A More Meaningful World

The following was written by valued reader and now contributor, br.d, who has long kept the discussion going on this blog. Edited by Eric Kemp.

Dr. Flowers engaged with Dr. James White, in a YouTube presentation titled “Does God Make a Sinner Sin?” In this dialog, Dr. White presents the following argument:

“If God did not specifically determine/decree the violent rape of a specific child, at a specified time, then that girl’s violent rape would be meaningless”.

Dr. White’s argument could be classified as a “greater good theodicy”. I believe Dr. Alvin Platinga in his free-will defense (1977) in God, Freedom, and Evil provides a useful rejoinder to White’s argument that shows it to be ill founded.

Plantinga’s argument is a defense against the logical problem of evil as formulated by the philosopher J. L. Mackie beginning in 1955.  Mackie’s formulation argues that three attributes of God; omniscience, omnipotence, and omni-benevolence, in orthodox Christian theism are logically incompatible with the existence of evil.  In 1982, Mackie published his response in “The Miracle of Theism” in which he conceded that Plantinga’s defense successfully refuted his argument.

Plantinga’s successfully showed that the attributes of God, cited by Makie, are not on their own contradictory. Mackie’s claimed contradiction actually originated from an implicit and unstated assumption Mackie inadvertently brought into his claim.  What is relevant for our purposes here, are the logical conclusions of Plantinga’s rejoinder to Mackie.

A Range of Available Options

Plantinga argues: God, though omnipotent, cannot be expected to do literally anything. There are in fact things that are logically impossible even for God.  God cannot for example, create square circles or married bachelors. And if God knows a proposition to be true, it is logically impossible for that proposition to be false. Specific to our discussion here, God could not create beings free to make moral decisions between good and evil while at the same time permitting them to only make good decisions or permitting them to make only evil decisions. Freedom in a true sense would require He allow them to make both good and evil decisions. Both options must be genuinely available to the creature for the creature to be able make them. 

For Plantinga, accomplishing this is perfectly feasible in a world in which libertarian free will exists because by definition a libertarian decision involves the ability to choose an option which exists among a range of possible options – that choice being consistent with one’s nature.  This also requires that both good options and evil options be genuinely available for the creature to choose.  If, for example, evil options do not exist from which to choose, then the freedom to choose an evil option is never actualizable.  In the history of philosophical discussion, such a world has been classified as the Garden of Forking Paths Model of Alternative Possibilities.

In contrast to a world in which creatures are permitted to make libertarian decisions, Dr. James White holds to a deterministic world where freedom is defined in compatiblistic terms. This is the worldview embraced by Calvinism. Dr. James N. Anderson, of the Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte NC, in his published work Calvinism and the first sin, states the underlying proposition:

“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].” 

Dr. Anderson also states that Calvinism is committed to a compatiblist form of free will.

The deterministic world differs from the libertarian world in that libertarian freedom does not exist.  The ability to choose between a range of options – one’s choice being consistent with one’s nature – does not exist.  Neither does a range of available options from which to choose.  Peter Van Inwagen expresses this in the following statement:

“Determinism may now be defined: it is the thesis that there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future.” 


An Essay on Free Will (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), p. 3.

This then distinguishes the difference between the libertarian free world and the deterministic/compatibilist world relevant to our discussion.  With this as our foundation we can better understand the significant points within Dr. Plantinga’s argument on free will and how those points respond to Dr. White’s assertion of a “more meaningful”, or “greater good” world.

Plantinga’s More Valuable World

To preface Dr. Plantinga’s argument – it should be noted that with his use of the phrase “significantly free” – he understands this to be libertarian freedom. 

A world containing significantly free creatures is more valuable than a world containing no free creatures at all.  God can create free creatures. But even an omnipotent God can’t CAUSE free creatures to only do what is right. If he did, then they wouldn’t be significantly free.  Thus, in creating creatures capable of moral good, God must create creatures capable of moral evil.  When these creatures misuse their freedom, evil and suffering result. This fact does not count against God’s goodness or power, however, since God could prevent the occurrence of moral evil only by preventing the possibility of moral good. 

(pp. 166-167)

For our purposes here, a critical element of Plantinga’s argument is that a world containing libertarian choice is more valuable than a world in which people are CAUSED to make the choices they make – which is the case in the Deterministic world.  First, in a deterministic world, at any instant in time only one future is physically possible, only one choice is available, and thus alternative choices are not available for the creature to choose. There is not a single alternative available much less a “greater” or “more meaningful” one. Plantinga’s observation of greater value is predicated upon the greater degree of freedom to choose something that is actually greater, more meaningful. In Dr. White’s deterministic worldview, any idea of a “greater good” or “more meaningful” world in nonsense since only one physically possible future exists. 

Secondly, in the deterministic/compatiblist world, since the creature’s choice is CAUSED by factors beyond the creature’s control where God actually CAUSES the creature to make the specific choice the creature makes, there remains the question; is the creature making the choice, or is God making the choice? 

On this concern, the determinist/compatiblist will assert quite strongly his reasoning on how this constitutes the creature making a choice in a genuine sense. This argument is based mostly on the assertion that the creature is not forced to make the choice it makes. But there remains no explicit evidence to show that to be the case. And determinists acknowledge they don’t understand the mechanics of how God can CAUSE the creature to make a choice while attributing the full responsibility of that choice to the creature.  This weakness is significantly compounded when the determinist additionally attributes the full responsibility of only evil choices to the creature, while attributing only good choices to God.   This comes off as cherry-picking, cosmetic in nature, and appears to be driven by an urgency to present one’s position as consistent with morality and ethics found with the language of scripture.

Yet another question that might be asked is what Dr. White means by the term “meaningful”. Perhaps he is entertaining the nothing that a person to whom evil has been perpetrated can look back and say, “God meant this for the greater good”. But I do not find that notion consistent within Calvinist literature. For example, Jonathan Edwards states:

 “It is proper that the shining forth of God’s glory be complete; that is all parts of his glory should shine forth…thus it is necessary that God’s awful majesty, his authority and dreadful greatness, justice and holiness manifested.  But this could not be unless sin and punishment had been decreed; so that the shining forth of God’s glory would be very imperfect both because the parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the other do, and also the glory of his goodness, love and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all. “

And John Calvin writes that evils are meted out for God’s good pleasure:

“Augustine elsewhere observes: Who can refrain from trembling at those Judgments when God does according to his pleasure even in the hearts of the wicked, at the same time rendering to them according to their deeds?”

“God by his eternal and immutable counsel determined …..it was his pleasure one day to admit to salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, it was his pleasure to doom to destruction.”

And concerning the entrance of sin and evil coming into the world Calvin declares that God:

“At his own pleasure arranged it”

What is Meaningful to Adam?

In a deterministic/compatiblist world where Adam and Eve are being escorted out of the garden, and sin, evil and death have come upon them, does Adam look back with reflection, and console himself with the thought that God did this to him because it gave God some kind of pleasure, or because it gave God an opportunity to manifest more of his attributes, or perhaps to bring about some greater good? Are God’s resources limited in this world? In this world, Adam would know that God led him to believe he could obey – while God secretly knew he would not permit it, and for some reason God wanted Adam to believe a falsehood. Adam would look back and realize there was never any real possibility that he could obey. There was only one physically possible future – his choice to disobey – a choice which God determined for him. Adam would have learned there are times he can’t tell whether God is strategically leading people to believe falsehoods.  According to Dr. White, having that knowledge would make such things “meaningful” for Adam.    

Now let us contrast that to a world in which libertarian choice exists, and Adam’s choice was truly available, for him and him alone to decide.  Here God has prepared for Adam, a garden of forking paths, where Adam is permitted to choose from a range of options – his choice being consistent with his own nature.  In this world “mere” permission exists, and God truly permits Adam to obey just as much as he permits Adam to disobey and leaves the choice solely to Adam.  According to Dr. White, having that knowledge would make this world “meaningless” for Adam. 

Does anyone weighing those two options agree with Dr. White? Perhaps more importantly, for what reason is anyone compelled to agree with Dr. White? What Dr. White’s thinks is “meaningful” is subjective and based upon his urgency to maximize a good perception of his theology.

In contrast to Dr. White’s subjection evaluation of what is “meaningful”, Dr. Plantinga’s argument clearly shows a libertarian world  fully meaningful since only in a world in which options are truly available does the concept of “better” make sense.

61 thoughts on “A More Meaningful World

  1. Great Article — This dove tails with Ravi Zacharias view of the worlds God could have created. 1. Amoral world – nothing morally good or evil (only plant life) 2. A world in which “people” are forced to ONLY do what God wants all the time. 3. A world in which true morality exists authentic choice — and it is only in this World that Love can actually exist for Love requires an authentic choice. The first and the Greatest Commandment is LOVE. Which would also agree with Plantinga’s statement: “A world containing significantly free creatures is more valuable than a world containing no free creatures at all.” A world where Authentic Love for God is possible.

    1. GRACEADICT,

      It is interesting (and telling) that love does not figure anywhere into TULIP, and that’s a really big red flag that it isn’t Biblical.

