Derek Webb: A Reformed Atheist?

What Happened to Derek Webb?

by Steve Fraley

Reblogged by permission from the blog site: That’s What Steve Said!

It’s the fall of 1999, and as the world lies restless in anticipation of Y2K-inflicted chaos, I find myself in Visalia, CA with tickets to see Caedmon’s Call. The Christian alternative music scene is thriving in the wake of the breakout successes of bands like Jars of Clay and Sixpence None the Richer, and Caedmon’s offers their own take of artistically relevant and lyrically profound folk-rock. Unlike the aforementioned bands, they take no interest in crossing over to the secular market, with lyrics that are transparently Christian, often with specific references to Bible accounts. No, Caedmon’s Call were far more interested in appealing to the deep-thinking Christian, and as the new millennium approaches, “40 Acres,” their sophomore album, finds them emerging as one of the brightest and most talented bands in all of Christian music.

On this night, “unknown” singer/songwriters Jill Phillips and Bebo Norman set the stage for Caedmon’s and their faith-filled “coffeehouse” music. The band, featuring three alternating lead vocalists, delivers solid renditions of their best-loved songs, and a cover of “Walk On the Ocean” for good measure. Between songs, singer Derek Webb steps forward to deliver a rant a la Rich Mullins about Joshua Harris’ book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” Clearly he is not a fan, and by the sound of it, neither is the audience. This is what we love about Derek. He is willing to speak his mind and challenge the status quo. He’s authentic, and this comes through in his songs. Whether he is writing about his struggles with temptation (“Standing Up For Nothing”), or the frustration of being single and waiting (“Table For Two”), we feel like we know Derek, and Derek knows us. The band closes the night with the biggest hit of Webb’s career, “Thankful,” an encapsulation of Reformed theology in just over 4 minutes. “Yes, by grace I have been saved, through faith, it’s not my own…” This is the anthem of the serious-minded Christian, the one who gives God all the glory.

Fast forward to 2017, and Derek Webb releases his latest solo album, “Fingers Crossed,” announcing to the world that he is no longer a follower of Jesus Christ. Not only that, but he is now boldly proclaiming the “gospel” of atheism. How did this happen? How could someone who so passionately devoted himself to Christianity make such a sharp turn? What happened to Derek Webb?

There are a number of things we could point to, most obviously his recent divorce from his wife of 13 years, to which he accepts responsibility. He fell into sin, and sin is deceptive (Hebrews 3:12-13). Yet many believers who do so recognize their need for Christ and repent. Derek took the opposite route. In the wake of his sinful choices, he has come to see that he is a better man by embracing his freedom apart from Christ. In his mind, free will and Christianity are incompatible. In a recent interview on the ex-Christian podcast, “The Life After,” Webb talks about how he now has victory over pornography after 20 years of struggling. He credits his ability to choose to do what is best for himself, rather than to wait on God to make the changes in him. And here it becomes clear where he went wrong in his theology. It all comes back to that line, “through faith, it’s not my own.” Derek Webb never took responsibility for his faith.

For many Calvinists, faith is the gift of God spoken of in Ephesians 2:8, which reads: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” The interpretation offered by Webb in “Thankful” is one that is proven false through analysis of the original Greek pronouns used by the Apostle Paul. When Paul speaks of what is “not of yourselves,” he refers back to the whole equation of salvation that precedes it, not specifically to faith. Therefore, Paul is saying that we are powerless to save ourselves, and in combination with verse 9, “not of works, lest anyone should boast,” he is driving home the point that the works of the law are not meritorious for salvation, but it is by God’s grace that we can be saved through placing our faith in the work of Christ. Webb’s interpretation is a common mistake, and sadly, it illustrates where his philosophy went wrong. He saw faith as something that was happening to him. He didn’t have faith. Faith had him. And as such, when doubts emerged, it was evidence that he wasn’t given the gift of saving faith. 

Consider these lyrics from the song which closes his new album, “Goodbye For Now:”

“So either you aren’t real
Or I am just not chosen
Maybe I’ll never know
Either way my heart is broken
As I say, goodbye for now”

The doctrine of the perseverance of the saints is a central tenet of Calvinism, representing the “P” in the acronym “TULIP.” It is commonly credited with giving the believer assurance of salvation. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the one who is chosen from eternity past for salvation (unconditional election) will be regenerated (irresistible grace), and their faith, because it is the effectual work of God, will persevere to the end. Therefore the Calvinist can rest in the assurance that because they are chosen, they will remain faithful. Unfortunately, while the intent is to give the believer assurance that he/she is saved, the opposite is often the case, and we see this evidenced in the lyrics above. Derek is convinced that he wasn’t chosen because his faith did not last. Lack of assurance is nothing new for the Calvinist, or any believer for that matter, and was even the basis for another Caedmon’s Call song, “Prove Me Wrong,” written and performed by other members of the group: 
 
“Sometimes I fear, maybe I’m not chosen
You’ve hardened my heart like Pharaoh
That would explain why life is so hard for me

And I am sad that Esau hated
Crying against what’s fated
Saying father, please, is there any left for me

Cast out my doubts, please prove me wrong
‘Cause these demons can be so headstrong
Make my walls fall, please prove me wrong
‘Cause this resentment’s been building
Burn them up with your fire so strong
If you can before I bail, please prove me wrong”

These lyrics are haunting now that Derek has in fact bailed. So why then has he bailed entirely? Why not simply believe that Christianity is true, but he is on the outside of it, needing to get in? Listening to his interviews, it seems that much of his rejection of the faith is based on practicality. Because he now finds life so much more livable by taking ownership of his actions, it shows that something is horribly false about the claims of Christianity. Though he doesn’t believe in God, he remains a Calvinist. He likens his views on theology to his views on Star Wars or other works of fiction. It is a source of conviction, and in his mind, the Bible is solidly on the side of a deterministic God who elects some people to eternal glory, and others to hell. From his perspective, if God is real, He is a horrible monster (his interview comments use much harsher terms) responsible for all the evil in the world, and Derek is a “reprobate,” created specifically to glorify God in his never-ending torment for the sins that he has been determined to commit. Honestly, I can’t blame him for rejecting such a god. I can’t think of a good reason why a “reprobate” should worship someone who has made him for such a reason. This is such a tragic misunderstanding of the character of God!

So what do we conclude from this? 

To read the rest of this article from the original source please go HERE

303 thoughts on “Derek Webb: A Reformed Atheist?

  1. We take no satisfaction in this story.

    My nephew was very similar. Led to Calvinism by a newly-minted, aggressive youth pastor. He felt that Calvin’s version of God was accurate, and he continued to struggle, so he must not be chosen. He did not own his faith….. he wanted it given to him…. and assumed it was not.

    He left the faith still believing Calvin’s version of the Bible. Later (and now) he became an atheist/agnostic. In his own words, “If I can live an atheistic life, it must have been ‘God’s choice’ that I do so. What will be, will be.”

    1. This is such a sad story, but likewise entirely predictable that at least some Calvinists will eventually conclude that they are not really “elect” and consequently succumb to their circumstances with the rationalization “it’s no use – I’m fighting sovereignty”.

      It is an inevitable outcome of a fatalistic / deterministic theology.

      Calvinists try so gallantly to provide all kinds of mental gimmicks and elaborate explanations on how man can simultaneously have choice and not have choice; how he can simultaneously be free and not free; how he can simultaneously be accountable and not accountable. It is really just exhausting trying to keep up with all of the cognitive dissonance required.

      It reminds me of the Matrix. How can a Calvinist know that the Ruth’s Chris steak they are eating is not a figment? How can they know the salvation they think they possess is not instead an elaborate deception? Where is the red pill in the Calvinist’s world? I know that they believe Calvinism itself is the red pill, but I think you catch my meaning here. How does a Calvinist have any legitimate sense of assurance? Frankly, I find tremendous assurance in 2 Cor 13:5 that I can examine myself and consequently have the capacity to correct course by calling on the name of the Lord.

      1. Interesting!
        William Lane Craig – refers to something similar.
        How does the determinist know that he is not simply a brain in a vat with computer wires inducing his every perception.

        Since it is the case that Calvin’s god determines everything that comes to pass.
        That would obviously include every perception actualized within a Calvinist’s brain.

        No ability to make a Libertarian choice between TRUE vs FALSE on any proposition – because all choices are determined by an external mind.

        Thus no ability to know whether any perception they have of anything is TRUE or FALSE.

        I guess we can see why they wouldn’t want to allow themselves to ponder too much on that! :-]

      2. mrteebs writes, “Calvinists try so gallantly to provide all kinds of mental gimmicks and elaborate explanations on how man can simultaneously have choice and not have choice; how he can simultaneously be free and not free; how he can simultaneously be accountable and not accountable.”

        Let’s focus on salvation. People are confronted through the preaching of the gospel with a choice to accept or reject the gospel buy only the person who is given faith can accept salvation. All people are free to reject salvation but only those who have faith are free to accept salvation. All people are accountable for their sin.

      3. rhutchin
        All people are free to reject salvation but only those who have faith are free to accept salvation. All people are accountable for their sin.

        br.d
        There you go mrteebs – an excellent example of *AS-IF* thinking

        In this case *AS-IF* anything is UP TO humans
        In the face of the fact that Calvin’s god determines everything there is to determine *FOR* them.

        Understanding Calvinism is simple:
        A Calvinist is a determinist – wearing a mask of IN-Determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking points. :-]

      4. rh writes:
        “All people are free to reject salvation but only those who have faith are free to accept salvation.”

        Ah, such a fine-sounding statement, which would go right by the unsuspecting. But let us examine it closer to see if it passes the smell test.

        “All people are free to reject salvation.” This is extremely misleading, at best. No, all people are not ‘free’ to reject salvation under Calvinism. The elect will, nay, must irresistibly accept the salvation which was predetermined for them in eternity past. So they are certainly not ‘free’ to reject anything.

        Then we have the non-elect. If they were, as per Calvinism, not chosen, their sin was not atoned for, and there is no salvation even available to them. There is absolutely nothing for them to ‘reject’, so, no, not even the ‘unelect’ are ‘free to reject salvation’.

        And even the latter part of the statement is misleading, due to the deliberate withholding of one extremely important fact: Under Calvinism, it is not actually those who ‘have’ faith who are ‘free’ to accept salvation, as in the natural, acceptable understanding of ‘having faith’. Rather, it is only those to whom God chooses to irresistibly ‘gift’ with faith – completely unasked and unsought on their part – which leaves them not ‘free’ but irresistibly consigned to accept salvation.

        What a Calvinist says is often carefully crafted to suggest an entirely non-Calvinistic meaning, thus appealing to those who are uncomfortable with the ugly underbelly of Calvinistic predestination. Their words must always be carefully parsed, and held up to their own widely known doctrines, in order to see if the normal meaning of the words can be presumed. Usually, it cannot.

      5. Right on TS00!

        CALVINISM’S WELL ESTABLISHED REPUTATION FOR DOUBLE-SPEAK

        The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Theological Determinism:
        -quote:
        “Paul Helm, another staunch theological determinist of the Calvinist variety, simply says that God’s providence is ‘extended to all that He has created’ (The Providence of God, p. 39). The problem with such characterizations is that they are subject to multiple interpretations, some of whom would be affirmed by theological indeterminists.”

        Dr. William Lane Craig, – “Four Views on Divine Providence”
        -quote:
        “A A. Hodge’s six-point summary of the classical Reformed view of divine providence, quoted by Paul Kjoss Helseth under ‘The True View of Providence Summarized’ falls short of expressing the RADICAL DISTINCTIONS of the Reformed position that Helseth defends.”

        Dr. Jerry Walls – “What’s wrong with Calvinism”:
        -quote:
        “If Calvinists didn’t rely so heavily on MISLEADING RHETORIC, their theology would lose all credibility within two years.”

        Norman Geisler – “Chosen but Free”:
        -quotes:
        “Some Calvinists use smoke-and-mirror tactics to avoid the harsh implications of their view” (pg 104)
        “This is done by REDEFINING TERMS and Theological Doublespeak” (pg 261)

        Laurence M. Vance – “The Other Side of Calvinism”:
        -quote:
        “The confusing LABYRINTH of Calvinist terminology” (pg 556)

        Micah Coate – “The Cultish side of Calvinism”:
        -quote:
        “Calvinists arguments are buried in theological and GRAMMATICAL DOUBL-SPEAK.”

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

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

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

        Ex-Calvinist Daniel Gracely – “Calvinism a closer look”:
        -quote:
        “Calvinist and Non-Calvinist do not share the same meaning of words….. Remember, Calvinism is merely the invoking of associative meaning, not real meaning. By ‘not real’ I mean that the meaning is destroyed in the overall thought of the clause or sentence. For, of course, at one level the Calvinist understands the general meaning of words. But when he strings them together in such a way that it forms an idea that is false…
        This is what I used to do as a Calvinist. I liken these non-sense statements, or propositions, to the riding of a rocking horse….. Thus I would go back and forth in seesaw motion, lest on the one hand I find myself accusing God of insufficient sovereignty, or on the other hand find myself accusing God of authoring sin. All the while, there remained an illusion of movement towards truth, when in fact there was no real movement at all. At length I would allow the springs of dialectical tension to rest the rocking horse in the center, and then I would declare as harmonious propositions, which in fact, were totally contradictory to each other. Calvinist riders still ride out this scenario.”

        Francis Hodgson – “The Calvinistic Doctrine of Predestination Examined and Refuted 1855”
        -quote::
        “The apology for this gross misapplication of language…..is found in their distressing emergency. In no other way can they, with any plausibility, meet their opponents.”
        https://soteriology101.com/2019/04/15/rebuttal-of-john-pipers-articlea-beginners-guide-to-free-will%ef%bb%bf/#comment-36443

      6. TS00 writes, “The elect will, nay, must irresistibly accept the salvation which was predetermined for them in eternity past. ”

        Once a person receives faith (the assurance and conviction of the gospel) they will naturally accept salvation. What else would we expect of a person with faith? Certainly, God knew that His giving faith to people would result in their accepting salvation. God is not ignorant.

        Then, “Then we have the non-elect…There is absolutely nothing for them to ‘reject’, so, no, not even the ‘unelect’ are ‘free to reject salvation’.”

        The non-elect reject that which to them is foolishness. Without faith, they will not do otherwise although if they treated salvation in a reasonable manner as they do all other issues of life, they would accept salvation. The non-elect can think logically and coherently with respect to every issue of life except salvation.

        Then, “it is only those to whom God chooses to irresistibly ‘gift’ with faith – completely unasked and unsought on their part – which leaves them not ‘free’ but irresistibly consigned to accept salvation.”

        LOL!!! Yes, faith is given irresistibly and by faith, a person is irresistibly drawn to Christ. What else would you expect from a person with faith” What else explains how some people are drawn to Christ while others remain completely indifferent to Christ.

        Then, “What a Calvinist says is often carefully crafted to suggest an entirely non-Calvinistic meaning,..”

        Not a problem here. Of course, not all non-Calvinists disagree with the Calvinists on this point. Many also believe that God must, and does, give people faith.

      7. What the Calvinist objects to in the representation of Calvinism – is any time it is not represented using DOUBLE-SPEAK :-]

        DOUBLE-SPEAK is used to make Calvinism APPEAR non-deterministic to make it palatable
        By using language that is logically coherent with IN-determinism – the unsuspecting bird is drawn into the net.

        And for the Calvinist – that end justifies the means.

      8. rh writes:
        “Once a person receives faith (the assurance and conviction of the gospel) they will naturally accept salvation. What else would we expect of a person with faith? Certainly, God knew that His giving faith to people would result in their accepting salvation. God is not ignorant.”

        IOW, his statement was false that all people are free to reject salvation – just as I said.

        then,:
        “The non-elect reject that which to them is foolishness. Without faith, they will not do otherwise although if they treated salvation in a reasonable manner as they do all other issues of life, they would accept salvation. The non-elect can think logically and coherently with respect to every issue of life except salvation.”

        Again, stuff and nonsense. What ‘foolishness’ do the non-elect reject? That God did not choose them, atone for their sin or offer them eternal life? What is there to reject? NOTHING! There is, never has been, and never will be any salvation for them, whatever they think, however they respond or whatever they do or don’t do! This, my friend, is foolishness!

        How does one treat ‘in a reasonable manner’ something which does not exist, such as salvation for the non-elect? What I am seeing here is the lack of logical and coherent thinking rh contends the non-elect practice. All one has to do is circle back to Calvinists’ own doctrines, which prove their words false and misleading again and again.

      9. TS00 writes, “his statement was false that all people are free to reject salvation – just as I said.”

        All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation; all people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation. As Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” By “…everyone who believes…” Paul means those who have faith as faith is necessary to belief.

        Then, “What ‘foolishness’ do the non-elect reject?”

        Paul explains in 1 Corinthians, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,” They reject the message of the cross.

        Then, “What I am seeing here is the lack of logical and coherent thinking rh contends the non-elect practice.”

        The lack of logical and coherent thinking that the non-elect practice is tied to faith. Without faith, a person will make an illogical and incoherent decision about salvation – he will reject it – but in every other decision of life, the person easily makes that decision that is beneficial to him.

      10. rhutchin
        All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation; all people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation.

        br.d
        Understanding Calvinism is simple:
        A Calvinist is a Determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking-points. :-]

      11. It could be said that all people without money, freely and naturally avoid wealth. All people with money, freely and naturally avoid poverty.

        One might suggest that the real question is, ‘Who controls the distribution of money?’

        Replace ‘money’ with ‘faith’ and you arrive at the claims of Calvinism, that salvation or lack thereof is simply a result of faith or the lack thereof. What they do not freely come forward with is their official claim that this ‘faith’ is totally under the control of their god, who being its author and source, could hand it out freely to all, without hesitation. Instead, like a miser, he chooses to dole it out in extremely limited doses, then mocks and punishes those who have none.

        The Calvinist makes Jesus a mocker, as he cruelly mocks his own disciples for not having faith, which they allegedly have no control over. He also appears to be forgetful, being amazed at the faith of others. Worse, he makes God not only a mocker, but a cruel, unjust monster, who then punishes all those from whom he deliberately withheld the faith that only he has to give.

        No doubt the Calvinist will attempt to claim that it is only one kind of faith, saving faith, that God controls and limits. Man is free to have faith or no faith in anything else. But upon what grounds can one make such a claim? It is mere assertion, necessary to uphold their false claims, and cannot be supported by reason or scripture. It is mere assertion, based usually on the interpretation of a single verse, that this faith is unnatural and must be handed out, unsought and unseekable, randomly by God’s limiting choice.

        Having faith in anything, or lack thereof, is a choice, freely made. Men can have faith in modern medicine, or have none, and rely on natural, traditional health practices. Men can have faith in airplanes, or have none, and only travel by ground. And so on. Men can have faith in the truth claims made by God, demonstrated in Creation and proclaimed in scripture, or they can have no faith in such claims. It is for this choice which all men will someday be judged. No just judge condemns a man who has not what he could never hope to have.

      12. Right on TS00!

        Ex-Calvinist Daniel Gracely
        -quote
        “Calvinist and Non-Calvinist do not share the same meaning of words…..

        Remember, Calvinism is merely the invoking of *ASSOCIATIVE* meaning, not real meaning.

        By ‘not real’ I mean that the meaning is destroyed in the overall thought of the clause or sentence.

        For, of course….the Calvinist understands the general meaning of words.

        But he strings them together in such a way that it forms an idea that is false…
        -end quote
        (A closer look at Calvinism)

      13. TS00 writes, ‘It could be said that all people without money, freely and naturally avoid wealth. All people with money, freely and naturally avoid poverty. ”

        Not a good example. You need something (X) that people do not desire until they have (Y). People do not desire salvation until they have faith. I was trying to think of an example and came up with this: people do not desire death until they have excruciating, never ending pain. (as can be the case for cancer patients).

        Then, “What they do not freely come forward with is their official claim that this ‘faith’ is totally under the control of their god,”

        Calvinists are pretty clear that faith is a gift from God (John 6 – “All that God gives to Christ will come to Christ,). Many non-Calvinists say this also. Calvinists are also pretty clear in saying that salvation is not possible without faith.

        Then, “The Calvinist makes Jesus a mocker, as he cruelly mocks his own disciples for not having faith, which they allegedly have no control over.”

        Jesus mocked them (if that is what it was) for not believing that which they were seeing.

        Then, “he makes God not only a mocker, but a cruel, unjust monster, who then punishes all those from whom he deliberately withheld the faith that only he has to give. ”

        Now, explain the Assyrians of Isaiah 10. Or Romans 9, “those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.”

        Then, “No doubt the Calvinist will attempt to claim that it is only one kind of faith, saving faith, that God controls and limits. Man is free to have faith or no faith in anything else.”

        With respect to salvation, there is only one faith – faith in Christ – that saves. In the affairs of life, faith exists that is not faith in Christ.

        Then, “Having faith in anything, or lack thereof, is a choice, freely made.”

        Faith in anything, is still that expressed in Hebrews 11 – assurance and conviction is something. Some people have faith in vaccines; others do not. Some have faith in Christ; some do not.

      14. rhutchin{ “All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation; all people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation.”
        br.d: “Understanding Calvinism is simple:”

        It is. Even br.d understands and does not deny that “All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation; all people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation.”

      15. rhutchin
        Even br.d understands and does not deny that “All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation; all people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation.”

        br.d
        rhutchin – I don’t do Calvinism’s DOUBLE-SPEAK
        Strategically misleading and cloaked language dishonors Jesus Christ.

        Immanuel Kant
        -quote
        “Compatibilism is a wretched subterfuge with which some persons still let themselves be put off, and so think they have solved lives problems with petty word-jugglery.”

        Dr. Jerry Walls
        -quote
        If Calvinists didn’t rely so heavily on misleading rhetoric, their theology would lose all credibility within two years.

        Micah Coate
        -quote
        “Calvinists arguments are buried in theological and grammatical doublespeak.”

      16. rhutchin: “Even br.d understands and does not deny that “All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation; all people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation.”
        br.d: “I don’t do Calvinism’s DOUBLE-SPEAK Strategically misleading and cloaked language dishonors Jesus Christ.”

        br.d takes a simple statement, “All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation; all people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation.” and his only response is that it is doublespeak and uses “Strategically misleading and cloaked language…” If he cannot understand a statement as simple as this, no wonder he has so many problems.

      17. rhutchin
        Even br.d understands and does not deny that “All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation; all people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation.

        br.d
        I don’t do Calvinism’s DOUBLE-SPEAK Strategically misleading and cloaked language dishonors Jesus Christ.

        Dr. Jerry Walls
        -quote
        If Calvinists didn’t rely so heavily on misleading rhetoric, their theology would lose all credibility within two years.

        Micah Coate
        -quote
        “Calvinists arguments are buried in theological and grammatical doublespeak.”

        rhutchin
        br.d takes a simple statement……etc

        br.d
        No one here is fooled by that rhutchin
        There is no such thing as a “simple statement” within Calvinist language
        Calvinist language is designed to HIDE more than it reveals.
        And often do so by hiding things behind SEMANTIC MASQUERADES

        In Calvinism’s world – absolutely NOTHING about “Whatsoever comes to pass” is UP TO YOU.
        So crafting a statement inferring “freedom” to accept/reject what is NOT UP TO YOU to accept/reject is DOUBLE-SPEAK.

        Dr. William Lutz – American linguist
        -quote
        “Doublespeak is language designed to evade…..to make the unpleasant appear pleasant, the unattractive appear attractive, or at least tolerable. Basically, it’s language that pretends to communicate, but really doesn’t. It is language designed to mislead, while pretending not to. Double-speak works by taking advantage of the inherent implicitness of meaning conveyed through everyday language. Doublespeak exploits these principles to do just the opposite: to appear like honest communication while actually hiding incriminating facts.

      18. br.d writes, “There is no such thing as a “simple statement” within Calvinist language”

        LOL!!! “All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation; all people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation.” is a simple statement apparently easily understood by all but br.d Who would have thought it?

      19. br.d
        There is no such thing as a “simple statement” within Calvinist language”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! “All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation….etc

        br.d
        All people to whom rejecting/accepting “Whatsoever comes to pass” is NOT UP TO THEM!

        Sorry rhutchin – you’re not pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes here.

        The irony here is how much the Calvinist needs to MASQUERADE things NOT UP TO HIM *AS-IF* they are.
        Part and parcel with Calvinism’s IMAGINARY “Libertarian” choice.

        And on top Calvin’s god gives people FALSE perceptions of “faith” and “salvation”.
        As Calvin says
        -quote
        “He instills into their minds such a *SENSE* of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption”..

        And then -quote “strikes them with even greater blindness”
        (Institutes)

        So much for your “so called” accepting/rejecting salvation rhutchin! :-]

      20. br.d writes, “All people to whom rejecting/accepting “Whatsoever comes to pass” is NOT UP TO THEM! ”

        I see your problem. You haven’t actually read the statement. The statement just states the facts – “All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation; all people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation.” No more; no less.

        Then, “All people to whom rejecting/accepting “Whatsoever comes to pass” is NOT UP TO THEM! ”

        Under God’s system, it is. That is why you are forced to leave God out of your humanist philosophy.

        Then, “And on top Calvin’s god gives people FALSE perceptions of “faith” and “salvation”.”

        Even the non-Calvinists agree that there are people running around who think they are saved when they are not. So??

      21. br.d
        All people to whom rejecting/accepting “Whatsoever comes to pass” is NOT UP TO THEM! ”

        rhutchin
        I see your problem. You haven’t actually read the statement. The statement just states the facts – “All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation; all people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation.” No more; no less.

        br.d
        I see your problem. You haven’t dealt with the LOGIC of my statement.
        How can you reject/accept something that is NOT UP TO YOU to accept/reject?

        rhutchin
        Under God’s system, it is. That is why you are forced to leave God out of your humanist philosophy.

        br.d
        GENETIC FALLACY
        A logical fallacy that occurs when RATIONAL reasoning is rejected based on the claimed origin of the argument. Typically committed when RATIONAL resources are in limited supply.

        And since you don’t have the ability to determine TRUE from FALSE on any proposition – because that would require a “Libertarian” choice which doesn’t exist for you – anyone would be silly to put any stock in your perceptions. :-]

        And on top Calvin’s god gives you the blessing of FALSE perceptions of “faith” and “salvation”.”

        rhutchin
        Even the non-Calvinists agree that there are people running around who think they are saved when they are not. So??

        br.d
        Another great example of the Calvinist not telling the WHOLE truth.
        Only Calvin’s god makes a point to specifically deceive Calvinists with FALSE perceptions – FALSE faith – FALSE salvation.

        Having a god that deceives them with FALSE faith and FALSE salvation is a special blessing unique to Calvinists! :-]

      22. rhutchin: “I see your problem. The statement just states the facts – “All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation; all people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation.” No more; no less.
        br.d: “I see your problem. You haven’t dealt with the LOGIC of my statement. How can you reject/accept something that is NOT UP TO YOU to accept/reject?”

        The statement is a premise that is either true or false. I claim it is true and you seem to be having a problem deciding what it is. There is no logic involved unless you think a proof for the truth of the statement is required.

      23. rhutchin
        The statement is a premise that is either true or false. I claim it is true

        br.d
        Ok now lets see you prove how someone can reject/accept [X] when [X] is NOT UP TO THEM to reject/accept.
        Good luck with that! :-]

        Or perhaps you’ll want to start with how [X] can be UP TO YOU – when [X] was determined without you – having been determined *FOR* you at the foundation of the world.

        Which I already know you accomplish by following Calvin’s instructions:
        “go about your office *AS-IF* nothing about [X] is determined in any part”

        rhutchin
        and you seem to be having a problem deciding what it is.

        br.d
        Sorry no one is fooled with that language
        What you have so far is a PRETENSE of accept/reject

        rhutchin
        There is no logic involved unless you think a proof for the truth of the statement is required.

        br.d
        No logic involved is the constant theme!

        Easy enough to evade LOGIC by claiming a “so called” scriptural theology
        With no logic involved of course! :-]

      24. br.d writes, “Or perhaps you’ll want to start with how [X] can be UP TO YOU – when [X] was determined without you – having been determined *FOR* you at the foundation of the world.”

        God, in His infinite understanding, knew all the possibilities for the world He would create. Those possibilities incorporated God’s understanding of the people He could create including will their characteristics, desires, wants needs, etc. That which could happen would be determined concurrently by God (through the counsel of His will) and the man (through the desires of his heart).

