Choice Meat & Bad Form

Dr. James White released a broadcast today where he played a 44 second clip plucked out of its context from someone off twitter, in which I used the example of “choice meat” to illustrate that calling something or someone ‘choice’ or ‘chosen’ doesn’t mean they were chosen for no apparent reason.

In the original video, I was replying to a young RC Sproul who was using the word election as if it exclusively referred to the unconditional election of individuals for effectual salvation, when in reality, God makes many choices and He usually does so for well established reason, which is what I go on to demonstrate in the rest of my presentation that went unaddressed by Dr. White.

In response to my clip, ripped out of its context (something he regularly scolds others for doing), Dr. White erroneously concluded that I was saying God chose to save us because of our good qualities, in the same way you might choose meat from the choice section because of its higher quality. Here is what White egregiously reported,

“Do you understand what that analogy was meant to communicate? He is saying that people are chosen because they are choice. Because they are obedient, faithful.  It is the exact opposite of unconditional election; it is conditional election. You are chosen because of who you are. There is no way around the obvious conclusion that comes from that statement and that is that you get to heaven because you a better than someone else. That just all there is to it…so much for ground of boasting…Someone says, ‘You’re picking on Leighton Flowers again!’ He represents a particularly uncorrectable form of traditional synergism that fundamentally compromises the grace of God. If you can’t see how dangerous it is to think you were the choice meats and that’s why God chose you, you’re in the choice meats section. You weren’t over in the 80/20 fat section, ha ha, you were in the choice meat section, that’s why you’re getting into heaven.”

White goes on to call my view “semi-Pelagian on my best days and full on Pelagianism on my worse days.” Bad form, Dr. White, very bad form!

While it is true that I reject the Calvinistic concept of individual unconditional election to effectual salvation (along a majority of Christendom, mind you), I was not attempting to argue that God chose to save us based on the condition of our merits or because we are inherently better than others (i.e. that we are the ‘choice meat’ and others are the fatty meat). If one where to actually listen to the full context of that broadcast, instead of a small sound bite purposefully plucked from its context by someone with an obvious bias on twitter, they would have heard me teach that we are not saved through our merit, but only through faith in the merit of Christ, the ‘CHOICE ONE’ (1 Pet. 2:6). And that ANYONE, not just uniquely selected individuals picked out for no apparent reason before the world began, can be saved if they trust in Christ because He has died for the sins of us all (1 John 2:2)!

If White sought to understand my actual view before slandering me in front of a large audience, he would have learned that I believe God chooses to save those who come home humiliated from the pig sties of their life (Lk 15:11-32), those so broken by their sin that they cannot even look up to heaven while making their confessions (Lk 18:12), the weak and heavy laden (Matt. 11:28), the fearful and contrite of heart (Is. 66:2), those who confess their bondage and addiction to sin and trust in the Chosen One (1 John 1:9; Rom. 10:9-10).

If I were to continue with the original analogy, God chooses the rancid meat that fell on the floor in the back of the store house, not the ‘choice meats.’ And in His grace God covers them with the perfect righteousness of the Chosen One, Jesus the Christ–not because He has to on the basis of their humble confession, but because he wants to on the basis of His goodness and love.

While some, like White, from more extreme side of the Calvinistic camp would like to treat faith, as understood from the non-Calvinistic perspective, like a meritorious work that earns salvation, other Calvinists are a bit fairer in their assessment.  For instance, I encourage you to read this article by John Piper who makes a strong case for why faith would never be considered meritorious: https://soteriology101.com/2019/01/28/is-faith-meritorious/


  • ADDED NOTE: In a Twitter exchange Dr. White was linked this article and has declared “it’s just a distraction.” I guess the scriptures which talk about why God finds favor with some and not others is a distraction unworthy of White’s attention? Those passages must not fit his narrative.
  • It’s also disheartening that a fellow brother in Christ will not relent in spreading false information after being corrected regarding the intentions of another brother. Regardless of what YOU THINK is someone else’s intention in a video, you should take them at their word when they bring clarity.

306 thoughts on “Choice Meat & Bad Form

  1. Ouch!

    Another James White moment showing the Doctrines of Ungraciousness!

    But…. who can blame him for taking what you said out of context, right? They dont often worry about context.

  2. I don’t understand why Dr. White is so strident. It is not difficult to understand what you mean. You are careful. Two books.

  3. You used a poor analogy, and like always you play the poor me card. Admit it was a bad analogy, and move on, but unfortunately you won’t

      1. Really?

        Wait….you are tired of it? There is an easy way to get around that. You can just not spend time on the site, right? Leighton feels that he needs to set the record straight…. and you are “tired of it”. Okay…. dont look.

        It sounds like you are going out of your way to re-visit a site that you “are tired of.”

        And it also sounds like you are angry.

      2. So changing the analogy after the fact is “setting the record straight” got it. Watch the Video in context, and you will find the argument made by Dr White is in fact correct.

      3. That was painful. I had to wade through 45 mins of James White (I find it a snarky, arrogant style) to get to the clip.

        Not only is the clip short and out of context, but James even cuts up the 44 seconds and interjects commentary, steering it where he wants.

        Matt…. are you guys just so used to the “bullying” type speaking that you cannot hear it? Or is it okay—- as long as “it’s for the truth!”

        Again, you guys just sound so angry.

        And I find it curious that you are saying that Leighton is playing the “poor me” card and you are”tired of it.” It’s kind of like you are whining about him whining.

        Why the aggression? Especially since anyone who looks into Leighton’s teaching can see that he is not saying what White is making him to say.

    1. Dr White uses the anology from scripture about the dry bones coming to life to proof his point of salvation (being made alive like dry bones)…that specific passage is about Israel being restored/healed….its one thing to use a bad analogy but whole different matter to use a WRONG analogy!

      1. Thanks for clearing this up! I remember reading this a little while, and thought huh? this is about Israel not salvation

  4. Addressing public attacks is very tricky business for a Christian’s testimony, whose speech is always to be with grace and speaking the truth in love, especially to brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Though difficult… there is wisdom I think in responding personally and privately when a rebuke is needed (Luke 17:1-10), and clear affirmation of love in any public response (Col 4:6). The world is watching, and also childish saints who like “fights” too much.

    I have also failed in this area too often in my past… and still need help from good examples of other Christian leaders. May our Lord raise up some strong ones!

  5. quote
    If White sought to understand my actual view before slandering me in front of a large audience,…..etc

    br,d
    And that’s the rub now isn’t it. Unfortunately for Dr. White – his emotions get the better of him – and he rushes headlong into the first emotionally driven unfounded conclusion he thinks will stick. There is little to no attempt here to “understand”. The motivation appears to be to strike at the light being shown on the LOGICAL cracks. Which – under the light – can be seen spread everywhere on Calvin’s man-made foundation.

    One can clearly identify Dr. Whites gets emotional when he doesn’t have a LOGICAL answer. He did the same thing in his interview with N.T. Wright. Although he tried to control it more then – for obvious reasons – it still became evident.

    1. Did you watch the Video, before charging in? The analogy had nothing to do with Christ being the choice meat, and everything to do with explaining why God has Chosen some and not Others. This article changed the initial analogy, and then baselessly accused Dr White of slander.

  6. Matt no I have not watched this video yet, but at some point I will, but curious did you miss this point at the beginning of the article???
    [[[“he played a 44 second clip plucked out of its context”]]]
    I of course don’t know where the clip came from yet, but I think it’s reasonable to assume 44 plus seconds can be misunderstood it happens frequently.. Leighton has always been gracious in playing James White in his entirety on a point hmm wonder why James doesn’t do the same??? Again no I haven’t viewed, but how can you deny that it is possible to twist the contexts of a 44 second dialogue.

  7. Sounds like White’s mistake is that he is interpreting what Leighton says from his own Calvinist basis of “God chooses our eternal destiny for us.” But instead of it being Calvinism’s view of “God arbitrarily chooses us based on nothing but His own whims,” he is twisting what Leighton says (making a straw-man argument that he then tears down) to make it sound like Leighton is saying that God chooses us based on how good we are or on some other quality about us, as if we “earn salvation” by being “good enough” that God picks us.

    But from what I can tell, that’s not what Leighton says or believes at all. What Leighton is trying to do (in that clip and on his blog) is to counter the idea that God does the choosing for us based on anything at all. What he is trying to get across (by addressing White’s misrepresentation of him) is that God hasn’t chosen only SOME people based on some qualification or other or on nothing at all, but that God has basically “chosen” ALL people. (He might not put it this way, but I will, for sake of the argument.) That God has chosen to die for all people and that salvation is offered to all people, but WE decide whether to accept His gift of salvation or not.

    White is trying to make it sound like Leighton is saying something he’s not, that Leighton basically believes in a Calvinist’s view of election (that God predestines who goes to heaven and who goes to hell) but that our election is based on something different than God’s own whims (as Calvinism would claim). And so Leighton is justified in clearing this up, in clarifying what he really says and believes. It’s not that God predestines whether we go to heaven or hell based on some quality of ours, and it not’s that we “earn salvation” in any way, like by being “good enough” so that God chooses us. It’s that we have to simply, humbly reach out and accept the gift He’s already made available for all people. And anyone can do this because the price has been paid for all!

    1. A page from the “Calvinist Playbook”: If you can’t adequately and biblically tear apart someone’s view, then misrepresent what they believe and tear the misrepresentation apart. Then you can appear to have “won” the debate. (At least to those who aren’t really paying attention or being discerning.)

  8. Dr. White wrongly said, “He is saying that people are chosen because they are choice.” And “You are chosen because of who you are.”

    What should be said is, ‘people are chosen BECAUSE they are ‘in Christ’. And that, those who are in Him are now “choice.” This is what is being taught in Ephesians 1. The subject there is not about God choosing select individuals, but about “Christ” and what God had “purposed in Him” since before the foundation of the world. It was the plan that was foreordained, not the individual: So ” that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.”(Eph. 1:10).

    Paul does not say to the Ephesians, “He chose us TO BE in Christ” but rather, ” He chose us in Him..”
    “In Christ:” This is the location of the spiritual blessings (1:3). One must be “in Christ” to enjoy the spiritual blessings. Note the blessings which are enumerated in verses 4-14. He chose us in Him (vs.4). In Christ is the place of His choosing or election. Christ is God’s elect (Lk. 9:35; 1 Pet. 2:4), and the saints are elect or chosen in Him (1 Pet. 2:9). This expression, “in Christ,” is the most common expression to be found in the Ephesian letter, and it is worth noting and studying. For example, in Ephesians (1:3,4,6,7,9,10,20; 2:10,13,21,22; 3:6,11,12,21; 4:21,32).

    I Hope this is helpful.

    1. Aidan – You are soooo correct when you say:
      Paul does not say to the Ephesians, “He chose us TO BE in Christ” but rather, ” He chose us in Him..”
      “In Christ:” This is the location of the spiritual blessings (1:3). One must be “in Christ” to enjoy the spiritual blessings.

