that hasn’t happened. So what does that tell us?

      7. BRD, I will answer in full later, have to get my wife.

        But watch what I am saying here starting at 39:11. Watch how the Non-Calvinist cannot answer the Problem of evil and the Calvinist can answer the Problem of evil when confronted in debate.

      8. Kevin
        BRD, I will answer in full later, have to get my wife.

        But watch what I am saying here starting at 39:11. Watch how the Non-Calvinist cannot answer the Problem of evil and the Calvinist can answer the Problem of evil when confronted in debate.

        br.d
        Please don’t try to express it in multiple posts where it can get broken up and the sequences get lost

      9. No problem, now do not think I am saying I agree with Dr White, But notice the difference between the two. At this point I do not know what I believe.

        I have just read where John Frame, Bruce Ware and a few others hold to some form of Middle Knowledge.

        You all are killing me 🙂

      10. Yes – from what I understand there are Calvinists who hold to Middle Knowledge – seeing it as a solution that facilitates divine omniscience compatible with Libertarian freedom. And it is my understanding that Reformed thinkers have varied on the question of Libertarian Freedom.

        Of course it should be acknowledged that Calvin’s view is highly deterministic – and that is what separates it from its alternatives.

        But I understand that Reformed thinking has gone through a few shifts over the years. And that Jonathon Edwards brought about one of those shifts. Edwards was much more radical in his leaning towards determinism – and in fact he leaned into Theological Fatalism -by holding that things come to pass of necessity.

        I believe it is Dr. Richard Muller, a Reformed historian, who says Edwards brought about a “seismic shift” in the doctrine of predestination. And he considered Edwards to represent a departure from the previous lesser emphasis on determinism within Reformed theology.

        And prior to Edwards, there were many Reformed thinkers who accepted various degrees of Libertarian freedom because they saw indicators of it within Scripture. So there are in fact today Molinist Calvinists who embrace Libertarian freedom. As a matter of fact – I think Alvin Plantinga is seen that way – as he is said to have his theological roots in the Dutch Reformed.

      11. You can agree with Edwards and not all of his Beliefs and still be a Compatibilist. I wonder when he spoke of “necessity” if he really meant it in the way of “fate” I realize there are Calvinist and Non-Calvinist who think that is exactly where his teaching led. Do not deny that. But that would seem wierd coming from Edwards to me. Fate? Really? I also know there are Calvinist and Non-Calvinist who Edwards teaching lead to this very thing of fate. But I also think there are things we can take and learn from Edwards while rejecting this primary flaw.

        All Calvinists beleive in some form of “freedom” because of “moral responsiblity”

        I know you reject their reasons why and think it is double talk but all Calvinists other than Hard or Hyper believe is some form of freedom in the way you know they describe it but I know you reject because you say it is causely determined by God. They could not have done otherwise.

        BRD
        “So there are in fact today Molinist Calvinists who embrace Libertarian freedom.”

        Kevin My Response
        There might be. But they would be rejected from the Calvnist orthodoxy.

        Even Bruce Ware in his book “God Greater Glory” holds to a form of Compatibilist Middle Knowledge” but still seems to reject Libertarian freedom as does John Feinberg and John From

        BRD
        As a matter of fact – I think Alvin Plantinga is seen that way – as he is said to have his theological roots in the Dutch Reformed.

        Kevin My Response
        Interestingly enough, I think I read John Feinberg said this about him. I could be completly mistaken. But I do know I read somewhere about him being reformed. I think I also heard Dr. James White say that the Irish Reformed cannot even be recognized anymore as reformed. Once again, talking off the top of my head and could be completly wrong.

      12. Kevin
        You can agree with Edwards and not all of his Beliefs and still be a Compatibilist. I wonder when he spoke of “necessity” if he really meant it in the way of “fate” I realize there are Calvinist and Non-Calvinist who think that is exactly where his teaching led. Do not deny that. But that would seem wierd coming from Edwards to me. Fate? Really? I also know there are Calvinist and Non-Calvinist who Edwards teaching lead to this very thing of fate. But I also think there are things we can take and learn from Edwards while rejecting this primary flaw.

        br.d
        Well – I can understand that.
        It is not to say that Edwards considered himself – with what is classified today as “Theological Fatalism” or “Occasionalism” – but his writings when examined according to current theological classifications – are classified as such.

        Kevin
        All Calvinists beleive in some form of “freedom” because of “moral responsiblity”

        br.d
        Yes – officially it would have to be “Compatiblist” freedom – because of the significant decree of Determinism inherent in Calvinism.

        Kevin
        I know you reject their reasons why and think it is double talk but all Calvinists other than Hard or Hyper believe is some form of freedom in the way you know they describe it but I know you reject because you say it is causely determined by God. They could not have done otherwise.

        br.d
        Well from my perspective the “Hard” Calvinist – (as you might call them) have a tendency to be more intellectually honest.
        Take Calvinist Vincent Cheung for example
        -quote
        When Reformed Christians are questioned on whether God is the “author of sin,” they are too quick to say, “No, God is not the author of sin.” And then they twist and turn and writhe on the floor, trying to give man some power of “self-determination,” and some kind of freedom that in their minds would render man culpable, and yet still leave God with total sovereignty.”

        Cheung considers this behavior on the part of part of Calvinists – as significantly lacking intellectual honesty.
        He even uses the word “stupid” to describe it.

        Also – there are in fact today Molinist Calvinists who embrace Libertarian freedom.”