      There have been a lot of internet news stories recently on the topic of artificial intelligence and robot companions for sex hungry men and emotionally starved women. I cringe to think about what kind of mental processes would lead anyone to consider such a thing; it is utterly undignified and degrading. Yet it seems a striking parallel to the god of calvinism, for his elect seem little more than robots with no will but to love him and do his bidding. As in the Book of Job, couldn’t Satan laugh in God’s face if this were reality?

      The only way I can contemplate and consider such a distasteful thing is the confidence of knowing that this is not the God of Scripture.

      1. Tandt, I totally agree that love basically doesn’t figure into Calvinism at all.

        I couldn’t figure out why my Calvinist pastor was so enthusiastic about missions – until I read some old articles of his and found out his reason for missions. His whole goal behind missions and evangelizing is to “make God famous” because, according to him, God’s basically sole goal is to be famous among the people, to glorify Himself. So my pastor’s reason for evangelizing is to make God famous.

        In all that he wrote about why he believes in missions, there was NOT ONE WORD of sharing God’s love with and for the people, of sharing the wonderful truth of Jesus dying on the cross for them, or of letting them know of the forgiveness God offers to them. It was only about making God famous. And calling people to repent, which is weird because he doesn’t believe in altar calls. So how can you call people to repent without even offering them the chance to decide to repent? He says his reason for not doing altar calls is so that people don’t mistakenly believe that walking the aisle saved them. But I know that’s not true. He doesn’t believe in altar calls because he doesn’t want people thinking they have a choice about Jesus. (Besides, isn’t it the pastor’s job to explain to people after they reach the front that walking the aisle didn’t save them, but that their choice to put their faith in Jesus is what saves them? Of course, a Calvinist pastor can’t say this though, so they just avoid the altar calls altogether. They don’t want people thinking that they have some sort of ability to respond to the call, to accept Jesus. Because that would mean salvation is a choice.)

        It makes me sad to think about the twisted, half-Gospel he is spreading through his missions work. He is leaving out all mention of God’s love, of Jesus’s sacrifice for all sins, of forgiveness and grace that are available for the taking, of the relationship God wants to have with us. (A Calvinist is not about God’s love for us or God wanting a relationship with us. They are only about God using us to get more glory for Himself, even if it means, as they believe, causing us to sin or causing us to go to hell.)

        I don’t care what else a Calvinist gets right; if he gets this wrong then it’s all wrong. Sure, he is “making God famous,” but for all the wrong reasons and at the expense of truth and God’s character! So wrong and such a shame! I feel bad for those he’s evangelizing to. What a twisted view of God they are getting and what a huge part of truth they are missing out on.

      2. Heather interesting the articles you must have read, “I couldn’t figure out why my Calvinist pastor was so enthusiastic about missions – until I read some old articles of his and found out his reason for missions. His whole goal behind missions and evangelizing is to “make God famous” because, according to him, God’s basically sole goal is to be famous among the people, to glorify Himself. So my pastor’s reason for evangelizing is to make God famous.”

        Reggie, this is insightful, because more and more people seem to be okay with this complimentary closing of a letter “for ther frame of Jesus” or something like that What! doesn’t that sound suspect?? I mean if that is what He wanted when He was hear then those whose hearts wanted an overthrow of the Roman government surely would have received their hearts desire!! Yet that is not what happened!!! It’s a heart condition that we as humans have and God’s gift is accessible to all as you say!! That is why this site is so helpful in exposing the redefining of Scripture that has to be done to cling to this systematic. By the grace of God we see that it doesn’t harmonize I’m soooooo grateful to Him for that and for others who see that too! Keep speaking up in truth and love and thank you for your post🙋‍♀️

  2. Thanks br.d and Eric for this.

    We have heard 100 times from RH that man is free to do what he desires. This is his way of saying that unredeemed man will always desire sin and God lets him freely do that (As a way of including “freedom” into determinism).

    But it is a ridiculous statement to make in general, since believers sin also. They no longer have a fallen, sin-only nature and yet they sin. This axiom then falls apart. Those who have the Holy Spirit and a new life in Christ (and do not per Calvinism “only sin all the time”) do not fit the model.

    God now has to “let” (saved) man freely choose to obey or not. …or else once again….according to Calvinism….God is also immutably determining that His own followers continue to sin.

    There is just no way to explain this in Calvinism.

  3. FromOverHere: I had one Calvinist explain it this way. “God continues to determine sin for the believer to keep them humble”. Wow!
    “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive!” Another distortion is introduced to cover up the last distortion. New terms, new definitions and mystery to seal the deal. Mystery is used to cover up blatant obvious contradictions that even the new terms and new definitions can’t get around.
    You can never pin a Calvinist down because his tool box to avoid the plain meaning of the text is sooo vast and ever growing.

  4. I agree. I don’t think that God determined or decreed the violent rape. It happened due to the free willed action of the person in question and God could not do anything about that.

    1. Hi Scott!
      Just a quick.question . So according to your comment, are you saying that man’s freewill can overcome God and leave him helpless ? Or powerless ?

      Thanks for your time

      Armando

      1. Scott
        I agree. I don’t think that God determined or decreed the violent rape. It happened due to the free willed action of the person in question and God could not do anything about that.

        Armando
        Just a quick.question . So according to your comment, are you saying that man’s freewill can overcome God and leave him helpless ? Or powerless ?

        br.d
        Hi Armanda and welcome

        Assuming Scott is referring to Libertarian Free Will – in his post above – it does not necessarily follow that free-will in any way compromised divine omnipotence. As Dr. Plantinga states in his quote above – God can’t make square circles, married bachelors, or make a proposition both true and false at the same time. Even so that is the case these things don’t constitute a limitation to divine omnipotence. And there is nothing that prevents God from creating a world with creatures endowed with Libertarian Free will.
        As a matter of fact – according to Plantinga, it would constitute a more meaningful world.

  5. Great post Br.d, and so glad this is a true statement;

    “But there remains no explicit evidence to show that to be the case. And determinists acknowledge they don’t understand the mechanics of how God can CAUSE the creature to make a choice while attributing the full responsibility of that choice to the creature.”

    I’m starting to see that calvinists really have to cover up aspects of God’s Word to remain in this systematic and every article brings it into the light. I actually have had a hard time watching James White he really comes across so very condescending I wonder if he realizes as created human beings “we all bleed the same” great lyrics and we sure do!!! I agree with what Graceadict writes, “Love requires an authentic choice.” Yes it does relationships can be messy and hard we are called to guard our heart not close it to those around us. Also we see Jesus showing sacrificial love not selfish love as we humans can be prone to and a calvinist can tell me all day long that their systematic doesn’t effect the way they interact with ever other human being created in the image of God, but sadly not in my experience with them☹

    Great quote Br.d
    “A world containing significantly free creatures is more valuable than a world containing no free creatures at all.” A world where Authentic Love for God is possible.

    1. REGGIE
      I’m starting to see that calvinists really have to cover up aspects of God’s Word to remain in this systematic and every article brings it into the light.

      br.d
      Yes – I think your observation is right-on! Having evolved from Augustine – Calvinism is a synchronization of Gnostic and NeoPlatonist doctrines into Christian doctrine. One of its most predominant Gnostic characteristics is “Moral Dualism” where good and evil are co-equal, co-necessary and co-complimentary.

      With this as an inherent characteristic you will eventually notice how many conceptions in Calvinism come in “good-evil” pairs.
      Double-Predestination for example.

      It is this Gnostic element that Calvinists have a very hard time with. And when you observe them you’ll eventually notice their own response to it – is to develop a love-hate relationship with it. They love the “good” aspect of it and secretly hate the “evil” aspect of it.

      So to your point about scripture – they must use various techniques to make their systematic work in scripture, A at the same time, they must use techniques to hide the “evil” aspect within the doctrine.

      In both cases the Calvinist strong suit is the manipulation of language. So over the years, they’ve evolved a library of double-speak talking-points. And over the years they’ve developed exegetical contortion schemes to force verses to work as proof-texts for the doctrine.

  6. 5 Calvinist quotes then something to consider:
    John Calvin –“…how foolish and frail is the support of divine justice afforded by the suggestion that evils come to be, not by His will but by His permission…It is a quite frivolous refuge to say that God otiosely permits them, when Scripture shows Him not only willing, but the author of them…Who does not tremble at these judgments with which God works in the hearts of even the wicked whatever He will, rewarding them nonetheless according to desert? Again it is quite clear from the evidence of Scripture that God works in the hearts of men to incline their wills just as he will, whether to good for His mercy’s sake, or to evil according to their merits.”

    James White Calvinist apologist: “If God did not specifically determine/decree the violent rape of a specific child, at a specified time, then that girl’s violent rape would be meaningless”

    James Anderson
    “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].”

    Chris Date—“God predetermines everything that takes place in time, including all desires, decisions, and actions of human agents.”

    My Observation from these Calvinist “thinkers” is– “So this is what we are left with…every evil thought, wicked desire and vile, despicable action was first birthed in the heart and mind of God, it was initiated by God and put into motion by God who then transferred it into His secondary causes (men and demons). God did it this way so that the secondary causes (men) would irresistibly do the evil just as God wanted it done but somehow, mysteriously, God is still Holy and man is the evil one.”
    1Jn 1:5  This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 
    Isa 5:20-21  Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!   Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! 

