Kingswood Hart: Who Are the Elect?

This blog post is copied below in its entirety with permission. Please follow the links if you would like to see more of Kingswood and his series in Romans. 

This is part of a series of posts on Romans. Click here for the contents page.

After considering Romans 11:1-6 in the previous post, now we’ll continue with verses 7-10.

Having established that God has not rejected the ethnic Israelites, Paul goes on to explain what has been happening “at the present time” (i.e. Paul’s present time – see verse 5):

“[7] What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened,”

Because so many of Paul’s fellow ethnic Israelites have not trusted in Christ, he uses the word ‘Israel’ to refer to the unbelieving ethnic Israelites, saying that “Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking” (see Romans 9:31-32 for another example of the word ‘Israel’ being used in this way). They were seeking righteousness but wanted to obtain it themselves rather than accepting the offer of Christ’s righteousness (see Romans 10:3).

Paul then goes on to explain that there are a relatively small number of ethnic Israelites who have obtained righteousness. These are “the elect”. They correspond to the “remnant” from verse 5. Paul distinguishes “the elect” from “the rest”“The rest” is everyone else in ethnic Israel who is not “the elect”. (The Gentiles could also be categorised as “elect” and “non-elect”, but the context is clear that Paul is focusing on ethnic Israel in these verses. The hardening referred to is a hardening of some ethnic Israelites (not Gentiles). As the hardened ones are “the rest”, the “elect” ones must also be ethnic Israelites only.)

Paul divides ethnic Israel up into “the elect” and “the rest”. This is very important in understanding who “the elect” are, as we will see. This diagram shows the situation:

Ethnic Israel

“The rest” are “the rest” because they are not “the elect”. Paul does not need to give them their own title – he simply refers to them as “the rest”, which distinguishes them from “the elect”. We can therefore say with certainty that “the rest” are not elect. “The rest” are “the non-elect”.

Paul goes on to talk about “the rest” (picking up from verse 7):

“[7b] The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, [8] as it is written, “God gave them [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” [9] And David says, “Let their [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect]; [10] let their [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] eyes be darkened so that they [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] cannot see, and bend their [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] backs continually.””

So, the non-elect ethnic Israelites have been hardened: their eyes have been darkened and their ears do not hear. (A ‘stumbling block’ is also referred to in 9:33, which similarly speaks of the situation of the unbelieving ethnic Israelites.) A burden is weighing down on them and bending their backs. As they are not elect, and have had their eyes darkened etc., one might conclude that these non-elect ethnic Israelites will always remain in this state and will therefore never be saved.

However, let’s see what Paul has to say about this. Does Paul think that none of these non-elect ethnic Israelites will ever be saved? Let’s read through the rest of this section with only this question in mind:

[11] So I ask, did they [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] stumble in order that they [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] might fall? By no means! Rather through their [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make them [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] jealous. [12] Now if their [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] trespass means riches for the world, and if their [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect]full inclusion mean! [13] Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry [14] in order somehow to make my fellow Jews [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect]jealous, and thus save some of them [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect]. [15] For if their [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect]acceptance mean but life from the dead? [16] If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. [17] But if some of the branches [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect]were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, [18] do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. [19] Then you will say, “Branches [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” [20] That is true. They [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. [21] For if God did not spare the natural branches [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect], neither will he spare you. [22] Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect], but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. [23] And even they [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect], if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect], the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. [25] Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect], until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. [26] And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; [27] “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” [28] As regards the gospel, they [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. [29] For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. [30] For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their[“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] disobedience, [31] so they [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] also may now receive mercy. [32] For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

Paul thinks that non-elect people, who have been hardened, can be saved!

This tells us a lot about Paul’s understanding of what it means to be “elect”. Paul started off (in verse 7) by dividing ethnic Israel into “the elect” (who have obtained righteousness) and “the rest” (who have not obtained righteousness, are non-elect, and have been hardened). “The elect” Israelites are those who are trusting in Christ, as they have obtained righteousness already (verse 7). Regarding “the rest”, Paul thinks it is possible for a non-elect person to trust in Christ and therefore be saved.

By Paul’s definition, when a non-elect person trusts in Christ, they will become part of “the elect”, as they will then have obtained righteousness. On an individual basis, therefore, a person can change from being non-elect to being elect. They move from the group of people called “the rest” into the group of people called “the elect”.

Another understanding of “election”

In contrast to this understanding of what it means for someone to be “elect”, there are some people who believe that everyone who does or will eventually trust in Christ has always been “elect” – even before they trusted in Christ, and that everyone who ultimately never will trust in Christ has always been “non-elect”.

The people who take this view therefore see the hardening of the non-elect that Paul speaks of as being permanent and unchangeable, such that they never will trust in Christ. They tend to argue that when Paul speaks in the following verses about more ethnic Israelites coming to faith, he is speaking of different ethnic Israelites than those who have been hardened. If we apply this consistently, the following situation arises. In verse 7, Paul states that the elect ethnic Israelites “have obtained” righteousness (i.e. this has already happened), while the rest (i.e. all other ethnic Israelites) have been hardened. If the hardening is permanent and cannot be changed, then Paul is teaching that every ethnic Israelite alive at his time of writing who is not already trusting in Christ never will trust in Christ. Paul would therefore have no hope for the salvation of any of his fellow ethnic Israelites that he is upset about (see 9:1-5). However, in Romans 11:13-14, Paul goes on to say:

“[13] Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry [14] in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.”

It is clear that Paul has hope for the salvation of at least some of the ethnic Israelites who are alive at the same time as him, who have not (yet) obtained righteousness, and who have been hardened. Therefore we can reject any interpretation of the text that has Paul teaching that none of these ethnic Israelites can be saved. The understanding of election/non-election as being eternally and unchangeably applied to individuals is therefore inconsistent with Paul’s teaching.

Paul’s understanding of “election”

So (having dismissed this false interpretation) “the elect” can correctly be defined as “those who are trusting in Christ”. It doesn’t also include people who will eventually trust in Christ but aren’t doing so yet. So all non-Christians are currently non-elect, whether or not they will eventually trust in Christ. They will only join “the elect” if and when they put their trust in Christ. “The elect” therefore corresponds to the church (i.e. the group of all true believers).

This is why the Bible uses so much corporate language to refer to the church (e.g. “the bride of Christ”“the body of Christ”, etc.). A common biblical phrase for “the elect” is those who are “in Christ”. Those who are “in Christ” share in the blessings that have come to Christ. For example, those who are “in Christ” share in Christ’s righteousness, and are considered as righteous due to being in Christ (Romans 3:21-26).

Another example is that Paul can say of Christians that God “seated us with him [Christ]in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). The Christians to whom Paul was writing were not individually seated in the heavenly places, but because they were “in Christ”, what was true of Christ was true for them.

Similarly, those who are “in Christ” share in Christ’s chosenness, as Christ is “the Chosen One of God” (see Luke 9:35, John 1:32-34 (NET Bible, including notes), and Isaiah 42:1 (with Matthew 12:18)). Just as, before a person becomes a Christian, they have no righteousness to claim as their own, so a non-Christian also has no chosenness of their own unless and until they can claim Christ’s chosenness through being “in him”.

Every spiritual blessing that the Christian has is “in Christ”, including the spiritual blessing of being chosen/elect (Ephesians 1:3-4). That is why Paul can say that God the Father “chose us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4), while also saying of himself individually that Andronicus and Junia “were in Christ before me”(Romans 16:7). Paul was not always in Christ, but only became in Christ when he began to trust in Christ for salvation. Once he became “in Christ”, he became “righteous”“seated in the heavenly places” and “chosen before the foundation of the world” – all because these are true of Christ and therefore became true of Paul as he became “in Christ”.

This understanding of election is known as “Christocentric election” or “corporate election” (I prefer the first term as it recognises Jesus as the centre of the chosenness). We will continue in Romans 11 in the next post.

This was first published at the Predestination Station, where comments can be made.

415 thoughts on “Kingswood Hart: Who Are the Elect?

    1. Just jumping in, after a few busy weeks marrying off my first son. This is an excellent presentation of what being ‘elect’ or chosen means, and the only one that creates no inconsistencies. All that has been offered to us is and always has been ‘in Christ’, which is why it was predetermined, and irresistibly ordained to completion. God has always planned that those who put their trust in him come into all of his promised blessings ‘in Christ’, becoming one of those elect and chosen to receive eternal life. There is no other way, no earning or merit that can achieve what can only be ours as a free and undeserved gift.

      How marvelous that this incomparable free gift provided that ALL men might be saved gives God the genuine glory, untainted by cruelty or tyranny; a glory that he cannot help but receive because he is genuinely good, loving and merciful. He does not need to secretly choose and manipulate men. He does not need to employ unthinkable evil to provide contrast for his goodness. He does not need to play word games to hide the wickedness of some perverse scheme to deliberately condemn a great many men but make it appear as if it was their own free choice.

      Like the father of the wandering prodigal, he is ever waiting to welcome us back from our deliberate rebelliousness with a kiss and a feast. This my friends, is the genuine, beautiful, hope-filled, life-giving glory of our God who so loved us that he sent his Son to redeem us.

  1. Excellent!

    I like this bit – “A common biblical phrase for “the elect” is those who are “in Christ”. Those who are “in Christ” share in the blessings that have come to Christ”

    I have noticed after reading many commentaries by Calvinists on Ephesians 1:4, they for the most part drop the “In Him” part out of the verse and focus on the “Chose us” part. They tend to make it all about us instead of all about Him (Christ).

    It’s amazing how someone like Calvin can influence such a large portion of Christendom, so much so that they believe his writings are infallible and therefore read the bible through his template.

    This one quote from Calvin did it for me when I was reading his Institutes of the Christian Religion. Notice how he elevates his own writings to Scripture –
    “And since we are bound to acknowledge that all truth and sound doctrine proceed from God, I will venture boldly to declare what I think of this work (his institutes), acknowledging it to be God’s work rather than mine. To him, indeed, the praise due to it must be ascribed. My opinion of the work then is this: I exhort all, who reverence the word of the Lord, to read it, and diligently imprint it on their memory, if they would, in the first place, have a summary of Christian doctrine, and, in the second place, an introduction to the profitable reading both of the Old and New Testament.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Epistle to the reader

    1. Upon grasping how Augustine, Constantine and Calvin essentially co-opted and misled the entire Body of Christ, recasting them as ‘The Church’, one gains a whole new lens from which to view the entire world. All it takes is a very small number to introduce orthodox truth by fiat – be it religious, political or scientific – and entire civilizations wander in blindness for centuries, groping for the wall as if blind. It is almost as if scripture foretells – 😉 – the deep error into which mankind would be naively led by submitting to self-claimed authorities rather than faithfully listening to the Spirit of God within.

      In every era, in every field, it is the individual who dares to think for himself and question the authoritative ‘truth’ who is the heretic and dangerous person. Perhaps Jesus was not ‘kidding’ when he warned that those who ‘truly’ followed him would suffer as he did. Makes one wonder if it might be wise to re-evaluate the ‘great’ religious leaders of history who have enjoyed the wealth and adoration of society, whether they be Calvin or today’s celebrated religious leaders with fan-filled ministries and million dollar mansions.

  2. Well, I certainly know that the notion of “corporate election” is very popular and widely accepted by default with the alternative being the Calvinistic notion of unconditional election. However, whoever the “elect” are, it should be consistent throughout scripture.

    Nowhere in all scripture does it state plainly that those who are “in Christ” are the elect (if I am overlooking such passages, please point them out).

    I have pointed this out before, but it bears repeating.

    2 Timothy 2:10 (NKJV)….
    Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they (the elect) also (too) may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    Again, using scripture, I can prove that “the elect” Paul is referring to is the nation of Israel. Even lost Israel.

    Romans 9:3-4a (KJV)….
    For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh; Who are ISRAELITES…

    Romans 10:1 (KJV)….
    Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for ISRAEL is, that they might be saved.

    Romans 11:13-14 (NKJV)….
    For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh (ISRAELITES) and save some of them.

    Acts 28:20 (KJV)….
    For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for THE HOPE OF ISRAEL I am bound with this chain.

    So with the above verses in mind, we have the following….

    2 Timothy 2:10 (NKJV)….
    Therefore I endure all things for the sake of Israel, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    So here we have a clear, biblical reference to lost, unbelieving Israelites who the apostle Paul refers to as “the elect”. Paul knew full well who “the elect” are.

    With the corporate view of election in mind, here is how 2 Timothy 2:10 would read…

    2 Timothy 2:10 (NKJV)….
    Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the believing element of Israel and Gentiles, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    That interpretation makes absolutely no sense since those who are “in Christ” have already obtained salvation. No. Whoever “the elect” are in 2 Timothy 2:10 they are definitely lost.

    Again, I fully understand the appeal “corporate election” offers, but as we see in 2 Timothy 2:10 it just doesn’t work.

    Discern brothers and sisters.

    1. Hi Phillip,

      I agree with you that 2 Timothy 2:10 is talking about elect Israel. However I also believe the church can be called elect as well –

      “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied”. 1 Peter 1:1-2

      “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;” Colossians 3:12

      As I understand it there is elect Israel (The Covenant people) made up of Israelites (saved and unsaved). And then there is the elect church, made up of born again believers (from either Israel or Gentile)

      But there is also the elect angels – 1 Timothy 5:21, There is also the elect lady – 2 John 1:1

      There is also Christ who is elect – 1 Peter 2;6

      I see the church being called elect in this passage –

      “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father”, which are then in chapter 2 of the same book is referred to as – “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy” 1 Peter 2:9-10.

      Just to note, it says – “Which in time past were not a people”. This debunks the Calvinist argument that there were people being selected in times past obtaining mercy by some weird secret decree.

      Thanks Phillip, I think there is some wiggle room from a couple of perspectives in the non-Calvinistic look at the word “elect”.

      1. Blessings, Damon.

        I appreciate the feedback. This is a little long, but I wanted to be thorough. Please consider…..

        1 Peter 1:1-2 (NKJV)….
        To the pilgrims of the Dispersion (scattered among the Gentiles) in PONTUS, Galatia, CAPPADOCIA, ASIA, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

        Now compare that with the following…

        Acts 2:5-11 (NKJV)…..
        And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and CAPPADOCIA, PONTUS AND ASIA, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”

        Peter is addressing/writing to the Jews/Israelites that had been scattered among the Gentiles.

        Now….

        1 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV)….
        But you are a chosen generation (race), a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

        Almost verbatim what the Lord told Moses to say to the children of Israel.

        Exodus 19:3-6 (NKJV)….
        And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.”

        It was the House of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) that was told that they were once not a people, but now a people; not shown mercy, but who have now obtained mercy. This is confirmed in the book of Hosea….

        Hosea 1:6-11 (NKJV)…..
        Then God said to him: “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel (the Northern Kingdom), But I will utterly take them away (scatter them among the nations). Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah (the Southern Kingdom), Will save them by the LORD their God, And will not save them by bow, Nor by sword or battle, By horses or horsemen.” Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. Then God said: “Call his name Lo-Ammi, For you (the House of Israel) are not My people, And I will not be your God. “Yet the number of the children of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them (the House of Israel), ‘You are not My people,’ There it shall be said to them (the House of Israel/the Northern Kingdom), ‘You are sons of the living God.’ Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel Shall be gathered together, And appoint for themselves one head; And they shall come up out of the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel (when the Lord will gather together His chosen people, the 12 tribes of Israel)!

        1 Peter 2:11-12 (NKJV)…
        Beloved, I beg you as sojourners (those who stay or reside temporarily) and pilgrims (a person who journeys, especially a long distance), abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles (where the House of Israel had been scattered), that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation (His second coming).

        Now…

        1 Peter 5:1-2 (NKJV)…..
        The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;

        Peter is addressing the elders (a pastoral position) to be overseers (position of leadership) of their local congregations. So we know that some of these Jews from the House of Israel are put in the pastoral positions of leadership of their local churches. As God’s chosen people (race) their calling and election (2 Peter 1:10) was/is to be a light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6, Acts 13:47).

        So this is scriptural proof that Peter is addressing the House of Israel, the Northern Kingdom. And from where was Peter writing?

        1 Peter 5:13 (NKJV)….
        She who is in Babylon (the Southern Kingdom), elect together with you (the Northern Kingdom), greets you; and so does Mark my son.

        “She who is in Babylon” (where “she” was taken into captivity) would refer to the House of Judah, or the Southern Kingdom, who, together with the House of Israel (the Northern Kingdom), make up the whole nation of Israel/House of Jacob, God’s chosen ones (1 Chronicles 16-13, Psalm 105:6).

        God bless.

      2. Damon,

        Thanks, brother. That’s all I ask.

        Proverbs 9:10 (NKJV)….
        The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

        The concept of elect/election is dominated by both the Calvinist (unconditional) and Arminian (conditional) perspectives. Most of our Bible schools and seminaries are indoctrinated with one or the other (or both) never giving any consideration that there just might be a plausible (and biblical) alternative.

        “But you are a chosen generation (race), a royal priesthood, a holy nation..”

        The “church”, or Body of Christ, is not a race nor a nation (that should be a clue). But the children of Israel definitely are.

        The word elect/election only appears in the Bible 23 (KJV) or 24 (NKJV) times. The overwhelming majority of them point to the nation of Israel (saved or lost).

        Any questions, please let me know.

    2. Hi Phillip, thanks for reading the post. The word ‘elect’ in the Greek just means ‘chosen’. It can be used in different ways depending on what choice is being discussed. God has made more than one choice in his existence. So I don’t think it’s wise to propose that “whoever the “elect” are, it should be consistent throughout scripture”. Each use of the word ‘elect’ should be assessed as to its meaning in its context. Sometimes it will relate to those trusting in Christ but sometimes it might not. It’s an unusual claim to say that every word in the Bible must mean exactly the same thing every time it is used.

      Regarding your 2Tim 2:10 quote, I’m not taking a view as to what the passage is saying, but it doesn’t have to mean the same thing as Paul meant in Romans 11:7. Your assertion that those in Christ have already obtained salvation isn’t entirely accurate. 2Tim 2 is talking about people enduring to the end, so has the meaning of “salvation” in view of salvation from God’s future judgement. In that sense of the word, salvation hasn’t happened yet for believers who are still alive. (See Romans 5:9: “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” – salvation is future here.) In 2Tim 2:10 Paul is looking ahead to salvation that he hopes will be attained by some people, and he refers to those people as “the elect”. So it’s not inconsistent for Paul to be referring to believers when he refers to the elect. (I’m not saying he definitely is, just that it’s not inconsistent if he is saying that.)

      So ultimately, referring to another verse in another book doesn’t prove what Paul means by ‘elect’ in Romans 11. What do you think he means by ‘elect’ in Romans 11:7, and how do you think that fits with what comes next in the chapter?

      1. Brother Kingswoodhart,

        Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. 3:09am. Wow, brother. You are either a night owl or on a way different time zone.

        You said… “In 2 Tim 2:10 Paul is looking ahead to salvation that he hopes will be attained by some people, and he refers to those people as ‘the elect’. So it’s not inconsistent for Paul to be referring to believers when he refers to the elect. (I’m not saying he definitely is, just that it’s not inconsistent if he is saying that.)”

        In your post you wrote… “So (having dismissed this false interpretation) ‘the elect’ can correctly be defined as ‘those who are trusting in Christ’. It doesn’t also include people who will eventually trust in Christ but aren’t doing so yet. So all non-Christians are currently non-elect, whether or not they will eventually trust in Christ. They will only join ‘the elect’ if and when they put their trust in Christ. ‘The elect’ therefore corresponds to the church (i.e. the group of all true believers).

        So with that in mind we have…

        2 Timothy 2:10 (NKJV)….
        Therefore I endure all things for the sake of “those who are trusting in Christ”, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

        Sorry, brother, but that just doesn’t work (I mean this lovingly, not sarcastically). We know from scripture that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) and that they have eternal life (1 John 5:13). There is zero chance that those “in Christ” will not obtain salvation. Those in Christ have, not may, but have obtained salvation. Otherwise, it would be silly, and inaccurate, for me to tell others that I am saved. Now there is a future glory that we still await, but my salvation is secure.

        If, however, we understand the elect to refer to the nation of Israel, we have…

        “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the nation of Israel, that they (the nation of Israel) also (along with the Gentiles/non-Israelites/the non-elect) may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

        This works perfectly, even supporting the possibility that they “may not” obtain salvation contingent upon their response to God. Another observation, though I am not an English major, the “also” or “too” is tied to “they” which introduces another group (not a benefit), other than “the elect”, which would have to refer to the non-elect, which, in this case would have to be the Gentiles. This aligns perfectly with Romans 11:13-14 and Acts 9:15.

        Also, we already know from Paul’s own testimony that it was the nation of Israel that he was willing to be accursed from Christ (Romans 9:3-4a). It was his love for Israel that he was willing to wear the chains (Acts 28:20). It was for the nation of Israel that he magnified his ministry to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13-14). For me, though I could be wrong, it is clear that the nation of Israel, his fellow Israelites, is to whom he is referring to in 2 Timothy 2:10.

        God bless, brother

    3. Phillip
      2 Timothy 2:10 (NKJV)….
      Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the believing element of Israel and Gentiles, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

      That interpretation makes absolutely no sense since those who are “in Christ” have already obtained salvation. No. Whoever “the elect” are in 2 Timothy 2:10 they are definitely lost.

      Again, I fully understand the appeal “corporate election” offers, but as we see in 2 Timothy 2:10 it just doesn’t work.

      br.d
      Can you explain your logic in this a little Phillip?
      I’m somewhat familiar with how “corporate election” is defined – but not up its nuances enough to know how you conclude it is logically excluded by 2 Tim 2:10.

      1. BrD.,

        Sure.

        In the article above it states…. “So ‘the elect’ can correctly be defined as ‘those who are trusting in Christ’. It doesn’t also include people who will eventually trust in Christ but aren’t doing so yet. So all non-Christians are currently non-elect, whether or not they will eventually trust in Christ. They will only join ‘the elect’ if and when they put their trust in Christ. ‘The elect’ therefore corresponds to the church (i.e. the group of all true believers).

        My point is “the elect” in 2 Timothy 2:10 refers to the nation of Israel, specifically Lost Israel, since it is for them that Paul is willing to endure all things. Our brother is suggesting it refers to the church, or the body of Christ. If that were the case we would have the following….

        “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the church, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

        You simply need to ask yourself “Does that make sense?” Is there any chance that the body of Christ won’t obtain salvation? Because “may” suggests the possibility they “may not”. My interpretation, however, would read…

        “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of Israel, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

        If my interpretation is correct (the elect refers to the Israelite people), Paul knows there is a real chance that every Israelite will not be saved. It is Paul’ heart that every Israelite is saved. He even magnifies his ministry to the Gentiles in hopes of saving as many Israelites as he can. Now the nation as a whole (all 12 tribes) will be saved, but not every Israelite. And it is this that causes Paul so much anguish.

        Hope this helps, brother.

      2. “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of Israel, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

        Thanks Phillip.

        How do we account for these texts:
        Romans 16:13 Greet Rufus, an outstanding ἐκλεκτόν “chosen” of Christ and also his mother……

        Rufus is known as a Latin/Roman name.
        If “elect” is limited only to ethnic Israel then Rufus would have to be a Jewish person with a Latin/Roman name.

        Colossians 3:12 Clothe yourselves therefore, as the elect ἐκλεκτοί “chose” of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

        Members of the congregation at Colossae were noted as having incorporated pagan elements into their practice, including worship of elemental spirits. Some scholars note the doctrinal problem at Colossae was probably the influx of Gnosticism – which typically afflicted Gentile and not Jewish believers.

      3. BrD,

        To be completely honest, Colossians 3:12 is one of perhaps two verses that still eludes me and requires further study, but regarding the other 22 times (NKJV) the use of the term “elect” is used, I can show it relates somehow to Israel. Not bad odds.

        In regards to Rufus in Romans 16:13, I see a distinction between the adjective “chosen” and the noun “the elect”. I know in English these words are somewhat interchangeable, but scripture seems to give a distinction (otherwise, why “chosen” and some places and “elect” in others?). Still, we have Israel, My elect (Isaiah 45:4) and Jacob His chosen ones (1 Chronicles 16:13, Psalms 105:6) so go figure. That said, Paul was his Roman name, but he was a Jew/Israelite from the tribe of Benjamin. I believe Luke was also Jew using his Roman name as well.

        Regardless, I stand by my interpretation of 2 Timothy 2:10.

        Thanks for the question. When the Lord gives me understanding for Colossians, I will let you know.

        Many blessings, brother.

      4. Good enough Phillip and thanks!
        Its an interesting topic – I can see why it peaks your interest.

        On the subject of looking into the Greek grammar – you might see if Brian has any thoughts you might find of interest.
        He’s pretty smart in that area!! :-]

    4. I think the 2 TImothy 2:10 passage simply reveals a truth that we are all well acquainted with – Not everyone within the church (not even every one who call themselves born again and are baptized as adults and are taking communion) are believers in Jesus Christ and there is no way we can know who will be the elect, in other words as humans we may not always be able to or are not discerning enough to know who belongs to Christ and who does not. Further it also reveals that those who are elect are not necessarily predetermined, but are based on present and future events – births, preaching, hearing / understanding, accepting the Gospel message. It also shows that all who are elect are not ‘elected’ so to speak, until they are in Christ. While it is true that it has been determined that those chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world are chosen to be holy and blameless, those who are chosen are not chosen until they are in Christ. Which is why the Ephesians 1 passage continuously drills in the in Him …. in Him …. in Him over and over again. Without Him, none of those statements are true. Further Scripture also makes clear that those who are in Christ can fall away – Hebrews 6:4-6, 2 Peter 2:1, 2 Peter 2:20,21, Matthew 24:24 / Mark 13:22. These passages make clear that falling away is not outside the realm of possibility but is a very real danger that is faced by Christians.

      The word elect is largely translated from 3 Greek words. In the Strong’s concordance they come at G1586, G1588, G1589. While there are plenty of verses with these Greek words, only a few have been translated with the English words elect or election. Many of the words that occur with these Greek words are translated as chosen, choosing, choice, etc. Ironically, while I had for a long time considered the NASB to be closest to the Greek because of its wooden reading, I have while doing the study on Election, found that the ESV and in many instances, even the KJV are far more literal translations of the Original (notwithstanding the Alexandrian and Byzantine traditions).

      While it is true that God knows all things and while He knows who will accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and who will fall away and who will endure to the end, that same knowledge is not available to us. So while God knows who are those who really constitute His church, and while God will separate the wheat from the tares, as Christians constituting the church we are not privy to that knowledge. Hence we have those who are not elect, those elect who will fall away and those who are all truly elect all as members of the church.

  3. “[15] For if their [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect] rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their [“the rest”, i.e. the non-elect]acceptance mean but life from the dead?”

    Here is a case where the term, “world,” refers to gentiles. From a Jewish perspective, there were Jews and then there was the world – the non Jews.

  4. “The Christians to whom Paul was writing were not individually seated in the heavenly places, but because they were “in Christ”, what was true of Christ was true for them.”

    I don’t know why the author inserts “individually” and he doesn’t explain his reasoning. I think he could have meant, “…were not physically seated in the heavenly places…”

    “What was true of Christ…” refers to Christ as an individual and Paul’s point is easily read as applying to each of the Ephesian believers individually. Paul emphasizes this by using the terms, “we,” and “us,” where he includes himself as an individual. His point is that he, as an individual, has been “blessed,,,with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,…” and so have each of the believers in Ephesus.

    Then, “This understanding of election is known as “Christocentric election” or “corporate election” (I prefer the first term as it recognises Jesus as the centre of the chosenness).”

    I did not see anything in this post that would identify this “understanding of election” as corporate election. All he did was separate the remnant from the rest of Israel. Why would that be unique to corporate election?

    Romans 11, “there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.” Here Paul refers to the elect, or remnant, within Israel “at the present,” or in the first century when Paul was writing. The Paul emphasizes that this is “according to God’s gracious choice,” – a point Paul makes when writing to the Ephesians, “God chose us.”

    1. You said “I did not see anything in this post that would identify this “understanding of election” as corporate election. All he did was separate the remnant from the rest of Israel. Why would that be unique to corporate election?”

      The point with this understanding of election is that an individual can move from being in “the rest” to being in “the elect”. That’s not the case for the Calivinistic understanding, which says that individuals are either always elect or always non-elect, and no one changes from one to the other.

      1. KH writes, “The point with this understanding of election is that an individual can move from being in “the rest” to being in “the elect”. That’s not the case for the Calivinistic understanding, which says that individuals are either always elect or always non-elect, and no one changes from one to the other.”

        Calvinism holds that God is omniscient and knew His elect before He created the world. In that sense, individuals are known to God as elect or non-elect and always have been and no one changes from one to the other.

        At the same time, the scriptures are clear that people move from “non-elect” status to “elect” status in the course of time – no one is born saved (or with the elect tag except in God’s mind) but becomes saved in time. So, people move from not being saved to being saved, and that is not a problem for Calvinism. However, I don’t think you are talking about elect/non-elect in the same sense as saved/not saved. You seem to be talking about the unsaved being tagged as “elect” even before they are saved. They are to God of course.

        So, what does this have to do with what Paul is writing about in Romans 11? I think Paul’s overall theme is salvation and this is his concern for Israel. Here Paul identifies the elect as the remnant or saved and the “rest” as the non-elect or unsaved. I think these terms are fluid and there is not a fixed number of elect and non-elect but the elect group can increase and the non-elect group can decrease as people in Israel are saved (even if that is a rare occurrence).

        Nonetheless, you tie this into “corporate election.” I still don’t know what your analysis has to do with corporate election – what does this understanding of election (as you spell out) have to do with corporate election??

      2. rhutchin
        Calvinism holds that God is omniscient and knew His elect before He created the world.

        br,d
        Interesting!
        Because he’s apparently not omniscient enough to remember things he decreed to infallibly come to pass.

        Because he makes -quote “active decisions to NOT RESTRAIN” the very things he (at the foundation of the world) “rendered certain” to infallibly come to pass.

        He (as Calvin instructs) treats them AS-IF they weren’t determined in every part.

        He appears to be additionally not be omniscient enough to know that the doctrine of decrees stipulates that ALL things which come to pass – do so infallibly – and from his own decrees!

        And he really should be omniscient enough to know that if something is going to come to pass infallibly – and an alternative comes to pass instead of it – then it really wasn’t infallible in the first place now was it.

        According Calvinist’s descriptions – he seems to miss a lot of these things.
        Perhaps he’s just a reflection of their own thinking. :-]

  5. DG Writes : “….But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy” 1 Peter 2:9-10.”

    “Just to note, it says – “Which in time past were not a people”. This debunks the Calvinist argument that there were people being selected in times past obtaining mercy by some weird secret decree.”

    My Response : Never been debunked. The wordings ; “which in time past were not a people” – this refers to the picked out Gentile believers before time that will come out from the different nations, tongues and culture around the world. This is supported by the Story of the Prodigal Son., i.e.:

    The Father – represents God the Father with 2 ORIGINAL SONS in His Kingdom
    Elder Brother – represents the household of Jacob-Israel (Esau-Edomites not included here)
    Younger Brother (the one called as Prodigal Son) – represented by the picked out Gentiles before time.

    1. The Israelites cannot eat the swines left overs. It is against them even to touch those animals but the Gentiles can.
    2. The Israelites cannot allow themselves to work in a swine farm manage by Gentile owner, while the Gentiles can do it.
    3. The Elder brother has been so angry with his younger brother’s home coming. He doesn’t want to associate with his brother in the feast prepared by their Father. The Jews had been degrading the Gentiles and does not have a good relationship with them. They think that Salvation is only for the Jews, not to the Gentile world.
    4. His behavior is an expression of self-righteousness. Thou he prefers to stay in the field, yet he is always too far away from his Father that he cannot understand anymore His Father’s feelings about the restoration of his younger brother. His heart is full of hatred. This is a sign that he is also a lost sinner. (Both Israel and Gentiles are sinners)

    From this story told by Jesus Christ, He revealed here that both Israel and Gentiles has been His children before time in His Kingdom. Though they were not yet existing before the foundation of the World, It has been foreseen already and their destinies has been determined already before time.

    1. JT writes,

      “Younger Brother (the one called as Prodigal Son) – represented by the picked out Gentiles before time”..

      My reply – JT could have said the younger brother represents a Gentile, but no…

      Notice how JT just assumes that there were only certain Gentiles picked out before time. This would be because JT believes in the un-biblical “secret decree” to save only some for unrevealed reasons that Calvin talks about. This would be the “secret decree” that predetermined some for heaven and most for hell before anyone was born. This would be the “secret decree” that has “no cause” because it is an unrevealed secret why God only picked out a few to be saved and the rest for hell.

      Remember it is a “secret counsel” not based on anything known.

      But also know this – The only place in the bible that the phrase “secret counsel” is used is in Psalm 64:2 –

      “Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:”

      Yet Calvin used this phrase many many times in his writings as do most Calvinists today.

      1. Damon:
        But also know this – The only place in the bible that the phrase “secret counsel” is used is in Psalm 64:2 –
        “Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:”
        Yet Calvin used this phrase many many times in his writings as do most Calvinists today.

        br.d
        Spot-On Damon – excellent point!

        In ancient Rome – there were specially anointed priestesses called Vestal Virgins.
        Many of these priestesses had special *SEEING* powers allowing them to somehow know divine secrets.

        Its not unusual to see this “Vestal Virgin Anointing” mimicked by Calvinists.
        They always seem to have the “inside scoop” of things they declare divine secrets unknown to mortal man.

        This is why Dr. Jerry Walls likens Calvinists magicians.
        They can pull divine secrets out of their pockets – like captain kangaroo’s banana man! :-]

      2. DG writes, “But also know this – The only place in the bible that the phrase “secret counsel” is used is in Psalm 64:2 –
        “Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:”
        Yet Calvin used this phrase many many times in his writings as do most Calvinists today.”

        Then there is, “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3) Combined with, ““The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 19) Consequently, that which God has chosen to reveal to us is found in the Scriptures and all other things have been hidden from us but can be assumed – as is true of those whom God has determined to save.

        There is nothing “un-Biblical” about God’s secret counsel – God really has not revealed everything to us but has kept some things hidden. Thus, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings (or believers) is to search out a matter.” (Proverbs 25) Jt is just doing what comes naturally to believers – “Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately.” (2 Timothy 2)

      3. Of course you can pick “secret counsel” out of another passage if you use 200 different bible interpretations of actual translations as does ol Rutchin here.

        And there’s the old “the secret things” belong unto the Lord” in Deuteronomy 29:29 which the Calvinist take right of Context – As if the passage is referring to Calvin’s “secret decree” when it doesn’t at all.

      4. Damon – just think – if you had one of Calvin’s crystal balls – you too could be one of the “special” ones – having the inside scoop on every divine secret! :-]

      5. DG writes, “Of course you can pick “secret counsel” out of another passage if you use 200 different bible interpretations of actual translations as does ol Rutchin here.”

        Or you can just track the Hebrew words translated as “secret counsel” through the OT.