        Kevin
        There might be. But they would be rejected from the Calvinist orthodoxy.

        br.d
        Well – if they come right out and clearly state themselves as Molinist – that probably would be true.
        At least there would be people like James White and Paul Helms who would strongly disagree with them.

        But you’ve indicated to me that Calvinist pastors remain quite about some of the darker aspects of Calvinism.
        And we know there are Calvinist pastors in churches – in which they will not divulge their Calvinism in order to keep their church.
        So I’m sure Calvinists who embrace Molinism can avoid being detected within the Calvinist fold.

        Kevin
        Even Bruce Ware in his book “God Greater Glory” holds to a form of Compatibilist Middle Knowledge” but still seems to reject Libertarian freedom as does John Feinberg and John From

        br.d
        Yes – I think that is correct.
        Middle-knowlege in and of itself is not a real problem for the determinist.
        In fact it comes to the aid of the determinist in helping to fend off the problem of evil.

        And as I’ve said – when the Calvinist appeals to “infinite inexhaustible understanding of what the creature will do” – in order to help escape the divine culpability – that is actually an appeal to Middle-knowledge – whether the Calvinist knows it or not.

        But I do remember in that Youtube interview with Dr. Oliver Crisp – in his book “Deviant Calvinism: Broadening Reformed Theology” affirms that pre-Edwards – there are Calvinists who embrace various forms of Libertarian freedom because they see it in scripture.

        As a matter of fact – I think Alvin Plantinga is seen that way – as he is said to have his theological roots in the Dutch Reformed.

        Kevin
        Interestingly enough, I think I read John Feinberg said this about him. I could be completly mistaken. But I do know I read somewhere about him being reformed. I think I also heard Dr. James White say that the Irish Reformed cannot even be recognized anymore as reformed. Once again, talking off the top of my head and could be completly wrong.

        br.d
        Interesting!
        I’ll have to keep my ears open for why Irish Reformed are not recognized as correctly reformed.
        Thanks for that tip! :-]

      13. br.d
        Well – I can understand that.
        It is not to say that Edwards considered himself – with what is classified today as “Theological Fatalism” or “Occasionalism” – but his writings when examined according to current theological classifications – are classified as such

        Kevin My Response
        BRD I have you on Record saying that “people choose according to their greatest inclination” that is what Edwards taught. You told me that was correct.

        Which I find interesting, because for the will to have real freedom it must be able to choose otherwise and overcome those strongest inclinations.

        br.d
        Well from my perspective the “Hard” Calvinist – (as you might call them) have a tendency to be more intellectually honest.
        Take Calvinist Vincent Cheung for example
        -quote
        When Reformed Christians are questioned on whether God is the “author of sin,” they are too quick to say, “No, God is not the author of sin.” And then they twist and turn and writhe on the floor, trying to give man some power of “self-determination,” and some kind of freedom that in their minds would render man culpable, and yet still leave God with total sovereignty.”

        Kevin My Response
        I am well aware what Vincent Cheung says. He can claim he is Reformed and put that label on his website but it does not make him so. No Calvinist or Reformed Believer takes that position. You actually do not believe that the Reformed believe in any real positon of soft-determisnim. I determined that a long time ago.

        br.d
        Well – I can understand that.
        It is not to say that Edwards considered himself – with what is classified today as “Theological Fatalism” or “Occasionalism” – but his writings when examined according to current theological classifications – are classified as such.

        Kevin My Response
        What do you not understand!! I as much said the same thing.

        br.d
        Yes – I think that is correct.
        Middle-knowlege in and of itself is not a real problem for the determinist.
        In fact it comes to the aid of the determinist in helping to fend off the problem of evil.

        Kevin My response
        That would be your assertion and opinion. There are a whole bunch of well known Calvinist who would disagree with you and if they sat down and had a discussion with you one on one you would find your not talking to an amateur like me. Also the Compatiblist Middle Knowledge rejects LibFreedom in some way that I am not sure of. Also Paul Helm makes it clear in his debate with Craig that he does not hold to Molinism. Craig thinks he has solved it and it will pull both Open Theists and Calvinists to the Middle 🙂 But Francis Turretin dealt with this a long time ago, Dr. James White has dealt with it many times recently, It is not Biblical and is to be rejected. You talked about White not wanting to debate someone. Well, Craig will not debate White in no way. He has been challenged. Even though if you watch Dr. White in debates, he is very cordial, civil and a complete gentleman. He would expose William Craig and this extra biblical attachment as that which is false.

      14. BRD
        So there are in fact today Molinist Calvinists who embrace Libertarian freedom.

        Kevin
        This I would to like to see some evidence of this. I know even Bruce Ware, John Feinbeg and John Frame are still say that “Libertarian freedom” is problematic and reject it in the form that William Craig lays it out.

        I am one I guess you say who am not ruling out LifFreedom for things of life but not when it comes to Soteriology. But that could change with further study. I will let Scripture determine my philosophy and not the other way around. So I am sure there are those who believe that way.

        Bruce Ware is really being taken to the wood shed in the Calvinist Community for holding to this form of Compatibilist Middle Knowledge. Paul Helm is one of them doing it.

        I have a theory I am considering based on God’s word. It could be a while before I present it though. As to how God’s Providence Works, as to how he governs and rules the world.

        I now know why we both were not understanding each other in our back and forth discussion the other day.

        You have rejected the Orthodox position of God’s Divine Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Omnicience. That He is all-knowing. From a Non-Calvinist stand-point.

