FACTORS BEYOND THE AGENT’S CONTROL?

by Leighton Flowers

We all intuitively know that it is morally wrong to condemn people due to factors beyond their control.

For example, this is why racism is so detestable. A person has no control over their skin color and thus it would be completely unjust to condemn or mistreat people on the basis of this factor. I think we can all agree that is a reasonable conclusion that can be intuitively affirmed.

But, what if that factor isn’t external but internal? For instance, what if someone is born with a mental disorder which prevented them from carrying out normal human functions but outwardly they looked normal? I think we all intuitively know that it would also be completely immoral to condemn the mentally disabled for their inability to function normally. Why? Because it is a “factor beyond the agent’s control.” Are we all in agreement so far?

But what if the factor isn’t external, like one’s skin color, or mental, like a inborn ailment? What if the factor is spiritual? Does this principle change? If so, on what basis?

If the reason one is condemned is for “factors beyond the agent’s control” (ie born spiritually dead, guilty of sins committed by ancestors, not savingly loved by their maker, not granted faith, etc) on what basis can we call their condemnation just?

How would condemning the reprobate within the Calvinistic worldview be in any significant way different than condemning all people born with blue eyes, for instance? Does making the condition a physical feature in any way change the principle regarding the condemnation of someone due to “factors beyond their control?”

Here are some passages to consider:

“The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” -John‬ ‭12:48‬

“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” -2 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:10‬b

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” -John‬ ‭3:14-18‬

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” -2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17-21‬

According to the verses above it seems those who are condemned are condemned for refusing to believe and accept the truth God makes clearly known. And those who are saved are reconciled by replying in faith to God’s appeals for reconciliation.

The bad news is that we all would be condemned if not for His Provision of grace but it is our responsibility to confess our sin and trust in Christ so as to be saved, something that is not outside our control, which is what makes it such good news for the whole world.

To my Calvinistic friends: Before objecting please give a rational explanation as to how the reprobate (non-elect) within your world view are not ultimately being condemned due to factors beyond their control, or admit that is true and give a rational explanation as to how and why that is any more just than condemning people due to race or mental disabilities.

Also, before committing the “you too fallacy,” answer the charge brought against your position first and then we can discuss any charge you’d like to raise about our position.

Thank you.

584 thoughts on “FACTORS BEYOND THE AGENT’S CONTROL?

  1. Leighton,
    Our Calvinist friends will say something like, “We know it doesn’t make sense, but that’s what the Bible says so we believe it!”

    But that’s the beauty of it!!!

    The Bible only says that if you INSIST on a certain interpretation of a few certain verses. Otherwise, the Bible does not seem to be saying that at all!

    So yeah, chuck that idea that God is prejudice, immoral, or a “respecter of persons” and see in the Bible that He loves all men (not just “all kinds of men”) and that Christ gave His life that anyone can call on Him.

  2. I have nearly completely abandoned my “neo-reformed” doctrinal positions, so I’m generally in agreement with you. But on this point, I was taught a somewhat different perspective. The idea, based in part on Romans 3:10-11, was that everyone is under wrath because of sin (generally our own sin, although we inherit the sinful nature because of Adam). In my version of “Calvinist light”, as you’ve called it, Grace is freely offered to all. So if any sinner would turn in faith, they could be saved. However, no sinner ever does, because they love their sin. So for anyone to be saved, the Father must first draw him (John 6:44) and work a change in his heart. Therefore, He chooses some to save, and lets the rest continue on the path they’ve already chosen.

    I still partly believe it this way, with some adjustment. Since I’ve never believed in Limited Atonement (because it’s a position based more on logic than scripture), I really believe Grace for salvation is available to all. In John 3:16 Jesus says “WHOSOEVER believeth”, and in John 12:32 He says “I will draw ALL men unto me.” I still believe people will continue in sin until they have a heart change, but I believe that happens to everybody who hears the Gospel, “for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Romans 1:16) (also reference Rom 10:14). But while I believe everyone hearing the gospel is also given the Grace to respond, I believe they are also free to turn away from the truth (2 Tim 4:4; Heb 12:25).

    Now, I’m still in transition, so my thoughts on these things aren’t fully developed. I appreciate the help I’ve received through both your blog and your podcast.

    1. Welcome Everett! Enjoy!

      What if God’s light is powerful enough to draw anyone and everyone sufficiently to an opportunity and enablement to make a free decision… what’s the problem?

      And John 6:44 is not a gotcha verse if one recognizes that the one drawn is not logically guaranteed in that grammatical construction to either come or to be raised up just because he is drawn. Only the one drawn and who comes is promised to be raised up. Even if “drag” is used here or in John 12:32… the meaning is only to drag to a location… There is no guaranteed change made in the person’s nature just by being drawn. Once they are brought to the location or before the person, like Christ… they have to make a decision what to do next and how to respond to the options and information they now have in that location or before that person!

      The same Greek word for “drawn” is used in the LXX in Neh 9:30… and that group of Israelites, though drawn by God to the opportunity to obey Him, did not do it. The Hebrew word for “drawn” used in Neh 9:30 is also used in Hos 11:4-5, which again is showing that Israel was “drawn” by God with love to Himself, but they refused Him. Paul recalls this kind of drawing with love, using the words of Isaiah where God said – “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people” Rom 10:21. Does God only play act His love already knowing it only can and will be rejected? Not my God.

      Paul and Silas were “drawn” before the rulers of Philippi and then thrown into prison (Acts 16:19)… There they were free and able to either groan and complain or pray and sing! We know what they freely chose to do! I actually prefer the idea of “drag”. God graciously “drags” us to a place of decision. We cannot escape that “grace”, and we are now able and responsible for how we freely respond to it… making us clearly without excuse at the final judgment of God!

      *********
      Are you familiar with identifying distributed and non-distributed terms when premises are being evaluated as to what is logically valid to prove from them? In 6:44 the “no one can come” is a distributed term… but “the Father draws” is a non-distributed term. The “will be raised up” is non-distributed also.

      In brief Jesus is saying that all who come will be raised up. But the verse is not logically proving that they are the only ones to be raised up (deceased infants maybe also).

      And being drawn is necessary to enable coming, but the premise doesn’t prove it is the only thing necessary to enable coming (the context reveals looking at the Son and believing is also part of those coming). Nor does the verse guarantee that all who are drawn, and therefore enabled to come, will actually come.

      The emphasis on coming and believing is throughout this passage. It fits the purpose of the book…that unbelievers reading would be enabled/drawn to come and believe and then receive the everlasting life of the new birth (20:31). But reading doesn’t cause coming and believing.

      Reading determinism into these verses that don’t clearly prove it and whose purpose even contradicts determinism is just sad!

      1. Hi Brian, thanks for your replies. I have always linked John 6.65, with John 6.44. Is this not a fair link?. What I mean is that it seems that Jesus simply exegetes 6.44, for himself in 6.65 . If he is not exegeting 6.44, in 6,65, then what.? Why do so few go to the commentary of Jesus himself. And it seems clear that “granted unto him” in 6.65, is not a forced internal change, but the Father deciding to send the Son, and also to share the son by “means”, which must, and can be adhered to. How does the Calvinist see 6.65, and the commentary of Jesus himself. It seems clear it is the Lords decision both to send the gospel the word and Jesus, not necessarily in that order. Where here does John even hint at forced regeneration ? How do they come to the conclusion that drag means forceful conversion?

      2. Mike Winger, at Bible Thinker, touches on the problem. The Calvinist places his theoretical framework above scripture, in effect trumping anything that scripture actually says with his preconceived systematic. Any time an individual places a framework over scripture they will ignore, redefine and reinterpret its meaning in order to force it into their framework, and appear unaware they are doing so.

        It is the way our minds work, and a perversion of the healthy process of building an accurate worldview. Note that scripture implores us to set our minds on God’s Word so that our faulty thinking can be renewed. But how does our thinking become faulty in the first place?

        We believe a lie, namely that God is not truly good and trustworthy. Or that men are inherently evil, justifying abuse, oppression and even murder. If we allow the lies and doctrines of men or demons to seep into our mind, our understanding of scripture and reality will be skewed.

        Satan, and his tools in this world, make great use of this process in order to work great deception upon mankind. I would even go so far as to say our entire modern world is a false reality which has most under its spell, disabling us from seeing how unnatural and evil are many of the foundational beliefs upon which modern societies are built.

        The mind has an inherent ability to compartmentalize, thus allowing an individual to hold completely antithetical beliefs without seeing their contradiction. People are programmed to unquestioningly embrace a system, rather than think carefully through all of its ramifications. It is wide-scale mind control, and it is very effective in manipulating people to loyally defend religious, political and other programs.

      3. Wonderful post TS00 – thank you!

        Yes – I”ve read testimonies from people who got sucked into the new age teachings – by teachers who actually use the bible.
        The process is always the same
        1) Teach the human mind EXTRA BIBLICAL concepts – until that mind embraces them as truth
        2) Use the bible as a book of PROOF TEXTS to affirm those EXTRA BIBLICAL concepts

        That human mind – from that point on – is guaranteed to read those EXTRA BIBLICAL concepts into every verse

      4. Grant asks “Why do so few go to the commentary of Jesus himself. ”

        Here is Jesus’ commentary in John 6:

        1. “I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing,…”
        — “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;”
        — “no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
        — “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.”

        Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.

      5. Grant… they read “granted unto him” to mean “passively received by him”, the same as “drawn” like a physical net that has no ability to refuse to be drawn and must end up coming. But they are just reading their theology into those verses.

      6. brianwagner writes, “they read “granted unto him” to mean “passively received by him”, the same as “drawn” like a physical net that has no ability to refuse to be drawn and must end up coming.”

        The initial read is that this reinforces the previous, “No one can come to me…” This identifies the Total Depravity of man and his inability to come to salvation absent the direct intervention of God in his life. This opposes the philosophy of TS00 and FOH.

        What does Jesus mean in saying, “granted”? It certainly traces back to His earlier statement, ““No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;..” linking “grant” to “draw.” This reinforces what the Baptist had said, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” Paul expresses this when he writes, “God who has begun a good work in you…” and “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined…Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” then, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” To say that “it is granted unto him,” speaks to the active involvement of God in bringing a person to salvation. Paul writes, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

        Then Brian writes, “they read “granted unto him” to mean “passively received by him”,,,” Brian is correct, but he should have written, “passively but joyfully received by him.” to capture the Calvinist take on this.

      7. rhutchin
        Then Brian writes, “they read “granted unto him” to mean “passively received by him”,,,” Brian is correct, but he should have written, “passively but joyfully received by him.” to capture the Calvinist take on this.

        br.d
        This reminds me of of that scene in Bruce Almighty – where he stands on the wall – stretches out his hands – and commands “LOVE ME”. :-]

      8. I find it telling that Calvinists always weaves together snippets of unrelated passages to concoct their theories. One would think it would be most relevant to view what Jesus himself said about drawing men. One would then see how Jesus compares his own need to be lifted up to the serpent being lifted up on a pole. Both offer the life-giving remedy that is so needed, and both require voluntary trust.

        “and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” Jn 12:32

        The life and death of Jesus is the compelling, in-the-flesh manifestation of God’s love and desire to save all men. There could be no greater demonstration of God’s genuine love that could draw the prodigal back to his waiting father. But if that is not what one prefers to see in scripture, one will be tempted to concoct convoluted theories of one’s own.

      9. Those are excellent points TS00!
        The narrative of the serpent in the wilderness especially!
        And yes I can see how the Calvinist will gravitate towards those few verses which can be used to INFER determinism – while avoiding the thousands of places in scripture which presuppose the opposite.

        Good point!

      10. br.d writes, “And yes I can see how the Calvinist will gravitate towards those few verses which can be used to INFER determinism – while avoiding the thousands of places in scripture which presuppose the opposite.”

        The key terms, “INFER” and “presuppose.” In the end, you say nothing of substance.

      11. br.d
        And yes I can see how the Calvinist will gravitate towards those few verses which can be used to INFER determinism – while avoiding the thousands of places in scripture which presuppose the opposite.”

        rhutchin
        The key terms, “INFER” and “presuppose.” In the end, you say nothing of substance.

        br.d
        Silly argument! “Infer” and “presuppose” are descriptive terms in linguistics.
        The one who cannot discern their substance probably didn’t do well in English. :-]

      12. TS00 writes, ““and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” Jn 12:32”

        The term, “men,” is added by presumption. Jesus said that He would draw “pantas” to Himself. Jesus could not have meant “each and every individual,” because history declares many to live and die without hearing the gospel. Thus, Jesus meant that He would draw both Jews and non-Jews to Himself. So, Paul explains, “…by revelation God made known to me the mystery…which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,…”

      13. Jesus could not have meant [all without distinction] because history declares [NOT all without distinction].

        br.d
        William Lane Craig
        -quote
        It needs to be kept in mind that universal, divine determinism is an INTERPRETATION of Scripture, an INTERPRETATION that some Reformed divines themselves regard as irreconcilable with other clear teachings of Scripture.

      14. br.d quotes William Lane Craig, “It needs to be kept in mind that universal, divine determinism…”

        I think Craig meant universal, divine theological determinism. UDD would be that which describes natural events that occur absent God. Naturally, Reformed divines would see UDD as irreconcilable with other clear teachings of Scripture as they should.

      15. William Lane Craig:
        -quote:
        Universal, divine, causal determinism cannot offer a coherent interpretation of Scripture. The classical Reformed divines recognized this. They acknowledged that the reconciliation of Scriptural texts affirming human freedom and contingency with Scriptural texts affirming divine sovereignty is inscrutable.

        rhutchin
        I think Craig meant universal, divine theological determinism. …that which describes natural events that occur absent God.

        br.d
        Yeh – right – that’s why “Classical Reformed Divines” saw it in scripture!
        Your statement here reminds me of Ravi Zacharias laments – about Christians who make statements without thinking. :-]

      16. I love it when Calvinists are at least honest with what they believe rather than hiding behind deceptive words and invented terminology that misdirects the hearer. The Dishonesty employed to make things sound MUCH MUCH nicer than what they really are should be a HUGE RED FLAG to ALL. Yes I mean ALL. Not just a select group.
        I came across a reformed website that embraces TULIP consistently and is proud of it.
        Check this out from the Author D. Engelsma the quotes below are ALL (yes ALL) from his article no comments added by me, these quotes are not taken out of context, NOTICE the Hatred towards the Biblical Truth that God Genuinely LOVES ALL, this is Calvinism in all it’s distorted glory… see what you think :

        START of QUOTE:

        The Twofold Purpose of the Gospel David J. Engelsma

        Calvin faces the question, how can election be harmonized with the call of the gospel to others besides those who are saved?…

        Calvin’s answer is…that by external preaching all are called to faith and repentance, and that yet the Spirit of faith and repentance is not given to all.”2
        Addressing himself to the assumption that the external call to everyone implies a universal grace of God to all and a universal promise to all, Calvin reminds such objectors to election that God is not “under a fixed obligation to call all equally.”

        Calvin… in chapter 24 of book 3. He begins by stating that he will now treat “both of the calling of the elect, and of the blinding and hardening of the ungodly.”4 For Calvin, “the preaching of the gospel springs from the fountain of election,”5 that is, the preaching of the gospel is due to the eternal love of God’s heart for the elect, is God’s gift to the elect, and is intended to save the elect, and the elect only. Accordingly, the call of the gospel, “which consists not merely of the preaching of the word, but also of the illumination of the Spirit,” is exclusively for the elect.6 God withholds the call from the reprobate.

        …Calvin, for there are two species of calling—there is a universal call, by which God, through the external preaching of the word, invites all men alike, even those for whom He designs the call to be a savour of death, and the ground of a severer condemnation. Besides this there is a special call which, for the most part, God bestows on believers only, when by the internal illumination of the Spirit He causes the word preached to take deep root in their hearts.7

        The “special call,” or efficacious call, which consists of both the preaching of the gospel and the “internal illumination of the Spirit,”8 is for the elect alone. The call in the preaching comes also to many reprobates, but God’s “design” with the call to them is that it be to them a savour of death and the ground of worse condemnation. Calvin does not regard the external call of the gospel as grace to all hearers or as an expression of God’s sincere desire to save all.

        Calvin comes back to the assertion that the preaching of the gospel, and particularly the call of the gospel, has a twofold effect and that this effect is determined by God’s purpose in election and reprobation.
        …Those, therefore, whom He has created for dishonour during life and destruction at death, that they may be vessels of wrath and examples of severity, in bringing to their doom, He at one time deprives of the means of hearing His word, at another by the preaching of it blinds and stupefies them the more.9

        So far from being grace to the reprobate, the preaching of the gospel is a judgment against them, for by the preaching God blinds and stupefies them. “God sends His word to many whose blindness He is pleased to aggravate.”10

        He directs His voice to them, but it is that they may turn a deafer ear; He kindles a light, but it is that they may be more stupid; He employs a remedy, but it is that they may not be cured.11

        …Calvin declares it to be “incontrovertible, that to those whom God is not pleased to illumine, He delivers His doctrine wrapt up in enigmas, so that they many not profit by it, but be given over to greater blindness.”12
        Whether one agrees with Calvin’s interpretation of these texts or not, it is clear that he does not explain them as teaching that God is gracious in the gospel to elect and reprobate alike or that God sincerely desires all men to be saved.

        The Fiction That Grace Is Offered Equally to All

        Pighius made grace common to all men in the offer of salvation…
        Calvin calls this a “fiction.”
        “The fiction of Pighius is puerile and absurd when he interprets grace to be God’s goodness in inviting all men to salvation, although all were lost in Adam. For Paul most clearly separates the foreknown from those on whom God deigned not to look in mercy … Pighius … holds fast the fiction that grace is offered equally to all, but that it is ultimately rendered effectual by the will of man, just as each one is willing to receive it.16
        Pighius, “this worthless fellow,” thought to find an argument against election in the fact that “Christ, the redeemer of the whole world, commanded the gospel to be preached to all men, promiscuously, generally, and without distinction.”17
        Calvin makes plain that he is opposed not only to Pighius’ doctrine of free will, but also to his doctrine that God wills all men to be saved,
        Calvin castigates Pighius for teaching that the mercy of God extends to others than the elect:
        After this, Pighius, like a wild beast escaped from his cage, rushes forth, bounding over all fences in his way, uttering such sentiments as these: “The mercy of God is extended to everyone, for God wishes all men to be saved; for that end He stands and knocks at the door of our heart, desiring to enter.”22

        By Calvin’s standard, an accurate one, wild beasts abound today, running loose in even nominally Reformed churches. We will do our best to cage them and to muzzle their ravings about a grace of God for all that wishes all to be saved and that stands offering and begging at the door of the sinner’s heart. With the teaching of Romans 9 and Romans 11, Calvin refutes these “puerile dreams.”23
        God’s purpose with this call is determined by and is in harmony with His eternal counsel of predestination, election, and reprobation. He wills to call to save the elect, and He wills to call to work the condemnation of the reprobate. The call of the gospel to the elect is accompanied by the internal enlightening of the Spirit, so that they are efficaciously drawn to Christ by faith and are saved. The call to the reprobate is God’s demand, made in perfect righteousness and in utmost seriousness, that they do what is their duty to do. When God gives this command, He withholds from them the Spirit who alone is able to give the repentance and faith called for, whom God is not obligated to give to anyone, and instead hardens them in their unbelief.

        END QUOTE

      17. Nice Post GraceAdict

        Notice this statement from John Calvin
        So far from being grace to the reprobate, the preaching of the gospel is a judgment against them

        Here we see the element of the “Moral Dualism” found within Gnosticism.

        The “good” side of the “good-evil” dualism:
        When Calvin’s god has decreed a person do [X]
        And he then communicates that person do [X]

        The “evil” side of the “good-evil” dualism
        When Calvin’s god has decreed a person NOT do [X]
        And he then communicates that person do [X]

        If we know what to look for – we will discover various representations of the Gnostic “Moral Dualism” embedded within Calvinist language.

      18. Grace Adict writes, “Check this out from the Author D. Engelsma the quotes below are ALL (yes ALL) from his article no comments added by me, these quotes are not taken out of context, NOTICE the Hatred towards the Biblical Truth that God Genuinely LOVES ALL, this is Calvinism in all it’s distorted glory… ”

        Calvinism seeks to answer the question, “If God so loves the world, why doesn’t God save each and every person?” This is not hatred toward Biblical truth but a searching of Biblical truth to discover the answer.

      19. rhutchin
        Calvinism seeks to answer the question, “If God so loves the world, why doesn’t God save each and every person?” This is not hatred toward Biblical truth but a searching of Biblical truth to discover the answer.

        br.d
        A more clearly Calvinistic question would be:
        “If Calvin’s god loves his creatures then why does he design the vast majority of them for eternal torment in the lake of fire”

      20. br.d
        You want to add in there that they are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. Some of the vessels of wrath are even “baptize into the covenant” in Reformed churches.

        So here is that version…

        A more clearly Calvinistic question would be:
        “If Calvin’s God loves His creatures, and fearfully and wonderfully makes them in His own image, then why does He design the vast majority of them for eternal torment in the lake of fire?”

        Doesn’t that sound like a bizarre way to create?

      21. FOH
        A more clearly Calvinistic question would be:
        “If Calvin’s God loves His creatures, and fearfully and wonderfully makes them in His own image, then why does He design the vast majority of them for eternal torment in the lake of fire?”

        Doesn’t that sound like a bizarre way to create?

        br.d
        Yup! Where does scripture paint a picture of a THEOS who designs his creatures as vessels of wrath and then says “It is good”.
        Pretty contorted if you ask me.

      22. br.d writes, “A more clearly Calvinistic question would be:
        “If Calvin’s god loves his creatures then why does he design the vast majority of them for eternal torment in the lake of fire”
        FOH writes, “Doesn’t that sound like a bizarre way to create?”

        Perhaps, br.d and FOH did not understand the question, so let’s ask it again.

        If, “God so loved each and every person that He gave His only begotten Son,…” why doesn’t God ensure each and every person is saved?

      23. RH If, “God so loved each and every person that He gave His only begotten Son,…” why doesn’t God ensure each and every person is saved?
        GA Like FORCE them to OBEY? Like FORCE them to Love him? The Calvinist turns his back on the clear and simple solution laid out in scripture “Free Will” which answers all of the Calvinist questions without any contradictions and without profaning the Holy name of God BUT the Calvinist refuses to see that. He instead would rather embrace a gnostic idea of God by making God the Author of Evil, making God into a hateful being, create a secret will of God that just magically agrees with his own assumptions, and then use “mystery and paradox” to cover up all of his inconsistencies and misrepresentations of God’s moral character that he has just engaged in.

      24. GraceAdict writes, “he Calvinist turns his back on the clear and simple solution laid out in scripture “Free Will” which answers all of the Calvinist questions”

        Free will does not explain anything. Both those who accept salvation and those who reject salvation do so with “free will” so free will cannot explain why some accept and some reject. There is a motive or reason why some exercise free will unto salvation and some exercise free will to reject. GA is afraid to get into those reasons and then complains about Calvinists because they search the Scriptures to discover those reasons and motives.

      25. When Consistent Calvinists talk about Free will, they really don’t mean free will do they? They redefine almost every key term so that on the surface it seems like they are saying the same thing but in the end Free will is NOT free will.
        God first forcibly changes a person against his will through regeneration (nothing in that was desired by the person- not free will) and then that new creature now has no option but to believe. (Nice try but that is not free-will) All of this is not genuine free-will is it? it is still a puppet on a string, yet let’s pretend it is not.

      26. Yup – Calvinist talk about free is all based on subtle technicalities.

        Essentially the creature is free to be/do what Calvin’s god decrees
        Nothing more – nothing less.

        Where the creature is designed/decreed to be a frog – that creature is free to be a frog.
        But not free to be a humming-bird.

        Likewise where Calvin’s god designs/decrees a person to sin – that person is free to sin.
        But NOT free (and not permitted) to refrain from sin.

      27. “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Henry Ford, 1909.

        Free to choose any color you want!

      28. You hit the bulls-eye once again FOH!

        I call that DOUBLE-SPEAK :-]

        Dr. William Lutz – Double-speak
        -quote
        Basic to doublespeak is incongruity. The incongruity between what is said or left unsaid and what really is.
        It is the incongruity between the word and the referent, between SEEM and BE.

      29. GraceAdict writes, “When Consistent Calvinists talk about Free will, they really don’t mean free will do they?”

        Calvinists define “free will” as actions taken, or decisions made, by people not under coercion who are prompted to act by a reason or motive and the the action is taken willingly and voluntarily.

        Then, “God first forcibly changes a person against his will through regeneration (nothing in that was desired by the person- not free will) and then that new creature now has no option but to believe.”

        One might use the analogy or a blind man gaining his sight or a deaf man gaining the ability to hear. It opens up a whole new world from which they were deprived while unregenerate, blind or deaf. Regeneration removes slavery to sin and restores free will. Even GA did not complain when God regenerated him or demand that God reverse the change He had worked in him. Correct???

      30. GA,

        I am sure you will catch this huge mistake by RH….

        “Regeneration removes slavery to sin and restores free will.”

        I think that is what Arminians teach with “prevenient grace” (i.e Everyone needs/ and gets it) . but Arminians go on to add that man can then freely choose or not choose God.

        Of course there is no such freedom in “Irresistible Grace” —- but they cannot see that.

        Basically in Calvinism you are save twice. Regeneration “removes slavery to sin” and then justification removes consequence of sin.

        All of it being irresistible of course!

      31. FOH writes, “I think that is what Arminians teach with “prevenient grace” (i.e Everyone needs/ and gets it)…Of course there is no such freedom in “Irresistible Grace” —-”

        If everyone receives prevenient grace then it is irresistible and does not convey freedom “but Arminians go on to add that man can then freely choose or not choose God.” Arminians are mixed up under your philosophy.

      32. rhutchin
        If everyone receives prevenient grace then it is irresistible and does not convey freedom “but Arminians go on to add that man can then freely choose or not choose God.” Arminians are mixed up under your philosophy.

        br.d
        You might want to examine the logic (if one would call it that) of that statement

        Firstly- the fact that everyone receives it would not dictate its attributes (resistible or not) or what it conveys.
        Secondly – since the first premise is IRRATIONAL the second one simply follows the same error.

        Someone is mixed up alright! :-]

      33. br,d writes, “Firstly- the fact that everyone receives it would not dictate its attributes (resistible or not) or what it conveys.”

        If everyone receives X, then no one could resist receiving X – the gift of X was irresistible. Who really understands what you are trying to argue.

      34. br,d
        Firstly- the fact that everyone receives it would not dictate its attributes (resistible or not) or what it conveys.”

        rhutchin
        If everyone receives X, then no one could resist receiving X – the gift of X was irresistible.

        br.d
        In Theological Determinism this statement would be true – IF and ONLY IF – the THEOS determined everyone to receive [X]
        But it does not hold true – outside of Theological Determinism.

        Therefore the statement follows the “Fallacy of Hasty Generalization”

        rhutchin
        Who really understands what you are trying to argue.

        br.d
        I understand your situation here.

      35. FOH is absolutly correct here!

        There is absolutely no difference in compatiblisitic free will pre-or-post regeneration.
        Theological Determinism is exactly the same in both cases.
        And compatiblisitic free will is exactly the same in both cases.

        In both cases the creature is ONLY free do be/do what is DECREED.
        Nothing More – Nothing Less.

        So in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) regeneration makes not difference in the state of ones liberty.

        We must always remember:
        A Calvinist is a Determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting double-speak talking points.

        He rejects elements of Non-Calvinist doctrine and calls them semi-heretical
        But give him five minutes and carefully watch.

        He’ll be working to SMUGGLE those very elements back into his system – in camouflaged form. :-]

      36. br.d writes, “In both cases the creature is ONLY free do be/do what is DECREED.”

        Yet, he does so willfully and voluntarily, therefore not under compulsion or coercion by God, for reasons that God perfectly understands so that God knows what the creature will do before the creature has made that decision.

      37. br.d
        In both cases the creature is ONLY free do be/do what is DECREED.”

        rhutchin
        Yet, he does so willfully and voluntarily,

        br.d
        DUH!
        NO will or volition is permitted – other than what is DECREED.
        A nice little robot world! :-]

      38. br.d writes, “NO will or volition is permitted – other than what is DECREED.”

        Actually, God works through the wills of people to bring about events He has decreed. Examples in Scripture are the brothers of Joseph selling him, David’s adultery with Bathsheba, Peter’s denial of Christ, and the Romans crucifixion of Christ, etc. God’s actions are made possible by His infinite understanding of His creation even before He created the universe.

      39. br.d
        In Theological Determinism NO will or volition is permitted – other than what is DECREED.”

        rhutchin
        Actually, God works through the wills of people to bring about events He has decreed. ….etc

        br.d
        We understand how Theological Determinism works
        Calvin’s god decrees it.
        And nothing is permitted to falsify or negate that decree.
        Therefore NO will or volition is permitted other than what is decreed.

        And also – every neurological impulse is decreed – so that pretty much controls everything
        A nice little robot world :-]

      40. br,d writes, “We understand how Theological Determinism works
        Calvin’s god decrees it.”

        We have established that your definition of Theological Determinism disagrees with Calvinism. So, no sense to link them anymore.

        Then, “And also – every neurological impulse is decreed – ”

        But not initiated by God. God decrees but does not coerce neurological impulses withing the brain of the person. Thus, Peter denies Jesus not under compulsion of God’s decree (as communicated by Jesus) but willingly and voluntarily.

      41. br,d
        We understand how Theological Determinism works – Calvin’s god decrees it.”

        rhutchin
        We have established that your definition of Theological Determinism disagrees with Calvinism. So, no sense to link them anymore.

        br.d
        Not you’re call.
        However, you are still free to link what you want to try to link (or try to un-link in this case).

        And we also know every neurological impulse is decreed – which pretty much controls every.

        rhutchin
        But not initiated by God. God decrees but does not coerce neurological impulses withing the brain of the person.

        br.d
        Everyone here already understands determinism/compatiblism’s NON-Coercion argument.
        But trying to argue that the CAUSE of the EFFECT (i.e. the decree) is not “initiated” by Calvin’s god is going take a whole lot of double-speak! :-]

      42. br.d writes, “But trying to argue that the CAUSE of the EFFECT (i.e. the decree) is not “initiated” by Calvin’s god is going take a whole lot of double-speak!”