        Then, “And there’s the old “the secret things” belong unto the Lord” in Deuteronomy 29:29 which the Calvinist take right of Context – As if the passage is referring to Calvin’s “secret decree” when it doesn’t at all. ‘

        How about telling us what the verse is really talking about.

      6. Rhutchin writes-
        “How about telling us what the verse is really talking about”

        My reply – More than happy to brother.

        Here’s the “secret things” of Deut 29:29
        “Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that standeth here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:”
        ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭29:14-15‬ ‭

        Here they are revealed –
        “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:”
        ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:3-6‬ ‭

        Thanks RH, let me know if you need anything else brother.

      7. DG writes, “Here’s the “secret things” of Deut 29:29
        “Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that standeth here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:”
        ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭29:14-15‬ ‭”

        Combined with Ephesians 3, we know that the elect are in view. But your complaint was, “And there’s the old “the secret things” belong unto the Lord” in Deuteronomy 29:29 which the Calvinist take right of Context – As if the passage is referring to Calvin’s “secret decree” when it doesn’t at all. ” So, what’s the problem??

      8. Rhutchin replied –
        DG writes, “Here’s the “secret things” of Deut 29:29
        “Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that standeth here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:”
        ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭29:14-15‬ ‭
        Combined with Ephesians 3, we know that the elect are in view. But your complaint was, “And there’s the old “the secret things” belong unto the Lord” in Deuteronomy 29:29 which the Calvinist take right of Context – As if the passage is referring to Calvin’s “secret decree” when it doesn’t at all. ” So, what’s the problem??”

        My reply-
        Notice I explained that there is no problem with Duet 29:29. Because the “secret things” of that passage were revealed in New Testament.

        It is the Calvinist that creates a “problem” when they use this passage to say the “secret things” refer to Calvin’s “secret decree” to save only some while condemning the rest for “no cause” before anyone was born.

        Rhutchin will reply to this and say “I still don’t see the problem……and so on…blah blah blah. But that’s ok I’m not expecting him to see it.

        Calvinists are so blinded by the “secret decree” that they even bring it to the very passages that are supposed to build it, such as Rhutchin has done here with Deut 29:29.

        They just believe it because Calvin says it. And if Calvin (or their favourite confession) says it, then that settles it.

      9. DG writes, ‘It is the Calvinist that creates a “problem” when they use this passage to say the “secret things” refer to Calvin’s “secret decree” to save only some while condemning the rest for “no cause” before anyone was born.”

        We both seem to agree that Deuteronomy 29 can be explained by Ephesians 3, so that “…the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever…” refers to Paul, as a son, who was to preach to the gentiles with the secret hidden by God being that God always planned to save gentiles. This plan anticipated the rejection of Christ by the Jews and the grafting in of the gentiles as we read in Romans.

        The issue at this point is whether God planned to save all gentiles or just some and then come back and save all the Jews – particularly those Jews and gentiles who were rejecting Christ. The Scriptures provide a strong indication that God will not save all Jews and all gentiles.

        Now, does God know whom He will save. Calvinists, citing omniscience, say, Yes, but the identify of those whom God plans to save is among the “secret things” of God.

        Calvinists use this verse to say that there are “secret things” of God and these secret things are those things not revealed by God in the Scriptures – among the secret things would be the identities of those God plans to save.

      10. Rhutchin writes,
        “The issue at this point is whether God planned to save all gentiles or just some and then come back and save all the Jews – particularly those Jews and gentiles who were rejecting Christ”

        My reply – Notice how the Calvinist steers it toward an emotional appeal “as if” the reason God decided to save some was because of mans rejection of Christ. This is when they get on the wheel like a mouse running but getting nowhere.

        Remember it has “no cause”. So don’t let Rhutchin try and convince you that there is a cause behind the so called “secret decree”, because according to Calvinism there is “no cause” as to why some are saved and most condemned before they are born.

        So when Rhutchin says “the issue now is…”.
        He says that because his own belief system has created an issue that doesn’t even exist.

        Let’s hope RH resolves all of his issues.

        But, even Calvinists admit that their issues will always be contradictory this side of heaven……. so I’m not holding my breath waiting.

      11. CALVINISM – PARTISANSHIP IDENTITY – VICARIOUS BOASTING – THE SEDUCTIVENESS OF HERO WORSHIP:

        Kenneth Burke (1897), an American literary theorist, in “Attitudes Toward History”, writes:

        FIRST: The re-mapping of one’s identity with an elite group:
        “It is natural for a man to identify himself with the business corporation he serves. This is his birthright, and insofar as he is denied it, he is impoverished and alienated. But insofar as business becomes a ‘corrupt sovereign’, his only salvation is to make himself an identity, in an alternative corporation or elite group.

        SECOND: The boasting – a disguised form of self-inflation:
        One may note, however, the subtle ways in which identification serves as braggadocio. By it, the modest man can indulge in the most outrageous ‘corporate boasting’. He identifies himself with some corporate unit (church, guild, company, lodge, party, team, college, city, nation, etc.) –and by profuse praise of this unit, he praises himself.

        For he ‘owns shares’ in the corporate unit—and by ‘rigging the market’ the value of the stock as a whole, he runs up the value of his personal holdings.

        LASTLY: The hero worship:
        The function of ‘vicarious boasting’ leads into the matter of ‘epic heroism’ and ‘euphemistic’ vocabularies of motives. When heroes have been shaped by legend, with the irrelevant or incongruous details of their lives obliterated, and only the most ‘divine’ attributes expressed, the individual’s ‘covert boasting’ (by identification with the hero) need not lead to megalomania (extreme delusion of grandeur)….the legendary hero, is by definition, a superman. He is the founder of a line.

      12. DG writes, “according to Calvinism there is “no cause” as to why some are saved and most condemned before they are born.”

        This is wrong. God is the cause for some to be saved and some passed over and God acts according to the counsel of His will that reflects His perfect knowledge and understanding of all things and is His perfect wisdom..

      13. Calvin would have burnt you at the stake for saying that there is a cause! How dare you malign the pope of Geneva and say he is wrong! 😀

        “that men are rejected or chosen by the secret counsel of God, alleges NO CAUSE; as though the Spirit of God were silent for want of reason, and not rather, that by his silence he reminds us, that a mystery which our minds cannot comprehend ought to be reverently adored”
        John Calvin – Commentary, Romans 9

      14. John Calvin:
        “that men are rejected or chosen by the secret counsel of God, alleges NO CAUSE; as though the Spirit of God were silent for want of reason, and not rather, that by his silence he reminds us, that a mystery which our minds cannot comprehend ought to be reverently adored”
        John Calvin – Commentary, Romans 9

        br.d
        And when we untie this twisted statement what we get is:

        DON’T LOOK AT THE LITTLE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!!
        Just believe what I tell you!!

        Proverbs 14:15A
        It is a fool who believes every word

      15. rhutchin
        God is the cause for SOME to be saved and SOME passed over and God acts according to the counsel of His will

        br.d
        Thank you for affirming what I stated earlier – Calvin’s god wills SOME men saved.
        Now it is well acknowledged by rational thinkers – that SOME does NOT mean ALL.

        The self-contradiction is illustrated below:

        ALL [S] are [P]
        And at the same time
        SOME [S] are NOT [P]

        And again within Calvinist semantics:
        Calvin’s god wills ALL men saved
        And at the same time
        Calvin’s god wills SOME men NOT saved.

        Calvinism, in order to APPEAR to not contradict 1st Timothy 4, must SHIFT the term ALL MEN to a different referent.
        And here is what they end up with

        Out of the SUB-SET of Jews which Calvin’s god wills to save – ALL ARE JEWS
        Out of the SUB-SET of Gentiles which Calvin’s god wills to save – ALL ARE GENTILES
        Out of the SUB-SET OF MEN which Calvin’s god wills to save – ALL ARE MEN.

        As the reader can see – this rendering makes both the Holy Spirit and Paul appear as idiotic.

        Or we can frame it in the more classic Reformed semantics:
        Calvin’s god wills ALL men saved
        But not in such a way that Calvin’s god wills ALL men saved.

        That’s about as close to subtle double-speak as one needs to get. :-]

      16. br.d writes, “Thank you for affirming what I stated earlier – Calvin’s god wills SOME men saved.”

        I don’t think that was ever an issue. Only the Universalist ssay that God wills all men to be saved.

        Then, “Now it is well acknowledged by rational thinkers – that SOME does NOT mean ALL.’

        Not an issue either.

        Then, “And again within Calvinist semantics:
        Calvin’s god wills ALL men saved
        And at the same time
        Calvin’s god wills SOME men NOT saved.”

        Actually, it’s:
        Calvin’s god is willing for all ALL men to be saved either by their free will choice or God’s free will choice.
        And at the same time
        Calvin’s god wills SOME men NOT saved through His direct intervention.”

        Then, “Calvinism, in order to APPEAR to not contradict 1st Timothy 4, must SHIFT the term ALL MEN to a different referent.
        And here is what they end up with…”

        Actually, it’s:
        Out of the SUB-SET of ALL Jews which Calvin’s god wills to save SOME – ALL ARE JEWS
        Out of the SUB-SET of ALL Gentiles which Calvin’s god wills to save SOME – ALL ARE GENTILES
        Out of the SUB-SET OF ALL MEN which Calvin’s god wills to save SOME – ALL ARE MEN.

        Then, “As the reader can see – this rendering makes both the Holy Spirit and Paul appear as idiotic.”

        What is idiotic about it??

        Then, “Or we can frame it in the more classic Reformed semantics:
        Calvin’s god wills ALL men saved
        But not in such a way that Calvin’s god wills ALL men saved.”

        Actually, it’s:

        Calvin’s god wills ALL men saved generally.
        But not in such a way that Calvin’s god wills ALL men saved specifically.”

      17. br.d writes, “Thank you for affirming what I stated earlier – Calvin’s god wills SOME men saved.”

        rhutchin
        I don’t think that was ever an issue. Only the Universalist ssay that God wills all men to be saved.

        br.d
        This claim is so fallacious there a high school student would know better!
        It auto-magically assumes all Christianity embraces Universal Divine Causal Determinism (aka Calvinism)
        The Calvinist is in his own tiny unique world – asserting Calvin’s god does NOT will all men saved.

        But thank you again affirming the statement “Calvin’s god does NOT will all men saved”. :-]

      18. br.d
        In Calvinist semantics we have two contradicting statements:
        Calvin’s god wills ALL men saved
        And at the same time
        Calvin’s god wills SOME men NOT saved.”

        rhutchin
        Actually, it’s:
        Calvin’s god is willing for all ALL men to be saved either by their free will choice or God’s free will choice.
        And at the same time
        Calvin’s god wills SOME men NOT saved through His direct intervention.”

        br.d
        Thanks ! A wonderful example of how inventive double-speak can get!
        Your now in hip-boots wadding thorough it :-]

        Even with the added superfluous fluff – it still boils down to two self-contradicting propositions

        Calvinisms god wills ALL men saved
        And at the same time
        Calvin’s god wills SOME men NOT saved.”

        Or in classic reformed semantics
        Calvin’s god wills ALL men save – but not in such a way that Calvin’s god will ALL men saved.

        Can you provide some further examples of double-speak?
        This one was a doosy! :-]

      19. br.d
        This is what you have in Calvinist rendering of 1st Timothy 2:4
        Out of the SUB-SET of Jews which Calvin’s god wills to save ALL ARE JEWS
        Out of the SUB-SET of Gentiles which Calvin’s god wills to save ALL ARE GENTILES
        Out of the SUB-SET of MEN which Calvin’s god wills to save ALL ARE MEN.

        As the reader can see – this rendering makes both the Holy Spirit and Paul appear idiotic.”

        rhutchin
        What is idiotic about it??

        Out of the SUB-SET of posts rhutchin wills to post ALL are posts.

        Since you’ve embraced the double-speak – no one would expect you to see how this language is idiotic.

      20. br.d
        This is how Calvinism’s rendering of 1 Timothy resolves to:
        Out of the SUB-SET of Jews which Calvin’s god wills to save ALL of these Jews are Jews
        Out of the SUB-SET of ALL Gentiles which Calvin’s god wills to save – ALL these Gentiles are Gentiles
        Out of the SUB-SET of men which Calvin’s god wills to save – ALL of these men are men.

        rhutchin
        Actually, it’s:
        Calvin’s god wills ALL men saved generally.
        But not in such a way that Calvin’s god wills ALL men saved specifically.”

        br.d
        ALL men saved specifically!
        Another good double-speak example – thanks rhutchin!

        Then it logically follows:
        Calvin’s god does NOT will ALL men saved
        And at the same time
        Calvin’s god wills ALL men saved specifically

        Now that we’ve seen some examples of Calvinism’s double-speak language model
        Lets see the contrast with the language model of scripture

        This is good and acceptable before the Savior of our God.
        Who will have ALL MEN to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
        1 Timothy 2:3-4

        Dr. William Lutz – what is double-speak:
        -quote:
        Doublespeak is language deliberately constructed to disguise its actual meaning typically by conflating or conjoining mutually exclusive proportions. Doublespeak is language carefully constructed to APPEAR to communicate what in fact it doesn’t.

      21. This is below, but haven’t been following, so have to jump in here.

        “rhutchin
        Actually, it’s:
        Calvin’s god is willing for all ALL men to be saved either by their free will choice or God’s free will choice.
        And at the same time
        Calvin’s god wills SOME men NOT saved through His direct intervention.”

        Wow, you guys really have him in deep. He is making up explanations I have never heard any Calvinist use, and I thought I had heard them all! ‘Saved by either their free will choice or God’s free will choice’? I would love to see it explained how that works out in real time! Sounds like RH is inching his way out of Calvinism, but trying to keep one foot in the door. But hey, I will be happy if he escapes, whatever doublespeak he has to use to reassure himself that he maintains Reformed orthodoxy.

      22. TS00 writes, “I thought I had heard them all! ‘Saved by either their free will choice or God’s free will choice’? I would love to see it explained how that works out in real time!”

        Calvinism says that there is common grace and saving grace. Common grace involves the preaching of the gospel to the world and is akin to prevenient grace for the Arminisn. It is this grace that calls people to repent and believe the gospel as the free will crowd espouses. Whether anyone is actually saved is debated between Calvinists and non-Calvinists. However, all say that many people freely reject salvation under common grace. When people freely reject salvation, God is able to exercise His free will and save whom He will – to do this, God extends saving grace to His elect while passing over others.

      23. TS00
        Wow, you guys really have him in deep. He is making up explanations I have never heard any Calvinist use, and I thought I had heard them all! ‘Saved by either their free will choice OR God’s free will choice’?
        I would love to see it explained how that works out in real time!

        rhutchin
        Calvinism says that there is common grace and saving grace…..etc

        TSOO’s point is obvious.
        “Calvinism says” all sorts of crazy double-speak things.
        The double-speak within RH’s latest statement sighted here is his use of the logical operator “OR” .
        In Theological Determinism there is no such thing as “Man’s choice” OR “Calvin’s god’s choice”
        Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world determines “Man’s choice” – and makes that choice “Rendered Certain” before man exists.

        The ONLY choice accessible to man – is that choice Calvin’s god decrees – nothing more – nothing less.
        Rhutchin knows this to be true – but he will never acknowledge it – for obvious reasons.

        The good news:
        Calvinism’s CONTORTED LANGUAGE functions as a wonderful red-flag – alerting discerning Christians something is very wrong. :-]

      24. br.d writes, “In Theological Determinism there is no such thing as “Man’s choice” OR “Calvin’s god’s choice””

        Then, Calvinisn is not “Theological Determinism.” Calvinism allows that God’s omniscience makes all future events certain. These events are made necessary by God working directly on events (e.g., the impregnation of Mary) or through secondary means (e.g., the temptation of Eve and sin of Adam) – in each case, God determines the end result either by deliberate action or deliberate inaction.

      25. br.d
        In Theological Determinism there is no such thing as “Man’s choice” OR “Calvin’s god’s choice”
        Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world determines “Man’s choice” – and makes that choice “Rendered Certain” before man exists.

        The ONLY choice accessible to man – is that choice Calvin’s god decrees – nothing more – nothing less.
        Rhutchin knows this to be true – but he will never acknowledge it – for obvious reasons.

        rhutchin
        Then, Calvinism is not “Theological Determinism.”……etc

        br.d
        Calvinist James N. Anderson – Reformed Theological Seminary:
        -quote:
        “It should be conceded at the outset, and without embarrassment, that Calvinism is indeed committed to divine determinism…….take it for granted as something on which the vase majority of Calvinists uphold.”

        Calvinist Vincent Chung:
        Free will is logically impossible. If we picture the exercise of the will as a movement of the mind toward a certain direction, the question arises as to WHAT MOVES THE MIND, AND WHY IT MOVES TOWARDS WHERE IT MOVES….If there is any connection between moral evil and natural evil, the connection is not inherent, but SOVEREIGNLY IMPOSED BY GOD……NOTHING CAN HAPPEN or continue apart from his DELIBERATE POWER AND DECREE.

        Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Theological Determinism:
        -quote:
        Theological determinism is the view that God determines every event that occurs in the history of the world.
        Theological determinists, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and Gottfried Leibniz.”

        William Lane Craig – Four Views On Divine Providence:
        -quote:
        What TRULY distinguishes Helseth’s [The Calvinist’s] view is that it is a FORM OF DIVINE CAUSAL DETERMINISM. Helseth holds that God CAUSALLY DETERMINES EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS……..Universal Divine Causal Divine Determinism.

        Universal, divine, determinism nullifies human agency. Since OUR CHOICES ARE NOT UP TO US but ARE CAUSED BY GOD, human beings cannot be said to be real agents. They are mere instruments by means of which God acts to produce some effect….

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

  6. JTLEOSALA:
    How does the story of the prodigal son support your statement : the ones picked out of the gentiles?
    If the whole nation of Israel was elect and if they are the older brother then the younger brother would be the whole gentiles as a group.
    Only those that are faithful in Christ of both nations are the elect in Christ (the Church).
    The story about the prodigal son does not bring support to individual gentiles being elected before time.

    1. Joel, I am with you concerning the composition of the church, (the body of Christ) are the elect house of Israel and the elect Gentile believers in Christ. The elect Gentiles come to faith in Christ individually not as a group. The entire Gentile world will not be saved… only the elect Gentiles and the house of Israel will become the legitimate beneficiaries of Christ’s death on the cross. Faithfulness in Christ , I think was not the basis of God’s choice for both nations.

      1. My argument is that the whole nation of Israel was elect but not all had faith which makes it corporate anyways. My argument is that when it comes to salvation, the gentiles as a nation are just as much elect as Israel ever was because of the deciding factor being faith.

      2. Joel B writes, “My argument is that when it comes to salvation, the gentiles as a nation are just as much elect as Israel ever was because of the deciding factor being faith.”

        So, the whole human race is elect in one sense – that all potentially can be saved. That one is actually saved is through faith and here we have a new elect.

  7. CALVINISM’S “SO CALLED” DIVINE SECRETS WHICH CALVINISTS SOMEHOW SEEM TO MAGICALLY KNOW

    Argument from incredulity is a logical fallacy, commonly observed by mystery religions.
    People will appeal to “so called” Divine Mysteries or Divine Secrets – in order to hide irrational or unpalatable aspects of the belief system.

    The argument from incredulity fallacy most often occurs when someone cannot provide viable evidence for certain claims they are making.
    It also occurs when an argument is self-contradicting.
    These arguer appeals to a“Divine Mystery”, a “Divine Secret” or attributes it to a “Divine Secret Council”.

    Example:
    John: “While taking pictures of the White House yesterday I saw Mary the mother of Jesus hovering outside of the president’s oval office window”.

    Jennifer: “Did anyone else in your group see this besides you?

    John: “No – no one else saw it – just me. I TELL YOU IT’S THE SOVEREIGNTY GOD!”

    Jennifer: “If no one else but you is making your claim – then how do you prove your claim is true?”

    John: “This happened according to the SECRET COUNCIL of God! – HOW DARE YOU JUDGE GOD!

  8. Brothers,

    I have a couple questions and observation that I would like to “bounce off” of you.

    In the article above, our brother writes… “‘The rest’ are ‘the rest’ because they are not ‘the elect’. Paul does not need to give them their own title – he simply refers to them as ‘the rest’, which distinguishes them from ‘the elect’. We can therefore say with certainty that ‘the rest’ are not elect. ‘The rest’ are ‘the non-elect’.”

    So my question is…. if someone can go from being “non-elect” to “elect”, is it possible to go from being “elect” to “non-elect”? In other words, these “ethnic” Israelites who make up “the rest”, were they always “the rest”? Were they born “non-elect”? God says that those who were cut off because of unbelief, that He was/is able to graft them back in again (Romans 11:23). Back in again to what? True Israel? How can they be grafted in “again” if they never belonged to begin with? Can someone lose their elected-ness?

    Another question. When God said “Israel, My Elect” (Isaiah 45:4) and “Jacob, My chosen Ones” (1 Chronicles 16:13, Psalms 105:6) was He referring only to the believing ones (small remnant) or the Nation as a whole?

    Finally. Romans 11:11 and 11:19….
    But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles…….You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”

    In other words, if it wasn’t for Israel’s unbelief, they would not have been cut off. And if they hadn’t been “cut off” salvation would have never come to the Gentiles. Our (the Gentiles or non-Israelites) salvation was contingent upon their unbelief. I hope everyone is picking up on that.

    1. So my question is…. if someone can go from being “non-elect” to “elect”, is it possible to go from being “elect” to “non-elect”?

      br.d
      I like your inquisitive mind Phillip!
      It speaks very well of you.

      I’ll take a VERY loose stab at this question – but its only that.

      It would seem logical to assume – it depends upon how one defines “elect”.
      Scholars tell us that a significant part of Paul’s FATHERLY ministry – was helping believers to see their inheritance in Christ.

      “Now we are the sons of God – and it does not yet appear what we shall be -but we know when he appears we shall be like him”
      “If ye then be risen with Christ – set your affections on things above, not on earth”
      “That you may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height …knowing the love of Christ…and filled with all the fulness of God.”

      Scholars use the term “Now – but not yet” to describe this type of “eschatological” language in the N.T.
      A loving father (i.e. Apostolic ministry) longs for the children to fully grasp the inheritance they have in Christ.

      Of course in Calvinism – election is black and white.
      Elect status is for a “Frozen chosen” few who are granted the DIVINE GNOSIS.
      And of course – this is a very RIGID use of the term “elect”

      We might find the Apostolic ministry are not so rigid – and as such the term “elect” doesn’t indicate such a black & white status.

      But if a person falls away from the faith – and crucifies Christ afresh – it would seem to be like a person who purposefully determines to move to another country and reject his U.S. citizenship. If citizenship and “elect” are synonymous, then this one would be giving that up.

      But – as I say – this is only a VERY loose stab at your question.

      1. BrD,

        Thanks for the feedback. Your thoughts are always appreciated and insightful. Hopefully, others will chime in because, for the most part, I think the commenters here are smarter than the average bear.

        In the above article it reads…. “So ‘the elect’ can correctly be defined as ‘those who are trusting in Christ’. It doesn’t also include people who will eventually trust in Christ but aren’t doing so yet. So all non-Christians are currently non-elect, whether or not they will eventually trust in Christ. They will only join ‘the elect’ if and when they put their trust in Christ. ‘The elect’ therefore corresponds to the church (i.e. the group of all true believers).”

        In this sense, “elect” is synonymous with being “in Christ” which is referring to salvation. If “the rest” refers to the non-elect ethnic Israelites that would be the Lost. But notice that these “branches” were “broken off”, which means that at one time they were “attached” or how else could they have been “broken off”? So this would imply that they were at one time “elect” and lost their “elected-ness” when they were cut off.

        Obviously, I disagree with this notion since my understanding of 2 Timothy 2:10 suggests that even lost Israel is God’s elect.

        I like your citizenship analysis (though not sure it relates to election). I look at it this way. I am a native born Texan. Now people can move here and claim citizenship, but they will never be native born Texans. I can move to another state or country and apply for citizenship, but I can’t change the fact that I am a native Texan. So it is with the natural branches in Romans 11. Both Houses of Israel and Judah are actual physical descendants of Abraham. They can’t change that. As Gentiles we can get grafted in and become co-citizens, but only by going thru a legal process. But even then, we will never be the actual physical descendants of Abraham. And I lean (and until convinced otherwise) that is what makes them “elect”.

        Blessings, brother.

      2. Thanks Phillip – good points!

        Yes – I agree – I am a gentile and I will always be a grafted in member of the vine.
        Like the woman whom Jesus commended – I’ll take the crumbs under the table of grace gladly.
        Even crumbs from the Lord Jesus’ hand can be the greatest feast of all! :-]

      3. BrD,

        On another note, brother, you really should write a book and call it “As IF-isms”.

        Hilarious.

      4. I know!!!
        It really is hilarious!!

        John Calvin’s institutes of square-circles, married-bachelors, and indeterministic-determinism!

        Can’t help but think God must have given mankind Calvinism as a form of entertainment! :-]

      1. Kingswoodhart,

        Thanks, brother. I’ve already linked over once or twice, but you have much more to read. I will continue to venture over.

        Please believe me, brother, it is not my intent to be disagreeable. A lot of people are trying their best to define what it means to be “elect”. I respect what you are attempting to do. I know we both reject the Calvinistic teaching of “unconditional election to salvation” so that’s a good start. I do believe we have to be consistent with the term though, otherwise, Paul and the other writers of scripture would keep us guessing. We have to do our own homework and due diligence. We can’t trust “those who have gone before us” because that’s basically what the Calvinists do. Both the Calvinist (unconditional) and Arminian (foreseen faith) interpretations of election are heavily flawed. There has to be a viable, and biblical alternative.

        For me we should start where the term first appears and go from there.

        Isaiah 42:4 (NKJV)…
        “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

        Our Lord Jesus is both a Jew and Israelite.

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

        No explanation needed (I hope).

        Isaiah 65:9 (NKJV)….
        I will bring forth descendants from Jacob (the 12 tribes), And from Judah (both tribe and Nation) an heir of My mountains; My elect shall inherit it, And My servants (the 12 tribes) shall dwell there.

        Pretty clear.

        Isaiah 65:22 (NKJV)….
        They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

        Again, pretty clear.

        The fact that before the nation of Israel came into existence, God never referred to anyone as “elect”. Adam wasn’t elect. Noah wasn’t elect. Abraham wasn’t elect. Isaac wasn’t elect. That term/phrase wasn’t used by God until that tiny nation of Israel came into existence. That should tell us something.

        I believe when we view “the elect” as those “in Christ” we are going to our best to read that into the text. In other words, if the premise is wrong, then so will be the conclusion. Basically, I struggle with the notion that I am elect, because I elected to believe. God chose Israel, Israel didn’t choose God (Deuteronomy 7:7, John 15:16).

        I lean (though I could be wrong) that Romans 9 thru 11 is about the restoration of the nation of Israel, which was paramount to the Jewish people and promised/prophesized in the OT.

        Acts 1:6b (NKJV)….
        “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

        God bless, brother.

  9. Hi Phillip,

    Phillip writes –
    “In this sense, “elect” is synonymous with being “in Christ” which is referring to salvation. If “the rest” refers to the non-elect ethnic Israelites that would be the Lost. But notice that these “branches” were “broken off”, which means that at one time they were “attached” or how else could they have been “broken off”? So this would imply that they were at one time “elect” and lost their “elected-ness” when they were cut off”

    My take on this –
    This is where I think that the word “elect” should not always correspond to being “In Christ”. One can still be a castaway for service but still be in Christ such as Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 9:27. So when I read in Romans 11 that Israel can be cut off and the Gentiles be grafted in, I believe that passage is talking about service not salvation. The passage also warns that the Gentiles should not be high minded because they also can cut be cut off again (Not for salvation but for service)

    I believe that passage is talking about God’s dealings and what, how, why, and who he uses at different times for his service. I actually believe the Gentiles will be cut off again and Israel grafted back in for God’s service. I believe this will take place at around the timing
    of the rapture – 1 Thess. 4:17

    Just like “elect” Israel you have believers and unbelievers in which only the true saved believers by faith have the right to be called the “elect” in a salvation sense like Abraham, Jacob etc.

    Just like the “elect” church you have believers and unbelievers in which only the true saved believers have the right to be called the “elect” in a salvation sense.

    In Revelation Chapter 3 the Laodicean church is still called a church but Christ is on the outside knocking to come in. I believe this church represents the “Gentiles” that will be cut off again at the time of the rapture of the true believers. Then God will deal with Israel again, They through horrific troublesome times in the tribulation repent as a nation and are grafted back in again for the service of God.

    We could take up this whole thread discussing these things back and forth which would take the focus off what this thread is about, so It’s probably best we leave it for the sake of keeping things on topic (my opinion).

    But Phillip, you do raise some interesting points that are worth considering and I have been pondering on them, so thank you brother.

    1. Damon,

      Here’s another theory (and that’s all it is right now so take it with a grain of salt). What if Romans 11 is about the restoration of the nation of Israel (both Houses) and has nothing to do with the church, or Body of Christ?

      Romans 11:25-27 (NKJV)….
      For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part (temporarily, not permanently) has happened to Israel (the House of Israel/the Northern Kingdom) until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel (the whole nation) will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob (the 12 tribes); For this is My covenant with them (Hebrews 8:8), When I take away their sins.”

      Maybe the Gentiles that get grafted in are those Gentiles during the tribulation period that accept Jesus as the promised Messiah?

      Zechariah 8:23 (KJV)….
      Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, “We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

      Just a thought.

  10. Thanks Phillip,

    I will look at this a little closer, but my immediate thought is – If this passage is talking about only blindness happening in part, as in, to the northern kingdom only and not to the southern kingdom, then where is the southern kingdom that accepted Christ? (that were not blinded)

    It would mean that God is dealing with 2 separate saved groups – a remnant (Southern Remnant of Israel) and also the church. But the Scriptures in my opinion teach that there is only the church in this dispensation – Yes, made up of both believing Jews and Gentiles but they are a new body altogether.

    It has been helpful for me to understand God’s economy of dealing with people, and in my opinion when overlapping times of God using Israel and the Gentiles for service only ever brings confusion. I believe they are distinct – Whenever God is using Israel He isn’t using the Gentiles, whenever God is using the Gentiles He isn’t using Israel (Whether Northern Kingdom or Southern Kingdom).

    This verse has been a great verse for me to understand that we are not to get confused with overlaps – 1 Corinthians 10:32. “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God”.
    Here we see 3 separate economies of how God views things, that in my opinion should not be overlapped in His use of service.

    At the moment we have Jews (unsaved Israel), we have Gentiles (unsaved Gentiles), we have the Church of God (saved Jews and Gentiles)

    When we look at the service of God using Israel it was predominately Jews but also some Gentiles (strangers)
    When we look at the service of God using the Church it is predominately Gentile but also with some Jews (by descent only).

    Thanks Phillip, I hope that make some sort of sense as to how I understand things in that regard.

    1. Damon,

      You said… “It would mean that God is dealing with 2 separate saved groups – a remnant (Southern Remnant of Israel) and also the church. But the Scriptures in my opinion teach that there is only the church in this dispensation – Yes, made up of both believing Jews and Gentiles but they are a new body altogether.”

      I am a dispensationalist as well. I believe God’s program for the nation of Israel is currently on hold. So there is no over-lapping. Sorry if I implied differently.

      Suffice it to say that I would have to go back to the beginning of Romans 11 to explain all of this, but for the sake of time and space here I prefer not to. But I will say that in Romans 11:2-4 when Paul references Elijah, we have to remember that Elijah was a prophet to the House of Israel, the Northern Kingdom only. So it makes me wonder if that is the Israel he is referring to in verse 7.

      Romans 11:25-27 (NKJV)
      For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

      Now does this “fullness of the Gentiles” refer to the completion and eventual rapture of the church and then in verse 26 God turns His attention back to the nation of Israel? Maybe. Or, as I mentioned earlier, does this “fullness of the Gentiles” refer to those Gentiles who will cling to the Jews in Zechariah 8:23? Remember, the House of Israel was divorced and scattered among the Gentiles. God did this for a reason (1 Kings 12:24).

      Romans 11:26-27 (NKJV)…..
      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 (the 12 tribes); For this is My covenant with them (the House of Israel and the House of Judah), When I take away their sins.”

      There is no mention here of the body of Christ. Just that “All Israel”, or both Houses, we be saved.

      Again, and this is just a theory and nothing more, if Romans 11 is about the restoration of the nation of Israel, this all occurs after the rapture of the church and during the tribulation period, so there is no over-lapping. The church, or body of Christ, is removed and then, and only then, does God turn His attention back to restoring the nation of Israel by “gathering together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Isaiah 11:12, Matthew 24:31).

      I know this is a lot to take in, brother, and probably sounds confusing. I have been studying this for years now, so it makes a little more sense to me (though by no means do I have it all figured out).

      Again, just a theory and nothing more.

      Blessings, brother.

      1. Thanks Phillip, yes it is a big subject that’s for sure.
        Have a look at “Herald of Hope” website, they have a lot of great information concerning these things which I have found very helpful with my studies on eschatology.
        Thanks again brother.

  11. Brothers,

    Addressing both uses of the term “elect” found in 2 John. Just thought I would share and I would appreciate any feedback (pro or con).

    2 John 1:1 and 2 John 1:13 (NKJV)…
    The Elder, To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth……..The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.

    Now please consider….

    Ezekiel 23:1-4 (NKJV)…
    The word of the LORD came again to me, saying: “Son of man, there were two women, The daughters of one mother. They committed harlotry in Egypt, they committed harlotry in their youth; Their breasts were there embraced, Their virgin bosom was there pressed. Their names: Oholah the elder and Oholibah her sister; They were Mine, And they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem is Oholibah.”

    Then I found this from the Jewish Encyclopedia…

    “The symbolic meanings of the names themselves serve to complete the entire picture. ‘Oholah’ means ‘tent’, and is meant to signify that the tent of God is Samaria, the capital of Israel. ‘Oholibah’ signifies ‘My [God’s] tent is therein’; that is, the Temple which is located in the center of the territory of Judea, on Zion. It is remarkable that the prophet, contrary to Lev. xviii. 18, represents two sisters as the simultaneous wives of a single husband.”

    Now here is scriptural support that both nations/houses of Israel are referred to as “sisters”.

    Jeremiah 3:8 (NKJV)….
    Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel (the Northern Kingdom) had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah (the Southern Kingdom) did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.

    So the two (2) elect sisters in the Book of John could be referring to both the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom; both the House of Israel and the House of Judah, making up the entire nation of Israel. Oholah/Samaria, the Elder, the capital of Israel/the Northern Kingdom is writing to Oholibah/Jerusalem, the younger sister, the capital of Judah, the Southern Kingdom. John, the author, is one of the children (sons and daughter) of Oholah/Samaria. Just two more example of “the elect” referring to the nation of Israel.

    Now this is not to imply that these weren’t believing Jews. However, their election is due to them being the actual physical descendants of Abraham and the recipients of the promises and covenants. Israel, My Elect (Isaiah 45:4). Jacob, My Chosen Ones (1 Chronicles 16:13).

    Just some spiritual food for thought.