        There was no need for me to go into LFW.

        There is natural knowledge, what God could know

        Middle Knowledge, what God would know, akin to Open Theism in my opinion. But William Lane Craig absolutely rejects Open Theism as a danger for the Body of Christ.

        and what God wills, the Calvinist position.

        Yes I know Calvinist take the positon that God knows all because he detemined it from eternity.

        You would take the postition that God put lawless men in the right place and at the right time knowing what they WOULD do to murder Christ. Still saying they might and can do otherwise. I find this problematic for different reasons.

      15. Nice post Kevin!
        Yes -but remember – when a Calvinist appeals to “divine infinite exhaustive knowledge of what the creature will do” he is in fact appealing to “Middle-Knowledge” whether he knows it or not.

        That statement for me represents a lack of intellectual honesty for a determinist
        Because for them the divine infinite knowledge is not of what the creature will do – but rather what the THEOS will *MAKE* the creature do.

      16. BRD
        I admit my lack of understanding here you will have to explain your comment below for me please Sir.

        “Yes -but remember – when a Calvinist appeals to “divine infinite exhaustive knowledge of what the creature will do” he is in fact appealing to “Middle-Knowledge” whether he knows it or not.”

        Kevin
        A Calvinist may appeal to divine infinite exhaustive omniscience, but to me that means God knows from all eternity all that will happen because he determined it.

        That is not Middle Knowledge which is what “would happen” in various circumstances, enviroments, among different people, because of one’s backgroung ethnic raising etc you get the idea. There is no conection whatsoever.

        Because God’s divine eternal infinite exhaustive attribute of omniscience is not middle knowledge.

      17. Kevin
        A Calvinist may appeal to divine infinite exhaustive omniscience, but to me that means God knows from all eternity all that will happen because he determined it.

        br.d
        Yes – the determinist would say he knows what he causally determines come to pass.

        Where the appeal to Middle-Knowledge comes in is where they determinist would appeal to divine knowledge of “What the creature would do”.

        Because that language does not clearly communicate – the creature is doing what the THEOS *MAKES* the creature do via immutable decrees.

        And I’ve seen Calvinists use that type of language as a way of evading more honest communication.

      18. OK thanks BRD,

        As always there is much I do not know. But I think you for giving me leads and hints of what to research and think about.

        To me though the language above is most definitely a Calvinist speaking out of both sides of his mouth and mixing two different subjects. One that in “my opinion for now” is biblical and one that is not”

        Saying “divine knowledge of “What the creature would do” (considering all things I mentioned in my last post and much more) is having a misunderstanding of Middle knowledge and God’s Eternal Infinite Omniscience in my honest opinion.

        But as I said, all Non-Calvinists without exception beleive in effecicious grace or irresistible saving grace?

        Thanks for your help as always.

      19. Kevin
        Saying “divine knowledge of “What the creature would do” (considering all things I mentioned in my last post and much more) is having a misunderstanding of Middle knowledge and God’s Eternal Infinite Omniscience in my honest opinion.

        br.d
        Well – if you read anything by Luis d Molina (where the concept of Middle-Knowledge was first enunciated)- then the knowledge of “What the creature would do” is perfectly coherent – and consistent with the Molinist’s view of Libertarian freedom.

        Kevin
        But as I said, all Non-Calvinists without exception beleive in effecicious grace or irresistible saving grace?

        br.d
        I think you’re going to unpackage that in another post – so I’ll look for that one. :-]

      20. Kevin
        Saying “divine knowledge of “What the creature would do” (considering all things I mentioned in my last post and much more) is having a misunderstanding of Middle knowledge and God’s Eternal Infinite Omniscience in my honest opinion.
        br.d
        Well – if you read anything by Luis d Molina (where the concept of Middle-Knowledge was first enunciated)- then the knowledge of “What the creature would do” is perfectly coherent – and consistent with the Molinist’s view of Libertarian freedom.

        Kevin
        I understand Middle Knowledge by Molina, what the creature would do very well. I think I have even espoused pretty well. But I do not find what you said about Molina and Middle knowledge to have any revelance with what I said before that.

        Kevin
        But as I said, all Non-Calvinists without exception beleive in effecicious grace or irresistible saving grace?
        br.d
        I think you’re going to unpackage that in another post – so I’ll look for that one. :-]

        Kevin
        I did as you have by now seen. Have a good nite BRD and thanks once again.

      21. An example of knowledge about “What the creature would do” can for example be found in Kirk R. MacGregor’s book – “Luis de Molina: The Life and Theology of the Founder of Middle Knowledge”

        MacGregor is highly considered by Molinists as an accurate source on Molina

        -quote
        In the Middle knowledge of Molina’s structure, God knows all counterfactual truths, including that which every possible individual WOULD FREELY DO in any set of circumstances in which that individual found himself.(page 92)

        And here is William Lane Craig
        -quote
        Luis de Molina (1588), holds that God’s decree concerning which world to create is *BASED UPON* and, hence, explanatorily posterior to His knowledge of what every free creature He could possibly create WOULD DO in any appropriately specified set of circumstances in which God might place him”

        So if you hear a determinist using language that infers divine decrees based upon or facilitated by what the creature WOULD BE/DO or what the creature WILL BE/DO – then you are seeing language that is designed to equivocate on determinism.