      25. br.d
        “Or perhaps you’ll want to start with how [X] can be UP TO YOU – when [X] was determined without you – having been determined *FOR* you at the foundation of the world.”

        rhutchin
        God, in His infinite understanding, knew all the possibilities for the world He would create.

        br.d
        Which he determined via infallible decrees.

        rhutchin
        Those possibilities incorporated God’s understanding of the people He could create including will their characteristics, desires, wants needs, etc.

        br.d
        Because he was the one who determined those attributes – and not them.
        Which again affirms that NOTHING about those attributes are UP TO THEM

        rhutchin
        That which could happen would be determined concurrently by God (through the counsel of His will) and the man (through the desires of his heart).

        br.d
        All attributes – which he meticulously determined *FOR* them to have – as part of what he conceived them to be

        So what you have is:
        In Theological Determinism – Calvin’s god determines what people WOULD be/do.
        And uses that as his infinite understanding of the creature – with which he determines what they WILL be/do

        All of those determinations made without them
        All of those determinations made *FOR* them.

        Nothing of which is UP TO THEM.

        But you can continue trying to manufacture PRETENSES of what Theological Determinism eradicates
        But not even that is UP TO YOU :-]

      26. rhutchin: “God, in His infinite understanding, knew all the possibilities for the world He would create.”
        br.d: “Which he determined via infallible decrees.”

        And this God did in creating the world. br.d is not arguing against this; he is emphasizing it’s truth.

        Then, “rhutchin: “Those possibilities incorporated God’s understanding of the people He could create including will their characteristics, desires, wants needs, etc.”
        br.d: “Because he was the one who determined those attributes – and not them. Which again affirms that NOTHING about those attributes are UP TO THEM’

        God determined the initial attributes. Man was made in God’s image, had the ability to learn, could think, etc. However, that initial condition was them influenced by many factors, primarily culture, social mores, peer pressure, etc, all of which contributed to the person’s personality and desires. God certainly understood all this but did not force it on any person. It was the natural outcoem of the way God created man.

        Then, “So what you have is: In Theological Determinism –
        Calvin’s god determines what people WOULD be/do.
        And uses that as his infinite understanding of the creature – with which he determines what they WILL be/do”

        You have it backwards. God’s infinite understanding precedes His determination of people’s actions. God understood His creation and involved Himself in the lives of people by hindering certain actions and not hindering other actions.

        br.d does not seem to understand God’s power to make people in His image such that they could be independent of God and self-determining but not autonomous.

      27. rhutchin
        Those possibilities incorporated God’s understanding of the people He could create including will their characteristics, desires, wants needs, etc.”

        br.d
        Because he was the one who determined those attributes – and not them. Which again affirms that NOTHING about those attributes are UP TO THEM’

        BTW: Its obvious you’re trying to create a Deterministic SIMULATION of IN-determinism.
        A computer program designed to SIMULATE an IN-deterministic world.
        All to easy to see through! :-]

        rhuthin
        God determined the initial attributes.

        br.d
        FALSE – using Calvin’s terminology – he determines EVERYTHING IN EVERY PART concerning their attributes.
        In Calvinist vernacular “Whatsoever comes to pass”
        Every microsecond is meticulously determined to infallibly occur
        Thus NOTHING about “Whatsoever comes to pass” is UP TO THEM

        rhutchin
        Man was made in God’s image..

        br.d
        Here is an example of where you are trying to SMUGGLE “Libertarian” choice into your system

        And this is where your argument breaks down.
        Calvin’s god does not create creatures in his image – in regard to their impulses and choices.
        Calvin’s god’s impulses and choices are not determined *FOR* him by factors outside of his control
        Calvin’s god is the EXCLUSIVE determiner of every creaturely impulse and choice – leaving ZERO left over for them to determine.
        Absolutely NOTHING about “Whatsoever comes to pass” is UP TO THEM – being determined without them and before they exist.

        So in that regard they are *NOT* created in his image!
        Thus this argument fails.

        rhutchin
        However, that initial condition was them influenced by many factors, primarily culture, social mores, peer pressure, etc, all of which contributed to the person’s personality and desires.

        br.d
        Every microsecond and every micro-part of which was meticulously determined by Calvin’s god before he created them.
        Affirming again that NOTHING about any of those things is every UP TO THEM.

        rhutchin
        God certainly understood all this

        br.d
        Here is another attempt to manufacture a PRETENSE of IN-determinism out of a 100% deterministic world
        Calvin’s god understands what he conceives will be
        Nothing comes to pass that he does not meticulously determine every part of

        So all you are saying here is that Calvin’s god understands himself
        And again – NOTHING about any of that is UP TO THEM

        Your attempts to make Calvinism’s 100% Deterministic world – SIMULATE an IN-deterministic world – are obvious here.

        rhutchin
        but did not force it on any person. It was the natural outcoem of the way God created man.

        br.d
        A robot is not forced by the decrees written into its program – it simply cannot DO OTHERWISE
        So force is red-herring

        Even though that is the case – you have no authority to claim that Calvin’s god’s decrees have no force.
        So your “no-force” argument is simply a bluff.

        rhutchin
        You have it backwards. God’s infinite understanding precedes His determination of people’s actions.

        br.d
        Infinite understanding of things that don’t exist until he conceives them in his mind.
        Therefore infinite understanding of what he will create them to be.

        Here you try to create a picture of Calvin’s god looking into his infinite understanding of what creatures would be/do in an IN-deterministic world where he is not the determiner of what they would be/do. And then use that infinite understanding in his determinations.

        Sorry this is just one more attempt to DENY the *UNIVERSALITY* of UNIVERSAL Divine Causal Determinism

        Another failed attempt to manufacture a Deterministic *SIMULATION* of IN-determinism

        You see how obvious it is that you need aspects of “Libertarian” freedom to make your system palatable :-]

        rhutchin
        God understood His creation and involved Himself in the lives of people by hindering certain actions and not hindering other actions.

        br.d
        Calvinists do love their DOUBLE-SPEAK!
        Since in Calvinism every microsecond of every impulse is predetermined in every part
        Calvin’s god here involves himself in the script he has choreographed.
        He determines “Whatsoever comes to pass” and then “hinders'” it by -quote “building intervention into the script”.

        No wonder Calvinism looks so much like a puppet-show :-]

        Again – this is just another example of the Calvinist creating a computer SIMULATION of an IN-deterministic world

        Here again is an example of how you need “Libertarian” freedom to make your system palatable

        rhutchin
        br.d does not seem to understand God’s power to make people in His image

        br.d
        This error in reasoning is based on your FALSE premise concerning that image
        see answer above

        rhutchin
        such that they could be independent of God and self-determining…

        br.d
        Independent of Calvin’s god determining their every attribute, choice, and impulse?
        I hardly think so!

        Here again is an example of how you need “Libertarian” freedom to make your system palatable

        Nice try – no dice! :-]

      28. rhuthin: “God determined the initial attributes.”
        br.d: “FALSE – using Calvin’s terminology – he determines EVERYTHING IN EVERY PART concerning their attributes.”

        Using Calvin’s terminology. if God “determines EVERYTHING IN EVERY PART concerning their attributes,” then He also determined the initial attributes. However, God can determine outcomes through secondary causes so that He can set up a system that flows naturally, (like a river flowing from the mountains to the sea) and does not have to continually compel the water to flow. The flowing water will then erode the surfaces over which it flows unless God hinder from natural process. God created a system in which people were influenced by those around them and this in a natural way. One person might have parents who taught him about God (e,g,. the Jews) while another might have parents who never taught him anything about God (e.g., the pagan Babylonians). God did not compel the Jews to teach and the Babylonians not to teach. It was the natural product of who they were. However, God, in understanding how this would work work determined the end result by not hindering natural events and where God did desire a different result, He did hinder and upset that natural process.

      29. rhutchin
        Using Calvin’s terminology. if God “determines EVERYTHING IN EVERY PART concerning their attributes,” then He also determined the initial attributes.

        br.d
        Yes – and every microsecond of every part of every attribute thereafter.
        In Calvinist vernacular “Whatsoever comes to pass”

        rhutchin
        However, God can determine outcomes through secondary causes so that He can set up a system that flows naturally, (like a river flowing from the mountains to the sea) and does not have to continually compel the water to flow.

        br.d
        Here is the Calvinist appeal to secondary causes *AS-IF* a secondary cause – is not itself caused.
        With this we also have a Calvinist appeal to NATURAL Determinism *AS-IF* Nature is the determiner of anything that comes to pass – rather than Calvin’s god.

        Just another way of denying the *UNIVERSAL* – in Universal Divine Causal Determinism

        This shows how important it is to you to have various aspects of IN-determinism and “Libertarian” freedom in your system in order to make it palatable.

        rhutchin
        Unless God hinder from natural process.

        br.d
        I’ve already covered this – its an appeal to Natural Determinism *AS-IF* “Whatsoever comes to pass” within nature is not 100% determined by Calvin’s god.

        Calvin’s god cannot invalidate an infallible decree concerning “Whatsoever comes to pass”.
        So you’re back to Calvin’s god building divine intervention into the infallible script of “Whatsoever comes to pass” which was decreed pre-creation.

        BTW: If Calvin’s god builds his own future actions into a script of infallible decrees – he himself cannot escape those infallible decrees.
        He cannot do-otherwise

        rhutchin
        God created a system in which people were influenced by those around them and this in a natural way.

        br.d
        Every micro-second and micro-aspect of every part being meticulously decreed to infallibly come to pass.
        Your constant attempts to deny your own belief system shows how much you need IN-determinism and “Libertarian” freedom.

        rhutchin
        One person might have parents who taught him about God (e,g,. the Jews) while another might have parents who never taught him anything about God (e.g., the pagan Babylonians).

        br.d
        Every micro-second and micro-aspect of every part being meticulously decreed to infallibly come to pass.

        rhutchin
        God did not compel the Jews to teach and the Babylonians not to teach.

        br.d
        Your back to the “no-force” argument here – which has so many times been shown to be a red-herring
        Do we think repeating over and over again is going to make it somehow valid?

        A robot is not forced by the decrees within its program – it simply cannot “Do-Otherwise”
        And beyond that – you can’t claim with any authority that Calvin’s god’s decrees have no force.
        So this argument is a bluff.

        rhutchin
        It was the natural product of who they were.

        br.d
        Another appeal to Natural Determinism *AS-IF* Nature is the determiner rather than Calvin’s god :-]
        Why repeat the same errors over and over?

        rhutchin
        However, God, in understanding how this would work work determined the end result by not hindering natural events and where God did desire a different result, He did hinder and upset that natural process.

        br.d
        rhutchin – you’re simply reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking points now.

        Calvinism is easy to understand:
        A Calvinist is a Determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking points. :-]

      30. rhutchin: “Using Calvin’s terminology. if God “determines EVERYTHING IN EVERY PART concerning their attributes,” then He also determined the initial attributes.”
        br.d: “Yes…”

        We seem to agree that God determines a person’s initial attributes. This is through direct action by God

        Then, “and every microsecond of every part of every attribute thereafter. In Calvinist vernacular “Whatsoever comes to pass”

        This is through direct action by God and through secondary means.

        Then, “we also have a Calvinist appeal to NATURAL Determinism *AS-IF* Nature is the determiner of anything that comes to pass – rather than Calvin’s god.”

        God does use the surrounding environment as the secondary means to develop a person’s character and desires. Take a group of ten people with a corrupt nature and no faith and let them interact and an almost infinite number of possible outcomes are possible. God, with His infinite understanding of the ten people knows the one outcome that will prevail, so long as He does not hinder the desires of the ten people and that outcome resulting if He hinders certain desires. Natural determinism refers to forces in the environment that operate independently of God but that are still subordinate to His will. Because all forces are subordinate to God’s will, God is still the ultimate cause of all things and Universal Divine Causal Determinism still describes the system.

        Then, “BTW: If Calvin’s god builds his own future actions into a script of infallible decrees – he himself cannot escape those infallible decrees. He cannot do-otherwise”

        Examples from the Scripture include God’s decree to give Satan acces to the garden, God’s decree concerning the flood of Noah, God’s decree to protect Sarah, God’s decree that David commit adultery, God’s decree that Christ die, etc.

      31. rhutchin
        Using Calvin’s terminology. if God “determines EVERYTHING IN EVERY PART concerning their attributes,” then He also determined the initial attributes.”

        br.d:
        And every microsecond of every part of every attribute thereafter.
        In Calvinist vernacular “Whatsoever comes to pass”

        rhutchin
        We seem to agree that God determines a person’s initial attributes. This is through direct action by God

        br.d
        But do we agree that he determines 100% of “Whatsoever comes to pass”?
        Calvinists are forced to disobey Jesus’ command – “Let your communication be YEA or NAY for anything else comes of evil”

        So your question is – how much of what percentage of “Whatsoever comes to pass” does Calvin’s god determine at the foundation of the world?

        Is it 100% or not?
        YEA or NAY?

        br.d
        every microsecond of every part of every attribute thereafter. In Calvinist vernacular “Whatsoever comes to pass”

        rhutchin
        This is through direct action by God and through secondary means.

        br.d
        That depends on whether or not Calvin’s god determines 100% of “Whatsoever comes to pass” at the foundation of the world – precreation.

        You still need to answer that question
        YEA or NAY?

        we also have a Calvinist appeal to NATURAL Determinism *AS-IF* Nature is the determiner of anything that comes to pass – rather than Calvin’s god.”

        rhutchin
        God does use the surrounding environment as the secondary means to develop a person’s character and desires.

        br.d
        rhutchin – these attempts to make Calvinism *APPEAR* more IN-Determinant are all to obvious.
        You have a desperate need to fabricate FACADES of IN-determinism onto a world that is 100% predetermined.

        Did you know – a computer is a 100% determined entity?
        Did you know – for that reason – it is a LOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY for a computer to create random numbers

        So do you know what computer programmers do when they need to create random numbers?
        They create a program designed to SIMULATE random numbers.

        And that is so many of your attempts are.
        Creating deterministic SIMULATIONS of IN-determinism.

        rhuthcin
        Take a group of ten people with a corrupt nature and no faith and let them interact and an almost infinite number of possible outcomes are possible.

        br.d
        Simply because Calvin’s god designed his program of “Whatsoever comes to pass” to produce that outcome.

        rhutchin
        God, with His infinite understanding of the ten people knows the one outcome that will prevail,

        br.d
        AH! This is you obeying Calvin’s instructions – to “go about your office *AS-IF* nothing (in this case people’s nature) is determined in any part.

        rhutchin
        so long as He does not hinder the desires of the ten people and that outcome resulting if He hinders certain desires.

        br.d
        Ok – you’re back to reciting your DOUBLE-SPEAK talking points again.
        This is getting boring!

        rhutchin
        Natural determinism refers to forces in the environment that operate independently of God but that are still subordinate to His will.

        br.d
        This is called and AD-HOC invention.
        What mrteebs was referring to when he told you that you constantly change the goal posts in order to win your game.

        It is not for you to re-define NATURAL Determinism – its definition has become a STANDARD
        And you are not authorized to manipulate that.

        In Natural Determinism – NATURE is the Determiner – and not a THEOS

        rhutchin
        Because all forces are subordinate to God’s will, God is still the ultimate cause of all things and Universal Divine Causal Determinism still describes the system.

        br.d
        Your constant attempts to deny the UNIVERSAL within Universal Divine Causal Determinism are obvious

        Universal: Means *Everything*, exclusive, – without exception
        In Calvinist vernacular “Whatsoever”

        And BTW
        If Calvin’s god builds his own future actions into a script of infallible decrees – he himself cannot escape those infallible decrees. He cannot do-otherwise”

        rhutchin
        Examples from the Scripture include God’s decree to give Satan acces to the garden, God’s decree concerning the flood of Noah, God’s decree to protect Sarah, God’s decree that David commit adultery, God’s decree that Christ die, etc.

        br,d
        Every micro-second and micro-part of “Whatsoever comes to pass” was meticulously pre-programmed before creatures were created.

        Your attempts to make Calvinism *APPEAR* In-deterministic are all to obvious!
        What a hoot rhutchin!

        Understanding Calvinism is simple:
        A Calvinist is a Determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking points.

        And its become obvious – that is all you have.
        There but for the grace of God go I.

      32. Placed in syllogistic form, rh asserts:

        “All people with faith freely and naturally accept salvation;
        All people without faith freely and naturally reject salvation;
        Therefore, the possession of faith is the determiner of whether one is saved.”

        This syllogism is faulty, based on misleading premises without reference to if, when or how said ‘faith’ arises. It is like saying,

        “All people who breathe naturally choose life;
        All people who do not breathe naturally reject life;
        Therefore, the decision to breathe determines who is alive.”

        This syllogism presents faulty premises, ignoring the fact that people do not naturally ‘choose’ to breathe or not breathe (apart from the unnatural act of suicide), but either have the breath of life in them, or do not. It completely mischaracterizes the act of breathing as something one can freely, at any time, choose to do or not do. The same is true of Calvinism’s doctrine of God-gifted faith, which rh here mischaracterizes as being predicated on man’s ‘choice’, when in reality, Calvinism asserts it is solely God who makes the choice.

        More accurately, Calvinism’s theology on salvation by faith would read,

        “Faith is required to receive salvation;
        God is the sole source of and giver of faith;
        Therefore, only those to whom God gives faith will receive salvation.”

        Consistent Calvinists would affirm this syllogism, but modern Calvinists often seek to blunt the inescapable fact that their theology places salvation solely, monergistically and deterministically in the hands of Calvi-god. Any talk of ‘faith’ or ‘believing’ is misleading – it is technically nonessential, as, in their view, believing is entirely involuntary and irresistible. The attempt is made to create a mystical, unbiblical definition of regeneration, turning it into an unsought, irresistible, literal change that creates within a human the heretofore nonexistent ability to believe in God’s promises/claims.

        This assertion, in my opinion, turns scripture’s emphasis on the necessity of faith for salvation into a meaningless charade, nothing but a curtain behind which Calvi-god attempts to hide his dastardly deed of cursing (creating for destruction) many souls helplessly and irresistibly, through no choice or fault of their own.

        It would be equivalent to suggesting that scripture asserts each man dies because he chooses to stop breathing. Whosoever continues breathing, will have eternal life. Technically, this is true, but misleading. It would appear to suggest that any individual could have eternal life, if he would simply continue to breathe.

        This is not simply equivocal, but misleading; there is no ‘choice’ naturally involved in whether or not one begins to breathe (is born) or can no longer breathe (dies), apart from the unnatural act of deliberately taking one’s own life. No intelligent, honest person would deny that eternal life is not based on man’s choice to breathe, but on external factors beyond the individual’s control. I know of no one who believes that any man can live forever by simply choosing to continue breathing.

        In contrast, the genuine, biblical syllogism* concerning salvation by faith/belief would read:

        “Salvation is conditioned on an individual’s faith (belief) in God’s claims/promises;
        Faith (belief) in God’s claims/promises is a choice that each individual can and must make;
        Therefore, all who freely choose to believe in God’s claims/promises will receive salvation.”

        *This does not address the issues of infants, or those intellectually impaired. It assumes the truth of Romans 1 that each intellectually capable individual receives enough revelation from God to know the truth of Who he is.

      33. Wonderful post!
        Yes – Calvinism’s attempts to make Theological Determinism *APPEAR* biblical
        They have to have the element of faith – which itself is just like everything else – the consequence of a divine decree.

        It is NOT a LOGICAL NECESSITY for Calvin’s god to give one anything in order to establish one’s eternal destiny.

        MASQUERADING “faith” as a logical NECESSITY thus works to make Calvinism *APPEAR* biblical

      34. br,d writes, “It is NOT a LOGICAL NECESSITY for Calvin’s god to give one anything in order to establish one’s eternal destiny.”

        Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists will say that God does not owe any person anything and is not obligated to save even one person. Of course, anyone with a humanist philosophy would not like this.

      35. br,d
        It is NOT a LOGICAL NECESSITY for Calvin’s god to give one anything in order to establish one’s eternal destiny.”

        rhutchin
        Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists will say that God does not owe any person anything and is not obligated to save even one person. Of course, anyone with a humanist philosophy would not like this.

        br.d
        A great example of missing the point entirely.

        That is what happens when one’s “scriptural theology” is incapable of discerning the difference between debt and LOGICAL NECESSITY :-]

      36. br,d: “It is NOT a LOGICAL NECESSITY for Calvin’s god to give one anything in order to establish one’s eternal destiny.”
        rhutchin: “Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists will say that God does not owe any person anything and is not obligated to save even one person. Of course, anyone with a humanist philosophy would not like this.”
        br.d: “A great example of missing the point entirely.”

        All I did was agree with you. If I missed the point, it means you did not explain yourself well.

      37. rhutchin
        All I did was agree with you. If I missed the point, it means you did not explain yourself well.

        br.d
        Do you know what a LOGICAL NECESSITY is?

      38. br.d writes, “Do you know what a LOGICAL NECESSITY is?”

        You’re original statement was, ““It is NOT a LOGICAL NECESSITY for Calvin’s god to give one anything in order to establish one’s eternal destiny.” If God does nothing to initiate the process, no one can be saved. Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists will say that God does not owe any person anything and is not obligated to save even one person.

        It is a logical necessity that God give a person faith in order for a person to be saved. God not only initiates salvation for a person but God carries that process to completion. – the logical order of salvation in clearly stated in Scripture.

      39. br.d
        Do you know what a LOGICAL NECESSITY is?”

        rhutchin
        You’re original statement was, ““It is NOT a LOGICAL NECESSITY for Calvin’s god to give one anything in order to establish one’s eternal destiny.”

        br.d
        I think perhaps you don’t want to acknowledge what a LOGICAL NECESSITY is

        rhutchin
        If God does nothing to initiate the process, no one can be saved.

        br.d
        So Calvin’s god decreeing a person’s infallible eternal destiny equates to “doing nothing to initiate the process”?

        rhutchin
        Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists will say that God does not owe any person anything and is not obligated to save even one person.

        br.d
        Which if you understood LOGICAL NECESSITY – you’d know has nothing to do with it.

        rhutchin
        It is a logical necessity that God give a person faith in order for a person to be saved.

        br.d
        Here we have another area in which Calvinist’s manifest ILLOGICAL in their attempts to make Calvinism *APPEAR* to coincide with scripture

        A LOGICAL NECESSITY is something that is REQUIRED when one has NO OTHER RESOURCES to produce a given outcome.

        So your claim is that Calvin’s god’s RESOURCES are limited such that without giving people faith – he is *INCAPABLE* of producing his desired outcome. Which LOGICALLY equates to a deity that is NOT OMNIPOTENT

        If Calvin’s god were OMNIPOTENT – then using faith to produce his outcome – would be LOGICALLY SUFFICIENT – but not LOGICALLY NECESSARY.

        In contrast to Calvinism – the Non-Calvinist god does not decree each person’s infallible destiny at the foundation of the world.

        So its perfectly LOGICAL for him to make “faith” a REQUIREMENT upon man – because he establishes “Man exercising faith” as NECESSARY to meet his CONDITIONS.

        But eternal destiny in Calvinism is UNCONDITIONAL.
        Which makes only one thing LOGICALLY NECESSARY – the divine decree to establish one’s eternal destiny.

        Faith can function as a “MEANS” to bring about that end
        But is only LOGICALLY NECESSARY when Calvin’s god’s resources are limited such that he is *INCAPABLE* of deploying any other “MEANS”

        So this Calvinist claim – tells us the Calvinist’s deity is not omnipotent.

      40. br.d writes, “So Calvin’s god decreeing a person’s infallible eternal destiny equates to “doing nothing to initiate the process”?”

        We know that God had the names of those who would be saved and those who would not be saved and that He had this before He created the world. Those who would not be saved were those to whom God would not convey faith. So, Yes, by creating the world God decreed the person’s infallible eternal destiny and this equates to God “doing nothing to initiate the process” (i.e., not giving them faith).Because of this Paul writes, “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,…”

        Then, “A LOGICAL NECESSITY is something that is REQUIRED when one has NO OTHER RESOURCES to produce a given outcome.”

        Yes, faith is required and is only be provided by God. Logical necessity orders the steps needed from beginning to end to get a certain outcome. here Paul writes, “…God has begun a good work in you…”

        Then, “So your claim is that Calvin’s god’s RESOURCES are limited such that without giving people faith – he is *INCAPABLE* of producing his desired outcome. Which LOGICALLY equates to a deity that is NOT OMNIPOTENT”

        LOL!!! This is what br.d has been reduced. You wish it were my claim but it is not. That God has chosen to do things in a specific manner does not limit the resources He has to have used any other manner.

        Then, “If Calvin’s god were OMNIPOTENT – then using faith to produce his outcome – would be LOGICALLY SUFFICIENT – but not LOGICALLY NECESSARY. ”

        LOL!!! Pretty poor logic for one who asserts his knowledge of logic. God, being omnipotent, can do anything He wants and use any process to get what He wants.

        Then, “In contrast to Calvinism – the Non-Calvinist god does not decree each person’s infallible destiny at the foundation of the world.”

        Most non-Calvinists agree with the Calvinists that God is omniscient thereby falsifying your claim.

        Then, “But eternal destiny in Calvinism is UNCONDITIONAL.”

        Thus, the “U” of TULIP, Unconditional Election.

        Then, ‘So this Calvinist claim – tells us the Calvinist’s deity is not omnipotent.”

        LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! Such an imagination.

      41. br.d
        So Calvin’s god decreeing a person’s infallible eternal destiny equates to “doing nothing to initiate the process”?”

        rhutchin
        We know that God had the names of those who would be saved and those who would not be saved and that He had this before He created the world.

        br.d
        rhutchin – your strategy of evading the truth produces a strong appearance of dishonesty

        Calvin’s god personally establishes the eternal destiny for each unique individual person – at the foundation of the world.
        So don’t give me this business of him just knowing their names

        rhutchin
        Those who would not be saved were those to whom God would not convey faith.

        br.d
        Same snake oil salesman language.
        Those who “would” be saved” is just another evasion tactic
        Sometimes I wonder how Calvinists can possibly keep a clear conscience with all of their evasive double-talk
        I see it as a form of dishonesty.

        Either Calvin’s god specifically decrees every unique individual’s eternal destiny or he doesn’t
        Its either a YEA or a NAY
        And anything else comes of evil.

        rhutchin
        So, Yes, by creating the world God decreed the person’s infallible eternal destiny

        br.d
        More snake oil salesman language

        Calvin’s god – the divine potter – establishes every unique individual’s eternal destiny by personally DESIGNING each unique individual ether as a vessel of wrath of as a vessel of honor.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        god knows what *HE* determined to do with regard to us
        -quote
        Because *HIS* immutable decree *HAD* [past tense]…..DOOMED THEM TO DESTRUCTION. (Institutes pdf version pg 785)

        So we don’t need the snake-oil-salesman language
        Calvin’s god’s immutable decree is all that is LOGICALLY NECESSARY to establish each person’s eternal destiny.

        A LOGICAL NECESSITY is something that is REQUIRED when one has NO OTHER RESOURCES to produce a given outcome.

        rhutchin
        Yes, faith is required and is only be provided by God.

        br.d
        Then you are saying – “faith” is a LOGICAL NECESSITY because Calvin’s god is *INCAPABLE* of accomplishing his outcome without it.

        rhuthcin
        Logical necessity orders the steps needed from beginning to end to get a certain outcome. here Paul writes, “…God has begun a good work in you…”

        br.d
        FALSE
        Sorry rhutchin – you don’t get to re-define LOGICAL NECESSITY to suit your temporary need – its already established as a STANDARD.
        And you don’t get to manipulate it.

        So your claim is that Calvin’s god’s RESOURCES are limited such that without giving people faith – he is *INCAPABLE* of producing his desired outcome. Which LOGICALLY equates to a deity that is NOT OMNIPOTENT”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! This is what br.d has been reduced. You wish it were my claim but it is not. That God has chosen to do things in a specific manner does not limit the resources He has to have used any other manner.

        br.d
        Anyone with a RATIONAL mind – can see that is the LOGICAL conclusion of your position.
        Sorry it that is funny to you :-]

        If Calvin’s god were OMNIPOTENT – then using faith to produce his outcome – would be LOGICALLY SUFFICIENT – but not LOGICALLY NECESSARY. ”

        rhutcin
        LOL!!! Pretty poor logic for one who asserts his knowledge of logic. God, being omnipotent, can do anything He wants and use any process to get what He wants.

        br.d
        Here we have reverse attribution again!
        I think you actually know the truth but it doesn’t fit your need to make faith something that Calvin’s god can’t get along without in order to accomplish his ends.