    God bless.

    1. One thing to consider
      John appears to use this as a standard greeting pattern

      For example in his 3rd letter
      1 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.

      If this was an echo of a historical reference concerning ethnic Israel – I suspect we would see many similar echos throughout John’s narratives. I’m not familiar with anything in his narratives that would indicate that. And I’ve never heard of a scholar deriving that from his letters.

      1. BrD,

        “John appears to use this as a standard greeting pattern. For example in his 3rd letter 1 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.”

        And that’s an interesting observation. And it is odd that in his opening letter (1 John) he avoids the term “Elder” completely. Another observation is the term “elect” is void and both the 1 and 3 letters. Not sure what that tells us. Of course both Houses already knew they were the elect of God. Peter knew they were elect (1 Peter 1:2 and 5:3). Paul knew they were elect (Romans 8:23, 2 Timothy 2:10). God told them they were elect (Isaiah 45:4, 1 Chronicles 16-13, Psalms 105:6). Jesus knew they were elect (Matthew 24:22, 24, 31). Maybe it was just getting redundant. Still, I will continue in my studies and see where the Lord takes me.

        “And I’ve never heard of a scholar deriving that from his letters.”

        That doesn’t surprise me. But I greatly appreciate your feedback, brother. Your comments and observations are a blessing. And your “As If-isms” are classic! Book material!

        Every blessing, brother.

  12. Brother Damon (All),

    This is not church language. This will all happen after the church has been removed and during/after the tribulation period…

    Hebrews 8:6-13 (NKJV)…..
    But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant (the Mosaic Covenant) had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My (Mosaic) covenant, and I disregarded (divorced) them, says the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel (why is the House of Judah omitted?) after those (tribulation) days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people (Supports Hosea 1:6-11. The House of Israel abandoned/forgot Torah, the House of Judah did not). None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In that He says, “A new covenant,” (the new covenant made with His blood Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20) He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

    Now take this and apply it to Romans 9-11.

    Blessings!

  13. Hi Phillip,

    Yes I agree with you there. The only difference I have is that the reason it doesn’t mention Judah is because there will be no divisions in that time period leading into the millennial kingdom. I believe Israel will just be called Israel as it was at the first.

    “Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
    And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
    And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:” Ezekiel 37:16-22

    Thanks again Phillip..

    1. Damon,

      Great scriptures.

      Regarding “the House of Israel” in Hebrews 8:10, the reason I lean this is speaking specifically to the Northern Kingdom is twofold. First, our Lord just used the distinction from the House of Judah just two verses earlier. Second, it was the House of Israel that abandoned/forgot Torah. The House of Judah was still practicing the law even during Christ’s earthly ministry. If the Lord had said “whole House of Israel” or “All Israel” or even “Jacob”, then that might have given us the understanding He was speaking about the 12 tribes.

      Now…..

      Ezekiel 11:15-20 (NKJV)….
      “Son of man, your brethren, your relatives, your countrymen, and all the house of Israel in its entirety, are those about whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem (in Judea) have said, ‘Get far away from the LORD; this land has been given to us as a possession.’ Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.”’ Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’ And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.

      “I will be their God.” There’s that phrase again, and if you read Hosea 1:6-11 you will notice that phrase was reserved for the House of Israel only. The House of Judah was shown mercy, but the House of Israel was not. Israel was divorced. Judah wasn’t. It won’t be until the House of Israel comes to its senses (much like the prodigal son) that she will return home and be re-united with the House of Judah. This is when the 2 sticks will come together and the Lord “will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.”

      Now here’s the part our non-Calvinists brothers will appreciate. Look again at Ezekiel 11:19…

      “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh.”

      Our Calvinist brothers use this as one of their “proof texts” to support the notion of “regeneration precedes faith”. Bless their hearts. So flawed. First, notice this is speaking about the House of Israel (the Northern Kingdom). Second, this occurs after they return home (not before). Third, as a result, the Israelites will “walk in His statutes and keep His judgments” (Ezekiel 36:27). I know this has nothing to do with this thread, but just thought that was a nice little tidbit.

      Thanks for interacting, brother. It’s appreciated and a blessing.

      God bless you.

      1. Thanks Phillip,
        Yes the Calvinists like to use that passage out of context that’s for sure! They fail to read on (or ignore) how Israel are brought to their knees in repentance, which is explained in Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39.

        Thanks again brother. I’ll ponder some more on the passage in Hosea.

  14. Kingswoodhart,

    Thank you for providing this link.

    https://predestinationstation.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/romans-1117-24-can-unbelieving-ethnic-israelites-still-be-saved/

    So working with your analogy, the tree at one point was made up solely of the natural branches (ethnic Israelites). They are there by default. Over time, some branches became believers (no one is a believer at birth) while others never believed, or believed for a while only later to leave the faith. When these branches became faithless, or never had faith to begin with, they were cut off and replaced with believing unnatural branches (or Gentiles). The unnatural branches (Gentile believers) couldn’t be grafted in until after the unbelieving natural branches (ethnic Israel) were cut off.

    You wrote… “The olive tree therefore has two types of branches – natural branches (believing ethnic Israelites) and wild olive shoots (believing Gentiles). They both share the benefits of ‘the nourishing root of the olive tree’.”

    It is as though you are suggesting the olive tree is evolving from ethnic Israel to the Body of Christ. At first, the entire tree is purely ethnic Israel, but eventually is replaced with the Church.

    Regarding the broken off branches, you give us two alternatives. They are either….

    1. Someone who for a time appears to be a Christian, but actually isn’t, later “falls away” and is then clearly not a Christian. In this situation, they never really had faith to begin with and were never really a Christian.

    2. Someone who really is a Christian, with real faith, later falls away and no longer has this faith and is therefore no longer a Christian.

    Later, you added… “While Paul does clearly teach that it is possible for a believer to become an unbeliever in this passage, he does not state explicitly whether or not it will actually happen.”

    Here’s the problem as I see it. Any branch, prior to being cut off, is “a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree.” It is only when, or after, that branch is cut off does it lose access to those benefits. The Type 1 person in this scenario isn’t even an option. Those with a “false faith” never have access to “the root and fatness of the olive tree”. That then leaves us with the Type 2 person, who has true faith, only to become a non-believer (again).

    Personally, I lean that a born again believer can never be unborn again. Once a child of God, always a child of God.

    Also, I think Romans 11:26-27 is quite clear.

    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; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”

    I see no mention here of the church or the body of Christ. If you want to replace Israel with the church, what do you do with Jacob, which is a clear reference to the 12 tribes?

    Compare Romans 11:26-27 with Hebrews 8:7-12….

    For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

    This is not “church language” but a clear reference to the nation of Israel. “When I will take away their sins” is synonymous for “and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more”. Both related to forgiveness. It is both the House of Israel and the House of Judah that make up Jacob, or the 12 tribes.

    That is why I lean that Romans 11 is about the restoration of the nation of Israel.

    God bless.

  15. Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

    Those thousands of verses being referred to here at SOT 101 leaning to man’s goodness, self-efforts, self-righteousness is completely denied by the verse above concerning the doctrine of Salvation by Grace. Man has no whatsoever share or part in the salvation process. Man cannot save himself by his self-righteousness, self seeking efforts. God is the One completely in-charge in the Salvation of the elect.

    v. 13 For I speak to you Gentiles in as much as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry.

    Romans chap 11 is not only intended for Israel but also for the Gentile Elect as being grafted to the tree.

    1. jtleosala
      Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

      Those thousands of verses being referred to here at SOT 101 leaning to MAN’S GOODNESS, SELF-EFFORTS, SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS is completely denied by the verse above

      br.d
      The UNSTATED presupposition within this assertion is fallacious.

      No Non-Calvinist here at SOT101 ever claims MAN’S GOODNESS, SELF-EFFORTS, SELF-RIGHTEOUSNES buy man anything – since the scripture clearly states ALL good things come from above.

      In the context of SOT101 this assertion is simply another one of Calvinism’s fabricated straw-men.

      The multitude of verses provided here at SOT101 however do clearly present the general narrative of scripture.
      Which denies Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) as a filter through which men force scripture – to affirm a man-made doctrine.

      The good news:
      Calvinism’s CONTORTED LANGUAGE functions as a red-flag showing the discerning Christian that something is very wrong with it.
      Jesus – without fail – speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

  16. Br.D writes : “The multitude of verses provided here at SOT101 however do clearly present the general narrative of scripture.
    Which denies Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) as a filter through which men force scripture – to affirm a man-made doctrine.”

    My Response : Determinism of God in scripture for humans is one thing that cannot be denied. Anyone who will attempt to go against with it, will just stumble and fall. Using those so called “general narrative of scriptures” to counter this teaching will never be successful. The scriptures will never contradict itself, so that this teaching remains standing and never been moved. You call it as “man made” but… — the fact will never be changed. Those who deflected, God decreed them to be so and becomes the antagonists of our days…

    1. br.d
      “The multitude of verses provided here at SOT101 however do clearly present the general narrative of scripture.
      Which denies Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) as a filter through which men force scripture – to affirm a man-made doctrine.”

      jtleosala
      Determinism of God in scripture for humans is one thing that cannot be denied. Anyone who will attempt to go against with it, will just stumble and fall.

      br.d
      This is nothing more than an empty claim – your obligation is to show (without irrational thinking) how it is the case.
      And since the general narrative of scripture affirms the opposite – your task will not be easy.

      Additionally – the very reason Calvinism is double-speak is in order to align itself with the general narrative of scripture
      And this is why contradiction is the NORM in Calvinist thinking.

      jtleosala
      Those who deflected, God decreed them to be so

      br.d
      Thank you for affirming my argument.

      jtleosala
      and becomes the antagonists of our days…

      br.d
      To be more precise “and becomes the TOOL of Calvin’s god of our days”
      Powerless to DO OTHERWISE than what Calvin’s god decrees.
      According to Calvin – you along with every creature are being used the same way.

      Also you should be careful not to be ungrateful for what Calvin’s god decrees me to infallibly do.
      Calvin teaches your god will -quote “strike you with greater blindness on account of your ungratefulness”
      And I wouldn’t want to see that happen to you! :-]

      But then you can’t change that anyway – if it happens – it was rendered-certain before you were born.

  17. Philip’s quote above says : “…Over time, some branches became believers (no one is a believer at birth) while others never believed, or believed for a while only later to leave the faith.”

    My Response : “… and those who dwell on the earth will marvel whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world …” – Rev. 17:8 = According to this verse, the writing of the names in the book of life has been done already by God before the foundation of the world. Meaning, there is no more names added into that book of life because it has been determined by God already before the foundation of the world, even if no humans existed yet. If their names appear already in the book of life before they were born on earth, they were tagged already as believers possessing Salvation in Christ.

    2 Tim. 1:9 “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us before time began”. = This verse also says that Salvation has been provided already to the elect before time, yet most the non-Calvinists bloggers here denies this truth.

    1. Philip
      Over time, some branches became believers (no one is a believer at birth) while others never believed, or believed for a while only later to leave the faith.”

      jtleosala
      My Response : “… and those who dwell on the earth will marvel whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world …” – Rev. 17:8 = According to this verse, the writing of the names in the book of life has been done already by God before the foundation of the world.

      br.d
      Philip didn’t say they weren’t elect. He said they weren’t believers at birth. According to Calvinism one has to be given faith to believe. You believe you are elect – did Calvin’s god give you the faith to believe at birth? You’ve been a believer ever since your birth? I doubt it. :-]

      But your argument here is interesting – for you are arguing that at the foundation of the world – things are rendered-certain – and CANNOT BE ALTERED. Which means an ALTERNATIVE CANNOT come to pass in the place of what has been rendered-certain.

      But this contradictions your previous assertion that ( -quote “ALTERNATIVES are available to man at the moment” )
      Calvin’s god renders-certain X but an ALTERNATIVE of X can come to pass instead of X.
      Which means X is both rendered-certain and NOT rendered-certain at the same time.
      Your testimony here shows Calvin’s god is not omniscient – he believes X is true when X is actually false.

      So we observe more double-speak
      Nothing to see here – move along – move along. :-]

      1. BTW: An integral part of Gnostic doctrine (during Augustine’s day) was that “elect” people are BORN believers at birth

        The Gnostic terminology stated “ELECT persons are BORN into a FIELD of salvation – while Non-ELECT persons are BORN into a FIELD of damnation.

        Calvin himself even though his doctrine relies on Gnostic derivatives – was at least careful to not use their terminology.
        He was smart enough to know – if he used Gnostic terminology – Christians in his day would connect the dots.

        You may want to follow Calvin’s model in that regard – else discerning Christians will identify Gnostic derivatives in your statements.

        But of course those who are familiar with ancient Gnosticism will anyway.
        So try as they might – Calvinists can’t completely hide it. :-]

      2. My Response to Br. D. : No one argues here with the issue on the elect. With regards to being “believers at birth”, you said no one becomes believers at birth. I just cited Rev. 17:8 and 2 Tim. 1:9 to emphasize God’s eternity plans for the elect. Most of us here believes that both elect and non-elect comes out of this world as sinners. The non-elect’s destiny has been determined already before time that their names were not written in the book of life according to Rev. 17:8 and Rev. 13:7-8.

        The alternatives that you have mentioned in my previous comments cannot be considered as a problem, because it was part of God Plan for man to use his freedom to the completion of God’s dead end final decree. It cannot be considered as an alteration to the completion of God’s decrees.

        You are the one who says God is not omniscient, not us because for your side God cannot yet determine the future Salvation of people before the foundation of the world. Your side promotes that Salvation can only be known by God by the time man will actively believe in Jesus. Isn’t this a proof of your side’s undermining God’s omniscience?

      3. jtleosala
        The alternatives that you have mentioned in my previous comments cannot be considered as a problem, because it was part of God Plan for man to use his freedom to the completion of God’s dead end final decree.

        br.d
        Thank you jtleosala for providing another example of double-speak.

        At this point I think your unable to discern TRUE from FALSE.

        Take a look on this web page of logical fallacies and look up the word “Tautology”:
        https://www.theskepticsguide.org/resources/logical-fallacies

        It is the fallacy of circular reasoning.
        The arguer provides no rational evidence to show his argument is true.
        Because his position is irrational – he simply keeps repeating his position over and over – to convince himself it is true.
        This is a manifestation of either childishness or indoctrination.

        I’ll address the SOT101 reader at this point concerning this since you don’t have the ability to handle rational reasoning.

        For the SOT101 reader – here is what jtleosala wants to believe:

        1) Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world believes it is TRUE that X is created to infallibly come to pass.
        2) But X is not created to infallibly come to pass X – therefore it is FALSE.
        3) An ALTERNATIVE of X comes to pass instead of X

        CONCLUSION:
        Divine omniscience requires that a being know the truth value of every proposition.

        According to this Calvinist – Calvin’s god’s believes X is TRUE when X is actually FALSE – therefore he is not omniscient
        This Calvinist cannot embrace even the most fundamental rule of logic – that TRUTH does not equal FALSE.

      4. jtleosala
        YOUR SIDE promotes that Salvation can only be known by God by the time man will actively believe in Jesus. Isn’t this a proof of your side’s undermining God’s omniscience?

        br.d
        AH! This tells me that you – at least to some decree internally – you do recognize your position fails to show divine omniscience.

        But here you are simply creating another straw man.
        Please provide a quote from me where I stated what you assert above.

        Additionally – your position shows that Calvin’s god can believe something that is false.
        That position is so totally fallacious – I don’t know how you can even start to consider yourself as having the ability to discern other peoples beliefs on omniscience.

        I gently suggest you do an inventory of your own immature thinking patterns before you try to examine others.
        One needs to take baby steps before one can run with the solders.

  18. LED ABOUT IN CIRCLES BY CALVINISM’S LANGUAGE –

    1 Samuel 23:7-24:22 shows us clearly that God has complete and comprehensive foreknowledge of things that would happen or could happen – but which do NOT in fact happen. David asks God two questions: Will Saul come to Keilah to get me? – yes he will. When Saul comes, will Keilah give me into his hand? – yes they will. These are two events, which God foreknew as “subjunctive conditionals”. They would happen only if certain conditions were met. And God had foreknowledge of them – but not as divinely predestined events. So foreknowledge all by itself does not make events certain to come to pass – like predestination does.

    Now Calvinism makes assertions which under scrutiny eventually resolve to self-contradiction. Firstly they assert that Calvin’s god predestines EVERY PART of EVERY event which comes to pass – down to the slightest vibration of the minutest atomic particle – as well as every neurological impulse you will ever have.

    Calvinist Robert R. McLaughlin, in The Doctrine of The Divine Decree states this as: “The Omniscience of God merely programmed into the divine decrees all our thoughts, motives, decisions and actions, which include our sins and failures as well as our successes”.

    Calvinist R. C. Sproul asserts the same: “If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, God is not God”.

    Calvinist Paul Helm asserts the same: “Not only is every atom and molecule, every thought and desire, kept in being by God, but every twist and turn of each of these is under the direct control of God”.

    But his assertion becomes problematic under the scrutiny of biblical rationality and biblical ethics.

    As Dr. Michael Heiser when responding to questions on notions of predestination which contain Gnostic derivatives: “Gnostic thinking operates on certain presuppositions which turn everything about God on its head – which presuppositions if one follows to their logical conclusions – eventually make God the cause of evil.”

    This specter of making god the – (in Calvin’s vernacular) “author” of evil – is not so much problematic for Calvinists who enjoy reciting Calvin’s statements to one another behind closed doors – outside the reach of the non-Calvinist ear.

    Where these become problematic – is in their negative impact on Calvinism’s recruitment incentives. Calvinists need to make their theology at least appear as a credible form of Christianity. And it is here that Gnostic “author of evil” conceptions become problematic.

    This is why Calvinism’s language has evolved into a language permeated with double-speak. In order to camouflage the problem – the Calvinist resorts to subtle language tricks – implicitly denying the very propositions he explicitly asserts. And of course under scrutiny this is recognized as self-contradicting.

    How to discern the nature of Calvinist language:
    If one examines Calvinist language – one will eventually recognize an AS-IF mode of thinking.
    Where things are TRUE AS-IF NOT TRUE.

    Human nature and human choices are (at the foundation of the world immutably and infallibly rendered-certain) AS-IF they are NOT.
    Man’s every –quote “thought and desire , are kept in being by God and every twist and turn of each of these is under the direct control of God” AS-IF they are NOT.

    When one learns to analyze this AS-IF thinking pattern in Calvinist statements – one will find the Calvinist – as Elijah found the people of Israel – “halting between two opinions”.

    The poor Calvinist is literally forced into this state of double-think in order to retain a degree of Biblical alignment as well as a sense of human normalcy. Unfortunately, this forces him to rely upon a language that consistently borders on deceptive.

    The discerning Christian will want to learn how this language works – and how and when its components are deceptive – or else he is doomed to be led about in circles by it.

    1. Excellent post!

      One might be forgiven for suspecting that John Calvin, tyrannical ruler overseeing the oppression, torture and murder of many in Geneva and throughout the then-known world, was never a child of God. Thus, it would come as no surprise that he more or less introduced the concept of doublespeak, which has prevailed upon the earth – particularly within the institutional church – ever since.

      One can imagine the training ‘conferences’ he held for his minions, with titles such as ‘How to Proclaim a Lie While Seeming to Defend its Opposite’, or ‘How to Use Scripture to Destroy the Message of the Gospel’. How about ‘How to Proclaim the Anti-Christ Gospel of Divine Determinism AS-IF Defending the True Gospel of Divine Grace’. Too harsh, you say? How then, do men like Calvin, Sproul and the pied Piper get a pass for asserting that God meticulously controls the movement of all ‘molecules’, better known as evil men, who oppress, rape, abuse, torture and murder others at will?

      “If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, God is not God”. (R.C. Sproul)

      Was Sproul ever honest enough to state clearly that it is [Calvin’s] God who oversaw the atrocities of the Holocaust, or the countless other atrocities committed in the name of ‘war’? Do these men stand in front of their gullible followers and openly admit that the theology they are submitting to undeniably puts the origin, execution and results of all Evil in the hands of [Calvin’s] God; and that it is for this reason so many have rejected it? Do they then explain that, like all oppressive, authoritarians, [Calvin’s] God has cleverly crafted plausible deniability by means of fabricating illusions of ‘choice’ so that he can hold men responsible for the evil deeds he eternally ordained and irresistibly brings to pass? And that these illusions must be maintained at all costs, even to the sacrifice of reason, logic and common sense? No to mention, love, kindness, gentleness, mercy and so on.

      With the addition of one word, Sproul’s doublespeak can be converted into truth (Which reveals how cunning doublespeak is, ‘technically’ true while leaving out important details.):

      “If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, [Calvin’s] God is not God”.

      Auschwitz contained such molecules. Nagasaki contained such molecules. Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen contain such molecules. I contain such molecules; for each and every unrighteous thought, word and deed that I issue arises from my resistance to the righteous ways of God. This is the freedom with which God created man, and from whence Evil arises. It is this Evil that the truly righteous and just God both warns against, and constantly urges men to flee.

      You were right, Mr. Sproul: Calvin’s God is NOT God.

      1. Wonderful post TSOO!!

        I especially loved this very insightful and potent statement:

        [Calvin’s] God has cleverly crafted PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY by means of fabricating ILLUSIONS of ‘choice’ so that he can hold men responsible for the evil deeds he eternally ordained and irresistibly brings to pass? And that these ILLUSIONS MUST BE MAINTAINED at all costs, even to the sacrifice of reason, logic and common sense? No to mention, love, kindness, gentleness, mercy and so on”

        You hit the bulls-eye big time!! :-]
        Thanks!

      2. TS00 writes, “Was Sproul ever honest enough to state clearly that it is [Calvin’s] God who oversaw the atrocities of the Holocaust, or the countless other atrocities committed in the name of ‘war’?”

        Yes. Are we to think that God was ignorant of those events and in minute detail? Of course not – even you have to agree that God is omniscient with regard to the present even if you deny that God has perfect foreknowledge of the future. In addition, God is omnipotent, so He could have brought about a different outcome had He wanted. God was there; God oversaw the atrocities of the Holocaust. To deny this is to bury one’s head in the sand.

        If you think the holocaust was impressive, look at the events surrounding the destruction of Israel recorded in Lamentations. “With their own hands compassionate women have cooked their own children, who became their food when my people were destroyed. The LORD has given full vent to his wrath; he has poured out his fierce anger. He kindled a fire in Zion that consumed her foundations.”

      3. TS00 writes, “Was Sproul ever honest enough to state clearly that it is [Calvin’s] God who oversaw the atrocities of the Holocaust, or the countless other atrocities committed in the name of ‘war’?”

        rhutchin
        Yes. Are we to think that God was ignorant of those events

        br.d
        Calvin’s god wouldn’t be very smart if he was ignorant of atrocities he MADE people do. :-]
        It being the case he rendered-certain they NOT DO OTHERWISE.

      4. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god wouldn’t be very smart if he was ignorant of atrocities he MADE people do.”

        Under Calvinism, God does not have to make people do evil – the incentive to sin comes from the sin nature.

      5. br.d
        “Calvin’s god wouldn’t be very smart if he was ignorant of atrocities he MADE people do.
        After having rendered-certain the NOT DO OTHERWISE. :-]

        rhutchin
        Under Calvinism, God does not HAVE TO make people do evil – the incentive to sin comes from the sin nature.

        br.d
        Right – but it logically follows that Calvin’s god does HAVE TO render-certain ALL incentives – he does HAVE to render-certain ALL sin nature – and he does HAVE to render-certain people DO NOT DO OTHERWISE – or else Calvin’s doctrine fails.

        A rational person can connect these dots.
        Apparently Calvinists don’t have the liberty to do so :-]

      6. Ah yes, the handy dandy ‘sin nature’. This clever invention is intended to shield [Calvin’s] God from the true and logical assertion that he is the ‘author of Evil’.

        Of course, the Calvinist must first stir up a great deal of dust to distract from the ‘first sin’ of Adam and questions about how it came to pass if a good and holy God created ‘sinless’ man. Then, with dust still swirling, the claim is made that Adam brought about that dastardly ‘sin nature’ or, as Calvinists like to call it, ‘Total Depravity’. Naughty, naughty boy – he ruined the entire creation. Did this occur during the ‘first nap’ of [Calvin’s] God, or how does Calvinism explain the entrance of original sin without it being God’s deliberate doing, along with whatsoever else comes to pass in his sovereign creation?

        The logical question which puts such silliness to rest is ‘How does a mere man, Adam, have the power to cast a curse upon all future men?’ Of course, Adam has no such power, and the Calvinist must admit that it was, surprise, surprise, [Calvin’s] God who cursed man with a ‘sin nature’ which made him unable to not sin. Supposedly, because of the sin of the ‘father’, Adam. Maybe [Calvin’s] God needs to go back and reread Ezekiel. Seems like some pretty clear promises were made that the son would never be held responsible for the sins of the father; and God was pretty unhappy that he was being accused of such injustice by ‘his own people’. Please explain, Calvinist, how you justify accusing God of cursing unborn men, who have done no wrong, as a response to the sinful act of another man, over whose actions they have no control or responsibility?

        Then, please explain how this can lead to any other conclusion than that [Calvin’s] God deliberately ordained and brings to pass, fates, if you will, all sin and evil by his very own command/curse? Which, by the way, Calvinism then asserts [Calvin’s] God, and [Calvin’s] God alone, can undo, if and when he chooses; again obliterating any pretense that sin and Evil exist except by the sole desire and determination of [Calvin’s] God.

      7. TS00 writes, “please explain how this can lead to any other conclusion than that [Calvin’s] God deliberately ordained and brings to pass, fates, if you will, all sin and evil by his very own command/curse?”

        No dispute. No sin can occur without God declaring that it should happen – otherwise God would prevent the sin.

      8. TS00 writes, “please explain how this can lead to any other conclusion than that [Calvin’s] God deliberately ordained and brings to pass, fates, if you will, all sin and evil by his very own command/curse?”

        rhutchin
        No dispute. No sin can occur without God declaring that it should happen – otherwise God would prevent the sin.

        br.d
        1) If Calvin’s god believes he can PREVENT or RESTRAIN the very things he renders-certain he is not omniscient.
        2) If Calvin’s god believes Calvin’s doctrine – that at the foundation of the world he renders-certain ALL things that will come to pass infallibly – and then Calvin’s god -quote “makes an active decision to not restrain” that which is infallibly rendered-certain – then he is not smart enough to know the difference between the terms: “Fallible” and “Infallible”.

        In such case, not only is he not omniscient – he’s doesn’t even have the intelligence of an adult human.

        According to our current Calvinist testimonies here at SOT101 – Calvin made a defective god! :-]

      9. br.d writes, “1) If Calvin’s god believes he can PREVENT or RESTRAIN the very things he renders-certain he is not omniscient.”

        God made His decisions as to whether to prevent certain events before He created the world. Once God created the world, all events were certain, and known to God, including the actions that God was to take to prevent any events.

      10. br.d writes, “1) If Calvin’s god believes he can PREVENT or RESTRAIN the very things he renders-certain he is not omniscient.”

        rhutchin And there is no
        God made His decisions as to whether to prevent certain events before He created the world ….etc

        br.d
        All you seem to be able to recite are irrelevant red-herrings rhutchin – you’re loosing your edge.
        .
        If Calvin’s god believes (like you do) that he can render-certain something to be immutable and infallible – and then PREVENT or RESTRAIN that (making it NOT immutable and NOT infallible) – then he is a god of FALSE-TRUTH, fallible-infallibility and mutable-immutability.

        In Christian doctrine an omniscient being knows the TRUTH-VALUE of every proposition.
        And there is no such thing being both TRUE and FALSE at the same time in logic or in scripture.

        Therefore according to the testimony of current Calvinists here at SOT101 – Calvin’s god does not meet the criteria for omniscience.

        Me thinks the irrationality of this particular THEOS is just a reflection of the irrationality of the Calvinist who thought him up. :-]

      11. You are assuming to yourself a “mature christian believer” … yet the opposite is the one projected by your apaling posts with your opponents here. You behave like that because you are acting on your own fleshly way without God’s intervention. Rutchin is right saying that “Adam’s corrupt nature has been transferred to you and now rules everything you do” (is the one prevailing in your life every time you type your response, anger towards the Calvinists rules out within your heart) and that God has deserted you … so that you shall be culpable of your acts. When you will face God in the day of accounting, you can’t blame God or even pass the blame to Him because of your mode of reasoning that It was God who made you like that. The poor Br.D., views himself as a “robot” when he knows he is not.

      12. As if any of that makes any sense whatsoever.
        I wouldn’t feel right re-posting any of that diatribe – its not fit for re-posting

        I can see your simply angry because your statements are taken as childish.
        Welcome to reality. :-]

        I think some day you’ll realize God through me provided a little mature feedback to help you learn how to think.
        But obviously not today.

        BTW: I’m not in the least upset or insulted by your post.
        I understand where it comes from – so no problem.

      13. You are assuming to yourself a “mature christian believer” … yet the opposite is the one projected by your apaling posts with your opponents here. You behave like that because you are acting on your own fleshly way without God’s intervention. Rutchin is right saying that “Adam’s corrupt nature has been transferred to you and now rules everything you do” (is the one prevailing in your life every time you type your response, anger towards the Calvinists rules out within your heart) and that God has deserted you … so that you shall be culpable of your acts. When you will face God in the day of accounting, you can’t blame God or even pass the blame to Him because of your mode of reasoning that It was God who made you like that. The poor Br.D., views himself as a “robot” when he knows he is not.

      14. br.d writes, “If Calvin’s god believes (like you do) that he can render-certain something to be immutable and infallible – and then PREVENT or RESTRAIN that (making it NOT immutable and NOT infallible) – then he is a god of FALSE-TRUTH, fallible-infallibility and mutable-immutability.”

        This is nonsense. God rendered everything certain when He created the world and this included the certainty that God would prevent or restrain in certain events. God is an active participant in His creation as is seen in his interaction with Israel through His prophets.

        Then, ‘Therefore according to the testimony of current Calvinists here at SOT101 – Calvin’s god does not meet the criteria for omniscience.”

        That’s a nice opinion. Maybe you can devote some effort to explaining why this could be true. You did not do this in this comment or in any previous comments where you basically offer more of your personal opinions.

      15. br.d
        “If Calvin’s god believes (like you do) that he can render-certain something to be immutable and infallible – and then PREVENT or RESTRAIN that (making it NOT immutable and NOT infallible) – then he is a god of FALSE-TRUTH, fallible-infallibility and mutable-immutability.”

        rhutchin
        This is nonsense.

        br.d
        Here the law of non-contradiction is asserted as nonsense.

        rhutchin
        God rendered everything certain when He created the world and this included the certainty that God would prevent or restrain in certain events. – etc

        br.d
        Right – I know – in Calvin its:
        Infallible AS-IF NOT infallible
        Immutable AS-IF NOT immutable
        Rendered-certain AS-IF NOT rendered-certain

        We understand Calvinism’s AS-IF thinking model.

        br.d
        ‘Therefore according to the testimony of current Calvinists here at SOT101 – Calvin’s god does not meet the criteria for omniscience.”

        rhutchin
        That’s a nice opinion.

        br.d
        “Personal opinion” is what you asserted about John Calvin’s instructions -quote: “go about your office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part”
        While at the same time – Calvinist statements consistently exemplify that very mode of thinking.

        The “That’s just your opinion” fallacy:
        This is a derail attempt, when someone cannot prove their position as rational – they simply refuse to accept reasoning or logic – with a blanket statement: “that’s your opinion”.

        rhutchin
        Maybe you can devote some effort to explaining why this could be true.

        br.d
        When my remarks follow sequential reasoned logic with unambiguous language – in responce to double-speak talking-points
        When so many times I’ve laid out what the Calvinist must show “logically” – which of course double-speak cannot do.
        And those are answered by reciting the same double-speak talking points AS-IF repeating it will make it come true.
        I think we have another example of reverse attribution here. :-]

      16. br.d writes, “When my remarks follow sequential reasoned logic…”

        I agree. Now, you just need to develop premises whose truth can be verified instead of opinions that you cannot prove to be true. Sequential reasoned logic is great when one can apply it to truth.

      17. br.d
        “When my remarks follow sequential reasoned logic…”

        rhutchin
        I agree. Now, you just need to develop premises whose truth can be verified instead of opinions that you cannot prove to be true. Sequential reasoned logic is great when one can apply it to truth.

        br.d
        Well you’re at least stepping in the right direction – even though the mask of rational reasoning is obvious.

        Your latest argument:
        : “Calvin’s god renders-certain every neurological impulse” AND AT THE SAME TIME “Calvin’s god has nothing to do with it”

        Again – I’m happy to let the SOT101 reader discern whether that is applied to truth or applied to double-speak
        Calvinists simply do not conform themselves to rules of logic – doing so doesn’t work for them.
        But masquerading it does. :-]

      18. br.d writes, “Your latest argument:
        : “Calvin’s god renders-certain every neurological impulse” AND AT THE SAME TIME “Calvin’s god has nothing to do with it”

        That is not an argument I have made. It’s your personal opinion of Calvinism that you have been promoting.

      19. br.d writes, “Your latest argument:
        : “Calvin’s god renders-certain every neurological impulse” AND AT THE SAME TIME “Calvin’s god has nothing to do with it”

        rhutchin
        That is not an argument I have made. It’s your personal opinion of Calvinism that you have been promoting.

        rhutchin
        November 7, 2018 at 2:20 pm
        God rendered EVERYTHING certain when He created the world………You are doing what you want AND GOD HAS NO PART IN IT.

        br.d
        I stand corrected – your wording is slightly different that I remembered.
        Your term EVERYTHING would obviously include every neurological impulse.
        And “has no part in it” would equate to “has nothing to do with it” so close enough.

        One who speaks double-speak as much as Calvinists is bound to be confused by his own statements.

      20. br.d writes, “Your term EVERYTHING would obviously include every neurological impulse.
        And “has no part in it” would equate to “has nothing to do with it” so close enough.”

        In this instance, I addressed your personal decisions and said that God had no part in it – in causing you to make your decisions. God is omniscient and knows everything about you including every neurological impulse in your brain. However, God does not tempt you to sin nor does he do anything else to force you to act contrary to that which you desire.

      21. br.d
        “Your term EVERYTHING would obviously include every neurological impulse.
        And “has no part in it” would equate to “has nothing to do with it” so close enough.”

        rhutchin
        In this instance, I addressed your personal decisions and said that God had no part in it – in causing you to make your decisions.

        br.d
        Thanks rhutchin a great example of self-contradiction – the Calvinist is NOT FREE to discern

        You’re chasing your tail now – no sense doing that for my sake.
        But if you wish to continue – as in all previous instances – I do find it entertaining. :-]

      22. “Calvin made a defective god!”

        Pretty much sums up Calvinism, which the commentary here simply illustrates.