      The Calvinist rewords it in his mind to say “You were in Adam and God chose you while you were in Adam TO BE PLACED in CHRIST.” The passage does NOT say that but that is how they are taught to read that passage. Classic example of Eisegesis – reading his own bias into the text even though the text does NOT say that. They are so good at twisting scritpure

  9. Jim,
    What was White’s “great point”? I listened a couple times and did not see it.

    As a former Calvinist myself, I can tell you that I find enormously more Scripture contra-Calvin than for Calvinism.

    Have a look! These posts and comments are FULL of Scripture…..but most of the Calvinist rebuttal is the same repeated over-n-over 30-40 “gotcha” verses (which must be interpreted their way).

    No Calvinist ever used the following as a “gotcha” verse:

    Heb 11: 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

    Of course if you bring TO the Scripture an idea and filter that verse (and thousand of other verses) through Aristotle and (Mary-worshiping) Augustine’s imposed Total Depravity filter, you might be able to wrangle a Calvinist interpretation.

    Nah….many more Scriptures speak against Calvinism. But we are used to Calvinists using 40 verses and then telling others that it’s the others who do not look at the “whole counsel of God.”

  10. GraceAdict, I’m not overly familiar with the nuances of Calvinism:
    But do they not realize that man is a creature of volition? To some Jesus said: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40.) From this passage we learn that the ones to whom Jesus spoke did not have “life,” and it is also evident that they could have come, but refused. There was no irresistible force making it impossible for them to “come.” Therefore, the man in sin has the power to accept Christ and have “life”, or, he can refuse the Lord’s invitation and continue in sin; the choice is his to make.

    Jesus said, “If anyone is willing to do His will,..” (John 7:17). “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”…..Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17).

    1. 5alive, Great verse about searching the Scriptures. I hadn’t noticed that one yet. Thank you. And welcome, if you are new here (as I pretty much am).

    2. Hi 5Alive,
      Great to have you here on this site…you will find there is a wealth of wisdom shared here from the likes of. BR.D… FROMOVERHERE and others. You have come to the right place to understand better what Calvinism teaches and why it is so dangerous.
      When you analyze a worldview you always want to get to the root the “Foundational Assumptions”. Calvinism is a systematic which adheres to an Augustinian/ John Calvin Systematic that is expressed today through the teaching of TULIP. If you use a tree as an analogy TULIP would be the 5 main branches of this systematic.
      However the trunk and root system of the tree would be as BR.D puts it “their absolute commitment first and foremost to the philosophical system of “Universal Divine Causal Determinism” – this is expressed in their definition of Sovereignty. To them, if God is not the source and originator of every action, thought, plan or deed then God could NOT be Sovereign and we could not depend on God for any of His promises. An illustration that Leighton uses and I have used for over a decade as well is a chess match. From their definition of Sovereignty God has to actually be playing both sides of the chess board in order to assure His desired outcome. For instance when God makes a move God then has to pre-determine and cause His opponent to make that particular pre-determined move, God has to render certain that particular move to occur other wise God would lose control and God would not be God, He would not be Sovereign and His desire victory could not happen. Man would become the Sovereign and NOT God.
      We however, believe that man actually has the freedom to choose his own moves (this freedom was given to us by Sovereign God) and that God is SOOOOOO BIG and SOOOOO WISE and SOOOO POWERFUL that it really doesn’t matter which move his opponent makes God has many, many ways to defeat that move without taking away man’s freedom. We believe GOD will ALWAYS win every “chess match”, not because He is the cause of Evil man’s choices but because He is SOOO much greater than any man.
      Through their understanding of what is required in order for God to WIN ie (Universal Divine Causal Determinism) they have actually made God out to be MUCH weaker than He is, MUCH less Wise than He really is, Much less resourceful than what He really is and they turn God into the Author of Evil, profaning His Holy name…they make God and His Word untrustworthy, because they say God has His “revealed will” but His “Secret will” can be in total opposition to His revealed will. In other words God has His revealed TRUTH but His SECRET TRUTH can contradict His Revealed Word, and much of TULIP depends on this “Secret Truth”.
      My objection is: If we can’t depend on God’s REVEALED TRUTH we have NOTHING…. What part of Scripture can you really depend on? This is actually a satanic tactic to undermine our TRUST in what God has clearly revealed. Gen 3 – Satan did exactly this in the garden.
      By the way determinism is very much a pagan concept found all over the world, some branches of Christianity have incorporated this pagan concept into Christianity as – Universal Divine Causal Determinism – they label it Sovereignty but it is NOT Biblical Sovereignty it is a pagan concept of Determinism. Now they will try to make it sound like it isn’t determinism through evasions and trying to push the Determinism back one step but at the end of the day it is ( Universal Divine Causal Determinism).
      This is the Trunk or Root system of Calvinism… there are the 5 branches that grow out of this and they affect many key doctrines in a very negative way… Starting with the Biblical portrait of Who God IS. Through Calvinism the image of God becomes contorted and deformed, God is actually robbed of His Glory. This is simply a brief look at the Root system of Calvinism there is much much more. Keep listening to Leighton, Reading the Articles and posts. God bless….

      1. Thanks, GraceAdict, for your help and great efforts here. This is Aidan McManus, (AKA. 5alive).

        Just curious; If they believe God has to determine everything, then would that not mean that He also orchestrated the temptation and fall of man in the garden of Eden? Not only that, but He also “Determined” what Satan would do! Otherwise, how could He be Sovereign?

  11. Sorry GraceAdict, that last comment was from Aidan. I accidentally put in the wrong name.

  12. Thanks Heather, and thanks fromoverhere,. I am 5alive. I accidentally put in the wrong name when responding to GraceAdict. Thanks for all of your encouraging responses. But don’t ever employ me as a spy, I think I would mess it up fairly quickly. I came out of Catholicism to become just simply a Christian, which meant that I never went into Calvinism either. I think it’s crucial that we get away from all these various ‘isms’ and get back to New Testament Christianity. After all, Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;..”
    Also, I watched the video above, and believe that Leighton has done the right thing in holding out the ‘olive branch’ so to speak. In regards to this matter; the other tree will now reveal itself; whether it is a good tree or a bad tree. The choice is his! Or is it? (Because he’s a Calvinist).

    1. Love this comment.

      Note to mods: I have not received notification of this, or any other new posts for many months. Just found this by going to the home page.

  13. My daily Bible reading gets me to: 1 Kings 20:1-21:29; Acts 12:24-13:15; Psalm 137:1-9; Proverbs 17:16.

    Everybody knows the story of Ahab…. 1 Kings 21

    25 ​”​(No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the Lord’s sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel. 26 His worst outrage was worshiping idols just as the Amorites had done—the people whom the Lord had driven out from the land ahead of the Israelites.)​”​

    ​The Lord had just told him …..​ (21​)​ ​”​So now the Lord says, ‘I will bring disaster on you and consume you.​'”​

    ​Then what happens? ​

    27 “But when Ahab heard this message, he tore his clothing, dressed in burlap, and fasted. He even slept in burlap and went about in deep mourning.

    28 Then another message from the Lord came to Elijah: 29 ​’​Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has done this, I will not do what I promised during his lifetime. It will happen to his sons; I will destroy his dynasty.​'”​

    What? God tells Elijah (and us) that He is going to alter His plan. Even the Calvinist ESV says “Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days​…”​

    Calvinists would have us believe that:

    God caused Ahab to sin horribly.

    God told Ahab, you’re gonna get it!

    God caused Ahab to repent.

    God told Elijah…. “Did you see the way he is repenting!?”

    God then tell Ahab…. “Okay, I wont do what I said to you.”

    Not only is that scenario ridiculous but it leaves us wondering…. What’s the point?

    ​I can never see what a ​Calvini​st thinks we are suppose to learn about God from the many passages like this. ​

  14. My daily Bible reading gets me to: 1 Kings 20:1-21:29; Acts 12:24-13:15; Psalm 137:1-9; Proverbs 17:16.

    The other day on another string we discussed Sergius Paulus and now I come to him in the text of Acts 13.

    Remember…. the text tells us that he was seeking to hear the Word of God.

    7 “He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.”

    Of course for Calvinists, he would have to be “regenerated” to seek the Word of God (but the problem is too much time elapses before he hears it and calls on Christ).

    I linked and quoted Piper saying that he is a “pagan who wants to hear the Word of God” on “The Initiator of Salvation” page of this site.

    But what is also interesting is what it says further down…

    8 “But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”

    Then this pagan who is seeking the Word of God believed — because he is given faith?? Nah. He believed because he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord and because he saw this gnarly miracle performed by Paul!

    We have many passages explaining why people believe…. and NO passages saying they believe because they were (irresistibly) given faith.

    1. FOH,

      It’s a little ironic, brother, that you would mention the example of Sergio Paulus in one comment and then refer to Roger Olson in another. Olson, being an Arminian, who also adheres to TD/TI, would tell us that Sergio Paulus’ desire to hear the word of God could have only happened as a result of prevenient grace. The Calvinist believes Paulus would have to be regenerated. The Arminian believes that Paulus would have to be released from the bondage of sin. The example of Sergio Paulus rebukes TD/TI and thus takes down both Calvinism and its offspring, Arminianism.

      I can point this out because I used the example of Sergio Paulus at an Arminian website once. It wasn’t well received there either. While they agreed with me that Paulus had not been regenerated, they insisted Paulus’ “desire of the word of God” could only happen as a result of prevenient grace. When I challenged that, I was immediately labeled a Pelagian (or semi-pelagian) and treated as such.

      1. Phillip:

        The two comments are unrelated so no irony intended or should even be addressed.

        Roger Olson brings a lot of good information to the discussion (and as I said he was a guest of Leighton recently). I do NOT (perhaps you do) put Arminians and Calvinists in the same camp.

        One of your things (in addition to “elect is only Israel”) is that Arminians are just Calvinist-lite. I disagree, but dont care.

        They say it takes a special grace —- but they add that God does that for all…and it can be refused…. so I really have never understood your aggression to them.

        In the same way you and I would say that Christ died for everyone —but they people can say no thanks, Arminians say it takes a special grace…but God grants that to everyone (and is not irresistible).

        Anyway…. as far as Sergius Paulus goes I have no problem saying that God was calling him and extending His grace (an Arminian would say “prevenient Grace open to all”). Then….he was wowed by the miracle of Paul and the Word of God and was convinced.

        I have no need to argue/ discuss this with you. Blessings only.

      2. FOH,

        Brother, I didn’t mean that Roger Olson cannot be referred to on some topics. Even Vincent Cheung can have some good observations as well, whose thoughts I have posted in the past.

        I just thought it a little humorous that we (and I’ve done the same) were going to refer to a 2 point Calvinist (or Arminian if you prefer) to debate a 5 point Calvinist belief.

        Still, if we are going to swing at a Calvinist for embracing TD/TI, then we can’t help but hit the Arminian too. That was my point.