        In contrast to Calvinism – the Non-Calvinist god does not decree each person’s infallible destiny at the foundation of the world.”

        So its perfectly LOGICAL for him to make “faith” a REQUIREMENT upon man – because he establishes “Man exercising faith” as NECESSARY to meet his CONDITIONS.

        But eternal destiny in Calvinism is UNCONDITIONAL.
        Which makes only one thing LOGICALLY NECESSARY – the divine decree to establish one’s eternal destiny.

        Faith can function as a “MEANS” to bring about that end
        But it only LOGICALLY NECESSARY when Calvin’s god’s resources are limited such that he is *INCAPABLE* of deploying any other “MEANS

        rhutchin
        Most non-Calvinists agree with the Calvinists that God is omniscient thereby falsifying your claim.

        LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! Such an imagination.

        br,d
        MAGICAL-THINKING is always a great way to avoid LOGIC :-]

        Bottom line – The Calvinist needs to take “faith” which is nothing more than a MEANS to and end – because Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – infallibly established each individual’s eternal destiny.

        I leave it up to the SOT101 reader to discern
        Calvinism must turn a MEANS into a NECESSITY in order make it *APPEAR* to be a CONDITION
        Within a system in which eternal destiny is UNCONDITIONAL.

      42. Let’s face it – under Calvinism, the ploy of using faith as a ‘means’ to salvation is simply the same sort of deceptive tactics Calvinists must use to hide the ugly character of their imagined god. If God simply chose who would be saved, for no reason outside of himself, then requiring, then distributing faith is a useless feint, meant to mask his dirty deeds.

        He could just as easily said, ‘Only those who have fluffy bunnies will be saved’ then handed out fluffy bunnies to those he wanted to save. Faith as an unsought, irresistible gift is meaningless. All of the scriptures suggesting how God desires and approves of those who show faith simply become, ‘God puts men through the pointless show of needing something they do not have, cannot get and must come from his own hand. It is pointless theater, turning faith into a meaningless lottery ticket to heaven.

      43. Wonderful post TS00!

        It just hit me the fact that in Calvinism – salvation is UNCONDITIONAL
        But scripture emphasizes faith as a condition for salvation.

        So they need to find a way to have it both ways.

        They need to somehow have a NECESSARY CONDITION for salvation within a system that makes salvation UNCONDITIONAL

        Thanks for your post!

      44. br.d writes, “It just hit me the fact that in Calvinism – salvation is UNCONDITIONAL But scripture emphasizes faith as a condition for salvation.”

        Election is unconditional (remember the “U” in TULIP.). The means God uses to bring His elect to salvation is the preaching of the gospel through which He conveys faith to His elect that then results in the person repenting and believing (i,e., salvation).

      45. br.d
        It just hit me the fact that in Calvinism – salvation is UNCONDITIONAL
        But scripture emphasizes faith as a condition for salvation.
        So they need to find a way to have it both ways

        rhutchin
        Election is unconditional (remember the “U” in TULIP.)…..etc

        br.d
        In Calvinism that is correct
        And that makes “election” to salvation UNCONDITIONAL.
        Which means that salvation is infallibly inevitable

        The rest is just FILLER within a choreographed production.

        But sometimes we need FILLER to make it *APPEAR* to line up with scripture don’t we :-]

      46. br.d: “It just hit me the fact that in Calvinism – salvation is UNCONDITIONAL”
        rhutchin: “Election is unconditional (remember the “U” in TULIP.). The means God uses to bring His elect to salvation is the preaching of the gospel through which He conveys faith to His elect that then results in the person repenting and believing (i,e., salvation).”
        br.d: “In Calvinism that is correct”

        We seem to agree.

        Then, “And that makes “election” to salvation UNCONDITIONAL. Which means that salvation is infallibly inevitable.”

        Yes. Election is “election to salvation.” By God’s election, salvation does become infallibly inevitable. This is confirmed in God’s omniscience and you understand this by not denying that God is omniscient.

      47. rhutchin
        Election is unconditional (remember the “U” in TULIP.). The means God uses to bring His elect to salvation is the preaching of the gospel through which He conveys faith to His elect that then results in the person repenting and believing (i,e., salvation).”

        br.d
        n Calvinism that is correct”

        rhutchin
        We seem to agree.

        br.d
        And that makes “election” to salvation UNCONDITIONAL.
        Which means that salvation is infallibly inevitable.”

        rhutchin
        Yes. Election is “election to salvation.” By God’s election, salvation does become infallibly inevitable. This is confirmed in God’s omniscience and you understand this by not denying that God is omniscient.

        br.d
        The rest is just FILLER within a choreographed production.

        But sometimes we need FILLER to make it *APPEAR* to line up with scripture don’t we :-]

      48. rhutchin: “Yes. Election is “election to salvation.” By God’s election, salvation does become infallibly inevitable. This is confirmed in God’s omniscience and you understand this by not denying that God is omniscient.”
        br.d: “The rest is just FILLER within a choreographed production.”

        In other words, br.d found nothing on which to disagree. It appears that br.d more or less acknowledges his error in stating, “in Calvinism – salvation is UNCONDITIONAL”

      49. rhutchin
        It appears that br.d more or less acknowledges his error in stating, “in Calvinism – salvation is UNCONDITIONAL”

        br.d
        Yes – I can acknowledge that Calvin’s god can establish anything he wants – as a condition for whatever he wants.
        But I can also acknowledge – if he is omnipotent – then he is not limited one single condition in order to produce his desired outcome.

        Thus I still stand by the STANDARD definition of “Necessary” vs “Sufficient” condition.

      50. br.d writes, “Yes – I can acknowledge that Calvin’s god can establish anything he wants – as a condition for whatever he wants. etc”

        In other words, br.d more or less acknowledges his error in stating, “in Calvinism – salvation is UNCONDITIONAL”

      51. TS00 writes, “If God simply chose who would be saved, for no reason outside of himself,…”

        Yet, that is what the Scripture tells us. “God works all things according to the counsel of His will…” and “God who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” and Jesus said, ““All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…” and “…everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.”

      52. Except that the verses you quote do not say at all what you pretend they say; it is simply read in by presupposition.

      53. TS00 writes, “Except that the verses you quote do not say at all what you pretend they say; it is simply read in by presupposition.”

        Too bad you cannot explain what those verses really mean. I suspect a child can understand the meaning of those verses and you do too. You just don’t like what they tell us as they go against your tradition..

      54. rhutchin: “We know that God had the names of those who would be saved and those who would not be saved and that He had this before He created the world.”
        br.d: “Calvin’s god personally establishes the eternal destiny for each unique individual person – at the foundation of the world.
        So don’t give me this business of him just knowing their names”

        Calvin’s god being the God of the Scripture. So far you are not denying the omniscience of God and His ability to know the names of those who would be saved as well as those who would not be saved.

        Then, rhutchin: “Those who would not be saved were those to whom God would not convey faith.”
        br.d: Those who “would” be saved” is just another evasion tactic…Either Calvin’s god specifically decrees every unique individual’s eternal destiny or he doesn’t Its either a YEA or a NAY.”

        Evasive? Even you understand the point – God saves those whom He knows are to be saved. Br His decree of creation, God decreed every unique individual’s eternal destiny in accord with His omniscience. Again, you are not denying the omniscience of God and His ability to know the names of those who would be saved as well as those who would not be saved when He created the world.

        Then, rhutchin “So, Yes, by creating the world God decreed the person’s infallible eternal destiny”
        br.d: “Calvin’s god – the divine potter – establishes every unique individual’s eternal destiny by personally DESIGNING each unique individual ether as a vessel of wrath of as a vessel of honor.”

        This is what Paul said, “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,…” Still again, you are not denying the omniscience of God and His ability to know the names of those who would be saved as well as those who would not be saved when He created the world.

        Then, ‘Calvin’s god’s immutable decree is all that is LOGICALLY NECESSARY to establish each person’s eternal destiny.”

        God’s decree covered all that was to happen from Genesis 1 on. That decree was enshrined in God’s omniscience and cannot deviate from that which God understood would follow His creation. You are not denying the omniscience of God and His ability to know everything that would follow from His decree.

      55. rhutchin
        We know that God had the names of those who would be saved and those who would not be saved and that He had this before He created the world.”

        br.d
        DETECTIVE – to younger brother who witnessed his older brother murder his wife:
        Did you witness your older brother kill his wife?

        YOUNGER BROTHER – to detective
        What I witnessed was that my older brother knew the name of his dead wife

        Never hold your breath waiting for a Calvinist to tell the WHOLE truth! :-]

        Calvin’s god personally establishes the eternal destiny for each unique individual person – at the foundation of the world.
        So don’t give me this business of him just knowing their names”

        rhutchin
        Calvin’s god being the God of the Scripture. So far you are not denying the omniscience of God and His ability to know the names of those who would be saved as well as those who would not be saved.

        br.d
        This is your “greased pig” mode.
        How boring!

        rhutchin
        Evasive? Even you understand the point – God saves those whom He knows are to be saved.

        br.d
        Just like the older brother knew the name of the wife who was dead
        DUH! he ought to know the name of the wife he murders

        Punting to knowledge is a strategy to evade CAUSATION

        rhutchin
        So, Yes, by creating the world God decreed the person’s infallible eternal destiny”

        br.d
        Calvin’s god – the divine potter – establishes every unique individual’s eternal destiny by personally DESIGNING each unique individual ether as a vessel of wrath of as a vessel of honor.

        rhutchin
        This is what Paul said, “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,…” Still again, you are not denying the omniscience of God and His ability to know the names of those who would be saved as well as those who would not be saved when He created the world.

        br.d
        Good – this continues to provide excellent example of Calvinist deflections – to evade CAUSATION in Calvinism

        rhutchin
        God’s decree covered all that was to happen from Genesis 1 on. That decree was enshrined in God’s omniscience and cannot deviate from that which God understood would follow His creation. You are not denying the omniscience of God and His ability to know everything that would follow from His decree.

        br.d
        I’ll ignore your evasion tactics and go back to the point

        Thus it LOGICALLY FOLLOWS:
        Calvin’s god’s immutable decree is all that is LOGICALLY NECESSARY to establish each person’s eternal destiny.
        YEA or NAY?

      56. br.d writes, “[The God of Scripture] personally establishes the eternal destiny for each unique individual person – at the foundation of the world.”

        No one disputes this. Not even you.

        then, “So don’t give me this business of him just knowing their names”

        God does know their names. Even you cannot deny this.

        Then, ‘rhutchin: “This is what Paul said, “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,…”
        br.d: “Good – this continues to provide excellent example of Calvinist deflections – to evade CAUSATION in Calvinism”

        No denial of causation by the Calvinists. Calvinists say that God is the first cause and secondary means are the proximate causes.

        then, ‘Calvin’s god’s immutable decree is all that is LOGICALLY NECESSARY to establish each person’s eternal destiny.
        YEA or NAY?”

        Yes. There was just one decree and it encompassed all that was to happen. That decree was enshrined in God’s omniscience and you do not deny this.

        So, we both seem to agree on the truth of the Calvinist system.

      57. rhutchin
        So, we both seem to agree on the truth of the Calvinist system.

        br.d
        No one is fooled by this language :-]

        Just like no one is fooled – when the younger brother who witnessed his older brother kill is wife said:
        “What I witnessed was my older brother knowing the name of his dead wife”

        All to obvious! :-]

      58. rh writes:
        “So far you are not denying the omniscience of God and His ability to know the names of those who would be saved as well as those who would not be saved.”

        What sort of poppycock statement is that? Who speaks like that? Instead of admitting that Calvinism’s God directly, deterministically, discriminatingly, irresistibly selects who HE WILL SAVE as well as those who HE WILL DAMN. There is no foreknowing, as if he is just so omniscient he knows ahead of time who some other power or entity would cause to be saved. NO! It is all and solely God’s arbitrary, partial, cruel decision. Of all the statements this commenter has offered, this takes the cake in deliberate misleading.

      59. TS00 writes, “Instead of admitting that Calvinism’s God directly, deterministically, discriminatingly, irresistibly selects who HE WILL SAVE as well as those who HE WILL DAMN. There is no foreknowing,…NO! It is all and solely God’s arbitrary, partial, cruel decision. Of all the statements this commenter has offered, this takes the cake in deliberate misleading.”

        We know from Ephesians 1 that “God works all things according to the counsel of His will,…” So, God is arbitrary because He does not confer with anyone outside Himself in making decisions The counsel of His will depends on His infinite understanding.to make decisions on the works He will perform. As God knows the works He will perform, He has knowledge of “all things” because He works all things. Most Calvinists and non-Calvinists agree that God is omniscient and is never ignorant of, or surprised by, anything that happens. There is nothing misleading about this as it is almost universally attested by both Calvinists and non-Calvinists. Even br.d does not oppose this as he surely knows that to deny that God is omniscient is to deny that God has infinite understanding and that would mean that God is not God.

        So, I don’t know what your problem is unless you are just in denial.

      60. rhutchin: “So, we both seem to agree on the truth of the Calvinist system.”
        br.d: “No one is fooled by this language ”

        Perhaps you have fooled yourself. You seem to realizet that God is omniscient. If you do not believe that God is omniscient, then now is the time to say so.

        You also know that it is logically necessary that God’s infinite understanding precede God’s omniscience. God understands all possibilities enabling God to know all possibilities. God cannot know {X} without understanding {X}. If God understands [X} then He can know [X]. To deny that God is omniscient is to deny that God has infinite understanding and I doubt that you would take that step.

      61. rhutchin
        So, we both seem to agree on the truth of the Calvinist system.”

        br.d
        No one is fooled by this language ”

        rhutchin
        Perhaps you have fooled yourself. You seem to realizet that God is omniscient. If you do not believe that God is omniscient, then now is the time to say so.

        br.d
        But do you realize – a circle cannot be a circle and a square at the same time?

        rhutchin
        You also know that it is logically necessary that God’s infinite understanding precede God’s omniscience.

        br.d
        No I don’t see that
        Because divine attributes are classified as ESSENTIAL attributes.
        If infinite understanding exists preceding omniscience – then there is a point in which omniscience (or some aspect of it) does not exist.
        And that deviates from the orthodox understanding of omniscience.

        rhuthcin
        God understands all possibilities enabling God to know all possibilities.

        br,d
        So for you – his knowledge is absent of [X] until it is INFORMED by his understanding of [X]
        I don’t think so

        rhutchin
        God cannot know {X} without understanding {X}.

        br.d
        For you then there is a point in which knowledge of [X] does not exist – because it needs to LEARN from understanding of [X]
        So your version of omniscience is that it is not an ESSENTIAL attribute

        rhutchin
        If God understands [X} then He can know [X].

        br.d
        For you then – knowledge which is absent must be acquired from infinite understanding
        In the Orthodox view – they both exist completely and totally at the same point

        rhutchin
        To deny that God is omniscient is to deny that God has infinite understanding and I doubt that you would take that step.

        br.d
        But do you realize – a circle cannot be a circle and a square at the same time?

      62. rhutchin: “If you do not believe that God is omniscient, then now is the time to say so.”
        br.d: “But do you realize – a circle cannot be a circle and a square at the same time?”

        LOL!!! Then let’s call God’s omniscience a rebuttable presumption.

        Then, “If infinite understanding exists preceding omniscience – then there is a point in which omniscience (or some aspect of it) does not exist. And that deviates from the orthodox understanding of omniscience.”

        According to Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will..” The “counsel of God’s will” precedes His works. Since understanding is the basis for counsel, understanding also precedes works.

        Then, ‘So for you – his knowledge is absent of [X] until it is INFORMED by his understanding of [X]
        I don’t think so”

        Works are absent prior to the counsel of God’s will. Understanding of possibility is converted to knowledge of reality by God’s will. If God does not will to create, then He understands creation as a possibility but there is no knowledge of creation as a reality. In Acts 15, James declared, ““Known to God from eternity are all His works.” So, there was never a point where God did not know His works, so His knowledge has never differed from his understanding even though His understanding is the basis for His knowledge.

        Then, ‘For you then there is a point in which knowledge of [X] does not exist – because it needs to LEARN from understanding of [X]
        So your version of omniscience is that it is not an ESSENTIAL attribute”

        Only because I am finite. Because God is infinite, omniscience is an essential attribute even if I cannot understand it.

        Then, “For you then – knowledge which is absent must be acquired from infinite understanding
        In the Orthodox view – they both exist completely and totally at the same point.

        My view is based on a finite creation a view, as the Scriptures seem to see it.. The Orthodox view is based on an infinite God.

        Then, ‘rhutchin: “To deny that God is omniscient is to deny that God has infinite understanding and I doubt that you would take that step.
        br.d: “But do you realize – a circle cannot be a circle and a square at the same time?”

        LOL!!! What we get when someone cannot explain himself.

      63. rhutchin:
        If you do not believe that God is omniscient, then now is the time to say so.”

        br.d
        But do you realize – a circle cannot be a circle and a square at the same time?”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! Then let’s call God’s omniscience a rebuttable presumption.

        br.d
        As I’ve said – no one is fooled by your language.

        Now
        If infinite understanding exists preceding omniscience – then there is a point in which omniscience (or some aspect of it) does not exist. And that deviates from the orthodox understanding of omniscience.

        rhuthcin
        According to Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will..” The “counsel of God’s will” precedes His works. Since understanding is the basis for counsel, understanding also precedes works.

        br.d
        The fallacy here is to conflate what knowledge with works.
        This mistake is way to obvious – and comes off looking like grasping at straws.

        So for you – his knowledge is absent of [X] until it is INFORMED by his understanding of [X]
        I don’t think so”

        rhutchin
        Works are absent prior to the counsel of God’s will.

        br.d
        Same error as above – what strategy drives you to argue against the Orthodox doctrine of omniscience as an ESSENTIAL attribute?

        rhutchin
        Understanding of possibility is converted to knowledge of reality by God’s will.

        br.d
        Same error as above – conflating works with knowledge
        No go

        rhutchin
        If God does not will to create, then He understands creation as a possibility but there is no knowledge of creation as a reality….So, there was never a point where God did not know His works,

        br.d
        Same error as above – conflating works with knowledge

        rhutchin
        so His knowledge has never differed from his understanding even though His understanding is the basis for His knowledge.

        br.d
        So now you’re back to your square circle thinking pattern again.
        You have knowledge which is absent prior to being INFORMED by understanding – and at the same time they are no different.

        For you then there is a point in which knowledge of [X] does not exist – because it needs to LEARN from understanding of [X]
        So your version of omniscience is that it is not an ESSENTIAL attribute”

        rhutchin
        Only because I am finite. Because God is infinite, omniscience is an essential attribute even if I cannot understand it.

        br.d
        So now you are punting to mystery – which sums up the matter
        Circles are squares – and you accept it – but don’t understand it.

        So For you then – knowledge which is absent must be acquired from infinite understanding
        In the Orthodox view – they both exist completely and totally at the same point.

        rhutchin
        My view is based on a finite creation a view, as the Scriptures seem to see it.. The Orthodox view is based on an infinite God.

        br.d
        It is already well established that you are a finite creature – by the empirical data here – where Calvin’s god has determined you to have FALSE perceptions. So how much of your view should anyone trust – compared to the Orthodox view?

        rhutchin
        To deny that God is omniscient is to deny that God has infinite understanding and I doubt that you would take that step.

        br.d
        But do you realize – a circle cannot be a circle and a square at the same time?”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! What we get when someone cannot explain himself.

        br.d
        I think the SOT101 reader can discern why this is the pertinent question. :-]

      64. rhutchin: “LOL!!! Then let’s call God’s omniscience a rebuttable presumption.”
        br.d: “As I’ve said – no one is fooled by your language.”

        That’s because everyone knows what a rebuttable presumption is. Obviously, people understand what I said.

      65. rhutchin
        LOL!!! Then let’s call God’s omniscience a rebuttable presumption.”

        br.d
        As I’ve said – no one is fooled by your language.”

        rhutchin
        That’s because everyone knows what a rebuttable presumption is. Obviously, people understand what I said.

        br.d
        Sorry rhutchin – everyone here knows an observable characteristic of Calvinism is its INSIDER language
        Where statements are specifically crafted to produce “shape-shifted” meanings.
        What I’ve often called – “playing shell-games” with words.

        Its a win-win situation here for us because participants here consistently comment on examples you graciously provide.

        And of course that explains why Calvinists spend so much of their focus on subtle triflings over words

        Hence something I’ve known for many years – (referring to Genesis 3:1)
        Within the field of protestant Christianity – Calvinism always wins the prize of being the most subtle beast in the field.

      66. br.d writes, ‘everyone here knows an observable characteristic of Calvinism is its INSIDER language
        Where statements are specifically crafted to produce “shape-shifted” meanings.
        What I’ve often called – “playing shell-games” with words.”

        That says something when using the term, “rebuttable presumption,” is ‘“playing shell-games” with words.”

      67. br.d
        Everyone here knows an observable characteristic of Calvinism is its INSIDER language
        Where statements are specifically crafted to produce “shape-shifted” meanings.
        What I’ve often called – “playing shell-games” with words.”

        rhutchin
        That says something when using the term, “rebuttable presumption,” is ‘“playing shell-games” with words.”

        br.d
        It says something when an aspect of Calvinism becomes an “observable characteristic”

        What you like to call “acknowledging the truth of Calvinism” :-]

      68. rhutchin: “That says something when using the term, “rebuttable presumption,” is ‘“playing shell-games” with words.”
        br.d: “It says something when an aspect of Calvinism becomes an “observable characteristic”
        What you like to call “acknowledging the truth of Calvinism” ”

        br.d doubles down.

      69. rhutchin
        That says something when using the term, “rebuttable presumption,” is ‘“playing shell-games” with words.”

        br.d
        It says something when an aspect of Calvinism becomes an “observable characteristic”
        What you like to call “acknowledging the truth of Calvinism” ”

        rhutchin
        br.d doubles down.

        br.d
        The fact that a certain aspect of Calvinism is acknowledged as an “observable characteristic” provides its own warrant

        Just as dualism (i.e. good-evil) constitutes an “observable characteristic” of Gnosticism, Neo-Platonism, and Augustinian-ism (aka Calvinism).

        The benefit of acknowledged “observable characteristics” is that they provide an over-arching perspective.

      70. The problem is not so much the observable characteristics of Calvinism, which have been long and well documented, but the enormous energy which modern Calvinists extend to hide, ignore or distort these essential distinctives. Even in their own minds.

        And as you like to point out, Calvin was well aware that few could live as if they really believed in his doctrines. They had to hold ’em and hide ’em, even from their own conscious mind, in order to remain free from fear and despair. And in order to seduce the uninitiated into their program until they too could be programmed with the art of ‘believing in Calvinism, without really acting like it’. Ah yes, simply live as if it is not so, and never question the validity of a belief system which would require one to take such a drastic measure.

      71. TS00 writes, “The problem is…the enormous energy which modern Calvinists extend to hide, ignore or distort these essential distinctives. ”

        No. The enormous energy is expended to accurately explain those essential distinctives to people who purposely distort them in order to argue against Calvinism.

      72. rhutchin
        No. The enormous energy is expended to accurately explain those essential distinctives to people who purposely distort them in order to argue against Calvinism.

        br.d
        Well we know that “going about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part” is not a distortion for John Calvin
        And the diligent SOT101 reader who scrutinizes Calvinist posts here will discern tons of examples of that *AS-IF* thinking pattern.

        So that empowers the intelligent SOT101 reader to discern Calvinism’s definition of “distortion”! :-]

      73. br.d writes, ‘Well we know that “going about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part” is not a distortion for John Calvin.”

        As much as Calvin is respected, most Calvinists live with confidence that God understands everything that happens and has determined all outcomes such that, “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Many non-Calvinists back this assurance and live as if God understands nothing and might be able to help them.

      74. br.d
        The good news:
        Calvinism’s smoke-screen language can’t hide how ubiquitous *AS-IF* thinking is in Calvinist statements.

        Your contribution is greatly appreciated.

        For nothing is concealed that won’t be revealed, and nothing hidden that won’t be made known and brought into the light.

      75. Calvinism demands, as it is the essence of all deception, the abandonment of logical thinking. This trap, into which we have been so often seduced, has led to the near extinction of critical thinking in our world. Particularly for those who would call themselves believers.

        Anytime a so-called authority implores you to abandon reason and silence legitimate doubts and questions, you can be sure that deception is afoot. This applies not only to Religion, but to Science (falsely so-called, according to Paul), History Current Events or any other category. True Religion requires heartfelt seeking. True Science insists upon always questioning and seeking to refute current beliefs. True History acknowledges that the ‘story’ is written by the victors. And so on.

        Truth loves and applauds genuine questioning, confrontation and presentation of doubt. Contrary to the distortions of Calvinism, Paul was not suggesting that no man should ever question him or his proclamations. Quite to the contrary, he lauded those who, with open minds questioned everything he taught and systematically pored over scripture to see if they were logically compatible.

        Nor should we allow ourselves to be deceived that simply quoting scripture – as if our particular claims about its meaning are unquestionably true – is the same thing as seeking truth. Jesus pointed out that not only were those who knew the written Law best adept at twisting and ignoring its commands, but that Satan himself was bold enough to quote scripture to God. Just think about that for a bit.

      76. TS00
        Nor should we allow ourselves to be deceived that simply quoting scripture – as if our particular claims about its meaning are unquestionably true – is the same thing as seeking truth.

        br.d
        So well said!
        I remember one time using the words “Tradition of interpretation” to a Calvinist
        And he got angry with me for using the words “tradition” and “Calvinism” in the same sentence.
        Avoiding the truth is always a red-flag! :-]

      77. TS00 writes, ‘Calvinism demands, as it is the essence of all deception, the abandonment of logical thinking. ”

        LOL!!! When you have nothing else….

        Then, “Nor should we allow ourselves to be deceived that simply quoting scripture – as if our particular claims about its meaning are unquestionably true – is the same thing as seeking truth. ”

        Quoting Scripture is quoting truth. Many Scriptures are easily understood and need no explanation except by those who don’t like what it says and seek to explain away its meaning.

      78. rh writes:
        “Quoting Scripture is quoting truth. Many Scriptures are easily understood and need no explanation except by those who don’t like what it says and seek to explain away its meaning.”

        Of course, of course. It couldn’t possibly be that your interpretation is wrong. I simply don’t ‘like’ it.

        Except that I gave that interpretation, which I never did ‘like’, many, many years to prove itself. I was persuaded to ‘compatibilistically’ accept that determinism and free choice could co-exist, until my mind would no longer tolerate such a logical contradiction.

        What I saw in my over decade in camp was arrogance, authoritarian abuse and complete disregard for people whose faith and lives were being immeasurably damaged. That is not what the genuine gospel does. That is not what the Body of Christ looks like. That is not how a true shepherd tends his flock. Jesus came to heal and to save, to feed and protect, not to poison and destroy while filling his own stomach.

        Satan quoted scripture to Jesus, whose rejection thereof was not because he didn’t like the truth when he heard it. Rather, he rejected deception and distortion designed to lead people to destruction, and urges his followers to do the same. Even and especially when the Destroyer comes as and angel of light, quoting the very words of scripture. To quote words is not to tell truth. Perhaps this misconception explains why some are so deceived.

      79. TS00 writes, “I was persuaded to ‘compatibilistically’ accept that determinism and free choice could co-exist, until my mind would no longer tolerate such a logical contradiction.”

        This comes down to your view of God. Is God capable of creating a world in which He knows everything that is to happen before He creates that world (everything is determined at the point He creates), and coincidentally, God’s will prevails in everything that is to happen and the people God creates are a fundamental part of the world through the free choices they make? The compatibilist says that God was able to do this and that is what He did. The real question is how you were later persuaded that God is really incompetent.

        Then, “To quote words is not to tell truth. Perhaps this misconception explains why some are so deceived.”

        So, if I quote the following, I am not telling the truth?

        – “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

        – “the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame…How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?…So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

        – ““Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

        – “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;”

        – “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.”