    1. GraceAdict yes we should consider!

      And these comments from these men are such a gross depiction of God!! if this is how I viewed His love and provision I would find this verse below false and I might even be tempted to remove it as Jefferson did on his work;

      1 John 4:8 NASB — The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

      There is a void within these statements from these calvinists of love at the very least!

      1. SCOTT WILLIAMS
        JUNE 4, 2019 AT 10:54 AM
        I agree. I don’t think that God determined or decreed the violent rape. It happened due to the free willed action of the person in question and God could not do anything about that.

        ——–My Reaction to the one posted above———–

        1. The rape has been decreed by God based on the actions made by the rapist that God have already foreseen before the incident happened.

        2. It is not true that God can’t do anything whether to prevent nor to allow the rape to happen. In this case, He choose not to intervene and made use of the evil men to accomplish what has been decreed to come to pass.

        3. Why did God allow for such evil to happen. The answer is that God has certain purpose for everything. Even the OT Prophets were questioning God why He did allow evil to prosper. So as Job when confronted by God of his questioning, the result was that Job became silent and can’t answer back.

      2. Jtleosala
        1. The rape has been decreed by God based on the actions made by the rapist that God have already foreseen before the incident happened.

        br.d
        Knowledge of a future event does not logically entail CAUSATION of that event. But of course in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) Calvin’s god FIRST-CONCEIVES, then DECREES, then RENDERS-CERTAIN every event – and does NOT PERMIT creatures from refraining from those events he AUTHORS. So if the rape comes to pass – then it logically follows – Calvin’s god is the AUTHOR of that rape and would NOT PERMIT the rapist from doing otherwise.

        jtleosala
        2. It is not true that God can’t do anything whether to prevent nor to allow the rape to happen. In this case, He choose not to intervene and made use of the evil men to accomplish what has been decreed to come to pass.

        br.d
        This is a good example of Calvinist DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS
        The idea of Calvin’s god intervening or preventing an event is IRRATIONAL because in Calvinism a NECESSARY requirement for any event coming to pass is Calvin’s god must AUTHOR/DECREE it. So if he were to intervene/prevent – he would be intervening/preventing the very thing he AUTHORED/DECREED.

        jtleosala
        3. Why did God allow for such evil to happen. The answer is that God has certain purpose for everything. Even the OT Prophets were questioning God why He did allow evil to prosper. So as Job when confronted by God of his questioning, the result was that Job became silent and can’t answer back.

        br.d
        This is a great example of Calvinist DOUBLE-SPEAK
        For a Calvinist to use the term “allow” is duplicitous language because Calvinism rejects divine “MERE” permission.
        Calvin’s god DOES NOT PERMIT anything come to pass that he does not AUTHOR.

  7. So in the new heavens and new earth when sin is cast away forever will that world have libertarian free will or be deterministic?

    1. Great question, Bryan! And welcome! I believe it will be like it is now… both. Libertarian free will does not mean free to do anything imagined, but to choose freely between available choices presented to and consistent with one’s nature to act on those choices.

      1. Brian Wagner,

        They way that I read scripture, is that the FORMER THINGS WILL NOT COME TO MIND, meaning, that we won’t even KNOW evil, there will be NO TEMPTER to give us an option of even THINKING of wrong doing, or evil, so it will be AGAINST our “NATURE” TO DO anything at all that is evil. Our choices is Heaven will be something like, “DisneyLAND or DisneyWORLD today? Hmmm…decisions decisions…”

        So, we will indeed be free to do ANYTHING IMAGINED, because EVIL will not EXIST, and we won’t even be ABLE to think evil. And therefore, ANYTHING imagined will not be evil to begin with. So I don’t know what NATURE will have to do with anything, because we will not have the same nature as we do now.

        Ed Chapman

  8. WHY I WOULD NOT WASTE MY TIME DEBATING JAMES WHITE
    Snippets from an interview with Dr. Michael Heiser – Ancient Semitics Scholar.

    I view part of the problem as people who are not studying and investing themselves in the hours of research and the commitment involved in that.

    People who listen to debates often don’t want to do their own research. They don’t invest hundreds of hours in studying, really understanding a subject, being able to take it apart and put it back together again.

    I write things under peer review, scrutinized by people who know what they are doing, in terms of Old Testament Semitics, etc. They evaluate what I’m saying…..they vet it and they publish it.

    If James White wants to debate something, let him write a peer reviewed article. But then he has to interact with all the research. ….. But then people who do Old Testament Semitics would be vetting his work, and that’s just not going to happen.

    So I would not waste my time debating with Mr. White. That would be like debating a point of Greek exegesis with someone who is working only in the English Bible.

    How do you know if someone is defending a certain position coherently?

    White has no feel for the ancient near eastern context. I don’t even know if he is interested in it. If he is at all, he just doesn’t get it. And he just refuses to interpret the passages according to their own contexts.

    What a colossal waste of time!

  9. BRD do you know the name of the podcast (Dividing Line Show) that you and Dr. Flowers responded to here? That way I can listened to it first in complete context and then come back and read your response again. Thanks for your help if possible.

    1. I’m not sure what you’re referring to
      Is it a Youtube video by Dr. Flowers?

      If so – can you give me the title of it?

  10. I am going to listen to all of Dr. Flowers on this and then re-read your article. But up front I want to make a comment. Dr. Flowers says that Dr. White was asked, “if God determined, decreed or caused the rape of of children or these kind of things.”

    I think Dr. Flowers is being really cordial here and respectful. I am probably not doing the right thing by making a statement before listening to it all. I am not saying what I am about to state answers and solves everything. But I do think that Dr. Flowers may be misunderstanding Dr. White a bit and has said something that Dr. White did not say.

    Dr. White did say that God determines and decrees evil acts as this but in no place I have heard thus far did Dr. White say that God CAUSES these evil acts such as a rape of child. Now he may say something different later. That is the danger of me answering to early.

    But God decreeing or determining (I am talking about soft determinism) has no “causal power” whatsoever. It is just a decree by God. Yes it ultimately determines but it is not the decree itself that causes (through causal power) anything. God’s Decree is just a blueprint, a plan and we see the decree come to pass through second agents and the use of Satan and the Demonic.

    I know there is much more to all of this but I wanted to make that one point and fact that I think many who adhere to LFW have not seemed to grasp.

    I would go to Ephesians 1:11 as yes a proof text.

    “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,”

    One thing that I think cannot be denied in this verse is that what has been “predestined” here is the Salvation of the Saints mentioned in Ephesians 1:1

    “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: (The Faithful in Christ Jesus mentioned here in the Original Greek is means nothing more than “believing ones in Christ”)

    I believe it to be a Corporate Election from all eternity made of of individuals that will be saved in time and history. As Ephesians 1:4 states emphatically.

    Ephesians 1:4-6 – even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

    No where does it say God “chose the blessings of being holy and blameless before Him in love “Before the Foundation of the World”

    It explicitly says “even as He CHOSE US IN HIM BEFORE THE OF THE WORLD” We all know “before the foundation of the World” means “before time began” or “from all eternity it was in the mind of God”

    Then verse 5 talks about “adoption” Not as many have alluded to the “redemption of our bodies” as referred to in Romans 8.

    Romans 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

    The fact that the Apostle Paul refers to “the firstfruits of the Spirit” rather than simply the Spirit shows that he is thinking of the Spirit’s role in anticipating and pledging the completion of salvation rather as the present agent of present blessing. It is a time when the saints of God are yearning for the fulfillment of their salvation, when they shall see Christ face to face, when they shall be like Him and see Him as He is in a state of glorification.

    I have heard so many Non-Calvinist and those who adhere to LFW say that the verse 5 in Ephesians 1 has not happened yet. That we are still waiting for our adoption. I believe that even Dr. Flowers holds to this position. If they would take a closer look at Romans 8 they would see that “Adoption” is already ” a present experience” by those who have the Spirit of God dwelling within them.

    Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

    This same truth is given to us in John 1:12-13.

    John 1:12-13 – 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

    Then we learn how they “were born” in verse 13. They were born of God!! It is of God that we are in Christ Jesus. Because of Him alone. 1 Corinthians 1:30 – It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

    Verse 12 is speaking nothing more than those who “receive Christ, those who believe in His name, He give the right to become the Children of God.” Speaking most definitely of adoption. Compare with Romans 8:14-16

    Going back to Ephesians 1 we remember that the saints were chosen, (elected, picked out of) by God the Father “before time began” to become blameless and holy in love. This is election is eternity.

    Then we read in Ephesians 1:5 of being “predestined to salvation” This being those elected in verse 4 being predestined to Salvation which means being adopted as Sons (and daughters of Christ) through Jesus Christ “ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSE OF HIS WILL” The eternal purpose which he purposed and accomplished in Christ Jesus and is continuing to be realized as history continues and God fulfills his Holy purpose that cannot be thwarted! No one who is has actually been saved by the saving mercy and grace of Christ is in a state of not being adopted yet. This is something that God determined from all eternity.

    Back quickly to Ephesians 1:11, It says “we have received an inheritance” Hebrews 1:14-Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

    Scripture says that angels are ministering spirits to “THOSE WHO WILL INHERIT SALVATION”

    There is an elected people of God, those who will inherit salvation. Picked out from all of humanity before the foundation of the World. Ephesians 1:4

    You see as Ephesians 1:11 says, ( I know the subject being talked about is salvation in Christ) but Paul goes on to say in a Universal and Absolute sense that just as we are predestined to Salvation God WORKS ALL THINGS ACCORDING TO THE COUNCIL OF HIS WILL.