        You already know I stand with you regarding Sergio Paulus.

        Blessings to you as well.

  15. The Calvinistic concept of the predestination of men apart from their will and choice, whatever form that might take, issues from the false assumption that men “are born in sin,” having inherited the original sin of Adam, and “being wholly inclined to evil,” dead or with a corrupted nature; such a condition required an “unconditional election” on the part of God. Now, since their whole system is built upon this false doctrine centered around “original sin,” we need to keep asking the question; “Where in the bible does it teach “inherited sin,” or that we are born either “dead,” or with a “corrupted nature.”? This will show that the foundation is built on nothing but sand.

    1. AM,
      Agreed.

      I have been making a case for a while that the whole house of cards is built on the idea of TD/TI. If you affirm TD/TI …. and most Calvinists accept/affirm that with only 5-10 mins of reflection….. then you have to construct the rest of their system to make it work.

      For instance: everyone is Too-dead and a God-hater. You gotta regenerate them! Total Depravity.

      Hummmm…. which ones? (cuz you wouldn’t wanna save everybody now would you?). So Unconditionally Elect a teeeny few.

      Okay….. I guess that means the rest arent covered (and were never even wanted or loved) by Christ. So you get Limited Atonement.

      Hummmm… since they are “elected” and if they are gonna be covered by the Atonement…. we cant just “let it happen” and leave them with that choice (that could really mess things up)…. so dont give them the choice and make it “irresistible” = Irresistible Grace.

      Woah…dude….what if they are covered and elect…and irresistibly pulled in and then “dont want to stay in the house”? (Think Passover: stay in the house with the blood on it). Aha! we’ll fix that with Perseverance of the Saints (misleading, cuz they dont persevere at anything…. but whatever.).

      Is that about right?

      1. Yes, Fromoverhere, that sounds just about right.

        If you come up with a doctrine that we are born “Totally depraved / wholly inclined to evil” or “dead” then we are helpless and would require God to do everything; hence “unconditional election,” and “Irresistible Grace.”

        Then, in order to explain why the whole world isn’t saved, the next logical step is to come up with the doctrine of “limited atonement.” This election limited the atonement of Christ to the “elect,” who are saved eternally by the “irresistible grace of God,” and will, therefore,(even if they could try) never be able to forfeit their right to eternal life, hey presto, “perseverance of the saints.”

        Of course, all who are not of the “elect” are completely shut off from the grace of God which He has extended to all men through Christ, and are eternally consigned to condemnation and separation from God in the world that is to come.

        Both revelation and reason rebel against this false doctrine of predestination!

      2. AM,
        So true….. but hey….they deserve it!

        Some of the one-visit-wonders that come on here and shoot a shot across the bow…. say things like

        “It’s a miracle He doesnt just wipe us all out!”

        “It’s crazy that He even saves one of us sinners!”

        “We all deserve to be punished but at least He saves some.”

        This of course makes no sense in a determinist world since all of us were just determined to do what we do ….. no choice.

        This of course makes no sense if we got both a sinful nature and a “dead” nature from Adam (automatic sinners, and too-dead to do a thing about it).

        Hey….. but Calvinists just rejoice in the fact that at least they are “in”…. and will spend eternity with the God that purposely determined/planned that many of their friends and relatives be “reprobate” and vessels of His wrath (cuz He needs that).

        Good News!

      3. “Hey….. but Calvinists just rejoice in the fact that at least they are ‘in’…. and will spend eternity with the God that purposely determined/planned that many of their friends and relatives be ‘reprobate’ and vessels of His wrath (cuz He needs that).”

        Exactly. And if you question it, they fall back on…

        “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God?”

      4. Yes and that “who are you?” statement is actually in the Bible….but in context (context….what Calvinist cares about context?) it is God saying that He has the right to open salvation up to the “non-elect” “non-Israel” and who are they to fuss about it.

        But ….. remember their motto ….. “never waste a good half verse out of context.”

      5. “never waste a good half verse out of context.”

        Now that is hilarious. And so true. We see it here all the time.

        In the rhythm of “Old MacDonald”….

        Old man Calvin had a system… T.U.L.I.P.

  16. Can anyone tell me: Where in the bible does it teach “inherited sin,” or that we are born either “dead,” or with a “corrupted nature.”? I can’t see the proof for these anywhere.

    1. Hi Aidan, The verses leaned on the most for inherited sin nature and/or guilt from Adam’s sin are –
      Romans 5:12 NKJV — Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
      Psalm 51:5 NKJV — Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

      The verses I believe that teach we have no guilt from Adam but do have a dormant sin nature until our conscience mature enough to be confronted with God’s law are these.
      Ezekiel 18:20 NKJV — “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”
      Romans 7:9 NKJV — I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

      1. Hi Brian, this has been a good talk. But you believe that it is “superfluous.. as to whether one is born with or without a sin nature.” You asked: “So what difference does it make if they were born with or without a nature inclined to sin?” If this was just an ordinary conversation about worldly matters, I might agree with you, but it’s not. We are dealing with the word of God here, matters of life and death, and He warns us about how we treat it (Prov. 30:6). Even if we were inadvertently teaching a lie, is that superfluous? What are the consequences of that lie? God certainly knows, and I’m sure the devil does too.
        To say that we are born with a nature inclined to sin, a sinful nature; is to say that you are born with a nature positively inclined to evil, a wicked nature! You did not choose your nature. Consequently, the sinful nature you have is yours as a judgment, inherited by the decree or law of God, making it ‘natural for you to sin’. Is such a law just, a law which brings one into the world with a corrupted nature? This flies in the face of who God is, and His word! When God says,…”the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself,” it’s not just the guilt, but the punishment for that wickedness or guilt. This means that only he will bear the punishment for his sin, no one else will! “…The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself”(Ezek. 18:20). Yet, you insist that men ought to bear the punishment for Adam’s sin in the form of the curse of “a sinful nature;” a nature which positively leads men to sin, and then God condemns you because you do the very thing that nature He gave you leads you to do? God has no place for this (Ezek. 18:25,29).

        The following scriptures clearly show we are born into this world in the image of God and not with a “wicked sin nature.”

        Heb. 12:9 “..Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?” If God is the Father of our spirits, then we are made like Him.

        Eccl 7:29 “Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.” God made us all upright. We are born upright and then go astray by seeking out many devices.

        Isa. 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Again, having made us upright we then turn from Him, we “go astray,” we turn away.”

        Rom. 3:12 “They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable;..” From the Father of spirits we have “all turned aside”…”become unprofitable.”

        Rom. 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Notice the order: We all sin and then fall short, which means we were all in fellowship with Him before that.

        Rom 7:12 “So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” Take note for the next verses.

        Rom. 2:14-15 “for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,
        who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)” Notice: the Law (written by Moses) was “holy, and the commandment holy and righteous and good”; and the gentiles who had not the law (written by Moses) did by NATURE the things contained in the law. Again supporting the fact that we are all made upright and not with a corrupted sin nature. Thanks for your time.

      2. I’m sorry Brian, but you need to go back over my last two responses and you will see that your point has been answered comprehensively. Again, Rom 3:23 “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” is why God was able to shut up all under sin/disobedience. No escape for anybody there on the basis of ignorance, or law, or works, or father Abraham etc.. But from the beginning you have been in the affirmative, isn’t it up to you now to try and prove what you’ve affirmed?

      3. Let me try a different tack, Aidan. Believing man is born without a sin nature, and pointing to James 1 as part of your justification of how sin comes into existence in everyone, including Adam, are you suggesting that the nature of man was created with a weakness that once an outside temptation is presented to that nature, it cannot resist but must be drawn away and enticed and sin? If not – how does it become certain that God commits them all to disobedience?

        If yes… how is that created weakness a good thing in Adam, and how is it not very much like what I believe is the sin nature already inclined to sin. Thanks.

      4. Brian, you asked the following questions:

        “Believing man is born without a sin nature, and pointing to James 1 as part of your justification of how sin comes into existence in everyone, including Adam, are you suggesting that the nature of man was created with a weakness that once an outside temptation is presented to that nature, it cannot resist but must be drawn away and enticed and sin? If not – how does it become certain that God commits them all to disobedience?”

        Brian, I have presented many scriptures which show that we are not born with a sin nature; you need to believe them. And where are your scriptures that clearly teach “inherited sin nature”? Isn’t it because you cannot prove that which is not true?
        Regarding your first question about Adam and the rest of us: The answer is no. Otherwise you are talking about the false concept of “irresistible temptation”. I don’t know if that’s what you believe, but it is just a false as “irresistible grace”. God created man a ‘free moral agent’ able to freely choose between right and wrong. He wants us to freely choose to love Him, which means that we are not compelled one way or the other. Otherwise, how would He be perfectly just in committing all to disobedience/Sin? But can I ask you; could Adam and Eve have resisted their temptation to sin? If so — could Cain also have overcome his temptation to sin in Gen. 4:7? If so — how would you answer your second question ” how does it become certain that God commits them all to disobedience?” A question that I have already answered by the way. And how then do you explain a ‘sin nature’ that cannot resist sin? I think it’s time that you did some of the heavy lifting. Thanks.

      5. Actually, Aidan, Adam and Eve were not committed by God to disobedience. We agree. And their nature was able to freely resist disobedience. Again we agree. Disobedience changed their nature… I think we agree there also. (Their eyes were opened)

        Where we disagree is that change was passed on to their children and created a propensity in them for further sinning. Cain would have sinned earlier in his life when his conscience came to maturity. But he was certainly given grace to make right his sin of anger against God and did not have to murder his brother.

        You gave rhetorical questions that inferred that I gave no Scriptural evidence for being born with a sin nature. You should have at least conceded that I had given evidence, and you did not agree with my grammatical/contextual conclusions. And you still did not prove how all (except Adam) are committed to disobedience by God. I saw no evidence except your agreement that all have sinned… why, if no sin nature or if not irresistibly tempted?

        I have no more to share. Take the last word in this thread. I wish you the best. We agree (I think) all whose consciences are matured do inevitably sin and need to be saved. Praise His Name that He gives mercy to all to draw them to seek that salvation by grace through faith.

      6. Brian, I thank you for your time and that you behaved as a gentleman throughout this discussion. First of all, if Rom 3:23 “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” includes Adam and Eve, then so does Rom 11:32 “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all,” also include Adam and Eve. Why? Because unless the scriptures said that Adam and Eve were excluded, (All means all) and that’s all all means. And yes, (Their eyes were opened), signifying that they could now see that which they had not seen before (cf..Acts 26:18). Be careful not to make an inference, unless it’s a (necessary inference).

        In regards to Cain in Gen. 4:7, you said,–“But he was certainly given grace to make right his sin of anger against God and did not have to murder his brother.” Brian, I agree that he did not have to murder his brother. And, if by saying he was ‘given grace’, you mean that here God gave him counsel, I agree (cf. Titus 2:11-12). Which meant that it was completely up to him whether or not to implement God’s counsel. Unfortunately, Cain chose not to, and ended up killing his brother. But if you mean something other than this — I can’t help you.