        God’s decree is not the cause of man’s action. God decreed, as attested by Christ, that Peter deny Christ, but God did not cause Peter to deny Christ. God’s decree made Peter’s denial certain, and Peter willfully and voluntarily made it necessary

      43. br.d
        But trying to argue that the CAUSE of the EFFECT (i.e. the decree) is not “initiated” by Calvin’s god is going take a whole lot of double-speak!”

        rhutchin
        God’s decree is not the cause of man’s action.

        br.d
        Yeh right! – and that’s why Calvinism is called “Universal Divine *CAUSAL* Determinism” :-]

        Causal determinism in Christian Philosophy is, roughly speaking, the idea that every event is CAUSED by an antecedent event.
        And in this case by a THEOS.

        But we’re all familiar with the Calvinist escape mechanism:
        Some creaturely attribute causes some creaturely attribute – causes some creaturely attribute – and on into infinite regress :-]

      44. br.d writes, “Causal determinism in Christian Philosophy is, roughly speaking, the idea that every event is CAUSED by an antecedent event.
        And in this case by a THEOS.”

        That is why “Universal Divine *CAUSAL* Determinism” in introducing the term, “Divine,” and defined by the Scriptures, provides for God to use secondary means to “cause” that which God has determined to occur.

      45. br.d
        “Causal determinism in Christian Philosophy is, roughly speaking, the idea that every event is CAUSED by an antecedent event.
        And in this case by a THEOS.”

        rhutchin
        That is why “Universal Divine *CAUSAL* Determinism” in introducing the term, “Divine,” and defined by the Scriptures, provides for God to use secondary means to “cause” that which God has determined to occur.

        br.d
        That’s right – the Calvi argument is going to be:
        Some secondary means – caused some secondary means – caused some secondary means – and on in to infinite regress.

        When in LOGIC – it is impossible for a secondary means to CAUSE itself.
        But rather every secondary means constitutes an EFFECT
        Which is itself CAUSED by a *PRIMARY* means or cause.

        But that’s the difference between LOGIC and Calvinism. :-]

      46. br.d writes, “That’s right – the Calvi argument is going to be:
        Some secondary means – caused some secondary means – caused some secondary means – and on in to infinite regress.”

        The ultimate cause of all things is God by virtue of His creation of the world through which secondary causes arise. God is the cause of salvation for one and not another because we are told, “(for Jacob and Esau not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls) it was said to it was said to Rebecca, “The older shall serve the younger.” Elsewhere, we read, “The wages of sin is death,” and “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” God gives life to the sinner, but God does not coerce or compel the sinner to sin. James explians this, “each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

      47. br.d
        That’s right – the Calvi argument is going to be:
        Some secondary means – caused some secondary means – caused some secondary means – and on in to infinite regress.”

        rhutchin
        The ultimate cause of all things is God by virtue of His creation of the world through which secondary causes arise

        br.d
        By virtue of his creation – by means of immutable DECREES of course !

        Calvinists – always trying to take the DECREE out of their DECRETAL Theology. :-]

        With their attribute of a secondary means causing some attribute of a secondary causing some attribute of a secondary cause – to infinite regress.

        Don’t ever try to ask the Calvinist to follow his Theologies CAUSAL chain back to its origin! :-]

      48. My favorite ploy is when he quotes scripture to support the opposite of what Calvinism asserts. Saves us from having to respond: Scripture says ‘A’, so even though Calvinism asserts ‘non-A’, we will pretend as if quoting scripture’s ‘A’ somehow confirms Calvinism’s ‘non-A’ and all is good. I presume the assumption is that everyone will run from the room screaming at the absurdity of it all, and the last one in the room wins.

      49. I know what you mean – watching rhutchin’s posts often reminds me of watching pin-ball machine! :-]

      50. TS00 writes, “Scripture says ‘A’, so even though Calvinism asserts ‘non-A’, we will pretend as if quoting scripture’s ‘A’ somehow confirms Calvinism’s ‘non-A’ and all is good.”

        How about citing a couple examples from the Scripture to demonstrate that you know what you are talking about.

      51. Vast assumption, based on presuppositions. Scripture never states that God decreed Peter’s denial. You lnow, as it has been addressed here humdreds of times, that it is mere Calvinist presupposition that foreknowledge equates to foreordination. You can make that assumption, but it would be nice if it was acknowledged as such.

      52. TS00 writes, “Scripture never states that God decreed Peter’s denial.”

        In Matthew 26, “Jesus said to Peter, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

        If that is not a decree of God, then either Jesus is not God or Jesus did not say, “you will deny Me three times.”

        Then, “that it is mere Calvinist presupposition that foreknowledge equates to foreordination.”

        Calvinism says that God’s infinite understanding begets His ordination of all things (foreordination of future things) and this begets His foreknowledge. Calvinism does not equate foreknowledge to foreordination; it says that God knows that which He has foreordained. That is not an assumption – if God does not know that which He foreordains, then something is wrong. If God forgets that which He has foreordained, then He is not God.

      53. TS00
        Scripture never states that God decreed Peter’s denial.”

        rhutchin
        In Matthew 26, “Jesus said to Peter, “Assuredly, I say to you….etc….If that is not a decree of God, then either Jesus is not God or Jesus did not say, “you will deny Me three times.”

        br,d
        The LOGICAL fallacy here is to make knowledge CAUSAL.
        In the NON-Calvinist world – the THEOS can have complete and comprehensive knowledge of future events without determining/decreeing those events.

      54. Exactly. To assert that Jesus foreknowing what would happen equates to Jesus preordaining and causing it to happen is just silly. Foreknowledge does not equal causation. God also foreknew that Cain would slay Abel, but he warned him, urged him to resist the temptation. But I guess he was just playing games, pretending as if Cain could do something other than what had been eternally destined in the heavens by irresistible decree.

      55. TS00 writes, “To assert that Jesus foreknowing what would happen equates to Jesus preordaining and causing it to happen is just silly.”

        That Jesus foreknows the future males the future certain with that being both determined and necessary without having to account for what makes that future determined or necessary. Calvinist say that God is sovereign so God necessarily determines the future and that future is necessary through God’s direct action (e.g., the impregnation of Mary) or through secondary means (e.g., the crucifixion of Jesus). If God is not sovereign, then whoever is sovereign determines the future.

      56. rhutchin
        That Jesus foreknows the future males the future certain with that being both determined and NECESSARY

        br.d
        Dr. William Lane Craig – Necessity equates to Theological Fatalism
        -quote
        Here he [a writer asking Dr. Craig a question] is admitting that foreknowledge of what a person will freely choose does not make the action *NECESSARY*. So long as he agrees with that he has repudiated theological fatalism.

        br.d
        Additionally Jesus can have complete certainty of a future event with that event solely determined by the creature’s Libertarian Free Will.

        Dr. William Lane Craig – when challenged to prove the existence of Divine Middle Knowledge
        -quote
        [We] …have merely to provide a Biblically faithful theory or model exhibiting the compatibility of God’s providence with libertarian free will…..as a theory which is epistemically possible.

      57. br.d writes, “Jesus can have complete certainty of a future event with that event solely determined by the creature’s Libertarian Free Will. ”

        Jesus having complete knowledge of a future event makes that event certain. Jesus having a complete understanding of all the factors that are in play that make the future necessary (including LFW) makes that future necessary. Jesus, by His understanding of the future, knows a future that is both certain and necessary.

      58. br.d
        Jesus can have complete certainty of a future event with that event solely determined by the creature’s Libertarian Free Will. ”

        rhutchin
        Jesus having complete knowledge of a future event makes that event certain.

        br.d
        As I’ve already said “certainty” is an EPISTEMIC attribute – so you’re simply restating my statement.

        rhutchin
        Jesus having a complete understanding of all the factors that are in play that make the future necessary (including LFW) makes that future necessary. Jesus, by His understanding of the future, knows a future that is both certain and necessary.

        br.d
        Everyone here but you knows – when you appeal to a future event being NECESSARY you are appealing to Theological Fatalism.

        Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy- Theological Fatalism
        -quote
        Theological fatalism is the thesis that infallible foreknowledge of a human act makes the act *NECESSARY*

        No one really cares whether or not you agree – since you make so many off-the-wall statements anyway.
        But you should at least be advised that everyone here knows better.

      59. br.d writes, “the THEOS can have complete and comprehensive knowledge of future events without determining/decreeing those events.”

        LOL!!! So, a THEOS can have complete and comprehensive knowledge of future events without that future being certain or necessary. I guess the Theos’ knowledge is neither “complete” nor “comprehensive” if the future is not determined/decreed/

      60. br.d
        In the Non-Calvinist system the THEOS can have complete and comprehensive knowledge of future events without determining/decreeing those events.”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! So, a THEOS can have complete and comprehensive knowledge of future events without that future being certain or necessary. I guess the Theos’ knowledge is neither “complete” nor “comprehensive” if the future is not determined/decreed/

        br.d
        I guess you haven’t heard of divine Middle-Knowledge – where divine infallible certainty is an epistemic attribute. :-]

        BTW – if you’re going to appeal to the future being “necessary” – then you’re appealing to Theological Fatalism which I don’t think you really intended to do.

        Otherwise – what you have (in Calvinism) is of course Theological Determinism.
        And as we can see – Theological Determinism itself is not necessary for full and comprehensive divine omniscience.

      61. br.d writes, “I guess you haven’t heard of divine Middle-Knowledge – where divine infallible certainty is an epistemic attribute.”

        Middle knowledge deals with a possible future. When God chooses the world to create, He then has a complete and comprehensive knowledge of the actual future.

        Then, “BTW – if you’re going to appeal to the future being “necessary” – then you’re appealing to Theological Fatalism which I don’t think you really intended to do.”

        Fatalism deals with a future that has no purpose where a person cannot overcome his future. Theological fatalism does not exist since God gives the future purpose and people can overcome their future with God’s help – nothing fatalistic about that.

        Then, “and as we can see – Theological Determinism itself is not necessary for full and comprehensive divine omniscience.”

        Sure, it requires God to be sovereign. Of course, if God is not sovereign, then He is not God.

      62. br.d
        “I guess you haven’t heard of divine Middle-Knowledge – where divine infallible certainty is an epistemic attribute.”

        rhutchin
        Middle knowledge deals with a possible future. When God chooses the world to create, He then has a complete and comprehensive knowledge of the actual future.

        br.d
        And provides a way for complete comprehensive omniscience of future free creaturely events without the need for predetermining them.

        BTW – if you’re going to appeal to the future being “necessary” – then you’re appealing to Theological Fatalism which I don’t think you really intended to do.”

        quote from Dr. William Lane Craig provided.

        rhutchin
        Fatalism deals with a future that has no purpose where a person cannot overcome his future. Theological fatalism does not exist since God gives the future purpose and people can overcome their future with God’s help – nothing fatalistic about that.

        br.d
        No need for me to pursue this with you – since Theological Fatalism has been for years well defined in Christian Philosophy.
        Tell yourself whatever makes you happy.

        BTW: we can see – Theological Determinism itself is not necessary for full and comprehensive divine omniscience.”

        rhutchin
        Sure, it requires God to be sovereign. Of course, if God is not sovereign, then He is not Go

        br.d
        That is in fact the philosophy of the Theological Determinist.

      63. br.d writes, “And provides a way for complete comprehensive omniscience of future free creaturely events without the need for predetermining them.”

        Yet, in creating the world, God determined – made certain – that which He knew through His complete comprehensive omniscience of the future. The issue then is the extent to which God’s interaction with the world makes some events necessary. For example, God’s impregnation of Mary made that event necessary.

        Then, “BTW – if you’re going to appeal to the future being “necessary” – then you’re appealing to Theological Fatalism which I don’t think you really intended to do.””

        Whether the future is fatalistic depends on God’s involvement. When Romans 8 tells us, “God works all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose,” we would not label that fatalistic as it reveals purpose in the future. However, where Romans 8 tells us, “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God,” we could call that fatalistic as the person cannot change his situation and does not want to change his situation. Theological Fatalism suggests involvement of a Theos, but it really refers to the lack of involvement of a Theos reducing it to simple Fatalism. What does “theological” impart to fatalism that is not already there?

        Then, “Theological Fatalism has been for years well defined in Christian Philosophy.”

        Theological Fatalism is generally premised on knowledge of the future as the vehicle to remove freedom of choice. It completely ignores infinite understanding of future free choices as the vehicle for ensuring free choice. I think Theological Fatalism is a confused term.

        Then, ‘BTW: we can see – Theological Determinism itself is not necessary for full and comprehensive divine omniscience.”

        Agreed. But full and comprehensive divine omniscience.begets Theological Determinism. When God created a world for which he had full and comprehensive divine omniscience, He created a fully determined – or certain – world. Then, by His infinite understanding of that world, He ensured the necessity of of those events that were determined/certain.

      64. In other words, rh embraces fatalism, but asserts, falsely, that if there is a ‘purpose’ behind the lack of genuine freedom given to creatures to control their fate then it can be declared not fatalism.

        In reality, fatalism simply requires that all things be preordained, and men have no genuine alternative to the predetermined events that will irresistibly come to pass. This is, indeed, what Calvinism asserts, while trying to mask it under terms such as compatibilism, or pretending that men ‘choose’ that which has been unavoidably decreed for them. All that lipstick does not disguise their pig.

      65. As I said – I’m not going to bother to pursue this with you since Theological Fatalism has been well defined for years in Christian Philosophy. And you obviously see yourself as more omniscient than all academia.

      66. If I am not mistaken…RH used to clearly argue against simple Foreknowledge and argue for Foreordination/Causation now it seems like he is trying to cover his tracks by trying to make it sound more vague but in the end he is saying the same thing.

      67. For a very long time – judging from his posts – I thought rhutchin was a teenager.

        He certainly is highly imaginative – and extremely tenacious.
        Even when he’s simply just making stuff up out of thin air – he’ll double-down on it.
        when gets that way – he’s just chasing is own tail – and its a waste of time to get sucked into that game.

        A few of his claims over time have been so antithetical to Calvin – I’m certain if he had made them in Calvin’s day in Geneva – Calvin’s magistrates would have had him publicly flogged.

        I’m not sure about how stable what he says today is – cuz it will may very well change tomorrow.

      68. rhutchin
        One might use the analogy or a blind man gaining his sight or a deaf man gaining the ability to hear.

        br.d
        Except that in the gospel narratives blind people know they are blind and they WANT to see.
        In the Calvinist narrative – blind people don’t know they are blind and the don’t WANT to see.
        The regeneration process occurs WITHOUT their prior consent.
        Simply because a DEAD person cannot KNOW, WANT, or CONSENT.

        The regeneration process involves Calvin’s god ZAPPING the DEAD person with a DIVINE SPARK
        That’s the way the ancient Gnostics in Augustine’s day would describe it.

      69. Exactly br.d!

        Let’s use an analogy of lepers ….. oh wait…. there is a biblical story of lepers.

        Luke 17:11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

        14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

        15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

        17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

        ——–

        A. They call out for help!

        B. To answer RH ubiquitous question of why would anyone pass up Christ all things being equal ….nine of them do not return to Christ at all.

        C. Christ tells the “unchosen foreigner” ….. “your faith has made you well.”

        One story alone dismantles Calvinism …..and there are hundreds like it!

      70. FOH writes, “A. They call out for help!…”

        Calvinism adds that God well understood the way these events would unfold even before He created the Universe. Nothing Calvinism says has been dismantled.

      71. br.d writes, “The regeneration process occurs WITHOUT their prior consent.”

        Yes. Whether Calvinist or Arminian grace is without prior consent.

        Then, “The regeneration process involves Calvin’s god ZAPPING the DEAD person with a DIVINE SPARK
        That’s the way the ancient Gnostics in Augustine’s day would describe it.”

        Or as the Scripture describes it, “God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),…”

      72. br.d
        The regeneration process occurs WITHOUT their prior consent.”

        rhutchin
        Yes. Whether Calvinist or Arminian grace is without prior consent.

        br.d
        We we’re referring to “grace” which is a different topic – we were talking about the process of regeneration.
        In the Arminian view regeneration does not occur prior to consent.

        The regeneration process involves Calvin’s god ZAPPING the DEAD person with a DIVINE SPARK
        That’s the way the ancient Gnostics in Augustine’s day would describe it.”

        rhutchin
        Or as the Scripture describes it, “God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),…”

        br.d
        As Dr. Ken Wilson in his research on Gnosticism in Augustine notes.
        Many of the proof-texts used by Calvinists today were used identically by the Gnostics in Augustine’s day.
        This differentiates Calvinism from Non-Calvinist usage of scripture.

      73. br.d writes, “We we’re referring to “grace” which is a different topic – we were talking about the process of regeneration.”

        Regeneration is by grace. It is unmerited. Grace initiates the process of regeneration. To say that a person is saved by grace is to say that a person is saved by actions initiated by God one of which is regeneration. So, not a different topic; just a more complete topic. As you state, “The regeneration process involves Calvin’s god ZAPPING the DEAD person with a DIVINE SPARK” Note that you have God beginning the action through regeneration. Ephesians 2 puts it this way, “…even when we were dead in trespasses, made God us alive together with Christ..”

        Then, “Many of the proof-texts used by Calvinists today were used identically by the Gnostics in Augustine’s day.”

        That just says that the Gnostics were reading the Scriptures and getting some things right. As long as people are reading the Scriptures, they are more likely to get it right. It is when the Gnostics deviated from the Scriptures that they got into trouble.

      74. br.d
        We weren’t referring to “grace” which is a different topic – we were talking about the process of regeneration.”

        rhutchin
        Regeneration is by grace. It is unmerited…..etc

        br.d
        I’m comfortable talking specifically about Calvinism’s process of regeneration.

        And Dr. Ken Wilson’s research shows many of the proof-texts used by Calvinists today were used identically by the Gnostics in Augustine’s day.”

        rhutchin
        That just says that the Gnostics were reading the Scriptures and getting some things right.

        br.d
        Too funny! :-]

      75. br.d
        A more clearly Calvinistic question would be:
        “If Calvin’s god loves his creatures then why does he design the vast majority of them for eternal torment in the lake of fire”
        FOH writes, “Doesn’t that sound like a bizarre way to create?”

        rhutchin
        Perhaps, br.d and FOH did not understand the question,

        br.d
        Not a logical assumption.
        I understood the question – and on top of that understood its wording was not clearly Calvinistic

        I think the clearly Calvinistic answer is that Calvinism inherited the component of MORAL DUALISM from the ancient Gnostic/NeoPlatonist doctrines of Augustine’s day. And in that MORAL DUALISM good and evil are co-equal, co-necessary, and co-complimentary.

        That being the case – Jon Edwards answer would probably be:: The glory of evil is necessary for the glory of good to shine forth.

      76. From FundamentallyReformed website
        “God holds creatures responsible for their sin, even when God was the One who foreordained that sin to happen, and used it for His ends.”
        These guys actually believe this stuff…But of course God is not the author of evil (wink wink)
        …and BR.D you are being unreasonable to say Calvinism adheres to moral dualism when it comes to God’s nature.

      77. GA:
        That is a good quote! Yes, unbelievable.

        They teach (clear, quotable on their web sites) that man is responsible for his sin even though God immutably, irresistibly, eternally ORDAINED that the person commit all of those sins.

        If we try to ask how does this add up to mercy, grace, and love (especially what we see Christ / Paul telling us to be like)…. they (in there Calvin-burn-them-at-the-stake sort of way) answer…..”who are you to question the potter?”

        Good News!

      78. FOH : If we try to ask how does this add up to mercy, grace, and love (especially what we see Christ / Paul telling us to be like)…. they (in there Calvin-burn-them-at-the-stake sort of way) answer…..”who are you to question the potter?”

        GA: Even though they say who are you to question the potter….what they really mean is who are you question John Calvin or me Calvin’s disciple? What they say about the potter dishonors HIS HOLY name but they are happy to do so… it baffles me.

      79. Yes….and when referring to the potter, they overlook the fact the the potter being mentioned is first found in Jeremiah 18-19 where God actually says He will change His plans if man does such-and-such!

        “That cannot be!” they cry….. followed by some contorted, convoluted “explanation” of what God “must have meant.”

        Why?

        All to support their version of what God “must be like.”

      80. FOH writes, “they overlook the fact the the potter being mentioned is first found in Jeremiah 18-19 where God actually says He will change His plans if man does such-and-such!
        “That cannot be!” they cry….. followed by some contorted, convoluted “explanation” of what God “must have meant.”

        We see here that FOH cut out those verses that tell us that God has infinite understanding of all things and with that infinite understanding is able to work all things according to the counsel of His will. FOH has a very abbreviated version of the Scriptures that allows him to drink milk all the time and never have to chew meat,

      81. Calvinists always deflect to “infinite understanding” as a way to avoid the DECREES

        In order to HIDE the fact that in Calvinism “infinite understanding” (in the form of Foreknowledge) is the CONSEQUENCE of DECREES.

        Just because a being has “infinite understanding” does not necessitate or force that being to DESIGN people for sin or eternal torment.
        And “infinite understanding” does not necessitate designing people to function as robots or puppets.

      82. They cannot live with the idea that their philosophy dictates that God ordained/ decreed/ willed all sin, so they talk about “infinite understanding.”

        Nah…. just own it Calvinists….. Calvinism teaches that God decreed all sin…for His glory.

        What is puzzling is that they want to have such a huge God with “infinite understanding” but they cannot allow Him to be big enough to have created a world where He achieves His will and still gives man free will. That’s not a big God; that’s a small one.

      83. Yes – its clear to me that Calvinists have a love-hate relationship with their own doctrine.
        And that’s why Calvinist language is full of DOUBLE-SPEAK.

      84. THANKS BR.D and FOH
        Your back and forth on this is so clear. It is so clear but I guess one who has hardened his own heart wills not to see it. That is their choice and they are free to make it. A God less than Sovereign would be afraid to give man that choice BUT HE has given us that choice so here we are…

      85. GraceAdict,

        It is extremely important to note the difference between our Calvinist version of sovereign will …..and say, AW Tozer’s

        “God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, ‘What doest thou?’ Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.”

        Piper’s version of God’s sovereignty demands that every man’s choosing very evil was immutably decreed by God.

        Tozer’s version of God’s sovereignty says that man’s choosing evil (or good) was part of God’s sovereign plan —- not that God Himself would choose which choice the man should make but that he (man) should be free to make it.

        There is a huge difference!

        Tozer’s answer’s RH’s “gotcha” question of why God does not save all men (even though He loves them all)….

        “Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.”

        God was not afraid to let the creatures that He loved (and created in His image) reject Him or call out to Him.

      86. FOH writes, “Tozer’s answer’s RH’s “gotcha” question of why God does not save all men (even though He loves them all)….
        “Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.”
        God was not afraid to let the creatures that He loved (and created in His image) reject Him or call out to Him.”

        Having moral freedom does not tell us how moral freedom is exercised. For that we need to look at the reasons/motives that determine how one exercises his moral freedom. Calvinists say that those who are slaves to sin will exercise their moral freedom to sin.

      87. GraceAdict writes, “A God less than Sovereign would be afraid to give man that choice BUT HE has given us that choice so here we are…”

        No conflict with God having infinite understanding of the man He created even to knowing the decisions men would make before they personally and freely made them.

      88. rhutchin
        No conflict with God having infinite understanding of the man He created even to knowing the decisions men would make before they personally and freely made them.

        br.d
        We know Calvin’s god has “infinite understanding” cuz he always does exactly what the Calvinist says! :-]

      89. br.d writes, “We know Calvin’s god has “infinite understanding” cuz he always does exactly what the Calvinist says! :-]”

        More importantly, God does exactly what He wants (and then He tells everyone, including Calvinists, what He has done).

      90. br.d
        We know Calvin’s god has “infinite understanding” cuz he always does exactly what the Calvinist says! :-]”

        rhutchin
        More importantly, God does exactly what He wants (and then He tells everyone, including Calvinists, what He has done).

        br.d
        Well – of course in Calvinism that would be his “Enunciated” will.
        But then we have his SECRET will – which is often the total opposite of his “Enunciated” will.
        And of course he doesn’t reveal is SECRET will – cuz then it wouldn’t be a secret

        But the interesting thing in all this is how many of those SECRET things the Calvinist seems to always know! :-]

      91. br.d writes, “But then we have his SECRET will – which is often the total opposite of his “Enunciated” will.”

        Everyone recognizes this. God gave Israel the Ten Commandments and expected them to obey those commandments.

        In Joshua, we read, ““This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.” Then, we read, “Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD which He spoke to us. It shall therefore be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.” However, God understood the hearts of the people and knew that they would depart from His laws. God’s enuciated will is found in the law. God’s secret will is found in the actions of the people. No secrets here.

      92. br.d
        But then we have his SECRET will – which is often the total opposite of his “Enunciated” will.”

        rhutchin
        Everyone recognizes this. God gave Israel the Ten Commandments and expected them to obey those commandments.

        br.d
        Sure but ONLY Calvin’s god commands with his “Enunciated will” – the very things he SECRETLY doesn’t permit.

      93. br.d writes, “Sure but ONLY Calvin’s god commands with his “Enunciated will” – the very things he SECRETLY doesn’t permit.”

        Everyone pretty much understands this. God commanded that which He knew would not be obeyed. AS God said to Israel, ““Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel. When I have brought them to the land flowing with milk and honey, of which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat, then they will turn to other gods and serve them; and they will provoke Me and break My covenant. Then it shall be, when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify against them as a witness; for it will not be forgotten in the mouths of their descendants, for I know the inclination of their behavior today, even before I have brought them to the land of which I swore to give them.”

      94. br.d
        Sure but ONLY Calvin’s god commands with his “Enunciated will” – the very things he SECRETLY doesn’t permit.”

        rhutchin
        Everyone pretty much understands this. God commanded that which He knew would not be obeyed

        br.d
        Sorry
        No other theology would ever think to embrace the idea of a THEOS who uses his supernatural powers to not permit the very things he commands.

      95. It is amazing how unable the Calvinist is to grasp what most others can so readily understand. God ‘using’ man’s evil hearts and plans to accomplish his will, as in Joseph and Jesus, is entirely different from God dreaming up, ordaining and irresistibly causing man’s evil actions.

        How hard is it to grasp that God knew what Joseph’s brothers’ hatred would lead to, and that he trumped their plan to kill him by presenting them with an opportunity to get rid of him and profit from it? This does not require God to ordain and plant the evil desire to kill Joseph, and it certainly does not require him to approve of such a plan.

        But then, Calvinists love to ignore the verses that describe God’s displeasure with the wicked things men do, things that never even entered his mind. (How do you ordain something you never thought of?) The same is true of the murder of Jesus, and any other evil act described in scripture. Because God foresaw an evil deed, and wove together – as only he can – various elements to bring good out of the evil the perpetrators intended does not make God the author or source of the evil act. It seems to me that only wilful blindness makes this difficult to see.

      96. TS00 asks, “How hard is it to grasp that God knew what Joseph’s brothers’ hatred would lead to, and that he trumped their plan to kill him by presenting them with an opportunity to get rid of him and profit from it?”

        How hard is it to grasp that God knew this before He created the universe and that it was all part of His plan?

        Then, ‘Calvinists love to ignore the verses that describe God’s displeasure with the wicked things men do, things that never even entered his mind. (How do you ordain something you never thought of?)”

        When God says that “things that never even entered his mind” He means that He never would command such things. To say that God never thought of all the evil that people would desire to do is to deny Him infinite understanding of the people He created and makes God ignorant. TS00 is certainly ignorant, but that does not mean that God must also be ignorant.

      97. TS00
        It is amazing how unable the Calvinist is to grasp what most others can so readily understand.

        br.d
        Don’t you chalk this up to indoctrination?
        Most cult experts today will say that this phenomenon comes about by what is called: “Milieu control”
        A term coined by psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton

      98. br.d writes, ‘No other theology would ever think to embrace the idea of a THEOS who uses his supernatural powers to not permit the very things he commands.”

        God permits people to obey or not obey. God understands that people will not obey. God’s understanding does not restrict the actions people take, it only establishes that people will take those actions. God can command obedience while understanding that people will not obey.

      99. br.d
        ‘No other theology would ever think to embrace the idea of a THEOS who uses his supernatural powers to not permit the very things he commands.”

        rhutchin
        God permits people to obey or not obey.

        br.d
        For Calvin’s god it is different – for Calvin’s god it is yes and no.
        This is one thing that manifests Calvinism’s incorporation of the Moral Dualism of Gnosticism.

        Obviously Calvin’s god permits people to obey his SECRET will – human attributes he FIRST-CONCEIVES and RENDERS-CERTAIN.
        So he obviously permits people to obey his SECRET will.

        However Calvin’s god knows it is a LOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY for the creature to DISOBEY his SECRET will.
        He also knows he cannot PERMIT the creature to falsify or negate his decree.
        Therefore disobeying the SECRET will – is a LOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY and is not thus permitted.

        But then there is his “Enuciated” will
        Which is often the direction opposite of his SECRET will.

        And Calvin’s god knows that when his “Enuciated” will is the opposite of his SECRET will – then it is LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for people to obey it. So in this case – people are NOT PERMITTED to obey the “Enunciated” will – while at the same time they are NOT PERMITTED to escape obeying his SECRET will.

        rhutchin
        God understands that people will not obey. God’s understanding does not restrict the actions people take, it only establishes that people will take those actions. God can command obedience while understanding that people will not obey.

        br.d
        You should know by now – understanding is not CAUSATIVE
        The immutable DECREE is.

        Calvinism is classified as DECRETAL Theology – Don’t you remember?

      100. br.d writes, “You should know by now – understanding is not CAUSATIVE
        The immutable DECREE is.”

        Neither God’s understanding nor His decrees nor His knowledge is causative even though all encompass the means, or cause, to make that which is made certain by the decree also necessary by the causes. So, the Jews were the cause of Jesus being crucified (as Peter says, “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified…) even though we later read, “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.”