    Not just our Salvation but all things, the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ, our Salvation and “All things in a Universal and Absolute sense. I can bring more evidence to prove this understanding. But I find Ephesians 1:11 to be very problematic for those who adhere to LFW.

    I know this was long, I will cut down later making my arguments in different comments. But I felt I need to break things open and start somewhere. I will finish listening to Dr. Flowers and read BRD’s article again and may comment directly towards it. God bless to all

    1. Kevin
      But I do think that Dr. Flowers may be misunderstanding Dr. White a bit and has said something that Dr. White did not say.

      br.d
      Fair enough – perhaps you can get a direct quote from Dr. White?

      Kevin
      Dr. White did say that God determines and decrees evil acts as this but in no place I have heard thus far did Dr. White say that God CAUSES these evil acts such as a rape of child. Now he may say something different later. That is the danger of me answering to early.

      br.d
      Since Calvinism is predicated on Universal Divine Causal Determinism – that the THEOS “Causes” things to come to pass is consistent with the doctrine. Determinism is a system of CAUSE & EFFECT. So yes Cause is the correct term.

      Kevin
      But God decreeing or determining (I am talking about soft determinism) has no “causal power” whatsoever. It is just a decree by God. Yes it ultimately determines but it is not the decree itself that causes (through causal power) anything. God’s Decree is just a blueprint, a plan and we see the decree come to pass through second agents and the use of Satan and the Demonic.

      br.d
      In the book “Four Views on Divine Providence” One of the Calvinist authors states “We don’t know what MECHANISM god uses to bring about sins and evils”

      So I think you’re not going to find anything consistent from one Calvinist to another on this.
      However what you need to bear in mind is that Determinism is a system based on CAUSE & EFFECT.
      So yes – the THEOS does CAUSE things to happen

      Kevin
      No where does it say God “chose the blessings of being holy and blameless before Him in love “Before the Foundation of the World”

      br.d
      I’m not sure where you’re going with this – what are you trying to say?

      Kevin
      Not just our Salvation but all things, the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ, our Salvation and “All things in a Universal and Absolute sense. I can bring more evidence to prove this understanding. But I find Ephesians 1:11 to be very problematic for those who adhere to LFW.

      br.d
      Kevin – please bear in mind that what you will be presenting is an INTERPRETATION of scripture verses.

      Kevin
      I know this was long, I will cut down later making my arguments…

      br.d
      Yes – all of the scripture verses you posted I found very difficult to follow.
      Also you don’t have to post word for word a scripture verse – just give the general gist of it would be adequate.
      We don’t want to make these posts a mile long.

      1. Yeah sorry so long BRD. I want to ask you one question about the post I (that is so long) It is about “adoption” Do you think the “adoption” in Ephesians 1:5 is something that is still future that the believer in Christ is waiting for, example like Romans 8 says the “redemption of the believer’s body. Or is it s present reality and blessing of every Son and Daughter in Christ?

      2. Scholars have a phrase for this that has been around for a number of years

        They call it “Now but not yet”

        They feel that Paul had the heart of a father who wanted his children to understand their inheritance in Christ.
        He felt that if believers did not fully understand their inheritance in Christ they would tend to live sub-Christian lives.
        And even though Paul wanted them to understand their inheritance – it is still the case that some aspects of that inheritance are for a future time. But he wanted them to “set their affections on things above – and not on earth”

    2. Kevin
      Before we start looking as scripture to try to prove whether Libertarian Free will is affirmed.

      Can I ask you to go to YouTube and search for this video

      The Title is:
      Dr. Oliver Crisp on libertarian Calvinism and universalism – trinities 082

      This is an interview with a Calvinist Scholar
      Once you get into the video – go to Minute 22:46

      The Moderator will ask Dr. Crisp the question: Do I believe that Theological compatibilism is the only view that is consistent with scripture?

      You can listen from there to Minute 26 if you like
      Thanks
      br.d

      1. Listening to this now BRD as requested. Very interesting and stimulating. Thank you for the recommendation. I have now listened to the section you wanted me to and I am somewhat shocked. I never knew that there were Libertarian Calvinist. I have never heard of Dr. Oliver Crisp, but although he does still seem to hold to Compatibilism he says he is open and there is much to be said for Libertarian will. I think in many ways I have been very narrow minded and just closed myself off to it completely. I see why you wanted me to listen to this because it comes from a Calvinist and not a Non-Calvinist.

        I do think I will listen to the whole video if I find it helpful. But thanks once again BRD.

      2. Glad it was helpful!
        Yes – you may notice also how Dr. Crisp refers to Jonathon Edwards – and he notes that Reformed theologians had a different point of view about freedom in scripture prior to Edwards. Edwards made a very huge impact on Reformed thinking.

    3. jusklntime2442,

      You had asked:

      “Ephesians 1:4-6 – even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

      No where does it say God “chose the blessings of being holy and blameless before Him in love “Before the Foundation of the World”

      It explicitly says “even as He CHOSE US IN HIM BEFORE THE OF THE WORLD” We all know “before the foundation of the World” means “before time began” or “from all eternity it was in the mind of God””

      My response:

      WRONG…It does NOT explicitly say, “even as He CHOSE US IN HIM BEFORE THE OF THE WORLD”.

      You’ve got some TYPO’s in the sentence to begin with.

      But that aside, it does NOT state what you are implying, UNLESS, there is a PERIOD after the word “world”, which there IS NOT, therefore, you HAVE TO FINISH THE WHOLE SENTENCE in order to DETERMINE what exactly it was that was CHOSEN at the BEGINNING.

      My Ephesians 1:4 states…EXPLICITLY, BY THE WAY:

      According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

      That is EXPLICITLY.

      The words to the RIGHT of the COMMA is what was chosen…better yet, the words to the right of the EXPLICIT words, “THAT WE” is what was chosen.

      PEOPLE were NOT chosen, regardless of what you will conclude.

      If you KNOW ENGLISH COMPOSITION, that comma means something SIGNIFICANT.

      It’s all about that bass, that bass that base, it’s all about that base…oops, I mean COMMA.

      And I know that EVERYONE THAT GOES TO SEMINARY ALWAYS BOAST ABOUT GRAMMAR, RIGHT, brianwagner????

      Well, the BEST ONLINE GRAMMAR LESSON ON THIS REFERENCE THAT I HAVE FOUND IS…

      https://reproachofmen.org/apologetics/ephesians-13-6-king-james-version/?print=print

      And the CONCLUSION, about a little over halfway down, is…

      Thus, what the clause is stating is not “chose to salvation” before the foundation of the world, but “chose to be holy and without blame in Christ.”

      Oh, and last I checked, the word ELECT is not in the book of Ephesians at all. But that’s another topic for another day.

      In the mean time, no one was chosen for salvation.

      Ed Chapman

      1. Hi Ed,
        Wouldn’t it be logical to assume that if one is chosen to be without blame – that would require salvation?

        I know what you are saying though – one may interpret the SUBJECT of this verse as a person, and the PREDICATE of the verse as “chosen” . And another person may interpret the SUBJECT as “being blameless”.

        Another thing that makes this difficult is the Koine Greek language does not contain punctuation.
        The way the Greek writers establishes SUBJECT and PREDICATE etc is through word placement, breathing marks, diphthongs, etc.

        We English readers can however get a “High Probability” understanding of punctuation by comparing different translations, and which verses are more explicit – compared to verses translators have different opinions on – and therefore require a more thorough analysis.

        So we will find scholars who will be wary of basing one’s understanding of punctuation on one single translation.

      2. br.d,

        Good question, but the audience that he was speaking to was the ALREADY SAVED, not those who WILL BE SAVED at some future date.

        The link will also show that, as well.

        I HATED English classes when I was in school, and I took English composition in High School.

        I got A’s and B’s on the assignments that I turned in, but I ended up with a C for the class, which tells you that I didn’t turn in some assignments.

        All in all, I have a pretty good grasp on the COMMA.

        The 7th Day Adventists state that the comma is in the wrong place regarding the thief on the cross, for example.

        Verily, Verily, I say unto you today, you will be with me in Paradise.

        OR

        Verily, Verily, I say unto you, Today you will be with me in Paradise.

        You see how a comma in the wrong spot changes things a bit?

        But in the case of Ephesians 1:4, there is NO MISTAKE as to where that comma belongs, and it is in the RIGHT SPOT that no one can really argue.

        So, then comes putting the words to the left of the comma with relationship to the words to the right of the comma.

        And the way that the link explains it, passes my smell test completely, because this is exactly how I’ve been explaining it for years, and to find someone else confirming what I have been saying, is vindication!!

        Ed Chapman

      3. Understood!
        And English wasn’t my strong suit in school – as you can probably tell from my typos! :-]

      4. brian wagner,

        Now I’m replying to the correct comment, which you said you don’t have a comment.

        ….

        I’m surprised that you don’t seem interested in this grammar input, since you guys are always discussing grammar. I guess we just went to different High Schools together…lol

        Ed Chapman

      5. Chapman, appreciate your interest. But not interested in discussing this topic with you. Appreciate you respecting my wishes on this topic. Good day and hope you had a great Thanksgiving with your family.