        In regards to Rom 7:9 and Rom. 5:12, there is actually no mention of a “dormant sin nature” or of ” Inherited sin nature”, nor could you conclude such from those verses by “necessary inference.” Therefore, I still see no scriptural evidence for being born with a sin nature.

        Definition of the term “necessary inference”:

        Inferences — mere inferences — do not establish truth. There is a world of difference between an inference and a ‘necessary’ inference. One is only possible or even reasonable, but not altogether conclusive. The other is conclusive beyond all doubt, a conclusion from which there is no escape, hence, absolutely necessary.

        Brian, I too wish you the best and would welcome any further discussions in the future.

    2. Aidan, I will take a shot at answering a couple questions you asked. But I’m sure others know more than I do. (And they may have been rhetorical questions, but I’ll answer anyway.)

      My Calvinist pastor (ex-pastor, because we left that church last month) would say that Romans 3:10-12 explains our human nature after the fall. “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one seeks God. All have turned away … there is no one who does good, not even one.” He says this verse shows that we are absolutely “dead” inside – unable to seek God or to even think about Him or desire Him, unless God makes us do it. But I think he is reading into the verse things that aren’t there. It doesn’t say we are unable to seek God, just that we don’t. And don’t I think this chapter is about “Total inability” (as he says – being unable to think about or seek God) but that it’s about mankind being unable to work our way to heaven or to “earn” our way into heaven through our bloodline (the Jews). Two totally different things.

      And earlier you asked: “If they believe God has to determine everything, then would that not mean that He also orchestrated the temptation and fall of man in the garden of Eden? Not only that, but He also “Determined” what Satan would do! Otherwise, how could He be Sovereign?”

      My ex-pastor says that God “ordained” (by which he means “caused”) that Fall for His purposes, that He planned from the beginning for Adam and Eve to sin. (I would say that He knew they would sin and planned a way to redeem the sin, but not that He wanted or caused the Fall.) I have read from a Calvinist who said that God planned for Jesus to die for “elected” sinners and to have “unelected” people in hell for His glory, and so He had to cause the Fall so that Jesus had people to die for and so that God had people to send to hell. (WHAT!?! And talk about putting the cart before the horse!)

      And John Calvin himself (in his Institutes, though I can’t find the actual quote right now) says that God gave Adam a temporary will so that Adam would willingly sin so that he could earn death so that God could condemn him. (Friggin’ nonsense!) He also says in Book 1, Chapter 6, Section 1 that the reason God reveals Himself in nature is “in order to bring the whole human race under the same condemnation.” Whereas most of us would say that God reveals Himself in nature to draw us to Him, not to make us guilty so that He can condemn us for not seeing Him.

      Calvin also says that Satan (and all beings) are controlled by God so that they can’t do anything He doesn’t command them to do (not just “permit” them to do, but “command” them to do): “… the devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are, in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how much soever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as [God] permits – nay, unless in so far as he commands …” (Institutes, Book 1, chapter 17, section 11)

      The things with Calvinists is that you have to listen to them for awhile to figure out what they really believe and to find the contradictions in what they say, because they will say things right one time but then subtly throw wrong things in later or add things that contradict what they just said. John Calvin does this too, stating something right, only to state the exact opposite later. Br.D and others point this out a lot in their comments on this blog, how Calvinists say one thing but mean another. So if we stop critically listening to Calvinists when they say the “good” things, we’ll never notice the bad things. That’s how they slip in quietly and trap people unaware.

      The following is a look at some of Calvin’s contradictory nonsense. (It’s in two posts on my blog – “The Anti-Calvinist Rant” – click on my name to get to the blog. The posts are https://anticalvinistrant.blogspot.com/2019/04/problems-in-john-calvins-institutes-of.html and https://anticalvinistrant.blogspot.com/2019/04/some-of-calvins-contradicting-nonsense.html.) It’s long, but it helps explain what Calvinists believe and why it’s nonsense.

      #6:
      Book 1 of Calvin’s Institutes, Chapter 17 and Chapter 18 are about Calvin trying to make sense out of how God can be the “cause” of evil yet not be held accountable for evil, how we are “controlled” by God yet can be held accountable for what we do.

      In Chapter 17, section 5, Calvin addresses the dilemma of “If God controls us and we do the evil He wills us to do, why is He not accountable for it? Why are we?” As I said before, Calvin’s problem is his view of sovereignty and God’s control. Calvin causes his own theological problems by assuming that God causes all things – even sin – and so he has to then try to explain how we can be held accountable for the things God causes and how God cannot be held accountable for the sin/evil/unbelief He causes.

      But you can’t make sense out of nonsense! So it’s just ends up being a bunch of rambling, round-and-round nonsense, trying to rationalize a belief that shouldn’t be rationalized.

      Calvin also flops back and forth in what he teaches. He teaches that God controls all we do and that everything happens according to God’s Will and by God’s divine decree. Therefore, as Calvin acknowledges, we have to conclude that those who commit crimes are simply operating in God’s Will. But then he tries to explain how we can punish those who are simply doing the evil that God has predestined them to do by saying that they are not really doing God’s Will after all.

      About the actions of wicked people, Calvin says “I deny that they serve the will of God.” He says that we cannot say that “he who has been carried away by a wicked mind are performing service on the order of God” because the evil person is “only following his own malignant desires,” not acting in obedience.

      Wait just a second, Calvin! You say that everything – even our utterances, every bad natural disaster, all evil, everything we do – is controlled by and ordained by God, according to His Will and purposes and pleasure. You even say in section 4 that “prudence and folly are instruments of divine dispensation,” that God either causes us to be prudent and safe or to be foolish and to bring disaster on ourselves.

      But now you are going to say that wicked men doing wicked things are not controlled by God!?!

      Basically, Calvin’s theology is “Everything that happens is done by the Will of God, by the hand of God. We can’t do anything, even evil things, unless God wills it to happen. But if we do evil, it’s not God’s Will because only obedience to the Word is God’s Will, even though God controls all we do and we can’t do any evil unless God wills it. And if you don’t agree with me then you are a bad, unhumble Christian who dishonors God, and I will burn you at the stake with green wood that takes longer to burn.”

      “Hi, my name’s John Calvin. And I’m a schizophrenic megalomaniac with irrational thinking, delusions of grandeur, and a messianic complex. Would you be my disciples?”

      Calvin says that “Obedience is when we are instructed in his will and hasten in the direction he calls.” But that if we act wickedly, God didn’t commanded it.

      First of all, doesn’t needing to be “instructed in his will” imply that there are things that happen outside of His Will? Hmm, let’s see what Calvin says about this elsewhere …

      — God completely controls and causes every little thing that happens, “down to the minutest detail, down even to a sparrow.”

      — “it is certain that not a drop of rains falls without the express command of God”

      — “Therefore, since God claims for himself the right of governing the world, a right unknown to us, let it be our law of modesty and soberness to acquiesce in his supreme authority regarding his will as our only rule of justice, and the most perfect cause of all things…”

      — And according to Calvin, Solomon “derides the stupidity of those who presume to undertake anything without God, as if they were not ruled by his hand…”

      — And we commit blasphemy if we “refuse to admit that every event which happens in the world is governed by the incomprehensible counsel of God.”

      — And it is “insipid” to say God is just the originator of all things, but not the controller of all things.

      — “The counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined”

      — “everything done in the world is according to His decree”

      — and “the devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are, in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how much soever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetuate, unless in so far as he permits – nay, unless in so far as he commands”

      So … everything that happens in this world is “by His Will,” yet there is still some need to be “instructed in his will,” as if anything can happen outside His Will!

      Ha-ha-ha! Oh, that’s rich! Calvin (Calvinists) constantly contradicts himself and expects us not to notice.

      And how exactly can we “hasten in the direction” of anything if God controls the direction we take? How can we choose obedience if, as Calvin says, God controls everything we do? How can Calvin say that everything happens by God’s command except wickedness, after already stating that God controls all evil?

      In Chapter 18, section 2, Calvin says, “The sum of the whole is this, – since the will of God is said to be the cause of all things, all the counsels and actions of men must be held to be governed by his providence; so that he not only exerts his power in the elect, who are guided by the Holy Spirit, but also forces the reprobate to do him service.”

      Hold your horses there, mister …

      You said, “I deny that [wicked men] serve the will of God. For we cannot say that he who is carried away by a wicked mind performs service on the order of God …”

      But now you say “the reprobate do him service”!?!

      Hmm? Which one is it?

      Calvin says God controls all evil when he’s trying to uphold God’s “sovereignty” (by that, he means “micromanaging control”), but he denies that God controls all evil when he’s trying to figure out who to “blame” for it.

      “Confused, inconsistent theologian, table of one!”

      Make up your mind, Calvin! You can’t have it both ways! God either does cause everything or He doesn’t cause everything!

      If God is so “in control” (as Calvin says) then how come He’s only in control of the obedient people and not the wicked people? So we are responsible for our disobedience, as if we ourselves choose disobedience … but if we are obedient, it’s because God caused us to be? Wouldn’t us having some sort of responsibility for our disobedience somehow negate God’s “sovereign, micromanaging, control,” as Calvin defines it? Didn’t Calvin himself just say that the greatest arrogance ever is to utter one word against God’s authority? That even Solomon would call us stupid for presuming to undertake anything without God, as if we are not fully ruled by God? According to Calvin, aren’t we “defrauding God of His glory” if we say there is something He doesn’t control?

      And yet now Calvin is going to say that those who are carried away by a wicked mind are not doing the will of God?

      Round-and-round, nonsensical, rambling hogwash!

      (It would be comical, laughable even … if it wasn’t such a destructive, widespread, faith-damaging theology.)

      Of course, God doesn’t command that we do evil, and doing evil is not obedience to God. Calvin is right about that. It’s what we should believe, based on the Bible. But Calvin cannot make that truth mesh with his belief that God is the cause of all things and that God controls the course of everything. And that’s why these are such rambling, nonsensical chapters.

      One thing we learned in my graduate school psychology classes was that the more words people use, the less truthful they are. And I think Calvin’s 1000+ pages of trying to describe his theology are 1000+ pages of trying to make nonsense into sense. And since that’s not possible, he has to constantly add more words and ideas to try to make his errors and inconsistencies sound reasonable and biblical. By comparison, the Bible’s book of John – which pretty much contains the foundational things we need to know about mankind and Jesus and the path of salvation – is only about a couple dozen pages long. Interesting!

      This mixture of truth and error is why it’s so hard to fight Calvinism and to detect the heresy of it. They say enough truth to get you to think they are accurately teaching the Word of God and they make you feel humble for accepting it. But you have to always view their “truth” through the lens of their fundamental theological errors, which completely discredits even the “true” things they say.

      Aiden, I am sure this is more than you wanted to know, but I figured I’d post in anyway. It’s worth knowing why you can’t trust Calvinism and how they sneak around theologically.