      101. br.d
        You should know by now – understanding is not CAUSATIVE
        The immutable DECREE is.”

        rhutchin
        Neither God’s understanding nor His decrees nor His knowledge is causative

        br.d
        There is so much irony – in the love-hate relationship Calvinists have with their own doctrine!
        Always trying to take the DECREES out of DECRETAL Theologically
        And trying to take the CAUSE out of Universal Divine *CAUSAL* Determinism.

        Where secondary means just happen to magically CAUSE themselves! :-]

      102. rh writes:
        “Neither God’s understanding nor His decrees nor His knowledge is causative even though all encompass the means, or cause, to make that which is made certain by the decree also necessary by the causes. ”

        This sentence gets the gold star for the most convoluted, gobbledy gook nonsense I have heard a Calvinist mutter yet. 😉 I would love to see anyone try to make sense of it. I think a few more euphemisms would have really topped it off. 😉

      103. FOH writes, “They cannot live with the idea that their philosophy dictates that God ordained/ decreed/ willed all sin, so they talk about “infinite understanding.”

        Actually, “infinite understanding” is a Scriptural concept that you cut out of your Bible, so you would not have to deal with it.

      104. br.d writes, “Calvinists always deflect to “infinite understanding” as a way to avoid the DECREES”

        Not really. God’s infinite understanding makes it possible for Him to work all things after the counsel of His will (decree all things)

        Then, “In order to HIDE the fact that in Calvinism “infinite understanding” (in the form of Foreknowledge) is the CONSEQUENCE of DECREES.”

        This is wrong, It is infinite understanding that enables God to decree all things and God’s decree of ll things is His foreknowledge.

        Then, “Just because [God] has “infinite understanding” does not necessitate or force that being…”

        That is true of God – God was, and is, not forced to do anything nor required by necessity to do anything.

      105. br.d
        Calvinists always deflect to “infinite understanding” as a way to avoid the DECREES”

        rhutchin
        Not really. God’s infinite understanding makes it possible for Him to work all things after the counsel of His will (decree all things)

        br.d
        Like it takes a whole lot of “infinite understanding” to decree a whole lot of sin and evil! :-]

        But here is the interesting question:
        Does the degree of sinfulness of the sin and the evilness of the evil come about because his decree?
        OR
        Does he decree specific sins and evils because of their maximum degree of sinfulness and evilness?

        br.d
        In Calvinism “infinite understanding” (in the form of Foreknowledge) is the CONSEQUENCE of DECREES.”

        rhutchin
        This is wrong, It is infinite understanding that enables God to decree all things and God’s decree of ll things is His foreknowledge.

        br.d
        Here you’ve simply affirmed the very statement you claim to be wrong. :-]

      106. br.d writes, “Like it takes a whole lot of “infinite understanding” to decree a whole lot of sin and evil! :-]”

        Well, if you know what “infinite” means, then you know it is a “whole lot.”

        Then, “But here is the interesting question:
        Does the degree of sinfulness of the sin and the evilness of the evil come about because his decree?”

        God’s decree makes sin certain but does not make it necessary.

        Then, “Here you’ve simply affirmed the very statement you claim to be wrong. :-]”

        LOL!!!

      107. br.d
        Like it takes a whole lot of “infinite understanding” to decree a whole lot of sin and evil! :-]

        rhutchin
        Well, if you know what “infinite” means, then you know it is a “whole lot.”

        br.d
        Yup that describes a “whole lot” about Calvinism.

        But here is the interesting question:
        Does the degree of sinfulness of the sin and the evilness of the evil come about because his decree?
        OR
        Does he decree specific sins and evils because of their maximum degree of sinfulness and evilness?

        rhutchin
        God’s decree makes sin certain but does not make it necessary.

        br.d
        Hmmmmm – an answer to a completely different question.

        Since you know all there is to know about Calvin’s god – and he always does exactly what you say – I assumed you would have the answer this question also.

      108. br.d writes, “Yup that describes a “whole lot” about Calvinism. ”

        More importantly to this discussion, it describes a “whole lot” about God.

        Then, “Hmmmmm – an answer to a completely different question.”

        God’s decree makes sin certain but does not make it necessary. That answers your first question. The second question relates to God’s eternal plan and the Scriptures say nothing about God requiring “maximum degree of sinfulness and evilness.”

      109. rhutchin
        God’s decree makes sin certain but does not make it necessary. That answers your first question. The second question relates to God’s eternal plan and the Scriptures say nothing about God requiring “maximum degree of sinfulness and evilness.”

        br.d
        Oh the question wasn’t about “requiring” anything.
        It was about whether Calvin’s god DECREES the maximum sinfulness of sin and the maximum evilness of evil – and whether that maximum sinfulness and evil is specifically from the DECREE – or whether he specifically DECREES it because of its maximum sinfulness and evil.

        Since his decrees are “for his good pleasure” I wouldn’t anticipate it has anything to do with “requiring”

      110. br.d writes, “It was about whether Calvin’s god DECREES the maximum sinfulness of sin and the maximum evilness of evil – and whether that maximum sinfulness and evil is specifically from the DECREE – or whether he specifically DECREES it because of its maximum sinfulness and evil.”

        God does not decree “maximum sinfulness of sin and the maximum evilness of evil” nor does God decree sin because of its maximum sinfulness and evil.- if He did people would be utterly depraved and not just totally depraved.

        Then, “Since his decrees are “for his good pleasure”

        God’s decrees accomplish His will even to using evil as we see in the case of Joseph and Christ, As Isaiah said of Christ, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;….”

      111. br.d
        It was about whether Calvin’s god DECREES the maximum sinfulness of sin and the maximum evilness of evil – and whether that maximum sinfulness and evil is specifically from the DECREE – or whether he specifically DECREES it because of its maximum sinfulness and evil.”

        rhutchin
        God does not decree “maximum sinfulness of sin and the maximum evilness of evil” nor does God decree sin because of its maximum sinfulness and evil.- if He did people would be utterly depraved and not just totally depraved.

        br.d
        Well that would LOGICALLY resolve to Calvin’s god NOT decreeing those sins and evils which constitute “maximum” sinfulness/evilness.
        And that would be a denial of the doctrine of decrees.

        And Calvin tells us its -quote “for his good pleasure”

        rhutchin
        God’s decrees accomplish His will even to using evil as we see in the case of Joseph and Christ, As Isaiah said of Christ, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;….”

        br.d
        So since that which is determined is UNIVERSAL – that obviously includes sins and evils which constitute “maximum” sinfulness/evilness. (for his good pleasure of course)

      112. br.d writes, “Well that would LOGICALLY resolve to Calvin’s god NOT decreeing those sins and evils which constitute “maximum” sinfulness/evilness.”

        No. God can decree “those sins and evils which constitute “maximum” sinfulness/evilness” but this does not require that God decrees all sin because they ‘constitute “maximum” sinfulness/evilness.” By example, Joseph’s brothers first intended to kill Joseph but were limited by God to selling him. God decreed their actions but not their killing Joseph – killing would have been the maximum” sinfulness/evilness. The doctrine of decrees establishes God’s power to decree all events but does not require that He decree any particular event nor that such event be a “maximum.”.

        Then, “So since that which is determined is UNIVERSAL – that obviously includes sins and evils which constitute “maximum” sinfulness/evilness. (for his good pleasure of course)”

        I don’t see a basis for introducing “maximum.”

      113. br.d
        “Well that would LOGICALLY resolve to Calvin’s god NOT decreeing those sins and evils which constitute “maximum” sinfulness/evilness.”

        rhutchin
        No. God CAN decree “those sins and evils which constitute “maximum” sinfulness/evilness”

        br.d
        Here you say NO to my statement and then affirm it.
        But you use the term CAN when the correct term is DOES.

        rhutchin
        but this does not require that God decrees all sin because they ‘constitute “maximum” sinfulness/evilness.”

        br.d
        We’ve already established – per Calvin – its -quote “for his good pleasure” so we already know “require” is not a factor.

        And since that which is determined is UNIVERSAL – that obviously includes sins and evils which constitute “maximum” sinfulness/evilness. (for his good pleasure of course)”

        rhutchin
        I don’t see a basis for introducing “maximum.”

        br.d
        “maximum” and “minimum” are categories found in almost everything.
        You have a “maximum” logical potential as well as a “minimum” logical potential.

        Same categories exist with all of those sins and evils Calvin’s god DECREES.
        In this case those that constitute “maximum” sinfulness and evilness.

      114. br.d writes, “Here you say NO to my statement and then affirm it.
        But you use the term CAN when the correct term is DOES.”

        No. God can but He does not have to do so.

      115. br.d
        Here you say NO to my statement and then affirm it.
        But you use the term CAN when the correct term is DOES.”

        rhutchin
        No. God can but He does not have to do so.

        br.d
        Sorry – if it comes to pass – (and we know “maximal” sins and evils do come to pass) then Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) DECREED it. Its just that simple!

      116. br.d writes, “Sorry – if it comes to pass – (and we know “maximal” sins and evils do come to pass) then Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) DECREED it. Its just that simple!”

        The issue is not whether “maximal” sins and evils do come to pass but whether all sins and evils are maximal as your original statement said, “It was about whether Calvin’s god DECREES the maximum sinfulness of sin and the maximum evilness of evil…”.

      117. br.d
        Sorry – if it comes to pass – (and we know “maximal” sins and evils do come to pass) then Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) DECREED it. Its just that simple!”

        rhutchin
        The issue is not whether “maximal” sins and evils do come to pass but whether ALL sins and evils are maximal as your original statement said,….

        br.d
        Nothing in the question stipulated ALL

        Here is the original question
        Does the degree of sinfulness of the sin and the evilness of the evil come about because his decree?
        OR
        Does he decree specific sins and evils because of their maximum degree of sinfulness and evilness?

      118. br.d writes, “Here is the original question, “Does the degree of sinfulness…”

        I guess you meant:
        Here is the original question
        Does the degree of sinfulness of some sin and the evilness of some evil come about because his decree?
        OR
        Does he decree specific sins and evils because of their maximum degree of sinfulness and evilness?’

        Since God is sovereign and necessarily decrees all things, including all sin, regardless of degree, then all sin is by His decree regardless of degree. God would decree some sin to be the maximum degree of sinfulness and evilness (e.g., the crucifixion of Christ) in order to accomplish His purpose.

      119. br.d
        br.d writes, “Here is the original question, “Does the degree of sinfulness…”

        I guess you meant:
        Here is the original question
        Does the degree of sinfulness of some sin and the evilness of some evil come about because his decree?
        OR
        Does he decree specific sins and evils because of their maximum degree of sinfulness and evilness?’

        br.d
        The original question was fine because it nowhere qualified ALL as you mistakenly thought it did.

        rhutchin
        Since God is sovereign and necessarily decrees all things, including all sin, regardless of degree, then all sin is by His decree regardless of degree.

        br.d
        Yes – “ALL” sin is by his decree – regardless of the degree of sinfulness and evil that he decrees.
        But of course that is assumed and was therefore never the question.

        rhutchin
        God would decree some sin to be the maximum degree of sinfulness and evilness (e.g., the crucifixion of Christ) in order to accomplish His purpose.

        br.d
        Another point that is commonly stated by Calvinists – but that doesn’t answer the question either.

        It really doesn’t matter – I don’t think Calvinism has a REAL answer for that specific question – so don’t worry about it.
        But I did get a kick out of asking it! :-]

      120. FOH writes, “They teach (clear, quotable on their web sites) that man is responsible for his sin even though God immutably, irresistibly, eternally ORDAINED that the person commit all of those sins.”

        FOH, following in the footsteps of Jefferson, cut out the parts of the Scripture telling us about (1) Joseph and his brothers, (2) the Assyrians in Isaiah 10, and (3) the crucifixion of Christ.

      121. Yea!
        What they don’t tell you is whenever Calvin’s god immutably decrees man to sin:
        1) He does not permit man to be or do otherwise.
        2) He does not make any other options available to man.
        3) He gives man the illusion that he permits man to refrain from that sin
        4) He gives man the illusion that alternatives from that sin exist.

        This THEOS has some REAL character issues!
        Looks more like the Greek god Zeus to me.
        Or even more-so like the Greek god Pan – because he is benevolent to some and malevolent to others!

      122. GraceAdict writes, “From FundamentallyReformed website
        “God holds creatures responsible for their sin, even when God was the One who foreordained that sin to happen, and used it for His ends.”
        These guys actually believe this stuff…But of course God is not the author of evil (wink wink)”

        We have examples in Scripture where “God holds creatures responsible for their sin, even when God was the One who foreordained that sin to happen, and used it for His ends.” They include (1) Joseph and his brothers, (2) the Assyrians in Isaiah 10, and (3) the crucifixion of Christ. In each case the perpetrators acted willingly and voluntarily so that God is not the author of sin even though He works all things according to the counsel of His will. Perhaps GA could actually deal with the Scriptures and tell us how they do not illustrate what Calvinists conclude.

      123. rhutchin
        We have examples in Scripture where “God holds creatures responsible for their sin, even when God was the One who foreordained that sin to happen

        br.d
        Firstly – the term “Foreordain” is deceptively misleading – in Calvinism the correct term is “DECREED”
        And DECREED = DESIGNED
        This makes all the difference.

        In the NON-deterministic view of these scripture texts – the THEOS “ordains” human events without designing people to function as robots.

        In Theological Determinism view of these scripture texts – (by virtue of divine determinism) people are designed to function as robots.

      124. br.d writes, “In Theological Determinism view of these scripture texts – (by virtue of divine determinism) people are designed to function as robots.”

        Then, Calvinism and Theological Determinism are two different things. Under Calvinism, God has given man the ability to respond freely (as Calvinists define the term) to his environment with all future decisions of men known to God because of His infinite understanding.

      125. br.d
        In Theological Determinism view of these scripture texts – (by virtue of divine determinism) people are designed to function as robots.”

        rhutchin
        Then, Calvinism and Theological Determinism are two different things.

        br.d
        Sorry – what gives Calvinism its distinctiveness and makes it unique – is in fact its foundational corner-stone – Theological Determinism.
        I’m afraid you’re saddled with it – and all of its LOGICAL consequences.

      126. br,d writes, “Sorry – what gives Calvinism its distinctiveness and makes it unique – is in fact its foundational corner-stone – Theological Determinism.”

        Except Calvinism makes man to be in the image of God and to willfully and voluntarily do as God has decreed without compulsion or coercion by God. Examples in the Scripture are the brothers of Joseph in the sale of Joseph, the crucifixion of Christ, the denial of Christ by Peter, etc.

        If you insist that “In Theological Determinism view of these scripture texts – (by virtue of divine determinism) people are designed to function as robots.”” then Calvinism is not the same as Theological Determinism.

      127. br,d
        Sorry – what gives Calvinism its distinctiveness and makes it unique – is in fact its foundational corner-stone – Theological Determinism.”

        rhutchin
        Except Calvinism makes man to be in the image of God and to willfully and voluntarily do as God has decreed without compulsion or coercion by God.

        br.d
        The No-Coersion argument is totally consistent with Theological Determinism – and a compatibilist view on free will.
        And I’m sure you will say that Calvin’s god’s DECREES have no force! :-]

        rhutchin
        If you insist that “In Theological Determinism view of these scripture texts – (by virtue of divine determinism) people are designed to function as robots.”” then Calvinism is not the same as Theological Determinism.

        br.d
        We understand – Calvinists have a love-hate relationship with their system.
        That’s why they’ve developed a highly evolved library of double-speak

        And remember – I never conflate Theological Determinism with scripture.
        That would turn scripture into double-speak.
        And Calvinists are already head-long into that all by themselves.

      128. br.d writes, “I never conflate Theological Determinism with scripture.”

        This because Theological Determinism has nothing to do with Scripture. Calvinism requires that we hold to the Scripture.

      129. br.d
        I never conflate Theological Determinism with scripture.”

        rhutchin
        This because Theological Determinism has nothing to do with Scripture. Calvinism requires that we hold to the Scripture.

        br.d
        What a hoot!

        Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
        -quote
        While there is much debate about which prominent historical figures were Theological Determinists, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and Gottfried Leibniz all….espouse the view….

      130. br.d writes, “Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
        -quote
        While there is much debate about which prominent historical figures were Theological Determinists, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and Gottfried Leibniz all….espouse the view….”

        It’s definition and yours appear to be different.

      131. br.d writes, “Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
        -quote
        While there is much debate about which prominent historical figures were Theological Determinists, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and Gottfried Leibniz all….espouse the view….”

        rhutchin
        It’s definition and yours appear to be different.

        br.d
        Since all Christian Philosophy recognizes Calvinism is predicated on Theological Determinism – efforts to try and double-speak one’s way out of it is simply going to look silly and childish.

      132. br.d writes, “Since all Christian Philosophy recognizes Calvinism is predicated on Theological Determinism – efforts to try and double-speak one’s way out of it is simply going to look silly and childish.”

        As the Westminster Confession states it, “God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin,nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.”

        So, by example, God decreed that Peter deny Christ and Peter willfully and voluntarily denied Christ. When you define Theological Determinism, you always seem to leave out the last part. If the last part – Peter’s willful and voluntary action – is excluded from Theological Determinism, then Theological Determinism does not describe fully the Calvinist system.

      133. br.d
        Since all Christian Philosophy recognizes Calvinism is predicated on Theological Determinism – efforts to try and double-speak one’s way out of it is simply going to look silly and childish.”

        rhutchin
        As the Westminster Confession states it, ….etc

        br.d
        Dr William Lutz – Double-Speak
        -quote
        Basic to doublespeak is incongruity. The incongruity between what is said or left unsaid, and what really is. It is the incongruity
        between the word and the referent, between SEEM and BE.

      134. br.d writes, “Dr William Lutz – Double-Speak
        -quote
        Basic to doublespeak is incongruity. The incongruity between what is said or left unsaid, and what really is. It is the incongruity
        between the word and the referent, between SEEM and BE.”

        Good. No incongruity, therefore no doublespeak. The Westminster Confession passes the test.

      135. br.d
        Dr William Lutz – Double-Speak
        -quote
        Basic to doublespeak is incongruity. The incongruity between what is said or left unsaid, and what really is. It is the incongruity
        between the word and the referent, between SEEM and BE.”

        rhutchin
        Good. No incongruity, therefore no doublespeak. The Westminster Confession passes the test.

        br.d
        What a hoot! :-]

      136. rh writes:
        “Then, Calvinism and Theological Determinism are two different things. Under Calvinism, God has given man the ability to respond freely (as Calvinists define the term) to his environment with all future decisions of men known to God because of His infinite understanding.”

        Of course, the key phrase is ‘as Calvinists define the term’. If one can redefine the meaning of words, define up as down, evil as good, controlled as free, then one can say pretty much anything without meaning what any normal person would.

        One can redefine ‘elephant’ as ‘fruit fly’ and declare that elephants are flying all around the bananas. There is no end to the creative declarations one can make, as long as the meaning of words can be changed to suit one’s whims. This, I eventually discovered, is how my Calvinist pastor could preach for over a decade before I realized that he did not mean the same thing as what I – and most others – heard when he used ‘biblical’ terms. This is why I felt deceived and defrauded, and greatly grieved that I had allowed my children to be brainwashed all those years.

        This is also why it is so important to point out, as is so frequently done here, how deceptive and duplicitous Calvin-speak is. Nor is it an accident. They deliberately use terms and phrases that are biblical and precious to the believer, and the naive never know that they have an entirely different meaning under the unique definitions of Calvinism.

        Or go to the discussion page on Facebook for Sot101, and you will read story after story of people whose churches were stealthily taken over by a Calvinist pastor who was not up front about his beliefs and agenda. I, for one, do not view it as an accident. The deception is deliberate, as most people will reject Calvinism if confronted with its claims clearly. But more and more people are waking up to what is going on, so the deceptive tactics are unlikely to continue working.

      137. Great post TS00!

        As Dr. Flowers often says – “Calvinists have the same English language – but they have their own dictionary”

      138. TS00 writes, “Of course, the key phrase is ‘as Calvinists define the term’.”

        Calvinists define “free will” as an action taken willfully and voluntarily reflecting reason/motive. If you think this is wrong, then argue against this definition. To then write, “One can redefine ‘elephant’ as ‘fruit fly’ and declare that elephants are flying all around the bananas.” is disingenuous but typical of the way the non-Calvinist must argue against Calvinism.

      139. rhutchin
        Calvinists define “free will” as an action taken willfully and voluntarily reflecting reason/motive.

        br.d
        Reason/motive being attributes determined by factors beyond the creature’s control – as are all of the creature’s attributes.

        As Calvin says:
        -quote
        “Since this CANNOT BE ASCRIBED TO NATURE, it is perfectly clear that it has come forth from the….plan of God” – (Institutes)

      140. As I see the growing anti-Calvinist movement online, I am encouraged that people are beginning to engage with this theology, rather than be steamrolled into accepting it without question. Calvinism only works with the use of mind control and manipulation – it cannot stand up to honest examination. Most can see the absurdity of insisting that Calvi-god ordains the actions, instills the requisite desire, then blames man for doing the evil: ‘Bad boy, you did exactly what I ordained, motivated and irresistibly brought to pass!’ Even the most junior thinker recognizes the absurdity of such a claim. It really doesn’t matter how many steps one puts between Calvi-god and the action – if he ordains ‘whatsoever comes to pass’ then he has to accept the blame for any evil that comes to pass.

      141. TS00 writes, “Calvinism only works with the use of mind control and manipulation – it cannot stand up to honest examination.”

        Calvinism makes simple statements about God that even you can understand. They are:
        1. God has infinite understanding;
        2. God has a will that takes advantage of His infinite understanding;
        3. God is sovereign over His creation;
        4. God works all things in His creation according to the counsel of His will.

        One application of God’s working is Romans 8, “God works all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” The “all things” include both evil and good and God works all things for good in the lives of His elect. God is not to be blamed for the evil that occurs in the lives of His elect, but He is responsible for that evil as His purpose is to use that evil for good.

      142. TS00
        It really doesn’t matter how many steps one puts between Calvi-god and the action – if he ordains ‘whatsoever comes to pass’ then he has to accept the blame

        br.d
        Excellent point and excellent news!

        The typical Calvi- escape mechanism is to argue:

        Some attribute of the creature – caused some attribute of the creature – caused some attribute of the creature….
        And on into infinite regress.

        Anything to keep from following the causal chain back to its origin! :-]

      143. br.d writes, “I understood the question – and on top of that understood its wording was not clearly Calvinistic”

        Despite understanding the question, br.d still refuses to answer the question. Let’s ask it again.

        If, “God so loved each and every person that He gave His only begotten Son,…” why doesn’t God ensure each and every person is saved?

      144. br.d
        I understood the question – and on top of that understood its wording was not clearly Calvinistic

        Here is the CALVINISTIC question:
        “If Calvin’s god loves his creation why does he create the vast majority of them for eternal torment in the lake of fire”

        I then provided the clearly Calvinistic answer for you – by paraphrasing Jon Edwards.

        “The glory of evil is necessary to make the glory of good shine forth”

        So not only did I answer the question – I also removed the misleading wording out of it
        That’s a WIN WIN! :-]

        So now its your turn – as a Calvinist is your answer in agreement with Jon Edwards?

      145. br.d writes, “I then provided the clearly Calvinistic answer for you – by paraphrasing Jon Edwards.”

        Just to be clear, are you saying that your position is the same as Edwards? Normally, you seem miffed at all things Calvinist and go to great lengths to avoid saying anything that you believe making me wonder if you believe anything at all.

        Then, “So now its your turn – as a Calvinist is your answer in agreement with Jon Edwards?”

        If Edwards is good enough for you, he is good enough for me. So, we agree on something Calvinistic.

      146. br.d
        I then provided the clearly Calvinistic answer for you – by paraphrasing Jon Edwards.
        So now its your turn – as a Calvinist is your answer in agreement with Jon Edwards?”

        rhutchin
        Just to be clear, are you saying that your position is the same as Edwards?

        br.d
        Of course not!
        That would make me a Gnostic / NeoPlatonist Christian.

        rhutchin
        If Edwards is good enough for you, he is good enough for me. So, we agree on something Calvinistic.

        br.d
        And since Edward’s answer isn’t good enough for me – is it still the case that Edwards answer is good enough for you?
        Yea or Nay?

      147. rhutchin: Just to be clear, are you saying that your position is the same as Edwards?”
        br.d: “Of course not! That would make me a Gnostic / NeoPlatonist Christian.”

        br.d still refuses to answer the question. Let’s ask it again.

        If, “God so loved each and every person that He gave His only begotten Son,…” why doesn’t God ensure each and every person is saved?

      148. rhutchin
        Just to be clear, are you saying that your position is the same as Edwards?”

        br.d
        Of course not! That would make me a Gnostic / NeoPlatonist Christian.”

        rhutchin
        br.d still refuses to answer the question. Let’s ask it again.

        If, “God so loved each and every person that He gave His only begotten Son,…” why doesn’t God ensure each and every person is saved?

        br.d
        With the specific wording of this question – it has two answers:
        1) In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the reason Calvin’s god doesn’t ensure every person saved – even though the god of scripture is said to love every – is because Calvin’s god – for his good pleasure – chose to design the vast majority of the human race for eternal torment in the lake of fire. Since that is the case – one has to derive his own GUESS about what kind of “love” that is.

        2) In IN-determinism (Non-Calvinism) what the THEOS does is to set life and death before people. And he does so such that both life and death both exist as REAL options both being TRULY available to people. And the THEOS “merely” permits people to choose between those options. In this view there is no “Enunciated” (i.e. benevolent) along with its Gnostic DUALISM – a “SECRET” malevolent will.

        I won’t bother to ask you for an answer because I already know the answer will be couched in exculpatory language which I’ve already seen a thousand times.

      149. br.d writes, “1) In Theological Determinism…”

        This is not br.d’s position so he is evading the issue.

        Then, “2) In IN-determinism (Non-Calvinism) what the THEOS does is to set life and death before people.”

        br.d continues to avoid answering the question. Let’s ask it one more time. If, “God so loved each and every person that He gave His only begotten Son,…” why doesn’t God ensure each and every person is saved?

      150. br.d
        2) In IN-determinism (Non-Calvinism) what the THEOS does is to set life and death before people.”

        rhutchin
        br.d continues to avoid answering the question. Let’s ask it one more time. If, “God so loved each and every person that He gave His only begotten Son,…” why doesn’t God ensure each and every person is saved?

        br.d
        Obviously you’re not getting the answer you want – so you keep asking the same question over and over as if you didn’t’ get an answer.
        I think we’ve seen this before

      151. br.d writes, “Obviously you’re not getting the answer you want – so you keep asking the same question over and over as if you didn’t’ get an answer.”

        Br.d continues to avoid giving an answer. He will attempt a Calvinist answer and then say that he disavows the Calvinist answer. So, let’s give try another chance to give his answer. If, “God so loved each and every person that He gave His only begotten Son,…” why doesn’t God ensure each and every person is saved?

      152. br.d
        Obviously you’re not getting the answer you want – so you keep asking the same question over and over as if you didn’t’ get an answer.”

        rhutchin
        Br.d continues to avoid giving an answer……So, let’s give try another chance to give his answer….

        br.d
        I’ll bet you’re mother called you a willful child when you were young! :-]

      153. br.d writes, “I’ll bet you’re mother called you a willful child when you were young!”

        br.d is getting upset but it is still not an answer. It is a simple question, so let’s ask it again, If, “God so loved each and every person that He gave His only begotten Son,…” why doesn’t God ensure each and every person is saved?”

      154. br.d
        I’ll bet you’re mother called you a willful child when you were young!”

        rhutchin
        br.d is getting upset

        br.d
        Woow!
        Oh yes I forgot that attribute of “projection” (i.e., reverse attribution).
        However I don’t think that attribute by itself is directly related to the willful child attribute..
        They both just happen to be consistent! :-]

      155. br.d writes, “Woow!
        Oh yes I forgot that attribute of “projection” (i.e., reverse attribution).
        However I don’t think that attribute by itself is directly related to the willful child attribute..”

        Still no attempt to answer the question. So, let’s try one more time. If, “God so loved each and every person that He gave His only begotten Son,…” why doesn’t God ensure each and every person is saved?”

      156. Of course br.d has been around these parts to know that is not a sincere question. You know darn well the non-Calvinists’ explanation for why God neither compels any man to be saved, nor destines any man to be lost. It is the ultimate dividing line between Calvinists and most others – it was God’s sovereign choice to grant men a choice. But you know that.

      157. TS00 writes, “– it was God’s sovereign choice to grant men a choice. But you know that.”

        Actually, the issue is not that God grants people a choice but whether God grants all people equal choice – that is what I know. God granted His elect a choice that enabled them to come to salvation while not granting the reprobate the same choice. Had God granted all people an equal choice either all would come to salvation or all would reject salvation.

      158. RH writes — “Had God granted all people an equal choice either all would come to salvation or all would reject salvation.”

        GA – I believe you have revealed the stumbling stone upon which you continue to stumble. Your statement above is the foundational assumption that you embrace and evaluate every answer through that lens. However that lens is NO WHERE stated in the BIBLE you have brought an extra-biblical assumption into the debate and that assumption has NO scripture whatsover to back it up. You need to rid yourself of these false assumption in order to see what scripture is actually saying. While you hold fast to this error you CANNOT embrace the Truth… You have identified your own error…”Had God granted all people an equal choice either all would come to salvation or all would reject salvation.” Is not a biblical truth…it is at best man-made.

      159. Some of rhutchin’s pronouncements make me think of a person who inserts a quarter into his left ear – and out pops one of his crazy statements. Of course pronounced without blinking. :-]

      160. rh : “Had God granted all people an equal choice either all would come to salvation or all would reject salvation.”

        GA: “Is not a biblical truth…it is at best man-made.”

        You are correct, GA. Not only is it not a biblical truth, it is bad logic and unsupported by common experience. There is absolutely nothing that requires different people who have a free choice to all make the same choice. In fact, I’m guessing the odds are very much against it. But rh sees the world as mechanistic, and people are robots who have only one ‘best’ choice which all must make.

        I’m not sure if rh has no family or friends, or what; if one hangs around a few different people one will quickly see how unique each is. I’ve five young adult children, and the chances of them making the same exact choices in any situation are very slim, in spite of having the same upbringing by the same parents. I have known many God-fearing people in my life, yet none of them have lived their lives exactly like any other.