        OH! Kevin – I neglected to tell you how much I honor you for calling that speaking out of both sides.
        I should be faithful to honor intellectual honesty wherever I find it – and I apologize for not complimenting you on that sooner!

      22. Well if you are talking about the doctrine of irresistible grace that would certainly exclude me! :-]

        And do you know how many books have been written in disagreement of irresistible grace?
        You must have something in mind with that?

      23. Yeah, I am just messing around a little. Trying to lighten the mood. Actually is to a point a reality.

        It does not exclude you.

        Dr. William Lane Craig said it. In his debate with Paul Helm if you want to review it. I listened to it twice now.

        He said he does not believe in irresistible grace as the Calvinist but he does believe that grace becomes (now for his exact words) irresistible grace once a person makes an affirmation of faith.

        So to me there is a time when LifFreedom is not working when this takes place according to William Craig. Of course many may disagree with the way he puts it. I do not see how though. But the Non-Calvinist will fight until their knuckles are bare for what they believe is the most valuable gift given to them by God, LibFreedom.

      24. Where again did you listen to Dr. Craig say that?
        I would be interested in hearing it.

        I can certainly say that god is free to dispense grace any way he wishes.
        Far be it for me to tell the creator of the world how to do what he does. :-]

        But somehow I don’t think that notion is logically coherent with a Libertarian view of freedom.
        Certainly we are familiar with the phenomena of “falling in love”
        And Christians sing songs about continuously falling in love with Jesus
        But I don’t think what they have in mind is a mental condition whereby they are not free to do otherwise.
        So I find it hard to imagine Dr. Craig would be inferring that.

      25. Here ya go BRD,
        I would have figured you had already heard this debate. It actually relates to middle knowledge.

        Also to what I said about Irresistible Grace

  34. James Swan From Dr. James White’s Site, The Dividing Line
    When non-Reformed people argue against the Reformed understanding of sovereignty, I have to immediately ask them how they also avoid their own argument. If we apply their argument against their own position what happens? They similarly believe God created all that is, and knew the beginning from the end before He created. If I knew in advance that a person was going to get in their car by their own choice, and while driving down the road strike and kill someone, and I let them do it,I share responsibility. It’s actually a severely culpable responsibility because I knew and they didn’t. When God chooses to create knowing full well what evil will happen, and creates anyway, I don’t see how a non-Reformed person can avoid the same charge they place on us. Also, if God knows what we’re going to choose when he creates us, do we really have free will? We certainly can’t choose otherwise at that point.

    1. Swan
      When God chooses to create knowing full well what evil will happen, and creates anyway, I don’t see how a non-Reformed person can avoid the same charge they place on us.

      br.d
      What kind of logic is this?
      Just because Person_A knows that Person_B is going to commit a crime – does not make Person_A the committer of that crime.

      I don’t think mr. Swan would earn much income as a lawyer :-]

      1. Kevin my response
        This is really lowering the bar or not really understanding the argument that is being made from the Position of The Eternal God and His Eternal Infintite Exhaustive Perfect Omnicience.

        We are not talking persons here. The creature. We are talking about the Creator.

        Person A did not create Person B (actually having creative powers to create the universe including person B) knowing that person B would commit a crime.

        You cannot humanize God here and take for granted that you have defeated the argument. That just will not do.

      2. Kevin my response
        This is really lowering the bar or not really understanding the argument that is being made from the Position of The Eternal God and His Eternal Infintite Exhaustive Perfect Omnicience. We are not talking persons here. The creature. We are talking about the Creator.

        br.d
        That is a presumption that must be shown to be true using rational reasoning.
        At this point – it is simply a claim.

        Using that argument – one can claim that God can exist and NOT exist at the same time – because he stands in a different position.
        In other words – that argument can be used to claim anything we want to claim.
        So I could – for example – use it to claim the opposite of what you are claiming.

        Kevin
        Person A did not create Person B (actually having creative powers to create the universe including person B) knowing that person B would commit a crime.

        br.d
        See answer above – you are going to need to show why LOGIC does not apply to God just because he is a creator.

        Kevin
        You cannot humanize God here and take for granted that you have defeated the argument. That just will not do.

        br.d
        My point is not based on humanization – its based on God’s own ethics.
        The Calvinist argument on ethics is that God is not CONSISTENT with his own ethics.

        And that argument IMHO was invented as a way to get around the problem of evil.
        Men have committed atrocities and claimed they were not guilty because God made them do it.

        This is also a derivative of Augustine’s embrace of Gnostic/NeoPlatonism – which contains “Good-Evil” dualism
        In this “Good-Evil” dualism divine “Good” and divine “Evil” are undifferentiated.

        I understand that is the Calvinist approach to evil – and I understand the Calvinist excepts it.

        But Calvinism’s embrace of Gnosticism’s “Good-Evil” dualism – is in a facet of Calvinism which makes non-Calvinists suspect it to be pagan. The non-Calvinist may not be knowledgeable enough to know it is a derivative of Gnosticism – but they know that making evil and good undifferentiated contradicts Biblical ethics – where “evil” is called “good” and “good” is called “evil”.

      3. Kevin my response
        This is really lowering the bar or not really understanding the argument that is being made from the Position of The Eternal God and His Eternal Infintite Exhaustive Perfect Omnicience. We are not talking persons here. The creature. We are talking about the Creator.

        br.d
        That is a presumption that must be shown to be true using rational reasoning.
        At this point – it is simply a claim.
        Using that argument – one can claim that God can exist and NOT exist at the same time – because he stands in a different position.
        In other words – that argument can be used to claim anything we want to claim.
        So I could – for example – use it to claim the opposite of what you are claiming.