      6. jusklntime2442,

        Well, I’m like a lawyer that states something to the jury that I KNOW that the opposing side will object to, and the judge will sustain the objection.

        The Jury Still HEARD my statement, regardless of the statement being stricken from the record.

        GOOD DAY!

        Ed Chapman

    4. jusklntime2442,

      You had said:

      “I would go to Ephesians 1:11 as yes a proof text.

      “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,”

      One thing that I think cannot be denied in this verse is that what has been “predestined” here is the Salvation of the Saints mentioned in Ephesians 1:1

      ———————————

      My response:

      It is not WE that has been predestined to inherit anything.

      It is the INHERITANCE that was predestined to those that are saved (we).

      Another one of those ENGLISH COMPOSITION things again.

      Ed Chapman

  11. Dr. Flowers mentions in his video on ” Does God make a sinner sin? That Dr. White conflates the terms certainty and necessity. Thus far I am not understanding how he comes up with this assertion.

    I know a Calvinist may say that because God decrees something (although the decree has no causal power) it is certain that it will come to pass in time and history.

    But I still admit I am troubled by the question FOH mentioned to me. Do I think God decreed every word, thought action etc.

    At this time I have no answer for this. But want to make the point that what Dr. Flowers says about Dr. White conflating certainty and necessity I am not sure is true. Although I could be misunderstanding his thought on this issue.

    1. We should look at Dr. White’s statement to see if NECESSITY and CERTAINTY are conflated.

      Here is the formulation for Theological Fatalism

      1) NECCESARILY if God foreknows that I will do [X] then I will do [X]
      2) God foreknows that I will do [X]

      CONCLUSION:
      Therefore NECESSARILY I will do [X]

      You see the term NECESSARY in this formula?
      That is what distinguishes it as Fatalism.

      So if you replace the term NECESSARY with the term CERTAINTY then you no longer have Theological Fatalism

      1. Sorry BRD I did not get an email reply that you replied to my comment.

        I am not going to take much time on this because I am putting a lot of time in researching the things you mentioned I should concentrate on. I kind of chuckle as I am studying these issues because the very fact that I was already reviewing them and the fact you recommended them to me. Well that let’s me know there is not much I am going to be able to present or ask you that you have not already have interacted with before,

        BRD
        “We should look at Dr. White’s statement to see if NECESSITY and CERTAINTY are conflated.

        Kevin
        I was listening to Dr. Flowers video on Youtube entitled “Does God cause sinners to sin?” Dr. Flowers asserted that Dr. White was conflating necessity and certainty. I listened to it a few times and Dr. White in no place that I heard did any such thing. So that is why I brought it up. But I stopped listening to the video so I could concentrate entirely on the issues you have put before me. So it was Dr. Flowers

        What statement of Dr. White would you be referring to that Dr. White would be conflating “necessity and certainty.” Not saying there is none just that I did not hear it but I did not listen to the whole video by Dr. Flowers. But if Dr. White was conflating the two Dr. Flowers would seem to have been jumping the gun and bringing it up before Dr. White actually did it. Just as Dr. Flowers also said Dr. White said God “determined, decreed and (caused) all in the same sentence. Dr. White to my recollection did not say anything about God causing anything. I understand that by determining and decreeing you believe that means God caused. But their are Calvinist theologians that I have read who say the Divine Decree of God has no “Causal Power” directly related to it whatsoever. That is God’s blueprint or plan and that the Decree of God is accomplished by 2nd means and agents that and who have “Causal Power” to bring the Decree of God to pass.

        I know you will have an answer for this BRD and I need to hear it.

        I am not quite sure what you are saying next. I mean I do understand but I know that you know it does not square with classic specific Sovereignty of God as opposed to your General Sovereignty of God that is dependent on LFW or LibFreedom.

        Compatibilism is in no way defined as theological Fatalism. Yes I now the definition of fatalism is A philosophical doctrine holding that all events are predetermined in advance for all time and human beings are powerless to change them.

        I know I am getting ahead of myself as fatalism is one of the issues I plan to study as it relates to Compatibilism which is the belief that free will and determinism are mutually compatible and that it is possible to believe in both without being logically inconsistent. Freedom to act according to one’s motives.

        Yes I know how can it be “freedom” if it has been “determined” We both must remember that the Calvinist and the Non-Calvinist represent “freedom” differently when defining it.

        I know I really have not stated anything different or what you may feel cogent. But I guess I am just confused as to how changing the word “necessary to certainty” keeps it from being Theological Fatalism.

        Just so I know BRD do you believe that Calvinist are espousing Theological Fatalism. Because if something is “determined” does it “necessarily have to come to pass” In the Calvinist system of belief it does if understand correctly.

        So here I have not been debating you or trying to refute you more than trying to understand. Especially if my last comment or statement you think to be true.

        BRD
        “1) NECCESARILY if God foreknows that I will do [X] then I will do [X]
        2) God foreknows that I will do [X]

        Correct if am wrong but this would not be the Calvinist understanding. As God foreknows because he has decreed. Even in the Orthodox Non-Calvinist camp God Most perfectly, infinitely and exhaustively foreknows “that you will do (X) necessarily”

        BRD
        CONCLUSION:
        Therefore NECESSARILY I will do [X]

        You see the term NECESSARY in this formula?
        That is what distinguishes it as Fatalism.

        So if you replace the term NECESSARY with the term CERTAINTY then you no longer have Theological Fatalism

        Kevin
        So because God “necessarily foreknows because of His infinite, exhaustive and perfect foreknowledge it would seem that the Orthodox Non-Calvinist would be from my understanding right now of Theological Fatalism. Because within that system of Belief God does know necessarily, in such a manner it could not be otherwise. Or we would have to limit God’s infinite foreknowledge to knowing exhaustively the past and the present.

        Ok BRD show me where I am not understanding. I am sure I have missed something. I am going back to researching.

        Harry Frankfurt “counterexamples or PAP, principles of alternate is very interesting.

      2. Kevin
        What statement of Dr. White would you be referring to that Dr. White would be conflating “necessity and certainty.” Not saying there is none just that I did not hear it but I did not listen to the whole video by Dr. Flowers.

        br.d
        What video are you listening to again?
        I can do and listen to it also.

        Kevin
        their are Calvinist theologians that I have read who say the Divine Decree of God has no “Causal Power” directly related to it whatsoever. That is God’s blueprint or plan and that the Decree of God is accomplished by 2nd means and agents that and who have “Causal Power” to bring the Decree of God to pass.

        br.d
        This can be an issue of semantics.

        Typically Calvinist theologians will site there being “PROXIMATE” causes and then “DIRECT” causes.
        So for them – a PROXIMATE cause would be a secondary cause.

        For example:
        I cause Domino #1 to fall
        – That would be considered a DIRECT cause

        Domino #1 then causes Domino #2 to fall.
        – That would be considered a DIRECT cause – in relation to Domino #1
        – But it would be considered a PROXIMATE cause – in relation to me.

        But none of those events can happen unless I start that causal chain of events into motion.
        So I would be classified as the “DETERMINATE” cause of the whole chain of events.

        Kevin
        I am not quite sure what you are saying next. I mean I do understand but I know that you know it does not square with classic specific Sovereignty of God as opposed to your General Sovereignty of God that is dependent on LFW or LibFreedom.

        br.d
        I don’t know what you are saying here.

        Kevin
        Compatibilism is in no way defined as theological Fatalism. Yes I now the definition of fatalism is A philosophical doctrine holding that all events are predetermined in advance for all time and human beings are powerless to change them.

        br.d
        Well – that is not what differentiates Fatalism from Determinism.
        What differentiates the two is that Fatalism entails NECESSITY – while Determinism entails CERTAINTY.
        But in both cases events are predetermined
        And in both cases a person is powerless to change what is predetermined

        This is clear in Calvinism – because the DECREES are immutable which means they cannot be changed.

        So lets say that it is DECREED that you sin at 10AM tomorrow morning.
        That decree is immutable – so it cannot be changed.

        You do not have the power to falsify or negate a divine decree that is immutable.
        Therefore you are powerless to change or alter that event.
        You will not be able to prevent yourself from sinning.
        – Your sinning is NOT UP TO YOU.
        – You CANNOT DO OTHERWISE
        – You have NO Alternative Possibilities.

        That is not the same thing as fatalism.
        But the fatalism and determinism are very close in nature.
        I sometimes liken them to two apples.
        Those two apples are from the same tree – so they are different from one another.
        But they are both apples – and so they has similarities that they share.

        Kevin
        Yes I know how can it be “freedom” if it has been “determined” We both must remember that the Calvinist and the Non-Calvinist represent “freedom” differently when defining it.

        br.d
        Calvinism claims to embrace compatiblism and Non-Calvinism embraces Libertarian freedom.
        However, remember the 3 freedoms that are eradicated by compatibilism
        1) DO OTHERWISE
        2) Alternative Possibilities
        3) Things being UP TO YOU

        These 3 freedoms are freedoms that Calvinists are often uncomfortable letting go of.
        So it is very common to find Calvinists refusing to acknowledge that those 3 freedoms do not exist in their belief system.