        The diversity of people God has created leads me to believe that God is not after mechanical look alikes. Even when we are all Christlike in our love for God and man, the expression of such will be unique to the individual. Otherwise, God could have made one lapdog human who performed exactly as desired and avoided all of the drama.

      161. TS00 “Otherwise, God could have made one lapdog human who performed exactly as desired and avoided all of the drama.”
        Agreed
        Calvinism is so full of faulty assumptions such as the one we are discussing. Also the assumption of “gnostic dualism” that evil is co-equal and co-necessary in order for God to be properly glorified. Under that gnostic assumption one must pity the eternal God who in all of eternity past existed without evil being manifest, HIS evil side must have been so frustrated. The “Gnostic Calvi-god” in eternity past was frustrated about not expressing His evil side so He had to make creatures, designed, motivated and propelled by HIM to do evil, so that now these acts of evil could bring the “Gnostic Calvi-god” the glory due his name; evil being co-equal and co-necessary and also co-contributors to God’s Glory. .

        RH argues that the Calvi-system upholds free will BUT In the Calvi-system at what point does man actually have a free choice? The answer is NEVER.
        Why? Because in eternity past Billions and Billions of years ago before there was any man or even the earth the Calvi-god designed what each man would be, just as HE wanted him, doing exactly everything that HE wanted him to do, thinking the exact thoughts and only the thoughts that HE designed and wanted him to think, then in time and space the “Gnostic Calvi-god” created this pre-designed, pre-programmed man for the evil that HE dreamed up and HE irresistibly designed him to do. Every evil thought or deed ever done came about this way.
        Plus this man at no point from eternity past to present had any other option but the evil designed and decreed by HIS creator. Everything man or satan has ever done is, in 100% harmony with God’s desires and DECREES and it is said to bring HIM maximum Glory. The reason everything evil happens is that evil Brings HIM the maximum Glory. (What a clever lie of the devil)
        If it happened ie (Hitler or the Child rapist) every single act was dreamed up first by the “Gnostic Calvi-god” in eternity past, then the person who would do the act was irresistibly designed for that purpose.
        The Calvi-god chose him to do that before he had ever done anything good or bad, before he existed he was designed and chosen for that deed. The chosen one for this evil deed never had AN option and it was irresistibly handed to him to do that act for the Glory of “Gnostic Calvi-god”.

        But then to make it sound Biblical we must pound the pulpit and say with great emphasis: “God, however, is not the author of evil He is Holy, we must not judge God according to our standards of right and wrong, Sovereign God can do whatever He pleases we simply bow before him and worship. I am humble enough to admit this is a hard saying and I do not know how it all fits together but that is no reason to reject this precious truth, it is one the mysteries of God.”
        Calvinist think that statements like this exonerate themselves and absolve them of Blasphemy.
        What they do is no small evil for they speak Evil of our Holy, Loving God. The God of Truth and Light… God is light in HIM there is no darkness at all. The systematic of Calvinism Blasphemes God, it does NOT honor God, it dishonors God.

        Calvin speaks evil of our God and modern day Calvinist continue the tradition
        David J. Engelsma
        The call in the preaching comes also to many reprobates, but God’s “design” with the call to them is that it be to them a savour of death and the ground of worse condemnation. Calvin does not regard the external call of the gospel as grace to all hearers or as an expression of God’s sincere desire to save all.

        …Those, therefore, whom He has created for dishonour during life and destruction at death, that they may be vessels of wrath and examples of severity, in bringing to their doom, He at one time deprives of the means of hearing His word, at another by the preaching of it blinds and stupefies them the more.9
        So far from being grace to the reprobate, the preaching of the gospel is a judgment against them, for by the preaching God blinds and stupefies them. “God sends His word to many whose blindness He is pleased to aggravate.”10
        He directs His voice to them, but it is that they may turn a deafer ear; He kindles a light, but it is that they may be more stupid; He employs a remedy, but it is that they may not be cured.11 End Quote

        With a theology like that it is no wonder that Calvin had his hand in the torture and killing of true believers. Calvin appears to have never repented of his evil deeds so can we safely assume by Calvin’s own standard that he was never a true believer? That his faith was a false faith a human faith… If we are to follow TULIP the Calvinist would have to affirm that one going to his grave never repenting of such hideous public evil deeds must never have been saved in the first place but he only had an outward appearance? What do you think?

      162. GraceAdict writes, ‘Calvinism is so full of faulty assumptions…Also the assumption of “gnostic dualism” that evil is co-equal and co-necessary in order for God to be properly glorified.”

        This is not an assumption under Calvinism. Under Calvinism, God is sovereign and everyone and everything is subordinate to Him.

      163. RH ” This is not an assumption under Calvinism. Under Calvinism, God is sovereign and everyone and everything is subordinate to Him.”

        If that were the whole truth and nothing but the truth then we would be in agreement… But that is a half truth under Calvinism. Sovereign means divine determinism… in Calvinist terms you smuggle in additional false assumptions, like God must be the Author of Evil (while not being the author of evil) in order for Him to be Sovereign. Half truths and New definitions for terms allows the Calvinist to sound biblical while meaning something completely different.

      164. TS00 writes, “There is absolutely nothing that requires different people who have a free choice to all make the same choice.”

        I said, “Had God granted all people an equal choice…” Different people who have equal choice will choose the same. If different people are also “different” in some manner then they do not have “equal” choice and will choose differently on at least one decision. The issue of salvation is a no-brainer choice. Different people with equal choice will choose salvation. If a person does not choose salvation then he is different in some respect from the others. We can explain this by 2 Corinthians 4, “…if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,whose minds the god of this age has blinded,…” or 1 Corinthians 1, “…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

        So, when you say, “if one hangs around a few different people one will quickly see how unique each is,” you mean that people are not equal and not equal in their ability to make choices.

        Then, you say, ‘I’ve five young adult children, and the chances of them making the same exact choices in any situation are very slim,” What you mean is that they do not have equal choice – they are different from each other and those differences translate into different choices.

      165. Wow, I suspect that rh has Apsberger’s or some other degree of autism, as his thinking is completely mechanistic, as tends to be the case with such persons. One of my family members with Apsberger’s struggles to understand how neuro-typical people process verbal and especially non-verbal cues in order to determine socially appropriate behavior. Something has been severed in their brains, disabling them from performing these perpetual, unconscious processes that make social interaction possible and pleasant.

        Neuro-typical people are not programmed like computers, although they are more likely than the Apsberger’s individual to avoid social pitfalls, such as standing too close, telling inappropriate jokes or staying longer than is welcome. While there is a subconscious process that assists us in knowing when we are making others uncomfortable, it does not lead all people to function in the exact same manner.

        We are all unique individuals, and our personalities, egos, needs and desires will be expressed in unique ways. Attend any party or social gathering and you will not see even two persons who express themselves in the exact same manner. You may be able to classify people, such as ‘the life of the party’ types, ‘introverts’ or ‘know-it-alls’, but no two individuals will react in the exact same manner at all times to the same stimuli.

        This is the nature of unique, individual beings, something rh and much of Calvinism appears to be in ignorance of. God did not make men who are robots which, when exposed to the same input, will automatically produce the same pre-programmed response. I will add that ‘the flesh’ is actually that part of humans which is pre-programmed to induce certain responses to the desire for food, water and other sensual needs. While necessary to life, even these fleshly desires allow for some degree of variation, and individuals have the ability to monitor and control their response to these fleshly, life-preserving desires.

        A rational human being, confronted with the fleshly desire for food, can nonetheless embark upon a hunger strike in protest of some injustice, denying the primal desire to live. Because men are not robots, they can make choices, and those choices can vary to very great degrees. Some men are entirely sensual and can deny themselves nothing. Thus we see those who will rape, steal and murder in pursuit of some desire. Others have a high degree of self control, and will deny themselves in order to put others’ interests first.

        Scripture does teach that the sensual man is unaware of the dangers of sensual excess, or the need to control his passions in order to benefit others. This is part of what becoming a mature child of God is all about. We learn to confront and control our fleshly nature, denying personal excess and thinking of the needs of others rather than simply our own natural desires.

        To turn all of this into minutely pre-programmed behavior is to turn man into an animal. It appears that rh simply does not truly understand what being made in the image of God means; that is understandable, as Calvinism has distorted that concept into something that is neither logical nor supportable by common evidence.

        If equality means sameness then, no, God did not make all men and women equal. There is a vast degree of variations in the physical qualities, mental abilities, and a broad array of circumstances that assure broad distinctions in the lives people live. What we do all have, apart from the physical and mental damage that is frequently caused by the toxification of our world, as well as the cultural oppression of abusive authorities, is the ability and freedom to make individual choices with who and what we are. These choices are not required to be identical to ensure that men have equality of freedom.

      166. RH: “Different people with equal choice will choose salvation”

        GA – What you RH are actually saying in your post is that “The Same Person” cloned 4 Billion times and put in the exact same environment at the exact same time in time and space, with the exact same DNA will choose the same thing every time. That is NOT the world that God has created.. Besides that you ignore the fact that even if they did have the same DNA man is a living spiritual being that is also created by God to have a will and be an individual not a cookie cutter being. This is where authentic free-will comes in, man is created in the image of God of his creator to also be creative, requiring unique free choices

      167. Rh appears unable to grasp either the unique individuality or the genuine freedom each person has been granted by God. I am beginning to suspect that it is the Apsberger’s types who become and remain deceived by Calvinism, as it reflects their somewhat impaired view of the world. It is definitely the two Apsberger’s males in my family who are deeply Calvinistic, while most others are very inconsistent, rejecting most of the major premises of the system without realizing that this makes them ‘not’ truly Calvinists. It just happens to be their ‘tribe’.

      168. GraceAdict writes, ‘You have identified your own error…”Had God granted all people an equal choice either all would come to salvation or all would reject salvation.” Is not a biblical truth…it is at best man-made.”

        It’s common sense. God gave us a brain so that we can think, If all have an equal choice, then how do some make different decisions than others??

      169. It’s magic for the determinist! The change of will happens without information or persuation, and with partiality towards some by a supposedely impartial God! That’s not how I read it! 😉

      170. Yep, which is why I could no longer be a part of my Calvinist Church. Once I fully understood its implications, I realized I would have to invite my neighbors with ‘God might love you, and might want you to be delivered from death. Why don’t you come and see what happens’. It just didn’t seem to have the appeal that the genuine gospel does, which truly draws all men to God:

        “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

        I simply didn’t relish explaining ‘the catch’ in the offer the rest of my life. Nor, frankly, would I want to follow such a God.

      171. TS00
        I realized I would have to invite my neighbors with ‘God *MIGHT* love you, and *MIGHT* want you to be delivered from death.
        Why don’t you come and see what happens’.

        I simply didn’t relish explaining ‘the catch’ in the offer the rest of my life.

        br.d
        The Lord was able to prick your conscience.

        The vast majority of Calvinists appear to have something going on inside them which dulls that.
        And allows them to NOT speak the truth – the whole truth – and nothing but the truth – when they speak to people.
        This allows them to hide the dark-side of Calvinism and focus on some *POSSIBLE* bight-side.

      172. True. And they don’t particularly appreciate being called out on it. I say if you are going to assert some astonishing claim, you at least need to own it.

        Wanna call yourself ‘Reformed’? Then you need to confess and defend why God deliberately refuses to save many whom he could just as easily have ‘chosen’ to redeem.

        Don’t go telling people that God loves them if your theology asserts he just might not. And no word games – nobody is going to buy ‘love’ that gives sunshine and rain in preparation for the kill.

      173. TS00 writes, “Wanna call yourself ‘Reformed’? Then you need to confess and defend why God deliberately refuses to save many whom he could just as easily have ‘chosen’ to redeem. ”

        We don’t know why – except that God’s decision was made after the counsel of His will – but we do know that God deliberately refuses to save many based on Matthew 7, ““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

    2. Hello Everett and welcome!

      I’m very heartened by the degree of sincerity and integrity you express.
      And I must however acknowledge, from my experience, that that degree of sincerity and integrity is an indicator that you have not progressed into full Calvinism.

      Full Calvinism embraces what is commonly called “Universal Divine Causal Determinism”
      The thesis that all things without exception are determined by the THEOS at the foundation of the world.
      In Reformed vernacular – they are RENDERED-CERTAIN at the foundation of the world.

      Calvinist; Dr. James N. Anderson, of the Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte NC, in his published work Calvinism and the first sin, states it this way:

      “It should be conceded at the outset, and without embarrassment, that Calvinism is indeed committed to divine determinism: the view that everything is ultimately determined by God…..take it for granted as something on which the vast majority of Calvinists uphold and may be expressed as the following: “For every event [E], God decided that [E] should happen and that decision alone was the ultimate sufficient cause of [E].”

      Calvinist theologian R. C. Sproul states it this way:
      “If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, God is not God”.

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

      Dr. William Lane Craig explains how determinism makes all things outside of our control:
      -quote:
      The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. “

    3. Great to hear from you Everett!

      Please read the whole context of Romans 3.

      He starts with

      “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?”

      Then he says , “What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.”

      The whole setting is to show that all have sinned and all are equal in meriting death. So no one does enough right to undo the wrong….but not that no one can ever do even one tiny right/ good/ nice/ patient thing.

      His meaning is …dont count on a bit of credit for being a Jew.

      But 10-11 are used far too liberally by Calvinists. The verses go on to say this about ALL:

      “Their throats are open graves;
      their tongues practice deceit.”
      “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
      14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
      15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;

      Do we literally all have the poison of vipers on our lips? Or is this his poetic way to make a point?

      We all have feet that are swift to shed blood?

      Nah….. these verses do not mean what Calvinists (in their NEED to prove Total Depravity) make them mean. Context!

      Stick around Everett and join some of us former Calvinists!

    4. After reading the replies to my comments, I thought I should clarify a couple of things.

      First, I think I may have been confusing about what I mean by “heart change”. I wasn’t taking into consideration that the Calvinists you normally encounter on this forum actually believe the person is essentially converted before he even makes the choice to repent and believe. I don’t believe there’s any “pre-decision” conversion like that. What I mean by “heart change” is that by the preaching of the gospel the fallow ground of the heart is broken up so that the person is able to receive the seed being sown by the preacher. It’s that person’s choice whether to reject it, or to allow that seed to take root and grow.

      Second, I’m aware that universalists often quote passages containing the words “all men” to support their errant doctrine. I don’t believe when Jesus said he would draw all men they would automatically be saved without their conscious decision to respond, repent, and believe.

      Third, I’m very aware of the warped view of the Sovereignty of God held by strict 5 point Calvinists. In fact, as I was experiencing the deconstruction of my own “Calvinist light” beliefs, I learned more about what “full Calvinists” believe than I had known prior. I remember being surprised, even shocked, by John Piper’s weird assertion that even when he’s playing Scrabble with his wife, God controls the tiles in the bag! I was equally surprised to learn that some of my friends actually believed that God in his sovereignty causes people to sin, contrary to James 1:3. I remember being appalled by a discussion in my men’s Bible study group where it was stated that God caused David to sin with Bathsheba. What???!!!! So, God then punished him in judgement for the sin that he had no choice or control over committing? Ridiculous, and highly offensive to malign God’s character that way! I spent enough years in deep sin myself to know that consequences I’ve reaped are my own fault.

      As far as the 5 points of the TULIP, I never believed in the “L”. The “I” fell apart when I couldn’t find that in scripture (in fact plenty of scripture in opposition). The “U” fell when I heard Leighton discussing the idea of Corporate Election, and just looking at the Election proof texts in context! The “P” went down while studying Hebrews (although I still don’t believe people just “lose” their salvation. I do believe people can renounce it, though.) So the “T” is the only one still standing, and it’s on really shaky ground as I’ve gained more understanding of what Calvinists actually believe on that topic, which seems to be quite different from my definition!

      Since that last bit was me going off on a tangent, allow me this last indulgence. I’ve been amused when watching Leighton debate a Calvinist as they assert that he somehow doesn’t understand the Calvinist position! I chuckle when he informs them of the number of years he spent as a Calvinist. But what really amuses me is that as they explain what they actually believe, I find more reasons to reject it. That’s right! I just didn’t understand what I was saying when I said I was Calvinist! Now that you’ve explained it, I’m pretty sure I don’t wanna be that anymore! LOL!

      1. Everett,
        That is music to my ears that you are farther than you think away from Calvinism!

        Hard-core Calvinists would say that means you are leaving the Gospel.

        Harder-core Calvinists will say that God determined that you would determine that Calvinism is not true!

        Average Calvinists will say that you are just preferring a different tradition/interpretation within the church (that’s nice).

      2. Everett, if you read here much you will find that many here once held to what they thought was Reformed Theology (Calvinism). It is usually a fuller understanding of the necessary doctrines to the system that leads people to begin doubting its veracity. I know many loving, God-fearing, bible -revering individuals who call themselves ‘Calvinists’, but would be appalled at these very necessary doctrinal assertions. They have been told, by pastors, authors and others that that is not ‘true’ Calvinism, or that it is Hyper-Calvinism, or that some things simply cannot be resolved so must be ‘held in tension’.

        In other words, rather than confront the assertions of the theological system honestly, head-on, many are reassured, distracted and encouraged to focus on more helpful things. It is this lack of transparency, of honestly addressing legitimate questionable assertions inherent to Calvinism that has led many of us to comment here, in hopes of informing, assisting and encouraging others who struggle with these issues.

        May God continue to bless and lead you – along with all of us – into more and more understanding as we spend time in his Word and learning from our life experiences.

      3. Haha! “Hyper-Calvinism” – yeah, that sounds familiar! And the constant appeal to mystery, all while concurrently being taught about “the plain meaning” of scripture!

      4. Everett
        I remember John Piper’s weird assertion that even when he’s playing Scrabble with his wife, God controls the tiles in the bag!

        br.d
        Its clear to me that John Piper is an expert at damage control language – what I call “cosmetic” language .
        Mostly he does this by using language that is strategically misleading and especially NOT truth-telling.

        As you can see from the quotes I provided from R.C. Sproul and Paul Helms – not only does Calvin’s god control which tiles are in the bag which Piper will pull out – he also controls every neurological impulse that will ever appear in Pipers brain – so that Piper cannot even have one single thought that he can call his own.

        ALL things without exception are determined (including every neurological impulse and every body movement) at the foundation of the world – millennia before Mr. Piper existed.

        The fact that John Piper cannot tell the truth – the whole truth – and nothing but the truth – when he speaks
        Should be a red flag that something is wrong with the doctrine.

        These unspoken truths are such that John Pipe will not allow himself to even enunciate them.
        That should tell you something!

  3. Leighton
    If someone is born with a mental disorder which prevented them from carrying out normal human functions…I think we all intuitively know that it would also be completely immoral to condemn the mentally disabled for their inability to function normally.

    br.d
    Personally – I wouldn’t automatically assume this for a *CONSISTENT* Calvinist.

    Calvin’s god makes the rules for the creature – and he remains remiss from complying to those rules himself.

    As Jesus related concerning the Pharisees:
    “Do what they say – but not what they do -for they do not do what they say”.

    This is actually the *CONSISTENT* conception of Calvin’s god – who specifically designs each vessel for a given purpose.

    You’ve heard of “designer” jeans?

    Calvin’s god creates each individual as a “designer” person
    Who is born to commit “designer” sins.
    So that Calvin’s god can condemn these individuals to eternal torments which he designed.

    And Calvin’s god cannot be held accountable or conformable to any humanly known system of ethics.

    So yes – that Calvin’s god creates “designer” persons with mental disorders – specifically so that he can condemn them – is perfectly *CONSISTENT*

    Now in regard to Calvinists acknowledging this:
    Calvinists are ultimately highly calculating pragmatic utilitarians in nature.
    Everything they acknowledge or not is ultimately dependent upon whether or not doing so benefits or hurts the future of the doctrine.
    And Calvinists leaders are not going to allow the doctrine to which they are so heavily invested – go the way of the dinosaur

    So how a Calvinist responds to the *CONSISTENT* conception of Calvin’s god – simply reflects the current psychology of each individual Calvinist – as well as the current popularity (or unpopularity) of Calvinism as a whole.

    Calvinist leadership will acknowledge and promote *CONSISTENT* Calvinism if doing so makes the doctrine more popular.
    As we normally see on other related issues – they will typically otherwise deny, mislead, equivocate, and evade.
    All for the sake of the doctrine.
    That’s just the nature of the beast.

  4. Leighton,
    Dont forget that Calvinists declare that not only does God judge a person for things done beyond their control…. but He makes the judgement eternal, conscious torment. I would consider that a miscarriage of justice in any other scenario

  5. Dr. Flowers
    You had an interaction with James White on youtube – in which you (using consistent logic) responded to an accusation – by pointing out that the Calvinist in accusing you of doing something wrong is quite literally complaining about what Calvin’s god RENDERED-CERTAIN you do. And did so at the foundation of the world before you existed. So you had no say in the matter. And thus what he complains about was determined by factors beyond human control. In effect – Whites accusation amounts to complaining about god’s will.

    When you pointed this out – White’s response was to get demanding and posturing a parent-child relationship. As if he were playing the role of a parent scolding the child and telling him to STOP IT. His reason for this demand was to appeal to the “so called” PRESCRIPTIVE will of god.

    When one thinks this through logically what one finds concerning Whites argument – he is arguing that god requires people to communicate AS-FALSE what they inwardly know to be TRUE. In other words the PRESCRIPTIVE will requires a certain degree of dishonest testimony from the Calvinist.

    Jesus teaches: “But let your communication be yea yea – or nay nay – for anything else comes of evil”
    So obviously – to obey the “so called” PRESCRIPTIVE will – forces the Calvinist to disobey Jesus’ command.

    Being caught between two masters – he must cleave to one and compromise the other.

  6. I just posted this on another thread, but thought it applied here:

    Calvinism, sadly, portrays God as an angry, bloodthirsty monster who demands a blood sacrifice to slate his furious anger at sinful man. This ‘angry God’ image has been cleverly used to manipulate and control the masses through fear by the institutional church through the ages. I view it as an utterly false, man-made image in marked contrast to the genuine revelation of God, through Jesus, as a loving, gracious, merciful Father, abounding in goodness, patience, and longsuffering love.

    We will not arrive at a true picture of God and salvation until we cast off the old traditions of men, and begin to see God as Jesus presented him. Calvinism and all of its curses, wrath and blood sacrifices remains forever locked into the ancient pagan perspective which Jesus came to overthrow.

    Rather than being born under the curse of an angry God, who is only driven by a narcissistic desire for glory to spare a select few from his fierce wrath, scripture weaves the story of men being repeatedly seduced and deceived by empty promises and lies by the masterful deceiver. Man’s only hope is to trust in God and his ways, to forgo his self love and learn to live in humble service to God and others. Contrary to Calvinism’s ugly penal substitution or the similar divine satisfaction theories of atonement, I believe that Christ came to conquer sin and death, not to abate God’s wrath.

    I’m still in the process of throwing off the old programming, but I no longer buy the wrath, anger and fear that orthodox christianity has so long traded in. I no longer fear their bogey man god, but believe him to be a mythological creature crafted from twisted scriptures. If one could strip off the preening masks of haughty Calvinists, and get his view of god in street vernacular, I imagine it would sound something like this:

    “So you think God is a Mr. Nice Guy, eh, a real Mr. Rogers? Some lilly-livered coward, who comes crawling to men and begs them to love him, and cries when they say ‘no’. Well you don’t know nothing about the sovereign, omnipotent ruler of the universe. God is fierce and all-powerful, and your childish little songs will not stop him from chewing you up and spewing you out of his mouth. Even now, he holds you over the fiery pit, ready to drop you in, and you deserve it. He could destroy this planet with one blow of his fist, and he doesn’t have to answer to you or anyone. Unless he elected you, draws you and regenerates you, you are doomed, and ain’t nobody going to rescue you with their goody two shoes ‘God so loved the world’. He’ll love whoever he wants to love, and cast the rest into the pit of hell where they belong.”

    But of course, it sounds so much better couched in pious, grandiose terms.

  7. Dr Flowers I’m certainly glad (they) haven’t decided the reprobate are those with blue eyes considering that is my eye color😁 this article makes sense and I know personally that it would have helped me at a certain point in my life. I know there are people out there surrounded by this aggressive systematic that need these very words to remind them they’re not alone. It clearly gives pause to the very fact that we are all created in His image!!! I’m sure it isn’t always easy going up against such an imposing opposition who don’t seem to even care if they serve a just God while maintaining it’s for His glory that they hold fast. I did have my sister (who is a calvinist) tell me about 2 1/2 years ago that God loves the mentally handicap.. sounded good, but since that time I’ve wondered why she can stop there with His provision and love instead of it being for all people🤔
    I agree with the verses you’ve given and love this statement you wrote;
    (According to the verses above it seems those who are condemned are condemned for refusing to believe and accept the truth God makes clearly known. And those who are saved are reconciled by (relying) in faith to God’s appeals for reconciliation.)
    It is clear that this is a God who not only is just, but perfect in love! We are all without excuse thanks be to God for the perfect sacrifice His One and only Son Jesus Christ to Him all honor and glory forever and ever!!! Thank you for what you are doing..

    1. Reggie writes:
      “It is clear that this is a God who not only is just, but perfect in love! We are all without excuse thanks be to God for the perfect sacrifice His One and only Son Jesus Christ to Him all honor and glory forever and ever!!!”

      Amen! How overjoyed I was to trade in my cruel, determinist god and restore my faith in the real thing – a God who loves all men, and neither decrees nor rejoices in evil. The apparent meaning of scripture is true – God loves and calls to all men to turn from rebellion, self-serving and wickedness and follow him! So glad you have discovered this too.

      1. Thanks Leighton for all your work in these issues. I do sense that we are getting some traction in the tug of war over the nature of grace.

        Enjoying the new book. Hope we can meet up again sometime.

        Doug S

  8. “To my Calvinistic friends: before objecting please give a rational explanation as to how the reprobate (non-elect) within your world view are not ultimately being condemned for reasons beyond their control, or admit that is true and give a rational explanation as to how and why that is any more just than condemning people due to race or mental disabilities.”

    If a person is born without legs, he cannot run. If a person is born without faith, he cannot enter heaven. As it is impossible for a person without legs to run, so it is impossible for a person without faith to enter heaven. Everyone seems to recognize this. Dr. Flowers has mischaracterized the issue.

    1. Dr. Flowers
      “To my Calvinistic friends: before objecting *PLEASE* give a *RATIONAL* explanation as to how the reprobate (non-elect) within your world view are not ultimately being condemned for reasons beyond their control,…..”

      rhutchin
      If a person is born without legs, he cannot run. If a person is born without faith, he cannot enter heaven. As it is impossible for a person without legs to run, so it is impossible for a person without faith to enter heaven.

      Everyone seems to recognize this. Dr. Flowers has mischaracterized the issue.

      br.d
      And that is supposed to be a *RATIONAL* explanation! :-]

      So we know Calvin’s god RENDERS-CERTAIN persons to be vessels of wrath – born without legs – without faith – etc.

      My question:
      Why does Calvin’s god RENDER-CERTAIN all Calvinists void of RATIONAL thinking and truth-telling. :-]

    2. Your example doesn’t address the idea of how we get faith. And that makes all the difference. If you say that God has to provide the faith (for the elect), then you are right back to God condemning the unelect for something they had no control over. But the Bible clearly shows that faith comes through hearing the Word and believing. And “believing” in the concordance isn’t about “God caused me to believe.” It’s about allowing yourself to be persuaded by something and, consequently, committing to it and putting your faith in it. It is done by the person, not by God. And “receive” (as in Romans 1:5, 5:11 – receiving grace, reconciliation) is along the same lines. It’s not passive, as though God forces it on you. It’s about taking it, about reaching out and grabbing ahold of what is offered to you.

      1. Hey Heather, so are you saying that whether or not a certain individual has faith is outside the decree of God?

      2. That’s right Heather,

        You are right about the “persuade” part, just as Paul addresses.

        2 Corinthians 5:11
        Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
        [Being persuaded —by Paul — certainly implies the person is involved. You do not persuade a “dead” man….. and the “irresistibly-graced” person would not need any “persuading”!!!]

        Acts 9:22
        Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
        [Who is Paul “proving” it to? Dead mean? Irresistibly-drawn need no proof.]

        1 Cor 9: 19
        Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

        Acts 17:2
        As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures
        [You cannot reason with “dead” men and irresistibly-grace-elect should not need to be reasoned with. Here again, Paul is claiming that to some degree, his reasoning is making a difference.]

        Acts 28:23
        When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.
        [Paul is “trying to convince them” (even the ESV says this!!).]

        Acts 28:24
        Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.
        [Well, there you go….. the Bible clearly says that the words of Paul were what convinced some.]

        Acts 18:4
        And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
        [More persuading!!]

        Acts 19:8
        And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.
        [Over and over. Persuading and reasoning with. You dont do that with “dead men.” So being “dead” is not what Calvinists say it is.]

      3. FOH writes, “You are right about the “persuade” part, just as Paul addresses.”

        And as the Calvinist asks, “Why are not all persuaded?”

      4. Don’t fall for it Heather.

        RH has no children I’m guessing.

        Some are persuaded to something and others are not. It aint rocket science.

        Oh…. and the go-to Romans passage (in context….) is about saying it’s not just about Israel now….. He can open it up to anyone…. He will now have mercy on all who come to Christ (not just historical Israel). That’s not rocket science either but often taken out of context.

      5. rhutchin: “as the Calvinist asks, “Why are not all persuaded?”
        FOH: “Some are persuaded to something and others are not. It aint rocket science.”

        If not rocket science, why does FOH purposely avoid giving an answer. Maybe, because he knows that God determines why one is persuaded and another is not.

        – “…it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.”
        – “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me,…”
        – ‘we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,…”
        – “God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him….”
        – “For whom God foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”

      6. Heather,

        When Calvinists throw up the smoke screen requiring you to somehow tell them why some believe (or are persuaded) and some aren’t…. just go to the Bible.

        Joshua (and many others) give us good examples of choices people make…

        24:15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
        ———–
        So sometimes…. serving the Lord (or being persuaded, reasoned with, or convinced: all Paul’s words) seems desirable….. but sometime people see it and desire something else.