        – “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…”

      80. TS00
        I was persuaded to ‘compatibilistically’ accept that determinism and free choice could co-exist, until my mind would no longer tolerate such a logical contradiction.”

        rhutchin
        This comes down to your view of God

        br.d
        Which according to Calvinism is decreed to infallibly come to pass before TS00 exists.
        Why do Calvinists complain so much about what Calvin’s god decrees?
        Obviously – Calvin’s god decrees Calvinists to complain about what he decrees. :-]

      81. rhutchin
        Is God capable of creating a world in which He knows everything that is to happen before He creates that world

        br.d
        Is Calvin’s god capable of determining everything that will happen in a world – and thereby know what will happen in that world before he creates it. If he has a functional brain – yes! :-]

        rhutchin
        (everything is determined at the point He creates)

        br.d
        More accurately
        Everything is first conceived in Calvin’s god’s mind – and then determined/rendered-certain one and the same
        The point of actualization is more precisly the point of creation.

        rhutchin
        , and COINCIDENTALLY, God’s will prevails in everything that is to happen

        br.d
        How about that!
        After Calvin’s god gets done determining every nano-second of “Whatsoever comes to pass” – it just so happens that his will actually prevails! What a COINCIDENCE! :-]

        rhutchin
        and the people God creates are a fundamental part of the world through the free choices they make?

        br.d
        But only those choices Calvin’s god determines people are to make
        And by LOGICAL reduction – permits and makes available nothing otherwise.

        rhutchin
        The compatibilist says that God was able to do this and that is what He did.

        br.d
        Theological Compatiblism:
        The thesis that one is “free” to be/do what an external being (i.e. Calvin’s god) determines one to be/do.

        And so we have robots who are “free” to be/do what they are designed/programmed to be/do

        What is really cool is – this makes Calvinists very “free” to speak DOUBLE-SPEAK
        Just as long as that is the design and the programming! :-]

        rhutchin
        The real question is how you were later persuaded that God is really incompetent.

        br.d
        When a Calvinist uses the term “real” it is wisdom to take note of the underlying subtlies.

        Every perception actualized within the Determinist’s brain – at each precise nano-second – is predetermined by an externam mind.
        That should give us a hint as to what the Calvinist means when he uses the words “persuaded” and “real”. :-]

      82. It is telling – and frightening – that to the Calvinist competence = complete, meticulous control. Like most dictatorships, the iron fist is thinly cloaked with a velvet glove. Compatibilistic freedom is simply a cleverly designed veil, fabricated to disguise Calvi-God’s utter despotism.

      83. Complete meticulous control – thinly cloaked within a velvet glove

        Very incredible words!

        Cleverly crafted talking-points – designed to hide the malevolence of the “Horrible Decree”
        Sometimes I wonder if the Calvinist is taught to chant a library of semantic smoke-screens in order to anesthetize the conscience.

      84. TS00 writes, “Compatibilistic freedom is simply a cleverly designed veil, fabricated to disguise Calvi-God’s utter despotism.”

        Compatibilism says that the infinite mind of God can accomplish that which the finite mind of man says is impossible.

      85. rhutchin
        Compatibilism says that the infinite mind of God can accomplish that which the finite mind of man says is impossible.

        br.d
        Try to find that representation of Compatibilism in any text book – your out of luck!

        But you making that up does constitute a nice example of really big sounding words! :-]

      86. br.d writes, ‘More accurately Everything is first conceived in Calvin’s god’s mind – and then determined/rendered-certain one and the same The point of actualization is more precisly the point of creation.”

        Of course. Nothing is outside God’s infinite understanding as a possibility. When God created, He actualized that which He understood would happen.

        Then, ‘How about that! After Calvin’s god gets done determining every nano-second of “Whatsoever comes to pass” – it just so happens that his will actually prevails! What a COINCIDENCE!”

        This is exactly what Joseph described when he said, ““But as for you (my brothers), you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” This was also described in Acts 4, “[The disciples] raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.’ For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.”

        No coincidence between the concurrence of man’s desires and God’s will.

        Then, “Theological Compatiblism: The thesis that one is “free” to be/do what an external being (i.e. Calvin’s god) determines one to be/do.”

        So, an infinite God with infinite understanding was able to do.

        Then, “Every perception actualized within the Determinist’s brain – at each precise nano-second – is predetermined by an externam mind.”

        By His infinite understanding, God first understood the desires of His creation and determined that those desires would be provided an environment to play out and do so without God having to provoke those desires.

      87. rhutchin
        By His infinite understanding, God first understood the desires of His creation

        br.d
        Calvinism 101 – how to craft statements designed to hide the “Horrible Decrees”.

        Be sure not to miss our next class – its very important!
        The Calvinist art of manufacturing deceptive smoke-screens! :-]

      88. TS00
        ‘Calvinism demands, as it is the essence of all deception, the abandonment of logical thinking. ”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! When you have nothing else….

        br.d
        What?
        We all expected you to say: “logical thinking is humanist philosophy” :-]

        TS00
        Nor should we allow ourselves to be deceived that simply quoting scripture – as if our particular claims about its meaning are unquestionably true – is the same thing as seeking truth. ”

        rhutchin
        Quoting Scripture is quoting truth. Many Scriptures are easily understood and need no explanation except by those who don’t like what it says and seek to explain away its meaning.

        br.d
        I always get a kick out of how much “reverse attribution” there is in Calvinist thinking patterns! :-]

      89. br.d write, “What? We all expected you to say: “logical thinking is humanist philosophy” ”

        Humanist philosophy is a blend of logical and illogical thinking. Anything that ignores God and the Scriptures will get it wrong,

      90. rhutchin
        Humanist philosophy is a blend of logical and illogical thinking.

        br.d
        A totally wonderful description of Calvinist thinking – I couldn’t have put it better myself! :-]

        rhutchin
        Anything that ignores God and the Scriptures will get it wrong,

        br.d
        IRRATIONAL thinking will always result in an IRRATIONAL interpretation of any data
        Whether that data is scripture or not.

        A win-win for SOT101 readers is all the wonderful examples of that provided by Calvinists here.
        All in the name of “scriptural theology” of course! :-]

      91. br.d writes, “The fact that a certain aspect of Calvinism is acknowledged as an “observable characteristic” provides its own warrant ”

        br.d triples down.

      92. br.d
        The fact that a certain aspect of Calvinism is acknowledged as an “observable characteristic” provides its own warrant ”

        rhutchin
        br.d triples down.

        br.d
        I suppose quadrupole comes next :-]

      93. TS00 writes, “Any talk of ‘faith’ or ‘believing’ is misleading – it is technically nonessential, as, in their view, believing is entirely involuntary and irresistible.”

        No, Faith, as defined in Hebrews 11, arises from assurance and conviction. When Jesus said in John 6, “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me, ” we can conclude that those who learn from God receive assurance and conviction as it is certain that they come to Jesus. It is that inward assurance and conviction that is the basis for a person to outwardly manifest repentance and believe the gospel. A person repents and believes because that is now his desire; he does so voluntarily without being compelled or forced to that end by God – thus, the Calvinist says he does so freely.

        Then, ‘Faith (belief) in God’s claims/promises is a choice that each individual can and must make;”

        But not everyone receives or has faith. If everyone had faith (assurance and conviction) in God’s claims/promises, then everyone would believe. Wouldn’t they?

      94. And so it begins, just as could have been predicted. The simplicity of the gospel meets the anvil, bellows, and hammer of the Calvinist’s theology as the horseshoe is tortured into a new and foreign shape that no longer fits the hoof.

        I teach Sunday School once a month for elementary children (6-12). I also teach a men’s Bible study every week. I keep trying to imagine teaching children that only some are free to accept the message we present, while all are free to reject. I would suggest Hutch do that, to see how “simple” Calvinism is, but I really don’t want him anywhere near children to begin polluting them. I also try to imagine delivering such a message to the unsaved men that sometimes attend the Bible study, or even to give hope to the saved men that are struggling.

        “Hi kids. Today we’re going to memorize John 3:16, but first we need to rip a few pages out of the dictionary and your grammar textbooks. First, ‘whosoever’ does not mean just ‘anyone’. Webster go that wrong. Second, ‘believeth’ isn’t the cause of salvation, it’s the effect. So forget everything you were ever taught about sentence structure and English grammar. Third, ‘world’ doesn’t mean everyone in it. It means only the star-bellied sneetches that are in the world. Fourth, “loved” doesn’t mean what you might think. Our Heavenly Father forces some people to love Him while others are forced to hate Him. They really don’t have a choice in the matter, because this is how He shows His love. I know that sounds like hate, but just trust me – it’s love. Once you get a little older, we’ll introduce you to advanced studies and it will all become clear. So, now that we have helped explain to you what this verse really means, let’s memorize it together. Any questions?”

        — or —

        Well, brother, I’m sorry you’re struggling. I’d like to provide you with some assurance, but nobody knows if you’re elect – not you, not me, not your wife. And any effort you might make on your part is ultimately futile. The only way to know for certain is to just wait for the final judgement – you might deny Christ 16 milliseconds before the firing squad pulls the trigger. In fact, you might even go to your death confessing Christ, only to find that He never knew you because you had deceived yourself and didn’t have the right kind of faith.

        By the way, I know I’ll be accused that I’m “doing it all wrong” and that isn’t really what Calvinism teaches and that if I just explained it more meticulously, it wouldn’t sound so heinous.

        But I think we all know better.

  2. Very sad story.

    I know of a husband and father in my own church who recently turned his back on God and has disavowed belief in Christ and Christianity. One of the things he said was something to the affect that “well, I guess I’m just not one of the elect.”

    I know of another man, husband and father of a homeschool family we knew, who, after getting a full dose of Calvinism in the church he attended, completely disavowed his faith and turned away. His reason was that if God is really like what He was being portrayed, then he wanted no part of being connected to and worshipping that God.

    Calvinism logically leads to a view of God that leaves God as a narcissistic God who creates people, then commits most of them to eternal hell for what reason? For His own glory we’re told by the Calvinist. As I contemplated what Calvinism taught that God was like, which I was told was what scripture taught, I was beginning to think of God in these terms as well. Even though the thought that God created most men for the end of condemning them to Hell to give Him glory never sat right with me, I was feeling that to question this was to wrongly question God (after all, didn’t Paul say “who are you oh man, who answers back to God? Can the potter not do what He wants with the clay?”). I was never near abandoning my faith, but I was getting closer to just, like many Calvinists I know, accepting this horribly distorted view of God and His “dreadful decree” because “that’s what scripture teaches” and I just have to accept it.

    Thank God for Leighton’s ministry here and many others that have helped show me the truth that this is not the God of scripture. I love how Leighton put it in “The Potter’s Promise” when he wrote something along the lines of “Scripture reveals a God who manifests His glory by sacrificing Himself for his undeserving created ones, not by making His created ones undeserving from birth so He could condemn them to display His glory as Calvinism says He does. I see scripture reveal a God who is the most glorified not at the expense of His creation as Calvinism teaches, but at the expense of Himself for the sake of His creation.”

  3. Most non-Calvinists talk (like you quoted Leighton, Andy) about Christ’s self-sacrificing years on earth. His life. His teaching. Nothing that He did (as servant-king) would hint at the type of despot-dictator-king of Calvinism.

    I go from time to time on Calvinist blogs to read. Recently I saw a Calvinist blog guy say something like …. “Just you watch… more and more people are gonna start rebuffing Calvinism by pointing at Jesus and saying, ‘look see Jesus wasn’t like that!'”

    I was amazed. Yeah, what a terrible thing to fix our eyes on Jesus and see what He did and said.

  4. I remember years ago on a visit home from the mission field hearing my Calvinist friends say “You have to listen to Caedmon’s Call. These guys are Calvinists and they are great!”

    I wondered at that time what made their music noticeably Calvinistic. Did they integrate into their lyrics things like “Amazing…. Jesus did not die for everyone….yeah, yeah…” or “Oh how God loves some of us” or “You are all too-dead unless God makes you alive.”

    Good News Music!

  5. I have noticed a distinct pattern of Calvinists who truly understand the theology eventually rejecting God altogether. It is completely understandable. If I believed in their caricature of God, I too would recoil in disgust and say, ‘Uh, no thanks.’

  6. “He fell into sin, and sin is deceptive (Hebrews 3:12-13)….In the wake of his sinful choices, he has come to see that he is a better man by embracing his freedom apart from Christ.”

    When a person rejects Christ, even after years of professing faith in Christ, the cause has to do with sin – often sexual sin or sometimes a love of money. It has nothing to do with Calvinism as this is just a smoke screen for non-Calvinists are doing the same. Satan travels the world seeking whom he might devour and those who profess Christ are obvious targets, so Peter says, “resist Satan, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” When a person falls into sin and denies Christ, he can experience a freedom from Satan’s temptations because Satan no longer seeks to devour – why should he? As in Derk’s case, the deception is such that, “he has come to see that he is a better man by embracing his freedom apart from Christ.” Jesus warned us of this in the parable of the sower and the seed, “…he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and anon with joy receives it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended.” That anyone remains faithful to Christ can only be attributed to the grace of God.

    1. Everyone “falls into sin” every day. I do–I confess and repent. Sin isn’t just what we do; it is what we are–from hence the tension of living as Christians arises. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I never understood how people could say they’re back sliders, as though they just awakened to their sin. It is a false premise. You ARE a sinner. You don’t just do sin.

      1. MCS wrote, “Everyone “falls into sin” every day…”

        No disagreement from me. Looking forward to additional comments here and there.

      2. Not everyone falls into sin everyday. When Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness, He meant ALL unrighteousness. We are new creatures in Him; old things are passed away, behold, all things have become new.

        Remember, there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able to bear, but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Cor. 10:13)

        I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

        Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

        Little children, let no man deceive you: he that is righteous doeth righteousness, but he that sinneth is of the devil. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin. (1 John 3)

  7. “That anyone remains faithful to Christ can only be attributed to the grace of God” says the Calvinist. This is true when that “anyone” uses his or her freewill acceptance of that grace… Each one is responsible to “resist Satan firm in your faith…” God doesn’t do the resisting or believing for you. But God does give the needed grace to those who freely trust Him for it.

    Derek believed false teaching that said God would do the “willing and doing” for him. Derek was frustrated when God didn’t show up to do that “willing and doing” for him and through him, even though he was faithfully proclaiming publicly the theology that he was taught was the best way to honor God. Very sad! We need to pray that God brings a faithful servant to teach him the truth that can set him finally free, if he will freely submit himself to it.

    1. brianwagner writes, “God doesn’t do the resisting or believing for you. But God does give the needed grace to those who freely trust Him for it.”

      Not only that, but God gives faith that strengthens a person to resist and believe – “…we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith…”

      Then, “But God does give the needed grace to those who freely trust Him for it.”

      Grace before – “God who began a good work in you…” – and grace afterword – “…we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,”

      Then, “Derk’s believed false teaching that said God would do the “willing and doing” for him.”

      Derek was not taught this – this was his excuse to justify his sin.

      1. Roger this what you even said in so many words on Oct 17 – “God must enlighten or give faith to a person. According to Paul, this changes a person from one who is perishing to one who is being saved [consistent with Philippians 1 – ‘it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.’]”

        Derek was waiting for this irresistible work of God. It certainly sounds to me like you were teaching that this verse proves God has to create the “willing and doing” for someone. That is the same as in effect saying God does the willing or doing for them… for they cannot resist.

      2. Sadly true of many Calvinists, even if they do not consciously think of it this way. I saw this happening to me, and began to feel helpless and hopeless if I could do nothing to change my course.

      3. brianwagner writes, “…you even said in so many words on Oct 17 – “God must enlighten or give faith to a person. …”

        This was my understanding of the enlightenment that you promote – I don’t think you can agree that enlightenment requires the giving of faith, but if you do, that’s great. But, to get to your point.

        Then, “Derek was waiting for this irresistible work of God. It certainly sounds to me like you were teaching that this verse proves God has to create the “willing and doing” for someone.”

        Jesus said, by parable, that tares (unbelievers) would grow with the wheat (believers) in the church. Thus, we should not be surprised that there are people within the church who entered the church to deal with personal issues in the safety offered the church but had no desire for Christ. Among such people would be those who say, “Lord, Lord…” at judgement.

        However, note hat Derek still calls himself a Calvinist indicating that he knows the gospel (much like many atheists). Above, it says, “Derek Webb never took responsibility for his faith.”

        Derek did not have faith – what he had was a knowledge of the gospel. The wonder is that he seems unconcerned about the turn of events in his life. Above we read, “Derek Webb releases his latest solo album, “Fingers Crossed,” announcing to the world that he is no longer a follower of Jesus Christ. Not only that, but he is now boldly proclaiming the “gospel” of atheism.” Absolutely incredible statement. In the OT, we read of the “fear of God,” and then in the NT, we read of “faith in Christ.” The one, reflects the person’s realization that he must give account of his life to God and God may justly deny that person entry into heaven because of his sin. The other reflects a persons’ faith in Christ and how Christ has dealt with our sin allowing us to enter heaven. The believer continues to reflect these attitudes – being ashamed of his ongoing sin and desiring to be cleansed but rejoicing that he need only confess sin to be cleansed. Derek exhibits none of this behavior. Derek is the person described in Hebrews 6. Believers can look at Derek’s life and say, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

        Then, “That is the same as in effect saying God does the willing or doing for them… for they cannot resist.”

        Not really. What God does is take a person out of slavery and free their will from slavery to sin. In addition, God gives the person faith. By doing this, God makes the person willing and the person is able to choose whether to reject Christ – pretty much unthinkable because who would choose death over life? If a blind man was teetering at the edge of a cliff, the sudden opening of his eyes would result in a reflexive action to jump back and away from the cliff. So, it is with the spiritually blind unbeliever. Give him spiritual sight and the result is predictable.

  8. Leighton Flowers on soteriology101 and Brian Abasciano on Society of Evangelical Arminians and Roger Olson on Patheos are doing an excellent job getting the news out there that The Calvinistic understanding of the Scriptures is false. By accommodating Calvinism as another valid interpretation of Scriptures, we are I feel encouraging heresy. There is no set of Christians more dangerous to the holiness of God and the impartiality of God than the Calvinists. Calvinists make God do the work of the devil by not just placing in man evil desires, but by determining every evil act that each and every human must do. Calvinists don’t need the devil to exemplify evil. They’ve got God. And this holds true whether they believe in hard determinism or compatibilism. This article is proof that the Calvinists are driving people away from Christ and His work on the cross.

    1. floor writes, “This article is proof that the Calvinists are driving people away from Christ and His work on the cross.”

      The article is proof that anyone can corrupt sound teaching to justify their sin.

      1. Here is a man who understood the teachings of Calvinism and its implications better than most Calvinists. Teachers of Calvinism never use the word Calvinism, instead they simply say that this is the Biblical teaching and then they spout Calvinism. At least that’s what’s happening in most places. Calvinists are very much like the Democrats when they go in for a debate. They don’t have anything worthwhile to say, so they continually misrepresent, mischaracterize the opponents and put words in their mouth. It’s impossible to debate them since you’re constantly dealing with straw men. Michael Heiser refused to debate James white – check out his YouTube video

      2. Floor writes, “Calvinists are very much like the Democrats when they go in for a debate. They don’t have anything worthwhile to say, so they continually misrepresent, mischaracterize the opponents and put words in their mouth.”

        LOL!! Such an imagination.

      3. It’s funny you didn’t find God doing the devil’s work as abhorrent. This is why I say the calvinists worship a different God than the One described in
        the Bible

      4. Floor writes, “It’s funny you didn’t find God doing the devil’s work as abhorrent.”

        The devil is capable of doing his own work without prompting from God. Even the devil is under God’s control and can do nothing without God decreeing that he do it as we learn in the case of Job.

      5. Floor
        “It’s funny you didn’t find God doing the devil’s work as abhorrent.”

        rhutchin
        The devil is capable of doing his own work without prompting from God.

        br.d
        This is FALSE in Calvinism.

        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

        Since everything that comes to pass is RENDERED-CERTAIN by Calvin’s god – he must have RENDERED-CERTAIN you misrepresent Calvinism.

        I’d be curious to find out why he would do that
        Perhaps he’s using you for some form of divine entertainment. :-]

      6. br.d writes, “This is FALSE in Calvinism.”

        Not according to your post – I had written, “The devil is capable of doing his own work without prompting from God.” You cited Calvin to add, ““The devil and all the ungodly are REIGNED IN by god,…” Good quote.

      7. rhutchin
        The devil is capable of doing his own work without prompting from God.

        br.d
        This is FALSE in Calvinism.

        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

        rhutchin
        Not according to your post – I had written, “The devil is capable of doing his own work without prompting from God.” You cited Calvin to add, ““The devil and all the ungodly are REIGNED IN by god,…” Good quote.

        br.d
        Remember how I stated a while ago that you spend a lot of time trifling over words?
        Perhaps here your word “prompting” and Calvin’s words “commands” and “FORCED” – are not modally synonymous in your mind.
        But I think a logical reader is going to see they are.

        Me suspects someone is kicking at the pricks.

      8. br.d writes, “Perhaps here your word “prompting” and Calvin’s words “commands” and “FORCED” – are not modally synonymous in your mind.”

        “Forced” indicates that everything is subordinate to God and God rules over everything. So, when Calvin says previous to this that “The devil and all the ungodly are REIGNED IN by God,…” they have no choice in the matter being forced by God to do as God wills by reigning them in – they have no power to oppose God or break through God’s restraints on them.

      9. br.d writes, “Perhaps here your word “prompting” and Calvin’s words “commands” and “FORCED” – are not modally synonymous in your mind.”

        rhutchin
        “Forced” indicates that everything is subordinate to God and God rules over everything. So, when Calvin says previous to this that “The devil and all the ungodly are REIGNED IN by God,…” they have no choice in the matter being forced by God to do as God wills by reigning them in – they have no power to oppose God or break through God’s restraints on them.

        br.d
        “prompting” and “command” are modally synonymous..
        Remember Calvin states they -quote CANNOT CONCEIVE, PLAN OR CARRY OUT any crime, unless commanded to do so.

        This fully encompass what one would know as “prompting”.

        “Forced” of-course for you indicates subordination in such a way that the creature can act on its own.
        But that is because you have a need to make Calvin’s determinism APPEAR as IN-deterministic as you possibly can.

        But that is not what “Forced” means in Newtonian terms.
        Force is object A pushing on object B.
        Object A applies “Force” to make object B move.

        “Force” and “Subordinate” are not synonymous.
        A son can be subordinate under his father – and the son is not “Forces” to do him service.
        So subordination and “Force” are two entirely different terms.

        But we understand that Calvinists – especially today – have a need to make Calvin’s determinism APPEAR as IN-determinisic as possible.
        In order to hide the “author of evil” aspect of Calvinism.

        That is why we say “A Calvinist is a determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting double-speak talking-points.”

        But John Calvin was not obsessed with masquerading determinism as IN-determinism like Calvinists are today.

        So Calvin’s language is altogether clear.
        Calvin’s god is without a doubt PROMPTING Satan not only to do
        But Satan cannot even CONCEIVE of an idea of what to do without Calvin’s god FIRST CONCEIVING it.

        I know that is not what you’re able to acknowledge
        But that is based on your need to make Calvinism APPEAR as IN-determinisict as possible.

        I’m happy to let the SOT101 readers – read Calvin’s language and come to their own conclusion.

      10. br.d writes, “Remember Calvin states they -quote CANNOT CONCEIVE, PLAN OR CARRY OUT any crime, unless commanded to do so. ”

        In the earlier citation, this part was in the context of God reigning in people (as one reigns in a horse). Thus, God reigns in people so that they cannot conceive, plan, or carry out beyond that specified (or determined) by God’s command (or decree).

        Then, “A son can be subordinate under his father – and the son is not “Forces” to do him service.”

        Yes. In the context of the discussion, where God is omnipotent, a person cannot exceed the boundaries or restraints God places on him and necessarily does God’s will as God’s will sets the boundaries.

        Then, “But Satan cannot even CONCEIVE of an idea of what to do without Calvin’s god FIRST CONCEIVING it.”

        This is wrong. Satan has the innate ability to conceive evil because he is evil. Satan will not conceive anything unknown to God (or not first anticipated/conceived by God) and can only conceive those things within the boundaries God places on him.

      11. br.d writes, “Remember Calvin states they -quote CANNOT CONCEIVE, PLAN OR CARRY OUT any crime, unless commanded to do so. ”

        rhutchin
        In the earlier citation, this part was in the context of God reigning in people (as one reigns in a horse). Thus, God reigns in people so that they cannot conceive, plan, or carry out BEYOND THAT SPECIFIED OR DETERMINED by God’s command (or decree).

        br.d
        Correct – this would be consistent with Theological Detminism
        The creature CANNOT CONCEIVE, PLAN OR CARRY OUT – except those things which are FIRST CONCEIVED and then RENDERED-CERTAIN by Calvin’s god.

        rhutchin
        Then, “A son can be subordinate under his father – and the son is not “Forces” to do him service.”

        Yes. In the context of the discussion, where God is omnipotent, a person cannot exceed the boundaries or restraints God places on him and necessarily does God’s will as God’s will sets the boundaries.

        br.d
        Calvin never leaves any room in his statement for ANY INDETERMINISTIC creaturely activity.
        IN-determinism and determinism are mutually exclusive.
        Calvin’s statements are consistent with Theological Determinism – where INDETERMINISM (which is mutually exclusive) does not exist.
        That is why in academia – Calvin is classified with Theological Determinism

        “Satan cannot even CONCEIVE of an idea of what to do without Calvin’s god FIRST CONCEIVING it.”

        rhutchin
        This is wrong. Satan has the innate ability to conceive evil because he is evil. Satan will not conceive anything unknown to God (or not first anticipated/conceived by God) and can only conceive those things within the boundaries God places on him.

        br.d
        Sorry rhutchin – like I said – I know you want to make Calvinism APPEAR as IN-deterministic as possible – but Calvin makes no room for that.
        His statement stands as it is.
        Satan “CANNOT CONCEIVE” X unless Calvin’s god commands Satan to CONCEIVE X.

        Obviously X must be FIRST CONCEIVED in Calvin’s god’s mind
        And at the foundation of the world where Satan does not yet exist.

        That’s how Calvin’s’ god gets his omniscience to know what thoughts Satan will have.
        He does not look into the future and see Satan having thoughts and by this know what they will be.
        He RENDERS-CERTAIN Satan’s conceptions before Satan is created.

        Try as you might to make determinism APPEAR as IN-determinism – it won’t work.

        Its not worth my time going any further with you on this topic because your simply going in circles at this point.
        I’ll let SOT101 readers judge Calvin’s statement as consistent with determinism for themselves.

      12. br.d writes, “The creature CANNOT CONCEIVE, PLAN OR CARRY OUT – except those things which are FIRST CONCEIVED and then RENDERED-CERTAIN by Calvin’s god.”

        So, as an example, the Assyrians in Isaiah 10 cannot invade Israel until God says that they can.

      13. br.d
        “The creature CANNOT CONCEIVE, PLAN OR CARRY OUT – except those things which are FIRST CONCEIVED and then RENDERED-CERTAIN by Calvin’s god.”

        rhutchin
        So, as an example, the Assyrians in Isaiah 10 cannot invade Israel until God says that they can.

        br.d
        In Calvinism that statement would be dishonest because it seeks to hide the truth in Calvinism.
        Your statements are consistent rhuthcin – attempts at masquerading determinism as IN-determinism.

        Jesus without fail speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
        Those who honor Jesus – follow his language model.

        In Calvinism (per Calvin’s unequivocal statement) the creature CANNOT EVEN CONCEIVE – let alone CARRY OUT any sin or evil but by direct COMMAND from Calvin’s god. Nothing more and nothing less.

        Therefore all creaturely activity including sin and evil is the manifestation of the creature OBEYING divine command.
        Logic therefore shows us that creaturely disobedience in Calvinism is a logical impossibility.

      14. br.d writes, “Therefore all creaturely activity including sin and evil is the manifestation of the creature OBEYING divine command.”

        An example of this would be Satan entering the garden when God decreed/commanded that he should and not when Satan wanted to.

      15. br.d writes, “Therefore all creaturely activity including sin and evil is the manifestation of the creature OBEYING divine command.”

        rhutchin
        An example of this would be Satan entering the garden when God decreed/commanded that he should and not when Satan wanted to.

        br.d
        rhutchin – this language again would be dishonest because of what it seeks to hide .

        Jesus without fail – speaks the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
        He who honors Jesus will follow that language model.