        It would appear that [Calvin’s] God has a similar language disorder to the one my spouse and my father-in-law has. You would not believe the confusion, missed events and needless frustration (Okay, sometimes anger!) that arises from the mistaken use and/or interpretation of everyday language. It is very confusing at first, but if you live with someone like this you soon begin to interpret their misspoken words to others without missing a beat. Until that important college recital is missed, or multiple phone calls and great stress are exerted combating an issue that never existed. People unfamiliar with this disorder might easily assume the speaker is either stupid or deliberately deceptive, neither of which is true. The meanings of words simply get confused somewhere in the midst of transmission, sometimes with synonyms, sometimes antonyms. ‘Apple’ easily becomes ‘orange’, ‘yesterday’ becomes ‘tomorrow’ and ‘yes’ inadvertently turns into ‘no’. I learned many years ago to dig deeper if things sounded the least bit ‘funny’, a skill that came in handy when I discovered Calvinist doublespeak.

        For [Calvin’s] God, ’causes’ becomes ‘allows’, ‘do not desire’ becomes ‘determinitively decree’ and ‘ordains’ becomes ‘refrains from restraining that which he ordained’. Except that we all know that the Creator of all things has no disorders, no difficulty expressing exactly what he means. The issue is simply one of the listener hearing what he wishes to hear, rather than what is truly said.

      23. TS00 writes, “For [Calvin’s] God, ’causes’ becomes ‘allows’, …”

        The term, “allow,” is used by non-Calvinists (and who knows what they mean by it?). For Calvinists, it means that God gives people freedom to do as they desire without interference from Him. However, because God is sovereign, for God to allow is for God to cause (through secondary means).

        Then, “…‘do not desire’ becomes ‘determinitively decree’

        Do you have am example of this?

        Then, “…and ‘ordains’ becomes ‘refrains from restraining that which he ordained’. ”

        Not really, God is the final arbiter of all events and necessarily ordains all events.

        Then, “Except that we all know that the Creator of all things has no disorders, no difficulty expressing exactly what he means. The issue is simply one of the listener hearing what he wishes to hear, rather than what is truly said.”

        The Jews had a real problem in this respect. Many “religious” people have issues with that which God says (Matthew 7).

      24. yes – totally agree.

        The big red-flag the shows Calvinism has a massive problem – is the contortionist act it does with logic and language.
        And when logic and language are twisted and contorted – one’s reading of scripture will follow that pattern.

        Well said TSOO!

      25. Theological Determinism (which by the way was first conceived by the Greek STOICS) presupposes a specific MODEL Of causation.
        In which events occur within a CAUSAL CHAIN.

        Rhutchin for example – in his posts – used to classify humans as “Dominoes” .
        This is because in Theological Determinism every event is CAUSED by an ANTECEDENT event.
        Until you get to the SOURCE/ORIGIN of that CAUSAL CHAIN.

        So Domino-1 causes Domino-2 causes Domino-3 causes Domino-4 – etc – until the last Domino in the chain produces the END result.

        Now when it comes to GOOD events such as salvation – the Calvinist wants to POINT to the SOURCE/ORIGIN (i.e. Calvin’s god)
        They want to attribute Calvin’s god as the SOURCE/ORIGIN of all GOOD events.

        What the Calvinist is **TERRIFIED** of – is using the same thinking when it comes to SINFUL EVIL events.

        Trying to walk a Calvinist back – up that chain – from Domino-4 caused by Domino-3 caused by Domino-2 etc.
        And as soon as you get to Domino-1 the Calvinist goes into **TERRIFIED** MODE!

        Question to the Calvinist:
        What caused Domino-1?

        Calvinist:
        Domino-1’s inclination

        What caused Domino-1’s inclination?

        Calvinist:
        Domino-1’s nature

        What caused Domino-1’s nature?

        And you get the gist of the Calvinists answer to these questions.
        He’s going in circles – and that’s all his brain can accomplish on this question.

        He is absolutely **TERRIFIED** of following the causal chain back to its SOURCE/ORIGIN when it comes to SINFUL EVIL events.

        Dialog with Rhutchin – asking him these questions is like chasing a greased pig.
        Your wasting your time.
        I always stand back and let him chase his own tail – when it comes to this question.

        Who doesn’t find a puppy dog chasing his tail entertaining? :-]

      26. br.d writes, “Now when it comes to GOOD events such as salvation – the Calvinist wants to POINT to the SOURCE/ORIGIN (i.e. Calvin’s god)…What the Calvinist is **TERRIFIED** of – is using the same thinking when it comes to SINFUL EVIL events.”

        No Calvinist I know is terrified. Good events result from God involving Himself in the affairs of people to bring about good events. Bad events happen when God divorces Himself from the affairs of people giving people freedom to do whatever evil they want.

      27. rhutchin
        Bad events happen when God divorces Himself from the affairs of people giving people freedom to do whatever evil they want.

        br.d
        That answer sure looks like TERRIFIED to me :-]

        John Calvin disagrees:
        -quote “NOTHING happens except by the direct will and decree of god”

        logic:
        Calvin’s god divorcing himself from the affairs of people logically resolves to calling Calvin’s statement above FALSE

        Where EVERYTHING including every neurological impulse is rendered-certain before each person is born by Calvin’s god – then it logically follows Calvin’s god divorcing himself from the affairs of men is a logical impossibility.

        Additionally:
        In Calvinism “Calvin’s god giving people the freedom to do whatever they want” is simply deceptive language.
        In Calvinism people are free to be/do ONLY what Calvin’s god renders-certain they be/do – nothing more – nothing less.

        But some people prefer sugar coated fairy tales to logic. :-]

      28. br.d writes, “divorcing himself from the affairs of people logically resolves to calling Calvin’s statement above FALSE”

        It says the same thing. That which God wills and decrees covers all His interactions with people.

        Then, “Where EVERYTHING including every neurological impulse is rendered-certain before each person is born by Calvin’s god – then it logically follows Calvin’s god divorcing himself from the affairs of men is a logical impossibility.”

        LOL!!! So, you have “…EVERYTHING including every neurological impulse is rendered-certain…” by God but this cannot include God “…divorcing himself from the affairs of men…” God created the human brain that works using neurological impulses, and it works without God having to keep making it work. God made Adam and could then walk away and have nothing to do with Adam and Adam would go on with life doing whatever pleased him. God does not have to insert Himself into the human environment in order for humans to interact with each other.

        Then, “In Calvinism “Calvin’s god giving people the freedom to do whatever they want” is simply deceptive language.”

        Nothing deceptive about it. God gave you freedom to write whatever goofy stuff you want – even though He knew everything you would write before the thoughts even formed in your mind. You are doing what you want and God has no part in it. Of course, God has rendered everything you do as certain and did so when He created the world. Necessarily you act according to your desires and God just made certain that the corrupt nature of Adam was transferred to you and now rules everything you do..

      29. John Calvin
        -quote “NOTHING happens that but by the direct will and decree of god”

        br.d
        “divorcing himself from the affairs of people logically resolves to calling Calvin’s statement above FALSE”

        rhutchin
        It says the same thing. That which God wills and decrees covers all His interactions with people.

        br.d
        We already know all of his interactions with people – he renders-certain their every neurological impulse.
        You calling that “divorcing himself from their affairs” reveals more about you than it does about Calvin’s god.

        br.d
        “Where EVERYTHING including every neurological impulse is rendered-certain before each person is born by Calvin’s god – then it logically follows Calvin’s god divorcing himself from the affairs of men is a logical impossibility.”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! So, you have “…EVERYTHING including every neurological impulse is rendered-certain…” by God but this cannot include God “…divorcing himself from the affairs of men…

        br.d
        Same answer as above – doubling down on irrational only continues the display.

        rhutchin
        ” God created the human brain that works using neurological impulses, and it works without God having to keep making it work.

        br.d
        Irrelevant red-herring since it is the case that he renders-certain every neurological impulse they will ever have,

        rhutchin
        God does not have to insert Himself into the human environment in order for humans to interact with each other.

        br.d
        Same answer as above – doubling down on irrational only continues the display.
        In Calvinism “Calvin’s god giving people the freedom to do whatever they want” is simply deceptive language.”

        rhutchin
        You are doing what you want and God has no part in it.

        br.d
        And you think that is logical with Calvin’s statement above!
        I almost embarrassed for how this is making you look – – – – but not quite. :-]

        rhutchin
        you act according to your desires and God just made certain that the corrupt nature of Adam was transferred to you and now rules everything you do.

        br.d
        In Calvinism this is statement is deceptive.
        Since it is the case that Calvin’s god renders-certain ALL corrupt nature – ALL inclinations – ALL sin – ALL EVIL – all neurological impulses etc.

        Sure looks like the Calvinist is still TERRIFIED to walk that causal chain back to its SOURCE. :-]

      30. I’m afraid Calvin would no more accept RH’s logic than can we. He kind of makes it up as he goes along, apparently oblivious to how he constantly contradicts earlier statements. It is as if he has simply thrown logic out of the window and just recites meaningless statements that appear to keep his bubble intact.

      31. br.d writes, “We already know all of his interactions with people – he renders-certain their every neurological impulse.”

        This seems to be a big deal for you, but you cannot explain why it has anything to do with the ongoing discussions. God created Adam with a brain and Adam’s brain works using neurological impulses. God certainly knows each neurological impulse that occurs in the human brain and knew them when He created the world. So what? What’s the point?

        God explained future events through His prophets and all those future events entailed neurological impulses in human brains that were certain. So!!!

      32. br.d
        “We already know all of his interactions with people – he renders-certain their every neurological impulse.”

        rhutchin
        This seems to be a big deal for you,

        br.d
        It is one of Calvinism’s UNIVERSAL SCOPE propositions.
        And saying: “Calvin’s god renders-certain your every neurological impulse” AND “Calvin’s god has nothing to do with it” is the Calvinists response.

        I’m happy to let SOT101 readers recognize which statement is double-speak. :-]

        rhutchin
        but you cannot explain why it has anything to do with the ongoing discussions.

        br.d
        Been here – done that – got my T-shirt.
        One can lead a horse to water but not make him drink.
        My responses to Calvinist double-speak are not for the benefit o the Calvinist since their minds are locked.
        I provide analysis for the SOT101 readers whose minds are free to think.

        rhutchin
        God created Adam with a brain and Adam’s brain works using neurological impulses. God certainly knows each neurological impulse that occurs in the human brain and knew them when He created the world. So what? What’s the point?

        br.d
        I’ve responded to this irrelevant red-herring a dozen times.
        Since Calvin’s god renders-certain every neurological impulse – and NO ALTERNATIVE of what has been rendered-certain can come to pass – referring to how Adam’s brain works AS-IF that were FALSE is simply irrational double-speak.

        rhutchin
        God explained future events through His prophets and all those future events entailed neurological impulses in human brains that were certain. So!!!

        br.d
        Same answer as above. -and also the discerning Christian learns to not conflate Calvinism with scripture.

      33. br.d writes, “And saying: “Calvin’s god renders-certain your every neurological impulse” AND “Calvin’s god has nothing to do with it” is the Calvinists response.”

        Under Calvinism, God is sovereign over His creation and is involved in every event either being hands-on (e.g., the impregnation of Mary) or choosing not to be hands-on thereby allowing evil people freedom to act as they desire (e.g. the stoning of Stephen). There is not a molecule, atom, neutron, neurological impulse, etc. that is outside God’s control.

        Your other comments don’t say anything.

      34. br.d
        The Calvinist saying: “Calvin’s god renders-certain your every neurological impulse” AND “Calvin’s god has nothing to do with it” is the Calvinists response.”

        rhutchin
        Under Calvinism, God is sovereign ….etc
        There is not a molecule, atom, neutron, neurological impulse, etc. that is outside God’s control.
        If this is a quote from Calvinist Paul Helms I can see why you would want to alter it with distancing language.

        -quote:
        “Not only is every atom and molecule, every thought and desire, kept in being by God, but every twist and turn of each of these is UNDER THE DIRECT CONTROL of God”. :

        rhutchin
        Your other comments don’t say anything.

        br.d
        But of course they don’t – to a Calvinist – his mind is locked – so that’s to be understood.

        The value of my posts are for the SOT101 reader whose mind is free to think and recognizes the value of well established rules of rational reasoning held in common – such as the law of non-contradiction. Rules which Calvinism must evade.

        Thank you Dr. Flowers for your ministry – and for providing this wonderful platform!

      35. RH writes:
        “Under Calvinism, God is sovereign over His creation and is involved in every event either being hands-on (e.g., the impregnation of Mary) or choosing not to be hands-on thereby allowing evil people freedom to act as they desire (e.g. the stoning of Stephen). There is not a molecule, atom, neutron, neurological impulse, etc. that is outside God’s control.”

        Once again I must point out the sleight of hand that is being attempted, as RH pretends that Calvinistic ‘Sovereignty’ is the same as non-Calvinist sovereignty. He oh so casually describes the non-Calvinist perspective that, whereas God has all power and authority to control all things, he has deliberately set aside that control and given man the freedom to choose his own actions, i.e. ‘act as they desire’. The non-Calvinist asserts that this is the explanation for the existence of evil in a world created by an omnipotent, good deity.
        In other words, evil exists because in granting freedom of action to man God in effect ceded authoritative control of each man’s individual molecules, atoms, neutrons, neurological impulses, etc. to each man. In granting man this degree of autonomy or self control (still to some degree limited, as God not only controls outside factors but also the length of each man’s days) God has released his own control of said molecules, etc.

        This is logical, and is at least a reasonable explanation for the existence of Evil in a world created by a good and Holy God. Other, logically consistent explanations include:

        1) There is no God.
        2) There is a God, but he is Evil.
        3) There is a God, but there are powers equal to or greater than his that orchestrate Evil.
        4) There are multiple gods, and evil arises from their internal squabbles or power plays.

        The most illogical and inconsistent explanation for the existence of Evil is that of Calvinism, which asserts that:

        1) There is a God.
        2) He is good.
        3) He is omnipotent, sovereignly, determinatively decreeing and controling whatsoever comes to pass in his creation.
        4) Evil exists due to man following his own desires.

        This explanation cannot hold up to logical examination. It there is a God, if he is wholly good and wholly in control of ‘whatsoever comes to pass down to the tiniest atom, etc.’ and there are no other powers in existence that challenge his sovereign control, including the ‘desires’ of men. There is no logical explanation for why Evil exists. The Calvinist is forced to admit that God is the author of Evil, and invented it, and the pretense of man ‘choosing to follow his own desires’ in order to showcase his own ‘Glory’ in overcoming the Evil he ordained.

        However, rare is the Calvinist who will admit that [Calvin’s] God is the sole author, originator and bringer-to-pass of sin and Evil. And understandably so, as this not only casts dishonor upon the holiness of God, but also makes him utterly unjust to ‘punish’ evildoers for the Evil that was his own, ultimate doing.

        So, the Calvinist must resort to word jugglery. He must attempt to uphold scripture’s claims that there is no Evil within the Holy, omnipotent God, and thus he would never purposely ordain or tempt man to do Evil with Calvinism’s assertion that God originates, ordains and controls all Evil (i.e., whatsoever comes to pass). This is logically impossible; A and non-A cannot both be true at the same time in the same manner. God cannot be wholly free from Evil and wholly responsible for the Existence of Evil at the same time. Unfortunately for the Calvinist, his task it to uphold and/or hide this logical fallacy in whatever fashion he can.

        So, out of one side of his mouth, the Calvinist recites scripture, and out of the other cites Calvinistic theology. The real skill lies in keeping people from seeing the contradictions of these and recognizing the logical implausibility of two, utterly contradictory assertions being true at the same time in the same manner. The Calvinist must seek to build partitions in the minds of his listeners, keeping them from comparing and cross-examining the truth claims they have been fed. This is the same sort of compartmentalization or dissociation that all mind control and uncontested abuse is based upon. It is done by distraction, emotional manipulation, fear-mongering, love-bombing, peer pressure and all other manner of milieu control methods.

      36. TS00 writes, “4) Evil exists due to man following his own desires.”

        the term, “evil,” is not a noun – it is not a living entity. “Evil” is a descriptor applied to the acts of a person (He does evil.) or to a perosn’s character (He is evil.) That which is “evil” is that which is contrary to God’s will for the behavior of people. The Ten commandments describe how God wants people to behave. Violating those commands is evil and the person doing so can be described as evil. So you should have written, – with an introductory premise:

        3) God grants people the freedom to disobey His commandments.
        4) People are evil and do evil acts when they follow their own will/desires and not God’s will/desire (as expressed in His commandments).”

        Then, “The Calvinist is forced to admit that God is the author of Evil, and invented it, and the pretense of man ‘choosing to follow his own desires’ in order to showcase his own ‘Glory’ in overcoming the Evil he ordained.”

        By “author of evil” you mean that God forces people to disobey His commands. However, this cannot be according to James, with whom Calvinist agree. God did not make/force/impel nor did God make Adam with a desire for sin. Why did Adam eat the fruit? Answer that question and most disputes on the problem of evil would disappear.

        I don’t see that your argument against Calvinism is any different than for non-Calvinism. No one knows why Adam ate the fruit, and no one knows where evil desires originated.

      37. rhutchin
        God renders-certain EVERYTHING

        br.d
        Obviously this includes EVERY Neurological impulse people will every have
        But then – wait for it! ……

        rhutchin
        People are evil and do evil acts when they follow their own will/desires and NOT GOD”S WILL/DESIRE (as expressed in His commandments).”

        br.d
        Yes – classic!
        This is how Calvinists seek to evade: “NOTHING that happens does so without his DIRECT WILL and DECREE

        They add this little fine-print clause “as expressed in his commands” and think that makes the problem go away.
        .
        So what do we have:
        Calvin’s god has a SECRET will and a EXPRESSED will
        And these two wills are not only different but will sometimes totally OPPOSED to each other.

        For example:
        His EXPRESSED WILL in his command to Adam – where he deceived Adam into believing his EXPRESSED will was his ONLY will.

        While his SECRET will was the total opposite of what he EXPRESSED.

        Following this model of a SECRET will opposed to EXPRESSED will – we have the divine will for each Calvinist EXPRESSED within scripture.
        But remember – the EXPRESSED will can be the total opposite of the SECRET will.

        So the Calvinist ends up getting deceived like Adam – assuming the EXPRESSED will is his ONLY will.
        Only to find out (in the lake of fire) – the SECRET will was the total opposite of the EXPRESSED will (within scripture).

        Calvinists sure have a lot to look forward to! :-]

      38. br.d writes, “Right – but it logically follows that Calvin’s god does HAVE TO render-certain ALL incentives – he does HAVE to render-certain ALL sin nature – and he does HAVE to render-certain people DO NOT DO OTHERWISE – or else Calvin’s doctrine fails.”

        God told Adam that eating the fruit would result in death – Calvinists understand that to be spiritual as well as physical death. Adm ate the fruit and God now enforces the penalty. All who are born are spiritually dead and will physically die. Spiritual death includes being born with a sin nature, devoid of faith, with which the person cannot do good. God has rendered that certain. As the leopard cannot change its spots, so the spiritually dead person cannot change his nature.

      39. br.d
        “Right – but it logically follows that Calvin’s god does HAVE TO render-certain ALL incentives – he does HAVE to render-certain ALL sin nature – and he does HAVE to render-certain people DO NOT DO OTHERWISE – or else Calvin’s doctrine fails.”

        rhutchin
        God told Adam…etc

        br.d
        So what in my statement above is logically FALSE in Calvinism?
        Right …..so now you’ve gone into your tail chasing mode – but you didn’t have to do that for my account.

        By your testimony Calvin’s god is not omniscient enough to know that Adam CANNOT DO OTHERWISE than what Calvin’s god renders-certain Adam do – unless (insert a Calvinist’s hidden deceptive conditional here) Calvin’s god renders-certain Adam do something else.

        No going forward any further on this question with you rhutchin – your mind only allows circular reasoning on this topic.
        You might as well give up now instead of chasing your tail. :-]

      40. br.d
        “Right – but it logically follows that Calvin’s god does HAVE TO render-certain ALL incentives – he does HAVE to render-certain ALL sin nature – and he does HAVE to render-certain people DO NOT DO OTHERWISE – or else Calvin’s doctrine fails.”

        rhutchin
        God told Adam that eating the fruit would result in death…etc

        br.d
        Right – but Calvin’s god does not tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
        He beguiled Adam while Satan beguiled Eve
        He led Adam to believe he WILLED “Adam Obeys” come to pass – when he WILLED the opposite.

        So Calvin’s god speaks with forked tongue – we already knew that!

        eyes they have – and do not see
        ears they have – and do not hear
        And they who MAKE them are LIKE UNTO THEM.

        This biblical principle explains why Calvinists speak with forked tongue.

      41. br.d.
        You know… and I know that Determism teaches, and Calvin himself taught, that all that happens is what God made-certain to happen.

        One response to you was this…

        “Under Calvinism, God does not have to make people do evil – the incentive to sin comes from the sin nature.”

        Calvinists love to blame everything on man’s fallen nature and nothing on God’s rendering-certain decrees. Whatever. But the above sentence makes no sense EVEN for Calvinists. This is just nonsensical since Adam did evil and had a sinless nature.

        There is just no biblical way to say, “Adam’s incentive to sin came from his sin nature.”

      42. FOH:
        There is just no biblical way to say, “Adam’s incentive to sin came from his sin nature.”

        br.d
        Excellent catch FOH!
        And yet a Calvinist can make that stuff up without blinking – and then claim he is BIBLE BASED.

        Ye right!
        Calvinism’s irrational world of crooked logic is about as much sourced from scripture as Bill Clinton’s mother is sourced from Bill Clinton! :-]

      43. FOH writes, “…Adam did evil and had a sinless nature. There is just no biblical way to say, “Adam’s incentive to sin came from his sin nature.”

        That is not an issue. Nor is God’s control over events disputed as all agree that God is omnipotent. The point here is that no one – even you – can explain why Adam sinned. God certainly did not make Adam eat the fruit even though God had decreed that Adam eat the fruit.

      44. FOH writes, “…Adam did evil and had a sinless nature. There is just no biblical way to say, “Adam’s incentive to sin came from his sin nature.”

        rhutchin
        That is not an issue.

        br.d
        Either this point went over one’s head – or one is in evasion mode.
        FOH’s point is clear – the Calvinist assertion “Adam’s incentive to sin came from his sin nature” does not have its source in scripture – but rather is scripture forced to serve someone’s doctrine.

        rhutchin
        The point here is that no one – even you – can explain why Adam sinned.

        br.b
        FALSE
        John Calvin explained why Adam sinned – Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world rendered-certain “Adam will disobey”.
        rendered-certain means Adam CANNOT DO OTHERWISE than what Adam is rendered-certain to do.
        Unless (insert Calvinist deceptive conditional subjunctive here) Calvin’s god renders-certain Adam do something else.

        rhutchin
        God certainly did not make Adam eat the fruit

        br.d
        Irrelevant red-herring since he rendered-certain every neurological impulse Adam would ever have

        rhutchin
        though God had decreed that Adam eat the fruit.

        br.d
        CORRECT! – wonderful!
        You see – a Calvinist doesn’t have to speak double-speak when he doesn’t want to.
        But this one is the exception and not the rule so don’t hold your breath :-]

      45. br.d writes, “FOH’s point is clear – the Calvinist assertion “Adam’s incentive to sin came from his sin nature” does not have its source in scripture ”

        Calvinists do not assert that “Adam’s incentive to sin came from his sin nature.”

      46. br.d
        “FOH’s point is clear – the Calvinist assertion “Adam’s incentive to sin came from his sin nature” does not have its source in scripture ”

        rhutchin
        Calvinists do not assert that “Adam’s incentive to sin came from his sin nature.”

        br.d
        Right – and they don’t assert “Calvin’s god has nothing to do with it”

        I’m happy to let SOT101 readers review Calvinist double-speak statements on this issue as well.

      47. TSOO
        The 8 words a Calvinist can NEVER say:

        “Calvin’s god has nothing to do with it.”

        br.d
        Never say and be honest – but we understand any belief system that cannot conform to the law of non-contradiction will have a self-serving form of honesty.

      48. Seriously. The minute a Calvinist says ‘Calvin’s God had nothing to do with it’ wouldn’t the gig be up? Wouldn’t even the most junior, naive, uninitiated student fall on the floor laughing, saying, ‘You really had me going there!’?

        And yet, this is what Calvinism does repeatedly. And not just Calvinism, but Orthodox Christianity as a whole. IMO it all began with – and I apologize to all of the orthodox here – the concept of the Trinity. The minute orthodox authority could demand that people recite words that they could not understand, but which seemed to assert a clear contradiction, was the minute they instituted effective thought control. They effectively convinced persons that they simply could not comprehend the truth about God, thus must bow to the authority and proclamations of the ‘annointed ones’, even if they seemed logically absurd. It is literally a version of Hans Christian Anderson’s Emperor who wore no clothes. If you can persuade people, or frighten them, into disbelieving their own eyes, you gain complete control of them. The only dangerous people are those who, like a small child, will state incredulously, ‘But the Emperor is wearing no clothes!’

      49. Yes – I think we see the same thing going on with the media

        I’m not an abject fan of Dr. Noam Chomsky.
        But when he released his documentary “Manufacturing Consent – manipulating people through mass media” I could see he had that right.

        Years ago there was a Christian Sociology professor who likened Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather to priests who represent a religion.

      50. The ‘heretics’, those who were tortured and murdered by both the Roman and Protestant Church, were those who stated truthfully what their own eyes told them was true: ‘But the Emperor is wearing no clothes!’ Such people will always be called ‘heretics’, ‘Pelagians’, ‘liberals’, ‘conspiracy theorists’ or whatever the pejorative of the day is.

      51. TS00 writes, “The 8 words a Calvinist can NEVER say:
        “Calvin’s god has nothing to do with it.”

        True. Under Calvinism, God is Sovereign and necessarily, the final arbiter of everything that happens.

      52. TS00 writes, “The 8 words a Calvinist can NEVER say:
        “Calvin’s god has nothing to do with it.”

        rhutchin
        True. Under Calvinism, God is Sovereign and necessarily, the final arbiter of everything that happens.

        br.d
        Right about now it would be cool to find the Calvinist here who made that statement – even inferentially.
        Knowing how double-speak works – we’re bound to find it here somewhere. :-]

      53. RH:
        “God certainly did not make Adam eat the fruit even though God had decreed that Adam eat the fruit.”

        Prime example of either a language disorder, or Calvinistic doublespeak.

        The logical, thinking person, without an ax to grind, would perceive ‘make’ and ‘decree’ as more or less synonymous, or at the very least pointing to the same fact. If [Calvin’s] God decreed, so that it is rendered certain, without fail, that Adam eat the fruit, then the thinking, logical mind would find it quite reasonable to assert that [Calvin’s] God did indeed ‘make’ Adam eat the fruit. That is not to explain ‘how’ [Calvin’s] God made Adam do so, but simply that [Calvin’s] God was the originating, driving force behind it – and all things, according to Calvinism – coming to pass. In typical English usage, ‘make’ or ‘made’ asserts the irresistible power to bring something to pass, just as does Calvin’s ‘ordained’ or ‘decreed’.

        This is not too difficult for the properly functioning mind. If [Calvin’s] God ‘decrees’ whatsoever comes to pass, then one might properly state, granting typical English usage, that [Calvin’s] God ‘made’ Adam eat the fruit. It doesn’t matter whether he used:

        1) A stick, gun or other weapon of force.
        2) A carrot, candy or other irresistible lure.
        3) Neurons programmed to fire in a particular manner.
        4) A magic spell which supernaturally controls existing matter beyond normal laws of nature.
        5) Any other means one might imagine.

        I will say it again: If [Calvin’s] God ‘decrees’ whatsoever comes to pass, then one might properly state, granting typical English usage, that [Calvin’s] God ‘made’ Adam eat the fruit.

      54. TSOO
        Prime example of either a language disorder, or Calvinistic doublespeak.

        br.d
        The pirate captain looked at the man and said:
        “You have two choices – you can walk the plank or you can walk the plank – whatever you do will be your choice”
        Its only fitting that a pirate captain should mimic Calvin’s god! :-]

      55. br.d writes, “The pirate captain looked at the man and said:
        “You have two choices – you can walk the plank or you can walk the plank – whatever you do will be your choice””

        The Psalmist was like the pirate captain, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.” You can sin, or you can sin. As Paul said, “…the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so;”

      56. br.d writes, “The pirate captain looked at the man and said:
        “You have two choices – you can walk the plank or you can walk the plank – whatever you do will be your choice””

        rhutchin
        The Psalmist was like the pirate captain, …..etc
        And Paul …etc

        br.d
        Wonderful example!
        Here the Calvinist equates authors of scripture with a pirate captain and his “you have two choices”.
        I suppose this would make the pirate captain’s offer of two “so called” choices Biblical. :-]

        btw:
        The pirate captain is mimicking Calvin’s god who gives you “so called” choices
        You can be/do what he renders-certain – or you can be/do what he renders-certain – but whatever you do will be your choice.

        Thanks for explaining what Calvinism does with scripture :-]

      57. Br.d. writes:
        “btw:
        The pirate captain is mimicking Calvin’s god who gives you “so called” choices
        You can be/do what he renders-certain – or you can be/do what he renders-certain – but whatever you do will be your choice.

        Thanks for explaining what Calvinism does with scripture :-]”

        Let’s break it down even further, in case some struggle with making logical inferences. And there may be others, which I have omitted.

        Hypocrite or Deceiver
        (Offered by The Pirate Captain, Calvinism and all other Godfathers who make the pretense of offering a choice where there is none.)
        “You can do A (which he has secretly made impossible) – or you can do B (what he has secretly rendered certain). But whatever you do will be your choice.”

        Honest Tyrant
        “You will do A, willingly or unwillingly”

        Limited Choice
        “You can do A, or you can do B.”

        Free Choice offered by Wise and Loving Authority
        “The right thing to do is A, and I strongly encourage you to do this. But you have the freedom to do as you choose, and here is what will happen if you choose something other than A. Choice B will lead to this. Choice C will lead to that. Choice D will lead to this and that. And so on. Choose wisely, for you have been informed and warned, and you will bear the responsibility for the choices you make.”

      58. Wonderful post TSOO!
        It really shows the contrast between the God of scripture and Calvin’s god.

        I especially like this:

        You can do A (which he has secretly made impossible) – or you can do B (what he has secretly rendered certain). But whatever you do will be your choice.”

        Peter Van Inwagen remarks about this.
        The Calvinist will try to use what Van Inwagen calls a “hidden subjunctive conditional ” argument.
        In other words – a deceptive argument.

        It goes like this:
        Calvinist:
        Adam COULD DO OTHERWISE than what Calvin’s god rendered-certain Adam do.

        Van Inwagen responds:
        Yes by Calvin’s god rendering-certain Adam DO OTHERWISE.
        Van InWagen identifies this argument as a deceptive language trick.

      59. What we then must add to this story is the message of the gospel.

        When God offered man the freedom to choose, he sadly foreknew that man would abuse that choice to his own destruction. So God cursed man for his sin and all died.

        No, God offered man grace. He paid the debt for the sin himself, by offering up his own Son, and offered, with clearly stated conditions, a full, unmerited pardon. Whosoever would believe in God’s goodness, acknowledge their own sin, and put their trust and hope in God’s not-yet-fully-seen plan would be guaranteed salvation from the wrath of God against unrepentant Evil.

        Note what a different gospel message this is from the one offered by Calvinism. All have sinned. All deserve punishment. All are freely offered grace, if they respond in faith to God’s message of love, which was manifested in the person, words and deeds of Jesus. Come, all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Come, all who hunger and thirst for righteousness, and you will be filled. The offer is there, it is clearly set forth and earnestly made to one and all alike. Yet each man must choose. Will he look for healing and life to the one raised up like the serpent in the wilderness, or will he stubbornly refuse to believe and perish in his sin?

      60. Yes – Dr. Michael Heiser, (expert on gnosticism and grammatical exegesis) says that he believes the Hebrew term for “in our image” in Genesis – incorporates the characteristic of having some form of what we would call libertarian free will – whatever form of freedom to choose God himself has.

        He endowed a form of that type of freedom as an essential part of his creation of man – so that man would not have to love him robotically.

        But this of course required allowing man to NOT love him irresistibly.

        And that ability to not be manipulated by an irresistible supernatural force puts man in a position where he can love God for what God is – rather than by a superficial irresistible force.

        In Calvin’s case – a force that forces without forcing :-]

      61. TS00 writes, “When God offered man the freedom to choose,…”

        “…offered…”? So, you are saying that God offered Adam free will that Adam accepted and then abused.

        Then, “Yet each man must choose. Will he look for healing and life to the one raised up like the serpent in the wilderness, or will he stubbornly refuse to believe and perish in his sin?”

        And if people “stubbornly refuse to believe” can’t God then choose some of them to save as the Calvinist says He can do?

      62. br.d writes, “It goes like this:
        Calvinist:
        Adam COULD DO OTHERWISE than what Calvin’s god rendered-certain Adam do.”

        It should be:
        Calvinist:
        Adam is responsible to do what God rendered-certain Adam would not do.

        In the same manner, people are responsible to obey God when God rendered certain that they would be born with a nature that prevented this outcome.

      63. TSOO
        Wow. How is this even rational? I think RH has finally lost it. :-]

        He reaches his sophism limit eventually.
        He’s more sophisticated at manipulating language than the other Calvinists here.

        But since Calvinism is all double-speak – he can’t help but eventually trip over it.
        Its just a matter of time.
        But you watch – it won’t phase him one tinny bit – he’ll act as if it never happened – without skipping a beat.
        Its the nature of the beast. :-]

      64. ‘Nature of the beast’ is apt. I literally felt, at such blatant irrationality and vile cruelty that I was staring into the pit of hell. Had to take a walk to get it out of my head.

      65. Sorry to hear that!
        Taking a walk is a really good thing.
        I’ve certainly been there!!
        Some times its healthy to ask the Lord to help me understand why and what I’m feeling
        It can be the triggering of very old wounds.

      66. br.d
        “It goes like this:
        Calvinist:
        Adam COULD DO OTHERWISE than what Calvin’s god rendered-certain Adam do.”

        Peter Van Inwagen’s response – “This is based upon a deceptive conditional subjunctive”

        rhutchin
        It should be:
        Calvinist:
        Adam is responsible to do what God rendered-certain Adam would not do.

        br.d
        A lovely example of double-speak – thank you rhutchin!!

        But more precisely:
        Calvin’s god holds Adam responsible for doing the very thing Calvin’s god renders-certain Adam do.

        And of course – Adam CANNOT DO OTHERWISE than what Calvin’s god renders-certain.
        Unless (insert deceptive conditional subjunctive here) Calvin’s god renders-certain Adam do something else.

        Does anyone here notice here how much Calvinism uses word-craft to evade logic? :-]

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

      67. TS00 writes, ““You can do A (which he has secretly made impossible) – or you can do B (what he has secretly rendered certain). But whatever you do will be your choice.”

        It should be: “You are commanded to do A (the impossibility of which is certain by God’s omniscience) – or you can choose to do B (what he has secretly rendered certain by Adan’s sin). But whatever you do will be your desire.”