        Funny, for Calvinism to be true Joshua would have said this in way to make that clear:

        ….But if serving the Lord [is not what God elected you to do], then “choose” [irresistibly] this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates [and God ordained some of you to do that], or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living [and God ordained some of you for that too]. But as for me and my household, we [were elected to] to serve the Lord.”

        The Bible is full of examples where God even works with people to bring them along in their choices (not just presto give them faith).

        Remember Gideon and the fleeces?

        Remember the signs given to doubtful Moses?

        Remember Christ did the same ….. He performed many miracles to help people along…… (John 20:31) But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

      7. I love it!

        You’re free to choose – ONLY what Calvin’s god pre-determined you to choose.
        And don’t be surprised if he condemns you for NOT choosing the very thing he didn’t permit you to choose.

        HOTEL CALVIN-FORNIA
        You’re free to check-out anytime you like – but you can never leave.

      8. br.d writes, “You’re free to choose – ONLY what Calvin’s god pre-determined you to choose.!’

        God predetermined you to choose that which you desired to choose. That which you did choose in the course of time was based on your desires at that time and was made without any prompting from God. So, you were free to choose. That God knew the choice you would make before you made that choice did not affect the freedom of your choice as William Craig has shown.

      9. br.d
        In Calvinism you’re free to choose – ONLY what Calvin’s god pre-determined you to choose.!’

        rhutchin
        God predetermined you to choose that which you desired to choose.

        br.d
        You can’t say my statement is FALSE without telling a lie.
        Evading the truth with red-herrings is still evading the truth.

        rhutchin
        That which you did choose in the course of time was based on your desires at that time and was made without any prompting from God.

        br.d
        FALSE

        John Calvin
        -qoute
        Men can deliberately do nothing unless He INSPIRE it

        Funny!
        I’m 100 times more truth-full about Calvinism than you are rhutchin
        And that doesn’t surprise me at all! :-]

      10. br.d writes, “In Calvinism you’re free to choose – ONLY what Calvin’s god pre-determined you to choose.!’
        Then, “You can’t say my statement is FALSE without telling a lie.”

        Your statement is true but incomplete as I noted, “God predetermined you to choose that which you desired to choose. ” Both statements are correct and consistent.

      11. br.d
        In Calvinism you’re free to choose – ONLY what Calvin’s god pre-determined you to choose.!’
        Then, “You can’t say my statement is FALSE without telling a lie.”

        rhutchin
        Your statement is true but incomplete as I noted, “God predetermined you to choose that which you desired to choose. ” Both statements are correct and consistent.

        br.d
        Except that your statement is strategically worded to be misleading.

        The more TRUTH-FULL statement is:
        “Calvin’s god predetermined you to choose that which Calvin’s god predetermined you to desire to choose”.

        To Funny!
        I’m 100 times more truthful about Calvinism than you are rhutchin
        And I’m not surprised at all why :-]

      12. br.d writres, “Except that your statement is strategically worded to be misleading.
        The more TRUTH-FULL statement is:
        “Calvin’s god predetermined you to choose that which Calvin’s god predetermined you to desire to choose”.

        If you mean, predetermined through secondary means and not directly by God or through coercion by God, then, Yes – but you haven’t added anything substantive to the conversation. The person still gets what he wants and is happy with his choice no matter what God knows or when He knew it.

      13. br.d
        Except that your statement is strategically worded to be misleading.
        The more TRUTH-FULL statement is:
        “Calvin’s god predetermined you to choose that which Calvin’s god predetermined you to desire to choose”.

        rhutchin
        If you mean, predetermined through secondary means and not directly by God or through coercion by God, then, Yes

        br.d
        FALSE
        In Calvin’s Theological Determinism – the only one can predetermine/predestine anything is Calvin’s god.
        Unless you want to argue that Calvin’s god “merely” permits creaturely attributes (e.g. desires choices)
        So once again – I’m 100 times more truthful about Calvinism than you are! :-]

        rhutchin
        – but you haven’t added anything substantive to the conversation.

        br.d
        Silly bird!
        Since your statement is still strategically misleading – trying to SNEAK in “mere” permission in camouflaged form – your contribution is substantive – in the negative.

        rhutchin
        The person still gets what he wants and is happy with his choice no matter what God knows or when He knew it.

        br.d
        And now you’re right back to where I started with this thread

        Let [X] = ANY/ALL creaturely attribute (desire/choice/want/happy/sin-nature – anything the Calvinist want’s to point to as a CAUSE)

        In Calvinism you are free to [X] ONLY what Calvin’s god pre-determined as your [X].
        You have no control or say about what your [X] will be.
        And no other [X] is permitted or made available.

      14. rh writes:
        “The person still gets what he wants and is happy with his choice no matter what God knows or when He knew it.”

        Of course, Calvinism would never allow for God merely foreknowing future events, so someone is once again being disingenuous. Calvinism is similar to Huxley’s Brave New World, in which all men will be brainwashed and sedated so that they will love their helpless servitude. God slips us the unseen desire pill and we ‘happily’ desire whatever he has ordained. Fine I guess, if you don’t mind slavery.

        The obvious alternative, which frees one from Calvinism’s unpleasant side effect of making God the author of evil, is that evil exists because God does not exert complete, meticulous control of his creation. It is because man was gifted with freedom that sin occurs, not some dastardly divine decree. This is the option that anyone who truly understands anything about the character of God will always go with.

      15. Right on!
        Calvin himself called it the decrees “horrible” – from the Old French – meaning “dreadful” or “terrible”.

      16. TS00 writes, “God slips us the unseen desire pill and we ‘happily’ desire whatever he has ordained.”

        No. Those desires arise form the person’s nature in conjunction with his knowledge, experiences, wants, etc. The person does that which he desires. God does not need to slip any desires in; desires arise from within himself.

        Then, “The obvious alternative…is that evil exists because God does not exert complete, meticulous control of his creation. It is because man was gifted with freedom that sin occurs, not some dastardly divine decree.”

        God can gift man with such freedom even when He exercises complete, meticulous control of his creation. You have not really identified an alternative. All you say is that God, in the exercise of His complete, meticulous control, gifts man with freedom to sin. That is what Calvinism says.

      17. rh writes:
        “God can gift man with such freedom even when He exercises complete, meticulous control of his creation. You have not really identified an alternative. All you say is that God, in the exercise of His complete, meticulous control, gifts man with freedom to sin. That is what Calvinism says.”

        No, that is not what Calvinism says, or even if Calvinists say those words, they are contrary to the logical outcome of their doctrine. Calvinism does not ‘gift man with freedom to sin’; Calvinism curses man with the inability to not sin. That, my friend is a great big, huge, enormous difference that Calvinists pretend to not see.

        A pirate king can say disingenuously to his captive, ‘Would you like to walk the plank now?’ when all present know that the captive has no real choice; he will walk voluntarily, or involuntarily. Calvinists can say ‘man chooses his own desires’ when all who understand Calvinism know that man has no other choice than what has been ordained for him. He will desire what God has ordained him to desire, and nothing else. He will choose God’s ordained plan or he will choose God’s ordained plan.

        This shows what a logical conundrum Calvinism creates. For if man cannot do otherwise than he has been pre-ordained to do, there is no possibility of sin. It doesn’t matter if God says ‘Thou shalt not’ if God has ordained that ‘Thou shalt’. Now I guess I see why they must keep up with the pretense. Even the most clever Calvinist can’t get away with eliminating sin and remaining true to scripture.

      18. TS00 writes, “Calvinism does not ‘gift man with freedom to sin’ Calvinism curses man with the inability to not sin.”

        When God created Adam, He created Adam with the ability to not sin. Adam chose to sin. That resulted in corruption, so that Adam no longer had the ability to not sin; from that point Adam could only sin. Thereby Adam was cursed with the inability to not sin as were his descendants. Calvinism did not curse people; Adam did and Calvinism points out the significance of Adam’s sin.

        Then, “A pirate king can say disingenuously to his captive, ‘Would you like to walk the plank now?’ ”

        No, “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…” so God says to people, you were born to walk the plank unless you avail yourself of Christ. Christ then said, ““No one can come to Me,… and “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me,…” Thus, Paul says, “…even when we were dead in our transgressions, God made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),…”

      19. rh writes:
        ” Calvinism did not curse people; Adam did and Calvinism points out the significance of Adam’s sin.”

        Another unbiblical and false assertion. Adam was a mere mortal, and had no power to curse anyone, let alone all humanity. Calvinism claims – and I assert falsely – that God cursed all of humanity in a fit of pique against Adam. They can try to put it on Adam all they like, but he did not possess supernatural power to change the nature of man. Nor would the true God do such a cruel, monstrous thing.

        rh writes:
        “People are rightly condemned, not necessarily because they sin, but because they are not righteous and they have been pre-ordained to this unrighteousness by Adam’s sin”

        Once again, unbiblical and illogical. Nowhere does the bible state that people are preordained to unrighteousness. That is simply a faulty interpretation by Calvinism. Nor need anyone be condemned due to any sin, for Jesus atoned for the sin of all men. The only reason anyone must die is because they deliberately refuse, in spite of all of the evidence he has provided through the ages, to believe that God is good, and the rewarder of those who seek him.

        God did not curse men with a sin nature. That is one of the most hideous errors of Calvinism, and what incredible damage thinking such a thing does. Countless people have assumed that they are hopeless and unloved by God. Countless others shrug off their fleshly indulgences as ‘not my fault’ and excuse their unholiness by appealing to that ol’ sin nature God inflicted them with. Tragic.

      20. TS00 writes, “Another unbiblical and false assertion. Adam was a mere mortal, and had no power to curse anyone,…”

        The consequence of Adam’s sin – “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” Adam ate and incurred spiritual death immediately and physical death eventually. Adam was then kicked out of the garden. His descendants inherited spiritual and physical death from Adam and could not re-enter the garden because of this. By Adam’s sin, his descendants were cursed.

        Then, “Nowhere does the bible state that people are preordained to unrighteousness.”

        Jesus said, ““That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” All people are born of the flesh – referring to a sinful nature – “the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit,…Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God..” Paul explains further, “those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh,…For the mind set on the flesh is death,…because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

        All people are pre-ordained to unrighteousness by birth as a consequence of Adam’s sin and that condition can only be changed by rebirth as Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

      21. br.d
        rhutchin – what you’ve posted here is a CAUSE/EFFECT fallacy – POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC
        Translated as “after this, therefore because of this.”

        There are well-known religious superstitions false doctrines based on this fallacy.

        If you want to make a LOGICAL case that creatures are “preordained” to unrighteousness – you won’t do it by simply pointing to the STATE of the creature (post effect).

        You need a proof-text within scripture that provides an EXPLICIT correlation between CAUSE and EFFECT.
        In your case CAUSE will needs to be CLEARLY stated as Calvin’s god’s decree/ordination.

        Good luck with that one! :-]

      22. br.d writes, ‘If you want to make a LOGICAL case that creatures are “preordained” to unrighteousness – you won’t do it by simply pointing to the STATE of the creature (post effect). ”

        The effects of Adam’s sin define what God meant when He said, “…in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die…” You may define that phrase as you will; the Calvinist has staked out his position. If you can give an alternative position, then we can had that to your earlier claims: (1) take away God’s sovereignty, (2) make man autonomous, and (3) condition God’s knowledge on observation to define the contortions non-Calvinist have to go through to oppose calvinism.

      23. br.d
        what you’ve posted here is a CAUSE/EFFECT fallacy – POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC Translated as “after this, therefore because of this.” There are well-known religious superstitions and false doctrines based on this fallacy.

        If you want to make a LOGICAL case that creatures are “preordained” to unrighteousness – you won’t do it by simply pointing to the STATE of the creature (post effect). ”

        rhutchin
        The effects of Adam’s sin define what God meant when He said, “…in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die…” You may define that phrase as you will; the Calvinist has staked out his position.

        br.d
        its obvious the Calvinist has staked out a position!
        And its also obvious – that position is based on the logical fallacy I’ve described.
        And your newer quote – concerning what God said – still does not establish a CAUSE and EFFECT relationship which you require.
        I would call this position “easy-believe-ism”

        And concerning that – in another post you claimed I simply follow whatever someone else says
        And I responded – that was an example of “reverse attribution”
        Now you’re proving me right again.
        Too funny! :-]

        rhutchin
        If you can give an alternative position…..

        br.d
        You ask me to provide an alternative to a position to what you’ve derived from a logical fallacy!
        The Jehovah’s witness can provide an alternative – based upon the same exact logical fallacy.
        And in the end there will be two groups with alternative positions based on the same logical fallacy.

        Better for nobody to fall into that ditch!

        rhutchin
        then we can had that to your earlier claims: (1) take away God’s sovereignty, (2) make man autonomous, and (3) condition God’s knowledge on observation to define the contortions non-Calvinist have to go through to oppose calvinism.

        br.d
        Please provide the quote where I made these claims.
        Otherwise you’ve provided another excellent example of a straw-man :-]

      24. TS00 writes, “This shows what a logical conundrum Calvinism creates. For if man cannot do otherwise than he has been pre-ordained to do, there is no possibility of sin.”

        As Paul writes in Romans 2, “you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” People are rightly condemned, not necessarily because they sin, but because they are not righteous and they have been pre-ordained to this unrighteousness by Adam’s sin

      25. rhutchin
        No. Those desires arise form the person’s nature in conjunction with his knowledge……

        br.d
        *AS-IF* Calvin’s god “merely” permits them and knows about them via observation. :-]

      26. rhutchin: “No. Those desires arise form the person’s nature in conjunction with his knowledge……
        br.d: “*AS-IF* Calvin’s god “merely” permits them and knows about them via observation.”

        No, as-if God decrees them having known them before they were conceived in the person’s mind.

      27. rhutchin
        No. Those desires arise form the person’s nature in conjunction with his knowledge……

        br.d:
        “*AS-IF* Calvin’s god “merely” permits them and knows about them via observation.

        rhutchin
        No, as-if God decrees them having known them before they were conceived in the person’s mind.

        br.d
        *AS-IF* Calvin’s god knew them before they were in the person’s mind via observation

      28. br.d writes, “John Calvin
        -qoute
        Men can deliberately do nothing unless He INSPIRE it…”

        I found a fuller citation to be, ““But where it is a matter of men’s counsels, wills, endeavours, and exertions, there is greater difficulty in seeing how the providence of God rules here too, so that nothing happens but by His assent and that men can deliberately do nothing unless He inspire it.” It is cited from “Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God.” However, I have copies of that document and none of my searches turned up this passage. It sounds like something Calvin might write, but I think it has been divorced from context. Did br.d actually read this or was he just quote mining??

        Calvin addresses this in his Institutes this way–

        “And truly God claims omnipotence to himself, and would have us to acknowledge it, – not the vain, indolent, slumbering omnipotence which sophists feign, but vigilant, efficacious, energetic, and ever active, – not an omnipotence which may only act as a general principle of confused motion, as in ordering a stream to keep within the channel once prescribed to it, but one which is intent on individual and special movements. God is deemed omnipotent, not because he can act though he may cease or be idle, or because by a general instinct he continues the order of nature previously appointed; but because, governing heaven and earth by his providence, he so overrules all things that nothing happens without his counsel. For when it is said in the Psalms, “He has done whatsoever he has pleased,” (Psa 115: 3) the thing meant is his sure and deliberate purpose. It were insipid to interpret the Psalmist’s words in philosophic fashion, to mean that God is the primary agent, because the beginning and cause of all motion. This rather is the solace of the faithful, in their adversity, that every thing which they endure is by the ordination and command of God, that they are under his hand. But if the government of God thus extends to all his works, it is a childish cavil to confine it to natural influx. Those moreover who confine the providence of God within narrow limits, as if he allowed all things to be borne along freely according to a perpetual law of nature, do not more defraud God of his glory than themselves of a most useful doctrine; for nothing were more wretched than man if he were exposed to all possible movements of the sky, the air, the earth, and the water. We may add, that by this view the singular goodness of God towards each individual is unbecomingly impaired. David exclaims, (Psa 8: 3) that infants hanging at their mothers breasts are eloquent enough to celebrate the glory of God, because, from the very moment of their births they find an aliment prepared for them by heavenly care. Indeed, if we do not shut our eyes and senses to the fact, we must see that some mothers have full provision for their infants, and others almost none, according as it is the pleasure of God to nourish one child more liberally, and another more sparingly. Those who attribute due praise to the omnipotence of God thereby derive a double benefit. He to whom heaven and earth belong, and whose nod all creatures must obey, is fully able to reward the homage which they pay to him, and they can rest secure in the protection of Him to whose control everything that could do them harm is subject, by whose authority, Satan, with all his furies and engines, is curbed as with a bridle, and on whose will everything adverse to our safety depends. In this way, and in no other, can the immoderate and superstitious fears, excited by the dangers to which we are exposed, be calmed or subdued. I say superstitious fears. For such they are, as often as the dangers threatened by any created objects inspire us with such terror, that we tremble as if they had in themselves a power to hurt us, or could hurt at random or by chance; or as if we had not in God a sufficient protection against them. For example, Jeremiah forbids the children of God ” to be dismayed at the signs of heaven, as the heathen are dismayed at them,” (Jer 10: 2) He does not, indeed, condemn every kind of fear. But as unbelievers transfer the government of the world from God to the stars, imagining that happiness or misery depends on their decrees or presages, and not on the Divine will, the consequence is, that their fear, which ought to have reference to him only, is diverted to stars and comets. Let him, therefore, who would beware of such unbelief, always bear in mind, that there is no random power, or agency, or motion in the creatures, who are so governed by the secret counsel of God, that nothing happens but what he has knowingly and willingly decreed.”

      29. Such a horrid, cruel and sadistic man, asserting that all that is wrong in the world can be blamed on God. In reality, if a woman has insufficient milk supply it is likely due to ignorance or want, both brought on by wicked men, and not God. God is not the author or ignorance, want or any depravity. The same is true of disease, hunger and all that is wrong with this world. These are not wretched curses cast upon mankind by a malicious, cruel God, but the rejection by man of God’s authority and ways, which have brought upon humans ever increasing oppression, suffering and misery.

        What one sees in Calvin is a wretched theology, believing that bad things happen to ‘them’ because ‘they’ are not God’s special favorites. Except bad things don’t just happen to ‘them’. Righteous men suffer as well, because the god of this world has not yet been permanently dethroned; God temporarily ‘permits’ him to wreak harm upon his creation, before putting an end to evil once and for all. None, and I repeat none, of this evil was predetermined and ordained by God, but ‘merely’ foreseen and permitted. The Calvinist can pretend all he likes that there is no difference between actively ordaining and passively permitting, but the difference is huge. Mere permission of evil is a big enough pill to swallow; imagine being a Calvinist and having to believe all evil comes straight from the ordaining mind and determinate hand of God.

      30. Great point!

        And what is so totally ironic – is that Calvinists have a love-hate relationship with their own doctrine.

        They boldly reject “mere” permission, any degree of creaturely autonomy, and divine foreknowledge by observation.

        And then spend endless hours in deceptive word-juggling – attempting to SNEAK camouflaged forms of those very things back in.

        What is this poor Calvinist to do, except craft semantic masquerades of what he finds wanting.

        His language serves as a red flag that the Calvinist himself internally recognizes certain things are missing in his theology.
        It is missing patterns he finds consistently weaved throughout the entire fabric of scripture.

        He becomes like a barren woman, who speaks AS-IF she is not, in order to manufacture in mental imagery, what she lacks in real life. Credibility and plausible deniability otherwise lacking, are carefully crafted in the form of semantic illusions.

        Knowing the double-minded state of a Calvinist – certainly no one would want it!

      31. br.d writes, “[Calvinists] boldly reject “mere” permission, ,,,”

        That is because God is sovereign and necessarily rules His creation.

        Then, “…any degree of creaturely autonomy,…”

        That is because God can be autonomous or man can be autonomous, but both cannot be autonomous.

        Then, “…and divine foreknowledge by observation.”

        That is because Calvinists hold that God is omniscient.

        So, take away God’s sovereignty, make man autonomous, and condition God’s knowledge on observation and you have br.d’s god.

      32. br.d
        (1) “[Calvinists] boldly reject “mere” permission, ,,,”
        (2) …any degree of creaturely autonomy,…”
        (3) and divine foreknowledge by observation.”

        And then spend endless hours in deceptive word-juggling – attempting to SNEAK camouflaged forms of those very things back in.
        What is this poor Calvinist to do, except craft semantic masquerades of what he finds wanting.

        rhutchin
        (1) That is because God is sovereign and necessarily rules His creation.
        (2) That is because God can be autonomous or man can be autonomous, but both cannot be autonomous.
        (3) That is because Calvinists hold that God is omniscient.

        So, take away God’s sovereignty, make man autonomous, and condition God’s knowledge on observation and you have br.d’s god.

        br.d
        Thanks rhutchin – this is an excellent example of a strawman argument.

        But if you find me explicitly rejecting things – only to spend endless hours in deceptive word-juggling – attempting to SNEAK camouflaged forms of those things back in – you can then honestly attribute that to me. :-]

      33. rhutchin: “So, take away God’s sovereignty, make man autonomous, and condition God’s knowledge on observation and you have br.d’s god.”
        br.d: “Thanks rhutchin – this is an excellent example of a strawman argument.”

        In other words, br.d says his beliefs are not open to comment and he can believe anything he wants.

      34. rhutchin
        So, take away God’s sovereignty, make man autonomous, and condition God’s knowledge on observation and you have br.d’s god.”

        br.d
        Thanks rhutchin – this is an excellent example of a strawman argument.

        rhutchin
        In other words, br.d says his beliefs are not open to comment and he can believe anything he wants.

        br.d
        That conclusion is quite consistent with Calvinism’s pretzel logic!
        But its a stretch to actually call it logic.
        More like easy-believe-ism :-]

      35. TS00 writes, “These are not wretched curses cast upon mankind by a malicious, cruel God, but the rejection by man of God’s authority and ways, which have brought upon humans ever increasing oppression, suffering and misery.”

        This is what Calvinism says. God can cure all disease, give wisdom to all, provide abundantly for all, etc. God conditions blessing on obedience and curses on disobedience. “Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the LORD your God….But it shall come about, if you will not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.”

        Then, “Righteous men suffer as well, because the god of this world has not yet been permanently dethroned; God temporarily ‘permits’ him to wreak harm upon his creation,…”

        At the same time, “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

        Then, “The Calvinist can pretend all he likes that there is no difference between actively ordaining and passively permitting,…”

        God cannot be passive in anything simply because He is God. There is no difference between actively ordaining and actively permitting, The difference is whether God blesses or curses – both outcomes God ordains..

      36. rh writes:
        “God cannot be passive in anything simply because He is God. There is no difference between actively ordaining and actively permitting,”

        Except that, by logic and definition, permitting is passive. There is no such thing as ‘active permission’.

      37. rh writes:
        “God cannot be passive in anything simply because He is God. There is no difference between actively ordaining and actively permitting,”

        br.d
        This is based on John Calvin creating and AD-HOC definition of the word “permit” – and ascribing to it CAUSATION as a meaning.
        So when Calvinists say Calvin’s go “permits” [X] they mean he CAUSES [X].

        But using this definition – since Adam did not obey – it follows that Calvin’s god did not “permit” Adam to obey.
        So even after creating altered definitions for words – Calvin still is ensnared in his own dilemmas.

      38. TS00 writes, “Except that, by logic and definition, permitting is passive. There is no such thing as ‘active permission’.”

        That’s basically the argument Calvin made against those who said that God only “permits” sin (recognizing that they were trying to separate God from any involvement in sin). Yet, Calvin recognized that God initiates some actions (e.g., destruction of Sodom, impregnation of Mary) and for want of a better term, permits, other actions (e.g., Cain murdering Abel, the stoning of Stephan). In each case, God decides the outcome and can never be described as passive toward anything that happens. No event can happen unless God have decreed it.

      39. rhutchin
        May 14, 2019 at 10:20 am
        [Calvinists] boldly reject “mere” permission”
        That is because God is sovereign and necessarily rules His creation.

        rhutchin
        May 14, 2019 at 2:06 pm
        God initiates some actions…….and for want of a better term, permits, other actions.

        br.d
        Its not hard to see how deceptive Calvinists can get with their use of “permission” language.
        A simple way to DECODE it is to simply replace the term with CAUSE/AUTHOR/RENDER-CERTAIN.

        So to decode rhutchin’s 2nd statement above:
        Calvin’s god CAUSES/AUTHORS/RENDERS-CERTAIN some events and CAUSES/AUTHORS/RENDERS-CERTAIN others.

        And you can see by the way he crafted the statement – the language is designed to SNEAK in a camouflaged form of “mere” permission.

        The Calvinist is intuitively aware that this form of Double-Speak – is the only way he escapes painting himself into a corner.

      40. br.d writes, “Its not hard to see how deceptive Calvinists can get with their use of “permission” language.
        A simple way to DECODE it is to simply replace the term with CAUSE/AUTHOR/RENDER-CERTAIN.”

        The non-Calvinists use “permit” in a different sense. Get them to use it correctly – in the manner you note.

      41. br.d
        “Its not hard to see how deceptive Calvinists can get with their use of “permission” language.
        A simple way to DECODE it is to simply replace the term with CAUSE/AUTHOR/RENDER-CERTAIN.”

        rhutchin
        The non-Calvinists use “permit” in a different sense. Get them to use it correctly – in the manner you note.

        br.d
        FALSE
        John Calvin created a PRIVATE definition for the term.
        Consequently in Calvinist language it has two radically different meanings
        And that is how they can so easily equivocate with it.

        The STANDARDIZED definition is from the Latin: “permettere”
        Defined as: To let pass, to let go, to let loose, to give up, to hand over, to allow, or to grant.
        Prior to the Latin – we have the Greek άδεια which means “to give license”

        So non-Calvinists comply with the STANDARDIZED definition in order to avoid misleading people

        And Calvinists use a PRIVATE definition – which is always guaranteed to mislead.

        As we can see from rhutchin’s statement – they NEVER qualify the term when they use it.
        This is not by accident!

        Its done constantly by Calvinists to SNEAK a camouflaged form of “mere” permission into their statements.
        They do this to retain an APPEARANCE of being biblical.

      42. br.d writes, “John Calvin created a PRIVATE definition for the term…..The STANDARDIZED definition is from the Latin: “permettere”
        Defined as: To let pass, to let go, to let loose, to give up, to hand over, to allow, or to grant.
        Prior to the Latin – we have the Greek άδεια which means “to give license.”

        Calvinists use the standard definition. The verbs used to define “permettere” are action verbs, “God lets,” “God gives up,” God grants.” It puts God in charge meaning that God is the active cause; nothing is “permitted,” unless God decides to permit.. The non-Calvinist focuses on “allow” as if it carries a meaning of lesser involvement than the other terms. It doesn’t and you don’t even try to defend the non-Calvinist position.

      43. rh writes:
        “Calvinists use the standard definition. The verbs used to define “permettere” are action verbs, “God lets,” “God gives up,” God grants.” It puts God in charge meaning that God is the active cause; nothing is “permitted,” unless God decides to permit.. The non-Calvinist focuses on “allow” as if it carries a meaning of lesser involvement than the other terms. It doesn’t and you don’t even try to defend the non-Calvinist position.”

        Silly, silly and triple silly. There is not a whit of difference between permit and allow, but a Calvinist in a corner sure can dance.

      44. TS00….

        Speaking of silly….. I just found this quote from Grudem’s book “Making Sense of Who God Is.” [it should be “making God who we need Him to be…]

        “​Cotrell has confused God’s decrees before​ creation with God’s actions in time. It ​is true that 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 ​​​befor​e​ creation​.​ ​But to conclude from that ​that ​Calvinists think God does not react in time to anything we do, or is not influenced by anything we do, ​is s​imply​ false. ​No Calvinist theologian known to me​ has ever said that God is not influenced by what we do or does not react to what we do. He is grieved at our sin. He delights in our praise. He answers our prayers. To say that God does not react to our actions is to deny the whole history of the Bible from Genesis to revelation.

        Now a Calvinist would add that God has eternally decreed that he would respond to us as he does. In fact, he has decreed that we would act as we do and he would respond to our actions. But his responses are still genuine responses, his answers to prayer are still genuine answers to prayer, and his delight in our praise is still genuine delight.

        [Further down}
        ….​Now some may object that this view makes us ​mere​ ​”​puppets​”​ or ​”​robots​.”​ ​But we are ​puppets or robots​;​ we are real persons​.​ ​Puppets and robots do not have ​the power of personal choice or even individual ​th​ought ​. We​,​ by contrast​,​ think​,​ decide​,​ and choose.”

        ——–

        What?

        He decreed exactly what we will all do (and how delighted or grieved He will be about it) before time…. but we are are not puppets in His play. Why not…..cuz Grudem KNOWS we are not puppets.

        What?

        God decided it all before time exactly the way it will go and we cannot influence it one bit; we just act it out like puppets….but we arent puppets.

        Whatever….. if it helps you sleep at night Grudem!

      45. FOH writes, “He decreed exactly what we will all do (and how delighted or grieved He will be about it) before time…. but we are are not puppets in His play.”

        God made man and knows man intimately. God gave man the ability to think, to collect and understand information, and to make decisions. God’s decrees take into account all the thoughts and desires a person will have so that man is free to act but always subordinate to God’s decrees. God is intimately involved in His creation. As Hannah prayed, ““The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor;” Paul wrote, “…there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Eli’s sons , “… would not listen to the voice of their father, for the LORD desired to put them to death.” In Exodus, ““Now Bezalel and Oholiab, and every skillful person in whom the LORD has put skill and understanding to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary, shall perform in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded.” Paul wrote that God, “…hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;… For in him we live, and move, and have our being;” In the Psalm, “The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” In the end, as Isaiah tells us, “Surely as I (the Lord) have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:” In all of God’s interactions with people, He has provided for people to have desires and to pursue those desires. Thus, “the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire…” so we have the warnings in proverbs to stay away from the wicked.

        God made man with the freedom to pursue his desires and God’s decrees make this certain. Man’s desires and intents of his heart are uniquely his own even though decreed by God. Thus, Paul, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”

      46. TS00,
        It is completely useless to have this conversation with many Calvinists. They say Arminian things like this:

        “God gave man the ability to think, to collect and understand information, and to make decisions. God’s decrees take into account all the thoughts and desires a person will have so that man is free to act but always subordinate to God’s decrees.”