        Kevin My Response
        Interesting, at this point I feel in your own response (and you know the respect I have for you BRD) I have heard assertions and mere claims above but no examples or absolutes from Scripture or Theological Philosophy.

        Do you deny what I began with concerning God’s Eternal, Infinite, Exhaustive, Perfect Omnicience? So do you believe God is Omicience from eternity when he created the universe which includes humanity and their choices and what will happen to them and knows what will be in time and history?

        Sorry for the long run on sentence

        .That he knows Past, Present and Future all at at the same time? That there never is or was a time that God has not known something?

        BRD do you believe God knows before time, from eternity, before he created you the exact date and time you will die? Talking logical priority.

        I believe that eveyone’s date and time of death is determined by God and that is confirmed by Scripture.

        Job 14:5 – Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass

        Psalms 139:16 -Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

        Can a person commit suicide before God determined the exact date and time that he die?

        No he cannot. But he can have desires of suicide but those desire will not come to pass. I claim that the person does not have the categorical ability to commit suicide tomorrow but it his counterfactual desires that prevent him from committing suicide which is compatible with what God has determined the very lenght of His days, how long he will live.

        If God knows X is going to happen from His Omniscience from eternity at a certain time in history, then X cannot fail to happen and will happen.

        Speaking from a Non-Calvinist position.

        Do you deny this?

        Not to mention based on the authority of Scripture I have posted above is over and above over man-made philosophy. Authoritative!

        Kevin my response
        This is really lowering the bar or not really understanding the argument that is being made from the Position of The Eternal God and His Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Omnicience. We are not talking persons here. The creature. We are talking about the Creator.
        br.d
        That is a presumption that must be shown to be true using rational reasoning.
        At this point – it is simply a claim.
        Using that argument – one can claim that God can exist and NOT exist at the same time – because he stands in a different position.
        In other words – that argument can be used to claim anything we want to claim.
        So I could – for example – use it to claim the opposite of what you are claiming.

        Kevin My Response
        You said and I quote: “That is a presumption that must be shown to be true using rational reasoning.
        At this point – it is simply a claim.
        Using that argument – one can claim that God can exist and NOT exist at the same time – because he stands in a different position.
        In other words – that argument can be used to claim anything we want to claim.
        So I could – for example – use it to claim the opposite of what you are claiming”

        My response continued
        Now I am talking about the beginning of my comment of the argument of God’s Eternal Perfect Infinite Omnicence and where that leads to in your system of belief.

        You said that “it is a presumption, a rational reasoning and just a claim”

        I did and I think you know I did. Using God’s Attribute of Omniscience that is Perfect and Infinite that it seems you deny or at least have not confirmed it as of yet and leaves all of this in a mysterious state.

        So tell me, using God’s Eternal Infinite Omnicience how can you prove and make an argument that God can and cannot exist at the same time?

        So far that is nothing but presumption and a claim!!

        br.d
        My point is not based on humanization – its based on God’s own ethics.
        The Calvinist argument on ethics is that God is not CONSISTENT with his own ethics.
        And that argument IMHO was invented as a way to get around the problem of evil.
        Men have committed atrocities and claimed they were not guilty because God made them do it.

        Now you run to the Calvinist position and hide behind it and do not deal with your own. That is a debate diversion tactic.

        I am not talking about Calvinist Determinsm here but your own indeterminism Determinsim Position. God created the universe that included all humanity froam all eternity and he knew every action, choice, and every person that would end up in hell before he ever created. Flowers calls this the “You Too Argument” because he feels and knows the force of it. He knows it is true. You are a smart intelligent guy BRD. I think YOU TOO do.

        Are you heading to Middle Knowledge or Open Theism? There still is no escape in these positions either. There is still the problem that all denominations have with God and Evil.

      4. Kevin
        Do you deny what I began with concerning God’s Eternal, Infinite, Exhaustive, Perfect Omnicience?

        br.d
        If the claim is that they exist – then no there is nothing to deny.
        if the claim is that divine omniscience etc logically entails that creatures are puppets – then no – that is still a claim the must be shown through logic. That’s why I asked if you could enunciated it in a syllogism.

        Kevin
        So do you believe God is Omicience from eternity when he created the universe which includes humanity and their choices and what will happen to them and knows what will be in time and history?

        br.d
        Yes – but not the way the Theological Determinist does.
        In Theological Determinism the THEOS knows what [X] will be by virtue of knowing what he will AUTHOR [X] to be.
        And in such case creatures don’t have their own choices because all choices are made *FOR* them.
        You seem to keep forgetting that in Theological Determinism nothing is UP TO the creature.

        Kevin
        That he knows Past, Present and Future all at at the same time? That there never is or was a time that God has not known something?

        br.d
        Again – in Theological Determinism – what he actually knows is what he AUTHORS – i.e. makes come to pass.
        No decree = no creature
        No decree = no creaturely thought

        So what the THEOS knows is what he decrees come to pass.
        And he only knows the creature by virtue of knowing what he AUTHORED the creature to be/do

        Kevin
        BRD do you believe God knows before time, from eternity, before he created you the exact date and time you will die? Talking logical priority.

        br.d
        See answer above

        Kevin
        I believe that eveyone’s date and time of death is determined by God and that is confirmed by Scripture.

        br.d
        See answer above – if you are a Calvinist then you believe every neurological impulse that appears in your brain was programmed at the foundation of the world. And you cannot have a neurological impulse that you can call your own.