      68. TS00
        ““You can do A (which he has secretly made impossible) – or you can do B (what he has secretly rendered certain). But whatever you do will be your choice.”

        rhutchin
        It should be: “You are commanded to do A (the impossibility of which is certain by God’s omniscience) – or you can choose to do B (what he has secretly rendered certain by Adan’s sin). But whatever you do will be your desire.”

        br.d
        This carefully evades the DETERMINATIVE CAUSAL SOURCE
        “You are commanded to do A
        – which is RENDERED-CERTAIN as IMPOSSIBLE by immutable decree
        – And which includes RENDERING-CERTAIN everything about you including your inclination/desire/nature etc
        – And this is thus EPISTEMICALLY certain within Calvin’s god’s omniscience
        OR
        You can choose to do B
        – which is RENDERED-CERTAIN AS NOT ACTUALIZABLE
        – Which means it will not exist to be accessible to you

        So Adam – since your desire/sin/nature/etc were all RENDERED-CERTAIN without your consent – now you’re free to do whatever you desire.

        Now that’s what call FREEDOM! :-]

      69. TS00 writes, “That is not to explain ‘how’ [Calvin’s] God made Adam do so, but simply that [Calvin’s] God was the originating, driving force behind it…”

        The “how” is that which explains what made Adam eat the fruit. God decreed that Adam eat the fruit and then the means, the “how,” of Adam eating the fruit. God “made” Adam eat the fruit only by also decreeing the “how” or the means for it to happen. We know that the “how” involved Satan deceiving Eve, and Eve, after eating the fruit herself, then presents the fruit to Adam to eat. We may speculate about Adam’s dilemma at this point and seek to understand why he decided to eat the fruit, but the Scriptures are silent on this.

        Then, “In typical English usage, ‘make’ or ‘made’ asserts the irresistible power to bring something to pass, just as does Calvin’s ‘ordained’ or ‘decreed’.”

        To ordain or decree is only to make a decision. The execution of that decision is the “make” or “made.” Two separate and unique actions are involved. God can personally decide that X should happen and then entities other than God can execute the decision. For example, God can decree that Stephen be stoned to death. That decree is then carried out by the Jews to whom God has given the freedom to stone Stephen.

        Then, “5) Any other means one might imagine.”

        How about using sinful people to whom God has given freedom to act as they desire. So, God uses Satan to tempt Eve by giving Satan access to the garden knowing that God seeks to destroy His creation.

        Then, “I will say it again: If [Calvin’s] God ‘decrees’ whatsoever comes to pass, then one might properly state, granting typical English usage, that [Calvin’s] God ‘made’ Adam eat the fruit.”

        You offered an opinionated argument for this rather than sequential reasoned logic. You fail to deal with “how.”

        Your argument is like this:

        1. God decrees that Adam eat the fruit.
        2. Let’s ignore how God executes His decree that Adam eat the fruit.
        3. Therefore, God made Adam eat the fruit.

      70. RH writes:
        “Your argument is like this:

        1. God decrees that Adam eat the fruit.
        2. Let’s ignore how God executes His decree that Adam eat the fruit.
        3. Therefore, God made Adam eat the fruit.”

        Actually, the logical statement would read:
        1. God decrees that Adam eat the fruit.
        2. By (fill in the blank with your chosen means) God executes his decree that Adam eat the fruit.
        3. Therefore, God made Adam eat the fruit.

        I not only did not ‘ignore’ how God uses means to execute his decrees, I spelled out multiple possibilities. It makes absolutely no difference which ‘means’ one fills in the blank with in premise 2, as I explained. It can be brute force, seduction, magical ‘tada’ or secretive, unseen predetermination of neural impulses that appear to man as autonomous free choices. Doesn’t matter. God ordained and ‘made’ the sin of Adam occur, along with all future acts of Evil if he decrees ‘whatsoever comes to pass’ and uses ANY means to bring to pass his decrees of ‘whatsoever’ to pass.

        It really isn’t very difficult.

      71. TS00 writes, “Actually, the logical statement would read:
        1. God decrees that Adam eat the fruit.
        2. By (fill in the blank with your chosen means) God executes his decree that Adam eat the fruit.
        3. Therefore, God made Adam eat the fruit.”

        This reduces to:

        1. God decrees that Adam eat the fruit.
        2. Through Eve’s presentation of the fruit to Adam, God executes his decree that Adam eat the fruit.
        3. Therefore, God made Adam eat the fruit.

        So, how does the conclusion follow from the premises? It doesn’t because the premises don’t link God to Adam eating the fruit – you basically seem to define “decree” as “made making your Premise 1 and conclusion say the same thing, “God made Adam eat the fruit.” You end up expressing an opinion.

      72. rhutchin
        So, how does the conclusion follow from the premises? It doesn’t because the premises don’t link God to Adam eating the fruit

        br.d
        This is where the Calvinist is TERRIFIED to trace the CAUSAL CHAIN of his believe system back to its SOURCE/ORIGIN.
        Everyone who can think clearly knows that 2 must be preceded by 1
        A secondary event does not cause itself.

        But the Calvinist has 2 causing 2 causing 2 causing 2 – etc.
        So here is where he goes into his tail-chasing mode.

        The best course of action here is to stand back and watch the puppy chase his own tail. :-]

    2. Any argument cannot be won by the use of harsh language throwing insults to the opponent up to the point of insulting God. It cannot be denied that the God that we acknowledge is also the same God that you treasured in your lives. I saw Pastor Flowers in one of his debates with Dr. White in the you tube and there he acknowledges the Calvinists as friends and never insulted the God of Dr. White. I don’t understand why the allies of Pastor Flowers here possess in them a very strong and deadly serpentine venom against their opponents when they express themselves in this blog. A christian believer who have been forgiven by God has nothing to boast of himself but needs to remain humble at all costs.

      1. jtleosala
        Any argument cannot be won by the use of harsh language throwing insults

        br.d
        There is no such thing as winning an argument by simply repeating a fallacy over and over AS-IF that would make it true..

        There is no harsh language or insults n my posts to you jtleosala – just tough love.
        When a child does not get feedback from a mature person – they do not grow properly.
        You apparently have not gotten mature feedback in regard to fanciful ideas about how a THEOS who can believe in falsehoods and still be omniscient.

        Did that THEOS create you – or did you create that THEOS?
        Prove all things – hold fast to that which is good.
        When I was a child I thought as a child – but when I became a man I put away childish thinking.

  19. CALVINISM’S LANGUAGE MODE – CONTINUED INSIGHT FOR THE DISCERNING CHRISTIAN

    BS – also known as bollocks in Europe, nonsensical, gobl-de-goop, high-sounding-religio-speak, claptrap, and quite frequently double-speak.

    BS is typically an argument mode, which needs something to be true now and false later (whichever serves the arguer’s immediate purpose).

    Primarily BS is language that facilitates obfuscation and equivocation, and can be observed as spider-web sentences presented as legitimate explanations.

    BS is the primary language mode of a blind-guide who wants to be perceived as an authority on a given subject. As Jesus says: they love to sit at the head of the table and be seen in the seats of honor.

    BS is untrustworthy language, because a thing presented as true one minute and false the next – has no stable truth-value, and there is therefore nothing legitimate to trust.

    You simply learn that whatever the BS artist says – can be understood as BS.

  20. Taken from an assortment of comments.

    Rhutchin writes… “By ‘author of evil’ you mean that God forces people to disobey His commands. However, this cannot be according to James, with whom Calvinist agree. God did not make/force/impel nor did God make Adam with a desire for sin. Why did Adam eat the fruit? Answer that question and most disputes on the problem of evil would disappear.”

    Calvinist Vincent Cheung explains… “If I am right, then they must be wrong. The question is, how can they be right without self-contradiction — that God controls all things, but he really doesn’t, that God causes all things, but he really doesn’t? The Reformed is fond of appealing to ‘mystery’, ‘paradox’, and ‘antinomy’, which are nothing but more dignified and deceptive terms for saying, ‘Clearly, I contradict myself, but I don’t care.’ Instead, it seems to me that divine sovereignty is an altogether clear and coherent doctrine. It is so easy to understand. I have also answered the almost universal abuse of James 1:13. Temptation and causation are two different things, and the topic is causation, not temptation.”

    Rhutchin writes… “So, how does the conclusion follow from the premises? It doesn’t because the premises don’t link God to Adam eating the fruit – you basically seem to define ‘decree’ as ‘made’ making your Premise 1 and conclusion say the same thing, ‘God made Adam eat the fruit.’ You end up expressing an opinion.”

    Later Rhutchin adds… “That is not an issue. Nor is God’s control over events disputed as all agree that God is omnipotent. The point here is that no one – even you – can explain why Adam sinned. God certainly did not make Adam eat the fruit even though God had decreed that Adam eat the fruit.”

    Again, for clarity and consistency, we turn to Vincent Cheung….

    “Calvinists often affirm that Adam was free before the Fall. But again, I always speak of freedom relative to God, and from this perspective, I would say that Adam had no freedom whatsoever even before the Fall. To be ‘free’ from sin is irrelevant. The issue is whether Adam was free from God to choose to remain free from sin – he was not. In addition, I would not say that God permitted Adam to fall, but that God caused it.”

    Calvinist Vincent Cheung removes the “as if-isms” and “double speak” and states his stance clearly and consistently.

    “God did it!”

    1. Beautiful analysis Phillip!

      Thank you for this post!

      VIncent Cheung proves – there is at least ONE intellectually honest Calvinist in the present world! :-]
      The rest are just masquerade artists.

    2. phillip writes, “But again, I always speak of freedom relative to God, and from this perspective, I would say that Adam had no freedom whatsoever even before the Fall. ”

      This is the distinction I was trying to make. Only God has free will. Adam, because he is not God cannot have the freedom of will that God enjoys.

      Then, “The issue is whether Adam was free from God to choose to remain free from sin – he was not. In addition, I would not say that God permitted Adam to fall, but that God caused it.”

      Cheung does not exclude secondary sources in this citation. By opening the garden to Satan and giving Satan freedom to tempt Eve, all the time knowing the end result, God can be said to have caused Adam to sin. Yet, Satan did as he desired – God did not have to force him to tempt Eve. Eve then did as she desired – God did not have to force Eve to eat the fruit or to offer the fruit to Adam.

      1. rhutchin
        God did not have to force him to tempt Eve. Eve then did as she desired – God did not have to force ….etc

        br.d
        Right – but he DID have to:
        – Render-certain Adam’s/Eve’s nature IN EVERY PART
        – Render-certain Adam’s/Eve’s desire IN EVERY PART
        – Render-certain Adam’s/Eve’s inclinations IN EVERY PART
        – Render-certain Adam’s/Eve’s thoughts IN EVERY PART
        – Render-certain Adam’s/Eve’s choices IN EVERY PART.

        NOTHING OTHERWISE from what Calvin’s god renders-certain to exist can exist.
        Whatever does not exist is not accessible to creatures.

        Therefore Calvin’s god made being/doing OTHERWISE not accessible to Adam/Eve.

      2. Rhutchin writes… “Only God has free will.”

        I’m not even sure I agree with this.

        Can God sin? No.

        Can God be unrighteous? No.

        Can God be unjust? No.

        Can God lie? No.

        There are somethings that even God cannot do; not because he isn’t all powerful, but precisely because of who He is. Even God is enslaved to His divine nature.

      3. Excellent point Phillip!
        Yes – I would agree the God of scripture does restrict or modulate his being and behavior in accordance to the standard of his Holiness.
        That would fall in line with “Perfect Being” theology.

        This is not the case though with pagan ruler-ship models.
        All the way from Egypt – through Babylon etc – there has been a form of ruler-ship called the “God-Man-Ruler”
        In Egypt, for example, the Pharaoh was held as being linked with the divine.

        In Babylon, and later in Rome the ruler was called PONTIFEX MAXIMUS “Bridge builder between heaven and earth”
        The Roman pope would adopt this title – and it follows the “God-Man-Ruler” model – where the Pope speaks “EX-Cathedra”

        Later this “God-Man-ruler” model would appear with Reformed protestants – called “The Right of Kings”.
        The king was established by God.
        And therefore the king could not be judged by any earthly authority.
        But key to this – the king did not have to submit himself to his own standards of ethics and morality.
        He could put a man in prison for adultery – and be blameless committing all the adultery he pleased.

        The king could not be blamed for breaching his own standards of morality because that was the image of God held by Reformed Protestants.
        Calvin’s god can commit any evil he wants to for his good pleasure and be held blameless.

        Calvin’s god cannot be constrained by his own moral standards.
        John Piper says the believer can be assured that the God of heaven is impeachable.
        But notice how deceptive this language is.
        It simply means he can commit any evil he wants to and not be held accountable for his own standards.

        When a person has no boundaries of standards of behavior – there is nothing to trust about that person
        Since this is the case – THERE IS NOTHING TO TRUST in Calvin’s god – except that he will do whatever is his good pleasure.

      4. Phillip writes:
        “Rhutchin writes … “Only God has free will.”

        I’m not even sure I agree with this.

        Can God sin? No.

        Can God be unrighteous? No.

        Can God be unjust? No.

        Can God lie? No.

        There are somethings that even God cannot do; not because he isn’t all powerful, but precisely because of who He is. Even God is enslaved to His divine nature.”

        A very perceptive comment. Not sure I have ever heard it put quite like that, but in so doing you provide a better definition of what it means to be enslaved to one’s nature. God is enslaved to his nature entirely – there is no sin or evil in him, and there never will be. Man, on the other hand, even when he was yet without sin was not made of the same holy, perfect substance that is God.

        Calvinism’s definition of the sin nature, of man being unable to do anything but sin, is found nowhere in scripture. What is suggested, as is true with God, is that one will not act contrary to one’s nature. Until sin came into existence, it was utterly contrary to anyone’s nature to sin. The possibility had never occurred; i.e, it was not ‘natural’ to think of disobeying God. Once disobedience was suggested, and followed through on, it was no longer unheard of, or ‘contrary to human nature’.

        Indeed, it became increasingly a natural behavior; one that, unless resisted, leads inevitably to corruption and eventually, inescapable depravity. But this is still far from the unsubstantiated claims of Calvinism as to what scripture means by a ‘sin nature’, how it works, if or how it can be resisted, etc. What scripture explains is how something that was once unnatural became ‘natural’, and how this new state of dis-ease between God and man called for a remedy.

      5. phillip writes, “There are somethings that even God cannot do;…Even God is enslaved to His divine nature.”

        So, if God were not enslaved to His divine nature, could He sin? Yes, but He still would not sin because of His divine nature. God’s divine nature ensures that God will not sin even if He could sin with or without being enslaved to that divine nature.

      6. Rhutchin writes…

        “Cheung does not exclude secondary sources in this citation. By opening the garden to Satan and giving Satan freedom to tempt Eve, all the time knowing the end result, God can be said to have caused Adam to sin. Yet, Satan did as he desired – God did not have to force him to tempt Eve. Eve then did as she desired – God did not have to force Eve to eat the fruit or to offer the fruit to Adam.”

        Again, for Calvinistic clarity, we turn to Vincent Cheung…..

        “To say that God is not the author of sin necessarily means that his sovereignty cannot be direct and exhaustive. That God is totally sovereign is something that the Bible clearly teaches. On the other hand, that God is not the author of sin is something that men wish to maintain against the Bible. Therefore, they affirm both, and most theologians attempt to work around it with permissive decrees (but the concept makes no sense), secondary causes (but does God directly cause and control these “secondary” causes or not?), and compatibilism (but this is irrelevant, since if God controls all things, then the fact that men make choices and what choices they make are also controlled by God, so that this means only that God is compatible with himself; thus the idea is a red herring that does not address the question). When you refuse to accept nonsense and press the issue, they throw up their hands and call it a mystery, and call you a heretic if you insist that the biblical doctrine is clear. But if this is permitted, then anyone can hold any position on any issue, and just call it a mystery…… As for secondary causation, I have addressed this a number of times. If all else fails, I can say that I did not write the books, but my computer did. The fact that I was typing on it when the books appeared does not nullify the authorship of the computer or its moral responsibility, but only establishes it. If the reply is that the computer is not an intelligent mind but a dead object, I would insist that Dual Core is superior to a lump of clay (Romans 9). In any case, if God’s authorship is only so distant (I did not make the computer, the software, nor did I make or control the electricity), he might not be so clearly the author of sin.”

        So, again, no matter how our reformed brother twists it…

        “God did it!!!”

      7. Phillip,
        Indeed Calvinists are left to “God made all the sin happen.”

        And our local Calvinists say that “man commits sin because he has no choice. He has a sin nature.” Of course this gives NO explanation of Adam, who did not have a “sin nature.”

        Everything is shrugged off to “can’t help it — man cannot NOT sin since he has a sin nature.” But…. that leaves no explanation for Adam’s sin. And none is ever given. They paint themselves into a corner and then ….. out some some diversionary “shiny object”.

      8. John Calvin cannot explain the conundrums Augustine’s Gnostic/NeoPlatonic doctrines resolve to.

        So his answer is always – DON”T QUESTION WHAT I SAY

        My first introduction to Calvinism years ago was through a Calvinist pastor who made one statement over and over.

        You Can Trust Me!

        As soon as he said that I knew he was a blind-guide.

        “The fool believes every word” – Proverbs 14

      9. rhutchin is doing what rhutchin always does with other Calvinist statements – making them into rhutchin’s image!

        God decided to make man in his image – and the Calvinist wants to return the favor.

        Not only do they do it to God and scripture – the do it to each other. :-]

      10. Perhaps because it is Sunday, and we are trained to seek a sermon on this day, I offer up a short one for your perusal. This somewhat tedious doctrinal debate over the nature of sin and its atonement mostly ignores the simple and beautiful message of the gospel, distilled in the statement of John the Baptist:

        ‘Behold, the lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world!’ (John 1:29, RSV)

        For a full explanation of how this works, see Jesus’ own description, in John chapter 3, often distilled down into one verse (but I encourage you to read the entire chapter):

        ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’ (John 3:16, RSV)

        The death and resurrection of Jesus renders mute the whole ‘problem’ of sin, as Jesus did what was necessary to ‘take it away’. This was my realization, after week upon week upon week of hearing about what dreadful sinners we are in my Calvinist church. Many a former attender left the church, burdened by a sense of discouragement from being constantly beaten down with the ‘bad news’. What possible good could it do me – and others – to hear endlessly what depraved sinners we were? One can call it a sin nature, slavery to sin or whatever one wishes; but at the end of the day, Jesus set us free from the debt and curse of sin! As Peter described it:

        ‘He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.’ (1 Pet 2:24)

        Why do we argue endlessly about the origin and extent of our sin, when we should be spreading the good news that it has been taken away? You might say that ‘sin’ is yesterday’s news. We get it already – we had a problem that we could not resolve, and we needed help. Whether we were rotten to the core, too dead to hear or however you want to put it, Jesus was and is the entire solution to our sin problem. What I, and other sinners, need and want to hear about, experience and rejoice in is our deliverance and healing – the ‘good news’ that Jesus came bearing. Let us learn more about how we can die to sin and live to righteousness, rather than needlessly discuss the origin, terms and extent of the sin from which we have been granted freedom.

        Ah, but to those who fancy themselves the holders of the keys to the kingdom, who proclaim their own importance and authority to ‘rule over’ others, condemnation and fear is a necessary tool. Just let people believe that they are fully forgiven, and they will not come begging, with purses in hand, for the sacraments and ordinances you insist are so necessary to put them ‘right with God’. Once persuaded that a relationship with God is not about circumcision, baptism or tiny wafers, people might realize that they do not need organized Religion or its self-claimed authorities to save their souls from hellfire. Even worse, they might realize that there is no longer a temple or a priesthood to which they owe their tithe and offerings! Follow the money and you will inevitably be led to the false teachers.

        I no longer care much about Calvinism’s definition of sin – the sin that the Lamb of God has taken away once and for all. Nor do I buy into the ancient, long since eliminated requirement that some ceremony or other is necessary to apply the blood of the Lamb to my account. No more doorposts. No more circumcision. No more temple walls, keeping people out or in. Jesus’ greatest threat was not in renting the veil in two, but in wrenching the purses of the people out of the hands of the gold-adorned rulers. By asserting that salvation comes through faith in God – not temple rites – Jesus was essentially stripping institutional Religion of its former role, along with its ill-gained power and wealth.

        The good and glorious news is that God is our loving Father, who simply asks all men to trust him and walk with him. It is not about ‘Israel’. It is not about ‘The Church’. It is not about ‘the elect’ (at least, not the false Calvinist definition thereof). It is not about the historical, orthodox creeds. It is not about the correct definition of sin, the properly divided atonement theory or a well-devised systematic theology.

        One no longer need carry the ancient burden of properly preparing the sin sacrifice and seeking to follow the minute requirements of the law. The Priesthood, with all of its power, wealth and authority, was done away with when the once-for-all sacrifice was made. Or, shall we say, as Jesus did, that we now have a priesthood of believers, rather than a hierarchical religious system. Does anyone really believe that the ancient religious battles were over the proper definition of the Trinity, and the preservation of the faith, rather than a cockfight for the right to sell tickets to heaven?

        What Jesus came to freely give us, ‘The Church’ – falsely masquerading as The Body of Christ – has always sought to take away. Whereas Jesus promised to give us all that we need, via the very Spirit of God, The Church, as an institution – however well-meaning many individuals within might be – falsely asserts that we need her to instruct and intercede for us. As if the Spirit of God was never promised, and never delivered. We need, so we are told, The Church’s sacraments, doctrines and blessings, given in return for our faithful ‘support’.

        One of the biggest dangers of Calvinism is its attempt to reapply the yoke of sacramental, institutionalized Religion upon the modern evangelical world, which had mostly succeeded in escaping it. All it took was a generation of false religious celebrities, leading The Church into confusion, idol worship and sexual abuse, to lay the path for a return to rigid, sacramental fundamentalism, creedalism and doctrinal debate – the dead Religion of the Pharisees which Calvinists so love.

        Just take a look at the leading spokespersons for Christianity and Calvinism and see how many humble tentmakers exist, as opposed to arrogant men building wealth-creating institutions and amassing personal fortunes for themselves and their children. These celebrity ‘priests’ can easily morph from traditional Baptist, to radical Reformed, to Charismatic and back again – wherever the money is. Tripping over their sex scandals along the way, these modern priests vie for the top slots that provide the greatest wealth and honor, as well as an endless supply of trusting victims with open pockets. Massive religious organizations have been built, and passed on to those with the right name, the bloodline priesthood of Aaron replaced by the family of Graham. And, like the sons of Eli, the sex scandals and abuses of the sons continue to bring dishonor and shame to the so-called ‘house of God’. Ordinances and bloodlines might produce Priests, but sacrifice demonstrates the love of God at work.

        I doubt that God has any greater concern over petty doctrinal disputes than Jesus did when the rulers of the day attempted to trip him up with them. He always cut to the heart of the matter, which was receiving and giving love to God and to others. Sin loses its frightful sting once we become aware that Jesus has taken it out of the equation, for those who put their trust in him.

        The Church has for too long been allowed to place false limits on the gracious redemption provided for all men, varying with its particular creeds. Calvinism presents this error in its ugliest extreme, withholding the precious gift of forgiveness to sin-weary men and reestablishing a limited, predetermined salvation for the chosen few.

        I expose you, who would burden men once again with the weighty yoke of sin and guilt, as the deceivers that you are. Behold, all who are weary and heavy laden, and put your trust in Jesus, the Lamb who has taken away the sin of the world! Let no one withhold from you this gift of life, freely offered by God to whosoever will believe and receive it.

      11. Wonderful TSOO!

        Jesus is the golden standard. :-]

        And this is the testimony – that light came into the world – and darkness could not put it out.

      1. I think he meant ‘defectors’ in the first half. As far as being ‘born elect as Traditional Southern Baptists’ I’m not even going to try and guess what that is supposed to mean! As far as I can see, the only thing I qualify as is being born. 😉

      2. AH! Thanks TSOO

        I guess that would include me also – even though I’m not in the SB – I have been born! Yeah! :-]

  21. Born in what?… If you negate “Regeneration Precedes Faith”, how can that be? If you had not been regenerated by God, then who made you alive spiritually? In the parable of the prodigal son: The Father declared that: “For this My son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found, and they began to merry” – Luke 15:24

    1. jtleosala
      Born in what?… If you negate “Regeneration Precedes Faith”, how can that be? If you had not been regenerated by God, then who made you alive spiritually?

      br.d
      It will be your obligation to prove that God is unable or unwilling to give the gift of faith to a person prior to regeneration.

      jtleosala
      In the parable of the prodigal son: The Father declared that: “For this My son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found, and they began to merry” – Luke 15:24

      br.d
      A discerning Christian will see there is equivocation going on here with Calvinism’s use of the word “dead”
      And represents a fallacious use of language.

      Additionally:
      Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world renders-certain **EVERY** aspect of the creature in every part – before the creature exists.
      Those aspects are therefore “not up” to the creature.

      Where does it say in scripture that god condemns something for simply being what he made it?

      1. br.d,
        I find it amazing that JTL quotes Luke 15….

        “In the parable of the prodigal son: The Father declared that: “For this My son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found, and they began to merry” – Luke 15:24”

        A. “Was dead and is alive” …. not “was made” alive.
        B. The father did nothing….just waited. (he did not go “make him alive”)
        C. How does God’s Word tell us the dead son changed? He “came to his senses in a far away land.”
        D. Obviously God is not teaching here that “dead” means incapable.
        E. Calvinists bring their own definition of “dead” to the table. They ask “then who made you alive?” Of course we are “made alive” in Christ at belief/salvation. Calvinists have people being “made alive” twice. Once so they can hear and be given faith, and then again after they use that faith.
        F. Calvinist are inconsistent with the word “dead”. We are “dead to sin” and “buried in Christ,” but that does not make up incapable of sinning!

        If the Prodigal son story is to be used at all by Calvinists (and they do not use it), it would have to say…

        “For this My son was dead and I made him alive again; he was lost and I found him….”

        Nah…. it doesn’t even come close to saying that.

      2. FOH
        The father just waited. (he did not go “make him alive”)

        br.d
        I always appreciated what Gordon Fee stated in a lecture: “What **INFORMS** us about what Scripture says?”
        All serious Bible scholars know that the human brain interprets data in accordance to what it has been taught is truth.

        The Gnostic Christian tradition taught the disciple to interpret N.T. texts to include what they called the “DIVINE SPARK”.
        The Calvinist Christian tradition teaches the disciple to interpret N.T. text to include what they call the “Ordo salutis”
        The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree! :-]

      3. RH exposes his secret of illusion: “Synergism denotes the cooperation between a person and God. If a person is doing what God commanded, that is cooperation.”

        It is so simple. Just corrupt the meaning of the word, and don’t tell anyone. The stone ‘cooperated’ with the little boy, and agreed to fly into the stream. The airplane ‘cooperated’ with the pilot, and chose to lift off the runway. The boots ‘cooperated’ with the soldier, and decided to march across the field as commanded.

        Thus, the deceptive Calvinist can use words like ‘Man simply cooperates with God’s preordained will, choosing according to his own desires.’ Of course, he does not tell you that his definition of cooperate involves the movement of the puppet when the puppeteer pulls his strings. He prefers that the trusting (naive) hearer invokes the usual definition of cooperate, which involves freely chosen action, which might be resisted. Few who are fully conversant in the English language would say a puppet ‘cooperates’ with his puppeteer, for there is no real freedom of choice or ability to do otherwise than as manipulated. A puppet is a lifeless entity which appears to move on his own, by the subtle use of nearly invisible strings, which all but the most innocent of small children understand. It will never make a choice. It’s seeming actions are the result of the man or woman who holds his strings. The moment the puppeteer ceases to pull the strings, the puppet ceases to move.

        It is the subtle, secretive, ever present manipulation that the Calvinism desperately seeks to disguise. Under Calvinism, Calvin’s God determinitively controls every single molecule in the universe; all men are puppets on his strings, but the deceptive Calvinist desperately seeks to convince the audience that there are no strings. The puppet is alive, free to choose his own actions, doing as he most desires! The tricky Calvinist God may have invented blue tooth, or implanted secretive, supernatural control factors unknown to men, but the manipulation never varies.

        To say that puppets ‘cooperate’ is to deceive. Period. To say that man ‘chooses to follow his own desires’ is to deceive. Period. Nothing happens in Calvin’s world that God did not desire, ordain and deliberately bring to pass. To say that the puppet ‘cooperates’ is an oxymoron, for a puppet has no mind of its own and can neither cooperate or resist the manipulations of his controller. The grown up Calvinist needs to stop staring at the puppets with wide eyes and acknowledge that there must always be someone behind the curtain pulling the strings.

      4. Good post TSOO!

        John Calvin
        -quote
        “The devil and all the ungodly are REIGNED IN by god, so that they CANNOT CONCEIVE, PLAN OR CARRY OUT any crime,
        ***UNLESS GOD….INDEED COMMANDS IT***. They are not only in bondage to him, but are FORCED to serve him.” – end quote

        There is no such thing as disobedience to Calvin’s god.

        In Calvinism when Adam sinned – he simply obeyed a divine command – which was issued at the foundation of the world – and rendered-certain to infallibly occur.

        As Christian Philosophers agree:
        In Theological Determinism the creature CANNOT DO OTHERWISE than what is determined (i.e. rendered-certain) the creature do.

      5. Btw, in a kinder, gentler era, it was necessary to use puppets in order to act out the sort of violence that Punch and Judy portrayed. Just as today film is the medium required to pretend as if people are being blown to bits or violently abused. Few would stand for a stage presentation in which women are violently punched or shoved, or people’s heads are blown off.

        In just the same way, Calvin’s God uses the facade of allowing men to ‘choose’ to believe by supernaturally endowing them with ‘faith’. It is all a charade, just like the latest gruesome flick or the age-old puppet theaters. People must choose to suspend their rational senses, to believe in the ‘fake reality’ created by theater in order to join in the common experience. This is why I was never very welcome in the television room as a young child, for I simply refused to suspend rational sense.

        Or, in all honesty, I simply was incapable of doing so for long. I might laugh at an inane action, but, sure enough, within a few seconds, my mind would be telling me, ‘That could never happen’ or ‘No one would be stupid enough to really do that’ and I felt compelled to remind my younger, more impressionable siblings of this, much to their dismay. To this day, my grown children make me promise not to ‘ruin the moment’ before they will watch a film with me.

        To enjoy film, or even most fiction, requires the constant practice of suspending rational sense in order to live in the moment, and I believe is what the medium of entertainment has always been about. My personal experience persuades me to believe that Satan has used the ploy of ‘entertainment’ to prime modern man to readily abandon rational sense and logic in order to make them more susceptible to his lies. And it appears to have been highly effective.

      6. Aw C’mon TS00 ….. you are just a puppet in God’s hands telling us that it’s not true that we are puppets in God’s hands.

        Just Stop It! C’mon stop “following your desires” and stop telling us all the inconsistencies of Calvinism…. unless, humm… of course unless you were decreed before time to tell other believers that Calvinism’s idea of “all things decreed before time” is not correct.

        Aargh… it gets so confusing. Maybe Luther was right and we should just forget it all and “sin boldly!” (since all that we do is what God wants anyway!)

      7. Sadly, one can hardly blame the discouraged Calvinist from turning, in utter despair, to atheism, or at least agnosticism. They are still forced to deny the obvious revelations of creation, but at least they have a few more legal diversions to make it easier.

      8. The poor Calvinist, on the other hand, is forced to march along, keeping his discontent to himself. So, it seems unjust, not to mention contradictory to the teaching of Ezekiel, to curse all men due to the ‘father’s’ sin. So it seems unloving to save only a select few when all could just as easily have been saved. So it breaks your heart that your son was decreed to succumb to pornography, or your daughter was decreed to be raped. Suck it up, buttercup; who are you to question God?

        At least the atheist can go out for a few stiff drinks. Of course, Calvinism quickly saw the value of a little drugging of the senses, with Luther leading the charge. Historians suggest he was not shy with the ale, and I have likewise seen charges that Calvin spared no expense on his own wine cellar. (Both are charges I can neither prove or disprove, but they have been, not infrequently, made by those more versed in historical documents than I.)

      9. There is a humorous story in regard to the standard Lutheran service time being 10:00 AM
        It started out being a few hours earlier in the morning – but Luther could be found sleeping off a tummy full of ale.
        So they decided it wisdom to make it an hour later – only to find this repeated again.
        Finally they said enough is enough and 10:00 AM became the established service time. :-]

      10. FOH writes :
        A. “Was dead and is alive” …. not “was made” alive.
        B. The father did nothing….just waited. (he did not go “make him alive”)
        C. How does God’s Word tell us the dead son changed? He “came to his senses in a far away land.”
        ——————
        My Response :
        1. If the Father did not made the prodigal son alive (regenerated), then who made him alive since that he is dead spiritually?, morally incapable to come back to God in his own accord? _____. This is unbiblical and untenable

        2. You mean to say the prodigal son made himself alive? How can that be when he is dead? How can he be able to come to his senses when he is dead and disconnected to the True vine?

        This is where the tricky Pelagian/Semi Pelagianism comes in. The readers know that Pelagian/Semi-Pelagian is being cuddled here, but they won’t admit it. So… how can we conclude now this thing?… Well…It is a “decoy Grace of Salvation” with an insertion of human efforts in order to obtain salvation.
        ——————

        FOH writes : “E. Calvinists bring their own definition of “dead” to the table. They ask “then who made you alive?” Of course we are “made alive” in Christ at belief/salvation.”

        My Response : FOH have just said that God did not made the prodigal son alive, but here in his letter E. post he is insinuating God made the prodigal son alive. This is inconsistency and your ally Br. D will say to you as “double speak”

      11. FOH writes :
        A. “Was dead and is alive” …. not “was made” alive.
        B. The father did nothing….just waited. (he did not go “make him alive”)
        C. How does God’s Word tell us the dead son changed? He “came to his senses in a far away land.”
        ——————
        jtleosala
        1. If the Father did not made the prodigal son alive (regenerated), then who made him alive since that he is dead spiritually?,
        morally incapable to come back to God in his own accord? _____. This is unbiblical and untenable

        br.d
        JT – You have stated that Calvinism is based SOLELY on scripture and not on “so called” logic
        Please show the verse in Jesus’ parable where it EXPLICITLY states that the son was “Made” alive

        It should be obvious to you that your argument here is based upon a statement of logic.
        Through this you show that the assertion that Calvinism is based SOLELY on scripture – is false.
        Calvinism is reliant upon its own forms of logic just as much as any other theology.
        As a matter of fact without logic Calvin’s doctrine would have never become a theology.

        As an example of Calvin’s logic – you ADD the following statement in your question (1)
        “morally incapable to come back to God in his own accord?”

        Again – where in Jesus parable is this EXPLICITLY stated?
        It is not.
        Calvinism ADDS this ideal to the text because it affirms Calvin’s logic.

        But I won’t speak for FOH here – that is not my place.