        Kevin
        I know I really have not stated anything different or what you may feel cogent. But I guess I am just confused as to how changing the word “necessary to certainty” keeps it from being Theological Fatalism.

        br.d
        I know what you mean – NECESSITY in philosophy is a whole subject all by itself.
        But just as long as you can remember the difference between those two terms – you can know that Calvinism is not fatalism.

        However you should be aware that sometimes Calvinists confuse NECESSITY with CERTAINTY in their language.
        Most of the time they do this because they are not aware of the difference.

        o here I have not been debating you or trying to refute you more than trying to understand. Especially if my last comment or statement you think to be true.

        Kevin
        Correct if am wrong but this would not be the Calvinist understanding. As God foreknows because he has decreed. Even in the Orthodox Non-Calvinist camp God Most perfectly, infinitely and exhaustively foreknows “that you will do (X) necessarily”

        br.d
        We want to be careful how we express these things.
        If we use the term NECESSARILY in these statements then we are falling over the line and people can interpret that we are inferring fatalism. So its best to always us terms that infer CERTAINTY rather than NECESSITY

        Kevin
        Harry Frankfurt “counterexamples or PAP, principles of alternate is very interesting.

        br.d
        YES! Isn’t that cool!
        So from this – Christian Philosophers have come to conclude that PAP is not always the case with Libertarian Freedom.
        So the person who wants to defend Libertarian Freedom cannot use PAP as a strong argument all by itself.

  12. I think I need to put my hand over my mouth as you are showing me that I have not even skimmed the surface of all that is involved here. This is very deep but I do find it interesting. I am reading and understanding what you are saying. I understand now better about using necessity and certainty. So I thank you for that BRD and your patience with me.

  13. BRD
    “Scholars have a phrase for this that has been around for a number of years

    They call it “Now but not yet”

    They feel that Paul had the heart of a father who wanted his children to understand their inheritance in Christ.
    He felt that if believers did not fully understand their inheritance in Christ they would tend to live sub-Christian lives.
    And even though Paul wanted them to understand their inheritance – it is still the case that some aspects of that inheritance are for a future time. But he wanted them to “set their affections on things above – and not on earth”

    Kevin
    Sorry you lost me here. What are you talking about or in connection to? It seems kind of vague and I just cannot understand what you are responding to here Sir. Can you clarify and be more specific?

      1. Yes I was asking about adoption in Ephesians 1:5 but I did not catch that that was what you were referring to.

        You really think that those who are sons and daughters in Christ and have the Spirit of Christ dwelling within them have not been “adopted”

        Even with the evidence I gave you in Romans 8

        Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

        15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

        16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

        Being adopted is nothing more than becoming sons of God in Christ Jesus. We read in Romans 15 that “you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you RECEIVED THE SPIRIT OF (ADOPTION) by whom we cry out “Abba. Father”

        All who are in Christ are in present possession of the Spirit of Christ and have received the Spirit of Adoption the moment they place their faith and trust in Christ Jesus.

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

        I am very familiar with the concept of the “Now but not yet”. But that does not apply to those who were predestined to be saved in Ephesians 1:5 and to be adopted as sons by Christ Jesus since we were “chosen, elected, picked out of, In Christ before time began Ephesians 1:4. And all this according to God’s purpose and the good pleasure of his will. And now Praise to the glory of His grace we are accepted in the Beloved (God’s son Christ)

        The “Now but not yet” concept would be talking about the “redemption of our bodies” as discussed in Romans 8.

        Romans 8:23 – 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

        It is a time when we will be delivered from the presence of sin forever. When we will put off this body of flesh and put on a glorious body, like Christ, for then we shall be like Him, as we shall see Him as He is. That is yet future but BRD you are an adopted Son of Christ even now Sir.

        If you already understood this please forgive me but I do not think there can be a different understanding of this Spiritual Revelation here. With all due respect Sir as you know I greatly appreciate your help with me at this time.

      2. Kevin
        Yes I was asking about adoption in Ephesians 1:5 but I did not catch that that was what you were referring to.

        You really think that those who are sons and daughters in Christ and have the Spirit of Christ dwelling within them have not been “adopted”

        br.d
        No I didn’t mean to imply that – I do see them as adopted.
        But I also see a problem for Calvinists having an assurance of their own personal election.
        This has historically been called the “Dreaded False Hope”

        Kevin
        I am very familiar with the concept of the “Now but not yet”. But that does not apply to those who were predestined to be saved in Ephesians 1:5 and to be adopted as sons by Christ Jesus since we were “chosen, elected, picked out of, In Christ before time began Ephesians 1:4. And all this according to God’s purpose and the good pleasure of his will. And now Praise to the glory of His grace we are accepted in the Beloved (God’s son Christ)

        br.d
        Well you must know that Calvinism’s teachings concerning predestination are unique to Calvinism.

        Kevin
        The “Now but not yet” concept would be talking about the “redemption of our bodies” as discussed in Romans 8.

        br.d
        Yes I agree – the “not yet” part would certainly refer to the redemption of the body.

        Kevin
        It is a time when we will be delivered from the presence of sin forever. When we will put off this body of flesh and put on a glorious body, like Christ, for then we shall be like Him, as we shall see Him as He is. That is yet future but BRD you are an adopted Son of Christ even now Sir.

        br.d
        There are different scholars who see Paul’s use of adoption language in different ways.
        I understand how Calvinism interprets adoption – and how it equates to predestination.
        So you’re ideas about adoption are going to probably be focused on a Calvinist understanding.
        But for me – adoption isn’t something I have any inclination or desire to debate over.

    1. Kevin I’m using this spot on the web page – not in direct response to a particular post – but because this spot was available for me to respond to you.

      On the question of James White conflating Necessity with Certainty in this video – I do not believe so.

      Also, it was not my impression that Dr. Flower’s was saying James While himself did that.
      I think Dr. Flowers was indicating that he often finds Calvinists do conflate necessity with certainty.
      And he was remarking about how that can be done when someone starts talking about divine foreknowledge.

  14. Oh I was not trying to debate it. Just implying your views of it. I know you like philosophy more than Scripture and was not trying to lure you into a debate over Scripture. I know some of what I said was leaning toward Calvinism but the Doctrine of Adoption that I spoke of had nothing whatsoever to do with Calvinism. But I also do not want to get to sidetracked and want to stay in the line of thinking we were traveling.

    As far as Calvinist having assurance of their own personal election. I would think that would fall even harder on those who adhere to LFW since it is that which got them in Christ and that (LFW) can also get them out of Christ as they can choose “otherwise at anytime” Calvinist believe that Christ is a perfect Savior who saves completely and to the uttermost.

    Even you with your Pentecostal background that I am familiar coming out of that. With the warning passages that you said were your own views. Actually that is the views of most Pentecostals that they can apostatize and reject Christ. That would be one of those things Christ cannot save you from and is dependent on LFW. So assurance is a matter for the Non-Calvinist I would think even more since much if not all depends on LFW. If it does not all depend on LFW how does God intervene in anyway and not violate the LFW of the NON-Calvinist?

    1. Kevin
      Oh I was not trying to debate it. Just implying your views of it. I know you like philosophy more than Scripture and was not trying to lure you into a debate over Scripture. I know some of what I said was leaning toward Calvinism but the Doctrine of Adoption that I spoke of had nothing whatsoever to do with Calvinism. But I also do not want to get to sidetracked and want to stay in the line of thinking we were traveling.

      br.d
      Cool!

      Kevin
      As far as Calvinist having assurance of their own personal election. I would think that would fall even harder on those who adhere to LFW since it is that which got them in Christ and that (LFW) can also get them out of Christ as they can choose “otherwise at anytime” Calvinist believe that Christ is a perfect Savior who saves completely and to the uttermost.

      br.d
      I guess I can see how it might seem that way at first.
      But Calvinism has a unique doctrine where Calvin teaches that the vast majority of the human race are designed for eternal torment in the lake of fire.

      Calvin also teaches that that is applicable in the church as well.
      He describes the elect within the church as “a few grains of wheat” – and the rest of the church as “a pile of chaff”.

      He also teaches that salvation is held out to the “chaff” as a -quote “occasion for severer condemnation”.

      So Calvin believes the majority of the church are deceived by god who gives them a false salvation.

      These Calvinists go through their lives believing they are Christians and live out their lives with god giving them thousands of false perceptions.

      Calvin says eventually god will – quote “strike them with greater blindness”
      And they will eventually wake up in the lake of fire.
      So Calvin’s teaching means that the majority of Calvinists are deceived into a false salvation.

      Kevin
      Even you with your Pentecostal background that I am familiar coming out of that. With the warning passages that you said were your own views. Actually that is the views of most Pentecostals that they can apostatize and reject Christ. That would be one of those things Christ cannot save you from and is dependent on LFW. So assurance is a matter for the Non-Calvinist I would think even more since much if not all depends on LFW. If it does not all depend on LFW how does God intervene in anyway and not violate the LFW of the NON-Calvinist?

      br.d
      Yes they don’t have Calvin’s teaching that god deceives them with a false salvation.
      So they have a view of god keeping them and loving them – rather than designing them for the lake of fire.

      1. BRD. You are something else. I must hand it to you. You have me thinking. You are good at written debate. I wonder if you are as good at oral debate. I would imagine so. I mean I think I present a strong argument to you and in a matter of minutes you have answered me.