        Kevin
        Job 14:5 ….Psalms 139:16 …

        br.d
        These scriptures can be take both ways.

        Kevin
        Can a person commit suicide before God determined the exact date and time that he die?

        br.d
        Kevin – I understand the Calvinist doesn’t want to come to grips with the fact that in his belief system *EVERYTHING* is determined *FOR* the creature. So in such case is not your choice as to whether or not you will commit suicide – that choice has been made *FOR* you. It is not UP TO YOU. You cannot do otherwise. And you have no alternative possibilities outside of the infallible decree.

        Kevin
        he can have desires of suicide but those desire will not come to pass

        br.d
        The more truthfull way for this to be stated by a Calvinist is “he will be given desires of suicide”

        Kevin
        . I claim that the person does not have the categorical ability to commit suicide tomorrow but it his counterfactual desires that prevent him from committing suicide which is compatible with what God has determined the very lenght of His days, how long he will live.

        br.d
        Why are you avoiding the fact that in Calvinism – there is no such thing as a person having his own desires?
        This follows the pattern of claiming to believe in compatibilist freedom – while SMUGGLING in Libertarian freedom and calling it compatiblism.

        Why ignore that fact that in Theological Determinism
        1) nothing is UP TO YOU
        2) You have no alternative possibilities outside of what is determined *FOR* you
        3) You are not permitted to be/do otherwise than what is determined *FOR* you.

        Kevin
        If God knows X is going to happen from His Omniscience from eternity at a certain time in history, then X cannot fail to happen and will happen. Speaking from a Non-Calvinist position.

        Do you deny this?

        br.d
        There are two positions on this
        In Theological Determinism – the THEOS knows what [X] will be/do by virtue of knowing what he AUTHORS [X] to be/do

        Rejecting Theological Determinism – it is stated differently.
        Whatever [X] will be/do – the THEOS having perfect omniscience – perfectly knows what [X] will be do/do
        And he has such knowledge without having to determine *FOR* [X] what [X] will be/do

        Kevin
        Not to mention based on the authority of Scripture I have posted above is over and above over man-made philosophy. Authoritative!

        br.d
        It must be understood that Theological Determinism is an INTERPRETATION of scripture.
        And additionally an interpretation that ancient reformed divines (prior to Jonathan Edwards) considered problematic.

        Kevin
        You said that “it is a presumption, a rational reasoning and just a claim”
        I did and I think you know I did. Using God’s Attribute of Omniscience that is Perfect and Infinite that it seems you deny or at least have not confirmed it as of yet and leaves all of this in a mysterious state.

        br.d
        Kevin – you’ve appealed to divine omniscience over and over – and then from that point – leaped to the conclusion that it makes people puppets. I’ve asked you to show through sequential logic how you get to that conclusion. It seems to make sense to you. But I don’t know how you get there.

        Kevin
        So tell me, using God’s Eternal Infinite Omniscience how can you prove and make an argument that God can and cannot exist at the same time? So far that is nothing but presumption and a claim!!

        br.d
        By using your claim – which is that God is not in a different position – and we cannot limit him.
        And yes I agree it is a presumptive argument – that’s why I used it as an example.

        Kevin
        Now you run to the Calvinist position and hide behind it and do not deal with your own. That is a debate diversion tactic.

        br.d
        I’m sorry you see it that way
        But its not what I see
        So far – what I see is arguments that are based on assumptions that need to be proven.

        Kevin
        I am not talking about Calvinist Determinsm here but your own indeterminism Determinsim Position. God created the universe that

        Are you heading to Middle Knowledge or Open Theism? There still is no escape in these positions either. There is still the problem that all denominations have with God and Evil.

        br.d
        We’ve had this discussion before about Middle Knowledge.
        One does not have to head towards Open Theism etc to understand what it is.
        Paul Helm’s understands what it is – and as I’ve said – he states that for him it is unnecessary – but he does not argue that it fails logically.
        Middle knowledge provides a logically coherent solution for divine omniscience with creatures having a libertarian form of freedom.
        It is knowledge of what the creature WOULD do in any given circumstance the THEOS puts the creature in – given libertarian freedom.

        And to be quite honest – I see Calvinists appealing to Middle-Knowledge every time they appeal to divine infinite inexhaustible understanding of the creature. You may not realize it but your statements of late are consistent with many Calvinists who appea to to various aspects of libertarian freedom – while falsely perceiving themselves as rejecting it.

      5. Kevin My reponse
        Take the puppet out of it, the rest of what I have said I think still stands.
        br.d
        “Yes – but not the way the Theological Determinist does.
        In Theological Determinism the THEOS knows what [X] will be by virtue of knowing what he will AUTHOR [X] to be.
        And in such case creatures don’t have their own choices because all choices are made *FOR* them.
        You seem to keep forgetting that in Theological Determinism nothing is UP TO the creature.”

        Kevin My Response
        Once again, not talking about “Theological Determinism nothing is UP TO the creature.”

        br.d
        We’ve had this discussion before about Middle Knowledge.
        One does not have to head towards Open Theism etc to understand what it is.
        Paul Helm’s understands what it is – and as I’ve said – he states that for him it is unnecessary – but he does not argue that it fails logically.
        Middle knowledge provides a logically coherent solution for divine omniscience with creatures having a libertarian form of freedom.
        It is knowledge of what the creature WOULD do in any given circumstance the THEOS puts the creature in – given libertarian freedom.