        But it would be silly for him to be inferring that God is not supernaturally involved in the salvation process.

        jtleosala
        This is where the tricky Pelagian/Semi Pelagianism comes in.

        br.d
        This is a very dangerous move for you JT.
        If you want to call people Pelagians – then how is it not correct for them to call you a Gnostic NeoPlatonist?
        As all academia acknowledges that Augustine’s doctrines are influenced by Gnosticism and NeoPlatonism.
        There is ample evidence to show this.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoplatonism_and_Christianity
        -quote:
        Neoplatonism was a major influence on Christian theology throughout Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages in the West. This was due to St. Augustine of Hippo, who was influenced by the early Neoplatonists Plotinus and Porphyry, as well as the works of the Christian writer Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, who was influenced by later Neoplatonists, such as Proclus and Damascius.

        And everyone knows Calvin got his doctrine from Augustine.
        So it might not be wise for you to play the Pelagias card as this could back-fire on you.

        Also on your comment about double-speak.
        Since I won’t speak for FOH – I’ll let him respond to that.

        But any Calvinist who will assert (even inferentially) that Calvin’s god can PREVENT the very thing he has made UNPREVENTABLE is speaking double-speak.

      12. Br.D and his god writes : “Please show the verse in Jesus’ parable where it EXPLICITLY states that the son was “Made” alive”

        My Response : Even though how much I will explain to you it will not work… you know that. Don’t you?

      13. br.d
        “Please show the verse in Jesus’ parable where it EXPLICITLY states that the son was “Made” alive”

        jtleosala
        My Response : Even though how much I will explain to you it will not work… you know that. Don’t you?

        br.d
        Thank you JT for affirming my statement that Calvinism is applying logic to the text.
        You would not have said you would “explain it to me” if that were not the case.
        Obviously the text does not EXPLICITLY state “made alive”
        So as I said – Calvin’s logic adds that to the text.

        There must be some reason why the Holy Spirit had the text written the way it was.
        Obviously “made alive” was not something Jesus thought important enough to add into his parable.

        But no problemo – nothing need be explained.

      14. br.d,

        You deferred to me several times. Thanks. I had no intention of answering JTL.

        It’s all just silliness. What kind of a question is this: “If the Father did not made the prodigal son alive (regenerated), then who made him alive since that he is dead spiritually?”

        I mean there is no such thing in the passage of Luke 15. He just comes to his senses and returns to a waiting Father. JTL cannot just make something true by repeating it over and over. Like you said ….sticking with his “logic” and just repeating it over and over despite what Scripture clearly says.

        I did also appreciate the warning you gave him about name-calling (which is why I dont respond). To just repeatedly call me a semi-Polynesian over and over….. whatever.

        You noticed he completely avoided my statement about Calvinists and the word “dead”. So for JTL…. this prodigal son (called “dead” twice in Christ’s story) needs the Father to regenerate him (even though we see the opposite in the passage). But when we are told that we are “dead” to sin, buried in Christ… THAT “dead” doesnt mean what their OTHER “dead” means. They just make this up as they go.

        I’m dead to sin, but I still manage!

      15. br d and his god writes : “If you want to call people Pelagians – then how is it not correct for them to call you a Gnostic NeoPlatonist?”

        My response : But you have done it already to the calvinists and to me, br d. IT becomes a habit of yours to write Calvin’s god…. so from now on I will also call you br D and his god.

      16. br d and his god writes : “If you want to call people Pelagians – then how is it not correct for them to call you a Gnostic NeoPlatonist?”

        jtleosala
        My response : But you have done it already to the calvinists and to me, br d. IT becomes a habit of yours to write Calvin’s god…. so from now on I will also call you br D and his god.

        br.d
        Somehow I don’t think you’ll find a quote from me where I specifically called you or any other participant here – a Gnostic NeoPlatonist. :-]
        However I have brought it up as link having to do with the influence of Augustine on the church and Calvin.
        But to my knowledge I have never accused an individual with that – like Calvinists like to accuse people of being Pelagians.

        And on calling me br.d and his god – no problemo

      17. Yes I agree!

        Its so unfortunate that Calvinism is so reliant upon twisting the meanings of words in order to make things work for them.

        Also – if a person is “dead” in the way Calvinists insist – and Calvin’s god – the divine potter – FITTED them to be that way – then it logically follows that Calvin’s god condemns vessels for being the very things he has FITTED them to be.

        The only way they can deal with that problem is to try to double-speak around it.
        Which simply adds lack of honesty to their reputation.

        I still like what Emanuel Kant calls compatiblism: “A quagmire of evasion”
        Fits Calvinism perfectly!

      18. Br.D and his god writes : “Dr. Alvin Platinga often likes to start his lectures with a funny story.”

        My reaction to that post : Any fictitious funny story can never be relied upon. Only the small kids are addicted to fictions. Any sort of literature that seems to sound Calvinism is automatically given with a special meaning and thrown at us. This is a desperate move to destroy Calvinism. The more you do this… the more the readers will be enlightened and will laugh at you and your god.

      19. jtleosala
        Br.D And his god writes : “Dr. Alvin Platinga often likes to start his lectures with a funny story.”

        My reaction to that post : Any fictitious funny story can never be relied upon. Only the small kids are addicted to fictions.

        br.d
        Dr. Platinga was telling a story about something that did happen.
        That’s what made it funny!
        I think at this point your beating at the air.

      20. br.d and his god writes:
        “It will be your obligation to prove that God is unable or unwilling to give the gift of faith to a person prior to regeneration.”

        jtleosala
        My Response: You need to re-read the following:

        1.Romans 9:21-22 “the vessels purposely created by God for destruction”, yet br d and his god will surely deny this verse.
        2. Rev. 17:8 “… AND ALL THOSE WHO DWELL ON THE EARTH WILL MARVEL WHOSE NAMES ARE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD…” (there is no reason to give the gift of faith for those names that were not written in the book of life. Br D and his god denies this)
        3. Rev. 13:8 “… whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (it has been decreed already before time not to regenerate the non elect., but Br D and his god denies this.

        br.d
        Is this supposed to be your way of proving that God is unable or unwilling to give the gift of faith to a person prior to regeneration?

        JT – Are you not aware that other theologies do not read Calvin’s logic into those verses?

      21. br.d and his god writes:
        “It will be your obligation to prove that God is unable or unwilling to give the gift of faith to a person prior to regeneration.”

        My Response: You need to re-read the following:

        1.Romans 9:21-22 “the vessels purposely created by God for destruction”, yet br d and his god will surely deny this verse.
        2. Rev. 17:8 “… AND ALL THOSE WHO DWELL ON THE EARTH WILL MARVEL WHOSE NAMES ARE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD…” (there is no reason to give the gift of faith for those names that were not written in the book of life. Br D and his god denies this)
        3. Rev. 13:8 “… whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (it has been decreed already before time not to regenerate the non elect., but Br D and his god denies this.

      22. jtleosala
        br.d and his god writes:
        “It will be your obligation to prove that God is unable or unwilling to give the gift of faith to a person prior to regeneration.”

        My Response: You need to re-read the following:

        1.Romans 9:21-22 “the vessels purposely created by God for destruction”, yet br d and his god will surely deny this verse.

        br.d
        Where do you see any EXPLICIT reference to faith in this verse?
        I should hope a Calvinist bible teacher would show you it is not there.

        jtleosala
        2. Rev. 17:8 “…(there is no reason to give the gift of faith for those names that were not written in the book of life. Br D and his god denies this)

        br.d
        Again where do you see any EXPLICIT reference to faith in this verse?

        Additionally conclude from argument – which means you apply logic – but here you commit the fallacy of Excluded Middle.
        There is only one doctrinal tradition that asserts there is no reason to give the gift of faith to those whose names are not written in the book of life – Calvinism.

        Therefore your use of this verse for this argument requires that John Calvin’s interpretation is CANNON – equal to the authority of scripture. That would make John Calvin’s interpretations INERRANT – the breathed word of god. Are you really sure you want to assert that?

        jtleosala
        3. Rev. 13:8 “… (it has been decreed already before time not to regenerate the non elect., but Br D and his god denies this.

        br.d
        Here you do the exact same thing with this verse.
        Have you ever taken a course in Bible hermeneutics?

      23. Dr. Alvin Platinga often likes to start his lectures with a funny story.

        There was a professor who embraced solipsism. – a belief where you are the only real person in the world and everyone else is a figment of your imagination.

        The professor wrote a book on what it was like to live in solipsism. A woman in the U.K. bought the book and after reading it traveled to the U.S. to personally thank the professor.

        She said: “I know now what I am – and I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one”.

        Calvinists statements always remind me of this story! :-]

    2. jtleosala
      If you negate “Regeneration Precedes Faith”, how can that be?

      br.d
      Very simple
      It can be – if the doctrinal tradition of “Regeneration Precedes Faith” is in error.
      Unless you want to argue that Calvinism’s doctrines are infallible?

      BTW – you might not realize it – but almost all of your statements require the presupposition that the Calvinist tradition is infallible.
      Even though you don’t come right out and clearly state it – all of your statements assume it – and they assume it without question.

      1. br.d and his god writes:
        “Very simple”
        “It can be – if the doctrinal tradition of “Regeneration Precedes Faith” is in error.” —- (but it can never be in error)
        “Unless you want to argue that Calvinism’s doctrines are infallible?”

        My Response : It is infallible as what you have said, because it is supported by facts in scripture. It can never be in error.

        1. The Samaritan woman in John 4:22. She kept on worshipping God at the foot of the mountain yet according to Jesus Christ;’s engagement with her.. she doesn’t know whom she is worshipping for a long time even though she assumes for herself that she was a believer also. This means that she was not yet regenerated. She is still dead spiritually incapable to discern spiritual things-worshiping a “god” that she doesn’t know. Don’t tell me that Christ is ignorant of the status of this woman that He was wrong of His judgment. There is still a need for Jesus to offer her the living water so that she will be able to recognise Him as the Messiah and it did happen to this woman-she was made alive in order to come to her senses — that the One she is talking to was the Messiah, yet Br.D and his god denies this.

        2. Acts 16:14, the case of Lydia, a worshipper of God and saying prayers while on the boat, yet she had not yet possessed Salvation in real life. When she heard the gospel being preached, that was only the time that God regenerated her, gave her the faith for her to exercise in trusting God and be saved, yet Br.D and his god denies this.

      2. br.d:
        “Very simple”
        “It can be – if the doctrinal tradition of “Regeneration Precedes Faith” is in error.”
        “Unless you want to argue that Calvinism’s doctrines are infallible?”

        jtleosala
        It is infallible as what you have said, because it is supported by facts in scripture. It can never be in error.

        1. The Samaritan woman in John 4:22…..etc

        br.d
        Here man-made presupposition ADDS to scripture what scripture does not state.

        This passage of scripture confirms:
        1) A woman who has false beliefs
        2) A woman who is not yet saved.

        You cannot provide a part of the text where it EXPLICITLY states the woman required regeneration before faith.
        This is an FALSE use of scripture.

        jtleosala
        Acts 16:14, the case of Lydia,…..etc

        br.d
        You do the same thing to this verse that you did to the previous – you force man’s logic on the text.
        You cannot provide a part of the text where it EXPLICITLY states the woman required regeneration before faith.
        Your claim fails.

        Thirdly – you conflate the INERRANCY of scripture with John Calvin’s doctrine by calling it infallible.
        What book in the Bible did John Calvin author?
        Any ADULT Christian can recognize that as cultism.

      3. Tsoo writes : “So it seems unloving to save only a select few when all could just as easily have been saved.”

        May I cross examine Tsoo in his statement posted above :

        1. You say “it is unloving to save only a select few” — In your statement, you are accusing Jesus Christ as unloving because He only offered His life for the sheep, John 10:11, 15 ? You want to insists your own as a universalist, and to dictate Christ to offer His life to all humanity including those who does not belong to His sheep?, i.e. : the false prophets?, the Pope?, Pharaoh’s magicians?, Judas Iscariot?, the Canaanites residents? (Hethites, Philistines,Jebusites, etc…) that was annihilated by Joshua as per instructed by God the Father? You keep on insisting for all humanity to be saved when that is impossible to happen. Your are just daydreaming, not telling the truth making people to trust to a false claim?

        2. You say, “when all could just as easily have been saved” — I challenge you Tsoo, if that statement of yours is really true? You are already assuming that all humans have easily been saved. — this is “easy believism”. You are assuming that hell shall be vacant in the future without the presence of any human being tortured in that place.

      4. Jtl writes:
        “In your statement, you are accusing Jesus Christ as unloving because He only offered His life for the sheep, John 10:11, 15?”

        I would deny such a charge. I do not believe I have ever, in all my years, accused God, or his Son, Jesus the Christ, of being unloving. If anything I have ever written casts such an aspersion upon the character of God, I will readily recant it.

        What I do assert is that the false claims of Calvinism present just such a false picture of an unloving God. This is not the picture of God that scripture presents, nor one that I would ever knowingly present. Scripture tells us much about God’s love, for example:

        “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” ~ Deuteronomy 7:9

        “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16

        “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” ~ John 4:9-12

        “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” ~ John 15:9-10

        “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” ~ John 15:12-13

        “But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” ~ Romans 5:8,

        “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” ~ 1 John 3:16-18

        “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” ~ 1 John 4:7-8

        “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” ~ 1 John 4:11

        “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” ~ 1 John 4:16-18

        Know, sir, I will not be unjustly accused of accusing Jesus of being unloving. He who gave up his own life willingly, suffered and died to ‘take away the sin of the world’ is love incarnate – the very manifestation of God’s love for man given flesh and blood that would leave no room for doubt.

        Jtl writes:
        “You keep on insisting for all humanity to be saved when that is impossible to happen. Your are just daydreaming, not telling the truth making people to trust to a false claim?”

        Once again, I deny the above charges. I have never, at least intentionally, claimed that all humanity will be saved. I will admit to daydreaming of such a possibility, and have frankly confessed that I would be overjoyed to discover that my understanding is impaired, and that the Universalists are correct. Should the actual correct meaning of scripture prove to be that all humanity will indeed be saved, I will rejoice. However, I have not made the statement that I make this interpretation of scripture, much as I might wish it to be so.

        What I have asserted is my best understanding of what scripture seems to proclaim, which is that God so loved ‘the world’ that anyone MAY be saved, with the condition, given by God, that whosoever will be saved must believe in God’s love, as it was manifested in Jesus. What I do assert is that Jesus died on the cross to enable all humanity to be saved, or, as John the Baptist put it:

        “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

        Of course, Jesus sets forth, in John 3, the conditions for this propitiation for sin to result in final salvation, saying “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.”

        Calvinism modifies scripture’s teaching that ‘whoever believes in him should not perish’ by adding that no man can believe, unless and until God regenerates him and makes him able to believe. Most reading here understand this assertion, and the prooftexts upon which it rests, quite well, so it does not require spelling out. We simply believe, upon careful and protracted study, that this is definitely not what scripture clearly states, and that it is a false interpretation of what scripture ‘suggests’.

        This is long enough, so I will leave you to do your own homework to uncover the many verses that declare that God desires that none perish, that all turn from wickedness, that all would choose to put their trust in him and live, etc.

        If you accuse me of ‘false claims’, I can only surmise that you believe it is a ‘false claim’ that God is love, that he genuinely loves and desires to save from death all men, and that he has provided the sole remedy for sin, that being the death of Jesus. God’s only condition, clearly stated by Jesus himself before his death, is that, as with the serpent in the wilderness, we look to the remedy that is being provided, proving our faith in God’s promise. This is what I believe, and what I boldly claim. I reject your false charges.

      5. Hi TSOO
        I think you are being generous to engage with JTs line of inquisition.
        And that is all JT is – an INQUISITION-ER

        Please read my response to his question – he contradicts his own doctrine in this line of questioning.
        He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

        Dialog with JT is like trying to communicate with an angry drunk person.

      6. Br.d, yes there can be little fruitful dialog with one who unthinkingly parrots what he has memorized, but I did want to correct his blatantly false charges concerning what I have ever said or believed. Unfortunately, this is the result of having a know it all attitude, one which causes the condemnation and rejection of all who do not share your personal beliefs or interpretations to the dotting of the ‘i’s’. Personally, I have never met an individual who thinks exactly like me, and would never demand such a thing, even of my closest friends and relatives. We all understand in part, and are called to be humble and wiling to listen to others.

        I am not too disturbed that the lost might be confused – that is to be expected. The best I can do is seek to mirror the love and grace of God before them. Nor do I take it upon myself to ‘correct’ the doctrines of all believing men, as if my theology was perfect and without error. I tend to think that God is more up to that job than I.

        What does concern me, and I believe God, is false teaching that closes the door of the kingdom to the lost, telling them that God may not love them, may not have died for their sin and may not be calling them to turn from wickedness and live. That was the false teaching of the hypocritical false teachers of Israel, called vipers and whited sepulchres by Jesus. That is the kind of error I believe we are called upon to stand boldly against, as it is the ‘anti-message’ of Christ, who demonstrated gracious love and was willingly lifted up in order to call all men to his Father, who desires that none perish.

      7. Thanks TSOO – I appreciate that.
        I think you were being kind to JT.

        But I do see the militant Calvinists primary tactic – is to accuse people strategically.
        He hopes to force them into defending themselves.

        This is a military POSITION tactic – like you see in a chess game.
        They use this tactic to attempt to gain a strategic advantage.
        It is done in war games all the time

        We should always warn people not to be manipulated by it.
        In vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird. :-]

        Thanks for your generosity.

      8. “Once the interconnectedness of everything in warfare is established, success depends on the accuracy of the strategist’s calculus weighing each component’s relative importance and war becomes an effort to deceive your enemies into arriving at incorrect solutions – not just a battle of the wills as depicted by some interpretations of the Western way of war.”

        – Nicholas Morrow, Johns Hopkins University SAIS
        https://www.classicsofstrategy.com/2015/11/sun-tzu-the-art-of-war-c-500-300-bc.html

      9. Great post!!!
        I love your way of thinking! :-]

        I love this verse:
        Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

      10. I think, perhaps, we share a belief that we are in an ages old battle for truth. The classic ‘Art of War’ was not so much a blueprint for physical military strategies as a tactical blueprint for the art of deception. It details the exact strategies Satan has used, and continues to use, to manipulate and deceive both men and entire civilizations. In pursuit of what? Scripture tells us he is ever ‘seeking whom he may devour’. Integral to his success is the foremost strategy of persuading his enemy that he is not their enemy.

        Any enemy engaged in a war of deception would be foolish to admit that he was engaged in a war of deception. His defeat would be swift and certain. Instead, he will cleverly portray himself as a friend, nay, the very best, most ardent and faithful servant. He will infiltrate the homes, meeting places, minds and hearts of those he seeks to destroy, placing his people in, and on top of, every institution that has any meaningful power over the beliefs and behavior of men.

        One does not need to be a genius – which I certainly am not – to begin a list of that which the enemy of truth might seek to control: governments and their agencies, science and medicine, or that which is falsely so-called, educational/programming institutions, organs of media, whether they claim to be informative, educational or merely entertainment and, most importantly, all things religious. Add to that the multitude of political, social, educational, media and religious organizations that exist or have ever existed, and one becomes aware of how easily a powerful, non-mortal, demonic enemy might orchestrate a patient, long-term campaign of deception that misleads, confuses and deceives, if possible, the very ‘elect’ (children) of God.

        The first and vital step is to become aware that one is a target of a vast, clever, powerful war of deception. Only then can one become prepared and equipped to question and battle the never ending campaigns of deceit that wage war upon the hearts and minds of men.

      11. Sometimes, it appears such may be the call. Reluctant, fearful and inept, but always seeking to strive for ‘not my will, but Thine’ [God’s].

      12. TS00 had written : “So it seems unloving to save only a select few when all could just as easily have been saved.”

        Revelation 5 – “they *sang a new song, saying, “Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

        TS00’s problem is that God may be saving only a select few. However, Revelation tells us that it is a “select many.” But TS00 wants God to save “all” and only Universalists think this will happen. Non-Universalists – both Calvinists and non-Calvinists – don’t believer God will save all people. Still, no one would complain if God did save all, but the scriptures argue against God doing this.

      13. Rhutchin writes:
        “Revelation 5 – “they *sang a new song, saying, “Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

        TS00’s problem is that God may be saving only a select few. However, Revelation tells us that it is a “select many.” But TS00 wants God to save “all” and only Universalists think this will happen. Non-Universalists – both Calvinists and non-Calvinists – don’t believer God will save all people.”

        Actually, my ‘problem’ is that Calvinists distort scripture in order to defend the traditions of men, i.e. John Calvin, et al. In the version of scripture from which I am reading, the ancient languages have been translated to include further chapters in Revelation, including these words:

        “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.”

        And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.” (Rev 21: 1-8)

        Of course Calvinism asserts that men are ‘cowardly, faithless, polluted, murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars’ due to not BEING chosen and called by God, rather than to RESISTING the true and profitable call of God to all men to come and be cleansed from all unrighteousness.

        John goes on to write in Revelation 22:

        “And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

        “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

        Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood.

        “I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”

        The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let him who hears say, “Come.” And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price.”

        I accept the charge of believing that God calls all men (figuratively) to wash their robes of unrighteousness in the blood of the lamb, to turn from wickedness, idolatry and all falsehood and be cleansed. When he condemns the ‘cowardly, faithless, polluted, murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars’ it will be truly just, for the choice to refuse to be cleansed by the blood of the lamb was made by each individual, not predetermined by the God who judges justly. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness shall ‘Come’, be cleansed and live; all who responded humbly and honestly to the condemnation of wickedness by a Holy God and put their trust in his offer of grace. Those who stubbornly refused to come to the light because their deeds were evil and they loved the darkness that hid their guilt, will be punished because they refused to believe, as Jesus warned,

        “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.”

        Yeah, we’ve all heard the Calvinist silliness about men not coming being they were rendered unable to believe by the curse of God, placed upon them before they ever had breath enough to sin. I guess you’ll have to take that up with the judge. But to all who hunger and thirst for righteousness in an evil, destructive world, I assure you that the promise of God is for you. Come, and he will cleanse you from all unrighteousness, and grant you the right to eat of the tree of life.

      14. TS00 writes, “Actually, my ‘problem’ is that Calvinists distort scripture in order to defend the traditions of men,…”

        That’s fine. So why the “…only a select few…” comment?

        Then, “I accept the charge of believing that God calls all men (figuratively) to wash their robes of unrighteousness in the blood of the lamb, to turn from wickedness, idolatry and all falsehood and be cleansed.”

        Nothing you say here is any different than what the Calvinist says.

        Then, “Yeah, we’ve all heard the Calvinist silliness about men not coming being they were rendered unable to believe by the curse of God, placed upon them before they ever had breath enough to sin.”

        Here, Calvinists cite John 6 where Jesus said, “…no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.” Surely, Christ told us the truth.

      15. Rhutchin writes:
        “Here, Calvinists cite John 6 where Jesus said, “…no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.” Surely, Christ told us the truth.”

        Once again, note the deliberate choice to conflate interpretation with ‘truth’. Few here would debate the ‘truth’ of Jesus’ words, here or anywhere. The honest person admits that what is occurring when men debate the meaning of scripture is the comparison of different interpretations of the same words. What they do challenge is particular individual’s INTERPRETATION of what is meant by those words.

        What exactly is the point of making such a silly statement as ‘Surely, Christ told us the truth’, other than to move away from honest, sincere examination of the text? Such an inflammatory accusation is ‘surely’ intended to distract from one’s lack of grounds to stand on? I is such tactics, as I suggest elsewhere, that one derives from the ‘Art of War’, the consummate manual on deception as a strategy of war:

        “Once the interconnectedness of everything in warfare is established, success depends on the accuracy of the strategist’s calculus weighing each component’s relative importance and war becomes an effort to deceive your enemies into arriving at incorrect solutions – not just a battle of the wills as depicted by some interpretations of the Western way of war.”

        – Nicholas Morrow, Johns Hopkins University SAIS
        https://www.classicsofstrategy.com/2015/11/sun-tzu-the-art-of-war-c-500-300-bc.html

        The strategies one chooses are revealing of one’s agenda.

      16. Good analysis!

        TS00
        Once again, note the deliberate choice to conflate interpretation with ‘truth’.
        The Calvnist puts his trust in man – (He auto-magically assumes his handling of scripture is infallible).

        TS00
        What exactly is the point of making such a silly statement as ‘Surely, Christ told us the truth’,

        from the Sun Tzu, The Art of War
        -quote:
        War becomes an effort to deceive your opponent into arriving at incorrect solutions

        This is the *BIG TOOL* in the Calvinist’s toolbox!

      17. I had written, “Here, Calvinists cite John 6 where Jesus said, “…no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.” Surely, Christ told us the truth.”
        TS00 responded, “Once again, note the deliberate choice to conflate interpretation with ‘truth’.”

        Any chance that you could provide a second interpretation of John 6?

      18. I had written, “Here, Calvinists cite John 6 where Jesus said, “…no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.” Surely, Christ told us the truth.”
        TS00 responded, “Once again, note the deliberate choice to conflate interpretation with ‘truth’.”

        rhutchin
        Any chance that you could provide a second interpretation of John 6?

        br.d
        The Calvinist doesn’t have much of a respect God’s ability to make scripture understandable.
        It requires Calvin’s secret decoder ring – in order to understand hidden meanings encrypted within then text. :-]

      19. rhutchin
        We now know that br.d cannot provide an alternative explanation for John 6, “No one can come to me…”

        br.d
        These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

        But the Calvinist needs to convince people alternative explanations are needed to understand things specifically written so that we may know.

        For them God is not capable of making his word understandable without a special priest mediator.

        The red flag – is of course – the degree of double-speak and library of contradictions in their conceptions.

        You can keep chasing your tail on this one rhuthcin.

      20. Then, “But the Calvinist needs to convince people alternative explanations are needed to understand things specifically written so that we may know.”

        If one claims that an alternative exists, he ought to be able to produce one. br.d can’t seem to do that.

      21. Sorry – that’s your attribute not mine – I don’t need an alternative explanation – remember?.
        I don’t long to be a special priest mediator between scripture and man

        I suppose I shouldn’t have just assumed you would have understood that from what I said.
        But then Calvinists often don’t understand what they don’t want to understand.
        So – I often find logical dialog with them futile.

      22. br.d writes, ” I don’t need an alternative explanation – remember?.”

        rhutchin
        br.d makes claims lacking merit.

        br.d
        Sure! :-]

      23. rhutchin
        TS00 had written : “So it seems unloving to save only a select few when all could just as easily have been saved.”
        TS00’s problem is that God may be saving only a select few. However, Revelation tells us that it is a “select many.”

        br.d
        rhutchin I’m surprised you fell for the same double-mindedness JT fell for in this line of reasoning.

        Is it TRUE or FALSE that Calvin’s god can save whomever he wills to save?

        If you say it is FALSE – then you deny your own doctrine and are double-minded
        If you say it is TRUE – then you affirm what TSOO has stated – and JTs argument is double-minded

        However I do notice the difference between you and JT.
        JT is just an irrational thinker – while you are much more an expert in shape-shifting words.
        Hence your semantics here “select many”

        Jesus uses the word “many” when he says “Many are called but few are chosen”
        I wonder if he would on top of that use the term “select many”.

      24. br.d writes, “Is it TRUE or FALSE that Calvin’s god can save whomever he wills to save?”

        God can save whomever He wills according to both Calvinists and non-Calvinists.

        Then, “If you say it is TRUE – then you affirm what TSOO has stated – and JTs argument is double-minded”

        I think JT was asking TS00 if his position is that God will save everyone.

        Then, “Jesus uses the word “many” when he says “Many are called but few are chosen”
        I wonder if he would on top of that use the term “select many”.”

        When Christ says that many are called, He refers to the whole world. God has called, or commanded, everyone to repent ans believe the gospel. When Christ says that few are chosen, He means few relative to the entire population. In terms of sheer numbers, we can say form Revelation 5 that many will be saved – at least many more than just Jews..

      25. br.d writes, “Is it TRUE or FALSE that Calvin’s god can save whomever he wills to save?”

        rhutchin
        God can save whomever He wills according to both Calvinists and non-Calvinists.

        br.d
        Does anyone notice the lack of honesty here?
        Only Calvin’s god wills men NOT saved.

        If you say it is TRUE – then you affirm what TSOO has stated – and JTs argument is double-minded”

        rhutchin
        I think JT was asking TS00 if his position is that God will save everyone.

        br.d
        Anyone who follows the thread will see what JT’s argument contradicted his own belief system.

        br.d
        “Jesus uses the word “many” when he says “Many are called but few are chosen”
        I wonder if he would on top of that use the term “select many”.”

        rhutchin
        When Christ says that many are called He refers to…..

        br.d
        I don’t need an priest-mediator to tell me what Jesus says.
        I honor the way Jesus uses language – his language mode.
        Calvinism’s language mode does not is entirely different.
        Your statement – among others – highlights that.

      26. I wrote, “God can save whomever He wills according to both Calvinists and non-Calvinists.”
        br.d res[onded, “Does anyone notice the lack of honesty here?
        Only Calvin’s god wills men NOT saved.”

        What dishonesty?? God can save whoever He wills; God wills not to save some. What’s the problem here??

        Then, “Anyone who follows the thread will see what JT’s argument contradicted his own belief system.”

        Any chance you can explain how you think he did this?

      27. Rhutchin writes:
        “What dishonesty?? God can save whoever He wills; God wills not to save some. What’s the problem here??”

        I don’t know about dishonesty, but it certainly contradicts Paul’s declaration in 1 Tim 2:
        “This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

        or Peter’s statement in 2 Pet 3:
        “The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

        Calvinism declares ‘God wills not to save some’, despite scripture’s assertion that God ‘desires all men to be saved’. Calvinism declares ‘God wills not to save some’, whereas scripture asserts that God is ‘not wishing that any should perish’.

        That’s a problem in my book. You can have Calvin – I’m going with Peter and Paul.

      28. TS00 writes, “Calvinism declares ‘God wills not to save some’, despite scripture’s assertion that God ‘desires all men to be saved’. ”

        God desires that both Jew and gentile be saved and God wills – or acts – to save only some Jews and some gentiles and not all.

        If it is true that God is wishing that any perish, then you have watered it down to mean that God hopes people choose salvation but He is willing that those who don’t perish.

      29. I can think of few sillier distortions of scripture than the one that tries to say that when scripture asserts that God ‘desires all men to be saved’ it really means (wink, wink) God desires some men from all races to be saved. What the heck is that supposed to even mean? God wants us to know that, although he’s a cruel, merciless monster, at least he’s not a racist one? Boy, that’s a relief. You’d think that the Creator of all things would be a little more adept with the human language, now wouldn’t ya? Can anyone really say that out loud with a straight face? Yeah, there is someone, somewhere who really, truly believes this. Gotcha.

      30. Calvinism’s version:

        Out of the Jews and gentiles in the world – Calvin’s god wills that the SOME that are saved – are ALL Jews and gentiles.

        Makes the Holy Spirit look really intelligent doesn’t it. :-]

      31. For the life of me, I cannot follow the rationale of this argument. A ‘chosen people’ selected by God was a big, bad no-no that had to be combated by having Jesus suffer and die – so that a new ‘chosen people’ selected by God could be saved. But it’s all good now, because it is not just the Jews anymore! For real? So the bigger evil was racism, not partiality and consigning the vast majority of mankind to death? YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME! I simply could not imagine being told I had to defend this argument. It would be almost as bad as being told I had to defend a certain political figure, which I will leave to your imagination. And yet, some can, with a completely straight face.

      32. William Lane Craig understands completely what Calvinism does with scripture.
        They start with a philosophy – Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

        They embrace that philosophy as CANNON – equal to scripture – absolutely unquestionable
        Therefore all scripture **MUST** affirm it.

        That is simply the process they follow.
        They falsely insist that scripture is the starting point – which leads them to their Theo-philosophy.
        But it is the other way around.
        If you look for Universal Divine Causal Determinism as the underpinning of their exegesis – you will ALWAYS find it.

        That is in fact why Calvinism represents such a minute portion of the Christian population.
        That and the fact that their deity is the author of evil.

        The big red-flag is the dishonest way they use language – and the manipulative arguments they are trained to use.
        Anyone trained in communications and logic can see these as manipulation games.
        Also the amount of double-speak they simply swallow whole.

        If Calvinism were really scriptural – then scripture would be full of double-speak and contradictions.

        R.C. Sproul actually lets the cat out of the bag – when he states he’s glad he didn’t write scripture because of all of contradictions he finds in it. To be a Calvinist means to embrace and learn to live with library double-mindedness and double-speak.

        Think about this….
        If you took a Calvinist’s bible away from him and left him with only the institutes, the reformed creeds, and the library of Theo-philosophical terms – he has all the CANNON he will ever need to be a Calvinist.

      33. “Out of the Jews and gentiles in the world – Calvin’s god wills that the SOME that are saved – are ALL Jews and gentiles.” There you have it; so glad God straightened that little confusion up. Can you imagine his embarrassment that for centuries people actually thought he desired that ALL MEN be saved, as if he truly loved the folks he created? Sheesh, good thing he had Calvin to send in and straighten things out. I mean, practically everyone says ‘ALL MEN’, when they mean ‘some of all sorts of men’? Don’t they?

        Then there’s that little mess up with “not wishing that any should perish.” How could anyone think for a minute that God actually is not wishing that any should perish? If that is what he meant, that is what he would have said. Oh yeah. Well, we know he didn’t really mean what he said because . . . wait, what else could he have meant? Not wishing that any should perish, except for maybe some Jews and Gentiles. So really he is wishing that some should perish, but that is like not wishing any should perish since it is all sorts of men? I honestly cannot even imagine a reasonable alternative explanation for these verses apart from what they appear to actually say.

      34. Yes – its like saying out of the white & grey eggs in my basket
        Its critical you understand – the ones I choose are ALL white and grey.

        DUH!!! Are we to believe the Holy Spirit is that dumb!

      35. rhutchin
        “God can save whomever He wills according to both Calvinists and non-Calvinists.”

        br.d
        Does anyone notice the lack of honesty here?
        Only Calvin’s god wills men NOT saved.”

        rhutchin
        What dishonesty??

        br.d
        Obvious – your dishonest word games notwithstanding

        rhutchin
        Any chance you can explain how you think he did this?

        br.d
        TSOO’s statement was a truth statement about Calvinism
        JT’s response was to insist certain people are disqualified from salvation based upon attribuets
        AS-IF Calvin’s god didn’t design them that way from the foundation of the world
        Additionally – Calvin’s god does not make such decision based upon an attributes of the creature (good or bad)

        But why should I waste my time on your pretense of being interested in truth

      36. br.d writes, “JT’s response was to insist certain people are disqualified from salvation based upon attributes.”

        I did not read JTL’s comment as saying that certain people were disqualified based upon attributes but that we would conclude that those attributes would identify such people as not being among Christ’s sheep – you know them by their fruits.

      37. br.d
        “JT’s response was to insist certain people are disqualified from salvation based upon attributes.”

        rhutchin
        I did not read JTL’s comment as saying that

        br.d
        That doesn’t surprise me – been here a few times before.
        In this event I’m happy to let the SOT101 readers review the thread and connect the dots.
        I don’t expect Calvinists to be free to do that.