        Per Calvin Satan CANNOT CONCEIVE of entering the garden but for Calvin’s god FIRST CONCEIVING Satan enter the garden.
        Satan’s nature and activity is the direct manifestation of Calvin’s god’s COMMANDS.
        Nothing more – nothing less.
        Therefore it follows – Satan cannot WANT anything but for Calvin’s god FIRST CONCEIVING and COMMANDING Satan will want.

        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

        At this point I think Calvin’s god has your brain in “broken record” mode
        I don’t know why he would do that to you.

        Could you reach up above your head and see if one of your control strings going into your head is stuck on something? :-]

      16. br.d writes, “Per Calvin Satan CANNOT CONCEIVE of entering the garden but for Calvin’s god FIRST CONCEIVING Satan enter the garden.
        Satan’s nature and activity is the direct manifestation of Calvin’s god’s COMMANDS.”

        Not under Calvinism. Satan has a mind able to conceive many things. That nothing Satan conceives could be new to God does not detract from this. That which Satan actually conceives can be reigned in by God who is sovereign and rules and overrules all things including Satan and that which Satan may conceive. God reigns in by command and loosens by command.

      17. br.d
        “Per Calvin Satan CANNOT CONCEIVE of entering the garden but for Calvin’s god FIRST CONCEIVING Satan enter the garden.
        Satan’s nature and activity is the direct manifestation of Calvin’s god’s COMMANDS.”

        rhutchin
        Not under Calvinism.

        br.d
        In order to show this is true – you will have to show that Satan can have a thought that Calvin’s god did not FIRST-CONCEIVE and RENDER-CERTAIN before Satan existed (at the foundation of the world)

        And then you’ll have to deny Calvin’s doctrine of decrees – so good luck with that! :-]

        rhutchin
        Satan has a mind able to conceive many things.

        br.d
        Satan can conceive only what is rendered-certain by Calvin’s god – nothing more – nothing less.
        Unless you want to deny the doctrine of decrees.

        rhutchin
        That nothing Satan conceives could be new to God does not detract from this.

        br.d
        This statement infers divine omniscience based upon “observation” masquerading as Calvinism which it isn’t.
        Calvin’s god **MUST** FIRST-CONCEIVE and RENDER-CERTAIN everything Satan would ever conceive.
        Otherwise Calvin’s doctrine of decrees is FALSE.
        If after having done that Calvin’s god is to dumb to know what he RENDERS-CERTAIN then he doesn’t qualify as omniscient.

        rhutchin
        That which Satan actually conceives can be reigned in by God who is sovereign and rules and overrules all things including Satan and that which Satan may conceive. God reigns in by command and loosens by command.

        br.d
        Satan can conceive only what is rendered-certain by Calvin’s god – nothing more – nothing less.
        Unless you want to deny the doctrine of decrees.

        Any Calvinist who tells you otherwise is trying to evade Calvin’s doctrine without getting caught doing so.
        Or perhaps that’s your plan? – wink wink! :-]

  9. Today’s Bible reading leads to Jeremiah, then Titus 2.

    2: 9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
    ————

    No matter what translation I look at (even the Calvinist ESV)… it still looks like our behavior can make the teachings about God look attractive.

    What can that possibly mean? For Calvinists the “Doctrines of Grace” cannot get adorned by humans!! (even if the Bible says so!). God either imposes on them His grace or not. No slave can “make it attractive.” C’mon, how “man-centered” is that!?

    Unless…… unless……

    2:11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
    ——-

    Unless the VERY next verse explains it (you see that is the good thing about “looking at things in context”).

    I get it. God’s grace is offering salvation to all people. (BTW, the Greek is “all men” — πασιν ανθρωποις– not “all peoples” or “all kinds of men”). God’s salvation is offered to all humans.

    The behavior of believers can make that grace attractive… encouraging people to consider it. That is what Paul means when he says “he reasons with people,” “he persuades people,” and “he tries to convince people.”

    I am not sure how the action of slaves can make the Gospel more attractive for a Calvinist. Doesn’t that put some of the responsibility in the hand of that believer? If so…. it is still 110% God-alone action?

    I honestly have no idea how these passages make any sense to a full-Calvinist. I DO understand how they put their Calvinism aside and read the verse naturally (“so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive”), then later pick their theology back up again. That turns into an incredible form of compatibilism…. and basically is very confusing.

    And one of the things that caused me to walk away from Calvinism.

    1. FOH writes, “I get it. God’s grace is offering salvation to all people. (BTW, the Greek is “all men” — πασιν ανθρωποις– not “all peoples” or “all kinds of men”). God’s salvation is offered to all humans. ”

      This is what Calvinists call “common grace,” that FOH is certainly familiar with.

      Then, ‘That is what Paul means when he says “he reasons with people,” “he persuades people,” and “he tries to convince people.”

      Jesus would do the same stating, “He who has ears to hear…” Where does the unbeliever get ears to hear? In not from God, from whom or what?

      Then, “I honestly have no idea how these passages make any sense to a full-Calvinist.”

      Sounds like an admission that FOH really doesn’t understand Calvinism. Or does FOH, really understand Calvinism and finds that he must denigrate it in order to argue against it. Hmmmm!! I wonder what FOH is up to.

  10. Bible reading in Jeremiah and Titus 3.

    When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.
    ——-

    Not because of the righteous things we has done!

    He save us.
    He washed away our sins.
    Gave us a new birth… and new life.

    Wait…. Calvinists say He has to give us new life….THEN save us…. after we “freely choose” Him because He gave us new life.

    1. FOH writes, “Not because of the righteous things we has done!
      He save us.
      He washed away our sins.
      Gave us a new birth… and new life.”

      So what does Titus really tell us?

      5 God saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy….

      God saved us [Here Paul is speaking to believers.] and this was because God is merciful. How does God save believers?

      5 …He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.

      Many versions have “washing of regeneration or new birth.” FOH does not deal with this because he cannot. God saves people by washing away their sins – the Psalmist prays, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.” However, that does not seem to be the meaning here. This washing of regeneration’ new birth is accomplished through the Holy Spirit that God generously pours out on believers Paul says.

      7 Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

      Paul gives glory to God writing that this is by God’s grace accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit – not anything a person does. It was because of His grace that God made us [believers – God’s elect] right in His sight.

  11. Reading in Titus.

    10 If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. 11 For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.

    —–

    Paul keeps talking about disassociation with those who have turned away from the truth. Why do we keep seeing Paul say this? How does this fit with the “P” in TULIP?

  12. Daily reading Lamentations and Philemon

    Philemon 1:19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord;
    ————–

    We are told by Calvinists that man has nothing to do with salvation. But Paul is constantly reminding people how much he did to get the gospel out and that he convinces, persuades, and reasons with people (reminding us of his part).

    Here he is telling Philemon that Philemon owes Paul his “very self.” What, did he rescue him from drowning? Grab him out of a burning chariot? Push him away from an oncoming camel? Nah. He just shared the gospel with him— probably “convinced” him of the truth of it. That is why he is pressuring Philemon to forgive Onesimus.

    Paul is telling Philemon outright that —-to some degree—- in some respect Philemon owes him his life.

    Now…. Paul must surely be a leader among NON-Calvinists! No Calvinist would say such a thing! Certainly not in eternal Scripture —where everyone will understand him to be saying that he played some role in Philemon’s salvation. Remember….. Calvinists INSIST that man has nothing to do with it….100% nothing.

    (For them) It is not just the person who is “free will receiving” who has nothing to do with it (since God forces him irresistibly).

    (For them) It is also the person who is presenting the Gospel who has noting to do with it (or else God will “lose some of His glory”).

    So…. here’s Paul telling Philemon that he owes him his life. In the Calvinist sense (not for others) that certainly has to be claiming some responsibility for Philemon and “robbing God of some of His glory.”

    1. FOH writes, “Paul is constantly reminding people how much he did to get the gospel out and that he convinces, persuades, and reasons with people (reminding us of his part). ”

      Paul’s letters tell us of God’s election and predestination and then emphasize the need for preaching (convinces, persuades, and reasons) – from this we can conclude that God has commanded preaching as the means to call out His elect. Paul is the vehicle God used to call Philemon to Christ – as Paul explains, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.’ Paul always gave glory to God attributing to God the beginning of salvation, “…He who began a good work in you…” and the completion, “God will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Thus, “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” These are part of the 40-50 verses that Calvinists call our attention to and that FOH seems to have cut out of his bible.

  13. Author Fr. Wilbur Ellsworth, in his book “Journey out of Reformed Theology”
    -quote
    “There was a young man in the church who came to me. A very sincere guy.

    He was seriously dedicated to a young lady, to marry her. I just loved that couple. He came to me one day and said; I am deeply depressed. My soul is dark.

    I said; Why?

    He said; I don’t love God the way I should.

    I said; tell me why, what’s happening?

    He said; I don’t love God, as I should because I’m not sure he loves me……. I’m not sure I’m Elect.

    Well if I needed another stab in the heart—that did it. We sat there for 3 hours. Finally, I said to him, if you believe you can’t be sure of God’s love for you, then I will admit you can’t love him as you need to. What does 1st John say? We love because He first loved us.

    I thought this next moment was the cruelest I’ve ever had in my entire ministry. I said to him, If that is your theology, I have nothing to offer you.

    He just stared at me.

    I said, I don’t believe for a moment that that is the testimony of scripture. And that is not the testimony of the N.T. Church. But if you embrace that theology, I sorrowfully agree with you—you are stuck.

    We talked for about another 10 minutes, and he left under that weight.”

    1. br.d writes, “He said; I don’t love God, as I should because I’m not sure he loves me……. I’m not sure I’m Elect.”

      He was probably sleeping with the girl and God was crushing his spirit to let him know that election was on God’s terms and not his..

      1. Wow. A fine example of the spirit of Calvinism.

        No, God is not a harsh, cruel, vindictive tyrant who ‘crushes’ the spirit of those who break the rules. He is a gracious, loving, merciful lover of souls, who desires and seeks the redemption of those (All) who have been seduced by the lies of the deceiver and enslaved to destructive sin.

        We have no way of knowing if the young man was sleeping with the girl; if he was, God’s desire would be for him to turn from wickedness and do the right thing, not to crush him. God’s desire for man, whose sin is not hidden from him, is always that he turn from wickedness and embrace righteousness. This is lost in Calvinism, which asserts that all wickedness was preordained by God just as was all righteousness. That is why the Calvinist, when confronting sin, loses hope. The non-Calvinist, confronting the exact same sin, can hear the words of Jesus: “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

        God desires to save and restore fallen man, not to crush him.

        This is was key to my deliverance from the wilderness of Calvinism. Upon confronting the real cause/effect of sin in the lives of my precious children, Calvinism offered nothing but fatalism; either my kids were ‘elect’ or they weren’t, and there wasn’t a darn thing anyone could do about it. The true gospel offers hope for sinners: deliverance from addiction, forgiveness for harm done to self and others and a chance to be given a clean slate to start all over. Calvinism offers you a flip of the coin, to see if you just might be one of the few, chosen to be dragged out of your sin, like it or not. I don’t care for those odds; I go with the promise of forgiveness for all who believe and turn from wickedness. That is a gospel of good news that I can share with my loved ones and every needy, desperate sinner.

      2. TS00 writes, “We have no way of knowing if the young man was sleeping with the girl;”

        That’s right. We really know absolutely nothing from the cited material. So, what was the point? To attribute anything in this case to Calvinism is ludicrous. Why even present it??

      3. The Calvinist said: “I don’t love God, as I should because I’m not sure he loves me……. I’m not sure I’m Elect. ”

        rhutchin
        That’s right. We really know absolutely nothing from the cited material. So, what was the point? To attribute anything in this case to Calvinism is ludicrous. Why even present it??

        br.d
        Is this statement based on ignorance or lack of honesty?
        This is well known within historical Calvinism as: “The dreaded false hope”
        It comes with the territory.

        Now Calvinists today may be taught thought-blocking techniques – with which the brain is conditioned to block any thought which doesn’t fit sacred double-speak talking-points.

        So thought-blocking may well be at work in this case.
        But the Non-Calvinist’s brain has not be subject to such conditioning – so its at liberty to connect logical dots. :-]

      4. “Now Calvinists today may be taught thought-blocking techniques – with which the brain is conditioned to block any thought which doesn’t fit sacred double-speak talking-points.”

        That is exactly what Calvinism requires – thought-blocking techniques. I say that not to be ‘cute’ or unkind; it is a sad reality with which I am forced to deal with on a non-stop basis. I must accept, however regrettable, that there is little I can do to counter those thought-blocking techniques if the person involved is eager to keep those thoughts blocked.

        That is not to say that I believe I have unique understanding, or all the right answers; far from it. The challenge I did accept was to acknowledge how little I, or any human, fully understand anything. To many people, that is frightening. They prefer to cling to their idols, their authorities who have the ‘Truth’ and all the answers to the most frightening problems. Even when, time and time again, those ‘authorities’ are proven fallible; sometimes destructively so. Those who are too frightened to live a life of faith, trusting that God will see them through, come what may, must have ‘fake authorities’ in their lives, who have asked the difficult questions, arrived at the ‘best’ answers and will, if given enough time and power, solve the problems of life. Someday.

        Thus we have entire nations, throughout history, succumbing to the deceitful promises of rulers, governments and, yes, churches. Still today, many so-called Christians believe that one particular political party is trustworthy and will, if given the opportunity, put in place the solutions that have, somehow, perpetually eluded mankind. One more election. One more properly shaped Supreme Court. One more puppet mouthing meaningless words to offer false hope to those who desperately seek something or someone in which to put their trust.

        This is always how deceit works. Truth is distorted. False authority is asserted. False promises are made. Evil tyranny and abuse arises. Rinse and repeat. It started in the garden, and will never end until men put their faith in the One and only source of Truth, Justice, Goodness and Mercy. Not some person or institution’s caricature thereof, but the living God, who is, and always has been, faithful and true.

      5. TS00,
        I see your point. I dont think they know or feel they are deceived.

        In MacArthur’s case, he was as Arminian as they come in the 60’s and 70’s before the YRR wave hit So Cal. He STILL preaches very Arminian things all the time. Compatibalism helps a person say “non-Calvinist XYZ ideas” are true…. it’s just that the Calvinist “Doctrines of Grace” are “true-er.”

        So…. that is why we see, for instance (see this quoted by me in other threads) Jon Bloom (Piper’s main assistant) write a book which is from introduction-to-last-page about personal faith…. biblical examples, how you have to have it, grow it, use it, exercise it…. can produce it, etc.

        He gets a free pass on all this cuz ….why….. cuz he pulls out his Calvinist card. Kind of like saying, “Hey bros, I’m gonna write about excellent biblical examples of personal faith… and I will not attribute that ONE TIME to God (only to the person in the story), but don’t worry… fret not… I’m one of us! It’s all true…. but we all know that behind it all, Calvinism is ‘true -er’. So don’t worry.”

        And that is how they can have their cake and eat it too.

        Don’t bother following the determinist rabbit down the hole that takes you to the dark conclusion that God decreed/ ordained/ willed all evil that ever happened. If someone says such God-ordained-all-evil ideas to you—- just yell “Universalist!” or “Pagan open theist!” at them and look again at that Calvinist card in your wallet. Phew. Safe.

      6. Wonderful post TSOO!

        A year or so ago I watched a documentary – somewhere around a dozen survivors of the David Koresh group being questioned.
        They adamantly insisted Koresh was sent by God as a ministry of truth.

        How many years ago was that – and those people are still “stuck” in that belief system.
        I’m afraid to say – this is not uncommon – as I’ve read people are devout moonies for life.
        This is why cult experts in the 70s recognized that forced interventions back-fire.

        You have to let the person think for himself.
        For coming out of Calvinism – I believe FOHs testimony would be instructive here.

      7. Daily reading in Hebrews 5.

        8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him…
        ———-

        Is Christ the source of salvation (author and finisher of our faith)?

        Is there a condition?

        For all who obey Him.

        Dont be fooled when Calvinists pull out one of their repeated 40-50 verses they say support Calvinism. They quote the one about Christ being the author of our faith, stating that this is proof for Calvinism. Of course He is the author! It is His initiation to put the redemption plan in place!

        He is the source of salvation….. for all who obey.

      8. br.d
        The Calvinist said “I don’t love God, as I should because I’m not sure he loves me……. I’m not sure I’m Elect.”

        rhutchin
        He was probably sleeping with the girl and God was crushing his spirit to let him know that election was on God’s terms and not his..

        br.d
        Thanks rhutchin – its good to have someone who has experience – explain how it works with Calvinists.

        They sleep with the girl AS-IF Calvin’s god didn’t render-certain they do so with the express purpose of crushing their spirit in order for them to know election is on his terms.

        More precisely – EVERY PART OF EVERY SIN is -quote “on his terms”.

        Me wonders how what kind of sins Calvin’s god has lined up for Calvinists to do today? :-]

      9. br.d writes, “its good to have someone who has experience – explain how it works with Calvinists.”

        This has nothing to do with Calvinism and everything to do with stuff that is not explained.

      10. The Calvinist said “ I don’t love God, as I should because I’m not sure he loves me……. I’m not sure I’m Elect.”

        rhutchin
        November 3, 2018 at 9:20 am
        He was probably sleeping with the girl and God was crushing his spirit to let him know that election was on God’s terms and not his..

        rhutchin
        November 3, 2018 at 11:16 am
        This has nothing to do with Calvinism and everything to do with stuff that is not explained.

        br.d
        Let the SOT101 reader reference every post I’ve ever made detailing how Calvinist double-speak works!
        But with examples like this – detailed explanations are not really necessary! :-]

  14. CALVINISM’S LANGUAGE – IS IT THE LANGUAGE OF CHRIST?

    A young man takes a girl to lover’s lane and she soon discovers his intent. As he reaches, she puts up her hand making a “Stop” motion. “Before we do this I need to know if you [love] me” she says sternly.

    The young man knows what the girl’s definition of the word [love] is. He knows if he speaks honestly – (i.e., the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth) – in other words – if he answers her question USING HER DEFINITION of the word [love], his answer will be “no”. In such case his quest will be foiled.

    So, he reasons within himself, he must use a different definition for the word [love] – while very carefully framing his statement to lead her to believe he’s fully answering her question.

    “Of course, I love you” he says, and then fills in using language he knows she will trust—Argument by Emotive Language. But the caveat is; he won’t tell her what TYPE of love he has in mind.

    Dr. Steven Hassan – expert on aberrant religious groups – calls this “INSIDER” or “CODED” language. The group works to compartmentalize information, in order to obscure undesirable aspects of its doctrine. The strategy is to select words, which have commonly accepted meanings within the English language, and alter or shift their meanings when applied to specific aspects of the doctrine – just like our young man at lover’s lane does.

    These select words are then used within statements communicated to the general public, in books, public speaking, etc – and listeners are unaware select words are being used with ambiguous meanings. In this way, carefully crafted statements camouflage undesirable aspects of the doctrine – and present an appearance of commonly accepted benevolence.

    Our young man at lover’s lane knows what this young girl’s definition for [love] is, but he creates an ad-hoc definition, and retains his definition as INSIDER information. Her inability to discern his language strategy gives him an advantage over her.

    Dr. Jerry Walls, Professor of Philosophy, in his presentation: “What’s wrong with Calvinism” – relates a situation in which Calvinist pastors have sought the council of an older Theologian/professor – asking if it would be honest for them to tell “OUTSIDERS” God loves them.

    The Theologian’s response is illuminating, because it follows the same line of reasoning and language strategy used by our young man at lover’s lane.

    The answer: “Of-course you can tell them God loves them”. But the caveat is; you can’t tell them what TYPE of love God has for them.

    How would people respond, if you told them that the TYPE of love God has for them, is the TYPE of love that will throw them into a lake of fire for his good pleasure?

    It would be nice to tell them, the God loves them with a TYPE of love that is salvific. But for a devout Calvinist, that would be not be honest. So, they are counseled to use the language of benevolent-sounding half-truths.

    We can give these you Pastors credit – their question was based upon a concern for honesty. But the fact these young pastors couldn’t see the answer as a dishonest use of language, is evidence that Calvinism holds this mode of language as viable and acceptable – and necessary for the defense and promotion of the doctrine.

    1. I would not know what you mean, had I not personally experienced this in action. It was only when I was shocked awake that I began to listen carefully to the preaching that had seemed so scriptural for years. When I inserted what I now knew to be the Calvinist definitions of the common terms used, I was stunned to see how a sermon could seem to mean one thing, but to the ‘illuminated’ it would have an entirely (wink, wink) different meaning. When I tried to explain this to loved ones, they simply thought I was nuts. They heard an entirely different message than I now did. Absolutely astounding.

      1. This is very much the case in modern Calvinist writing with the word “allow”. Piper cannot really bring himself to stick to his guns so…. just when he is about the get really deterministic …. in comes the “allow” word. That just feels right to the crowd and they forgive past and future “God determined all evil lust, rape, murder for His glory” type of statements. “Allow” ah…. so much better.

        The rest of us read the same article and see a total cop-out when he sprinkles in his “allowed” at just the right time.

      2. FOH
        The rest of us read the same article and see a total cop-out when he sprinkles in his “allowed” at just the right time.

        br.d
        Another good example!
        If I remember, Sproul and MacArthur use the same trick.

      3. Good post!
        Yes – that fits very well with what many others have experienced. Calvinism has its own unique language – while using English words which have meanings people hold in common when communicating to each other – totally unaware of how misleading their language is.

        In one of his articles here, Dr. Flowers describes a back-and-forth he had with a Calvinist – in which he quoted a statement made by a prominent Calvinist but neglected to give the name of the person he quoted. The Calvinist responded – sharply rejecting the statement. Then when Dr. Flowers gave him the author of the statement – he responded “He knew what he meant by that statement – and he didn’t mean what he said”.

        This is a very good example of what Dr. Steven Hassan calls “INSIDER” language.

        When a Calvinist says “You don’t understand Calvinism” quite frequently, what he is really saying is “You don’t communicate it using Calvinism’s language”. The language is filled with terms that mils-direct and crafted in language that is highly euphemistic – which is always a give-away that something undesirable is being obscured.

        I’ve had numerous dialogs with Calvinists where I communicated their own doctrine to them in a highly precise and mater of fact manner – and found them to be very uncomfortable with it – how-be-it they could not deny what I said was true. In a few instances their response is “We don’t say it that way”. And I agreed with them and told them I understood the nature of their language.

        Take the word “Permission” for example – when Calvinists use it – they use it both with its commonly held meaning as well as the altered meaning which Calvin gave it. They can use it both ways in the same sentence. Other Calvinists know exactly which meaning applies based on their doctrine – but the OUTSIDER has no idea they aren’t using the commonly understood meaning. That is how INSIDER language works.

  15. FOH, Brd, TSOO, Here’s a good example of exactly what you were discussing.

    John MacArthur on oneplace.com says “The fact that some sinners are not elected to salvation is no proof that God’s attitude toward them is utterly devoid of sincere love”
    At a first glance you would think he was being sincere with his statement. But let’s see what he means by “sincere love” to the non-elect.
    He goes on to say, “God loves believers with a particular love” – which sounds good, but then – “God’s love for the elect is an infinite, eternal, saving love. We know from Scripture that this great love was the very cause of our election (Ephesians 2:4). Such love clearly is not directed toward all of mankind indiscriminately, but is bestowed uniquely and individually on those whom God chose in eternity past” John MacArthur

    Here we see that MacArthur says God’s saving love is not directed to all sinners indiscriminately. That’s because he believes in a selection process whereby God decided to save a select few for unrevealed reasons by a “secret decree’ before the foundation of the world “in eternity past” leaving everybody else born into the world to receive the other “love” of God that wasn’t given to save – the kind of “sincere love” that doesn’t want them saved but gives them sunshine and rain.

    If we understand the love of God that saves, it is the love of Christ on the cross for all sinners, but MacArthur says, “Such love clearly is not directed toward all of mankind indiscriminately”

    What a crook! look out for MacArthur’s “Two Loves” doctrine.

    1. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13

      Let us hear scripture define this ‘sincere’ love that creates life, curses it for the sin of another, refuses to give it ‘the gift’ of faith and life that is freely offered to others and purposely sends it to the destruction to which it was always, inevitably doomed. There is no such love presented in scripture. In modern parlance, Calvinism’s love would be called ‘fake love’, for it holds no resemblance to the true love that God declares he not only has, but is.

      Calvinism could win no converts without its doublespeak and secretively redefined words. One of my Calvinist pastor’s favorite tactics was to cite familiar old hymns, knowing the fondness and comfort they offered the mostly non-Calvinist congregation. Of course they had no idea that his redefinition of key terms in those hymns left their traditional interpretation on the cutting room floor. We would sing, or speak of the ‘Sweet, sweet love of Jesus’ with true joy and thankfulness in our hearts, and he would never acknowledge that his Calvinism redefined this ‘sweet, sweet love’ as limited to a select, chosen few.

      My struggle is to understand where the brainwashing ends, and deceit begins, for men like this know full well that their listeners do not understand their definitions, nor would they accept them.

      “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

      Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

      Love never ends . . .” – 1 Cor 13:1-8

      I would challenge the ‘fake love’ of Calvinism’s ‘fake God’ – it is nothing but a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. My God, the true God, lay down his life for those he loves – which is all men. That is a sweet, sweet love worth singing about and worth proclaiming to the lost and dying.

      1. Great post TSOO!

        I especially liked:
        I would challenge the ‘fake love’ of Calvinism’s ‘fake God’ – it is nothing but a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. My God, the true God, lay down his life for those he loves – which is all men. That is a sweet, sweet love worth singing about and worth proclaiming to the lost and dying.

        and
        My struggle is to understand where the brainwashing ends, and deceit begins, for men like this know full well that their listeners do not understand their definitions, nor would they accept them.

        I too have been looking into this last aspect of Calvinism you sight. Years ago it would be called “brainwashing” but psychologists have since found that term to be too ambiguous and also carries to many pejoratives.

        Robert J, Lifton made a major breakthrough in this arena – and he re-defined “Brainwashing” as ” “Thought Reform”.

        Lifton’s research detailed a number of observable characteristics:

        1) Milieu Control.
        The group maintains a much higher decree of control over communication and how information is framed. Group members are expected to embrace and conform to the group’s unique language model.

        2) Demand for conformity
        Group leaders keep a watchful eye out on members – promoting a “One-thought-One-voice” mode of behavior, along with “Black-&-White” thinking. Anyone who questions is held in question.

        3) Sacred Science.
        The group’s doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. Truth is not to be found outside the group. The leader, is a spokesperson for God. Those inclined to examine dogma or leadership are typically moved out of the group.

        4) Loading the Language.
        The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand.
        This jargon consists of thought-blocking statements – which serve to alter members’ thought processes to conformity and keep members from acknowledging dark aspects of the doctrine.

        5)
        Doctrine over person.
        Member’s personal experiences and any critical thinking must be subordinate to the sacred science and anything contrary must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology.

        Any of these look recognizable within Calvinist behavior patterns? :-]

    2. Damon,
      That is right. On other threads here I have commented and quote MacArthur at length. He is actually now very upset at the young YRR crowd who is vehemently insisting that God does NOT love all people.

      He then goes on with the “He makes the sun shine” part. As I say elsewhere, sunshine is of no use to a girl of eight in sex slavery (who will die at 14 of disease), a horrendously handicapped person, a 12-year-old boy (never seeing the sun) working 18 hour days in mines in Asia, and on and on.

      These unfortunate persons who live miserable lives and die without knowing Christ, can at least say, “God ‘loves’ me by giving me sunshine!” What a stupid thing for MacArthur to propose.

    3. Damon:
      John MacArthur on oneplace.com says “The fact that some sinners are not elected to salvation is no proof that God’s attitude toward them is utterly devoid of sincere love”

      br.d
      Thank you for this post Damon – great catch!
      I agree with you on the rejection that the God of scripture would love “select” people with some kind of “special” love.

      But the thing that I find even more antagonistic to Jesus – is the degree of dishonesty in these statements.
      If MacArthur spoke the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – he would clearly state the love Calvin’s god has for the “non-elect” is the kind of love that would throw them into a lake of fire for his good pleasure.

      But MacArthur is smart enough to know – if he were that honest – his audience would dwindle to a dozen hard-core believers – and he would have to resort to manual labor in order to support himself.