        Kevin My Response
        He denies that Middle knowledge is Biblical. Paul Helm has contributed an article to Ligonier.org in which he presents two noteworthy objections to Molinism. First, Helm presents an internal critique of Molinism purporting to show that Libertarian Free Will (LFW) undermines God’s providential control over the world. Second, Helm argues that Molinism is incompatible with the doctrine of irresistible grace. Unless he has changed his mind. That may be true as some Calvinistic are doing so.

        But this sums it up for me.

      6. Kevin My reponse
        Take the puppet out of it, the rest of what I have said I think still stands.

        br.d
        Can you restate it then – so that I understand what you are thinking?

        Kevin
        Once again, not talking about “Theological Determinism nothing is UP TO the creature.”

        br.d
        Hmmmm. I think its not clear to me when you are arguing on behalf of Theological Determinism or not.

        Can you be more clear when you are trying to represent an IN-deterministic position?
        For example – you could say something like

        If god does not determine everything *FOR* the creature – then it is still the case that A, B, C, and D.
        And then show how things follow logically.

        Kevin
        He [Paul Helms] denies that Middle knowledge is Biblical. Paul Helm has contributed an article to Ligonier.org in which he presents two noteworthy objections to Molinism. First, Helm presents an internal critique of Molinism purporting to show that Libertarian Free Will (LFW) undermines God’s providential control over the world. Second, Helm argues that Molinism is incompatible with the doctrine of irresistible grace. Unless he has changed his mind. That may be true as some Calvinistic are doing so.

        br.d
        Yes – I can see how he would argue all of those things.
        Firstly he argues from the presumed position of Theological Determinism as being biblical – and what he actually objects to about Middle knowledge is how it allows for libertarian freedom. And yes – it makes sense that since the doctrine of irresistible grace has Theological Determinism as its foundation – then arguing for it would be consistent.

        But the Calvinist – to be honest – would hopefully argue that evil events are no less AUTHORED then good events.
        And everything for the creature is fated – and thus ,made irresistible to the creature.
        So as people are not permitted to resist the divine will – then it follows the divine will for evil is also irresistible

  35. BRD
    It doesn’t appear that James White here is differentiating between “compatiblist” freedom and “Libertarian” freedom.

    I should think he knows the difference.

    Juan Swan,James Swan From Dr. James White’s Site, The Dividing Line. Alpha and Omega
    I think you are missing the whole point of the argument that Juan Swan is making in the article. It is not about what you are talking about above. Although it is touched on. Go back and read it again. It is a refutation of your position primarily.

    Kevin my words
    I think this is the argument the LibFreedom advocate or LFW advocate fears the most.

    Once again, I am not saying there are not answers to this. I am saying I do feel it is congent.

    I also feel your argument and case above is cogent. Makes complete sense. So at this point I go to God’s Word to find my answers. Not entirely leaving out philosophy because that is impossible.

    It was your mentioning the article above is what set my on this course. A state of confusion at the moment. But this is the Eternal God we are talking about. I know just shroud all in mystery of God. Well do I lower it to sub-human standards of created man??

      1. No I have read all that you have written am I am missing the point why you cannot seem to get the point. I now you see it. You see the strength of the argument. It is there. I think I have done so as the article on Dr, White’s site has done so. It is a strong cogent argument.

        If not engage with it directly and tell why not.

        Because BRD quite frankly and respectfully until now you have not done so Sir.

      2. Sorry Kevin
        You seem to be seeing something and coming to conclusions about it.
        And I don’t see how you reach it through sequential logic.

        And there are other minds much more superior to mine – such as Dr. William Lane Craig.
        I know there are many Calvinist web-sites which pro-port to refute his logical analysis on various things.
        But from my observation they tend to follow a pattern of circular reasoning.

      3. Dr. William Lane Craig, I respect the man’s intellegence and think that he has done the Body of Christ a great service when debating those who say there is no God. But Middle Knowlede. I am no Craigian.

        Do you believe the Bible to be the Word of God BRD?

        I know you do.

        Guess what?

        The Bible Claims itself to be the Word of God

        So in this Cirular Argument at least it would be true. I bet there are others also. There are so much we all do not know.

      4. Kevin
        Do you believe the Bible to be the Word of God BRD?

        br.d
        I like the way Dr. Gordon Fee states it
        The Bible is God’s word to man – written by human hands – expressed through human minds”

        But this brings us back to our discussion of the Rorschach ink-blots which we didn’t finish.

        If you are up for it:
        Lets say a child who has been abused looks at a certain ink-blot
        And his mind interprets it as an image of an adult abusing a child.

        And ink-blot is nothing more than random data.
        What does that tell us about the way the human mind interprets data?

  36. James Swan From Dr. James White’s Site, The Dividing Line
    “When God chooses to create knowing full well what evil will happen, and creates anyway, I don’t see how a non-Reformed person can avoid the same charge they place on us. Also, if God knows what we’re going to choose when he creates us, do we really have free will? We certainly can’t choose otherwise at that point.”

    Kevin My Words
    I do not even sure “Alvin Plantinga’s free-will defense” can overcome this. But I am giving someone a hint or direction to refute what is being said. I am always willing to listen.

    1. Kevin
      I do not even sure “Alvin Plantinga’s free-will defense” can overcome this. But I am giving someone a hint or direction to refute what is being said. I am always willing to listen

      br.d
      There are numerous people presenting online articles that assume to defeat Plantinga’s free will defense.