        I am going to represent your God as the Christian God as I think he is and you are a Christian in Christ. It does not matter to me what you think as far as my salvation I am not offended. I am just thankful for your patience. Even when I challenge you.

        But I question, How does God “keep them” as you state if they do not want to be kept with their LFW in connection with the warning passages. It is their LFW that is keeping them and saving them.

        I personally believe we have a lot of “professing Christians” within the church who are not possessed by Christ. Because they have “walked that aisle and repeated that sinner’s prayer”

        A formula that began in the early 1800’s by a man I am sure you know, Charles Finney.

        You ask before then how did they know if a person was saved. Well the gospel was preached. With all that entails. No not preaching election, definite atonement ect. The Gospel that Christ will save sinners from sin, that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. When one was truly under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and the Minister told the sinner the way of salvation. That whosoever called up the name of the Lord will be saved. Or a number of other Gospel calls found with the Word.

        If a sinner was to found in Christ they would come back to Church. Began growing in the fruit of the Holy Spirit and in the Grace of Holiness, the fear and love of the Lord. The church would let the Spirit God do the work and not spend 20 mns singing “Just as I am” bidding one to walk that aisle and repeat a prayer,

        BRD
        “br.d
        I guess I can see how it might seem that way at first.
        But Calvinism has a unique doctrine where Calvin teaches that the vast majority of the human race are designed for eternal torment in the lake of fire.”

        Honestly how many people have you seen saved by God in Christ at your church lately. If you are honest I think you would agree with most churches that the majority of mankind is rejecting Christ and dying in their sins at this time and period in history. Is this something that is surprising to the Christian God you serve and worship. I don’t think so.

        But You have a good night BRD. I will move away from this and get back on Causal Determination and LFW tomorrow. I will not comment because it is evident I am not ready yet and do not understand all the concepts yet. I do thank you for the help you have given me though. Remember Calvin is not the Christ who saved me and the one I serve.

      2. Kevin
        But I question, How does God “keep them” as you state if they do not want to be kept with their LFW in connection with the warning passages. It is their LFW that is keeping them and saving them.

        br.d
        Well – a predominant belief is that the Lord’s love is what brings them into a relationship in the first place.
        And they believe the Lord’s love is consistent towards them
        So there is nothing in them that makes them worry about whether god’s will for them is their salvation.
        What keeps them is simply the development and maturation of that loving relationship.
        However – yes there is the reality that a person can fall away – into worldly desires etc.

        But its different for the Calvinist – because he doesn’t know if the salvation he has is false
        He believes that god designs the vast majority of the church for eternal torment in the lake of fire.
        He doesn’t know if god designed him for the lake of fire or not
        But statistically – the greater probability is that he is designed for torment.
        The way he deals with that teaching is to put it out of his mind – and imagine god loves him instead.

        Kevin
        I personally believe we have a lot of “professing Christians” within the church who are not possessed by Christ. Because they have “walked that aisle and repeated that sinner’s prayer”

        br.d
        Yes – that’s probably true
        But I think god tests people in the fiery furnace of affliction
        And fire has a tendency to reveal what kind of material a person is made out of.

        And yes I agree with you – simply bringing people through a ritual like saying a prayer etc doesn’t guarantee anything.

        Kevin
        Honestly how many people have you seen saved by God in Christ at your church lately. If you are honest I think you would agree with most churches that the majority of mankind is rejecting Christ and dying in their sins at this time and period in history. Is this something that is surprising to the Christian God you serve and worship. I don’t think so.

        br.d
        I think people have a tendency to come to the Lord in waves.
        Over the years – there have been countries where being a Christian was a death sentence – and yet missionaries are surprised to discover how many are coming to the Lord in those places.

        Kevin
        But You have a good night BRD. I will move away from this and get back on Causal Determination and LFW tomorrow. I will not comment because it is evident I am not ready yet and do not understand all the concepts yet. I do thank you for the help you have given me though. Remember Calvin is not the Christ who saved me and the one I serve.

        br.d
        Thank you Kevin!
        I look forward to that! :-]

  15. I was not going to answer back BRD but I think you might have had a slip of the fingers while typing.

    br.d
    Well – a predominant belief is that the Lord’s love is what brings them into a relationship in the first place.

    Kevin
    Very Good Sir. As the Scriptures say “we love Him BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.”

    As you wrote and I think we might have spoke about this earlier or it was something I read but it caught my attention as soon as I read what you typed.

    Your answer, “that a predominant belief is that the Lord’s love (which is correct because it is Scriptural) brings (cause (someone or something) to come to a place, make (someone or something) move in a particular direction or way) into a relationship in the first place.

    Your answer sounds Calvinistic and incorporating Divine Causation to some extent or degree. I am sure you did not intend for it to go down that way so you can clarify.

    BRD
    “And they believe the Lord’s love is consistent towards them”

    The Lord’s love that brings and causes them to come into a relationship with Him. Are you saying that this love is also causal in being effective enough to keep them or is it the LFW utilizing that predominant belief?

    BRD
    So there is nothing in them that makes them worry about whether god’s will for them is their salvation.

    I know of no Calvinist Christian who has saving faith in Christ that doubts God’s will for Him/Her is Salvation. Although I am sure you will agree there are those in every denomination that doubt there faith in Christ and Salvation at times and go through periods where they feel as if God has forsaken them. I would even not hesitate to say that you have doubted your salvation at times in your walk with the Lord since I know the Pentecostal Denomination place a great weight on works that keep you saved other than being saved by grace through faith, it being the gift of God and not of works lest any man should boast. We do good works and keep Christ’s commandments because we love Him not to keep ourselves saved by our LFW.

    Yes we work out our Salvation with fear and trembling, but in the same chapter of Philippians it plainly says we are enabled to do so because “it is God who is working within us both to will and to do of His good pleasure” God the Holy Spirit is working that which is pleasing to Him within us. Giving us both the desire and the enabling power to do those things that bring pleasure to the heart of God. But it is faith alone that saves the Calvinist Christian and that is our assurance and not what you have said above.

    BRD
    Nothing that can make them worry, (but with their LFW However) – yes there is the reality that a person can fall away – into worldly desires etc.

    Going from a state of being eternally and spiritually alive to being spiritually dead and wholly within the grip of sin a again. This love you talk about seems not very powerful to save and keep one saved.

    BRD
    “But its different for the Calvinist – because he doesn’t know if the salvation he has is false
    He believes that god designs the vast majority of the church for eternal torment in the lake of fire.
    He doesn’t know if god designed him for the lake of fire or not
    But statistically – the greater probability is that he is designed for torment.
    The way he deals with that teaching is to put it out of his mind – and imagine god loves him instead.”

    This is an irrational claim BRD. Hey you know I mean that in the most respectful way possible. You can quote Calvin or whoever but this is not the predominant belief among Reformed Calvinist believers. As I said we believe Christ is a perfect Savior who will save us complexity, forever and to the uttermost! And no I do not know if everything is determined so yes I am probably speaking out of both sides of my mouth 🙂 Sorry.

    br.d
    I think people have a tendency to come to the Lord in waves.
    Over the years – there have been countries where being a Christian was a death sentence – and yet missionaries are surprised to discover how many are coming to the Lord in those places.

    I have a tendency to agree with you here. I guess I should not be looking at things by sight and the fact I do not know what God is doing around the World.

    Night BRD Hey do not be offended in what I have said. I am still on the fence. I still cannot prove or find any evidence or a verse that says God has from all eternity God determined everything. The closest I can get is Ephesians 1:11. I just found what I think might have been a some openings in your argumentation this time. Thats all BRD night.

    1. Kevin
      Your answer sounds Calvinistic and incorporating Divine Causation to some extent or degree. I am sure you did not intend for it to go down that way so you can clarify.

      The Lord’s love that brings and causes them to come into a relationship with Him. Are you saying that this love is also causal in being effective enough to keep them or is it the LFW utilizing that predominant belief?

      br.d
      Well of course in Calvinism you have compatiblism – right?

      So in compatiblism it follows god determines what your desire will be:
      – You can’t desire otherwise
      – He doesn’t permit any Alternative Possibilities desires
      – Your desires are not UP TO YOU

      Kevin
      I know of no Calvinist Christian who has saving faith in Christ that doubts God’s will for Him/Her is Salvation.

      br.d
      AH! You know – what you indicated made me stop and rethink this – and realize they wouldn’t have any doubts!
      Since Calvin teaches that god gives believers false perceptions of salvation
      It makes sense that they wouldn’t have any doubts – they totally believe they are saved even thought they aren’t
      I stand corrected – you are right – they certainly wouldn’t have an assurance
      But of course if god designed them as “chaff” then the assurance they has would be false of course

      Kevin
      Going from a state of being eternally and spiritually alive to being spiritually dead and wholly within the grip of sin a again. This love you talk about seems not very powerful to save and keep one saved.

      br.d
      I can see how from that perspective it would look that way.
      However I don’t believe the non-Calvinist perceives it on and off like a light-switch.
      They tend to see it as a gradual falling away.