        While also saying

        “God’s eternal decrees were not ​influenced by any of​ our actions and cannot ​be changed by us, since they were made ​​​befor​e​ creation​.”

        They are mutually exclusive ideas. We cannot have meaningful significance and impact and decisions if all of that was decided immutably before time began. It just cannot be both ways.

        Now…… what happens is that they will say the silly part about eternal decrees before time (without biblical support mind you) and then the rest of the explanation they will talk just like an Arminian. Grudem does it in his books “Some people say this position makes people like robots. But we arent robots.” What? What a dumb explanation!!

        Here is me saying it to my kids:

        Absolutely NONE of you are allowed to go to the ball game tonight! When you get to the ball game make sure to buy a hot dog.

        Calvinist version of God:

        None of you can influence me or change at all what I have decided/ decreed/ willed/ ordained before time. Please make free-will decisions and call to me in prayer so that you can influence Me.

        Nonsense.

      47. rhutchin
        God’s decrees TAKE INTO ACCOUNT all the thoughts and desires a person will have

        br.d
        This phrase TAKE INTO ACCOUNT is specifically crafted to SNEAK in a camouflaged form of Foreknowledge via observation.
        And TAKE INTO ACCOUNT is language consistent with Libertarian Free will

        In Molinism we have “Middle Knowledge” – God’s knowledge of that state of affairs which would exist in the future – that a LIBERTARIAN FREE creature would have – given the circumstances that creature is in.

        Notice how rhutchin’s language allows for a context in which LIBERTARIAN FREE WILL exists.

        This language is not by accident – but is highly strategic!
        The Calvinist rejects many things – in this case LIBERTARIAN FREE WILL
        And then they use language designed to SNEAK in a camouflaged form of the very thing they reject.

        Calvinists intuitively know that this form of Double-Speak helps prevent painting oneself into a corner.

      48. br.d writes, “In Molinism we have “Middle Knowledge” – God’s knowledge of that state of affairs which would exist in the future – that a LIBERTARIAN FREE creature would have – given the circumstances that creature is in.”

        Of course, God determines the circumstances of the creature, and knows how the creature will react to those circumstances, not by observation, but because He created the creature. God knew Adam would eat the fruit before Eve handed him the fruit; God knew Cain would kill Abel before Cain first thought to do so. God did not have to coerce Adam to eat or Cain to murder – such was their desire.

      49. rhutchin
        God knew Adam would eat the fruit before Eve handed him the fruit

        br.d
        Calvin’s god knew because he AUTHORED and did not permit otherwise.

        rhutchin
        God knew Cain would kill Abel before Cain first thought to do so.

        br.d
        Calvin’s god knew because he AUTHORED and did not permit otherwise.

        rhutchin
        God did not have to coerce Adam to eat or Cain to murder – such was their desire.

        br.d
        Calvin’s god AUTHORED every creaturely attribute the Calvinist can point to – and did not permit otherwise.

      50. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god knew because he AUTHORED and did not permit otherwise.”

        Of course, Adam did not want to do otherwise. Adam did exactly that which he desired. Same situation with Cain and with all who sin. Thus, “I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself; Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.” and “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”

      51. br.d
        Calvin’s god knew because he AUTHORED and did not permit otherwise.”

        rhutchin
        Of course, Adam did not want to do otherwise.

        br.d
        Because Calvin’s god AUTHORS all creaturely attributes – and doesn’t permit otherwise
        The Calvinist will tell the truth up to a point – but a lie by omission is still a lie.

      52. You mean as in ‘Adam did not want to do otherwise’ because Adam COULD NOT want to do otherwise? Because Calvi-god ordains man’s desires so that he will do as Calvi-god ordains/determines/causes/directs/compels/desires/wills? Sort of an important concept to leave out, dontcha think?

      53. TS00 writes, “You mean as in ‘Adam did not want to do otherwise’ because Adam COULD NOT want to do otherwise?”

        Adam could not do otherwise because he had no desire to do otherwise. God gave Adam the ability to desire but did not plant specific desires within him except that God made Adam pure with no inclination toward evil. Once God made Eve and Adam saw her, he then desired her. God had ordained that Adam be ruled by his desires -especially as they related to Eve), and thereby made certain Adam’s decision to eat the fruit. Had Adam had more information, more understanding, and more wisdom, he could easily have done otherwise but God withheld such from Adam and with that knowledge, understanding, and wisdom he had at that moment, Adam could not do other than that which he desired consistent with his knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. God, by ordaining that Adam eat the fruit, did not also have to ordain coercive means for this to happen. Adam operated in a non-coercive environment (granting that seeing his wife offering him fruit that she had eaten could be viewed as coercive).

        In the past, you have strained to define free will and what it is to choose otherwise, so you have no room for objection in this instance. You can’t even conceive a situation where Adam could choose otherwise without denying Adam’s desires.

      54. Under Calvinism, the concept of fleshly desire is seriously misunderstood. All men are made of flesh, and built into that flesh are the natural desires for food, water, sex, etc. that ensure the survival of the species. But man is to rule over those desires, keeping them under control and in healthy moderation. When the individual fails to do this, sin arises.

        Any individual who is not a pathological narcissist has daily experiences denying and moderating his desires. Confronted with a buffet that offers endless culinary delights, a person must rein in the flesh and not overconsume. Married people experience times of physical desire that must be denied, as their spouse is not able or willing to comply. A parent suppresses his or her personal desires countless times a day, as they selflessly meet the needs of dependent infants. An employee frequently must suppress his true desires to comply with the demands of his employer.

        Again, only a pathological narcissist pursues only and always his own desires. Normal, healthy people are constantly juggling, moderating and suppressing desires that would not serve the best interests of others around them. I honestly do not see the slightest bit of truth to the ‘man always follows his desires’ mantra rhutchin spouts. I would certainly hate to live with such a person.

        This premise is neither logical nor proven by scripture or life. The man who cannot control his desires, but is controlled by them, is a man who is enslaved to sin and on his way to depraved living. It is absurd to posit that man only does as he desires, as this is repeatedly proven false in daily living. The concept of not letting one’s flesh rule over them is misunderstood, or intentionally distorted by those who seek to preserve the doctrine of Divine Determinism.

      55. TS00 writes, “An employee frequently must suppress his true desires to comply with the demands of his employer.”

        This is foolishness. A person does what he is told because his desire to avoid being fired and losing his paycheck overrides his “true” desires which true desires are to be wealthy and have to work for others. This is a childish look at personal desires. One spouse yields to the desires of the other because of a desire to avoid confrontation, or divorce, or whatever. The point here is that the Calvinist claim that the “strongest” desire at the moment prevails is not proven wrong by your examples. Your true desires always reveal themselves in the decisions and actions you take despite your denial of this – perhaps because you want to see yourself differently. If a person is not controlled by his desires, then what does control desires but the strongest desire? All the will does is sort desires by consequences and seek to gain positive consequences and avoid negative consequences.

      56. What a pagan, narcissistic view. We are simply controlled by our unchosen desires, what will be, will be. This is the myth God puts the lie to. We are not simply fleshly creatures who are helpless slaves to our desires, strongest or otherwise.

        The strongest desire of the flesh is to survive. And yet Jesus demonstrated, in perhaps the true meaning of the freedom from sin he provides, that one can conquer that desire of the flesh and lay down one’s life for others. That, my friend, is the ultimate proof of your error.

        Perhaps it is no wonder we are seeing the explosion of sexual abuse and other spiritual abuse issues within Reformed circles. When one rejects God’s call, as given to Cain, to rule over the flesh, one will eventually become its slave. Reformed Theology essentially opens the door to such concupiscence, admitted and decried by Calvin and Luther.

        They did not seem to understand how distorting the concept of sin and the flesh led people to believe it was a battle they need no longer undertake. Simply embrace the penal substitution atonement theory, and you’ve got Jesus to cover for you. No more worry about sin!

        For the genuine child of God, who wishes to not only escape the consequences of sin, but its gross enslavement, such theology will be no assistance. The believer who desires to be free from sin must take ever seriously its beguiling allure, and the need to resist it. Calvinism offers the willing sinner an excuse to ‘sin boldly’. I experienced this inadvertently, and was appalled to see that this mindset leads to a gradual carelessness concerning sanctification. My pastor saw it as well, and was dismayed; but of course he could not see that the root cause was the theology itself. Sin takes advantage of our faulty thinking and will eventually re-enslave us.

      57. TS00
        You mean as in ‘Adam did not want to do otherwise’ because Adam COULD NOT want to do otherwise?”

        rhutchin
        Adam could not do otherwise because he had no desire to do otherwise.

        br.d
        Here is where the Calvinist reminds me of the snake eating its own tail :-]
        [A] CAUSED [B] because [B] CAUSED [A]

      58. br.d writes, “[A] CAUSED [B] because [B] CAUSED [A]”

        Which has nothing to do with this discussion unless you had something relevant expressed in [A] and [B]. Of course, we don’t know because you have difficulty framing arguments.

        Here, we have God causes Adam to sin and Adam causes/desires his sin. Thus, God causes Adam to do that which he desires to do. The means for God causing Adam to sin is not external coercion but internal factors unique to Adam – his desires, will, knowledge, understanding, wants, needs, etc.

      59. br.d
        Here is where the Calvinist reminds me of the snake eating its own tail :-]
        “[A] CAUSED [B] because [B] CAUSED [A]”

        rhutchin
        Which has nothing to do with this discussion ……etc

        br.d
        Silly – is is the very focal!
        Here you say the focal point has “nothing to do with the discussion” – and then you carry on addressing the focal point.

        rhutchin
        Here, we have God causes Adam to sin

        br.d
        TRUE – but only in Calvinism

        rhutchin
        and Adam causes/desires his sin.

        br.d
        FALSE in Calvinism
        Unless you want to argue that Calvin’s god “merely” permitted Adam to have an attribute (e.g. desire/want/nature etc)
        Calvin’s god AUTHORS all creaturely attributes – and does not permit otherwise

        rhutchin
        The means for God causing Adam to sin is not external coercion but INTERNAL FACTORS unique to Adam – his desires, will, knowledge, understanding, wants, needs, etc.

        br.d
        Coercion is a superfluous red-herring – since *ALL* FACTORS are determined outside of Adam’s control.
        Calvin’s god AUTHORS *ALL* attributes and does not permit otherwise.

        But the Calvinist wants to claim [A] CAUSES [B] because [B] CAUSES [A]

      60. Yup! :-]
        Always reminds me of Genesis 3:1

        “And the Calvinist was the most subtle beast in the field of protestant Christianity” :-]

      61. TS00
        but a Calvinist in a corner sure can dance.

        br.d
        What do you think – is this rhutchin’s “greased pig” mode or his “dancing boxer” routine? :-]

      62. TS00 writes, “Silly, silly and triple silly. There is not a whit of difference between permit and allow, but a Calvinist in a corner sure can dance.”

        Exactly. It is the non-Calvinist who wants to make a distinction making God a passive player when the definition makes God an active player in permitting. That is what Calvin pointed to by identifying the non-Calvinist position as making “permission” to be “mere/bare permission.”

      63. rhutchin
        It is the non-Calvinist who wants to make a distinction making God a passive player when the definition makes God an active player in permitting. That is what Calvin pointed to by identifying the non-Calvinist position as making “permission” to be “mere/bare permission.”

        br.d
        FALSE
        The STANDARDIZED definition is from the Latin: “permettere”
        Defined as: To let pass, to let go, to let loose, to give up, to hand over, to allow, or to grant.
        Prior to the Latin – we have the Greek άδεια which means “to give license”

        Nowhere in this definition is permit defined as CAUSE
        And the STANDARDIZED usage in language never conflates “permit” with CAUSE

        Its obvious Calvin created his own PRIVATE definition – making it mean CAUSE

        Since Calvinists know that no one outside of Calvinism ever uses the term “permit” to mean CAUSE – it becomes obvious Calvinists use it to SNEAK in a camouflaged form of “mere” permission.

        Paul: “Except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken?”.

        Jesus: “Let your communications be yea yea or nay nay – for anything else comes of evil”.

      64. Hutch, I would like to continue our previous exchange. You had said:

        “Yes – “…God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” and “…God does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What hast Thou done?’ If one says that God is omnipotent, he must agree with these. If you can legitimately take such Scripture to say that God does not determine all things, do so.”

        I replied with:
        Sure, I can. It does not even hint that God determines all things, only that He “does what He pleases” and “no one can ward of His hand or question him”. How does either of those phrases = determines all things? Those phrases say what they mean, they don’t “actually” mean something else in the background.

      65. Eric,
        I dont think you will get a biblical answer that will satisfy because the whole idea is based on what they BRING to the Bible.

        I quoted Grudem on this string today, and here is part of it,

        “It ​is true that 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 ​​​befor​e​ creation​.​”

        They bring to the Word (based on a few verses that you are discussing) the idea that God decreed everything (unchangeable, immutable) before time. They do not NEED to prove it. It “must” be true or “He is not God”.

        But as you know they want it both ways….cuz a few sentences later Grudem says….

        “​But to conclude from that ​that ​Calvinists think God does not react in time to anything we do, or is not influenced by anything we do, ​is simply​ false.”

        We cannot influence Him, but we do influence Him.

        So….good luck with Hutch on that.

      66. FOH
        We cannot influence Him, but we do influence Him.

        br.d
        Excellent post FOH!

        Yes – the Calvinist focus is not on truth-telling.
        Its on making Calvinism APPEAR acceptable.

        Calvinism has its own unique INSIDER language, where many words, terms and phrases have duplicitous, illusory,
        and/or amorphous meanings.

        When a Calvinist communicates, he often presents by inference, conceptions that are the logical inverse of what he explicitly believes.
        Eventually this Doublespeak language becomes his normalcy, and he speaks it without even thinking.

        They speak a CODED language.
        Its then totally understandable that Calvinists complain they are misrepresented.

      67. rhutchin: “If you can legitimately take such Scripture to say that God does not determine all things, do so.””
        Eric Kemp:”Sure, I can. It does not even hint that God determines all things, only that He “does what He pleases” and “no one can ward of His hand or question him”. How does either of those phrases = determines all things? Those phrases say what they mean, they don’t “actually” mean something else in the background.”

        So, your argument is to ask a question:”How does either of those phrases = determines all things? ” Asking a question is not an argument. Regardless, if you could point to any event where God does not do as He pleases with regard to that event, then you could prove your case. You cannot, so you say I have to prove my understanding of the Scripture. Let’s look at that.

        The Scripture says, “God does whatever He pleases.” As God is omnipotent, He can intervene at any point in history and in any event and exert His will to gain the outcome He wants. The question is, Does God do this for all events – does God determine every event that happens? The Calvinist says that God has the final decision, by omnipotence, in every event. Thus, God decides whether to change the natural course of events to gain a different outcome or do nothing and let natural events play out. Either way, God determined the outcome. If that is wrong, then argue against it.

        Let’s look at God’s involvement in the world. Ephesian1 tells us that, “God works all things after the counsel of His will.” As a subset, Romans 8 tells us, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.” That seems conclusive to me.

        What does God determine with respect to salvation?
        – “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me.” (John 6)
        – “God made believers alive together with Christ.” (Ephesians 2)
        – “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12)
        – “God delivered believers from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
        – “By grace you are saved.” (Ephesians 2)
        – – “So then [whether one is a child of promise] does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” (Romans 9)

        So, we can understand these verses to say that God determines who is saved.

        What of unbelievers”
        – Jesus said, “No one can come to Me.” (John 6)
        – “If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4)

        We learn from Job, that Satan cannot act but as God determines. We can understand these verses to say that God determines who is lost.

        In the important case of Salvation, we see that God does as He pleases and determines who will be saved.

        So, does God determine all things. If you can legitimately take the Scriptures to say that God does not determine all things, do so. Asking questions is not an argument. Is that all you have?

      68. Exegetical Fallacies – by Jerry Wierwille

        Fallacy #1:
        Biblical interpretation is susceptible to false premises in the process of exegesis by violating laws of language and logic, and maintaining faulty presuppositions.

      69. Rhutchin writes:
        “What does God determine with respect to salvation?
        – “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me.” (John 6)
        – “God made believers alive together with Christ.” (Ephesians 2)
        – “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12)
        – “God delivered believers from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
        – “By grace you are saved.” (Ephesians 2)
        – – “So then [whether one is a child of promise] does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” (Romans 9)

        So, we can understand these verses to say that God determines who is saved.”

        You are correct only in saying that you ‘can’ understand (interpret) these verses to say that God determines who is saved. Far better, and far more consistent with the character of God, is to interpret them to mean that ‘God determines to save those who put their trust in him’.

        What a tragic, blasphemous and hideous distortion Calvinism makes of the genuine good news scripture gives us that if we simply trust God he will be faithful to save us, in spite of our lack of perfection, as well as anything that might happen in this world.

        How ugly, and inconsistent with all else that scripture reveals, to twist the meaning of such assuring verses into saying, ‘Don’t worry, since God chose who will be saved, none will be lost but those he deliberately created to perish. Either you were elect from eternity past, or he always intended to damn you.’

        Of course, Calvinists rarely put it so bluntly. They simply say that if God chose you, you shall not perish. It sounds so comforting when presented with only its positive side, that many embrace it and refuse to ever consider just what else it demands. It is comforting until you reason through to its unavoidable logical corollary, that if God did not choose you, you are hopelessly, helplessly, unavoidably doomed.

        Many prefer to avoid even pondering this inescapable corollary, which demands that God be partial, in randomly choosing some to save over others equally undeserving, cruel in creating a good many beings without even a chance to be rescued from the sin they were (supposedly) cursed with before they were ever born, and sadistic, in mocking the hopeless with empty calls to repentance and forgiveness which were never genuinely available to them.

        I yet recall as the most precious work the Holy Spirit ever did in my life the moment when, as a twenty year old college student he opened my eyes to the meaning of Romans 8:29-39:

        “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

        Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

        What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

        He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

        Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

        Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

        Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

        As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

        Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

        For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

        Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

        I had been examining Calvinism for the first of what would prove to be many times, as I was considering a relationship with the Calvinist I eventually married. And while I rejected the predestination and limited atonement necessary to this faulty system, in the process of pondering such things God freed me from the lack of assurance that often accompanies a lack of belief in OSAS.

        Having grown up in a Holiness denomination, I always struggled with guilt and fear, knowing that I could not possible be ‘good enough’ to call myself sinless, which my faulty doctrine dictated I must be. So vanquishing two errors with one stone, God gave to me the lifelong assurance and peace that my salvation was solely in his hands, and that nothing could separate me from his faithful love and promise, not even my imperfections.

        I praise him to this day for that precious revelation, and the unqualified assurance he gave to me that I was his, and need have no fear. But such a precious assurance did not demand that I sacrifice the love of God for all men, his sincere desire to draw all to himself to receive the benefit of his love, mercy and power to save. For that

      70. TS00 writes, “You are correct only in saying that you ‘can’ understand (interpret) these verses to say that God determines who is saved…I yet recall as the most precious work the Holy Spirit ever did in my life the moment when, as a twenty year old college student he opened my eyes to the meaning of Romans 8:29-39:”

        So, did God save you or do you still consider yourself reprobate?

      71. I would take issue with your terminology. I do not affirm reprobation, nor do I view salvation as something that happened in the past; rather, all who put their trust in God’s gracious provision for sin are promised salvation from a future judgment and second death.

        As I had long ago put my trust in God, and had walked with him for many years, this was a moment when the Spirit of God led me into greater understanding of his love for me. When the time was ripe, his Spirit revealed the meaning of words I had read many times but never understood. Without man-directed theological instruction, seeing the desire of my heart to understand, the Spirit of God ministered to my Spirit.

        This is the sort of intimate interaction I perceive many Calvinists do not understand, as they put too great emphasis on Gnosis and doctrine and too little on the deepening relationship which our beloved Father desires to have with us. When I realized that I had sacrificed something deeply personal for rote religion, I knew I had made a mistake. The false assurance of Calvinism’s Penal Substitution (ticket to heaven) does not compare to intimate communion with the living God.

      72. Hutch,

        “Regardless, if you could point to any event where God does not do as He pleases with regard to that event, then you could prove your case.”

        You keep assuming that God is pleased to determine all things. Why are you assuming that?

        “The Calvinist says that God has the final decision, by omnipotence, in every event. Thus, God decides whether to change the natural course of events to gain a different outcome or do nothing and let natural events play out.”

        “Ephesian1 tells us that, “God works all things after the counsel of His will.” As a subset, Romans 8 tells us, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.” That seems conclusive to me.”

        Conclusive to what, that in all things God is working after the counsel of his will? Of course, he is, how does that say He determines all events that happen? Same question for Romans 8. You’re just repeating passages that say God does one thing, you make a logical deduction they mean “God does all things”, and then tell me the passage means “God does all things”. But the Bible never says that.

        “If you can legitimately take the Scriptures to say that God does not determine all things, do so. Asking questions is not an argument. Is that all you have?”

        Yes, I take the Scriptures to say God is doing the specific things it says He is doing. You’re adding things to the Scriptures that God does, namely, “all things”. And you expect not to have to defend that claim? You’re getting salty about being asked the question?

      73. Eric:
        For the record, Calvinists take verses that say some particular thing and extrapolate that out as they like.

        They do that with the “He turns the heart of the king” verse and take it to mean He determines all things.

        Piper even does it (I kid you not) with the “man rolls the dice to cast lots but God decided the outcome” Proverb and makes it doctrine that He determines all things.

        Any kind of “He rules from the heavens” or “He is above all things” verse can be (and is!) taken by determinists to mean what they say.

        Keep up your logical/ biblical approach and perhaps some readers will “be persuaded” (cuz they do have a choice!).

      74. FOH writes, “They do that with the “He turns the heart of the king” verse and take it to mean He determines all things.”

        Did you purposely reverse this?? Calvinists take a verse like Ephesians 1:11, “God works (or determines) all things after the counsel of His will,” and then cite examples in Proverbs 21, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes,” or Proverbs 16, “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”

      75. Rhutchin writes:
        “Calvinists take a verse like Ephesians 1:11, “God works (or determines) all things after the counsel of His will,” and then cite examples in Proverbs 21, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes,” or Proverbs 16, “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”

        Just one possibility, as I look, for instance, at a verse like Proverbs 21:1. Water has certain properties, designed by God. And yet, should he wish to provide sustenance to a needy place or people, God can intervene so that water will flow to a particular place without overruling its natural properties. He could, perhaps, see that a channel is made, either by men or some other natural force.

        The same is true of a king. Scripture tends to portray the kings of this earth as not particularly open to following God, but arrogantly pursuing their own wills. A king, intent on pursuing his own personal wealth and pleasure is susceptible to fleshly temptations. God could easily see to it that the king’s selfish desires are channeled in a particular direction, without in any way interfering in the king’s intention to pursue selfish ends. A king set on building up a vast kingdom and possessions, may be led to overlook one intended victim when a more lucrative one appears. Thus, without either determining the king’s wicked ways or preventing them, God can work to channel them away from or toward some ends that will best serve his greater plan.

        That is just one possibility, and I am not claiming my contemplations are inerrant truth. It is ignorant and arrogant to assert that one’s particular interpretation of a word or words is the only possible one.

      76. TS00 writes,”Thus, without either determining the king’s wicked ways….”

        You will often sound like a Calvinist, as when you say, “A king, intent on pursuing his own personal wealth and pleasure is susceptible to fleshly temptations. God could easily see to it that the king’s selfish desires are channeled in a particular direction, without in any way interfering in the king’s intention to pursue selfish ends.” and “Thus, without either determining the king’s wicked ways or preventing them, God can work to channel them away from or toward some ends that will best serve his greater plan.”

        Is this not what the scriptures say, “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” Did not God determine the birth of the king and the circumstances of his birth? Did not God install him as king? Now, you agree that God directs )or channels) his steps. Yet, you claim no to believe what you write.

      77. Logically, the very existence of sin, evil and death proves that God does not deterministically do only as he pleases, deterministically ordaining all things to be, unless one concedes that God is pleased by sin, evil and death, thus determined, that they should exist. Note that under a deterministic system, there is no possibility of God ordaining that something ‘could’ exist; hence Calvin’s harsh condemnation of ‘mere permission’. Under Determinism, all must exist as it does, because God has ordained that it should be so.

        This is the hopeless conundrum of the Calvinist, as he tries to hold to the logical impossibility of a good and holy God ruling deterministically and the existence of evil, apart from making God the willing author of evil. Either he does not determine all things, or he is evil. The magical, mystical have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too compatibilism is a feint, and a not terribly convincing one at that. It simply cannot hold up to logical examination. Hence the constant appeal to authority.

      78. TS00 writes, “Logically, the very existence of sin, evil and death proves that God does not deterministically do only as he pleases,…”

        Because God is omnipotent, sin, evil, and death could not exist unless it pleased God for them to exist. Otherwise, God would prevent such things.

      79. rhutchin
        Because God is omnipotent, sin, evil, and death could not exist unless it pleased God for them to exist. Otherwise, God would prevent such things.

        br.d
        Please provide a scripture verse which EXPLICITLY states this.

        And please don’t waste my time using a proof-text like “and Methuselah begat Lamech” :-]

      80. I, for one, completely reject the assertion that sin, evil and death please God. I haven’t the slightest doubt that such deeply displeases him. Not only does he say so countless times in scripture, but the existence of atonement, punishment and the entire plan of redemption only make logical sense if God hates sin and evil and has a plan to deal with them once and for all. Just as he has spelled out. The only logical explanation for sin and evil, and one which takes into account the entirety of scripture, would be if God had created man with the freedom to resist his will and good pleasure.

        But Calvinists insist on maligning God’s character, asserting that he desired, ordained and deliberately brought into existence sin and evil. I will leave it to the reader to study scripture and discern the truth for himself. If you come to scripture with Calvinist spectacles, or any other lens that distorts the meaning of the words, you will of course only see what you came convinced you would see.

      81. I understand and agree with you TS00

        But Calvinists are so full of double-speak – it won’t be long before rhutchin is crafting statements designed to portray the opposite of what he currently stating.

        So nothing Calvin’s say surprises me at this point.

        A truth about Calvinism which they refuse to acknowledge – is the fact that there is absolutely nothing about Calvin’s god that human being can possibly trust – except that he does whatever he pleases.

      82. Which is why I allege that the Doctrines of Grace are actually the Doctrines of Despotism. There is no freely offered love, no healing balm for the disease of sin and no full and free atonement that offers life to all who respond in trusting faith to God’s promises.

        There is only control, control, control, as a God who determines whatsoever comes to pass in his created world is the only determining factor to what will be. If he wants a sinless world, he will make it thus. If he wants sin and evil, he will make it thus. One need not even look at scripture to see what God says he wants – one need only look around, for whatever has come to pass is what he wanted to come to pass.

        In the non-Calvinist alternative, God created beings with a genuine freedom of choice. That means they are able to choose evil, when he truly only desires that they choose good. They are able to reject him, when all he ever desired was to dwell with them in loving harmony. They are able to take the matter of earth and forge weapons that harm and kill, when God desires that men love one another and live peaceably together.

        I could go on and on, but I trust I made my point. Under Calvinism, whatever is, is what God desired, or what pleases him to have exist. The alternative worldview sees God relinquishing the control he could very easily have, and allowing mere mortal creatures to resist his will and do things that do not at all please him. Which better conforms with the narratives of scripture, and reality as we know it?

      83. The ironic thing is – all of the very things that you point to as despotic in Calvinism – Calvinists refuse to acknowledge – and yet at the same time do everything they can to evade and escape how it might apply in their own lives.

        No logical sane person understanding that aspect of Calvinism would want to be one.
        And I feel sorry for them myself!

      84. The sad thing is that what it really requires is either ignorance of the true facts or extreme selfishness. I believe the former is true of so many, who hear their pastors and leading Calvinists speak as if they can hold to both Divine Determinism and a John 3:16 grace. It cannot be done, but many are fooled. It is the second category, those who actually know what Calvinism demands that most disturbs me. Let’s acknowledge that under their system, they – if they are indeed elect – partake of all of the many blessings we so desire. And yet, they have no qualms about shrugging off the many who never had a chance, for whom Jesus did not die, and for whom grace was never truly intended.

        I try to hope that most Calvinists fall into the former category, and simply do not apply consistent logic to their system, instead trusting their beloved authorities to do the heavy lifting. But for the arrogant and hard-hearted, who proudly proclaim ‘I am an unapologetic, 5-point Calvinist’ as one recently posted on another blog, I feel only horror and dismay. They know full well that their theology demands a dictatorial God who deliberately created many for unavoidable destruction, and they shrug it off as if it doesn’t matter. Oh well, too bad, who am I to question God? How sad is that? They don’t even know that something important inside of them, the love for others that Jesus commanded, is missing.

      85. Yes I totally agree.
        You are echoing the topic of David Hunt’s book – in regard to Calvinism he asks “What love is this?”

      86. br.d writes, “You are echoing the topic of David Hunt’s book – in regard to Calvinism he asks “What love is this?””

        Hunt appears to be an Universalist judging by his book.

      87. br.d
        “You are echoing the topic of David Hunt’s book – in regard to Calvinism he asks “What love is this?””

        rhutchin
        Hunt appears to be an Universalist judging by his book.

        br.d
        I wonder how much different that would be from being a Gnostic NeoPlatonist. :-]

      88. TS00 writes, “leading Calvinists speak as if they can hold to both Divine Determinism and a John 3:16 grace.”

        John 3:16 is deterministic. Only those who believe in Christ receive eternal life, and only those who receive faith then believe. Those who do not believe have hearts that are Totally Depraved and their minds have been blinded by Satan. There is no ability for such to believe unless, and until, God gives then that ability through a new birth and faith.

      89. TS00 writes, “The alternative worldview sees God relinquishing the control he could very easily have, and allowing mere mortal creatures to resist his will and do things that do not at all please him.”

        This is what Calvinism says. Did not God stand by and do nothing while Adam ate the fruit? Did not God stand by and do nothing as they crucified the Christ? God is always allowing people to resist His will – it is His major complaint against Israel and the common theme of all the prophets, major and minor.