      They remain OFFICIALLY unrecognized – because they never raise to the level of peer-reviewed submissions – to be appropriately responded to.

      This is stated for example by Dr. Michael Heiser – who has been asked to engage with James White.

      Dr. Heiser says
      -quote
      “All of my work is scrutinized by academic scholars. If Mr. White wishes to engage – he can submit peer-reviewed articles to be scrutinized by academia the way I do. But I seriously doubt that will ever happen.”

      1. Kevin
        I do not even sure “Alvin Plantinga’s free-will defense” can overcome this. But I am giving someone a hint or direction to refute what is being said. I am always willing to listen
        br.d
        There are numerous people presenting online articles that assume to defeat Plantinga’s free will defense.

        Kevin My Response
        You say this with a definite assertion as if eveyone is to take it for granted. It is not just online I have read it . I have scholary works here at my home that engage with him and show his weaknesses. I showed you one that I think is very strong and cogent.

        This is stated for example by Dr. Michael Heiser – who has been asked to engage with James White.
        Dr. Heiser says
        -quote
        “All of my work is scrutinized by academic scholars. If Mr. White wishes to engage – he can submit peer-reviewed articles to be scrutinized by academia the way I do. But I seriously doubt that will ever happen.”

        Kevin My Response
        Not sure why this was added. There are a lot of people that Dr. White has just flat out refused to debate. Like he will not debate Dr. Flowers again for obvious reasons. I read an article and listened to a Dividing line about Dr. Heiser. There are always two sides of every story. So not sure what the point is here??

      2. br.d
        There are numerous people presenting online articles that assume to defeat Plantinga’s free will defense.

        Kevin
        You say this with a definite assertion as if eveyone is to take it for granted. It is not just online I have read it . I have scholary works here at my home that engage with him and show his weaknesses. I showed you one that I think is very strong and cogent.

        br.d
        I don’t know who you mean by “everyone”.
        But this topic is covered in another post – on the topic of how scholars engage with one another using a peer-reviewed process.

        Back in the days of the wild west – there were men who were – at leas for a short time – the fasted gun around.
        There would always be someone who would want to prove he could out-gun that one and take his spot.
        Many of them who boasted they could do so didn’t live long – because their ability was only in their imagination.

      3. And I in no way say my ability or knowledge in these matters is better than yours. More than anything just stretching my mental muscles.

        Like I said I am one of those wanna bes.

        Although I do think there are some things you did not understand correctly as I showed you.

        Thanks BRD

      4. Kevin
        And I in no way say my ability or knowledge in these matters is better than yours. More than anything just stretching my mental muscles.
        Like I said I am one of those wanna bes.

        br.d
        And I am just a little logical thinker in a big logical universe! :-]

        Kevin
        Although I do think there are some things you did not understand correctly as I showed you.

        br.d
        Well – as I’ve said – you think you’ve shown me something that you concluded.
        But I still think there is a leap of logic going on somewhere in the middle.

      5. And you being more experienced in this are probably right. But I do hope you listened and watched the video I sent to you. Here it is again starting at 37:11

        Notice the Non-Calvinist struggle with the Problem of Evil against the argument I have laid out against you.

        I am not absolutely sure I agree with Dr. White’s argument but it did seem more plausible and he handled the issue much better.

        Now If William Craig would have been there instead of the other Non-Calvinist I grant you it might have been different but not really sure. I think the argument is cogent agaisnt the Non-Calvinist.

  37. Plantinga
    (5) It is necessarily true that: no possible human beings can produce moral good
    without producing moral evil.53

    Plantinga thinks that in order to do good someone must be significantly free, therefore:
    (6) It is necessarily true that: no significantly free possible human can produce
    moral good without also producing moral evil.54

    But this last premise seems to generate a lot of new problems for Plantinga. LaFollette thinks
    that Plantinga is committed to claiming that God is significantly free, and if this is the case then
    why is it that God can act freely and only commit moral good, but humans cannot act good
    without producing moral evil. To avoid this criticism LaFollette thinks Plantinga needs
    something along the lines of:
    (7) It is necessarily true that: no significantly free possible creatures except God
    can produce moral good without also producing moral evil.55

    Here LaFollette rests in case because he thinks that this is “clearly indemonstrable (if not
    preposterous).”56 LaFollette knows that Plantinga could respond by saying that God is not free,
    but he doubts that Plantinga would make such a bold statement, as such a claim would hinder
    other arguments for the Free Will Defender.

    1. Platinga’s reasoning has to do with the “potential” and the “freedom” to commit both good and evil. Platinga reasons that if a person is only created with the potential and “freedom” for [A] but is not given the potential of “freedom” for [NOT A] then that person doesn’t really have “significant” freedom.

      LaFollette thinks that Plantinga is committed to claiming that God is significantly free,

      br.d
      Yes that is correct.

      And if this is the case then why is it that God can act freely and only commit moral good.

      br.d
      The question is ill-formed because it is based on a HIDDEN premise that God actually lacks the potential and “freedom” which Plantinga is actually arguing he has. He has both the potential and “freedom” for both [A] and [NOT A].

      Plantinga is not arguing that God lacks the potential or the freedom to do evil. He is actually arguing the opposite.

      So LaFollette’s question appears to be logically inverting Plantinga’s argument in order to create a conundrum that is not actually there.

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