      1. Wow, Heather!

        I just saw this now, but only after I had replied to Brian. I commend you for your zeal, and the great effort you put into this. I’ll tell you what I’m going to do: I’m going to sit down in front of my computer with a cup of coffee and a snack in hand, and happily read through the letter you’ve written. I have a lot to digest, but I really appreciate it. Then, I hope to get back to you sometime in the near future, hopefully with plenty more to talk about on this important issue.

      2. Hi Heather,
        “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,,..(Acts 17:30). First of all, I think it’s fair to say that God’s will is for everyone to repent. I think it’s also fair to say that most haven’t, which would suggest that God is not overriding our free will. How else could we explain man’s ability to stubbornly refuse God’s heartfelt calls to come to Him?
        “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”(Mat. 23:37).
        It is quite clear then, that Calvinism is a human theological system, designed according to the commandments and doctrines of men. These are the ones who are pushing their, ‘self-imposed religion’ on the scriptures and onto the unsuspecting.
        How do you now counteract the 5 points of TULIP?

  17. Ok sorry back to the video above and your comment Matt… Wow Matt Ok I mean Wow I did finally watch this and what a boastful bully!! Sorry for that comment, but James White how in the world can he call what he’s done here research or sensical???? I would be embarrassed if I sat under him for teaching please recant your comments if you don’t want to appear to be aligning with a bully who thinks he has it all figured out!!! My friend James even with all his books education critical thinking skills etc….has absolutley no better standing with the apostles Jesus’ choses to finish the Word of God through inspiration of the Holy Spirit these were not all educated men.. And his point is only valid in that 44 seconds if you bury your head in the sand or purposefully plug your ears and only hear that discourse… I’m embarrassed that someone who claims to love our merciful God would misalign a fellow brother in Christ as he clearly has done!

     I loved how Leighton continued the video and it showed how James then play’s the poor me card🤔 and was so upset by someone playing him out of context it can only make you wonder, does he forget what he sees in the mirror when he looks at himself???  Again this video above should upset anyone who follows James White.. so he claims I’m not a critical thinker especially if I don’t agree with him hmm seems a bit arrogant to me! As well as any logical minded individual hearing him say this statement for me with his bully tactics I find it difficult to take him seriously at least I can listen to Piper even though I do not agree with him at all… If you have this man’s ear you ought to tell him how he comes across to most rational people who refuse to take a man’s word for what God’s Word says sorry, but I find after viewing this it’s hard to take him seriously. But he probably wouldn’t even care, because I’m not enlightened enough to understand what he’s saying Nahh I don’t trust that conclusion. I’m sure glad Leighton & David Alan aren’t thin skinned, but reallly really really how divisional is pretty much what most of James White says in these statements. Great unity Mr White

    1. Reggie,
      Thanks for commenting and showing us your zeal! And thanks for exposing Matt and James White.

      Two things: You will not hear back from Matt. He is a drive-by shooter….shooting across the bow (no real dialog). For Matt…. anything that James White or Piper do is right…period! That is because he knows they are card-carrying Calvinists, so he gives them a wide berth.

      Secondly (please accept this as a friend), please try to use periods (not run-on sentences) and shorter paragraphs. You have good things to say, but I am afraid that people will not take the time if the sentences are too long and run-on.

      Pleeeeeeese keep commenting, but make your posts as user-friendly as possible so many readers will be encouraged to read them!

      1. FOH Thank you for that honest feedback. Once sent I did see that, and I need to stop using swipe to text method on my phone to responsed.. and finally get my computer hooked back up. But I do truly appreciate your honest feedback🙋‍♀️

  18. Thanks Brian, I too, would look to passages like Ezekiel 18:20, and Romans 7:9, as evidence that we are not held accountable for Adam’s sin, but rather, we die for our own sin. But I don’t see a “sin nature” necessarily taught in any of these verses? Do you mean we inherit a “sin nature” from Adam that is dormant? Would you be able to explain what you mean by “a dormant sin nature,” and why you believe these passages teach this? Hopefully I’m not putting you too much on the spot, because you’ve have been quite helpful, and these are not always easy things to answer.

    1. You’re welcome Aidan! From Rom 7:9, “sin revived”, I believe means from within. Also, that our physical flesh is subject to death (Rom 5:12) indicates that the curse/judgment Adam received in his physical flesh because he sinned was passed onto us. In that curse, physical weakness, lie the appetites and desires which make up what Paul calls the “flesh”, which is the synonym sometimes for sinful nature.

      1. Hi Brian, I appreciate the quick response.

        So that there’s no confusion on my part, I hope you don’t mind me pulling together what you’ve said?
        Romans 7:9 NKJV — I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.
        You believe that in Rom 7:9, “sin revived”, is talking about a “dormant sin nature” being revived from within?

        Also, you believe that the judgment Adam received in (Rom 5:12) and then passed onto us, was physical death and a sinful nature?
        I know that I this is short and to the point, but does it basically reflect what you are saying?

        Regards, Aidan.

      2. Yes, Aidan… that sums my view up pretty well. But more important is the clear verse – Romans 11:32 NKJV — For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

      3. Hi Brian,
        I was just thinking: Would you consider that these verses are not talking about an inherited sinful nature? And, that we don’t actually need a sinful nature in order to commit sin? Consider Adam and Eve for example:

        (A) Man’s original condition was one of innocence and purity. He was a free moral agent, capable of choosing right and wrong.
        (B) Sin is defined as a transgression of law (lawlessness, NASB) (1 Jn. 3:4). John explains that the various avenues through which Satan tempts one include the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jn. 2:15-17). See also Jas. 1:13-16. Eve was tempted in these ways (Gen. 3:6).
        1. The tree was good for food.
        2. The tree was a delight to the eyes.
        3. The fruit of the tree would make one wise.

        (C) Seeing that we are tempted in the same way as Adam and Eve were, and they did not have a sinful nature when they committed sin; we do not necessarily need to have a sinful nature in order for us commit sin.

        Secondly: The New Testament twice compares Adam and Christ (Rom.5 and 1 Cor. 15). In Romans 5, Christ is seen to be the answer to the problem of spiritual death. In 1 Cor 15, Christ is seen to be the answer to the problem of physical death. One is conditional, the other is unconditional. Death, both spiritual and physical, came into the world through the sin of Adam and Eve.

        A look at Romans 5:12. Paul said, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
        The context of Rom. 5:12 favours the idea that spiritual death is under consideration. Paul argues that through one transgression (18) or disobedience (19) sin entered into the world (12; cf. Gen. 3). The sin resulted in death which passed onto all men (12) and many were made sinners (19). The reason given for this consequence: ” for that all sinned” (12). Death became universal; because sin was universal (Rom. 3:23).
        The death mentioned here was passed unto all men who sinned. Adam sinned by eating the forbidden fruit and death entered into the world. Others sinned, not in the same way Adam did, but by transgressing other Divine laws. As a result they died spiritually (14).
        Also, Romans 5 shows that man can have spiritual life through obedience to Christ. Through one act of righteousness (18), obedience (19; cf. Heb 5:8-9), the free gift of God resulted in life unto all men (many are made righteous, 19). In order for an individual to share this life he must obey (Rom. 6:16; Heb. 5:8-9).
        One may share in the spiritual death brought by Adam through disobedience: one may share in the spiritual life brought by Christ through obedience. The answer to spiritual death is conditioned upon obedience to Christ. But the answer to physical death is unconditional; all will be raised from the graves.(1 Cor 15:21-22; cf. John 5:28-29). Hopefully I will discuss Rom. 7:9 with you at a later date.

      4. Thank you Aidan for your reply. Of course Adam proves one does not need a sinful nature to commit sin. But he certainly got one after he sinned, and so the issue is whether that change was passed on. Physical death was passed on because of Adam’s sin, and Rom 5:12 grammatically supports that “all sin” as a result of what Adam did.

        As I said, I believe Rom 7:9 supports indwelling sin as a nature, for one’s first experience of guilt doesn’t result from sin reviving universally, but only reviving personally. I look forward to your take on that verse.

        And I also want your view on Rom 11:32, which I think makes explaining what we received from Adam a mute point, imo.

      5. Hi Brian, thanks for clarifying that Adam proves we do not need a sinful nature to commit sin. It is also true to say that man began to die physically as soon as he was separated from the tree of life (Gen. 2:9). Spiritual death is the result of man being separated from God, the source of spiritual life. (See Eph. 2:1-5: dead in relationship to God while alive in regard to the lusts of the flesh).
        Man died the day he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil when he was driven out of the presence of God (Gen. 3:22-24). Sin separates man from God (Isa. 59:1-2).
        The issue is what kind of death is Romans 5 talking about. Again, you can’t keep ignoring the context of the chapter, which tells us that we are dealing with spiritual death and spiritual life, not the physical. And, yes, it is true; Rom 5:12 supports that “all sin” is a consequence of what Adam did. Because Paul tells us it was through Adam that, “sin entered the world, and death through sin..” But then he tells us how that death spread to all men, he says,…” and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” There is no mention of inherited sin nature in the verse, either by direct statement, or by necessary inference. Also, how could this only be referring to physical death if men only die after they have committed sin? How then do sinless babies die?
        Just like Romans 3:23, and Romans 6:23, Romans 5:12 is dealing with spiritual death, not physical death. Humans will die physically whether they sin or not.

        Romans 3:23; “.for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
        Romans 5:12; “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
        Romans 6:23; ” For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

        Is it not quite plain to see, that the subject is spiritual, not physical?

        I haven’t forgotten Romans 7:9, or 11:32.

      6. Hi Brian,
        Romans 7:9 NKJV — I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.
        Let’s apply it first to Adam and Eve, who were without a sinful nature, as pure and innocent as the driven snow.
        One notices how often sin is personified in the bible.

        1.They were alive once without the commandment (no knowledge of good or evil)
        2. But when the commandment came, sin was now able to come in through the commandment.
        3. With Satan as the driving force, sin took it’s opportunity by the commandment, deceived them and killed them spiritually.

        Let’s now apply it to us, who were born without sin, or a sinful nature, pure and innocent as babies. Therefore,
        1. I was alive once without the law (no knowledge of good or evil).
        2 But when the commandment came (age of accountability), sin was now able to take opportunity through the commandment.
        3 With Satan as the driving force, sin took it’s opportunity by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me spiritually.

        (James 1:14-15), ” But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”
        ” Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

      7. Thank you Aidan for your reply. I wonder if you felt any discomfort in trying to make Rom 7:9 fit your view. The main thing I noticed is that you admit “sin” is personified. But you said “sin was now able to come in”… Paul never said anything about sin entering, but reviving/coming alive. Later in the chapter he talks clearly about sin dwelling in him, in his flesh.

        You also want this “sin” to be something connected to Satan as its “driving force”. Paul makes no mention of Satan using the commandment and causing sin to revive and causing his spiritual death. I remain unconvinced by your discussion and remain with the idea that we are born with indwelling sin as a nature (not guilt) that lies dormant until the law confronts our matured conscience.