      38. jtleosala
        Tsoo writes : “So it seems unloving to save only a select few when all could just as easily have been saved.”
        May I cross examine Tsoo in his statement posted above :

        You say “it is unloving to save only a select few” — In your statement, you are accusing Jesus Christ as unloving .because He only offered His life for the sheep, …etc

        br.d
        That is a philosophical PRESUPPOSITION forced on the text
        Your second question following is like the first – so same answer

        Your hypocrisy here is that your argument must falsify Calvin’s doctrine.

        Is it TRUE or FALSE that Calvin’s god CAN save whomever he will?

        If you answer FALSE – you deny your own doctrine and are double-minded
        If you answer TRUE – then you affirm what TSOO has stated – and your argument is double-minded

        Dr. Ravi Zacharias laments because “Professing” Christians say things that are not well thought out.
        In other words they say things that are dumb.

        How can you cross examine anyone when you can’t even think straight?

  22. Br.D and his god writes : “But it would be silly for him (FOH) to be inferring that God is not supernaturally involved in the salvation process.

    My Reaction to this post : Exactly Br D. you nailed it… really silly according to you. Look at again below his post revealing a denial of God’s divine intervention to man’s salvation:

    Here it is :

    FOH writes :
    A. “Was dead and is alive” …. not “was made” alive.
    B. The father did nothing….just waited. (he did not go “make him alive”) = this is the denial that you are cuddling and fighting for

    So… how can we conclude now this thing? … 2 things:

    1. Really silly
    2. Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian, but Br D. and his god and Foh denies this even if it’s obvious in their posted statement letter A and B

    1. Br.D and his god writes : “But it would be silly for him (FOH) to be inferring that God is not supernaturally involved in the salvation process.

      jtleosala
      My Reaction to this post : Exactly Br D. you nailed it… really silly according to you. Look at again below his post revealing a denial of God’s divine intervention to man’s salvation:

      Here it is :

      FOH writes :
      A. “Was dead and is alive” …. not “was made” alive.

      br.d
      I’ve already addressed this – FOH is not saying that God is supernaturally involved in the salvation process.
      But you ADD presuppositions to the text of this parable that are simply not there.

      tleosala
      B. The father did nothing….just waited. (he did not go “make him alive”) = this is the denial that you are cuddling and fighting for

      br.d
      Look at the parable and look at EXACTLY what Jesus says the father did.
      Why would you put words in Jesus mouth and make him say something he does not say in this text?

      When you look at Jesus parable – what you see is the doctrine of “Faith precedes Regeneration”
      Even when there is absolutely no reference to it within Jesus parable – you still see it there.
      This is because you have been taught to see it there.

      Here is a warning on Presuppositional Fallacies in hermeneutics:

      We all have presuppositions. But we must not FORCE them on the text. The key is being aware of such presuppositions and preunderstanding and how they affect one’s conclusions about the text. Are they interfering with what the text is really saying?

      Why don’t you have the last word here and make yourself feel better.

      1. br.d writes, “It is apparent that your use of scripture follows the proof-texting model.”

        Or one can use Scripture to identify truth and build truth on truth with this being sound exegesis. Proof texting would involve using Scripture out of context – usually identified as eisegesis. I use the building truth on truth method. You would probably be prone to proof-texting if you tried to argue your positions from the Scripture, so I guess it is good that you do not.

      2. br.d writes, “It is apparent that your use of scripture follows the proof-texting model.”

        rhutchin
        Or one can use Scripture to identify truth and build truth on truth.. Proof texting would involve using Scripture out of context

        br.d
        Proof testing CAN be the process of using scripture out of context of course . But It can also be the process of starting with a presupposition and finding a verse that can be conformed somehow to affirm that presupposition – rather than working to discover what the author of the text meant when he wrote the text.

        Seminary courses in hermeneutics can include students being given assignments to analyze theological commentary materials – specifically looking for instances in which the commentator is reading presuppositions into the text.

        In this process – a presupposition believed by the reader as unquestionable truth – is raised to the level of FUNCTIONING as CANNON.
        And often times without the reader recognizing that is what he is doing.

        When that occurs – the reader can convince himself he is following the method you describe “building truth on truth” – or otherwise called “comparing spiritual with spiritual”.

        Unwittingly however he is comparing a NON-CANNON (a presupposition which he holds as unquestionable truth – which for him FUNCTIONS as CANNON) with the CANNON of scripture. His CANONIZED presupposition therefore influences his understanding of the text – because the text MUST conform to what he believes is true.

        Bible teachers can be found teaching presuppositions they hold as unquestionable truth – and convincing unwary listeners – this is what the text *MUST* mean because presupposition X cannot be false.

        You would particularity be prone to that when you try to argue from logic – so I guess it is good that you do not. :-]

      3. br.d writes, “But It can also be the process of starting with a presupposition and finding a verse that can be conformed somehow to affirm that presupposition – rather than working to discover what the author of the text meant when he wrote the text. ”

        OK. So we start with truth from the Scriptures and let those truths be our presuppositions. That’s what Calvinism does. That’s probably why you never argue against Calvinism from the Scriptures.

      4. br.d
        “But It can also be the process of starting with a presupposition and finding a verse that can be conformed somehow to affirm that presupposition – rather than working to discover what the author of the text meant when he wrote the text. ”

        rhutchin
        OK. So we start with truth from the Scriptures and let those truths be our presuppositions. That’s what Calvinism does. That’s probably why you never argue against Calvinism from the Scriptures.

        br.d
        Yes I know rhutchin – there are different scholars – but the Calvinist is ALWAYS right and any others ALWAYS wrong.

        And the Golden Gate Bridge is currently on sale – at a big discount. :-]

      5. br.d writes, “the Calvinist is ALWAYS right and any others ALWAYS wrong.”

        That’s because Calvinists appeal to the Scriptures; others appeal to personal philosophy.

      6. br.d
        “the Calvinist is ALWAYS right and any others ALWAYS wrong.”

        rhutchin
        That’s because Calvinists appeal to the Scriptures; others appeal to personal philosophy.

        br.d
        This is exactly what a Calvinist bible teacher would say to the unsuspecting student.
        His PRESUPPOSITION which he tenaciously holds – and asserts as unquestionable truth.

        Thanks rhtchin for exemplifying my previous statement about how to identify the signs of proof-texting.

      7. br.d and his god writes the 4 quotes below:
        “I’ve already addressed this – FOH is not saying that God is supernaturally involved in the salvation process.”
        “But you ADD presuppositions to the text of this parable that are simply not there.”

        “But I won’t speak for FOH here – that is not my place.”

        “But it would be silly for him (FOH) to be inferring that God is not supernaturally involved in the salvation process.”
        ———————–

        My Response : Br D and his god said that FOH is silly when claiming God is not supernaturally involved in the Salvation process. If he is silly then it also includes you and your god because both of you denies God’s involvement in the Salvation process.

        “The double speak” has now back fired on you and your god. In your upper quote you say FOH is not saying God is supernaturally involved in the Salvation process – a contradictory to your another statement below misfiring or intentionally shooting your own ally.

      8. jtleosala

        …..both of you [br.d and FOH] denies God’s involvement in the Salvation process.

        br.d
        You are blowing smoke again!
        Dorothy – the Tin man and the cowardly lion are all shaking in their boots at your BIG words.
        But we see you feet under the curtain. :-]

        jtleosala
        “The double speak” has now back fired on you and your god. In your upper quote you say FOH is not saying God is supernaturally

        br.d
        I do acknowledge that on that post I stated something backwards

        Here is my post:
        br.d
        November 20, 2018 at 2:29 am
        I’ve already addressed this – FOH is not saying that God is supernaturally involved in the salvation process.

        I realized after I posted that – that I missed the word “NOT” in that statement.
        So you are correct it is in error.
        And I will be more careful in the future
        So I invite SOT101 readers to continue looking for double-speak in posts here.
        And I maintain that the Calvinist language is saturated with double-speak.

        Thank you for point out my mistake.
        Well done. :-]

  23. The reverend Sun Myung Moon obtains a new disciple.

    He sits his new disciple down and step-by-step walks him through beginning precepts. He convinces the disciple that the precepts he is being taught have their source and origin in scripture. If the disciple disagrees with any precept, he is rejecting or denying scripture – or he is rejecting or denying god.

    In this way – the reverend continues to walk his new disciple deeper into the doctrine. Deeper into those things more difficult for a person to accept. Some things difficult to accept, because they contradict logic. Some things difficult to accept, because they contradict Biblical ethics.

    But the disciple believes that whenever he disagrees with a precept – he is rejecting or denying scripture – he is rejecting or denying god. At first the disciple struggles with this. But the fear of rejecting or denying either scripture or god prevails. And one after another he learns to cherish and embrace each precept as unquestionable truth.

    When he is ready – he will walk new recruits through the same process he followed. And that is how the body of believers grows. When the community of believers and fellowships becomes large enough and significant enough – it can be recognized as a prevailing theology. The size and influence of the assemblies can then facilitate the claim that the theology is not a private interpretation.

    Members can take up professorships. And this will facilitate the training of new pastors who can then reform existing churches. After having accomplished all that – the theology can claim itself to be the “worp & woof” of the gospel.

    1. Very insightful comment. That is exactly how I have personally witnessed Calvinism drawing naive believers under its spell. Lots of mind control tactics, like love bombing to win trust, emotional appeals, etc. Sadly, it will not simply claim to be the warp and woof of the gospel, but I believe will introduce a new Theocracy, more tyrannical and cruel than all former ones. And like all dreadful tyrannies, the people will not see it coming until it is too late, as they have perceived it as an angel of light. It has been foretold, so we must be ready/

      1. Thank you TSOO!

        Yes – I totally agree – we must be ready.
        And I pray that God gives more believers a serious burden to warn unsuspecting believers not to be seduced into theologies that use deceptive tricks to corral people. Like telling them if they don’t accept the doctrine they are denying scripture or God.
        That is simply a manipulation technique – and an abuse of scripture.
        Christians need to learn how to identify theologies that use dishonest tactics.

        Thank God for SOT101!

  24. Below are TSOO post directed to Me:

    Tsoo writes : “So it seems unloving to save only a select few when all could just as easily have been saved.”

    TS00
    NOVEMBER 23, 2018 AT 12:08 AM
    Jtl writes:
    “In your statement, you are accusing Jesus Christ as unloving because He only offered His life for the sheep, John 10:11, 15?”

    I would deny such a charge. I do not believe I have ever, in all my years, accused God, or his Son, Jesus the Christ, of being unloving. If anything I have ever written casts such an aspersion upon the character of God, I will readily recant it.

    What I do assert is that the false claims of Calvinism present just such a false picture of an unloving God. This is not the picture of God that scripture presents, nor one that I would ever knowingly present.

    ———————- Below this line is My Response ——————-

    Questions that TSOO needs to answer: Based on John 10:11, 15

    John 10:11 I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
    John 10:15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

    1. Ques. # 1 Who is speaking in those 2 verses above? Jesus Christ? _____ or Calvinist? _____
    2. Ques. # 2 According to the verses above, To whom did Christ offer His life? To the sheep? ____ or to the world? _____
    3. Ques. # 3 Who are the sheep in those 2 verses that according to Jesus He gave His life? ___________
    4. Ques. # 4 Does the term “sheep” delimits those who are legitimate members of the flock being taken care of by Christ? ____
    3. Ques. # 5 Did Jesus Christ mentioned the term “world” in those 2 verses? Yes? ____ or No? ___

    Based of the declaration of Jesus Christ as to whom He gave or lay down His Life in John 10:11, 15, it is very clear that He identified the legitimate beneficiaries of His great Love and death. He never mentioned here the entire humanity as claimed by TSOO, a universalist.

    Because of this, TSOO stated that; “it seems unloving to save only a select few when all could just as easily have been saved”. In his later post he denies my charge to him that he is accusing Jesus Christ of being unloving.

    It is not the Calvinist nor myself who decides as to whom Jesus Christ will lay down His life according to those verses. If it is not the Calvinist nor myself (Because it is ONLY Jesus Christ who decides as to whom He will lay down His life), then TSOO is guilty of accusing Jesus Christ as “unloving”.

    I challenge TSOO, “the universalist” to locate and prove from the Scriptures: that all humanity are saved and that hell is vacant of people being tortured.

    1. God loved equally head to head the entire humanity on earth
    2. Jesus Christ offered His life to the entire humanity on earth as proof of His equal love to everyone.
    3. The entire humanity on earth goes to heaven and are all saved

    In you failed to prove this, then your “universalist” position is just a “Myth” a decoy grace of salvation..

    I will answer the verses you posted in a separate post.

    1. Calvinism takes a man-made philosophy – and forces scripture verses to say what the philosophy demands.

      Calvinists cut words out of verses – and replace them with their own words.
      (not physically of course – they do it as part of a cognitive interpretive process)

      Calvinism ADDS conceptions to verses that simply do not exist in the verse.
      Leave the scripture alone and let it say ONLY what it says.

      ALWAYS REJECT PRESUPPOSITIONS FORCED ON THE TEXT OF SCRIPTURE!

  25. Below is the entire post of TSOO, requiring me to respond to the verses he posted in this post. My Answer are all inserted below those verses cited:

    TS00
    NOVEMBER 23, 2018 AT 12:08 AM
    Jtl writes:
    “In your statement, you are accusing Jesus Christ as unloving because He only offered His life for the sheep, John 10:11, 15?”

    I would deny such a charge. I do not believe I have ever, in all my years, accused God, or his Son, Jesus the Christ, of being unloving. If anything I have ever written casts such an aspersion upon the character of God, I will readily recant it.

    What I do assert is that the false claims of Calvinism present just such a false picture of an unloving God. This is not the picture of God that scripture presents, nor one that I would ever knowingly present. Scripture tells us much about God’s love, for example:

    “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” ~ Deuteronomy 7:9
    ———————————————————–

    My Response to Deut. 7:9 = The verse itself reveals about God’s covenant and steadfast love to Israel. It has nothing to do with the entire human race being saved to heaven. TSOO is out of context in his attempt to use this verse to prove God loves all people and that they won’t go to hell.
    ————————————————————-
    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16

    My Response : = The world used in this verse have at least 3 possible meanings: i.e. 1. “kosmos” – referring to planet earth 2. worldly affairs in the world 3. entire humanity 4. the world of the elect.

    God will not offer his love to # 1, # 2 . TSOO will surely assume # 3, this is in contradiction of Christ’s declaration in John 10:11, 15 and also a false assurance of all people going to heaven, since that there are people destined to hell. The best meaning is # 4, the world of the elect ( this includes the house of Israel and the Gentile elect believers coming from different nations scattered in the world, but not the entire Gentile world.

    Therefore TSOO and his Universalist theology is just burned to ashes and falls to the ground in the attempt to use this verse.
    ————————————————————

    “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” ~ John 4:9-12

    My Response :
    1. The pronoun used “WE”, “US”; “OUR” = cannot be used to refer to the entire human race because not all people are God-Loving
    2. The verse is referring to believers not to unbelievers nor the entire humanity.

    Therefore, TSOO is again out of context using this verse to back up his theology of Universalism.
    ————————————————————

    “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” ~ John 15:9-10

    My Response : Jesus’ audience in this verse are the Jews particularly His disciples. It does not refer to the entire human race being saved going to heaven and spared in hell. Again, TSOO is out of context in his attempt to use this verse to backed-up his “universalism”

    ————————————————————-
    “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” ~ John 15:12-13

    My Response : The verse talks about believers and is not directed to unbelievers. Again, TSOO is just assuming by reading this verse using his lense of “universalism”. TSOO failed again in his attempt.
    —————————————————————

    “But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” ~ Romans 5:8,

    My Response : This verse is talking about believers and can never be used to the unregenerated persons. Therefore the verse does not refer to the entire human race that are saved going to heaven. Again TSOO failed to prove his Universalism hteo using this verse.
    ————————————————————-

    “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” ~ 1 John 3:16-18

    My Response : The pronoun : “US” ; “OUR”; all refers to believers in Christ. It can never be forced to be applied to unbelievers. Therefore the verse has nothing to say about the entire humanity being saved and are all going to heaven. Again, TSOO failed.
    ————————————————————

    “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” ~ 1 John 4:7-8

    My Response : This verse addresses the believers in Christ excluding unbelievers nor the entire humanity being saved and are all going to heaven. Again, TSOO failed to prove his “Universalism theology”
    ————————————————————-

    “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” ~ 1 John 4:11

    My Response : This verse plainly addresses believers in Christ excluding unbelievers and even the entire humanity as being saved and are all going to heaven. Again, TSOO failed to prove his universalism theology.
    ————————————————————-

    “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” ~ 1 John 4:16-18

    My Response : The pronoun used here in this verses: “US” ; “WE” are all referring to believers in Christ excluding the unbelievers. Therefore this verse has nothing to say about the entire human race being saved and are all going to heaven. Again, TSOO failed.

    ————————————————————-

    Know, sir, I will not be unjustly accused of accusing Jesus of being unloving. He who gave up his own life willingly, suffered and died to ‘take away the sin of the world’ is love incarnate – the very manifestation of God’s love for man given flesh and blood that would leave no room for doubt.

    Jtl writes:
    “You keep on insisting for all humanity to be saved when that is impossible to happen. Your are just daydreaming, not telling the truth making people to trust to a false claim?”

    Once again, I deny the above charges. I have never, at least intentionally, claimed that all humanity will be saved. I will admit to daydreaming of such a possibility, and have frankly confessed that I would be overjoyed to discover that my understanding is impaired, and that the Universalists are correct. Should the actual correct meaning of scripture prove to be that all humanity will indeed be saved, I will rejoice. However, I have not made the statement that I make this interpretation of scripture, much as I might wish it to be so.

    What I have asserted is my best understanding of what scripture seems to proclaim, which is that God so loved ‘the world’ that anyone MAY be saved, with the condition, given by God, that whosoever will be saved must believe in God’s love, as it was manifested in Jesus. What I do assert is that Jesus died on the cross to enable all humanity to be saved, or, as John the Baptist put it:

    “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

    Of course, Jesus sets forth, in John 3, the conditions for this propitiation for sin to result in final salvation, saying “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.”

    Calvinism modifies scripture’s teaching that ‘whoever believes in him should not perish’ by adding that no man can believe, unless and until God regenerates him and makes him able to believe. Most reading here understand this assertion, and the prooftexts upon which it rests, quite well, so it does not require spelling out. We simply believe, upon careful and protracted study, that this is definitely not what scripture clearly states, and that it is a false interpretation of what scripture ‘suggests’.

    This is long enough, so I will leave you to do your own homework to uncover the many verses that declare that God desires that none perish, that all turn from wickedness, that all would choose to put their trust in him and live, etc.

    If you accuse me of ‘false claims’, I can only surmise that you believe it is a ‘false claim’ that God is love, that he genuinely loves and desires to save from death all men, and that he has provided the sole remedy for sin, that being the death of Jesus. God’s only condition, clearly stated by Jesus himself before his death, is that, as with the serpent in the wilderness, we look to the remedy that is being provided, proving our faith in God’s promise. This is what I believe, and what I boldly claim. I reject your false charges.

    1. Just more silliness. I never once suggested all humanity will be saved, nor has anyone else as far as I have seen, yet jtl keeps trotting that out as if those were my words, rather than his own invention. Rejecting Calvinism’s determinism does not make non-Calvinists Universalists, it simply makes them non-Determinists. Calvinists and Universalists alike assert that God arbitrarily determines who will be saved; they simply disagree on the numbers. The rest of christianity asserts that scripture declares the offer of God’s grace is open to all, but rejected by many. I’m not sure why this is so hard to understood, as people have been discussing these issues for, like, centuries now?

      The die-hard Calvinists I fellowshipped with for over a decade never pretended that those who rejected Calvinistic Determinism were necessarily Universalists. That is one possibility, but it is not a logical necessity. My friends disagreed with other believers, but had no trouble understanding what their actual position was. The opposing beliefs are well articulated and widely understood by most scholars, so it is rather pointless to create strawmen. Although Calvinists have a lot of internal disagreement, their doctrines have been set forth and studied for a very long time, so it is not difficult to find detailed descriptions of the essentials, along with comparisons to other beliefs. It would seem that some here either don’t quite get what others believe, or pretend not to.

      1. TSOO
        I’m not sure why this is so hard to understood, as people have been discussing these issues for, like, centuries now?

        br.d
        Its not a matter of not understanding – this is the Calvinist’s argumentation strategy – its called manipulation.
        The strategy is to put a person on the defensive by fabricating false accusations.
        An honest person’s instinct it to defend himself.

        Thus as long as the person is on the defensive – the Calvinist positions himself with a strategic advantage
        Its nothing more than a chess game move.

        Calvinists are taught that it is not a sin to use deceptive language
        Calvinists are taught that it is not a sin to manipulate people.
        The end justifies the means.

      2. TSOO says here that he’s not a “Universalist”, but he embraces it by saying and teaching that God loves all people (God loves Jacob but hated Esau) on earth but not all people will go to heaven. This is illogical. If God really loves all people (But, Jesus lay down His life only for the Sheep as the proof of His love, John 10:11, 15 – meaning not to the entire humanity) then all people will go to heaven???.

      3. jtleosala
        TSOO says here that he’s not a “Universalist”, but he embraces it by saying and teaching that God loves all people

        br.d
        TSOO don’t take this bait!

        This is nothing more than a straw-man strategy designed to lure the recipient into a defensive posture and there draw him in into endless speculations and trifling over words. See 1 Timothy 1:4

      4. JTL citing TS00, writes, “TSOO says here that he’s not a “Universalist”, but he embraces it by saying and teaching that God loves all people (God loves Jacob but hated Esau) on earth but not all people will go to heaven. ”

        When TS00 says that God loves all people, he means in the sense of John 3, “For God so loved the world…” but this is not a love strong enough to save as God expresses toward His sheep. It is that love Calvinists attribute to common grace whereby God provides for the gospel to be preached to all people and those who decide they want salvation He agrees to save.

      5. rhutchin
        When TS00 says that God loves all people, he means in the sense of John 3, “For God so loved the world…”
        But this is not a love strong enough to save as God expresses toward His sheep. It is that love Calvinists attribute to common grace whereby God provides for the gospel to be preached to all people and those who decide they want salvation He agrees to save.

        br.d
        Yup!
        The kind of love Calvin’s god had for the babies of Israel when he rendered-certain they be thrown into the fire of Moloch.
        As the baby is falling into the fire – he can take comfort in knowing that special kind of love.

        The kind of love Calvin’s god has for those Calvinists whom he holds out salvation to as a savor of greater condemnation.
        Whom he will later strike with greater blindness.
        Whom he gives a false internal witness of the Holy Spirit to – as part of that “savor” of greater condemnation.

        And since for each Calvinist – election is a SECRET – and the body of “elect” are INVISIBLE – each Calvinist can take comfort in knowing he has no absolute assurance of the kind of love Calvin’s god has for him.

        But hey – he makes the sun shine and rain fall on them – so they’re more than happy :-]

      6. Where are the Calvinists who say: “It’s fine and dandy if I discover I am not elect, and God was simply holding out salvation to me as a savor of greater condemnation. As long as God gets all the glory, it doesn’t matter the slightest whether or not he chose me or if he created me for eternal suffering.” Or who says such a thing about their own mother, grandmother or child; and means it? Most believe in covenantal (bloodline) election and baptismal regeneration, whether they openly admit it or not, and are convinced that all of their own children are ‘elect’.

      7. TS)) writes, “Where are the Calvinists who say: “It’s fine and dandy if I discover I am not elect, and God was simply holding out salvation to me as a savor of greater condemnation. …”

        All over the place. It is good that a person discover that he is not elect because then he can freely petition God for salvation and receive it. The problem is with people who never discover that they are not among the elect and do not care.

      8. TSOO
        “Where are the Calvinists who say: “It’s fine and dandy if I discover I am not elect, and God was simply holding out salvation to me as a savor of greater condemnation. …”

        rhutchin
        All over the place. It is good that a person discover that he is NOT ELECT because then he can freely petition God for salvation and receive it.

        br.d
        Thank you rhutchin – this is another good example of Calvinist double-speak on two different fronts.
        Firstly:
        Every Calvinist should know if someone is ‘NOT ELECT” that is FIXED at the foundation of the world before they are born.
        No amount of petitions are going to change what is UNCHANGEABLE.

        Thank you for showing us what UNCHANGEABLE = CHANGEABLE double-mindedness looks like.
        Or perhaps as you say to FOH – you slept through that Calvinist indoctrination session?

        Secondly:
        Since Calvinists say “fine and dandy I’m not elect” all the time – please provide at least one quote.
        John Piper or MacArthur would be nice!
        Or perhaps the statement “all the time” is based on a deceptive shifting of definition?
        Why would I be surprised! :-]

      9. Rhutchin writes:
        “It is good that a person discover that he is NOT ELECT because then he can freely petition God for salvation and receive it.”

        This one’s a keeper, because it contradicts the essential nature of Calvinism’s deterministic election. No one, under Calvinism, receives election because they ask nicely for it, but because they have been chosen, i.e., ‘elected’ to receive it in eternity past. If you ain’t ‘elect’ you ain’t going to receive! (You have to pity these guys, even when they talk themselves into such corners.)

        Perhaps Rhutchin would be so kind as to explain how a Totally Depraved, dead in his sins, unregenerate NON-ELECT sinner could even conceive of petitioning God for salvation, when Jesus did not die to atone for their sin? Then, I would love to know how the NOT ELECT manage to obtain the salvation that was not offered for them, even should they somehow manage, in the midst of all of their dead depravity, to figure out how to petition for it.

      10. Simple for the Calvinist.
        They reason within themselves that they do not know what their FATE will be.
        And since they do not know – and they are faced with “ELECT” or “NOT ELECT” they are taught to ASSUME one and not the other.

        But notice what a Calvinist ASSUMES for ME-ME-ME
        Is the total inversion of what Calvinists love to talk about for THEM-THEM-THEM

        Eternal life: ME-ME-ME
        Spiritual superiority: ME-ME-ME
        Speaking with authority not as the scribes and Pharisees: ME-ME-ME
        Always telling Eve what god said: ME-ME-ME

        Total Depravity: THEM-THEM-THEM
        Vessels of wrath: THEM-THEM-THEM
        Sin nature: THEM-THEM-THEM

        Even if I understand all mysteries, and all knowledge – if I DO NOT HAVE ἀγάπην – I am nothing.

        And Jesus turned to the disciples and said: “You do not understand what SPIRIT you are of”

        Beloved – try every SPIRIT to see whether they are of god.

      11. TS00 writes, “Perhaps Rhutchin would be so kind as to explain how a Totally Depraved, dead in his sins, unregenerate NON-ELECT sinner could even conceive of petitioning God for salvation, when Jesus did not die to atone for their sin? ”

        He cannot. However, you believe that he can, so I’ll grant you your belief. God saves whom He wants and any others who want to escape hell can, under your system, freely seek salvation. I don’t see any harm in you believing that people can willfully seek salvation without any help from God..

      12. Rhutchin writes:
        “TS00 writes, “Perhaps Rhutchin would be so kind as to explain how a Totally Depraved, dead in his sins, unregenerate NON-ELECT sinner could even conceive of petitioning God for salvation, when Jesus did not die to atone for their sin? ”

        He cannot. However, you believe that he can, so I’ll grant you your belief. God saves whom He wants and any others who want to escape hell can, under your system, freely seek salvation. I don’t see any harm in you believing that people can willfully seek salvation without any help from God.”

        We near a point of agreement. Indeed, what harm can possibly come from [presumably falsely] believing that God actually loves all men, sent his Son to die for all men, and freely offers salvation to all men? (The ‘without any help from God’ is, of course, an inaccuracy added by Rhutchin’s presuppositions, not something I have ever said or believed. Not only does the individual need ‘help’ from God, without God’s sole work of atonement, there would be no forgiveness of sin and salvation from death. Add to that the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit to convict men of sin and reveal to them their need of salvation, and you remain with a salvation that is the sole work and working out of God. The only condition God places upon men is to believe in Him and that which He has been done for them.)

        On the other hand, if one asks what harm can possibly come from falsely believing that God does [NOT] love all men, did [NOT] send his Son to die for all men and does [NOT] freely offer salvation to all men, the thinking person quickly perceives the huge problem: many will assume that the love of God is limited, partial and not the sort that come overcome evil. If an individual falsely believes that there is a possibility that God does not love them, has not provided a costly pardon and will not provide forgiveness from former sin and strength to overcome future temptation, then such a person will have nothing in which to believe and be saved from sin and death.

        I appreciate Rhutchin pointing to this huge distinction between the harmlessness of believing in ‘too much’ love vs. the soul-damning danger of ‘too little’ love. Unfortunately, a faulty belief that all things are predetermined, and man has no ability to reject that which God offers, renders the tragic possibility of men being cleverly deceived into doubting the goodness of God a mute problem. The Determinist can go their happy way, free from any real sense of urgency or responsibility to share and exhibit the truth of God’s love.

      13. TS00 writes, “The only condition God places upon men is to believe in Him and that which He has been done for them.”

        Ephesians 2 tells us, “by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;’ Most recognize that faith is part of the gift of God. Hebrews 11 tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Later, we read, “he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” This is no different than what you say – “…to believe in Him and that which He has been done for them.” This can be tied to the definition of v1, ‘assurance of things hoped for” – a belief in God – and “the conviction of things not seen” – God is a rewarded. Thus, once God gives a person “faith,” that is, assurance and conviction, the rest is history.

      14. Rhutchin conveniently ignores, as he does every time I point it out, that even John Calvin asserted that it was ‘salvation’ that was being called the gift of God in Ephesians 2, not faith. My former Calvinist pastor acknoweldged that this was entirely possible, then proceeded to teach as if it wasn’t.

      15. This never ending Tomfoolery is part of why my experience under Calvinism was so traumatic. I was acting in good faith, trusting the integrity and sincerity of my teacher, and he was just playing games with words and with honesty. I thought that he had concern for me and my children, who I put under his teaching. And he was thinking, ‘My sermons are too good to only be heard by 50 people’. (Yeah, he told me that.) I thought, when we called him, that he was coming to love, guide and be a shepherd to this young flock; but he was only interested in building the ‘kingdom of God’, in some bizarre manner that had nothing to do with saving lost souls. (Calvinists rarely, if ever, convert anyone – how could they, with that ‘gospel’? – they simply poach from other denominations.) This guy had a wife, and a bunch of little kids, who are not so little anymore. My heart aches for them, and the horrible picture of God they have been raised under. It’s a wonder I did not lose my faith altogether, as so many who are put through the Calvinist wringer do, rather than just giving up on the Institutional Church. I am still hoping and praying that my kids come to a healthier understanding of God than what they were taught in church. Guys like this, in love with their monstrous theology, just play games with people, and don’t even blush as they willfully seek to withhold the very kingdom of God from those for whom he died. I would be trembling in my socks if I had to face the thought of explaining to God why I worked so hard to convince people he did not want to ‘save’ them, and never intended to do so. It would be better for them if millstones had been strung around their necks before they could do more harm.

      16. TS00 writes, “Rhutchin conveniently ignores, as he does every time I point it out, that even John Calvin asserted that it was ‘salvation’ that was being called the gift of God in Ephesians 2, not faith. My former Calvinist pastor acknowledged that this was entirely possible, then proceeded to teach as if it wasn’t.”

        From Calvin’s Institutes:

        Book 2; Chapter 2; Section 8. Answer to the second Objection continued. No will inclining to good except in the elect. The cause of election out of man. Hence right will, as well as election, are from the good pleasure of God. The beginning of willing and doing well is of faith; faith again is the gift of God; and hence mere grace is the cause of our beginning to will well.

        “…The beginning of right will and action being of faith, we must see whence faith itself is. But since Scripture proclaims throughout that it is the free gift of God, it follows, that when men, who are with their whole soul naturally prone to evil, begin to have a good will, it is owing to mere grace.”

        Book 2; Chapter 2; Section 12

        Hence it follows [from Adam’s sin], that he is now an exile from the kingdom of God, so that all things which pertain to the blessed life of the soul are extinguished in him until he recover them by the grace of regeneration. Among these are faith, love to God, charity towards our neighbour, the study of righteousness and holiness. All these, when restored to us by Christ, are to be regarded as adventitious and above nature. If so, we infer that they were previously abolished.

      17. rhutchin
        Ephesians 2 tells us, “by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;’ Most recognize that faith is part of the gift of God. Hebrews 11 tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Later, we read, “he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” This is no different than what you say – “…to believe in Him and that which He has been done for them.” This can be tied to the definition of v1, ‘assurance of things hoped for” – a belief in God – and “the conviction of things not seen” – God is a rewarded. Thus, once God gives a person “faith,” that is, assurance and conviction, the rest is history.

        br.d
        Wow rhutchin – that was VERY Arminian!
        I didn’t think you bent in that direction. :-]

      18. br.d writes, “Wow rhutchin – that was VERY Arminian!”

        Arminians agree with the Calvinists on many things. There complaint was the Calvinism did not give credit to man in salvation.

      19. br.d
        “Wow rhutchin – that was VERY Arminian!”

        rhutchin
        Arminians agree with the Calvinists on many things. There complaint was the Calvinism did not give credit to man in salvation.

        br.d
        Yes – I know – Calvinists can speak using Arminian enunciations when that works for them.

        One must watch out for those “complaints”
        And “giving credit to man in salvation” – pink elephants – and all that stuff!

        I think I should at some point like to collect a full list of all of Calvinism’s double-speak talking-points.
        Not that I want to memorize them so I can recite them like Calvinists do.
        Just that a list would be good for humor. :-]

      20. Rhutchin writes:
        “Arminians agree with the Calvinists on many things. There complaint was the Calvinism did not give credit to man in salvation.”

        Ya know, in all my born days I never heard a single Arminian (I presume that means non-Calvinist) say such a thing. I’ve heard quite a few complain that Calvinism withholds Jesus’ offer of grace from a vast portion of mankind. I’ve heard many complain that Calvinism asserts a cruel, loveless, tyrannical monster who controls his creatures like puppets, then punishes them as if they had no strings. But nope – I’s scratchin’ my head – ain’t never heard tell of no Arminian lookin’ for credit for salvation. Ya reckon that’s a bit of a red earing, or whatever those Calvinists like to put in their ears?

      21. A straw-man argument – as you point out – is nothing more than a fabrication.
        So that displays the level of intellectual integrity Calvinists have to lower themselves to.

        But why?
        Just for John Calvin?

        No I don’t think so.
        I think Calvinists are offered a carrot on a string.
        The possibility of perceiving themselves superior to other believers.

        All of that boasting over: “we are all about the sovereignty of God” – is nothing more than a mask to hide the real reason.

        Lust of the flesh – lust of the eyes – pride of life.
        Its all about being able to sit in the chief seat.

        I call it the “Diotrephes” spirit.

        But Diotrephes, loves to have the preeminence among the brethren. 3 John 9

      22. TS00
        “Perhaps Rhutchin would be so kind as to explain how a Totally Depraved, dead in his sins, unregenerate NON-ELECT sinner could even conceive of petitioning God for salvation, when Jesus did not die to atone for their sin? ”

        rhutchin
        He cannot. However, you believe that he can, so I’ll grant you your belief.

        br.d
        I wouldn’t fall for this ruse in a million years!
        “you believe he can” = the fallacy of false attribution.
        This fallacy appears to be one of the most consistent thinking patterns for Calvinists.
        Why anyone would fall for it?