      Kevin
      This is an irrational claim BRD. Hey you know I mean that in the most respectful way possible. You can quote Calvin or whoever but this is not the predominant belief among Reformed Calvinist believers. As I said we believe Christ is a perfect Savior who will save us complexity, forever and to the uttermost! And no I do not know if everything is determined so yes I am probably speaking out of both sides of my mouth 🙂 Sorry.

      br.d
      No problem – as I said above – I can see it would be more logical to say – that as Calvin teaches god gives the majority of believers a false salvation then they wouldn’t know they weren’t really saved. They would believe they were saved.
      So I understand and agree with you.

      I would guess that in a Reformed church where they teach Calvin’s teachings of the wheat and the chaff that is openly taught that those who are chaff do have a false salvation and they perceive themselves as saved when they are not – right?

      And also don’t the teachers in the Reformed churches teach Calvin’s doctrine of secret election?
      As Calvin says in the institutes
      We are NOT bidden to distinguish between reprobate and elect – that is for God alone, and not for us.

      The Reformed teachers do teach from Calvin’s institutes don’t they?

      Kevin
      Night BRD Hey do not be offended in what I have said. I am still on the fence. I still cannot prove or find any evidence or a verse that says God has from all eternity God determined everything. The closest I can get is Ephesians 1:11. I just found what I think might have been a some openings in your argumentation this time. Thats all BRD night.

      br.d
      Good night Kevin!
      May the Lord bless your sleep!
      See ya soon :-]

  16. It ain’t night time yet my friend. I think we got a barn burner going now.

    Kevin
    Your answer sounds Calvinistic and incorporating Divine Causation to some extent or degree. I am sure you did not intend for it to go down that way so you can clarify.

    The Lord’s love that brings and causes them to come into a relationship with Him. Are you saying that this love is also causal in being effective enough to keep them or is it the LFW utilizing that predominant belief?

    br.d
    Well of course in Calvinism you have compatiblism – right?

    So in compatiblism it follows god determines what your desire will be:
    – You can’t desire otherwise
    – He doesn’t permit any Alternative Possibilities desires
    – Your desires are not UP TO YOU

    Kevin
    We have once again fallen into the fallacy of avoiding fallacy or redirecting the issue fallacy which is a red herring and a deliberate intention of abandoning the original argument.

    Now when I say “deliberate” no disrespect intended BRD. But you know the argument above was directed toward you as a Non-Calvinist and you re-directed back to Calvinism instead of engaging and interacting with it as you should have. Very unusual of you.

    Kevin
    I know of no Calvinist Christian who has saving faith in Christ that doubts God’s will for Him/Her is Salvation.

    br.d
    AH! You know – what you indicated made me stop and rethink this – and realize they wouldn’t have any doubts!
    Since Calvin teaches that god gives believers false perceptions of salvation
    It makes sense that they wouldn’t have any doubts – they totally believe they are saved even thought they aren’t
    I stand corrected – you are right – they certainly wouldn’t have an assurance
    But of course if god designed them as “chaff” then the assurance they has would be false of course

    Kevin my response
    This will also be seen as a fallacy after my response. The statement I made about Calvinist Christians having saving faith in Christ and not doubting God’s Salvation for Him/Her is practically the same as you said earlier for Non-Calvinist.

    Was what I said meant in an absolute sense that there are never times of testing that may bring doubt that the Calvinist Christian may need to seek the Lord in prayer and ask that the “Lord help his unbelief” Of course not. All Christians have what has been known as the “dark night of the soul” and PRAY THAT THE LORD WILL GIVEN AND STRENGTHEN WHAT IS LACKING IN THEIR FAITH. But across the board and in general you can be sure the Christian Calvinist is sure of the Lord upholding him and being His refuge and keeping him saved from apostasy unlike the Pentecostal Non-Calvinistic who has to look to his LFW to keep himself within Christ. The Christian Calvinist looks to the one called Jesus, who shall save His people from their sins. Including the sin of apostasy.

    Now these quotes from Calvin. I sure would like to see some documentation so I can look at them in context. And like I said Calvin is not my Savior and I do not believe everything Calvin has written. Your better off going to the Word of God to convince me than the words of a mere man.

    As I said before and I say again. I have no doubt that we have millions of false converts due to the “walk the aisle and repeat the sinner’s prayer after me formula” that has come out of Non-Calvinist Churches. Reformed Churches let the Spirit of God do the work so that it is authentic and real. Not saying there are not professing Christians in Calvinist churches also. But it is a well known practice that a minister preach the Gospel to those in His church on a regular basis. As the Scripture says “we are to make our calling and election sure”

    br.d
    No problem – as I said above – I can see it would be more logical to say – that as Calvin teaches god gives the majority of believers a false salvation then they wouldn’t know they weren’t really saved. They would believe they were saved.
    So I understand and agree with you.

    Why are you agreeing with me because of something that John Calvin said. That is irrational seeing you do not even know if I agree with John Calvin. Once again Documentation would be nice so things can be seen in context. I know for a fact within the Pentecostal Churches there are those who say they have been saved x many number of times. That is because they are depending on their LFW and continuing good works to keep them saved. If one falls away it is true they may have just backslidden and the Lord through chastisement will restore them because He loves them. Then there are those who fall away because they were never saved to begin with. “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity, I NEVER KNEW YOU!! Not I knew you saved for a few years and then you “gradually fell away” and lost your salvation. but then you “got saved again with your LFW and I know you again as saved. No it does not work that way.

    BRD
    I would guess that in a Reformed church where they teach Calvin’s teachings of the wheat and the chaff that is openly taught that those who are chaff do have a false salvation and they perceive themselves as saved when they are not – right?

    Kevin
    Sorry BRD but seriously the one time I was in a Calvinist Church for a couple of years I never hear this taught.

    When I was in a Calvinist church mostly what I heard from the pulpit was about Christian Living.

    I think you are painting all Calvinist and Reformed Churches with a broad brush that just does not fit the mold. If you are reading the Institutes of Calvin and you think that is every Calvinist and Reformed Church then you have deceived yourself.

    Night BRD and God bless

    1. Kevin
      Your answer sounds Calvinistic and incorporating Divine Causation to some extent or degree. I am sure you did not intend for it to go down that way so you can clarify.

      The Lord’s love that brings and causes them to come into a relationship with Him. Are you saying that this love is also causal in being effective enough to keep them or is it the LFW utilizing that predominant belief?

      br.d
      Well of course in Calvinism you have compatiblism – right?

      So in compatiblism it follows god determines what your desire will be:
      – You can’t desire otherwise
      – He doesn’t permit any Alternative Possibilities desires
      – Your desires are not UP TO YOU

      Kevin
      We have once again fallen into the fallacy of avoiding fallacy or redirecting the issue fallacy which is a red herring and a deliberate intention of abandoning the original argument.

      br.d
      I probably should have added to my response that since the Non-Calvinist system is not predicated on determinism/compatibilism – he isn’t faced with the issues I listed. So the answer would be no. For the non-Calvinist – it would not be “Calvinistic” because “Calvinistic” entails determinism and compatiblism.

      So when you ask if god’s love is “causal” for a non-Calvinist – the notion of “causal” would be different.
      In Calvinism in this context “cause” would entail god MAKING a person love him and not making available any alternative..
      In Non-Calvinism in this context “cause” would entail god’s love presented to the person without MAKING the person love god in return.

      So it would be like the “free offering” you see in the OT where god did not MAKE people give gifts to him but instead permitted them to give or not give. Or it would be like the “free offering” you see in the book of Acts where people are asked to give to the church. They are not MADE to give – but they are permitted to give or not give.

      Kevin
      I know of no Calvinist Christian who has saving faith in Christ that doubts God’s will for Him/Her is Salvation.

      Kevin
      on god giving Calvinists false salvation
      This will also be seen as a fallacy after my response. The statement I made about Calvinist Christians having saving faith in Christ and not doubting God’s Salvation for Him/Her is practically the same as you said earlier for Non-Calvinist.

      br.d
      Kevin – I think what you are telling me is that certain parts of Calvinism’s theology is not being taught in Reformed churches.
      I would like us to distinguish a difference between Calvinist theology and Calvinist psychology
      I mean the current psychology one finds in Reformed churches.
      Because the reason some of Calvinism’s theology would not be taught may be a reflection of human psychology.
      Those aspects of Calvinism that are perhaps hard pills to swallow.

      If Reformed pastors and teachers are not teaching Calvin’s doctrines concerning the wheat and the chaff – then they are withholding certain aspects of Calvinism from their congregates.

      Calvin’s teachings on the wheat and the chaff – however are highly consistent with the underlying foundation – which is Theological Determinism and compatiblist freedom. So if one wants to be consistent with the belief system – one would not want to avoid them.

      I understand there might be inconsistent Calvinists. But for me – If a Calvinist wants to be serious about embracing Theological Determinism and a compatiblist freedom – then that Calvinist is eventually going to want see how that applies to the wheat and the chaff.

      You may remember that many posts back, I mentioned that I observe Calvinists who are convinced they seriously embrace Theological Determinism and reject Libertarian Freedom. When in fact they actually don’t. And in fact they look for ways to bring aspects of Libertarian freedom into their belief system – while convincing themselves they aren’t doing that. It is difficult to dialog with them sometimes because they want to be forceful in rejecting LFW – without realizing they really don’t reject it – they just think they do.

Leave a Reply