      90. rhutchin
        This is what Calvinism says. Did not God stand by and do nothing while Adam ate the fruit?

        br.d
        What a hoot! Didn’t Calvin’s god stand by CAUSING Adam do eat the fruit – *AS-IF* he “merely” permitted it.

        rhutchin
        Did not God stand by and do nothing as they crucified the Christ?

        br.d
        Didn’t Calvin’s god stand by CAUSING them to crucify Jesus – *AS-IF* he “merely” permitted it.

        rhutchin
        God is always ALLOWING people to resist His will

        br.d
        Calvin’s god is always CAUSING people to resist his will *AS-IF* he is “merely” allowing it.

        CONCLUSION:

        Understanding Calvinism is easy:
        A Calvinist is a determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting double-speak talking points. :-]

      91. TS00 writes, “But Calvinists insist on maligning God’s character, asserting that he desired, ordained and deliberately brought into existence sin and evil.”

        Could Satan have entered the garden without God’s approval? Didn’t God stand by and do nothing as Satan tempted Eve and she ate the fruit. Didn’t God also watch as Eve offered the fruit to Adam and Adam ate and He did nothing? What part of the process did God not determine by His inaction if nothing else? What did you think was going on??

      92. br.d writes, “Please provide a scripture verse which EXPLICITLY states this.”

        We have examples.

        In speaking of David’s punishment, ““Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your companion, and he shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.”

        Of Eli’s sons, “Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the LORD…Thus the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for the men despised the offering of the LORD…Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting. And he said to them, “Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people? If one man sins against another, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for the LORD desired to put them to death.”

        Elijah on Mt Carmel, “Then it came about at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have done all these things at Thy word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that Thou, O LORD, art God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again.”

        In the rebuilding of the temple, “they observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the LORD had caused them to rejoice, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them to encourage them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.”

        These are examples of Ephesians 1, “God works all things after the counsel of His will.” And Solomon, “Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent? In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider– God has made the one as well as the other.”

      93. rhutchin
        Because God is omnipotent, sin, evil, and death could not exist unless it pleased God for them to exist. Otherwise, God would prevent such things.

        br.d
        Please provide a scripture verse which EXPLICITLY states this.
        And please don’t waste my time using a proof-text like “and Methuselah begat Lamech” :-]

        rhutchin
        We have examples:
        In speaking of David’s punishment, ““Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your companion, and he shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.”

        br.d
        Where does god in this text EXPLICITLY state he is pleased about this?

        rhutchin
        Of Eli’s sons, “Now the sons of Eli were worthless men…….for the LORD desired to put them to death.”

        br.d
        Where does god in this text EXPLICITLY state he is pleased about this?

        rhutchin
        In the rebuilding of the temple, “they observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread ….etc

        br.d
        Where does this text EXPLICITLY state sin, evil, and death could not exist unless it pleased God?

        I remember a certain bible teacher who asserted any Christian man without a butch hair cut was living in sin because Paul says: “Nature teaches it is a dishonor for a man to have long hair”.

        That’s what Calvinist hermeneutics looks like :-]

      94. br.d writes, “Where does god in this text EXPLICITLY state he is pleased about this?”

        We read in the Psalm, “God does whatever He pleases.” Then we read of God that God desired to put the sons of Eli to death. Your question is “Where does god in this text EXPLICITLY state he is pleased about this?” How explicit do you want it – “God does whatever He pleases.” Why would we think that God is not pleased to kill the sons of Eli since that was His intent?

      95. br.d
        Where does god in this text EXPLICITLY state he is pleased about this?”

        rhutchin
        We read in the Psalm, “God does whatever He pleases.”

        br.d
        DUH! The context of that verse is to affirm that God is not limited and can do whatever he wants.
        It does not state he is pleased with everything he does.

        The scripture also speaks of god’s displeasure.
        Your theory would include the deriving of pleasure out of displeasure – which is a totally sophomoric and irrational hermeneutic.
        Its also classified as Sadistic Personality Disorder

        rhutchin
        How explicit do you want it

        br.d
        EXPLICIT enough to escape fallacious hermeneutics – which is unfortunately what you have.

        rhutchin
        – “God does whatever He pleases.” Why would we think that God is not pleased to kill the sons of Eli since that was His intent?

        br.d
        See answer above.
        Who appointed you to speak for God – things that God does not speak for himself.

        Eisegesis (/ˌaɪsɪˈdʒiːsɪs/) is the process of interpreting text in such a way as to introduce one’s own presuppositions, agendas or biases. It is commonly referred to as reading into the text.

      96. br.d writes, “It does not state he is pleased with everything he does.”

        It also does not say that God is displeased with His actions. If God were displeased with any action He could take (ordain in eternity past), he is able to do otherwise and the presupposition ought to be that God does.

        Then, “The scripture also speaks of god’s displeasure.”

        The Scriptures say that God is displeased with the actions of people. If you know a Scripture that tells us God was displeased with an action He took, ow about sharing it.

      97. br.d
        “It does not state he is pleased with everything he does.”
        The scripture also speaks of god’s displeasure.
        Your theory would include the deriving of pleasure out of displeasure – which is a totally sophomoric and irrational hermeneutic.
        Its also classified as Sadistic Personality Disorder

        rhutchin
        It also does not say that God is displeased with His actions.

        br.d
        But it does say that God experiences displeasure – so you’re back to god experiencing pleasure in being displeased.

        rhutchin
        If God were displeased with any action He could take….the presupposition ought to be that God does.

        br.d
        You really need to take a course in elementary logic!
        This fallacy is called “Evidence from Absence”

        Catholic version:
        The bible doesn’t say that Mary was born without sin – the presupposition out to be that she was

        rhutchin
        The Scriptures say that God is displeased with the actions of people. If you know a Scripture that tells us God was displeased with an action He took, ow about sharing it.

        br,d
        DUH!
        (1) It is EXPLICITLY recorded in scripture that experiencing displeasure is something that God does.
        So you want him to take pleasure in doing that – and you’re back to Sadistic Personality Disorder

        (2) In Calvinism – whatever comes to pass with the creature – is what Calvin’s god does with the creature.
        Your theory has Calvin’s god taking pleasure in expressing displeasure.

        But then – since Calvinism is 90% double-think – this doesn’t surprise me at all! :-]

      98. Y’all get pretty confusing sometimes. 😉 I would suggest that God’s displeasure is with the actions of men, but the logical implication of Divine Determinism demands that he is displeased with actions he himself ordained. So, in effect, he is displeased with what he himself ordained and brought to pass. Subtle distinction, and one that the Calvinist constantly tries to distort, affirming God’s meticulous divine control over everything one minute, then asserting that man is to blame for his own evil (meticulously controlled) acts the next. ‘God alone determines whatsoever comes to pass’, and ‘man is responsible for his own sinful choices ‘ cannot both be true, but the Calvinist appears to be free from any bounds of logic.

        How silly of Calvi-god to ordain that man would do nothing but evil all day long, then be so angry at them for doing evil that he consumes them all in a flood! How silly of Calvi-god to ordain that Israel would be stiff-necked and rebellious, then constantly express his displeasure at their stiff-neckedness and rebellion; and even try to punish them into repentance! Silly Calvi-god, how can man ever turn from what he has decreed must be?

        Calvinism, or Divine Determinism, requires a foolish God, who condemns with one hand what he ordains and brings irresistibly to pass with the other. And he peevishly blames the poor dupes who only do what he ordains and wills. ‘You, oh man, will burn for being hopelessly sinful’. Er, didn’t he (supposedly) curse the poor wretch to be born sinful and not offer him any escape from such an estate? Silly, silly Calvi-god.

      99. TS00 writes, ‘‘God alone determines whatsoever comes to pass’, and ‘man is responsible for his own sinful choices ‘ cannot both be true, but the Calvinist appears to be free from any bounds of logic.”

        The death of Christ disproves this. “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur.”

      100. Exactly right!
        He AUTHORS [X] – and does not permit [NOT X] – and then holds the creature accountable for [X].

        Logic tells us – Calvin’s god CANNOT RENDER-CERTAIN both [X] and [NOT X] because one negates the other.
        He can only RENDER-CERTAIN one of them.

        This is why Peter Van Inwagen in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will writes:
        “Determinism may now be defined: it is the thesis that there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future.”

        Therefore Calvin’s god RENDERS-CERTAIN Adam’s sin – and does not permit Adam to NOT sin.

        This is like a father locking his daughter in a closet and then punishing her for being in the closet.

      101. br.d writes, ‘Therefore Calvin’s god RENDERS-CERTAIN Adam’s sin – and does not permit Adam to NOT sin.”

        Yet, God provides for Adam to pursue his desire.

        Then, “This is like a father locking his daughter in a closet and then punishing her for being in the closet.”

        You are not good at examples. It should be, “”This is like a father locking his daughter in a closet and telling her not to do X even though he knows she desires to do X and then punishing her for doing X while in the closet.”

      102. br.d
        Therefore Calvin’s god RENDERS-CERTAIN Adam’s sin – and does not permit Adam to NOT sin.”

        rhutchin
        Yet, God provides for Adam to pursue his desire.

        br.d
        A Calvinist can tell the truth up to a point – but a lie by omission is still a lie.
        Calvin’s god AUTHORS all creaturely attributes – and doesn’t permit otherwise.

        Then, “This is like a father locking his daughter in a closet and then punishing her for being in the closet.”

        rhutchin
        You are not good at examples. It should be, “”This is like a father locking his daughter in a closet and telling her not to do X even though he knows she desires to do X and then punishing her for doing X while in the closet.”

        br.d
        Actually I the example perfectly!
        Your version was just lying by omission. :-]

      103. br.d writes, ‘(1) It is EXPLICITLY recorded in scripture that experiencing displeasure is something that God does.”

        Fine. Just cite the Scripture to which you refer. We know that God is displeased with the actions of people. However, we need the Scripture you reference where God is displeased with His actions.

      104. br.d
        (1) It is EXPLICITLY recorded in scripture that experiencing displeasure is something that God does.”

        rhutchin
        Fine. Just cite the Scripture to which you refer. We know that God is displeased with the actions of people. However, we need the Scripture you reference where God is displeased with His actions.

        br.d
        You’re not getting it
        Being displeases is something God can *DO*.
        Your theory has God taking pleasure in *DOING IT* (i.e. being displeased).

        And secondly – Calvin’s god being displeased with the actions he MAKES others DO is simply Calvin’s god being displeased with what he himself DOES.

        So your theory becomes even more twisted – Calvin’s god taking pleasure in being displeased with what he himself did.

      105. br.d writes, “So your theory becomes even more twisted – ”

        br.d could not find Scripture to support his claims, so he loses it.

      106. br.d
        You’re not getting it
        Being displeases is something God can *DO*.
        Your theory has God taking pleasure in *DOING IT* (i.e. being displeased).

        And secondly – Calvin’s god being displeased with the actions he MAKES others DO is simply Calvin’s god being displeased with what he himself DOES.

        So your theory becomes even more twisted – Calvin’s god taking pleasure in being displeased with what he himself did.

        rhutchin
        br.d could not find Scripture to support his claims, so he loses it.

        br.d
        Too funny!
        The Calvinist makes a claim which turns out to be fallacious and then asserts someone else makes a claim.
        Burden of proof always rests on the initial claim – not the one who showed that claim to be silly and absurd :-]

      107. Another thing you’ll find with Calvinists – (and its especially pronounced with Hutch) is Double-Speak.

        Calvinists explicitly claim to reject certain things – but when you scrutinize their statements you find they use a ton of highly subtle language tricks to SNEAK those things – right back into their system.

        – any decree whatsoever of creaturely autonomy
        – “mere” permission
        – divine foreknowledge via observation

        Their system is full of self-contradictions – which they’ve historically tried on people and gotten caught.
        And when they get caught – they simply learn how to reword statements to better cloak the contradiction.

      108. Eric – if you haven’t see this video – its worth checking it out

        Even an atheist can see through Calvinism’s world of incoherence

        Calvinism is intrinsically irrational

      109. br.d writes, ‘Somehow the link didn’t get populated:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5hrTkrd1JI

        This is Dan Coutney’s critique of Dr. James Anderson’s view of Original Sin and the question of Why Adam sinned. No one, not even the Calvinist, says that the Scriptures tell us why Adam sinned, so all theories on this are speculative.

      110. rhutchin
        This is Dan Coutney’s critique of Dr. James Anderson’s view of Original Sin and the question of Why Adam sinned. No one, not even the Calvinist, says that the Scriptures tell us why Adam sinned, so all theories on this are speculative.

        br.d
        BING!
        Theories and speculations presented without hesitation – YUP he’s following John Calvin’s example alright! :-]

      111. Eric Kemp writes, “You keep assuming that God is pleased to determine all things. Why are you assuming that? ”

        First we have the Psalm, “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” and “Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.”

        What is covered by “whatever”? Paul in Ephesians, “God works all things after the counsel of His will” As a subset of this, in Romans, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.” The assumption is that Ephesians and Romans help us to understand the Psalms. To this,we can add a multitude of verses that also describe things that God has does or will do. That is a standard exegetical method. So, you need only discover one thing that God has not determined to cause us to see if we have misunderstood the point made first in the Psalms.and then reinforced elsewhere in the Scriptures.

        Then, “…you make a logical deduction they mean “God does all things”, and then tell me the passage means “God does all things”. But the Bible never says that. ”

        To say, “God works all things,” means the same as “God determines all things.” If we say that God does all things, then we recognize God’s rule over secondary forces. Thus, God determined that Christ should die and accomplished this through the Romans and Jews. You are free to offer an alternative rendering of “God works…”

        Then, “I take the Scriptures to say God is doing the specific things it says He is doing. You’re adding things to the Scriptures that God does, namely, “all things”. And you expect not to have to defend that claim?”

        The claim is, “God works all things after the counsel of His will.” The Greek is, “panta energountov,” and it can be translated as “works all” or “works all things.” I don’t see how I am adding, “all things,” to the Scriptures. However, if you want to argue that point, do so.

        Then, “You’re getting salty about being asked the question?”

        If I am getting “Salty” it is only because you claimed to be able to argue the point that God does not determine all things and have not lived up to your claim.

      112. Hutch, “If I am getting “Salty” it is only because you claimed to be able to argue the point that God does not determine all things and have not lived up to your claim.”

        Every new sentence you write commits an informal logical fallacy. This one is a moving the goalposts and a red herring. I was asking YOU to defend YOUR positive claim which you became incensed at being asked about.

        “First we have the Psalm, “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” and “Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.””

        This is a begging the question fallacy where you have already been asked, twice, how “does what he pleases” means “pleases to determine all things” and you have twice now ignored the question and re-asserted the question begging statement as if you’d never been asked about it.

        “So, you need only discover one thing that God has not determined to cause us to see if we have misunderstood the point made first in the Psalms.and then reinforced elsewhere in the Scriptures.”

        A single example of this, a theme found all over the Bible where God distances himself from the choices of his nation, “and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind”, Jer 19:5.

        “To say, “God works all things,” means the same as “God determines all things.””

        This is another begging the question. Things are not true just because you say they are, Hutch. In order to be doing exegesis, you would have to actually SHOW that “work” = “determined”, not just start by assuming your conclusion.

        Further, it’s almost like you assume there were not any words in the Greek that Paul could have used to mean “determine” (hint: there are) but decided to use a decidedly un-deterministic word like “work” as if there is something outside of Himself that God is working with really not cause Paul likes to be confusing, apparently.

        “The claim is, “God works all things after the counsel of His will.” The Greek is, “panta energountov,” and it can be translated as “works all” or “works all things.” I don’t see how I am adding, “all things,” to the Scriptures.”

        This is being deliberately obtuse, cause I know full well you understood my point. Which is this; you are quoting passages that says “God does these sets of things specifically named”, particularly, “works in all things that happen for his purposes”. Yet you are claiming it means “God determines every thing that happens”. That’s simply not what it says and the only thing you can do is continue to beg the question that it does.

      113. indeed it is…but somehow it never seems to make a difference.

        Logic and Scripture are on your side Eric but ……

      114. FOH
        Logic and Scripture are on your side Eric but ……

        br.d
        Right on FOH! Calvinists ignore logic – because of the human ego refuses to give up its thrown.

      115. FOH writes:
        “indeed it is…but somehow it never seems to make a difference.

        Logic and Scripture are on your side Eric but ……”

        . . . when you can ignore the actual statements of scripture and pretend like it says something else,
        . . . when you can employ euphemisms so you can have your cake and eat it too,
        . . . when you can bounce back and forth from one assertion to its polar opposite,
        . . . when you can hold two irreconcilable beliefs at the same time,
        . . . when you can adjust your definitions on demand,
        . . . when you can make Calvinism mean whatever you want it to at the moment,

        . . . it’s pretty hard to have a logical discussion.

      116. The looking glass of Calvinist language

        CALVINIST (i.e., Humpty Dumpty)
        “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

        ALICE
        “The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

        CALVINIST (i.e., Humpty Dumpty)
        “The question is, which is to be master—that’s all.”

      117. One might just pin this quote, due to the constant use of word games present. Some appear to believe they can ignore all rules of logic, along with those of the English language, borrow the very words of scripture, then pull fabricated claims out of the magic hat. Such were the tactics of Humpty Dumpty, who brazenly refused to be restricted to commonly agreed upon meanings of words, upon which all meaningful communication is grounded. With such tools, one is always right, inventing new definitions or grabbing a euphemism to deny earlier, contradictory statements. Minus sound logic and consistent definitions, words have no meaning, turning the Word of God into a playground for deceivers.

      118. Eric Kemp writes, “I was asking YOU to defend YOUR positive claim which you became incensed at being asked about. ”

        Let’s rehears what went before:
        rhutchin: “If you can legitimately take such Scripture to say that God does not determine all things, do so.””
        Eric Kemp:”Sure, I can.

        So, now you realize you have nothing and will focus on getting me to defend my position. That’s fine.

      119. rhutchin: “First we have the Psalm, “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” and “Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.””
        Eric Kemp: “This is a begging the question fallacy where you have already been asked, twice, how “does what he pleases” means “pleases to determine all things” and you have twice now ignored the question and re-asserted the question begging statement as if you’d never been asked about it. ”

        We established that God does as He pleases. So, no issue there. Now, we cite Paul, “God works all things after the counsel of His will.” To say, “God works all things” is to say that God determines all things. To say “after the counsel of His will” is to say that God does as He pleases. Instead of begging the question, I accept the statement of the Psalms, “God does as He pleases,” I don’t see an issue with that. Your issue seems to be my association of the Psalms with Ephesians.

        Then, “In order to be doing exegesis, you would have to actually SHOW that “work” = “determined”, not just start by assuming your conclusion.”

        The translations have “works all things or everything,” (common trans), “accomplishes all things,” (NET), “makes everything work out.” (NLT), “does all things,” (BBE), “God always does what he plans,” (CEV), “All things are done according to God’s plan and decision;” (GNT), “who does everything that he wills to do,” (ISV), “which makes everything work the way he intends.'” (GOD’S WORD trans). If you don’t like the word, “determine,” then elt’s use the various translations that have been offered. I see no difference between the meaning given in those translations and “determine.”

        Paul could have used a different Greek word, but chose to use a stronger term. The term, “ergon,” leaves no doubt that it is God who is the active agent bringing all things about. That God works all things tells us that God is responsible for all that happens.

        Then, ‘you are quoting passages that says “God does these sets of things specifically named”, particularly, “works in all things that happen for his purposes”. Yet you are claiming it means “God determines every thing that happens”. That’s simply not what it says and the only thing you can do is continue to beg the question that it does. ”

        This is no more than your personal opinion. You are presupposing a definition of “determine,” that you are hiding from us. I simply equate “determine” to “works” to say that God works all things,” means that “God determines all things.” Thus, if we say that God determines who is saved, we mean that God works out who is saved (according to the counsel of His will).

        The verse is straightforward in establishing God’s involvement in all things and being the final arbiter of all that happens. You seem to have problems with this.

      120. br.d
        John Calvin created a PRIVATE definition for the term…..The STANDARDIZED definition is from the Latin: “permettere”
        Defined as: To let pass, to let go, to let loose, to give up, to hand over, to allow, or to grant.
        Prior to the Latin – we have the Greek άδεια which means “to give license.”

        br.d
        May 14, 2019 at 7:50 pm
        A simple way to DECODE it is to simply replace the term with CAUSE/AUTHOR/RENDER-CERTAIN.

        rhutchin
        May 15, 2019 at 7:43 am
        The non-Calvinists use “permit” in a different sense. Get them to use it correctly – in the manner you note.

        rhutchin
        May 15, 2019 at 1:48 pm
        Calvinists use the standard definition.

        br.d
        This is easily shown to be FALSE
        If TRUE – Calvin would not have not had to create a qualified form – which he called “mere” permission.

        Calvin knew that nowhere in the STANDARDIZED language is “permitted” defined as CAUSED.

        Take this proposition for example
        “SOT101 permitted rhutchin to post comments”

        It is totally fallacious to interpret this as SOT101 CAUSED rhutchin to post comments.

        rhutchin
        The verbs used to define “permettere” are action verbs, “God lets,” “God gives up,” God grants.” It puts God in charge meaning that God is the ACTIVE CAUSE; nothing is “permitted,” unless God decides to permit..

        br.d
        Its easy to see where this argument is fallacious
        Everyone knows there is a difference between CAUSE and permit.

        rhutchin
        The non-Calvinist focuses on “allow” as if it carries a meaning of lesser involvement than the other terms. It doesn’t and you don’t even try to defend the non-Calvinist position.

        br.d
        FALSE
        Its not a matter of focus – its a matter of STANDARDIZED definitions which become STANDARDIZED usage within language.

        CONCLUSION:
        Calvinists already have the word CAUSE – which they can use without producing deceptive equivocations.
        Calvinists know how people use the term “permit” within STANDARDIZED language.

        The reason Calvinists use “permit” in statements while they PRIVATELY mean CAUSE – is obvious.
        It allows them to SNEAK in a camouflaged form of “mere” permission

      121. br.d writes, “It is totally fallacious to interpret this as SOT101 CAUSED rhutchin to post comments.”

        That’s because SOT101 is not God and does not give me life nor makes me in His image nor rules over me. At the same time, like God, SOT101 could prevent me posting comments.

      122. br.d
        It is totally fallacious to interpret this as SOT101 CAUSED rhutchin to post comments.”

        rhutchin
        That’s because SOT101 is not God and does not give me life nor makes me in His image nor rules over me. At the same time, like God, SOT101 could prevent me posting comments.

        br.d
        Thus confirming that the STANDARDIZED definition and usage of “permit” was never intended to represent (be defined) as CAUSE

        John Calvin decided to NOT use the word “FATE” because of the baggage the word carries.
        Its obvious that for Calvin the term “permit” also carries baggage – which Calvin called “odious” (i.e. repulsive).

        He should have stopped using this word altogether – just like he stopped using the word “Fate”

        Instead he created a PRIVATE definition for “permit” to make it mean CAUSE.

        However no one adopts Calvinist definition – replacing the word CAUSE in sentences with the word “permit”.
        Because doing so creates equivocation.

        Therefore:
        Defining “permit” to mean CAUSE is a PRIVATE practice – exclusive to Calvinism.
        Thus it meets the criteria from being a PRIVATE interpretation.

      123. rhutchin
        This is what Calvinism says….etc

        br.d
        What Calvinism obfuscates is the important thing.
        The language is designed to give it an acceptable appearance.

      124. br.d writes, “John Calvin
        -qoute
        Men can deliberately do nothing unless He INSPIRE it…”

        rhutchin
        I found a fuller citation to be, ““But where it is a matter of men’s counsels, wills, endeavours, and exertions, there is greater difficulty in seeing how the providence of God rules here too, so that nothing happens but by His assent and THAT MEN CAN DELIBERATELY DO NOTHING UNLESS HE INSPIRE IT” It is cited from “Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God.

        br.d
        Good – I’m glad you found it.
        I found the citation from within the book “Is God the Author of Sin?” by Timothy Zebell
        Zebell lists the citation of Calvin’s statement as being on page 171-172 of “Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God”

        rhutchin
        However, I have copies of that document and none of my searches turned up this passage. It sounds like something Calvin might write, but I think it has been divorced from context. Did br.d actually read this or was he just quote mining??

        br.d
        It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand Calvin’s statement.
        And the fact that Calvin contradicts himself in another statement – what else is new!

        The primary characteristic of Calvinism is self-contradiction. :-]

      125. Whenever I read Calvin’s Institutes, even when I was still in camp, I always got the impression that he was a wily, master of prevarication. He deliberately crafted his words to give himself plenty of wiggle room, and plausible deniability. Very untrustworthy.

      126. TS00
        Whenever I read Calvin’s Institutes, even when I was still in camp, I always got the impression that he was a wily, master of prevarication. He deliberately crafted his words to give himself plenty of wiggle room, and plausible deniability. Very untrustworthy.

        br.d
        Exactly!
        Calvin was not a theologian by training – he was trained as a lawyer.

        Remember the lawyer who tempted Jesus?
        His strategy was to prevaricate on the meaning of the word “neighbor”.

        John Calvin was just following that lawyers practice!

        You are very astute to see all of the equivocations and weasel language in Calvinist writing.
        They constantly evade telling the truth – the whole truth – and nothing but the truth.
        And yes I agree – this makes Calvinist language untrustworthy.

        But that is also their image of god.
        He says one thing and secretly means the opposite.

      127. br.d writes, “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand Calvin’s statement.”

        If, indeed, Calvin did say it. I did not find it in the document noted by Zebell. You, like an obedient sheep, just accept it and move on.

      128. br.d
        It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand Calvin’s statement.”

        rhutchin
        If, indeed, Calvin did say it. I did not find it in the document noted by Zebell. You, like an obedient sheep, just accept it and move on.

        br.d
        Now that’s an excellent example of reverse attribution.

        When you see me following Calvin – believing the THEOS determines everything in every part – and at the same time going about my office *AS-IF* that is false – then you’ll know I’m an obedient sheep accepting it and moving on.

        Until then – I’m having fun watching Calvinists here to do that. :-]

      129. br.d writes, “Now that’s an excellent example of reverse attribution. ”

        Meaning that br.d has no idea whether Calvin said this as he just relies on what people tell him.

      130. br.d
        “Now that’s an excellent example of reverse attribution. ”

        rhutchin
        Meaning that br.d has no idea whether Calvin said this as he just relies on what people tell him.

        br.d
        Meaning you once again attributed something to me that is actually consistent with yourself. :-]

        Now on the issue of Calvin’s quote – you said you looked in a document.
        That’s not the same thing as a book sold by an official publisher.
        If you like, you could email the document you have to Brain – and he can email it to me.
        Then I can find out the authenticity of that document
        And if its authentic – I can also perform a thorough search.

      131. I am able to verify the quote from looking at an online copy of the book.
        Calvin’s statement starts as the last sentence on page 175.
        And the sentence carries over to the top of page 176.

        You may want to verify the document you have is authentic.

      132. br.d writes, “I am able to verify the quote from looking at an online copy of the book.”

        So, how about a website?.

      133. br.d writes, “If you like, you could email the document you have to Brain – and he can email it to me.”

        I bought the book in the kindle edition off Amazon. All I need is the kindle location for the citation. on some key words on paragraphs around the citation.

      134. Sorry to say – I think Kindle page numbering is going to be way different. You’re limited to the kindle keyword search feature.

      135. br.d writes, “Sorry to say – I think Kindle page numbering is going to be way different. You’re limited to the kindle keyword search feature.”

        Exactly. So, give me some key words or phrases in surrounding paragraphs to help me get close.

      136. I posted the link for page 176
        Its in google books
        You should be able to find it easy enough.
        Again – the statement starts at the bottom of page 175 and is carried over to page 176

      137. Here is br.d’s reference citation from https://authorofsin.pressbooks.com/chapter/in-the-words-of-john-calvin/#return-footnote-28-16:

        “But where it is a matter of men’s counsels, wills, endeavours, and exertions, there is greater difficulty in seeing how the providence of God rules here too, so that nothing happens but by His assent and THAT MEN CAN DELIBERATELY DO NOTHING UNLESS HE INSPIRE IT”

        br.d wrote, “Look on the top of page 176 for the ending of the statement.

        https://books.google.com/books?id=Cpf6sWdobC0C&pg=PA175&lpg=PA175&dq=The+hand+of+God+rules+the+interior+affections&source=bl&ots=TJzS_J_GYP&sig=ACfU3U2Uxh-kCz9MMPaK9LTnMYmsnbyNJA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjIr_LllpviAhVmTt8KHbHhBDkQ6AEwAHoECAcQAQ#v=snippet&q=in%20their%20hearts%20to%20make%20them&f=false

        The bottom of page 175 for the beginning of it.”

        I did not find the cited statement in the book linked by br.d. The last sentence on pg 175 begins, “The hand of God rules the interior affections no less that it superintends exterior affections; nor would God have effected by the hand…”

        And continuing on to pg 176

        “…of man that He decreed, unless he worked in the hearts to make them will before they acted.”

        Apparently, br.d cannot read if he makes such a gross error. The citation he employs to denigrate Calvin [“John Calvin -qoute “Men can deliberately do nothing unless He INSPIRE it…”] is not valid from what I can see. It seems to be much ado about nothing. So much for br.d’s scholarship.

      138. rhutchin
        Men can deliberately do nothing unless He INSPIRE it…”] is not valid from what I can see. It seems to be much ado about nothing. So much for br.d’s scholarship.

        br.d
        One can’t find something
        And he thus auto-magically assumes that inability must be attributed to someone other than himself
        Again with the reverse attribution!

        Not only did I find this quote in the google book online – but author Timothy Zebell in his book “is god the author of sin” also found it.
        It is referenced on the website Theology in Tension.com
        It is referenced on the website “Safeguardyoursoul.com”
        it is referenced on the website “bjorkbloggen.com”

        They say most people learn something after the 3rd time.
        I wonder how many times one’s reverse attribution must manifest – before one learns from it! :-]

      139. nr.d writes, “Not only did I find this quote in the google book online…”

        How about a link to that quote from Calvin? The link you provided did not have that quote, at least not on page 175-176. There is a statement there that is somewhat like the quote you use, but your quote, regardless who attests to it (as non-Calvinists can spread false quotes), may only have been an attempt to paraphrase Calvin (and not very well).