      Jesus – without fail – speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
      If they were do follow that model – Calvinism would go the way of the dinosaur – and they all instinctively know it.

  16. Here is an example – John MacArthur writes in an article for oneplace.com.

    John MacArthur – “Calvin continues to explain the biblical balance that both the gospel invitation and “the world” that God loves are by no means limited to the elect alone. He also recognized that God’s electing, saving love is uniquely bestowed on His chosen ones”

    This is contradictory madness to say this is “biblical balance”. In the first sentence, he says Gods love and gospel invitation is not limited to the elect alone. In the next sentence, he says God’s electing, saving love is uniquely bestowed on His chosen ones.
    This is typical Calvinist contradictory talk. To say that God loves people enough to invite them to a place that he made sure they could never go, is like offering an ice-cream to a child when you know you don’t have one or even intended to ever give.
    MacArthur is spot on with his summation of Calvin and his contradictory theology and that’s why he is exactly the same with his.

    1. Damon,
      This is typical. So many of them believe that God “invites” all people to come to Him —to repent. But He only gives the “power” to do it to the elect.

      Like you sending out invitations to friends saying, “Please come to my party. Use this entry ticket.” But you only put a ticket/ address in a very very few of the envelopes. Later when the ones who didn’t come say to you …. “Hey I got your invitation, but there was no ticket inside.” You just say, “Yes, and in there is the real ‘balance’ to the invitation.”

      Puzzled looks all around.

      “Come unto Me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

      1. ‘I did invite you . . . so that you would know how much I sincerely love you.’

        ‘But . . . but there is no address for the party, or ticket to get in. What kind of invitation is that?’

        ‘Welcome to the Hotel Calvinfornia . . . you are always invited, but you can never get in.’

      2. Hotel Calvinfornia!!! Great! I was in and checked out!

        You are right. I forgot to add the invitation is sent out to all the people that he loves…. to show how much he loves them. See, I loved you enough to send you an invitation!

    2. Like the young man who takes the girl up to lover’s lane – (in my story) who alters his definition of the word “love” – Calvinism plays the same game – with the word “invitation”.

      Come over here lost soul – and take this gift that I’m NOT giving you – which I “rendered certain” you NOT take – before you were born.

      Oh you didn’t take it!?! – I’m soooooo surprised!!!!
      It must be because of your depraved nature – which I also just happened to “render certain” before you were born.

      But don’t worry – I’m going to treat you AS-IF I didn’t “render-certain” any part of anything.

      Now your gonna get it – how dare you do the very thing I decreed and “rendered certain” you do!!
      You must be punished big time for that.
      Why? Because I’m the big gorilla in this jungle and your not!

      Looks a lot like the god Pan – who according to the Greeks was benevolent to some and malevolent to others! :-]

  17. Daily Bible reading in Ezek 10-11, Hebrews 6

    11:11 I will judge you even to the borders of Israel, 12 and you will know that I am the Lord. For you have refused to obey my decrees and regulations; instead, you have copied the standards of the nations around you.”
    ———

    Here is the LORD (all CAPS in my Bible) saying that He will judge them because they refused to obey His decrees and regulations.

    Yes, yes…. we know that the RH and the Calvinists would say “He stood by and watched while man did what he naturally does.” But that does not work.

    Sure, He watched them disobey after giving them freedom to do so. They had freedom to obey also. These were God’s chosen people… the ones that had witnessed His good hand for hundreds of years. They were not “doing only what they could do….sin.”

    So the “God watches while pagan man does what he naturally craves” canard will not work here.

    This is God watching while His chosen people choose to disobey decrees that He made. Did He WANT them to obey? Yes indeed. This is clearly God not getting what He wants.

    For Calvinists to superimpose on this passage the idea that God SAYS He wants them to obey, but before time He decreed/ ordained/ willed / wanted/ desired for them to disobey is unbiblical and a man-made idea.

    Somehow Sproul, Piper and resident RH think that they can say….. “Yes we see God saying ‘I want you to obey,’ and we see God saying ‘because you did not obey you will now be punished,’ but those hundreds of passages do not mean what they say.” They go on, “Surely God planned/ordained before time— and takes great pleasure in the idea— that He would act like He doesn’t want them to do it….. but He willed them all the same to do these great sins.”

    What?

    That is just silly and unbiblical. And yet determinist-fatalist-Calvinists are forced into this position by their self-imposed definitions of sovereignty and omniscience.

    1. FOH writes, “This is God watching while His chosen people choose to disobey decrees that He made. Did He WANT them to obey? Yes indeed. This is clearly God not getting what He wants.”

      As a former Calvinist, you would know that the Calvinist says that God wanted Israel to choose to obey Him and that God gave them the freedom to choose to disobey Him. So, sure God wanted Israel to obey Him, but He gave them the freedom to disobey Him. I don’t see why you quibble on this point.

      1. rhutchin
        As a former Calvinist, you would know that the Calvinist says that God wanted Israel to choose to obey Him and that God gave them the freedom to choose to disobey Him.

        br.d
        Along with Calvinism’s host of square-circles and married-bachelors – FOH eventually recognized all of its double-speak.
        We thank Jesus FOH is a “former” Calvinist. :-]

        rhutchin
        Calvinism says that God wanted Israel to obey him.

        br.d
        Yes this is part of Calvinism’s language of double-speak.
        And the rational thinking Christian will see through it.
        Since Calvin’s god rendered-certain everything Israel would do before Israel existed – Israel DID obey – what he decreed.
        The decree allows nothing more – nothing less.

        rhutchin
        God gave them the freedom to choose

        br.d
        In Calvinism – this statement is deceptive

        Since their EVERY neurological impulse was rendered-certain before they exists.
        They were ONLY free to have those neurological impulses – nothing more – nothing less.

        Therefore they were ONLY free to choose whatever he rendered-certain they choose.
        Nothing more – nothing less.

      2. br.d
        You are more patient than I am.

        One of the reasons that I do not respond to RH’s posts is because in spite of my asking outright dozens of time, “Is it possible for God to not get what He wants?” or “Does God always get what He wants?” —- he will never answer.

        Of course his answer would be “God always gets what he wants,” and “All that happens is what God wants.”

        This of course renders meaningless his statements like the one to my recent post:

        “…the Calvinist says that God wanted Israel to choose to obey Him [but they didn’t] and that God gave them the freedom to choose to disobey Him.”

        His statement would mean that God did NOT get what He wanted…. and would put a significant ding in their understanding of sovereignty.

        Say it with me Calvinists: God does not always get what He wants.

        They would then have this dilemma: “If God does not always get what He wants, because of man’s decisions…. then this renders useless our accusation made at semi-Polynesians that they say man is ‘stronger’ than God.”

        “This renders impotent our accusations, ‘You universalists! You think man can thwart God’s will?!!'”

        [you must use “thwart” in this accusation]

        Humm… “What to do,” says the Calvinist…. “If I say that God wants man to do something (it is His will) and man does not do it…. man can therefore thwart God’s will!!”

        And of course this is what RH just said when he said, “God wanted Israel to choose to obey Him” [and we know they did not].

        Thwart…. thwarting….. thwarted…. thwarteth!

      3. I’m afraid poor RH could be accused of having slept in class by the knowledgeable and consistent Calvinist. 😉 There is absolutely no way that any consistent Calvinist can define God’s sovereignty as simply allowing man the freedom to thwart God’s will – even though that is exactly what Compatibilism attempts to do. And what my former pastor asserted, to my grief, chagrin and, eventually, anger. Was he simply befuddled by Compatibilism until he could no longer understand what nonsense it is to assert that God decrees all things from eternity past and yet also assert its opposite, that man is given the ‘freedom’ to choose his own desires, even so as to be able to thwart God’s will?

        I’m sorry, I no longer can believe that any intelligent, well-schooled Calvinist can be so ignorant. Maybe the guy in the pew, who has never fully studied or grasped the essentials of Calvinism, but not those who have read deeply and wrestled with the meaning of Calvinism’s unique viewpoint on God’s control of the world. To believe that man is free to choose his own actions is unequivocally to discount Calvinism. It is the very essence of the difference between Calvinism and all other Christian theologies. Rh can deny it until he is blue in the face, and he does, but it does not make it any less true.

        Calvinism: God decides everything. Period. Good and bad. Righteousness and sin. All actions in the universe are predetermined by God.
        Non-Calvinism: Man has a choice, and his actions are not predetermined by God.
        Compatiblism: Let’s pretend both can be true without blushing.

        Compatibilism was simply the launching of the most daring, absurd, contradictory doublespeak the world has ever seen. It is this that RH demonstrates day after day.

      4. TSOO
        Compatiblism: Let’s pretend both can be true without blushing.

        Compatibilism was simply the launching of the most daring, absurd, contradictory doublespeak the world has ever seen. It is this that RH demonstrates day after day.

        br.d
        Absolutely correct!
        Two world renowned philosophers agree with you

        Dr. William James:
        Compatibilism is a quagmire of evasion. The Compatibilists strategy relies upon stealing the name of freedom to mask their underlying determinism. They make a pretense of restoring the caged bird to liberty with one hand, while with the other they anxiously tie a string to its leg to make sure it can’t get beyond determinism’s grasp.

        Immanuel_Kant
        Compatibilism is a wretched subterfuge with which some persons still let themselves be put off, and so think they have solved lives problems with petty word- jugglery.

      5. br.d writes, “Two world renowned philosophers agree with you…Dr. William James:…Immanuel Kant…”

        br.d is careful to leave out anything that describes what this “compatibilism” is that people rail about. Maybe because there is nothing to cite. LOL!!

      6. br.d writes, “Two world renowned philosophers agree with you…Dr. William James:…Immanuel Kant…”

        rhutchin
        br.d is careful to leave out anything that describes what this “compatibilism” is that people rail about. Maybe because there is nothing to cite. LOL!!

        br.d
        The rational thinker gets it!
        Nothing new here – move along – move along :-]

      7. TSOO writes, “There is absolutely no way that any consistent Calvinist can define God’s sovereignty as simply allowing man the freedom to thwart God’s will – even though that is exactly what Compatibilism attempts to do.”

        This is what Calvin meant by “bare permission.” God does not “simply allow;” God gives man the freedom to disobey Him. However, no one thwarts God’s will and no one whether Calvinist or not, says that God’s will can be thwarted. When people disobey God, it means that God had chosen not to intervene to prevent that disobedience from which we conclude that such disobedience was part of God’s plan and consistent with His will.

        From what I understand, compatibilism doesn’t say very much other than that God is sovereign and people have free will to do as they desire. It does not “define God’s sovereignty as simply allowing man the freedom to thwart God’s will.”

        Then, ” To believe that man is free to choose his own actions is unequivocally to discount Calvinism. It is the very essence of the difference between Calvinism and all other Christian theologies.”

        I don’t see why this is true. Perhaps you can explain why it must be true. Normally, the argument is that the Calvinist says that man is free to chose as he desires and the non-calvinist says that man is free to choose against his desires. That is not what you are saying.

      8. With a nod to B.d.:

        Dr. William James describes it well: “Compatibilism is a quagmire of evasion. The Compatibilists strategy relies upon stealing the name of freedom to mask their underlying determinism. They make a pretense of restoring the caged bird to liberty with one hand, while with the other they anxiously tie a string to its leg to make sure it can’t get beyond determinism’s grasp.”

        RH: “From what I understand, compatibilism doesn’t say very much other than that God is sovereign and people have free will to do as they desire.” – ‘The Compatibilists strategy relies upon stealing the name of freedom to mask their underlying determinism.’ Thus, stealing the name of ‘freedom’ the Compatibilist here does not acknowledge that Calvinistic ‘sovereignty’ demands that God controls ‘whatsoever comes to pass’ – no exceptions.

        Calvinism demands that God dictate the very ‘desires’ men have been ordained to ‘choose’ along with everything else he dictates – they simply attempt to mere mask this determinism as some sort of bizarre ‘freedom’, a choice without a choice. As many have pointed out here in the past, in this illusion of freedom men have no real power to choose other than the ‘desire’ that was determined by God beforehand. Some ‘freedom’, eh? Mere word jugglery, pretending that inserting a second step disguises the fact that God is indeed determining every action of every man; it makes little difference whether he uses brute force or implanted desires. He determines the action by determining man’s desire to perform the action, and no word-juggling illusions of ‘fake freedom’ can change the facts.

        RH: ‘God is the final arbiter of all that happens – God always gets His will. That does not detract from God wanting people to choose to serve Him and not forcing people to serve Him.’ What he really means is that Calvinists do not want the wretched truth to detract from the illusion they seek to create that God allows people to choose to serve him, and does not ‘force’ people to serve him. Which is, of course what non-Calvinists assert in opposition to Calvinistic determinism. They just keep juggling those words around, hoping that no one notices how their meaning spins and varies as needed. Who are they fooling? If God chooses beforehand who will be saved, as per Calvinism, then there is no ‘freedom to choose’ to serve him or to not serve him. The ‘non-elect’ cannot choose to serve him, and the ‘elect’ cannot choose to not serve him. It is all word games.

        As per Immanuel Kant: “Compatibilism is a wretched subterfuge with which some persons still let themselves be put off, and so think they have solved lives [sic] problems with petty word-jugglery.” If ‘God always gets his will’ and ‘is the final arbiter of all that happens’ then it is absurd to say that God ‘want[s] people to choose to serve him’ or that he does ‘not forc[e] people to serve him’. If God always gets his will, and determines all that happens (note the word jugglery to introduce the euphemism ‘is the final arbiter’ for ‘determines’) then no man is freely choosing anything. EVER. Nothing but stuff and nonsense, as usual; waving two fictional, contradictory wills of God around, which only thought-blocking mind control allows individuals to be deceived by. God ‘wills’ all men to be saved, but at the same time God ‘wills’ only some to be saved. That, my friend, would be a schizophrenic God, if his ‘will’ is always done.

        God truly desires that all men choose to trust in him, but leaves the choice truly to them – which means laying aside the ‘right’ to have his will always done. Why did Jesus instruct his disciples to pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven? Because, to this day, it is not so. God is not playing word games, pretending to desire that none perish while creating men with that very unavoidable destiny, determined for them before they were ever born or able to make a choice. All it ever takes to see through Calvinism is genuine, logical thinking, which is why it often requires a dramatic incident to break the hold that the mind control has asserted through various means over the individual.

      9. TS00,
        As usual you dismantle the illogical, unbiblical, circular-reasoning of RH and the Determinist!

        Non-Calvinist Christ: “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”

        Calvinist Christ: “Come to me all who I make irresistibly come…. but you others I make irresistibly not come (of course calling it ‘following your natural desires’ — which I irresistibly gave you … before time…. for my own good pleasure)… ahem…. never mind all that fine print…. still… Come to me…. the invitation is open! (I mean, well, open to those I make come, and not intended AT ALL, IN ANY WAY for most of the readers of this invitation).”

      10. FOH
        Calvinist Christ: “Come to me all who I make irresistibly come…. but you others I make irresistibly not come (of course calling it ‘following your natural desires’ — which I irresistibly gave you … before time…. for my own good pleasure)… ahem…. never mind all that fine print…. still… Come to me…. the invitation is open! (I mean, well, open to those I make come, and not intended AT ALL, IN ANY WAY for most of the readers of this invitation).”

        br.d
        Good one!!
        Don’t look at the little man behind the curtain over there – and don’t let your little dog totto go over there either
        You might discover where Calvin’s god comes from. :-]

      11. FOH writes, “Non-Calvinist Christ: “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”
        Calvinist Christ: “Come to me all who I make irresistibly come…. ”

        I do not understand why you continually feel compelled to distort Calvinism. Is it because you have no legitimate argument against Calvinism?

        Both the Calvinist and non-Calvinist preach, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” Under Calvinism, this is common grace extended to each and every individual. However, God is perfectly within His right to save some from among those who reject that offer.

      12. FOH
        “Non-Calvinist Christ: “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”
        Calvinist Christ: “Come to me all who I make irresistibly come…. ”

        rhutchin
        I do not understand why you continually feel compelled to distort Calvinism

        br,d
        Here the Calvinist is complaining about is a statement the speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
        This deviates from Calvinism’s language of double-speak talking points.

        We can see the Calvinist’s mind is conditioned.
        His mind is conditioned to perceive any statement which does not affirm the double-speak talking-points as a “distortion of Calvinism”

        Calvinism doesn’t need any help at all in that regard
        Its TRUE = FALSE PRETZEL LOGIC is fully distorted already. :-]

      13. TS00 writes, “If ‘God always gets his will’ and ‘is the final arbiter of all that happens’ then it is absurd to say that God ‘want[s] people to choose to serve him’…”

        Actually, God commands that all people serve Him. By giving people free will, we see that God wants people to freely choose to serve Him. In the end God always gets His way. The death of Christ on the cross was God’s will accomplished by people who freely chose not to serve God. Same with the stoning of Stephen, the death of James, the persecution of Christians by Saul, etc.

      14. TS00 writes, “If [Calvin’s god] ALWAYS gets his will’ and ‘is the final arbiter of all that happens’ then it is absurd to say that God ‘want[s] people to choose to serve him’…”

        br.d
        Right – Calvin’s god led Adam to believe that what he WILLED “Adam’s Obedience”
        When he already knew that before Adam was born – he both WILLED AND RENDERED-CERTAIN “Adam’s Disobedience”

        Calvin’s god speaks the same way to Israel – rendering-certain they commit specific sins before they are born – and later commanding them not to commit those very sins.

        Calvin’s god speaks with forked tongue.

        Eyes they have – but they do not see
        Ears they have – but they do not hear

        AND THEY WHO MAKE THEM ARE LIKE UNTO THEM.

        This Biblical principle explains why we observe Calvinists speaking with forked tongue

      15. rhutchin:
        This is what Calvin meant by “bare permission.” God does not “simply allow;” God gives man the freedom to disobey Him.

        br.d
        John Calvin
        -quotes:
        – “But in speaking of “permission”, I understand that he [Calvin’s god] APPOINTED WHATEVER HE WISHED he wished to be done……..
        – “Not MERELY with God’s permission, but even by his command”
        – “I maintain the distinction between [Calvin’s god’s] permission and volition to be frivolous.”
        – “Away, then, with that vain figment, that, by the permission of God only, and not BY HIS COUNSEL AND WILL EVILS ARE COMMITTED.”

        – The FIGMENT OF BARE PERMISSION vanishes: because it would be ridiculous for the Judge only to permit what he wills to be done

        Therefore BARE PERMISSION where “God gives man the freedom to disobey Him” is rejected by Calvin as frivolous.

        Here is the least ambiguous ways to recognize Calvin’s use of “permission”:

        – The Calvinist drove his car to liqueur store – and in so doing “permitted” his car to go to the liqueur store.
        – Calvin’s god dropped a baby into the fire of Moloch and therefore “permitted” the baby to be killed in the fire of Moloch.

        Calvin
        -quote “NOTHING happens without his express will and decree”

        rhutchin
        God gives man the freedom to disobey Him

        br,d
        Since Calvin’s god renders-certain every neurological impulse man will ever have – the ONLY freedom given is the freedom of that which is rendered-certain – nothing more – nothing less.

        rhutchin
        I don’t see why this is true. Perhaps you can explain why it must be true.

        br.d
        We’ve already observed long ago that you chase your tail when it comes to rational logic you don’t want to acknowledge.
        We can stand back and enjoy watching you chase your tail again on this one. :-]

        No sense throwing Perls where they will simply get trampled on.

      16. And why was this Compatibilist doublespeak called for? Because able men, over a century ago, proved that Calvinism made God the author of Evil, and essentially led all reasonable, godly men to reject it. Compatibilism sought to resurrect the evil, blasphemous assertions of Calvinism by hiding them behind euphemism, multi-syllabic words and outright contradictory statements. And here we are today, attempting to unveil Calvinism; to strip it of all of its deliberately donned masks, while its defenders scream and cling to the pretense that what they say makes any sense.

      17. TSOO
        And here we are today, attempting to unveil Calvinism; to strip it of all of its deliberately donned masks, while its defenders scream and cling to the pretense that what they say makes any sense.

        br.d
        So TRUE!

        Thank you Lord for SOT101 – please bless Dr. Fowers :-]

      18. FOH – I like that question “Does Calvin’s god always get what he wants”
        You are correct – it highlights Calvinism’s double-speak!

        The interesting thing about Calvinists – I find – is how they can live in their crazy irrational psychology where they perceive everything as both TRUE and FALSE at the same time. The fact that the Calvinist brain can perform such PRETZEL LOGIC gymnastics and still successfully interact with LOGICAL thinking people is an attribute to the complexities of the human brain.

        Its kind of a form of voluntary derangement – I think.

      19. FOH writes, “my asking outright dozens of time, “Is it possible for God to not get what He wants?” or “Does God always get what He wants?” —- he will never answer.”

        God is the final arbiter of all that happens – God always gets His will. That does not detract from God wanting people to choose to serve Him and not forcing people to serve Him.

      20. FOH
        “my asking outright dozens of time, “Is it possible for God to not get what He wants?” or “Does God always get what He wants?” —- ruthcin will never answer ”

        rhutchin
        God is the final arbiter of all that happens – God always gets His will. That does not detract from God wanting people to choose to serve Him and not forcing people to serve Him.

        br.d
        Thanks for proving what FOH just stated.
        Its more precises to say rhutchin will evade giving that answer – while masquerading doing so! :-]

        I always ask Calvinists questions which require a TRUE or FALSE answer.
        They REALLY avoid those!!

      21. br.d,
        You are right…. let’s try this….

        Calvinist friends:

        Did God want His chosen people Israel to sacrifice their children to Baal?

        or

        When the Israelites sacrificed their children to Baal were they doing what God wanted?

        or

        Were the Israelites doing God’s will when they sacrificed their children to Baal?

      22. FOH
        You are right…. let’s try this….

        Calvinist friends:

        Did God want His chosen people Israel to sacrifice their children to Baal?

        or

        When the Israelites sacrificed their children to Baal were they doing what God wanted?

        or

        Were the Israelites doing God’s will when they sacrificed their children to Baal?

        br.d
        Calvinism’s language of double-speak – what does it look like:
        1) Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world renders-certain the people of Israel do each of those specific acts.
        2) Israel did not have a choice – but must obey what they are rendered-certain to do.

        And yet! Wait for it!
        1) is TRUE AS IF it is FALSE
        2) is TRUE AS IF it is FALSE

        Now there is Calvinism in a nutshell :-]

  18. Daily reading Hebrews 6.

    You know where I’m going with this!

    I received MacArthur’s commentary on Hebrews in college when I won the best Greek student award. What a wild book! Have you heard his sermons on Hebrews?

    He spends literally 20 mins explaining that these are not believers the author is talking to… Well, he say the author is talking to believers in one verse and then almost-believers in the next…. and back and forth for a whole chapter. He states that those in the early church would understand that that the author is looking to his left when he says one thing and to men on his right when he says the next.

    How he knows this…. and how we are supposed to know where the talking-to-believers, talking-to-non-believers button is…. is hard to see.

    Anyway, the 1-point Calvinist-Baptists on here will have an answer to Hebrews 6 and 10 that matches the 5-point Calvinists. Fine. No problem.

    I leave you with just one verse (of them many verses possible!) from this chapter….

    6: 12 “Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.”

    So, have faith and endurance…. dont be spiritually dull and indifferent!

    1. Thanks FOH for this post.

      Here’s something I wrote a couple of years ago. I know RH will scan through his 200 English interpretations to try prove me wrong, but this is just something I observed using the bible I read. I am also aware that there is probably a Greek or Hebrew word underlying the English text that could be translated “persevere” or “perseverance” in other passages, and I’m also fine with that. But upon observation in the English version I read –

      The word “perseverance” is only found once in the whole bible. The word “persevere” is not found anywhere in the bible. “Perseverance” in the bible relates to persisting in prayer and supplication for all believers, even through difficult times – Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”.
      The word “Perseverance” in any dictionary means ‘continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no indication of success.’
      The bible on the other hand doesn’t describe salvation in this way. We are not told to “persevere” with our salvation.
      The bible says we are to “hold fast” to our salvation – Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”
      Revelation 2:25 “But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.”
      Our profession of being saved by the grace of God in Jesus Christ through faith in his blood is a promise that guarantees salvation, and we don’t doubt its success. We as believers are told to “hold fast” to that – not “persevere” with it.
      John MacArthur an influential Calvinist writes “True believers will persevere in faith to the end” But this is unbiblical as the bible says true believers will hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering “(for he is faithful that promised)”
      The fifth point of Calvinism is flawed in that we are not told anywhere in the bible to “persevere” with salvation. We are told to “hold fast” to what is guaranteed not “persevere” with little or no indication of success.
      All true believers will hold fast in faith to the end. Not “persevere” with it.

      1. DG writes, “John MacArthur an influential Calvinist writes “True believers will persevere in faith to the end” But this is unbiblical as the bible says true believers will hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering “(for he is faithful that promised)””

        Vines defines the Greek word translated as “hold fast” to mean–

        3) to hold
        3a) to hold in the hand
        3b) to hold fast, i.e. not discard or let go
        3b1) to keep carefully and faithfully
        3c) to continue to hold, to retain
        3c1) of death continuing to hold one
        3c2) to hold in check, restrain

        MacArhur takes the word persevere that means, “continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no indication of success,” to be a synonym of “hold fast.” You object to him doing this. So, what is your point?

  19. Rhutchin writes,

    MacArhur takes the word persevere that means, “continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no indication of success,” to be a synonym of “hold fast.” You object to him doing this. So, what is your point?

    My reply – The point is that “holding fast” to God’s promise cannot be defined as “persevering”. Because ‘persevering’ connotes “little or no indication of success” as I have already pointed out in the dictionary definition. Whereas holding fast to God’s promises leave no room for doubt of success, because “for he is faithful that promised”.

    That’s the difference and my point.

    1. DG writes, “That’s the difference and my point.”

      That’s fine. However, when we read Paul describing the Christian life in 2 Corinthians as “Therefore we do not lose heart… For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,…” and “…indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven;…” Then in Timothy, “…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted….” Then Paul describes his life in 1 Corinthians, “To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. ”

      If not a synonym, I think we might conclude, as MacArthur seems to have done, that holding fast to Christ involves persevering in this world as we hold fast to Christ.

      However, I still don’t understand your reason for pursuing this argument. What is the issue?

      1. RH writes,

        ‘If not a synonym, I think we might conclude, as MacArthur seems to have done, that holding fast to Christ involves persevering in this world as we hold fast to Christ”

        Notice RH confirms my point with his quote above. They are two separate things.

        The point I am making is that the “P” in “TULIP” is dealing with Salvation as does every other point in the Calvinist model; It is ‘perseverance of the saints’ in Salvation but the bible does not use that terminology. It is the Calvinist that uses terminology not found in the bible. Or they use terminology to redefine the bible.

        For example – I could agree with TULIP with my own definitions which are not wrong but from another perspective..

        Total Depravity – Every one of us are totally not worthy of Salvation at all, and none of our works will get us to heaven.

        Unconditional Election – Because none of our works are good enough to get us to heaven God will unconditionally choose those that repent and believe by faith in the gospel.

        Limited Atonement – Christ’s death atoned for the sin’s of the whole world and He tasted death for every man, reconciling to world unto himself, but salvation is limited only to those who repent and believe the gospel and therefore receive the atonement that was made for the whole world.

        Irresistible Grace – The grace of God in Jesus Christ in the gospel will come to you whether you like it or not. You will hear the good news whether you like or not. You will be without excuse on judgement day in front of a Holy, Loving God for rejecting the gospel.

        Perseverance of the Saints – Those that hold fast to Christ will persevere through temptations because they are fully persuaded that that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

        I think I just fell in love with TULIP.

      2. Calvinists…

        With their TU-LIPS they honor me – but their hearts are ……….(and you know the rest). :-]

      3. They dishonour me with their hearts but their lips are far from me………….is that how it goes? 😁

      4. DG writes:
        “For example – I could agree with TULIP with my own definitions which are not wrong but from another perspective..

        Total Depravity – Every one of us are totally not worthy of Salvation at all, and none of our works will get us to heaven.

        Unconditional Election – Because none of our works are good enough to get us to heaven God will unconditionally choose those that repent and believe by faith in the gospel.

        Limited Atonement – Christ’s death atoned for the sin’s of the whole world and He tasted death for every man, reconciling to world unto himself, but salvation is limited only to those who repent and believe the gospel and therefore receive the atonement that was made for the whole world.