        Calvin’s god is tinkering with something down there under the hood! :-]

      23. br.d writes, “No amount of petitions are going to change what is UNCHANGEABLE.”

        You and I know that. TS00 believes otherwise. My comment merely grants that which TS00 believes. So, TS00 believes that some people will see that God is not working in their lives to save them and they will take action to avoid hell.

      24. br.d
        Responding to one of rhutchin’s double-speak statements:
        “No amount of petitions are going to change what is UNCHANGEABLE.”

        rhutchin
        You and I know that. TS00 believes otherwise.

        br.d
        Thank you rhutchin – this statement is a real fallacious dusssy!
        Nobody in their right mind (which excludes Calvinists) believes UNCHANGEABLE = CHANGEABLE.

        I think however, this aspect of Calvinists thinking may be a byproduct of sociological mental conditioning.

        Dr. Bella DePaulo, – Ph.D. calls it ALTRUISTIC DISHONESTY
        In her research “The how’s and why’s of lies”

        Excerpt:
        A high percentage of people who rationalize their use of dishonest language, experience some sub-level degree of discomfort, but which is effectively outweighed by rationalizations. And they generally do not regard their lies as lies.

        This is especially true with people who are working to protect a TARGET. These are called “other-oriented” or “altruistic” dishonesties. Protecting the “target” allows them to perceive themselves as honest rather than dishonest. For the sake of protecting the “target”, a high percentage report they would have felt worse if they had been honest, because honesty would have revealed things about the “target” they did not want people to see.

      25. br.d
        “No amount of petitions are going to change what is UNCHANGEABLE.”

        rhutchin
        You and I know that……..

        br.d
        Actually I seriously doubt that is true for you rhutchin.

        You see – “AS-IF thinking” is well understood as a unique aspect of Calvinist thinking

        You know – Calvin teaches to -quote “go about your office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part”
        Even though he/you know/believe that is false.
        So that is an excellent example of TRUE AS-IF FALSE thinking

        Then your arguments which show Calvin’s god is not omniscient because he believes he can make a -quote “Active decision” to PREVENT or NOT PREVENT what is UNPREVENTABLE.

        These consistent
        UNPREVENTABLE = PREVENTABLE,
        UNRESTRAINABLE = RESTRAINABLE,
        UNCHANGEABLE = CHANGEABLE

        statements you and JT make all the time – are clear manifestations of Calvinism’s AS-IF thinking.

        But AH!
        Now that I think about that quality of your thinking processes – it makes perfect sense that you would say to me “You know that and I know” that when its actually not the case at all.

        You would say that simply because for you TRUE = FALSE anyway.
        So not to worry – I was able to see how your statement would make sense to you after all.
        That type of thinking is so foreign to me – I sometimes forget how deep the rabbit hole goes. :-]

      26. John Piper for example – is happy to say he is uncertain about Calvin’s god’s predisposition for his two young sons.
        But he would never say he’s happy to be uncertain about his own.

        Calvinists have a self-centered ME-ME-ME theology.
        They love to talk about Calvin’s god picking someone ELSE up as a spider and throwing them into the fire.
        But they never talk that way about ME-ME-ME

      27. Br D. and his god posted this:

        “Calvinists are taught that it is not a sin to use deceptive language”
        “Calvinists are taught that it is not a sin to manipulate people.”

        ———— My Response is typed below this line —————-

        I deny those accusations of Br D and his god. It is merely fictitious,,,,, He is totally wrong in interpreting Mark 7:4 which according to him, Jesus Christ in that verse is doing accusations of the Calvinists wherein Christ has never said.

        br.d
        You do er in not knowing scripture

        Jesus told parables to reveal the condition of the people.
        According to your argument – Jesus parables would have been telling lies.
        Jesus’ parables were not LITERAL statements – they were FIGURATIVE statements about people.

        Jesus told parables to INFORM PEOPLE – and MAKE PEOPLE THINK
        Sorry you didn’t get that from reading scripture.

      28. br.d
        Yup!
        The kind of love Calvin’s god had for the babies of Israel when he rendered-certain they be thrown into the fire of Moloch.
        As the baby is falling into the fire – he can take comfort in knowing that special kind of love.

        The kind of love Calvin’s god has for those Calvinists whom he holds out salvation to as a savor of greater condemnation.
        Whom he will later strike with greater blindness.
        Whom he gives a false internal witness of the Holy Spirit to – as part of that “savor” of greater condemnation.

        And since for each Calvinist – election is a SECRET – and the body of “elect” are INVISIBLE – each Calvinist can take comfort in knowing he has no absolute assurance of the kind of love Calvin’s god has for him.

        But hey – he makes the sun shine and rain fall on them – so they’re more than happy :-]

        rhutchin
        br.d doesn’t disagree with me (How could he?) – he just doesn’t like it.

        br.d
        Silly!
        Firstly: one can agree that evil is evil – so an adult can understand (How could he?)

        Secondly: whether I like it is unimportant since I’m not a Calvinist.

        The important thing – is whether you like it :-]
        Your question concerning not liking it infers that you do like it.

        Just curious then.
        Which parts of throwing the baby in the fire and having a false salvation do you like the best?

        And can you further detail the types Calvinistic pleasures that are involved here?
        That would be very informative.

      29. rhutchin wrote, “br.d doesn’t disagree with me (How could he?) – he just doesn’t like it.
        br.d responded, “Silly!
        Firstly: one can agree that evil is evil – so an adult can understand (How could he?)”

        Again, br.d is not disagreeing with me. (Again, how could he?) He shows that he just doesn’t like it.

      30. rhutchin wrote, “br.d doesn’t disagree with me (How could he?) – he just doesn’t like it.

        br.d
        “Silly!
        Firstly: one can agree that evil is evil – so an adult can understand (How could he?)”

        rhutchin
        Again, br.d is not disagreeing with me. (Again, how could he?) He shows that he just doesn’t like it.

        br.d
        An academic can describe Gnosticism and not disagree with what it is – so that easily shows (How could he)

        But you always have so many of those wonderful minute and intricate details about what things Calvin’s god does and all.
        And as you say – Calvinism has the explanations.

        So you have us on the edge of our seats with curiosity on this topic.

        Your question concerning not liking it infers that you do like it.
        So
        Which parts of throwing the baby in the fire and having a false salvation do you like the best?

        And please provide full details on the types Calvinistic pleasures that are involved here?
        This would really give us a better inside look into this aspect of Calvinism.
        Thanks in advance. :-]

      31. br.d writes, “Your question concerning not liking it infers that you do like it.
        So Which parts of throwing the baby in the fire and having a false salvation do you like the best?”

        It illustrates that God’s love for people in general (common grace) is different than His love for His sheep (saving grace). Again, we see that you agree – at least, you are not challenging the position – that God has a different love for the reprobate than He does for His elect.

      32. br.d
        Your question concerning not liking it infers that you do like it.
        So Which parts of throwing the baby in the fire and having a false salvation do you like the best?”

        rhutchin
        It illustrates that God’s love for people in general….etc

        br.d
        Wow that response goes off in a tangential direction!

        The topic was on Calvin’s god RENDERING-CERTAIN a baby being thrown into the fire of Moloch.
        And also Calvin’s statement that salvation is held out to a -quote LARGE MIXTURE within Calvinism’s fold as a -quote “Savor of greater condemnation” – and that he would eventually -quote “strike them with blindness”.

        I agreed that those things are consistent in Calvinism.

        Then it got interesting when you went from there to the topic of liking or disliking those things.
        And that made me extremely curious

        What parts of the baby going into the fire and Calvinists being given a false salvation do you like the best?
        You kept asking me whether I liked it – which was not a part of my thinking – but liking it was obviously a part of yours.

        I assumed you would be happy with those things as part of being patriotic to Calvinism?
        But I had not thought about the aspect of you liking them.

        So could you please elaborate on what PARTICULAR aspects of those things you or other Calvinists like?

      33. I just want to react to the post of Br.D and his god reflected below ”

        BR.D
        NOVEMBER 25, 2018 AT 9:49 AM
        CALVINISM’S CUPS, POTS, AND BRAZEN VESSELS

        Many things there be, which they have received to hold, the washing of many cups, pots, and brazen vessels. Mark 7:4

        Calvinists are very fortunate to have so many theological cups, pots, and brazen vessels to wash.
        – Irresistible Faith
        – Unconditional vessel of wrath – (often called unconditional or rendered-certain desires/sin-nature)
        – Total Calvinistic Depravity
        – Particular Gnostic Election
        – limited honesty
        – Unsalvific invitation
        – Systematic Speculations
        – Monergistic-synergism
        – Evil that good may come
        – Perseverance through works righteousness
        – A force that forces without forcing
        – True AS-IF false
        – False AS-IF True

        Calvinism’s only rule of exegesis:
        Without these special cups, pots, and brazen vessels – one cannot explain to Eve what God’s word says.

        ———— below this line is my reaction —————-

        Mark 7:4 it says : “When they (Pharisees, Scribes and the Jews) come to the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they (Pharisees, Scribes and the Jews) have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.”

        The verse cited by Br.D and his god refers to the Pharisees and the Jews. Jesus Christ has no whatsoever mention here of the Calvinists. Br.D and his god is a liar putting words to the mouth of Jesus Christ his accusations against the Calvinists where Jesus Christ has never uttered., i.e those items that he enumerated in his post. I think he is just like the serpent taking to Eve in the garden of Eden in his attempt to engage with the opponent here in a debate. Wow…

      34. BR.D
        NOVEMBER 24, 2018 AT 7:54 AM
        jtleosala
        November 14, 2018 at 7:51 pm

        God does not love the following people:

        False prophets and False teachers (they are human beings too, but God does not love them.
        Goats that are destined to Hell
        The Canaanites including their babies
        The criminal crucified at the left side of Jesus Christ
        The Egyptian babies murdered by the angel of death
        The majority of the human race swept away by the global flood……God does not love them
        The residents of Sodom and Gomorrah
        If really God loves the entire humanity then nobody will go to hell

        br.d
        This reveals the Calvinist’s definition of love

        ———— Below this line is My response to Br D and his god ————–

        It is God’s expressions of His wrath to sinners. But to the elect sinners, Yes God loves them by laying down His life on the cross for the sheep.

      35. jtleosala
        November 14, 2018 at 7:51 pm
        God DOES NOT LOVE the following people:

        False prophets and False teachers (they are human beings too, but God does not love them.
        Goats that are destined to Hell
        The Canaanites including their babies
        The criminal crucified at the left side of Jesus Christ
        The Egyptian babies murdered by the angel of death
        The majority of the human race swept away by the global flood……God does not love them
        The residents of Sodom and Gomorrah
        If really God loves the entire humanity then nobody will go to hell

        jtleosala
        November 25, 2018 at 11:44 pm
        It is God’s expressions of His wrath to sinners. But to the elect sinners,

        br.d
        The SOT101 reader can connect the dots between your two statements above.

        Calvin’s god renders-certain the “many” to be sinners – so that he can NOT LOVE THEM – in order to EXPRESS HIS WRATH.

        Its good to know we have a Calvinist here to explain what Calvin’s god is like.
        Perhaps that also explains the kind of love Calvinists have.

      36. Below is another accusations made by Br D and his god which I would like to react.

        “Calvinism ADDS conceptions to verses that simply do not exist in the verse.”
        “Leave the scripture alone and let it say ONLY what it says.”

        “ALWAYS REJECT PRESUPPOSITIONS FORCED ON THE TEXT OF SCRIPTURE!”

        ————- Below this Line is My reaction ————-

        1. Those accusations that you have hurled at me backfires on you. Look at the way you interpreted Mark 7:4

        2. I have complied to what you have said typed in all caps.

      37. “Calvinism ADDS conceptions to verses that simply do not exist in the verse.”
        “Leave the scripture alone and let it say ONLY what it says.”

        “ALWAYS REJECT PRESUPPOSITIONS FORCED ON THE TEXT OF SCRIPTURE!”

        All one need do is see the verses you have posted here – and demanded conceptions beyond what they actually say.
        That won’t take long! :-]

      38. TSOO
        Please review this video …..

        It details the Calvinist game-plan.

        Go to youtube and type in: Calvinism: Same Tactics as Political Liberalism

        The video is produced by “Beyond The Fundamentals”

    2. jtleosala
      November 14, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      God does not love the following people:

      False prophets and False teachers (they are human beings too, but God does not love them.
      Goats that are destined to Hell
      The Canaanites including their babies
      The criminal crucified at the left side of Jesus Christ
      The Egyptian babies murdered by the angel of death
      The majority of the human race swept away by the global flood……God does not love them
      The residents of Sodom and Gomorrah
      If really God loves the entire humanity then nobody will go to hell

      br.d
      This reveals the Calvinist’s definition of love

  26. CALVINISM’S CUPS, POTS, AND BRAZEN VESSELS

    Many things there be, which they have received to hold, the washing of many cups, pots, and brazen vessels. Mark 7:4

    Calvinists are very fortunate to have so many theological cups, pots, and brazen vessels to wash.
    – Irresistible Faith
    – Unconditional vessel of wrath – (often called unconditional or rendered-certain desires/sin-nature)
    – Total Calvinistic Depravity
    – Particular Gnostic Election
    – limited honesty
    – Unsalvific invitation
    – Systematic Speculations
    – Monergistic-synergism
    – Evil that good may come
    – Perseverance through works righteousness
    – A force that forces without forcing
    – True AS-IF false
    – False AS-IF True

    Calvinism’s only rule of exegesis:
    Without these special cups, pots, and brazen vessels – one cannot explain to Eve what God’s word says.

    1. Br D. and his god posted this:

      “Calvinists are taught that it is not a sin to use deceptive language”
      “Calvinists are taught that it is not a sin to manipulate people.”

      ———— My Response is typed below this line —————-

      I deny those accusations of Br D and his god. It is merely fictitious and a product of his darkened mind. It just backfire on him if you will see it in my previous posts here. He is totally wrong in interpreting Mark 7:4 which according to him, Jesus Christ in that verse is doing accusations of the Calvinists wherein Christ has never said.

  27. Br D and his god posted the statement below:

    “Calvin’s god renders-certain the “many” to be sinners – so that he can NOT LOVE THEM – in order to EXPRESS HIS WRATH.”

    ——————— My response is reflected below this line ————————

    Br D and his god is claiming that they love all people. Br D and his god cannot answer me directly When I asked him if he really loves John Calvin, Piper, Sproul, James White, John McArthur, Matt Slick, Rhutchin and Myself. He even defended FOH, the Pelagian that God’s provision of Salvation is conditionally offered to sinners. This is their versions of LOVE that has a string attach — My goodness … it is a contradiction of the Grace of God that is the unmerited favor given unconditionally to the elect sinners that has caused Christ to lay down His life.

    He only choose to preach God’s love, but afraid to preach God’s wrath even if it is a fact in Scriptures that God is also a God of wrath. One sided oh boy… I think the pullet needs to become a rooster now.

    1. br.d
      Calvin’s god renders-certain the “many” to be sinners – so that he can NOT LOVE THEM – in order to EXPRESS HIS WRATH.”

      jtleosala
      Br D and his god is claiming that they love all people. Br D and his god cannot answer me directly When I asked him if he really loves John Calvin, Piper, Sproul, James White, John McArthur, Matt Slick, Rhutchin and Myself.

      br.d
      JT – again I say this as gentle and kind – you need to *THINK* before you post.

      Can Jesus call the people you list whitewashed sepulchers – and fail the commandment to love?
      John said: “But Diotrephes loves to have the preeminence among the brethren” – did he fail the commandment?

      You accuse SOT101 participant’s of having dark hearts and lacking salvation – did you fail the commandment?
      You call people Pelagians – did you fail the commandment?

      Have you never read the scripture: A false balance is an abomination to the Lord?

      1. Br D and his god is really hard up to answer the question with a direct YES or NO. Instead, he opted to wander in the wilderness before reaching a foggy destination.

        FOH said according to him, he is a Polynesian. As a Polynesian, I found out also that his doctrine of Salvation is “conditional” — emphasizing man’s self efforts in accessing salvation. God’s Grace is not enough. — Isn’t this what the Pelagians claim? … and so.. how do we conclude this?

        I already manifested that I am still an imperfect being as of this time. God is not yet trough with Me that is why when I attempt to love my neighbor it is not always equal to the amount of love that I give to myself, though I am not a Narcissist. – and so I cannot perfectly comply the command on a daily basis.

      2. jtleosala
        I already manifested that I am still an imperfect being as of this time. God is not yet trough with Me that is why when I attempt to love my neighbor it is not always equal to the amount of love that I give to myself, though I am not a Narcissist. – and so I cannot perfectly comply the command on a daily basis.

        br.d
        Right –
        The Pharisee will always impose the burden of self-righteous legalism on others – that he will not lift a finger himself to bear. Matthew 23:4
        A professing Christian who cannot see his own hypocrisy simply manifests he has no discernment in Christ.
        But in your case – I think your strategy here simply speaks of a spirit of manipulation.

        Jesus turned to his disciples and said “You do not know what spirit you are of”

    2. Something to Consider
      When a Calvinist declares (as they LOVE to do) Calvin’s god has hardened the heart of THEM-THEM-THEM but not ME-ME-ME

      Perhaps the Calvinist is unwittingly manifesting what a hardened heart looks like?

      And his mischief shall return upon his own head… Psalm 7:16

      1. What is sad is that the typical Calvinist in the pew was lured in with proclamations of God’s Sovereignty and Glory. With such visions swimming in their head, they cannot even see what their theology looks like in action. So, without the grace to be embarrassed, those duped by high-sounding phrases proceed to defend the ‘goodness’ of Calvin’s God, who creates to destroy, offers undeserved redemption to a limited few while withholding it from others who are equally lost, curses men with an inability to do what is right, then punishes them for not doing right, and so on.

        Literally doing Satan’s work for him, they do not even recognize how even the ‘heathen’ can see how cruel and unjust their ‘God’ is. Thus, like thousands of naked emperors, they parade in their imagined finery, and smile knowingly at the fools who mock them for wearing no clothes. Just like the clever tailor, Satan has convinced them to believe their theology is bona fide, rejecting the evidence of their own eyes, and those of objective viewers, that they are stark naked.

      2. So true!

        William Lane Craig was in a debate with an Atheist who accused him of hypocrisy.
        He simply smiled and told the audience what the Atheist was describing is called Calvinism.
        Which is relegated to a small SECT-ion of professing Christianity.

        Perhaps that highlights Calvinism’s contribution.
        Along with its double-speak language of course! :-]

  28. Br D and his god posted this one below:

    “Perhaps the Calvinist is unwittingly manifesting what a hardened heart looks like?”

    ———– My Reaction is also reflected below this line ————–

    Actually, the hardened heart is just like the unbelieving Israelites. God said that He will replace their stone hearts with a heart of a flesh. I think this will happen after they are Regenerated. No one can ever Regenerate themselves. It is only God who can do this thing as to whom He wills, right?

    1. We love because God first loved us, (not the opposite)
    2. God said: You don’t choose Me, but I choose you. (not the opposite)

    1. jtleosala
      Actually, the hardened heart is just like the unbelieving Israelites.

      br.d
      So it logically follows that he hardens the hearts of Calvinists – who make their hardened hearts easy to discern.

      ἀγάπη vaunteth not itself (like Calvinists do)
      ἀγάπη is not puffed up. (like Calvinists are)
      ἀγάπη is not self-focused. (like Calvinists are)
      ἀγάπη does not invoke evil upon others (like Calvinists do)
      ἀγάπη hopes all things.

      I have become all things to **ALL** people so that by all possible means I might save SOME. 1 Corinthians 9:22

      5 times receiving 39 stripes.
      3 times beaten with rods
      1 time stoned
      2 times shipwrecked
      Consistent weariness and painfulness, watchings and often in hunger and nakedness

      But the Pharisee only cares about making sure he himself is positioned in the seat of Moses.
      Everything he does is just to show off in front of others
      He blows a loud trumpet before he prays to make sure everyone can see he is superior

      Always positions himself above – never below.
      He loves to fabricate dishonest straw-men accusations in attempts to manipulate people

      Thus we discern – how Calvin’s god hardens a persons heart.

      1. Br D and his god posted the statement below:

        “Thus we discern – how Calvin’s god hardens a persons heart.”

        ———— My Reaction is reflected below this line ———–

        Br D’ heart has really been hardened so that he rejects Regeneration Precedes Faith, Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, and the Perseverance of the Saints but if God will decide to give him Irresistible Grace, I think nothing is impossible that he will embrace it and denounce his wrong assumptions.

        He might be comparing himself in posting the statement of the Apostle Paul below, even knowing that Paul does not believe in the salvation of the entire humanity. Christ’s atonement for sin is limited only to His own people according to:

        Matthew 1:21 where it says : “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name, Jesus for He will save His PEOPLE from their sins.”

        Who are these people mentioned? It’s not the entire humanity on earth. If Br D and his god will still insist, then all humans are the elect and are saved which Br D and his god cannot prove in scriptures that hell is now vacant of people being tortured.

        “I have become all things to **ALL** people so that by all possible means I might save SOME. 1 Corinthians 9:22”

        5 times receiving 39 stripes.
        3 times beaten with rods
        1 time stoned
        2 times shipwrecked
        Consistent weariness and painfulness, watchings and often in hunger and nakedness

      2. This argument – like the way this one uses scripture – is nothing more than forced PRESUPPOSITIONS – on the topic as well as on scripture.

        Why have the previous scripture verses failed?
        Because no where within them did they say what was claimed.
        How is that an example of honoring God’s word?

        If one has a scripture verse which EXPLICITLY states regeneration precedes faith one should post it.
        Making false claims and twisting scripture verses goes nowhere except in circles.

  29. Below is another post of BrD and his god:

    BR.D
    NOVEMBER 26, 2018 AT 10:57 AM
    So true!

    “William Lane Craig was in a debate with an Atheist who accused him of hypocrisy.”
    “He simply smiled and told the audience what the Atheist was describing is called Calvinism.”
    “Which is relegated to a small SECT-ion of professing Christianity.”

    ——— My Response is also reflected below this line ———–

    I noticed that you have been idolizing too much Craig. I don’t care about him anyway and it doesn’t work by any means.

    It is really true that those who will reside in heaven is the minority, while the majority are damned according to the statements of Jesus Christ about the “Narrow Gate vs. the Wide Gate”. He said that few finds it. This is what Br D and his god is referring to in his post above.

    1. jtleosala
      I noticed that you have been idolizing too much Craig

      br.d
      This is called PROJECTION – it is well known that Calvinists idolize their respected persons.
      This is how it without realizing it one unwittingly manifests one’s own condition.

      jtleosala
      It is really true that those who will reside in heaven is the minority…“Narrow Gate vs. the Wide Gate”….This is what Br D and his god is referring to in his post above.

      br.d
      Right – but in Calvinism’s case it is a “Narrow Narrow” gate.
      Because Calvin teaches that within the Calvinist fold there is a -quote LARGE MIXTURE OF HYPOCRITES who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance.

      The situation with Dr. Craig shows that even an Atheist can discern hypocrisy
      When a SECT-ion of professing Christians cannot

      But there **ROSE UP** certain of the SECT of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. Acts 15:5

      And you shall know them by their fruit.

  30. Let us go back to the Topic in this thread : “Who are the Elect?”

    The answer is found in :

    Rev. 17:8 “… and those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world.

    Rev. 13:8 “All who dwell on the earth will worship Him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”

    According to those 2 verses, God has already done in in His decision for those Names of Persons that are not included in the Book of Life before creation. No human being existed yet that time but God has determined already those Names of Persons that are going to hell and also those Names written in that Book of Life that are going to heaven.

    There are no more Names added to that Book of Life at present time. It has been decided already by God before the foundation of the world.

    Who are the Elect ? = The answer is: Those Names of Persons that were written by God in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world.

    Do you think Br D and his god has the capacity to deny this?… Never … Any forms of filing protest against God’s actions are just futile.

    1. jtleosala
      Let us go back to the Topic in this thread : “Who are the Elect?”

      Rev. 17:8 “… and those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world.

      Rev. 13:8 “All who dwell on the earth will worship Him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”

      According to those 2 verses, God HAS ALREADY DONE IN HIS DECISION for those Names of Persons that are not included in the Book of Life

      br.d
      Eisegesis occurs when a person IMPOSES his interpretation into and onto the text.

      Where do either of these verses EXPRESSLY say the “Elect” are established by “God HAS ALREADY DONE IN HIS DECISION” ?
      How do you dare to ADD things to scripture which it does not EXPRESSLY say?
      Does this not show a disregard for handling God’s word?

      1. “How do you dare to ADD things to scripture which it does not EXPRESSLY say?
        Does this not show a disregard for handling God’s word?”

        I tend to suspect that jtl, like so many ideological, bamboozled Calvinists, truly does not recognize how he reads into scripture the concepts he has been taught to believe.

        If one assumes that God predetermined who would be saved, then one assumes that is what the quoted verses from Revelation, and all other scripture, teaches. The ideologue cannot even fathom that there are other interpretations that can be somewhat easily discerned by those without his presuppositions. He appears to not, firstly, grasp that much of the teachings in the book of Revelation, and elsewhere, are very likely metaphorical. Is there a literal ‘Book of Life’? Perhaps, but it is just as likely that this depiction is simply metaphorical. In either case, the verses simply suggest that God knows – as all who believe in his eternal, omniscient deity expect – those who will, at the end of time, receive life and those who – for unstated reasons that must be sought in the surrounding chapters and books of scripture – will not receive the gift of life.

        One would think that the sincere Calvinist would be able to recognize with little difficulty that most believers agree that God foresees the future and foreknows all things that will be. That is rarely ever in question in any discussions concerning determinism. However, the metaphors that depict God’s omniscient overview of eternity use language that suggests that God is not the cruel, heartless, controlling tyrant of classical Calvinism. How is it that the Calvinist so easily overlooks the many, many portrayals of God’s ‘heart’ (metaphorical – spirits do not have ‘hearts’) as that of a loving, merciful father who yearns deeply for healing and restoration between himself and his beloved children?

        It is true, as with any father with wayward children, that the warnings of looming punishment must be clearly presented, but scripture always presents them with offers of grace and pleas to repent, turn from wickedness and be restored to loving, peaceful fellowship. How is it that the Calvinist cannot see the cross as allowing all past indiscretions to be dealt with so that true restoration can be possible? What part of ‘freely available upon one condition’ do they not grasp? Have they never purchased insurance?

        What is it that makes the most common interpretation of scripture utterly escape their comprehension? You know the answer – it is their presuppositions that prevent them from even considering what so many hold to be true – the all-merciful meaning of the gospel of genuine, loving grace offered to all men. What is often not discussed here is that even within the camp of those who yet call themselves Calvinists, many – such as Evangelical Calvinists who follow in the stream of Barth or Torrance – have rejected the cruel, controlling depictions of classical Calvinism. (Personally, I am not sure why they consider Reformed Theology worth reforming, but they appear to desire to keep the structure or language of Reformed Theology while re-imaging its meaning into pretty much what all non-Calvinists have always asserted.) It seems to me that clinging to the historical orthodoxy, even with the goal of redeeming it, renders the reappearance of the more monstrous assertions of Calvinism nearly inevitable.

      2. Yes I agree –
        While the Apostle Paul has his focus on being: “All things to *ALL* men – so that *SOME* may be saved”
        The Calvinist is obsessed with: – (In Jesus’ words) “The shutting up of the kingdom of heaven for men”
        But not for themselves.

        Don’t try to tell me the Apostle Paul doesn’t know the difference between the word “all” and the word “Some”.

        When a person isn’t even honest enough to acknowledge his tradition of interpretation is in fact a tradition – wisdom would anticipate dishonesty in other areas as well.

        When we see covert bible teachers and covert pastors – entering into the sheep gate through the back door – it becomes obvious.
        In Calvinism misleading people is not a sin.
        In Calvinism manipulating people is not a sin.
        The end justifies the means.

      3. Br D and his god posted this one below, with reference to Rev. 17:8 and Rev. 13:8 :

        “Where do either of these verses EXPRESSLY say the “Elect” are established by “God HAS ALREADY DONE IN HIS DECISION” ?
        “How do you dare to ADD things to scripture which it does not EXPRESSLY say?”
        “Does this not show a disregard for handling God’s word?”

        ———- My Response is Reflected below this line ———-

        The word Elect was not literally written on those verses, but the truth is embedded that it can be easily understood by anybody. God Elects by the time He decides for Himself as to whose Names of Persons are to be written/included; not included before the foundation of the world. It is understandably this becomes too hard for you to accept because you reject Predestination and will accuse me of everything negative, but it will never prosper. The truth will remain as it is and will not be affected by any majority votes.

      4. br.d
        “Where do either of these verses EXPRESSLY say the “Elect” are established by “God HAS ALREADY DONE IN HIS DECISION” ?
        “How do you dare to ADD things to scripture which it does not EXPRESSLY say?”
        “Does this not show a disregard for handling God’s word?”

        jtleosala
        The word Elect was not literally written on those verses, but the truth is embedded that it can be easily understood by anybody.

        br.d
        Eisegesis occurs when a reader imposes his interpretation into and onto the text

        “what can be easily understood” – this is just another way of saying what one believes as unquestionable truth.

        The Jehovah’s Witnesses make the same exact statement.

        There was a time when “he stretches out the heavens as a scroll” was interpreted to prove the earth is flat.
        It was for them – just as you say “easily understood”.

        And it is a fallacious use of scripture.

        So again:
        Where do either of these verses EXPRESSLY say “the saved” or “God’s people” or “insert whatever you like here” are established by “God HAS ALREADY DONE IN HIS DECISION” ?

        This is nothing more than a PRESUPPOSITION forced upon the text of scripture.

        Here is your rule:
        1) First embrace Universal Divine Causal Determinism as unquestionable truth – so that everything is “easily understood”.
        2) All scripture verses which can be wrestled to affirm it will be used as proof-texts
        3) All scripture verses which counter it shall be made void by whatever means most inexpedient.

  31. br.d
    “I have become all things to **ALL** people so that by all possible means I might save SOME. 1 Corinthians 9:22”

    Don’t try to tell me the Apostle Paul doesn’t know the difference between the word “all” and the word “some”

    jtleosala
    Paul does not believe in the salvation of the entire humanity. Christ’s atonement for sin is limited only to His own people according to…….etc

    br.d
    This statement is based upon Augustine’s – and later Calvin’s interpretation of scripture.

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

    Kam-lun Edwin Lee – Augustine, Manichaeism and the Good
    “Augustine borrowed from the Manichees their dual notion of evil as ‘wickedness’ and as ‘mortality.’ These were considered evil because they are the antithesis of tranquil pleasure at the spiritual and the physical levels of existence. He shared with the Manichees the view that these aspects of evil are inevitable so long as life is lived in this world. Together, these borrowed approaches to evil helped Augustine to formulate an alterative explanation of the principle of personal evil….” (p.205)

  32. Brothers,

    The below is taken from the website of Society of Evangelical Arminians under the topic of “Conditional Election”. Please notice the similarities with the article that is the topic of this thread…

    “The corporate view explains why only those who are actually God’s people are called elect or similar appellations in Scripture and not those who do not belong to God but one day will. In the New Testament, only believers are identified as elect. As Rom 8:9 states, “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” Similarly, Rom 11:7-24 supports the corporate understanding of the elect as referring only to those who are actually in Christ by faith rather than also including certain unbelievers who have been chosen to believe from eternity. For in Rom 11.7, ‘the rest’ are not elect. But Paul believed that those from ‘the rest’ could yet believe, revealing that the elect is a dynamic term that allows for departure from and entry into the elect as portrayed in the passage’s olive tree metaphor. Since the election of the individual derives from the election of Christ and the corporate people of God, individuals become elect when they believe and remain elect only as long as they believe. Hence, 2 Pet 1:10 urges believers to ‘be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure’ and the New Testament is filled with warnings to persevere in the faith to avoid forfeiting election/salvation.”

    The first glaring error here is the statement “in the NT, only believers are identified as elect”. I think I have already successfully proven (thru sound exegesis) using 2 Timothy 2:10 that God’s elect is the nation of Israel, the saved and lost in her.

    Second, I believe that Romans 11 is about the restoration of the nation of Israel and not about being “in Christ”. I lean that it is Abraham, and not Christ, who is “the root”, thus making both Houses of Israel and Judah the “natural branches” or “His chosen ones”. Even our Lord Jesus Christ is a physical descendant of Abraham (Romans 9:5) and called the righteous Branch of David (Jeremiah 23:5, Jeremiah 33:15).

    In regards to 2 Peter 1:10, Peter is writing to the House of Israel, or the Northern Kingdom. Yes, these are believing Israelites to whom Peter is writing, but they are elect because they are the physical descendants of Abraham. When Peter writes “be even more diligent to make your call and election sure”, he wasn’t speaking of their salvation, but rather what God called and elected them to be. A light to the Gentiles. Read 1 Peter 2:12 and 4:3 with that in mind.

  33. “Since the election of the individual derives from the election of Christ and the corporate people of God, individuals become elect when they believe and remain elect only as long as they believe.”

    ————— My Reaction to the post of Philip above this line ————–

    1. I Timothy 1:9 it says: Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.

    a. When did Christ saved and called us? = According to the verse, the grace of Salvation has been given to us already in Christ Jesus before time began.

    b. How it was given by God to us when we don’t exists yet before time began? = The answer is found in Rev. 17:8 and Rev. 13:8. God have already decided to write the names of His People in the Book of Life – This is the Eternal Decree.

    All of us (elect, non-elect) are sinners when we come out of this world. Totally depraved.

    The Legal Phase of our salvation came by the time Christ went to the Cross to atone for the sins of His elect.

    The next phase is the “Regeneration”, making them alive spiritually, they will come to Repentance and are given the gift of faith for them use and to trust in Christ.

    They are now Justified once in for all by the time they acknowledge Christ. (There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus – Romans 8:1)

    The Present Phase is : Sanctification and Perseverance of the Saints.

    The Final Phase is Glorification. This will occur at the second coming of Christ, whereby the earthly body of the elect shall be transformed into a glorified One (absolute perfection) fitted to reside in heaven.

    c. This is still supported by Matthew 1:21 where it says : “And she will bring forth a Son and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will saved His people from their sins.”

    Who are these People mentioned here that Jesus will save from their sins? – The answer is : The elect whose names have been written already by God in the Book of Life before time began.

    d. John 10:11, 15 in these 2 verses Jesus speaking : “I lay down My life for the sheep”. And who are the sheep that compose the flock of the Good Shepherd? The answer again are the Elect, not the entire humanity on earth.

    e. The post above (“remain elect only as long as they believe”) suggest again a “Conditional Salvation” same with the position held by FOH, the Pelagian. In this view, man becomes the one who maintains his Salvation, not God. Calvinists denies this. We can never make our ourselves holy. We cannot wash our own sins with water or alcohol. It is the Blood of Christ that will cleanse us from our sins by the time we repent a