        Now what about Rom 11:32, which I said makes this “what we got from Adam” seem superfluous? Thanks.

      8. Thanks Brian for your quick response.

        Brian, you said “Paul never said anything about sin entering,”… But he did when he spoke about Adam, and so did I. Let me quote him “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin,…”(Rom. 5:12). This is precisely what I meant when I spoke about Adam and Eve. But when speaking about “us”, you never mentioned that I said: “But when the commandment came,.. sin took it’s opportunity by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me spiritually.” This is what I said, and this is also what Paul said in (v.8, and v.11) the verses just either side of Rom. 7:9! I always believe in looking at the scriptures as the safest and best way of interpreting a verse.

        You said, that (v.9) teaches “we are born with indwelling sin as a nature (not guilt) that lies dormant..” But Paul makes no mention of inheriting a “sin nature,” or to quote you earlier, “dormant sin nature”. Where are they mentioned anywhere in scripture? “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God…”(1 Peter 4:11).

        Please look at the next verse which talks about how sin comes about for all of us:….

        But notice first, that nowhere is the word “inherited sin nature” ever mentioned here, except that you might be reading it into the text. But then that becomes even more impossible when you apply this verse to Adam and Eve. Everybody agrees that they certainly did not have an “inherited sin nature.” And yet sin was given birth in them in exactly the same way as it is was produced in all of us!

        Notice:
        “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”(James 1:14-15)…. Yes, this happened to Adam and Eve too, who were created good, proving that even from “within Adam’s desires” sin was produced and brought forth his death.

        4 questions on (James 1:14-15):
        (A) Did sin arise differently to this from Adam and Eve? No!
        (B) Did sin arise differently to this from Paul ? No!
        (C) Has sin ever arisen in any other way for anyone, period? No! How then do you prove “inherited sin nature”, something never mentioned, and something that each of us never needed in order for us to give birth to sin, and bring forth death? You don’t need it Brian, give it up.
        (D) Who is the one behind our temptations? See..(Mth. 4:3; and 1 Thess. 3:5). Therefore Brian, you cannot disconnect Satan from the temptations we have to sin.

        Again, if we read into the verse what we want to see, we end up adding to, or taking away from, the word of God. Here’s what God told Israel, “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”(Deut. 4:2). That is still a good principle to follow. I don’t know yet, what the ultimate effects are concerning this doctrine of an “inherited sin nature,” even so, I do see a lot of similarities between us on this matter. Maybe we could enumerate them at some point and see if I’m right on this?

      9. Thanks Aidan for further explanation which did not seem to add anything new. And I remain unconvinced. I await your take on Rom 11:32. Blessings.

      10. Brian, I’ll see if I can talk to you on Thursday or Friday. I’m not sure where you are going with Rom.11:32, but I will do what I can. Perhaps, afterwards, you could do a more detailed exegesis on that passage to explain where you are coming from? And, maybe at the end of this thing, you and I could give a summary of what we believe. Who knows, perhaps some good will come of it.

        Regards, Aidan.

      11. Hi Brian, I hope all is well with you.
        Okay, you wanted my understanding of Rom 11:32, “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.”
        First of all, this passage as much as any other, should be viewed in terms of his overall development of the entire book. Since the theme of Romans was very specifically stated by Paul in Romans 1:16, we will do well to consider how his discussion in our text relates to that theme. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Paul is addressing the plan of salvation. The gospel is God’s power to save. This salvation is for all, for both Jew and Gentile. It is to everyone who believes.
        But of course, in order to be saved, you need to be convicted of your sin and how you stand before God. Whatever one might say about the state of the Gentiles; the Jew, especially, thought that he was righteous under the Law boasting in it and in God. And he had not subjected himself to the righteousness of God: “For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.”(Rom. 10:3).
        In the first three chapters of Romans, the charge is made and established that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God..”(Rom. 3:9,10,12, 23,19).
        But again, it was God’s purpose and plan to save everyone through the gospel, not condemn. Therefore, without getting into the specifics, suffice it to say, that it was ultimately for this cause that “God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.”(Rom 11:32). Furthermore, “..if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”( Gal.3:21-23)

        Hopefully this helps.

      12. Thank you, Aidan, once again for your thoughtful reply. And as usual, I agree with most of what you write. But I think you missed discussing the point I had made earlier about Rom 11:32, that this verse makes superfluous our discussion as to whether one is born with or without a sin nature. Whichever is true, does it really matter if God has committed us all over to disobedience? The verse is very intentional on God’s part. No one escapes being “shut up in disobedience” by God, now do they? So what difference does it make if they were born with or without a nature inclined to sin? Thanks.

  19. Have any of you seen prayercast.com?

    Fantastic ministry! One of their recent posts is a former Muslim from Central Asia found here:

    https://www.prayercast.com/shavkat.html

    Notice in the first minute how this guy is disgusted with the Determinist aspect of Islam. This is called Qadr in Islam. God determined everything.

    Try to tell this recent convert to Christ about Calvinism-Determinism. I can just hear his likely response:

    Are you kidding! I just left that in Islam!

    1. Question FOH do you know why it’s coming up blank when I click on your thread?? Again I’m on a phone, but usually I’m able to go to other threads so just curious..

      1. The link seems to be working fine. try it on a computer…or change your settings

    2. I guess this “Determinist-God of Islam” is why my Calvinist pastor focuses his missions trips in the Middle East. They’re easy pickings for Calvinism because they are already used to the idea of a Deterministic God. (How different – personality-wise – is Calvi-god from Islam’s God anyway? Isn’t my Calvi-pastor just substituting one oppressive, irrational “God” for another?)

      He even uses the “humility” of Middle Eastern people to try to shame us into Calvinism, reminding us of how willingly Middle Eastern people accept and bow to a “Sovereign God” (read: harsh and micromanaging God), compared to us shameful, proud, resistant, unhumble Americans who “can’t accept God’s sovereignty because we like our independence and choice-making abilities too much.” It’s disgusting.

  20. Should James white and Leighton Flowers have another debate, this time with no notes, no English text, Greek only with a 30 minute opening. Then we (Arminian and Reformed Calvinist) can decide who is properly Exegeting scripture?

    1. Welcome Gilbert! Leighton has always been open about his need to rely on the exegesis skills of others in the Greek language for various passages. So that debate format you suggest is a no-go… I think it would be interesting to hear White discuss various passages in the Greek text with someone who also has studied sufficiently to be conversant about the Greek issues in those passages. I would love the opportunity in private with White. I am not a fan of his public debate style, which I deem very low on reflecting a desire for the edification of his opponents.

  21. Can anyone from the administration of this blog tell me what the rules are concerning copying quotes from the commenters here? I see some good ones that I would love to add to posts I might write (with credit to the commenter, of course), but I don’t want to cross any lines or break any rules that I am not aware of. Thank you.

    1. I’m no longer in admin, Heather, for this site. But you are free to copy and reference quotes from this public site without fear of plagiarism. You can always feel free to copy, edit, and use anything I have written without needing my permission or even referencing me.

  22. White more and more shows his true colors. It’s ad hominem attacks after another. dishonest critiques. but he does this because deep down calvinism is off and people like Mr. Flowers keep exposing the falsity of calvinism and this is what happens when you are obsessed with defending an ideology instead of biblical truths

  23. I am very late to this thread, having just seen it, but just wanted to state that I also do not find the belief in an inherited ‘sin nature’ either biblically compelling or morally consistent with the character of God. For God to have condemned all men, irresistibly, to an inherent sin nature is, in my opinion, to concede to the cruel and controlling determinism that Calvinism asserts. There is only a slight difference between asserting that God made all men sinners and saved as many as would meet his criterion, and asserting that God made all men sinners and saved a chosen few.

    I reject both of these alternatives, and posit that God makes all men in his own image, and it was the first sin of Adam that introduced evil and death into God’s formerly perfect and deathless creation. I believe the concept of ‘the sin nature’ is an incorrect reading of scripture. I would agree with Brian that, at first glance, it appears merely semantic to quibble over whether we sin because we ‘must’ or we simply all choose to. But again, this touches on the very important difference between those who affirm determinism and those who assert that God grants to men the freedom and responsibility to choose their own ways.

    For God to determine that all men would be born with a sinful nature is only one step away from full-on Calvinism. I reject any and all supposition that sin is the result of God’s desires or determinations. I do not see how one can avoid charging God with being the author or evil under the concept of a God-given inherent sin nature.

    Having been succored on this concept, I am still sweeping away many of the cobwebs in order to think more clearly. My current, early, thoughts lean towards the concept that it is the curse of physical death – our mortality – that Adam introduced into the creation. This, I perceive, aligns with what scripture tells us. It appears that it is this awareness, and fear of, death that gives Satan all the toehold he needs to deceive and manipulate us into sin and rebellion.

    It is only when we realize that God does not desire for us to perish that we can fully trust in him. If he is simply an all powerful deity, but his love, or good intentions toward us are in doubt, we will be unlikely to trust him or believe his promises. The assurance of God’s love and good intentions was given us in and through Jesus.

    Now, with the promise of eternal life – freely given to all who desire it and are willing to live in proper relationship with God – we can understand who God is, what he desires for us and are freed from the fear of death and the power of sin.

    I don’t know if that makes any sense, but just thought I would, however late, add it to the conversation.

  24. TSOO posted this one:

    “Now, with the promise of eternal life – freely given to all who desire it and are willing to live in proper relationship with God – we can understand who God is, what he desires for us and are freed from the fear of death and the power of sin.”

    ———Here’s My Response————

    Those claimants who desires it in Matt. 7:21-23 were not freed from fear and the power of sin. So… what do you think God desires for them? — is it “to be saved”?, then they desire for it and yet perished?

    1. Are you joking? You are asking why false believers, who serve God in name only but do not have a genuine relationship with him, will not be accepted as are all true children who have genuinely put their trust in God?

      Certainly God desires that they do not perish, or do you doubt his own claim that this is true? This is why he sent his Son, allowed him to suffer and die, and sent out messengers to proclaim the meaning of all that he said and did.

      There is nothing in the fact that some people reject a free offer that casts doubt upon God’s sincerity in making that offer. It is only when one makes the faulty assumption that all things are deterministically controlled by God that they run afoul of scripture and reject the genuine love of God for all men. Your determination to read your preconceptions into scripture clouds your lenses.

      1. You said, “they desire it”, and “God desire it also”, so… the outcome is that they still perish? Why? There were 2 wills already presented (that are in agreement with each other ; the will of those claimants and the will of God as you said, God’s will for them is to be saved), but still it did not work?, Why?

      2. Who said ‘they desire it’? Not me, and not scripture. All who desire God’s offer of life can freely obtain it, if they follow his one and only condition, which is to believe in him as proclaimed by the words and life of his Son.