        Irresistible Grace – The grace of God in Jesus Christ in the gospel will come to you whether you like it or not. You will hear the good news whether you like or not. You will be without excuse on judgement day in front of a Holy, Loving God for rejecting the gospel.

        Perseverance of the Saints – Those that hold fast to Christ will persevere through temptations because they are fully persuaded that that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

        I think I just fell in love with TULIP.”

        Now there’s a tulip worth its petals!

      5. DG writes, “It is the Calvinist that uses terminology not found in the bible. ”

        Everyone uses terminology not found in the Bible. For example, the term, “omniscience,” does not appear in the Bible and “omnipotent” appears once in KJV. It’s not a big deal. The “P” of TULIP reflects Philippians 1, “God who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” and John 6, ““All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out….And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.” If you have a complaint, address the Scriptures that give rise to a specific term and don’t get exercised over English words used by translators or those writing commentaries to explain the Bible.

        Then, “I think I just fell in love with TULIP.”

        You agree with the notion of “common grace.” That’s fine. You are not objecting to saving grace.

      6. Yep, don’t trust those translators who study Greek and Hebrew in their sleep, they don’t know anything do they 😮.
        Just have to rely on the weekend warrior to give the correct translation.

        Actually, why did you use an English translation to counter my post when you believe it can’t be trusted anyway?

        Oh and I like this one – RH says “and don’t get exercised over English words used by translators or those writing commentaries to explain the Bible.”
        ………..what? kind of like Calvin’s Institutes which is 6 times longer than the New Testament? Is that what you mean?

      7. DG writes, “what? kind of like Calvin’s Institutes which is 6 times longer than the New Testament? Is that what you mean?”

        Calvin, like others, wrote his institutes using words not found in the Bible with the purpose of explaining what the Bible tells us. People generally don’t get exercised over the words that Calvin used even if they do get exercised over the concepts Calvin expressed using those words.

        What’s your point in this discussion? You seem to be upset that translators did not use the word, “persevere,” except in one instance, when translating the Bible from the Greek to English, but then people like MacArthur use that term to explain what the Bible says. Why is this an issue for you.

      8. Yep, I am running out of tissues I’m that upset.

        RH writes,
        “People generally don’t get exercised over the words that Calvin used even if they do get exercised over the concepts Calvin expressed using those words”

        My reply – How that for a tail chase!
        It’s like saying – don’t believe my words just believe my concepts. And if you don’t like the concepts just believe my words.

        Where’s brd? He’d like this one.

      9. DG writes, ‘It’s like saying – don’t believe my words just believe my concepts. And if you don’t like the concepts just believe my words. ”

        I still don’t know what you are upset about.

      10. In the Calvinist mind – his posts are reasoned explanations – while the non-Calvinist posts are “upset” – “complaints”.
        Scribes and the pharisees always love to position themselves in the upper seat. :-]

      11. Or the way my Calvinist pastor played it, anyone who disagree with his particular interpretation was ‘rebellious’, a ‘God-hater’ who ‘refuses to bow to the authority of scripture’ and/or ‘rejects the God-appointed authorities’ in his life. Very manipulative.

        I would say my rejection of his [Calvinist] interpretations of scripture are because I am ‘thoughtful’, a ‘false teacher-hater’ who ‘refuses to bow to one man or men’s opinions’ and ‘rejects the false authority of self-claimed ‘rulers” over the children of God, whose only Lord is Jesus.

      12. TSOO
        I would say my rejection of his [Calvinist] interpretations of scripture are because I am ‘thoughtful’, a ‘false teacher-hater’ who ‘refuses to bow to one man or men’s opinions’ and ‘rejects the false authority of self-claimed ‘rulers” over the children of God, whose only Lord is Jesus.

        br.d
        Awesome!
        You saw through the ruse.
        RH also plays the “reverse attribution” card occasionally here – attributing to others his own condition or methodology.
        Perhaps learned that trick from a Calvinist pastor.

      13. Damon
        My reply – How that for a tail chase!
        It’s like saying – don’t believe my words just believe my concepts. And if you don’t like the concepts just believe my words.

        Where’s brd? He’d like this one.

        br.d
        Good catch!

        God must have given Calvinism to mankind as a form of entertainment!

        I remember a story about a man who dreamed his wife got eaten by their VCR.
        He wouldn’t go near it for 3 months.
        Me wonders if he believed Calvin’s god rendered-certain VCRs eat people? :-]

      14. I wouldn’t worry about it if I were him. To put his mind at ease, God did not make the VCR eat his wife, even though he decreed that the VCR eat his wife.

        Btw, your’e showing your age. There are some on here who are going, ‘VCR, what’s a, oh, yeah, one of those . . .’

      15. VCR’s, and DVD players are probably the last technology I could use without the help of a teenager or twentysomething. 🙂

      16. I hear ya!
        I’ve worked as a software system’s developer and software business analyst for a number of years.
        And my son is an IT genius.
        When I ask him for help he often says “Dad – you can figure that out yourself!”
        grrrrrr! :-]

      17. Damon
        kind of like Calvin’s Institutes which is 6 times longer than the New Testament? Is that what you mean?

        br.d
        Awesome statistic Damon!
        Six times longer because it twists logic and language into a pretzel – six times six times. :-]

      18. Yep, it takes a 12 month reading plan of 30 minutes per day to read Calvin’s institutes properly.

        It’s much easier to just read the bible. Or there’s the other way. You can overlay Calvin’s Institutes over the bible and read it like that. That works for some people.

      19. Right – it fits a certain indoctrination pattern
        1) Teach people that Universal Divine Causal Determinism is INFALLIBLY true
        2) Conduct a million bible indoctrination sessions (oops – I mean bible studies) based on that presupposition

        ABRACADABRA! “elect” believers are born! :-]

      20. “Conduct a million bible indoctrination sessions . . .”

        That’s what really got my goat. All those wasted years, unwittingly surrendering myself to thought control. I actually thought the goal of ‘bible study’ was to study and understand scripture better.

        I am not going to lie and say that I did not balk at the rigid outlines and ‘let’s not get off the subject’ format. When I had a question, or felt as if legitimate information was not being included, I opened my big mouth, welcomed or not. Only occasionally did I see and wonder at the hard glint in the pastors eyes as he brushed off, er, answered my questions thoughtfully.

        On the other hand, many people sought me out privately to ask questions they were hesitant to ask the pastor. I answered them as honestly as I could.

      21. TSOO
        On the other hand, many people sought me out privately to ask questions they were hesitant to ask the pastor. I answered them as honestly as I could.

        br.d
        Wonderful Testimony!!
        You were able to dissect and explicate what you were seeing.
        And that was what they were sensing but unable to see clearly within Calvinism’s world of mental magic tricks.
        As Christians we don’t suspect the level or kind of “thought-reform” that goes on in Calvinism.
        We anticipate this with groups like David Koresh – but cases like his are easier to discern – except for those who got ensnared by it.

        God has been faithful to you – to allow you to deliver yourself from Calvinism!!
        And I must stay He has been faithful to keep me from getting ensnared in its double-think world.
        There but for the grace of God go I!

      22. I would even say that had I not at least partially succumbed to thought control I would never have understood how insidiously it works, or had sympathy with those over whom it had asserted control of their minds. I hope that I can now be not only more discerning, but also more understanding of those who are being manipulated without knowing it.

      23. TSOO
        I hope that I can now be not only more discerning, but also more understanding of those who are being manipulated without knowing it.

        br.d
        Yes – you said a mouthful.
        I’m a fond reader of Steven Hassan, Mary Alice Chrnalogar, and Margaret Thaler Singer.
        All people who have spent their lives working to help those ensnared in groups which incorporate “thought-reform”.
        It is well known that people who get drawn into the moonies etc – often are devoted members for life.
        These people are conditioned with a unique way of thinking – and talking to them can be like two ships passing in the night.
        Same phenomenon we experience with Calvinists.

      24. It makes me terribly sad. I have long asked myself, ‘Is there truly not a ‘poison pill’ that will destroy the effects of the mind control’?

        When I ponder this within Calvinism, I cannot help but perceive those who continually refuse to see as deliberately choosing to cling to the lie in the face of incontrovertible truth. Sure, anyone can be hoodwinked for a time, but when clear evidence of faulty logic, deception and, most of all, the wounds and damages of a particular belief system are presented, it seems to me that the person is making a choice. At least, that is what the Spirit convinced me when he challenged me with the error I had been toying with. Like it or not, some choose to do a Romans 1, deliberately embracing the lie even when the truth has been clearly presented. I have to sadly acknowledge that if even God cannot (will not) compel people to acknowledge the truth if they are determined to embrace a more satisfying lie, one such as I certainly can do nothing.

      25. The most memorable example was after one ‘bible study’ in which the pastor stressed, again and again, that we would spend eternity laying on our faces casting our crowns before the throne. I will admit that, for once, I resisted the urge to open my big mouth and directly contradict the pastor. (I usually had assumed he simply ‘overlooked’ information, but this was downright weird, and I could feel the discomfort of others in the room.) The next Sunday an elderly friend who lived near me asked if she could have a ride home. On the way she admitted that she had been deeply troubled all week after bible study, because she simply could not bring herself to look forward to eternity on her face. I had to admit that I had trouble not laughing at pastor’s, IMO, too literal interpretation of scripture. Feeling slightly guilty, I encouraged her to ignore what he said, and imagine whatever she loved doing best x 1000 and that was what ‘heaven’ would be like. She was greatly relieved.

  20. Daily Bible reading in Ezekiel.

    13: 20 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against all your magic charms, which you use to ensnare my people like birds. I will tear them from your arms, setting my people free like birds set free from a cage. 21 I will tear off the magic veils and save my people from your grasp. They will no longer be your victims. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 22 You have discouraged the righteous with your lies, but I didn’t want them to be sad. And you have encouraged the wicked by promising them life, even though they continue in their sins. 23 Because of all this, you will no longer talk of seeing visions that you never saw, nor will you make predictions. For I will rescue my people from your grasp. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

    ———–
    What does the average reader see here?

    A. “…the Sovereign Lord says:” God wants us to know what His version of sovereignty means.

    B. “I am against all your magic charms,” He stands against (not His will) the wicked choices of these men. He did NOT design this.

    C. “…which you use to ensnare my people.” His people (chosen people— who do NOT “only do evil”) are ensnared… led astray… but could have done differently.

    D. “They will no longer be your victims.” What they have now is not what He wants for them (not His will).

    E. “Then you will know that I am the Lord.” This is repeated many times in this book. It tells us that we can see His power/ might/ mercy and LEARN from that…. and then make right choice. Learning from that, and making good choices…. means we have choices. It is not all fixed in time past. What is the point of “knowing He is Lord” if none of it changes anything?

    F. “You have discouraged the righteous with your lies,” Notice it does not say “discouraged the can-only-do-wicked.” No, it says “the righteous” …. who are now not doing righteous things. That refutes the Calvinist mantra that “God’s allows do-wickedness-only people to do the wickedness they naturally do.” Nah, this is “the righteous” being led astray.

    G. “…but I didn’t want them to be sad…” So…. God did NOT want them to be sad…. did not plan this…. did not will this from eternity past. A Calvinist cannot get away with saying God designed/ willed their sadness from eternity past and now says “I did not want it.” That’s schizophrenia.

    H. “Because of all this….” God is clearly saying “Because” you did this I will now do this. Does this make man “stronger” than God? No. Does this mean that man “thwarted” God’s short term plan. Apparently. Thwart. Thwarting. Thwarteth.

    But He is stronger than man…. and will get His way and man will “know that He is the Lord.”

  21. Daily reading brings me to Ezekiel 23

    48 In this way, I will put an end to lewdness and idolatry in the land, and my judgment will be a warning to all women not to follow your wicked example. 49 You will be fully repaid for all your prostitution—your worship of idols. Yes, you will suffer the full penalty. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”

    ————-
    After a long, descriptive chapter comparing Israel to harlots, God says the statement above.

    Here He says….
    “…and my judgment will be a warning to all women not to follow your wicked example..”

    Here God warns people…. because they have choices. He has not determined their steps…. nor does He even sound like He knows their final decisions. He does things to warn people against acting wickedly. Of course these are His “chosen people” so we cannot cave in to the cheesy Calvinist idea that “when they sin it is because they are following the only thing they can follow….sin.”

    Nah, He tells them they have a choice and tries to warn them. Obviously they could choose the sin or not choose the sin.

    They are not “bound by their sinful nature to only-sin.” Nah…. He warns them not to.

    They are not “decreed to do theses sins.” Nah how could they be since He warns them not to.

    They are not doing “God’s secret, divine will” when they sin. He is clearly warning them not to. He is “disgusted by it.”

    What about this whole section looks like Determinist-Calvinism? Nothing.

  22. Daily reading takes me to Hebrews 10

    29 Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. 30 For we know the one who said,

    “I will take revenge.
    I will pay them back.”

    He also said,

    “The Lord will judge his own people.”

    31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
    ————–

    Possibly this is where Edwards got the phrase for his sermon “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.”

    But it does not look like the writer is taking about unbelievers.

    19 And so, dear brothers and sisters….
    …we can boldly enter…
    …because of the blood of Jesus.
    21 And since we have a great High Priest….
    …sincere hearts fully trusting him.
    …have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood…
    23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm…
    …to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
    25 And let us not neglect our meeting together…

    [This is where MacArthur says the writer turns his face toward those on the other side of the meeting room—-who have heard but have not accepted]

    26 “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.”

    But why?

    He says (29) “and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy”

    “and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us.”

    And he immediately follows this verse with …

    32 “Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering.”

    So…in the verses before (context) he is talking to believers, and in the verses after (context) it is about believers. There is no need to get dizzy with MacArthur’s this-verse-to-believers, next-verse-to-unbelievers, this-verse-to-believers, next-verse-to-unbelievers circus.

    Yes I know that our friendly, 1-point Calvinist Brian W likely has an explanation for this also…. but it looks clear from here!

  23. Calvinist idea that “when they sin it is because they are following the only thing they can follow….sin.”

    Makes one wonder about that -quote “LARGE MIXTURE” of Calvinists – John Calvin teaches that exist
    To whom Calvin’s god – quote “Holds salvation out to as a greater condemnation” temporarily.
    And at some point will -quote “strike them with greater blindness”.

    Since a LARGE MIXTURE of Calvinist are not really elect – then it follows they sin because they are following the only thing they can follow….sin.

    Which means – according to John Calvin – a LARGE MIXTURE of Calvinists are nothing more than WHITE WASHED SEPULCHERS.

    On top of that – since “elect” status is only known by the SECRET COUNSEL – then no Calvinists knows which ones among them are sinners.

    Since a LARGE MIXTURE of them are simply sinners – Christians should simply not listen to the religious imaginations of sinners.

  24. Bible reading gets me to Hebrews 11.

    Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

    4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. (taken from Calvinist ESV)
    ———–

    Why does God tell us that the people of old “received their commendation”?

    Why does God tell us that because Abel’s sacrifice was more acceptable, he “was commended as righteous”?

    Why does the Bible tell us that God commended him by accepting his gift?

    Why does the Bible tell us that his example still speaks?

    This is all so clearly to someone picking up the Bible. God commended (for eternity in His word) Abel’s actions.

    Only Calvinists will twist it to say that God “made” Abel do something that He then commends him for.

    1. John Calvin:
      -quote:
      The hand of God RULES THE INTERIOR AFFECTIONS….they can do nothing unless he [Calvin’s god] worked in their hearts TO **MAKE** THEM WILL – before they acted. (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God )

      1. Well there you have it!

        If Calvin said it, it must be true! So God DOES actually make people do all those things….and then commends them for doing them. And “their actions still speak to us” …. how?

        So we can learn and do well, right? Nope… cuz we cant do anything less we get the hand-in-the-glove too. So, nothing to see here.

      2. Yup!
        Its solidly built right into Calvin’s underlying philosophy:

        William Lane Craig
        -quote:
        Universal, divine, determinism makes God the author of sin and precludes human responsibility……God moves people to choose evil, and they CANNOT DO OTHERWISE. God determines their choices and MAKES them do wrong.

        In Calvinism – God would be like a child who sets up his toy soldiers and moves them about his play world, pretending that they are real persons whose every motion is not in fact of his own doing and pretending that they merit praise or blame. – end quote

        In Calvinist double-speak it can be said like this:
        Calvin’s god MAKES them be and do everything in every part.
        But he MAKES them be and do – in such a way that he doesn’t MAKE them be and do everything in every part.

        Once the discerning Christian learns how Calvinism’s double-speak language works – he/she can easily see through it. :-]

  25. Daily reading gets me to James. Of course James is like a mine field for Calvinists…. the veritable “epistle of straw” for Luther. But instead of pointing out obvious conflicts let’s just look at the verses for today.

    1:19 You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

    —–
    Here we see that even believers can have a human anger that “does not produce the righteousness God desires.” So when that anger happens, God is not getting what He wants. He is getting human anger and non-righteous behavior….. not what He wants.

    This is another one of the thousands of times in Scripture that we see that it is possible that God NOT get what He wants.

    Everything that happens is NOT what God wants. It is possible to do things that God does not want. Some things that happen are not God’s will.

    All of these ways of expressing this idea fly in the face of fatalist-determinist-Calvinist philosophy which states that God always gets what He wants. They clearly teach that all that happens is God’s will and desire.

    BUT……..But….. it is possible for man to “get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives…”

    It is possible for man to “humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts…”

    But man has to “get rid of” and “humbly accept.”

    Does that make man bigger than God? Nah…. but that explains why Luther disliked this book.

  26. Let’s keep going in the daily reading…. James, such a good book!

    1:23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
    —–

    “For if you listen to the word and don’t obey….” (not good)

    “But if you look carefully…. and if you do what it says ….. then God will bless you for doing it.”

    God’s blessing is conditional. That is clear in the Scripture. It is so distasteful to Calvinists. But they can take that up James.

    And John, “whoever believes in Him….”

    And Matthew, “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…”

    And David, Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you….”

    And Joshua, 1:7-8, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth…. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

    And on and on. “The Lord longs to be gracious to you (Is. 30:18),” but there are conditions.

    1. FOH writes, “God’s blessing is conditional. That is clear in the Scripture. It is so distasteful to Calvinists.”

      Under Calvinism, sanctification is a synergistic process and the spiritual growth of the believer depends on actions he takes and God’s promises to believers are sure and certain in response to the actions a believer takes. Nothing distasteful to Calvinists here (FOH actually knows this but apparently wants people to think he doesn’t – who knows why he does this?).

      1. rhutchin
        Under Calvinism, sanctification is synergistic

        br.d
        Monergism in Calvinism is logically coherent – not only for salvation but for all aspects of divine control of the creature.

        You’ll have quite a challenge to provide any LOGICAL evidence that synergism is at all logically coherent within Theological Determinism.

        Certainly there is NO SUCH THING as independence from Calvin’s god’s will – which synergism implies.
        And since everything that comes to pass does so by Calvin’s god’s command – it is well established that disobedience from Calvin’s gods’ command a logical impossibility.

        If a believer sins – he is obeying what has been divinely commanded to come to pass.
        If the believer does not sin – he is obeying what has been divinely commanded to come to pass.
        Synergism on this scheme appears to be pretty AMORPHOUS (without any shape of form).

      2. br.d,

        You respond to his inconsistent posts, because you “bother” to respond (or care what he says). I wonder why bother?

        Making the claim that Calvinism teaches “monergism in salvation” and “synergism in sanctification” is just either (a) blatant dishonesty, or (b) ignorance. True Calvinism has no room ANYWHERE for synergism.

        Synergism “necessarily” implies that man acts (exercises faith, believes, has self-control, trusts, obeys, etc) and God then responds in reaction to that. Synergistically working on sanctification.

        Calvinism fundamentally denies this. As Grudem says (in “Who God Is”), “Calvinists would say that God’s eternal decrees were not influenced by any of our actions and cannot be changed by us, since they were made before creation.”

        Calvinism is at the base a “what will be will be” (identical to Qadr in Islam) fatalist philosophy.

        So it is just smoke and mirrors to say that Calvinism teaches that man is “too-dead” and needs monergistic help before salvation, but then God “waits around for man to act, trust, obey” and then He acts in accordance with man’s synergistic decisions. This is not true Calvinism. It is “popular Calvinism.” It is the “Calvinism” that is attracting YRRs, and the one people WANT to be true.

        It is really just the spoiled kid wanting his cake and eating it to.

        C’mon Calvinists! Just admit it…. you have no room anywhere for synergism…. because …. in your words…. if God was responding to man (in any way) that would make “God dependent on man” or “make man stronger than God.”

        Just own it.

      3. Wonderful post FOH!

        Absolutely totally true!

        And yes – I know synergism is totally incoherent in Calvinism.
        And your right – about bothering to respond to some of rhutchin’s posts.
        Many of them are such – I’ve often wondered if they could possibly be statements made by an adult.

        Oh BTW: Totally thanks for the Grudem quote!
        I’m going to add that one to my library of quotes.

        And as always – thanks for those Scripture readings!!
        They add a very wonderful dimension! :-]

      4. I must admit that at times I am amazed that wise and godly men, even when confronted with clear and obvious deception, do not seem to get it.

        Many of us recognize that there are two tiers of Calvinists. Many of us recognize that the arguments of Calvinism are illogical, inconsistent and, often, blatantly absurd. Many of us recognize that Calvinists twist, distort and deliberately abuse language in order to bring about confusion and misunderstanding.

        And yet, like naïve, gullible doves we don’t ask the obvious question, which is ‘Why?’

        Michael Servetus, naively pointed out the obvious holes in Calvin’s theology; no doubt the very same holes we point out today. He wrote out his arguments and sent them to Calvin, growing ever more strident, but never for a moment imagined that it would lead to his being burned alive on green wood. Even after Calvin secretly had him turned over to the Catholic Inquisition, from which he escaped. ‘Why?’ How could he have been so naive?

        Sadly, he did not “keep Satan from gaining the advantage over [him]; for [he was] ignorant of his designs.” (2 Corinthians 2:11) Servetus made the critical mistake of assuming that Calvin was the well-meaning, God-fearing, trustworthy servant of God that he cast himself as. “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

        In my opinion, only too late did Servetus discover that he actually should have realized of Calvin: “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

        Thanks to ignorance, laziness and the clever revision of history by the gods of this world, Calvin the torturer, the murderer, the blatant liar and deceiver is still held up as some sort of trustworthy authority. ‘People still unblushingly don his name, the vast majority of whom have never heard of Servetus or any of the rest of Calvin’s reign of terror in Geneva. People engage in debates over heinous theology as if it was nothing more than an academic exercise, forgetting that “we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

        Sure, I know that there are countless so-called Calvinists who do not believe, or even understand, the horrible claims of Calvinism. I count some among my closest friends and relatives. Again, the question that demands to be asked is ‘Why?’ Why are they so easily deceived?

        Alas, we have not heeded the warnings of the apostles: “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)

        Rather, we treat anyone who goes to church, or calls himself a ‘christian’ with the utmost trust and respect. Even when they dissemble, manipulate, deceive and abuse others with words or actions. Ah, John Calvin spoke fine words, and wrote volumes on Christian living. Big whoopdy do. He also tortured, oppressed and murdered men, women and children. Are we going to judge him by his words or his fruit?

        Listen to the very entrance of deception into God’s good creation:

        “Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5)

        Who does he sound like? Just like the Calvinist, subtly twisting, dissembling, and manipulating words so that their meaning becomes confused and confusing. That is how deceivers work; then and now.

        Go ahead; think the best. It’s true, many run of the mill, in the pew Calvinists are simply regurgitating the lines they have been fed, with no ability to reason and think through what they really mean, or if they make any logical sense. Others, like some on this site, know exactly what they are saying. They are deliberately seeking to convey that which they know is untrue. They twist, manipulate and abuse the English language as they seek to hide the ugly, cruel, monstrous assertions of their theology from the multitudes that just think they are ‘taking God more seriously’.

        But be warned, your adversary is not merely looking for a clever word match – he is seeking to devour you. The monstrous claims of Calvinism have not persisted without reason. They seek to destroy the faith and hope of unwary believers, and they have done a damnable job of it too, as the story of Derek Webb on which we are commenting illustrates. This is no fun and games.

      5. Excellent post TSOO!

        John Calvin:
        -quote:
        “If I consent he [Servetus] will come here, but I will not give my word; for if he comes here, if my authority is worth anything,
        I WILL NEVER PERMIT HIM TO DEPART ALIVE” (historian Will Durant)

        Jesus
        -quote:
        The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. (John 16:2)

        Genesis 3:1
        And the serpent was the most SUBTLE beast in the field

        How did the serpent manifest his SUBTLETY?
        1) Through language
        2) Through logic
        3) Through sighting God’s word

        John 4
        Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God

        Dr. Bella DePaulo, (research on deceptive language)
        There are predictive models that have been developed on deceptive language. There are cues that one can look for.
        Three studies of note beyond my own include:

        • Newman, Pennebaker, Berry, Richards: Predicting Deception From Linguistic Styles’

        • Hancock, Toma, Ellison, Lying in online data profiles
        .
        • Enos, Shriberg, Graciarena, Hirschberg, Stolcke, The Columbia-SRI-Colorado Deception Corpus

        br.d
        In the field of protestant Christianity there is one beast who always wins the grand prize for being the most subtle beast.
        1) Through language
        2) Through logic
        3) Through sighting God’s word

        All the discerning Christian need do – is learn the predictive model
        Deflections, euphemisms, equivocations, shape-shifting terms, and a thousand half-truths.
        Look for these patterns. :-]

      6. FOH writes, “Calvinism fundamentally denies this. As Grudem says (in “Who God Is”), “Calvinists would say that God’s eternal decrees were not influenced by any of our actions and cannot be changed by us, since they were made before creation.”

        Grudem is correct. Prior to creation, God knew all the possible combinations of outcomes resulting from His actions and every person who could ever live. God then decides the actions He will take (this occurred in eternity past) and executes His actions (or decrees) and people respond to His actions. For example, God removes His protection over Adam and Eve giving Satan the freedom to tempt Eve leading to the first sin by Adam. God then expels Adam and Eve from the garden not because Adam ate the fruit but having known that Adam would eat the fruit, it was part of His plan. So, we see God telling Noah to build an ark because He intended to destroy the earth. Later, God confuses the languages, destroys Sodom/Gomorrah, calls Abraham, protects Israel as it grows into a nation while in Egypt, etc. In every case of God’s actions, we find that God had decreed His action before any action by people and now people respond to God’s actions. God is intimately involved in His creation, opening doors here and closing doors there so that His plan unfolds even through the evil actions of people. According to God’s plan, Christ was slain before the foundation of the world and a definite number of people would be saved either because a person personally decided to accept God’s salvation (granting this for purposes of illustration) or because God irresistibly called a person to salvation. God knew with certainty all that would happen when He created the universes and everything that was to happen was tied to a decree by God.

        Relative to sanctification, God does not respond to people; people respond to God – to His regeneration, to the gift of faith, and to God’s promises.

      7. FOH
        “Calvinism fundamentally denies this. As Grudem says (in “Who God Is”), “Calvinists would say that God’s eternal decrees were not influenced by any of our actions and cannot be changed by us, since they were made before creation.”

        rhutchin
        Prior to creation, God knew all the possible combinations of outcomes resulting from His actions and every person who could ever live.

        br.d
        AS-IF (at the foundation of the world) Calvin’s god didn’t FIRST-CONCEIVE them and then RENDER-CERTAIN them.
        And that is the way he -quote “knew” them. :-]

        Jesus without fail – tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
        He who honors Jesus – will follow his language model

        1973 – Bronston v. United States – (Mr. Bronston was accused of perjury under oath)

        Lawyer:
        Mr Bronston – do you have any bank accounts in Swiss banks?

        Bronston:
        No.

        Lawyer:
        Have you ever at any time had one or more bank accounts in a Swiss bank?

        Bronston:
        The company had an account there for about six months, in Zurich.

        Conclusion:
        It was later discovered that Bronston maintained a personal Swiss bank account – but did so in the past.
        Obviously Bronston attempted to hide the WHOLE TRUTH by couching a PARTIAL-TRUTH in his answer.

        Bronston was initailly convicted of perjury.
        Which was reversed on the grounds that even though he attempted to deceive the court – he did so using a truth statement.
        The lawyer neglected to be on the alert for his use of deceptive language.