        If you actually found the quote you have been using, how about a true link to that quote. Show us that your scholarship is accurate.

      140. rhutchin
        If you actually found the quote you have been using, how about a true link to that quote. Show us that your scholarship is accurate.

        br.d
        You are too funny!
        Step 1 (open up google web-site)
        Step 2 (Enter the following text string “john calvin,men deliberately do nothing unless he inspire it”)
        Step 3 (Review all web-references looking for search text string shown in bold)
        Step 4 (Right-click on google link to web-site and choose “OPEN IN NEW TAB”
        Step 5 (Open the web-page and search for the word “INSPIRE”)
        Step 6 (Verify the statement and its reference)

        Note:
        In 5 minutes – I found around 6 web–pages listing this statement and its reference to John Calvin
        Give it a try – it will boost your scholarship! :-]

      141. br.d originally quoted Calvin to say, “Men can deliberately do nothing unless He INSPIRE it…” I challenged that. So–
        br.d
        You are too funny!
        Step 1 (open up google web-site)
        Step 2 (Enter the following text string “john calvin,men deliberately do nothing unless he inspire it”)
        Step 3 (Review all web-references looking for search text string shown in bold)
        Step 4 (Right-click on google link to web-site and choose “OPEN IN NEW TAB”
        Step 5 (Open the web-page and search for the word “INSPIRE”)
        Step 6 (Verify the statement and its reference)
        Note:
        In 5 minutes – I found around 6 web–pages listing this statement and its reference to John Calvin.

        I followed br.d’s instructions and I did not find that quote in any of Calvin’s writings. br.d claims he saw it.

        We need a third party to go through br.d’s procedure and find the quotation from Calvin, the document in which it appears and the page number. br.d provided such earlier and I followed his link and did not see the phrase under discussion. Can anyone else find it and substantiate br.d’s claim?

      142. rhutchin: “as the Calvinist asks, “Why are not all persuaded?”
        FOH: “Some are persuaded to something and others are not. It aint rocket science.”
        Then FOH: “When Calvinists throw up the smoke screen requiring you to somehow tell them why some believe (or are persuaded) and some aren’t…. just go to the Bible.”

        Once again, we see that FOH purposely avoids giving an answer. Maybe, because he knows that God determines why one is persuaded and another is not and he does not want to admit it.

        So, FOH obfuscates and says, “So sometimes…. serving the Lord (or being persuaded, reasoned with, or convinced: all Paul’s words) seems desirable….. but sometime people see it and desire something else.” He gets close when he says, “The Bible is full of examples where God even works with people to bring them along in their choices (not just presto give them faith).” But then he retreats saying, “Remember Christ did the same ….. He performed many miracles to help people along…… ”

        Why can’t FOH give a straight answer to a simple question??

      143. heather writes, “Your example doesn’t address the idea of how we get faith….But the Bible clearly shows that faith comes through hearing the Word and believing.”

        We agree, No need to mention the obvious.

        Then, ” If you say that God has to provide the faith (for the elect), then you are right back to God condemning the unelect for something they had no control over. ”

        You are correct as Paul demonstrates, “What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”

      144. rhutchin
        You are correct…..etc

        br.d
        In other words Calvin’s god does NOT permit the creature to obey.
        And then condemns the creature for NOT obeying.

        And Calvinists want to call their twisted justice Biblical.

      145. br.d writes, “In other words Calvin’s god does NOT permit the creature to obey.
        And then condemns the creature for NOT obeying.”

        God gives people the freedom to obey if that is their desire. God does not force a person to disobey. That a person is condemned for his disobedience is because he disobeyed of his own volition. “…the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” “Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.”

      146. br.d
        In other words Calvin’s god does NOT permit the creature to obey.
        And then condemns the creature for NOT obeying.”

        rhutcnin
        God gives people the freedom to obey if that is their desire.

        br.d
        Calvinists know how to tell the truth up to a point – but a like by omission is still a lie
        ALL creaturely attributes Calvinists want to point to – are ALL determined by factors outside the creatures control.

        rhutcnin
        God does not force a person to disobey.

        br.d
        No one here is fooled by that trick either.
        *AS-IF* Calvin’s god’s decrees have no force. :-]

        rhutcnin
        That a person is condemned for his disobedience is because he disobeyed of his own volition

        br.d
        Calvinists know how to tell the truth up to a point – but a like by omission is still a lie
        ALL creaturely attributes Calvinists want to point to – are ALL determined by factors outside the creatures control.

        CONCLUSION:
        Calvin’s god does NOT permit the creature to obey.
        And then condemns the creature for NOT obeying.

        And Calvinists want to superimpose their ideas of twisted justice into the narrative of scripture

        CONCLUSION:

      147. br.d writes, “ALL creaturely attributes Calvinists want to point to – are ALL determined by factors outside the creatures control.”

        So, what attribute was not determined by factors outside the creatures control?

        Then, “Calvin’s god does NOT permit the creature to obey.”

        God normally does not restrain a person doing that which he desires. If a person wants to obey God, he can choose to obey.

      148. br.d
        ALL creaturely attributes Calvinists want to point to – are ALL determined by factors outside the creatures control.”

        rhutchin
        So, what attribute was not determined by factors outside the creatures control?

        br.d
        Elementary Math:
        Take ALL and subtract ALL and how much do you have left over :-]

        rhutchin
        God normally does not restrain a person doing that which he desires.

        br.d
        No one here is fooled by those language tricks
        Your last “restrain” statement is: – Calvin’s god restrains events already restrained.

        Calvin’s god CAN’T restrain anything he RENDERS-CERTAIN
        And anything NOT RENDERED-CERTAIN is not going to come to pass – so nothing to be restrained.

        I Wonder why Calvinists love to chase their own tails all the time. :-]

        rhutchin
        If a person wants to obey God he can choose to obey.

        br.d
        Calvinists tell the truth – but only up to a point
        But a lie by omission is still a lie.
        ALL attributes (which includes wants) are controlled by Calvin’s god.

        As Calvinist Paul Helm’s says about it:
        -quote
        Every twist and turn of each of these is under the direct control of god

        So everyone here already sees through those deceptive statements.

      149. br.d: ALL creaturely attributes Calvinists want to point to – are ALL determined by factors outside the creatures control.”
        Then: Take ALL and subtract ALL and how much do you have left over :-]

        You agree with the Calvinists that “ALL creaturely attributes…determined by factors outside the creatures control.”

      150. br.d
        ALL creaturely attributes Calvinists want to point to – are ALL determined by factors outside the creatures control.”
        Then: Take ALL and subtract ALL and how much do you have left over :-]

        rhutchin
        You agree with the Calvinists that “ALL creaturely attributes…determined by factors outside the creatures control.”

        br.d
        Calvinists are double-minded, evasive and dishonest on this point as on others.
        .
        You for example – In one post – evade trying to point Attribute-A as the CAUSE of Attribute-B
        And your next post – you try to point Attribute-B as the CAUSE of Attribute-A

        Your silly WHACK A MOLE game with creaturely attributes. :-]
        All to evade – Calvin’s god as the TRUE CAUSE/AUTHOR

        Calvinists are ensnared by their own dishonesty

  9. We have to ask ourselves why God says so many time things like “I did this so that men might know that I am…..” or when John says “Christ did these miracles the we might believe…”

    If faith was just a given-not-given thing, these kind of “I’m giving you proof” sentences are meaningless.

    Gideon: God could have (and in Calvinism would have) just given him faith —- no questions asked, irresistibly. But….nah…. God works with feeble Gideon to give him the signs he need (not imputes some given-faith). Many long scenes in the Bible just like this indicate that God does not just infuse an irresistible faith.

    Zechariah asks how can this be true? Bummer. Mute for 9 months. Why didn’t God just give him faith?

    ———–
    1 Samuel 14:10
    “But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the LORD has given them into our hands; and this shall be the sign to us.”

    God could have just given Jonathan faith but in stead He goes along with the sign idea of Jonathan.

    ———

    Exodus 4:1-9

    “Then Moses said, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.'” The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.” Then He said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent;”

    God could have just given Moses faith…. but nah…. He gives him signs to help his feeble decision-making.

    —-

    Joshua 24:17

    “For the LORD our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did these great signs in our sight and preserved us through all the way in which we went and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed.”

    Notice that Joshua does not say “The Lord who gave us faith….” No he says ….. He did great signs….in our sight!!!! That is not given-faith. That is like Paul “persuading men.”

    These were God’s “chosen people” with signs and miracles and even they did not believe …all the time. Back and forth they went. If that was the faith God “gave” them, it sure was not very efficacious!

    ———–

    Numbers 16:28-30

    “Moses said, “By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these deeds; for this is not my doing. “If these men die the death of all men or if they suffer the fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me.”

    God could have just “given them faith” but nope….. He gave them sign…. and they had to make a choice. Over and over and over.

    1. FOH writes, “We have to ask ourselves why God says so many time things like “I did this so that men might know that I am…..” or when John says “Christ did these miracles the we might believe…”

      God does these things to persuade people. So, we have to ask again, “Why are not all people persuaded?” FOH can’t seem to answer this even though he said that the answer is not rocket science. (suggesting that the answer was really simple).

      1. FOH
        We have to ask ourselves why God says so many time things like “I did this so that men might know that I am…..” or when John says “Christ did these miracles the we might believe…”

        rhutchin
        God does these things to persuade people.

        br.d
        Calvin’s god does “things” to persuade people *AS-IF* he “merely” permits “things” to persuade people.

        Calvinists and their “fully orbed” system of double-speak – what a hoot! :-]

      2. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god does “things” to persuade people *AS-IF* he “merely” permits “things” to persuade people.”

        God’s elect are persuaded as-if God knew that they would be persuaded. The reprobate are not persuaded, because God offers no direct help (regeneration) to such persuasion as He does for His elect.

      3. br.d
        Calvin’s god does “things” to persuade people *AS-IF* he “merely” permits “things” to persuade people.”

        rhutchin
        God’s elect are persuaded *AS-IF* God knew that they would be persuaded.

        br.d
        And you think you are a rational thinker!
        Too funny! :-]

        I suspect this was another attempt to SNEAK in a camouflaged form of foreknowledge via observation.

        rhutchin
        The reprobate are not persuaded, because God offers no direct help (regeneration) to such persuasion as He does for His elect.

        br.d
        OOOOH! The super religious jargon! :-]

        I just cut to the chase – and acknowledge Calvin’s god RENDERS-CERTAIN every neurological impulse.
        Trying to call that process “persuasion” is simply an attempt to SNEAK in “mere” permission – in camouflaged form.

        But I get that doing that SNEAKING those things in – is necessary for the Calvinist to appear biblical! :-]

  10. CALVINISM’S PRIVATE INTERPRETATION OF “PERMISSION” LANGUAGE

    rhutchin
    May 14, 2019 at 10:20 am
    [Calvinists] boldly reject “mere” permission”
    That is because God is sovereign and necessarily rules His creation.

    rhutchin
    May 14, 2019 at 2:06 pm
    God initiates some actions…….and for want of a better term, permits, other actions.

    br.d
    May 14, 2019 at 7:50 pm
    Its not hard to see how deceptive Calvinists can get with their use of “permission” language.
    A simple way to DECODE it is to simply replace the term with CAUSE/AUTHOR/RENDER-CERTAIN.”

    rhutchin
    May 15, 2019 at 7:43 am
    The non-Calvinists use “permit” in a different sense. Get them to use it correctly – in the manner you note.

    br.d
    The STANDARDIZED definition is from the Latin: “permettere”
    Defined as: To let pass, to let go, to let loose, to give up, to hand over, to allow, or to grant.
    Prior to the Latin – we have the Greek άδεια which means “to give license”

    Equivocation is a logical fallacy that relies on *IMPLICILTY* alternating between the different meanings a single word can have.

    Paul: “Except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken?”.

    Jesus: “Let your communications be yea yea or nay nay – for anything else comes of evil”.

  11. br.d
    “It is totally fallacious to interpret this as SOT101 CAUSED rhutchin to post comments.”

    rhutchin
    That’s because SOT101 is not God and does not give me life nor makes me in His image nor rules over me.

    br.d
    And this is where Calvinism’s PRIVATE definition for the term “permit” comes from – based upon their EXCLUSIVE doctrine.
    But that doctrine is EXCLUSIVE to – and found ONLY in Calvinism
    And that is what makes it a PRIVATE interpretation.

    rhutchin
    At the same time, like God, SOT101 could prevent me posting comments.

    br.d
    Now see how the Calvinist needs to SNEAK in a camouflaged form of Libertarian Free will

    In a Libertarian Free world there is no LOGICAL conundrum with the THEOS preventing an event.

    But its a LOGIC IMPOSSIBILITY for Calvin’s god to alter/change/prevent an event that he has made IMMUTABLE.
    The only event he can alter/change/prevent is one that is NOT RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass.
    And that event wasn’t ever going to come to pass in the first place – and thus nothing to alter/change/prevent

    The Calvinist obviously needs some form of Libertarian Free will – to APPEAR biblical. :-]

  12. LEARNING CALVINIST TALKING-POINTS IN THE PRISON CELL OF THEOLOGICAL DETERMINISM

    In the prison cell of Theological Determinism – prisoners learn Calvinist talking-points.

    Here are just a few:
    1) God did not force or coerce you to be here – you’re just not permitted to be anywhere else.

    2) You’re free to go anywhere you desire – you’re just not permitted to desire anything else.

    3) You’re here because of your attributes – you’re just not permitted any other attributes.

    4) You believe it true – the THEOS is the ORIGIN and CAUSE – but live and speak AS-IF it is false.

    1. br.d writes, “In the prison cell of Theological Determinism – prisoners learn Calvinist talking-points.
      Here are just a few:
      1) God did not force or coerce you to be here – you’re just not permitted to be anywhere else.
      2) You’re free to go anywhere you desire – you’re just not permitted to desire anything else.
      3) You’re here because of your attributes – you’re just not permitted any other attributes.
      4) You believe it true – the THEOS is the ORIGIN and CAUSE – but live and speak AS-IF it is false.”

      1. God does ordain the time and place of a person’s birth and this without consulting the person.
      2. God gives a person freedom to be anything or go anywhere consistent with the person’s desires.
      3. You live because God gave you life and sustains your life from day to day. God creates a person with specific attributes (people do not have wings; not all are Einsteins). Some things just cannot be changed – as Jeremiah argued, ““Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.”
      4. People know the truth but have been deceived to believe a lie. Thus, Romans 1, “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”

      1. rhutchin writes:
        “People know the truth but have been deceived to believe a lie.”

        Once again, utterly inconsistent and logically impossible. If one ‘knows the truth’ one cannot be ‘deceived to believe a lie’. Being deceived to believe a lie is the same as not knowing what is true. But of course the Calvinist seeks to avoid any mention of the free choice man here makes to embrace a lie. It is very tempting to point to the quoted statement as a clear example of this.

        The real premise of Romans 1 – I am amazed any Calvinist would dare to quote such a blatant discounting of his own theology – is that man knows the truth and deliberately chooses to ignore it. He lives as if the lie is true, but he knows that it is not. This is the only reason scripture can affirm that he is without excuse. Were he deceived, as for example Eve was, he would be without blame. But knowing wrong, and pursuing it anyway, as Adam did, is sin.

        Man only becomes hopelessly deceived, and totally depraved upon repeatedly ignoring the truth, as revealed by the Spirit of Truth, and determinedly embracing its opposite. Eventually the Spirit of Truth will no longer even be heard, and God will abandon him to his obstinate choice to resist the Truth. Such a person is capable of the most heinous evil, as his conscience is completely seared, and truth can no longer enter into his decisions.

      2. TS00 writes, ‘The real premise of Romans 1… is that man knows the truth and deliberately chooses to ignore it.”

        Romans 1 deals with those who “who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,” It further says, ‘even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Then, “they exchanged the truth of God for a lie.” Where did this “lie” come from and what basis would they have for believing a lie over the truth. It is Satan who, “is a liar, and the father of lies.” We know that, “Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” You say that man does all that is described in Romans 1 on his own. I say he has help – Satan, the father of the lie that people believe.

        Then, ‘Were he deceived, as for example Eve was, he would be without blame. ”

        Eve was innocent and did not have a sin nature. The people described in Romans 1 have a sin nature and are not innocent – they are wicked. They are living a lie as they – “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” of the sin nature. They are everything Romans 3 describes them to be.

        Then, ‘Man only becomes hopelessly deceived, and totally depraved upon repeatedly ignoring the truth,”

        In Ephesians 2, Paul describes what believers were before God quickened them, “you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Then he says, “I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;”

        It is because man is hopelessly deceived, and totally depraved that he ignores the truth.

      3. Rhutchin quotes Romans 1, then again ignores, or utterly twists, what it says.
        But let’s not pick and choose selectively. Read the entire passage, which makes it even more obvious:

        18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; 21 for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.

        24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

        26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

        28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. 29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.

        None of these verses, in any way, shape or form suggest that the depraved people described are deceived. Indeed, it states the exact opposite specifically, repeatedly, I have pointed this out to this commenter multiple times, so it is not as if this is new territory. Let’s just list a few of the descriptions that prove without question that this passage is not talking about deceived men:

        by their wickedness suppress the truth
        For what can be known about God is plain to them
        his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived
        So they are without excuse, for . . . they knew God
        they exchanged the truth about God for a lie
        Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die

        None of these phrases describe a person who is deceived, contrary to Calvinism’s major premise of God-cursed Total Depravity. People are not totally depraved because they are cursed by God and unable to discern truth, but because they reject and suppress the truth that God has made clear to them. They open themselves up to increasing error and darkness of the soul because they suppress the truth that they know. And eventually, the God who respects the free choices of men, abandons them to their chosen folly.

        I have rarely seen such blatant twisting of words. One might justly call it exchanging the truth for a lie.

      4. TS00 writes, “None of these verses, in any way, shape or form suggest that the depraved people described are deceived.”

        v25 says, “…they exchanged the truth of God for a lie…” If one exchanges the truth for a lie, he has been deceived. It is very easy to deceive a depraved person because he wants to believe a lie. For depraved people, “that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them….” so what happened? We see that “their foolish heart was darkened.,,,” Darkened by what? To think that depraved people are not deceived is naive in my opinion.

      5. Someone ignored everything I spelled out in my former comment. Being deceived and deliberately suppressing what one knows is true are two distinctly, incompatible events. When one is deceived, they are led to believe something is true which is not. When one knows the truth and suppresses it, that is an entirely different concept.

      6. TS00 writes, “Being deceived and deliberately suppressing what one knows is true are two distinctly, incompatible events.”

        I agree. My point is that being deceived can precipitate one’s suppressing the truth. Absent a deception, what reason would a person have for suppressing the truth?

        Then, ‘When one is deceived, they are led to believe something is true which is not. When one knows the truth and suppresses it, that is an entirely different concept.”

        Agreed. However, in order to suppress one truth, one must think there is a greater truth that takes precedence. This opens the door for deception.

      7. br.d
        In the prison cell of Theological Determinism – prisoners learn Calvinist talking-points.
        Here are just a few:
        1) God did not force or coerce you to be here – you’re just not permitted to be anywhere else.
        2) You’re free to go anywhere you desire – you’re just not permitted to desire anything else.
        3) You’re here because of your attributes – you’re just not permitted any other attributes.
        4) You believe it true – the THEOS is the ORIGIN and CAUSE – but live and speak AS-IF it is false.

        rhutchin
        1. God does ordain …….etc.
        2. God gives a person freedom to be anything or go anywhere consistent with the person’s desires.
        3. You live because God gave you life….etc

        br.d
        Thank you for providing further examples of the Calvinist talking-points
        Especially (4) :-]

      8. Calvinism declares that God alone is the sovereign determining force in whatsoever comes to pass in his creation. Leighton’s post says it succinctly. All of the deflections to ‘desires’ or secondary means are just attempts to avoid confronting the legitimate charge of the injustice of the Calvinist scheme. It is this indisputable injustice that always dooms Calvinism in the court of public opinion. Hence the dissimulation, hedging and not quite forthright explanations one nearly always encounters when interacting with Calvinists.

        Calvin well knew what the response would be to his proposal of predestination, which inevitably entails a horrible decree of reprobation. There is no escape from this horrible decree, in more ways than one. Let us hear it from the horse’s mouth, as found in Calvin’s Institutes:

        “If such a barren invention is accepted [that Adam sinned because he had free choice], where will the omnipotence of God be whereby he regulates all things according to his secret plan, which depends solely upon itself? Yet predestination, whether they [the objectors] will [admit it] or not, manifests itself in Adam’s posterity. For it did not take place by reason of nature that, by the guilt of one parent, all were cut off from salvation . . . . Scripture proclaims that all mortals were bound over to eternal death in the person of one man [Adam] (cf. Rom. 5:12 ff.). Since this cannot be ascribed to nature, it is perfectly clear that it has come forth from the wonderful plan of God . . . . Again I ask: whence does it happen that Adam’s fall irremediably involved so many peoples, together with their infant offspring, in eternal death unless because it so pleased God? . . . The decree is horrible indeed, I confess. Yet no one can deny that God foreknew what end man was to have before he created him, and consequently foreknew because he so ordained by his decree . . . . And it ought not to seem absurd for me to say that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his descendants, but also meted it out in accordance with his own decision. For it pertains to his wisdom to foreknow everything that is to happen, so it pertains to his might to rule and control everything by his hand.”

        If you call yourself a Calvinist, read these words again and again until you grasp their meaning. There is little leeway in understanding Calvin, nor is it possible to excise any of his more unpalatable teachings, as all are essential for the system of Divine Determinism to stand. If God unconditionally chooses who will be saved, based on nothing to do with the individuals themselves, then it is unavoidably true that he also unconditionally chooses who will be damned, based on nothing to do with the individuals themselves.

        Much as Calvinists try to sneak it in, one simply cannot blame a man’s damnation upon his own choices. God has chosen who he will save and who he will not, and so it will unchangeably be. All intervening events, all desires, choices or sins are simply secondary means determined by God to bring forth his ordained end. No man, woman or child ever can or will do anything apart from the predetermining decree of God. There is no avoiding this conclusion. And yet, when confronted with these facts by opponents, Calvinist after Calvinist dances around the truth, desperately afraid to admit what cannot be denied.

        One can engage in disputable debates over minute details all day long, but it does not change the most pertinent facts. Under Calvinism, God, and God alone, has determined, in eternity past, who shall be saved. There is nothing anyone can do or not do to effect or change these predeterminations. It is pure foolishness to pretend that there is any good news gospel for those whom God has not chosen to save. It is a lie to assert that Calvinism allows that Jesus provided atonement for all men, when Calvinistic predestination demands that all whom Jesus died for will unfailingly be saved, and all others will unfailingly be damned. No one is damned due to sin, but sins due to being damned.

        You want to believe such things? It is your choice to do so, but do not kid yourself that Calvinism means anything less than what is here stated. Nothing has ever shaken me to the core like realizing that spiritual leaders I once trusted had played me for a fool.

        Instead of laying out and discussing the clear meaning of Calvinistic predestination, word games were employed and salient truth denied. The only point of creating a theory called ‘compatibilism’ is to hide the hideous truth, and to appear to align with the thousands of scriptures that portray God’s love for all, his offer of grace to all and his stated desire that none perish. None of these earnest calls to repent can have any genuine meaning under Divine Determinism, but dissimulation and deflection work well to refocus attention elsewhere.

        Choose you this day, dear believer, which God you will serve. The God of Calvinism controls all things, determines the fate of all before they come into being, then pretends that his predetermined reprobation is ‘punishment’ for the very sin he irrevocably cursed men with. You may try and line this cruel, sadistic God up with the loving gracious God of scripture, but there is no similarity.

        Calvinist teachers will tell you, as they told me, that you can have it both ways. You can, they will tell you, believe that God alone predetermines and brings into being whatsoever comes to pass, and at the same time place the blame for sin and death on the individual. This is, however, as illogical and absurd as it first sounds. If God alone deserves the glory for whatsoever is good, God alone deserves the blame for whatsoever is bad.

        And when you are told, in response to your misgivings, that you MUST believe these horrible things about God because scripture asserts them, I say to you, you have the right to answer back, ‘Actually sir, that is simply one interpretation of certain verses. There are others, which I choose to look at for myself.’ This is the key to not being bullied into buying a package of goods you do not really like or need.

        The good news, my friend, is that the revelation of God to man really is good news. He truly loves you, and all men, in exactly the same way – unfailingly. His offer of forgiveness, grace and eternal life is genuine, and freely available to whosoever will believe it. All that he has done, from the very start, is for our good, that we might have life and have it more abundantly.

        Wouldn’t it be truly good news to know that the promised blessings of God are not limited to a select few? Wouldn’t it be truly good news to be able to tell everyone you meet that God loves them and desires to bestow upon them immeasurable gifts of love? Wouldn’t it be truly good news to never again have to securely lock away all thoughts of the cruelty of a God who creates men without even a chance to be free from sin and death?

        There is really only one thing one must give up in rejecting Calvinism, and that is the freedom to sin without accountability. Some will scoff, but that is the sole distinguishing benefit of Calvinism and the only reason to cling to such a hideous theology. It falsely assures men that their sins will not come into play, that their future is set, and that nothing they ever do or don’t do can threaten their eternal security.

        So there is that. You will have to put your trust in the goodness, mercy and faithfulness of God, rather than in some secret, irreversible decree, some Judaistic covenant that cannot be challenged. But I am here to tell you that he is more than worthy of your trust. He is love and goodness and truth and beauty and all that is worth living for. He is a God you can delight in without reservation, who truly desires and seeks your good. He is glorious because he is good, rather than a narcissist in perpetual need of receiving involuntary ‘glory’.

      9. Wow TS00,

        You nailed that succinctly and passionately!

        I will quote you often!

        I will add one thing to the following:

        “One can engage in disputable debates over minute details all day long, but it does not change the most pertinent facts. Under Calvinism, God, and God alone, has determined, in eternity past, who shall be saved.”

        I would simply add this (since you did say “facts”)

        One can engage in disputable debates over minute details all day long, but it does not change the most pertinent facts: Under Calvinism, God, and God alone, has determined, in eternity past, who shall be saved. God, and God alone, has determined immutably, in eternity past, every action, sin, or thought, good or bad, that any person has ever done or had.

        On another string of this blog I provided the systematic theology quote from Grudem that says that He has done this and nothing we can say or do will change it.

      10. Not caused by nature – but by Calvin’s god’s will.
        It is a barren invention…that Adam sinned because he had free choice.

        But we already know that Calvinists have a desperate need to find a way to get around these.

      11. TS00 writes, “If God unconditionally chooses who will be saved, based on nothing to do with the individuals themselves, then t is unavoidably true that he also unconditionally chooses who will be damned, based on nothing to do with the individuals themselves.”

        As Romans 9 affirms. “Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad–in order that God’s purpose in election might stand:not by works but by him who calls–she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated….So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy….So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires….”

        Then, “Calvinist teachers will tell you…You can…believe that God alone predetermines and brings into being whatsoever comes to pass, and at the same time place the blame for sin and death on the individual.”

        As Isaiah 10 affirms, “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hands is My indignation, I send it against a godless nation And commission it against the people of My fury To capture booty and to seize plunder, And to trample them down like mud in the streets. Yet it does not so intend Nor does it plan so in its heart, But rather it is its purpose to destroy, And to cut off many nations…So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.” For he has said, “By the power of my hand and by my wisdom I did this, For I have understanding; And I removed the boundaries of the peoples, And plundered their treasures, And like a mighty man I brought down their inhabitants,..Therefore the Lord, the GOD of hosts, will send a wasting disease among his stout warriors; And under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame.”

  13. In response to some questions in the comments…

    Why aren’t some people persuaded by the Gospel?

    Because they don’t want to be.

    And does saying that people can make a choice about Him mean that whether we have faith or not is outside of His decree (i.e. His control, His Will)?

    No. It simply means that He has decreed to give us the right to make decisions, to choose Him or reject Him. We have a right to make decisions because He gave us the right to make decisions, even about Him. If we choose Him, it’s because He made it possible. If we don’t, it’s because He allows us to reject Him.

    Would a Calvinist say that a sovereign God can’t give us the ability to make choices, if He wanted to? That He can’t work people’s choices into His plans? Is He not big enough, wise enough, or sovereign enough to do that?

    1. Heather writes, ‘Why aren’t some people persuaded by the Gospel?
      Because they don’t want to be.”

      That’s what the Calvinist says.

      Then, ” If we choose Him, it’s because He made it possible. If we don’t, it’s because He allows us to reject Him.”

      That’s what the Calvinist says.

      Then, “Would a Calvinist say that a sovereign God can’t give us the ability to make choices if He wanted to? , ”

      No.

      Then, “That He can’t work people’s choices into His plans? Is He not big enough, wise enough, or sovereign enough to do that?”

      No and Yes.

      1. Heather ‘Why aren’t some people persuaded by the Gospel?
        Because they don’t want to be.”

        rhutchin
        That’s what the Calvinist says.

        br.d
        And what the Calvinist hides is that that occurs after Calvin’s god AUTHORS every neurological impulse – and no autonomous thoughts are permitted! :-]

        Heather
        If we choose Him, it’s because He made it possible. If we don’t, it’s because He allows us to reject Him.”

        rhutchin
        That’s what the Calvinist says.

        br.d
        And what the Calvinist hides is that that occurs after Calvin’s god AUTHORS every neurological impulse – – and no autonomous choices are permitted! :-]

        Heather
        Would a Calvinist say that a sovereign God can’t give us the ability to make choices if He wanted to? , ”

        rhutchin
        No.

        br.d
        With the tinny little caveat – that ability is determined for them by Calvin’s god – and no autonomous ability is permitted.

        Heather
        “That He can’t work people’s choices into His plans? Is He not big enough, wise enough, or sovereign enough to do that?”

        rhutchin
        No and Yes.

        br.d
        Non-Calvinist version:
        The eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. A.W. Tozer

        Calvinist version
        They can do nothing unless he worked in their hearts to *MAKE* them will before they act. (John Calvin Concerning the eternal predestination pg 175)