        Unlike Calvinists, God does not play word games. He does not care if we think there is one will or 1000, if we understand the definition of regeneration, justification or eschatology. He does not demand that you say the magic word to ‘get in’. It is only false teachers who play such games, and portray God as doing so.

        Those who have never heard of Jesus will not be demanded to ‘believe in Jesus’. If they believe the evidence of creation and accept that there is a good and trustworthy Creator, even if they never heard that he sent his Son to proclaim the good news of everlasting life, will be accepted as having put their faith in God. God is not playing games with us. From your grotesque opinions of who and what God is, I fear you may not know the living God, who is good, gracious, loving, merciful, kind and just. He IS love, and all of our concepts of love arise from who he is.

  25. JTL, asks, “Why?” Why were they not saved in (Matt. 7:21-23)?

    My Response:
    What reason does Jesus give in the text itself? Here it is;

    (v.21) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

    (v.22) “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

    (v.23) “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    Tell us what reason Jesus gave here, not what Calvin taught! Can you do it? We’ll see.

    1. Aidan McManus posted this one:

      “(v.21) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

      ———-Here’s My Response————–

      What is the will of God the Father? = Jesus Christ answered this in John 6:39-40, 44

      “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day” John 6:39

      v. 40 “And this is the will of Him [God the Father] who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day”

      How can they see the Son if these people are spiritually blind, unless God will remove the veil that hinders them from seeing the truth?
      Can they remove by themselves alone that veil that hinders them to see the Son? Aidan? … that is why Jesus continued saying in verse 44…

      Then in John 6:44 Jesus said : “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day”

      Jesus declared that “No one can come to Him unless the father draws him”, but Aidan McManus contradicts Jesus Christ’s statement here by arguing and espousing a doctrine that everyone can come using their own free will”. I think Aidan is no longer in his right mind arguing with Jesus Christ still insisting that everybody can come to Jesus without the act of divine Intervention of the Father, they can just do it by their own free will.

      These claimants of Matt. 7:21-23 were using the own free will of choice to come to Jesus and according to Aidan McManus, Jesus intends to save them, yet still God deny them? even if there were already 2 wills [that of the free choice of the claimants and the will of God according to Aidan that God intends to save them] that Aidan McManus still these claimants still perishes and being denied.

      Aidan is quick again to say that they are “unbelievers”, then why is it that God denied them? what happened to the doctrine of AIDAN that according to him, God wants all to be saved and yet here we see the falsity of Aidan’s doctrine that he is cuddling in his backpack.

  26. JTL, asked, “Why?” Why were they not saved in (Matt. 7:21-23)?

    My Response was:
    “What reason does Jesus give in the text itself? Tell us what reason Jesus gave here, not what Calvin taught! Can you do it? We’ll see.”

    Well we did see from his post above, that he wasn’t able to answer without bringing what Calvin taught into it. He wasn’t able to answer a simple question from the text of (Matthew 7:21-23). He wasn’t able to give the simple answer that Jesus gave in (Mt 7:21).

    (v.21) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

    Jesus tells us in plain simple English what the problem was, and why they couldn’t get into heaven. They did not do the will of the Father. He says, among those who say, ‘Lord, Lord,’ not every one will enter, but only those who do the will of the Father will enter. Oh! don’t get Him wrong; they did many things in His name throughout their life. And, He also says that they called Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and they also see seem genuinely shocked in their protests to the Lord on that Day.

    Yes, they did a lot of things in His name, but failed to do what He said. Notice what He says in Luke 6:46; “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?

    That was their great crime and sin (v23). It was hearing what He said, and not doing it (Mt 7:26; Lk 6:46). All opinions aside, this was the only reason Jesus gives as to why many religious people will not enter into heaven.

    And when yo read the whole of John 6 in context, it destroys Calvinism.

    1. Aidan McManus posted this one:

      “Jesus tells us in plain simple English what the problem was, and why they couldn’t get into heaven. They did not do the will of the Father. He says, among those who say, ‘Lord, Lord,’ not every one will enter, but only those who do the will of the Father will enter. Oh! don’t get Him wrong; they did many things in His name throughout their life. And, He also says that they called Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and they also see seem genuinely shocked in their protests to the Lord on that Day.”

      ——–Here’s My Response———–

      Jesus Christ spoke of His Father’s will in verses 39, 40 and 44, of John Chap. 6, to address the reason why those claimants in Matt. 7:21-23 were denied by the King, yet Aidan McManus refuse to accept and cannot afford to even counter argue with it.

      Aidan McManus is again daydreaming here of saying John chap 6 destroys Calvinism.

      1. John 6:37a – NKJV – “ALL THAT THE FATHER GIVES ME WILL COME TO ME,..”

        Who comes to Jesus? – None other than those who have heard and learned from the Father comes to Him. (Jno. 6:44-46)

        How do we hear and learn? – 2 Timothy 3:15,16 – “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;” – Therefore we can only be taught through God’s word.

        God wants all men to hear and learn and be saved: – 1 Timothy 2:4 – “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

        Jesus said that the gospel was to be preached to – all the world – to every creature – to all nations – (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:45-49; Acts 1:8).

        Since the gospel was to be preached to all men, i.e. (every creature), it is evident that He wants “all men(every creature)” to be saved: – Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

        “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
        “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

        Indeed, the gospel message is for every creature, namely, – All men everywhere – because God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

      2. Aiodan McManus posted this one:

        “And, that the scriptures show that God does not call men irresistibly, but allows men to come of their own free will (Matt. 23:37; John 5:40; Rom 10:21).”

        ——–Here’s My Response——–

        Here is the content of the verse cited by Aidan McManus to counter the doctrine of the “I”.

        Matt. 23:37 says: ” O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing”.

        Jesus is addressing the Israelites in the verse. The rest of the Israelites were stricken with blindness – the very reason why they refuse the offer to be gathered under the wings of the mother chicken. This is affirmed by the Apostle Paul in:

        Romans 11:7-8 where it says: “What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. = [Who blinded them, Aidan? What is your answer? _____]

        v.8 “Just as it is written: “God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that it should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day.”

        If God extended to them the offer and they refuse it, that is because they were blind and deaf to the truth.

        The offer is not an act of insincerity but just a way of showcasing their status for which Aidan McManus refuse to see and accept. Aidan interpret this as “free will” ! is it really free will when there was a divine intervention? , But for Aidan Mcmanus that’s free will for him, my goodness!

        This blindness is only for a while. God will unblind them at His right time and ALL ISRAEL will be saved according to Romans 11:25-26.

        “For I do not desire, brethren that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. v. 25

        “And so ALL ISRAEL will be saved as it is written: “The deliverer will come out of Zion, and He [God] will turn away ungodliness from Jacob”. v.26

        “He [GOD] will turn away ungodliness from Jacob” – This is an act of IRRESISTIBLE GRACE. i.e.:

        Who is Jacob? – He is Israel and his descendants of the Promise

        Who will cleanse the Israelites from their sins? = The answer is GOD, not them. Is is God who make His children Holy. This is parallel with The Father trimming the branches in John chap 15:1-2. He does not ask permission from the branches if they wanted to be trimmed. God the Father ignores their will and do the act of pruning.

        So… Aidan, you are again vulnerable … hiding again under a wrong camouflage that prompted you to espouse a defective doctrine.

      3. Aidan McManus posted these ones:

        “John 6:37a – NKJV – “ALL THAT THE FATHER GIVES ME WILL COME TO ME,..”

        “Who comes to Jesus? – None other than those who have heard and learned from the Father comes to Him. (Jno. 6:44-46)”

        “How do we hear and learn? – 2 Timothy 3:15,16 – “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;” – Therefore we can only be taught through God’s word.”

        “God wants all men to hear and learn and be saved: – 1 Timothy 2:4 – “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

        ——–Here’s My counter argument———

        Timothy was not directly taught by God the Father, rather God uses His TRUE SERVANTS to do the teaching. Formerly, Timothy was also spiritually dead to sin, but was regenerated and was drawn by God the Father to the Son so that Timothy in his childhood was able to know the truth and was able to place his God given faith to Jesus.

        There were several people including the cults even the Pope that might have known the sacred writings from childhood, but still are damned to hell.

        Aidan, who taught satan from the scriptures? What is your answer Aidan? _____? yet satan also knows it and argues with Christ, yet he is still damned.

        Aidan McManus seems to see this act of teaching as creating a universal effect on ALL people that ALL those who have been taught will be saved. He do it this way in order to argue with God the Father’s act of Drawing people whom He choose for Himself to come to the Son.

        Here, God is giving us the assurance that NO ONE can come to the SON except they are drawn to the Son by the Father, but Aidan Mcmanus insists that all can come with the use of their own free will despising the will of decision of the Father, assuming for himself that The Father draws them all … then – still the rest are damned.

        “All MEN to be saved” in 1 Tim. 2:4 is used as a proof text for ALL Humanity to be saved is just an illusion and a dishonest way of offering this to ALL when the truth is NOT.

        “ALL Men to be saved” – here, refers to those who comes from the “Elect Israel and Gentile Believers”, but not the whole of Gentile nations/humanity on this planet.

      4. JTL, you wrote:
        Jesus Christ spoke of His Father’s will in verses 39, 40 and 44, of John Chap. 6, to address the reason why those claimants in Matt. 7:21-23 were denied by the King, yet Aidan McManus refuse to accept and cannot afford to even counter argue with it.

        My Response:
        You just couldn’t help yourself in ignoring the simple explanation Jesus gave in (Mt. 7:21-23) in favor of a human systematic theology, imposed on John 6. If you keep ignoring Jesus’ plain and simple statements, there’s nothing I can do for you.

        And if you keep quoting verses like (John 6: 39, 40, and 44), – out of context – there’s nothing that anyone can do for you. Since John 6 seems to be one of your favorite passages to quote from, why don’t you try and give us a proper, contextual, exegesis of that whole chapter, to see if your view here, holds water.

      5. JTL,you wrote:
        Matt. 23:37 says: ” O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing”.

        Jesus is addressing the Israelites in the verse. The rest of the Israelites were stricken with blindness – the very reason why they refuse the offer to be gathered under the wings of the mother chicken.

        My response:
        Do you know how ridiculous it is what you are suggesting? Here you have Jesus/God lying in their proclamation of how much He wanted the children of Israel to come to Him – with arms wide open, but it was them who were not willing. You are making a liar out of God/Jesus for pretending that He wanted them, and that it was their fault because they were simply not willing to come. When all along it was God who was unwilling for them to come, blinding them so that they could not see, according to your post! Again, how ridiculous and contradictory to the truth. It’s an attack on God’s character!

        This shows how much you quoted your “proof texts,” in Romans 11, way out of context to fit your theology. Romans speaks of Israel in more than one way. They rejected Christ because they were a disobedient and obstinate people who had already hardened themselves. Therefore, for that reason, God blinded them further.