        One cannot help but see Mr. Bronston’s langauge mode – if one scrutinizes Calvnist posts here at SOT101

      8. br.d writes, “Certainly there is NO SUCH THING as independence from Calvin’s god’s will ”

        There is NO SUCH THING as independence from god in any theology.

        Then, “And since everything that comes to pass does so by Calvin’s god’s command …”

        This is true in all theologies also since God has the power to prevent any event even if God only has present knowledge of events. God can command whatever He wants on whatever event occurs.

        Then, “Synergism on this scheme appears to be pretty AMORPHOUS (without any shape of form).”

        Synergism denotes the cooperation between a person and God. If a person is doing what God commanded, that is cooperation.

      9. br.d
        “Certainly there is NO SUCH THING as independence from Calvin’s god’s will in Calvinism ”

        rhutchin
        There is NO SUCH THING as independence from god in any theology.

        br.d
        That is not what was stated – “No independence from Calvin’s god’s WILL in Calvinism”
        One would hope participants here at SOT101 would know the difference.

        br.d
        “And since everything that comes to pass does so by Calvin’s god’s command …”

        rhutchin
        This is true in all theologies also since God has the power to prevent any event even if God only has present knowledge of events. God can command whatever He wants on whatever event occurs.

        br.d
        That statement is a false reflection of Theological Determinism.
        The whole business of Calvin’s god preventing what he renders-certain is so irrational – it is clearly nothing more than double-speak coming from Calvinism.

        rhutchin
        Synergism denotes the cooperation between a person and God. If a person is doing what God commanded, that is cooperation.

        br.d
        This is logically coherent with IN-determinism – but not with Theological Determinism – where everything a person does is “not up to them” since it is rendered-certain before they were born. Cooperation in that scheme is nothing more than a facade.

        My first statement still stands:
        You’ll have quite a challenge to provide any LOGICAL evidence that synergism is at all logically coherent within Theological Determinism.

  27. Today’s reading in the Psalms. This Psalm was sung at my wedding. Psalm 117.

    1 Praise the Lord, all you nations.
    Praise him, all you people of the earth.
    2 For his unfailing love for us is powerful;
    the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.
    —————

    This is a call for all people of the earth to praise the Lord. (not “all kinds of people” right?)

    Then the Psalmist goes on to say that God has unfailing love for us. Who is the “us”? All the people of the earth.

    Go onto any young buck YRR web site these days — or just ask JTL. To them, God does not love all people.

    It’s amazing how many people can sing the kids’ song “Jesus love me. This I know. For the Bible tells me so.”

    How about this one: “Jesus loves the little children, All the children of the world.”

    Calvinist version sung at Calvinist Reformed Churches:

    “Jesus might love me. This I cannot know. For the Bible tells us He loves some people.” (I dont know…just doesn’t have the same ring).

    “Jesus loves SOME little children, Some of the children of the world.” (yeah that one kinda swings okay).

  28. Daily reading in Ezekiel 39.

    21 “In this way, I will demonstrate my glory to the nations. Everyone will see the punishment I have inflicted on them and the power of my fist when I strike. 22 And from that time on the people of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 The nations will then know why Israel was sent away to exile—it was punishment for sin, for they were unfaithful to their God. Therefore, I turned away from them and let their enemies destroy them. 24 I turned my face away and punished them because of their defilement and their sins.
    ———–

    Many times (60?) a version of this phrase comes up in Ezekiel: “Then they will know that I am the Lord.” Why? What’s the point? If all things are determined and decreed ahead of time… what difference does it make?

    God want people to know that He is the Lord. Why? So they can / will live accordingly.

    He wants the nations to “know why Israel was sent away to exile—it was punishment for sin, for they were unfaithful to their God.”

    Had they been faithful, they would not have been sent away. That is the message.

    A. God wants people to see that He is the Lord so they will act accordingly.

    B. God gave Israel the choice (and opportunity many times) to obey Him. They didn’t so He acted. It was not His plan that they disobey. He make it clear that He indeed had another plan and they did not follow it.

    C. God wants the nations to see that He is Lord and that He disciplines His people —- because He wants to nations to come to Him also.

    D. God “lets” an enemy attack Israel as a way of disciplining Israel.

    1. FOH writes, “D. God “lets” an enemy attack Israel as a way of disciplining Israel.”

      By “let’s” we understand that God removes His protection over Israel that had prevented Israel’s enemies from attacking her. Without God’s protection, Israel is helpless before her enemies.

      1. rhutchin
        By “let’s” we understand that God removes His protection

        A certain Calvinist drove to the liquor store to shop.
        At the counter the clerk – observing a Calvinist bumper sticker on his car – said

        I see you “Permitted” your car to come to the liquor store.
        Would that be “Permission” or “Bare Permission”? :-]

      2. br.d writes, “I see you “Permitted” your car to come to the liquor store.”

        Did you mean to put the Calvinist in the place of God? If not, it would be something like this, “I see God “Permitted” you to drive your car to the liquor store,” Or “I see it was God’s will that you drive your car to the liquor store,”

      3. br.d
        A certain Calvinist drove to the liquor store to shop.
        At the counter the clerk – observing a Calvinist bumper sticker on his car – said

        I see you “Permitted” your car to come to the liquor store.
        Would that be “Permission” or “Bare Permission”? :-]

        rhutchin
        Did you mean to put the Calvinist in the place of God?
        It would be something like
        I see God “Permitted” you to drive your car to the liquor store,”
        Or
        “I see it was God’s will that you drive your car to the liquor store,”

        br.d
        But those statements only serve to evade the question :-]

        If the clerk knows about how Calvinism twists the word “permission” – then he already knows the answers to your two questions.

        – Calvin’s god must have “permitted” the Calvinist to drive to the liquor store – simply because Calvin’s god **ONLY** permits what he renders-certain – nothing more – nothing less.

        – If the Calvinist is at the liquor store – it is obviously because Calvin’s god rendered-certain he do so – nothing more – nothing less..
        Unless you want to argue that its not Calvin’s god’s will to render-certain what he renders-certain. :-].

        Additionally
        The scripture teaches a principle:
        “Those who worship them become like unto them”

        In other words people eventually become like unto the deity they worship.
        That is to say they eventually manifest the deity’s characteristics.

        In Calvinism’s case the deity speaks with forked tongue.
        And its really wonderful to observe how principles in scripture are affirmed in real life. :-]

      4. br.d writes, “But those statements only serve to evade the question :-]”

        You changed the language in your explanation, so you understood the problem.

      5. br.d wrote, ‘Say that again? And this time show what you mean?”

        Originally, you wrote, “I see you “Permitted” your car to come to the liquor store.”

        Then, “– Calvin’s god must have “permitted” the Calvinist to drive to the liquor store…”

        You switched from “Permitted your car” to “permitted the Calvinist to drive…” Had you really intended, “Permitted your car” then you would have the Calvinist being God who permits his car to drive to the liquor store.

      6. AH!

        I stand corrected – I see my mistake and how I wrote it wrong – thanks for taking the time to point that out!

        – Calvin’s god must have “permitted” the car drive to the liquor store – simply because Calvin’s god **ONLY** permits what he renders-certain. nothing more – nothing less.

        There – that makes much more sense and is logically coherent in Calvinism.
        Sorry for the confusion!

      7. RH writes:
        “Without God’s protection, Israel is helpless before her enemies.”

        Hmmmm, now just why would that be? Are Israel’s enemies not under God’s command and control as well as all other molecules in the universe? What would cause anyone to be Israel’s enemy, and threaten her, unless Calvin’s God, who brings whatsoever comes to pass to pass, ordains and commands them to do so? Just following them ‘desires’, right? (Wink, wink, you know, the ones God secretly implants so that his will is always done.)

        So, with one hand Calvin’s God commands certain nations to oppose and attack Israel, and with the other, either protects or “removes His protection over Israel that had prevented Israel’s enemies from attacking her”. Is he just sittin’ up there playin’ games ’cause he has nothing better to do? “Today I’, going to protect, tomorrow I’m not. Oh, this is so boring, let’s try nuclear holocaust. Today I’m going to protect . . .”

        Calvin’s God is one bored and confused dude. He might be able to overcome that schizophrenia if he let things go a little bit, maybe spent some time at the beach. It always makes me feel better.

      8. TS00 asks, “What would cause anyone to be Israel’s enemy, and threaten her, unless Calvin’s God, who brings whatsoever comes to pass to pass, ordains and commands them to do so? ”

        First, they were born with a sin nature. Then, there was enmity between the nation of Edom and Israel. We read, “The children of Esau hated the sons of Jacob, and the hatred and enmity were very strong between them all the days, unto this day” (Jasher 58:28). Esau’s hatred of Jacob was exhibited when “Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border” (Num. 20:21).

        God had ordained that all people would be born with a corrupted nature because of Adam’s sin. Further, God decreed not to mollify the hatred between the descendants of Esau (Edom) and those of Jacob (Israel)

      9. rhutchin
        First, they were born with a sin nature.

        br.d
        First they were rendered-certain to be born with a sin nature before they were born.
        Obviously since they didn’t exist when that decision was make – that decision was not up to them.

        As a matter of fact EVERYTHING concerning the creature is determined before the creature exists.
        Therefore NOTHING about the creature – nature/desire/choices/actions etc – is up to them.

        Unless you want to argue there are things Calvin’s god forgets, misses or lacks to render-certain at the foundation of the world.
        But if you do that Calvin will be VERY angry with you! :-]

      10. br.d
        And speaking of the “born with a sin nature”— I am STILL waiting for anyone to tell me how that applies to Adam.

        We are told “Yada, yada…. all people sin all the time since they were born with a sin nature.”

        But not Adam. So he really had a choice?

        I mean Adam could have NOT eaten the fruit?

        Calvinist answers…. “No since God rendered-certain all that …and it was God’s plan that Adam sin.”

        Well that kinda renders moot the “born with a sin nature” part… but he will keep saying it as-if it matters. Sin-nature, Schmin-snature. Makes no difference to us puppets who were rendered to sin and do all we do since before time began. But he will go on as-if this is not really true. In stead of saying like an average person, “Ah, I get it! If I say that God renders-certain everything then it’s kinda stupid of me to turn around and act like man is making any choices.”

        Why do you bother!?

      11. It must have been the case that Calvin’s followers in his day struggled with thoughts of god willing them to commit sins.
        And if god willed them to commit sins – then that would be interpreted as a sign that they were elected/ordained for the lake of fire.

        I say this must have been the case and Calvin had to deal with it because he gives instructions to them concerning it.
        -quote “Go about your office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part”.

        In other words
        1) Believe it is TRUE that Calvin’s god determines everything in every part
        2) Go about your office AS-IF your belief is FALSE.

        This is exactly what you observe in Rhutchin and JTLs posts.
        They statements all paint a picture which presupposes that Calvin’s god doesn’t determine everything in every part
        Even though they deny doing that very thing – their statements are all consistent with it.

        Also take note of the descriptions they give where Calvin’s god -quote “Prevents” or “Restrains” things.
        Again – AS-IF he didn’t render-certain them.

        This is the crazy mental condition the Calvinists brain learns to live with.
        I call it AS-IF thinking

        Calvin’s god wills all men saved AS-IF he doesn’t

      12. FOH writes, “I am STILL waiting for anyone to tell me how that applies to Adam.”

        It does not as Adam was created rather than born and Adam was not created with a sin nature. After Adam ate the fruit, all those born to Adam and his progeny would be born with a sin nature.

      13. FOH writes, “I am STILL waiting for anyone to tell me how that applies to Adam.”

        rhutchin
        It does not as Adam was created rather than born and Adam was not created with a sin nature. After Adam ate the fruit, all those born to Adam and his progeny would be born with a sin nature.

        br.d
        I suspect FOH was referring to “sin nature” rather than “born with sin nature” – as what he was waiting for.
        Of course this is an issue for Calvinism more than other theologies.

        Nothing exists unless Calvin’s god renders-certain it exist.
        Whatever does not exist – is not accessible to Adam
        Calvin’s god rendered-certain what would exist for Adam – Adam’s disobedience.
        Adam’s obedience did not exist for Adam – because it would have had to have been rendered-certain in order to exist

        Per Calvin the choice for Adam to sin was determined at the foundation of the world – a point in which Adam had no choice in the matter.

        Other theologies not based on Theological Determinism don’t come with that problem.
        If I understand FOH – that was what he was saying he was waiting for as an answer from Calvinism.

        A Calvinist like Vincent Cheung would say Calvin’s god did not give Adam any other choice.
        And he would find it logically coherent to leave it at that.
        But that acknowledgement is of course not acknowledged by the preponderance of Calvinism
        So FOH will have to wait a lot longer. :-]

      14. br.d,
        Of course you knew what I was really asking (so did RH) and of course RH did NOT answer it …. again (and again and again).

        We have to hear ad nauseum how everyone only-and-always since (always bad, no good) because of their sin nature. And yet…. and yet (is this explanation #53?) and yet Adam did not have that sin nature.

        Calvinists cannot blame Adam’s sin on the sin nature that they say Adam gave to everyone. He didnt have it.

        So, you have two choices. God made him do it, or he had libertarian free will and God “allowed” Satan in and “refrained from protecting Adam” and yada yada….. same old circular reasoning that basically comes back to (a) either man can do things God does not want or (b) God made Adam sin (decreed/ willed/ wanted/ planned Adam’s sin).

        But no…. we are gonna hear some “I dont get your question…. Adam wasn’t born, he was created.” (like that has anything to do with it).

        Will he answer? No…. he’ll just disparage me and tell me I was sleeping in class or I’m a universalist, or a semi-Polynesian.

      15. Well I would say that if Calvin’s god makes an active decision to restrain what he has already made unrestrainable (i.e. rendered-certain)
        Or prevent what he has already made unpreventable (i.e. rendered-certain)
        Then he was sleeping through one of his indoctrination classes.

        Either that or the Calvinist from whose irrational imagination that came out of – was sleeping through one of those indoctrination classes.

        So perhaps the Calvinist who said that to you was just looking at his own reflection. :-]

      16. TSOO
        So, with one hand Calvin’s God commands certain nations to oppose and attack Israel, and with the other, either protects or “removes His protection over Israel that had prevented Israel’s enemies from attacking her”.

        br.d
        Interesting how that works isn’t it!

        I’ve always said Calvin’s god spends a whole lot of time arm wrestling himself! :-]
        Restraining what he rendered-certain – AS-IF something rendered-certain could be restrained.
        Preventing what he rendered-certain – AS-IF something rendered-certain could be prevented.
        Knowing what he rendered-certain – AS-IF he didn’t render it certain.

        Not much omniscience going on over there in Hotel CalviFornia! :-]

  29. Daily reading in James.

    Yes, I know, you are gonna say, “FOH that’s not fair….you are using the Bible to refute Calvinism!” Yes… you are right, I return today to the “epistle of straw.” But …not as a cherry-picker who has memorized and defined 40 key verses. No…just reading through the Bible.

    2:20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

    21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
    ———

    James goes farther than Paul. Paul says in Romans and Colossians that Abraham believed and it was credited to him as righteousness. But James says that Abraham, “was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar.”

    This does not sound like an irresistibly given faith, that took nothing on Abraham’s part— does it?

    Look at verse 24. Let’s see what the Official Calvinist translation say of v 24: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” (ESV). Ouch! That must have hurt —all those double-predestination, zero-Polynesians sitting around that table saying that during their discussion time!

    1. FOH writes, “22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete….”… This does not sound like an irresistibly given faith, that took nothing on Abraham’s part— does it?’

      It does say, “…His actions made his faith complete…’ telling us that faith precedes actions and manifests in action. Calvinists identify this as the process of sanctification. James does not address the issue of the source of the faith in Abraham. Ephesians 2 tells us that faith was given to Abraham as a gift by God.

  30. James…. the book that keeps on giving.

    2:25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.
    ——

    Gotta love the way Calvin’s translation says it….

    2:25 (ESV) And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
    ——-

    There is never (ever) any mention of these people being given some kind of special dose of faith. Nah…. she just heard about Israel’s mighty God….. believed …. and acted in belief (and got a double shout-out in the Bible because of it). Later…. this not-chosen person (Rahab) became part of the “chosen people” (and line of Christ) just by believing and acting.

    Oh….. and speaking of “dead”. JTL and the gang say that dead means incapable, but here James tells us a person can even have “dead” faith (What? God gives it to us dead?). Need to act on the faith. Incapable? Nah…. just believe and act. Wait….. there’s old song for that…. Trust and Obey…for there’s no other way…. to be happy in Jesus… but to Trust and Obey.

    1. Calvin’s god – the divine potter – creates a dead pot – and then condemns it for being a dead pot!
      Too funny! :-]

    2. It does justify their claim that God gives gifts to all men: living faith to some, dead faith to others. But I’d sure hate to confront James or Paul with that theory. I sorta suspect I’d get smacked down for simply wanting to avoid personal responsibility or reintroducing Judaism’s false ‘chosen people’ excuse for rejecting their Messiah.

      1. TS00 writes, “It does justify their claim that God gives gifts to all men: living faith to some, dead faith to others.”

        Regarding faith unto salvation, no person is born with such faith; only those to whom God gives such faith would then possess it. Dead faith is taken from Ephesians 2, “…you were dead in your trespasses and sins,…” People are born that way.

  31. Really appreciate this article – Caedmon’s call was a favorite band, for almost 10 years. “Prove Me Wrong” was one of my favorite songs, probably because I was too young to remember my conversion and doubted salvation. At that age of first hearing it, I didn’t see those nuances (of Calvinism). Thank you for the article and the warnings.

  32. THE ILLUSION OF INVULNERABILITY AS A SYMPTOM OF GROUPTHINK

    Members of a group in which unanimity is an important factor, and in which the avoidance of criticism and stigma plays a significant role, may have the perception their group is above the norm in regard to human biases and error. In essence, group members believe their group as a whole has achieved the ability to successfully identify and eliminate errors in judgment, which the group attributes to outsiders.

    Group members express extreme confidence in the group, or express an above normal insistence or assurance in the group’s “above error” status. Over-confidence in the group leads members to form an illusion of invulnerability, which is superimposes into the member’s perception of the group.

    Once a member is established within the group, this illusion of invulnerability may be transferred to himself. In any case, the illusion functions as a strong form of cognitive bias, allowing one to reject or push aside clear and analytical thinking, especially from outsiders whom the group perceives as inferior.

    Notes taken from Stanford.edu – Group Dynamics and Cognitive Biases – Dr. Karen Cook

    1. “THE ILLUSION OF INVULNERABILITY AS A SYMPTOM OF GROUPTHINK . . .”

      Excellent insights. I would simply add that this illusion does not arise incidentally, but is deliberately created, cultivated and perpetuated by a clever thought leader. In secular society such ideologues are often called politicians. In religious circles, they are usually called pastors.

      1. TS00
        Excellent insights. I would simply add that this illusion does not arise incidentally, but is deliberately created, cultivated and perpetuated by a clever thought leader. In secular society such ideologues are often called politicians. In religious circles, they are usually called pastors.

        br.d
        Thanks TS00!

        I agree that group leaders are at least somewhat cognizant of this activity.
        However, another book that I read a few years ago “Unmasking Administrative Evil” explains how this happens and people/leaders – can be so biased and so involved in efforts to justify the group – to such an extent that people (especially the masses) essentially kill their own ability to perceive themselves or their leaders as doing this or anything wrong.

        There was a time in the U.S. for example, when Catholic parents might refuse to believe their children could be abused or molested. They would essentially betray their own children.

        I think we’ll find that Catholic authorities even to this day who molest children – don’t perceive themselves as doing anything wrong.

        So certainly there will be group leaders who put into practice what Robert J. Lifton called “milieu control”.
        Because of justifications, and a perception of themselves as representatives of a higher order – they have absolutely no ability to recognize how they control people through socialization processes.

      2. I tend to perceive the first, and most crucial step into the ‘dark side’ is being seduced by the lie that ‘the end justify the means’. Once firmly entrenched, such a lens blinds people, as I believe you are suggesting, to the true evil of actions that are abusive, oppressive and unjust. Spiritual ‘leaders’, such as the Roman and Protestant Inquisitors, and men like John Calvin, could thus be persuaded that the ‘Greater Good’ of building, purifying and preserving the kingdom of God justified whatever means were required – even to the torturing and murder of men. I do not know at what point such men cross over from being duped to being totally depraved, but Romans seems to suggest that such a continuum exists. It is for this very reason that we are warned not to toy with sin, and risk allowing ourselves to be led into ever increasing error.

        It is this concept of the end justifying the means that, IMO, allows otherwise well-meaning believers to embrace the cruel, loveless God of Calvin, deceived by high-sounding words of God-centered theology and all things being to the Glory of God. Of course, all deceit depends upon persuading naive persons that the false is true, and/or that the truth is a lie.

      3. Good statements TS00!

        Yes – I also believe there is a line that gets crossed over.
        For me – the scripture talks about a seared conscience.

        I think the conscience becomes compromised in degrees.
        We know there must be believers in various groups who are so invested in their group – or respected persons in their group – that even the words of Jesus will not phase them.

      4. br.d writes, “There was a time in the U.S. for example, when Catholic parents might refuse to believe their children could be abused or molested.”

        Who would have believed that pedophiles would, seemingly in a coordinated fashion, invade the church and become priests in order to get access to children? Many still find it hard to accept.

      5. br.d writes, “There was a time in the U.S. for example, when Catholic parents might refuse to believe their children could be abused or molested.”

        rhutchin
        Who would have believed that pedophiles would, seemingly in a coordinated fashion, invade the church and become priests in order to get access to children? Many still find it hard to accept.

        br.d
        Who would have believed?
        Anyone familiar with history

        English historian, Theodore Maynard, in The story of American Catholicism writes:
        “It has often be charged… that Catholicism has been overlaid with many pagan incrustations.
        Catholicism is ready to accept that charge – and to make it her boast.
        The great god Pan is not really dead, he is baptized.”

        Paul Budde – In the History of Northwestern Europe writes:
        The 10th century Papal Pornocracy
        The term dark ages (saeculum obscurum) as it is used in the Catholic Church refers to a period during the 10th century, with a few tentacles into the 11th century where popes were sexually active and where several women involved had a very powerful influences on the appointments of popes (hence the name pornocracy).

        Brenda Ralph Lewis – Dark History of the Popes
        Benedict was one of the youngest popes ever, and he was highly placed in the dissolute stakes as well. Benedict was described as “Feasting on immorality”. For good measure, Benedict was indicted for homosexuality and bestiality.

  33. It’s very clear that Leighton Flowers and the plethora of posters here in the comments have no real fundamental understanding of what Calvinism is. Derek Webb was NEVER a true follower of Christ. He departed from us because he was not of us. Period. Calvinism did not cause Derek Webb to leave the faith……. he was never truly a part of the faith. How is that so hard for those of you who claim you have control over your own salvation to understand?

    1. Hi Eric and welcome!

      We’ve heard the “you don’t understand us” argument.

      Typically what this really means is “you don’t speak our talking points”.

      But if you would like to test me to see if I understand Calvinism – I’m happy to be available for that.

      Blessings
      br.d

      1. Ironically several of the folks who post on this site we former Calvinists with an M.Div or D. Min.

        The ol’ “you just dont understand Calvinism” line does not work on these pages. We get it alright! We just don’t think Scripture backs it up.

  34. This was almost me. I got into Calvinist thinking after listening to several preachers and following the online Calvinist community. After awhile I started resenting God and eventually came to the conclusion that either none of this was real or I simply wasn’t chosen. As someone who struggled with depression, it was a toss-up whether I’d leave the church or leave life altogether but I couldn’t live that way anymore. Thankfully the the Lord brought me to a Pentecostal Bible school and I have it one more try. It took a long time and I still sometimes have to combat the “tyrannical God” type thinking, but I finally actually believe that God loves me… something Calvinism took away.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience! I’m glad you have come to see how merciful and loving our God truly is.

    2. Wonderful testimony HannahElisabeth!!

      Thank you so much for posting that!

      I wonder if I could ask you for your opinion on a question.

      Is there anything you can share about how you discern Calvinists using influence techniques or influence practices that are different from other groups?

      Sincere thanks,
      br.d

  35. Excellent article. Not here to roll around in the mud fighting about Calvinism. I just wanted to point out that part of the genius of “Prove Me Wrong” is that according to the lyrics in the CD booklet, it’s not “if you can before I bail,” but rather, “if you can before I Ba’al,” referencing God burning up the speaker’s doubts as he burned up the altar to prove that he was a real god and Ba’al was not.

  36. I don’t know how any Calvinist can find genuine assurance or rest in their salvation. No matter how convinced they might be, no matter how passionate, no matter how effective in ministry, no matter how highly esteemed by other believers, there will always be this nagging psychic itch that maybe God did not elect them after all, and what appears to be real and authentic is merely some kind of elaborate and serpentine path that will eventually end with the words: “I never knew you; Depart from Me…”

    I find it much more assuring to know that I can examine myself to see if I be in the faith (2 Cor 13:5) and correct myself accordingly. It doesn’t mean I save myself. It simply means I have the ability to detect if I am off course and then correct said course through repentance, faith, and belief.

    1. Understood!
      Of course most Calvinists I know have an urgency to “one up” everyone else – so I’m sure they’re going to say they have all of that
      Even in the face of a doctrine that dictates the opposite.

      But as you’ve probably well noticed – there is alot of of DOUBLE-THINK in their belief system.
      And I suspect that is part of a socialization process.
      How they learn to live with the hidden and unspoken dread is by thought-blocking and lot of DOUBLE-THINK.

      Calvin for example teaches:
      -quote
      “Go about you’re office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part”

      Which when you think about it is quite incredible!
      For Calvin – the most sacred and divine propositions is that Calvin’s god determines everything in every part.

      And yet – in order to maintain a sense of normalcy and alignment with scripture – they must go about *AS-IF* their most sacred of all divine propositions is false.

      If you look for this – for example in Hutch’s posts – you’ll consistently find statements that consistently follow that mode of thinking
      For example – man’s sins are determined by his desires *AS-IF* human desires are not determined in every part.

    2. mrteebs writes, “I find it much more assuring to know that I can examine myself to see if I be in the faith (2 Cor 13:5) and correct myself accordingly. ”

      That’s what the Calvinist does. “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.” “if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”

      1. You may examine yourself, but how can you be sure of the conclusion you reach? What if it collides with God’s sovereignty? Isn’t it ultimately futile to test yourself when it isn’t your test to pass?

      2. mrteebs writes, ” Isn’t it ultimately futile to test yourself when it isn’t your test to pass?”

        Not when Paul is the one who instructs believers to examine themselves. If it were futile, Paul would not have told believers to do it.

      3. mrteebs
        Isn’t it ultimately futile to test yourself when it isn’t your test to pass?”

        rhutchin
        Not when Paul is the one who instructs believers to examine themselves. If it were futile, Paul would not have told believers to do it.

        br.d
        mrteebs – we call this the “Dancing boxer routine”
        He knows your statement is LOGICALLY correct – but he has to have a way of dancing around it.
        This routine of “dancing around” logical statements can be kept up indefinitely

      4. Give ’em the ol’ Calvinist one-two – state A, then state ‘we also believe non-A because scripture says it’. Then smile and pretend as if you didn’t just affirm two totally contradictory, logically incompatible statements. Hey, you never know, sometimes people just aren’t paying attention.

      5. TS00
        Hey, you never know, sometimes people just aren’t paying attention.

        br.d
        Yes – I think Calvinists find mist non-Calvinists fairly easy to mislead by Calvinism’s DOUBLE-SPEAK
        Most non-Calvinists will naturally want to assume sincerity and intellectually honesty from another Christian – which positions them to not recognize the degree to which Calvinism’s language is full of DOUBLE-SPEAK.

      6. That describes exactly what happened to me. I was completely naive, trusting and never thought for a second that a christian pastor would be misleading or less than honest. I might grant that the lack of honesty frequently begins with themselves, as they seek to compartmentalize their adopted doctrines from obviously contradicting scripture. The same deceptive webs they weave for others, I suspect they first weave within their own minds.

      7. TS00
        The same deceptive webs they weave for others, I suspect they first weave within their own minds.

        br.d
        Yes – absolutely!
        Its a form of self-deception – which becomes a corporate agreement among them.
        They internally agree to reinforce the self-deception to one another and for one another – for the sake of the society.

      8. Plus, they are themselves programmed through double-speak, and simply use the same tactic upon others.

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