        God wanted them to come to Christ, and had appealed to them many times, but they were unwilling, and had hardened their own hearts first; and closed their own eyes lest they should see. This is also evident from (Acts 28:26-27) Christ was a stumbling block to them,
        ‘Go to this people and say:
        “Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand;
        And seeing you will see, and not perceive;

        For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
        Their ears are hard of hearing,
        And their eyes they have closed,
        Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
        Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
        So that I should heal them.” ’(Acts 28:26-27).

        Indeed, God wanted them to turn so that He could heal them, but just like in Matthew 23:37, they were the ones who were unwilling, not God. For that reason, their blood would upon their own heads.

        If you think I’m one of the hopeless reprobates, why are you even bothering to try and convince me? Wouldn’t that make it a futile exercise if I’m dead, and unregenerate? And, how do you know, if even, you are truly one of the “elect?” In that case, would it not also be foolish to be trying to convince you too? The blind leading the blind, and a dead man trying to give life to a dead man!

      6. JTL, you wrote:
        Aidan McManus seems to see this act of teaching as creating a universal effect on ALL people that ALL those who have been taught will be saved.

        My Response:
        It would be so reprehensible if you are deliberately misrepresenting me here. If you are suggesting that I’m teaching that “ALL” who are ever, taught the gospel will be saved, then you are grossly mistaken. You know as well as I do, that many reject the gospel they have been taught.

        1 Tim. 2:4, does not mean that “ALL” will be saved! It just means that the “offer” of salvation through the Gospel – is an offer that is meant for all men, everywhere.

        But if you are suggesting, in any way. that I’m teaching “Universal Salvation” that all men WILL be saved, think again! I will not pander to such “straw-men” silly arguments. And if that’s the case, I hope others, too, will see through your silly games.

      7. Aidan, be assured that we do see through jtl’s games. Not many of us have survived without having been falsely called Universalists multiple times on these threads.

        I don’t know how you feel about it, but I am not much of a believer in the concept of judicial hardening, if I understand it properly. I tend to look at it in a much more natural way. In the same way we use the term ‘softening up’ I perceive the meaning of ‘hardening’.

        How do we soften up someone, say a boss to give us a raise, a parent to take us and our friends to the amusement park, a spouse to dress up for a change and go out for a nice meal? We do things that we know will please them, we bring up things that we know they like and agree with, etc. No one imagines that softening someone up means somehow having access to their heart and making a physiological change.

        I perceive the definition of ‘hardening’ as exactly the same, only its opposite. How does God harden a heart? Does he do a supernatural work and enact some sort of physiological or mechanical change upon a person’s heart, changing its characteristics. I personally do not believe so. I believe the authors of scripture were describing the same sort of process that one uses to soften up someone.

        By confronting an arrogant, self-seeking, belligerent individual with truth claims, as to who God is, how sinful and selfish they are, etc., the rebellious, unrepentant sinner is hardened all the more in his rebellious ways. Whereas the sincere seeker after truth will be pierced with remorse and seek forgiveness, the unrepentant sinner will only grow ever bolder in his sin. The very same words that will soften and bring to repentance one individual will harden another.

        Thus, God could rightly say, when he presented Paul with the truth on the road to Damascus that he ‘softened’ Paul’s heart. Had Paul not truly desired to know truth and serve the living God, the very same experience would have ‘hardened’ him, and God could rightly assert, ‘That was the day I hardened Paul’s heart.’ Don’t know if that makes any sense to you, but I thought I would present my thoughts in case they might be of any help.

      8. So true TS00 — Within Calvinist circles if you affirm and show from Scripture that God genuinely loves ALL people, everywhere, as scripture clearly states the Calvinist immediate reaction is to call you a name: “You are a Universalist” or if you say – No some will not be saved because they do not believe even though God genuinely offers them salvation, if they will but believe.
        The Calvinist will then call you a “Semipelagian”.
        It doesn’t matter that scripture clearly lays it out this way, the Calvinist will not accept it.
        The Calvinist rages against God’s plan of salvation.

  27. And, that the scriptures show that God does not call men irresistibly, but allows men to come of their own free will (Matt. 23:37; John 5:40; Rom 10:21).

  28. That was a poor analogy. Leighton makes it sound like a sinner is elect because they are humble. Humility is not a condition to salvation, from which election flows. The condition for salvation is faith in Christ. Salvation is conditional but election is not. Election is unto salvation. He needs to admit his mistake. He needs to admit that he used a poor analogy. In other words, or better yet, Leighton’s words, he should humble himself.

    1. Hello Roland and welcome.

      The idea that a person is elect because they are humble is not one you will find Dr. Flowers asserting. I’m afraid you’ve attributed that idea to him yourself. That becomes obvious – with the way you phrased your argument – “it sounds like” which clearly indicates your attribution.
      So that falls into the category of a straw-man fallacy.

      Secondly – the inference you’re using with the word “elect” is predicated on the Calvinistic definition of “unconditional” election, which presents the additional fallacy of question begging.

      Thirdly – if you are a Calvinist – to assert that a person should “humble” themselves is to deny your own belief system – in which whatsoever comes to pass is the consequence of decrees established at the foundation of the world.

      If Calvinism is true – then Dr. Flowers has no say in the matter of what infallibly comes to pass within his brain.

      As John Calvin puts it:
      -quote
      Hence they [men] are merely instruments, INTO which god constantly INFUSES what energy he sees meet, and
      TURNS and converts to any purpose at his pleasure. (Institutes)

      For a Calvinist to assert that any human has the power to “humble themselves” – is to deny one’s own doctrine and is thus DOUBLE-MINDED.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I came to my conclusion as what I heard Leighton saying in the video. Also, when I listened to Leighton debate James White, Leighton also listed multiple verses regarding humility and salvation. He said in the debate he has pages of verses showing that God saves the humble. When I hear Leighton say these things, I hear him saying that humility is a prerequisite for salvation. He references the prodigal son as well to show that God is gracious to the humble.

        Regarding your second point, it is true that my understanding of election is predicated on a Calvinistic definition. I am a Calvinist.

        Regarding your third point, I don’t believe God teaches us through His Word that humility is a requirement for salvation. I believe that is what Leighton is teaching but you corrected my misunderstanding. If that is not what Leighton teaches then I am mistaken.

        Finally, I am trying to understand Leighton’s position by watching his videos. I even picked up his book yesterday and I plan on reading it. I understand what Calvinism is and I’m familiar with Arminianism is as the arguments are proposed in the Canons of Dort. But, I don’t understand Leighton’s position. I don’t say this in an argumentative sense but from a desire to know what Leighton is truly saying. So far I understand that Leighton holds to a belief that God “provides” to all for salvation. I also understand that Leighton believes election is corporate in Romans 9. I think Leighton believes that Israel’s election was purposed so that the Gospel would be preserved.

        Again, I’m not looking for an argument. If my words sound argumentative I apologize. One reason I try to avoid online discussion is that vocal inflections and vocal tone are lost. Hearing someone speak is far greater to help someone understanding what they are saying. I am also ignorant of logical fallacies as I have never study logic in a formal setting. I’m trying to understand Leighton’s position.

      2. Roland,

        You referenced James White. I contacted him years ago when I was a Calvinist. Our overseas ministry (30 years a missionary) was looking to connect with an American ministry and I wrote to him to see if we could work more closely together. This is before youtube really.

        But several things happened. I put down Pink and Boettner, started reading massive chunks of Scripture, and left Calvinism. That was hard, as I had been told (trained) that the only solution was Calvinism (gave God the most glory) and anything outside that was either second class or even heretical!

        Another thing happened. I have seen James White get more and more …… hummm…. disrespectful to others. I still watch him but it is hard sometimes since he monologues with such a harsh tone and even take snippets out of context to use on people (strawman).

        I think one thing Leighton is trying to do is let the other position speak for itself….quoting them from books and videos.

        I hope you enjoy watching Leighton’s youtube videos. I think they are proving helpful to many former Calvinists like me who want to re-examine the 40-50 key verses we used over and over (and the confessions) to build our Reformed position on.

      3. Thanks for your reply. I agree James White can be disrespectful. I wouldn’t consider myself a follower of James White but every now and then I do watch his videos and I’ve read several of his books. My personal experience with Calvinism is the opposite from yours. I was saved in a church that held to a freewill position. However, when I read verses that taught about election and predestination, I was never told what the text meant. I was given some other answer about it being unjust if humans did not have a freewill, we are not robots, etc. Then I began to read Reformed theologians and their interpretation of Scripture. I became convinced that God is the author of salvation, the finisher of our faith. He begins it, He finishes it. I’m not looking for alternative interpretations of key texts that show or teach Calvinism. I’m just trying to understand Leighton’s position, differences from other position, etc.

      4. I did not mean to mislead.

        My experience was also like yours!  Saved into a freewill situation also (amazing how many come to Christ that way!) but in the 70’s when MacArthur, Piper and many others “were dragged into” Calvinism I was too.  Yep….just like you….. I said “Why dont you Baptist pastors ever ‘splain to me all this ‘predestination’ stuff!!?”  

        So I —wanting to give glory to God — and wanting some “answers” to the 40 Calvinist prooftexts was easy fodder for the YRR movement in its early days.  I quickly rushed out and got Pink, Boettner and all (before Sproul and Piper made it so hip!).

        But later—-seeing that Calvinism makes God the author of all sin— I put down the determinist books and read large portions of Scripture daily.  Just did not sound like God was being insincere when he called people over and over to come to Him (but behind the scenes is not giving them the means to do it— thus purposely taunting them). 

        That position (mine at the time) make God horribly bad to most people created in His image since they only get what He determined they would get before time, and only gracious to the few that He forces His grace on. That did not sound like the overall message of Scripture.

        Could someone make that case using 40-50 verses, out of context? Yes….and I did. But, to me, it just does not seem like the overall “Good News” message of the Scripture!

      5. The author of sin problem is something I did struggle with when I first began to study Reformed theology. There are two truths from Scripture that I believe. First, I believe what Isaiah 46:10 says, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’. As well as Ephesians 1:11,In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will. Hebrews 6:17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath.

        I believe Scripture teaches us these truths: God does all that He pleases, works all things according to the counsel of His will and His will does not change. There are many more verses that declare these truths. But what about sin? Scripture also teaches us that God is not the author of sin. Sin is rebellion against God’s law. How can God rebel against His own law? He can’t.
        James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 1 John 1:5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

        How do I reconcile these truths? I can’t, I don’t know how. I hold to both by faith. I have read Calvinistic defenses about first causes and second causes but I don’t think those are sufficient in themselves to defend Calvinism. I would not disagree with them but I believe that the ultimate standard of truth is God’s Word. If a person cannot believe that God works all things according to the counsel of His own will and at the same time He is not the author of sin, then I believe they are denying Scripture.

      6. Yeah….. nah…..

        The problem you have about “accepting two contradicting ideas” is that one of them is clear…. (1) God is not the author of sin, and one of them is “vague” (2) “the end from the beginning.”

        Roland, I have mentioned several time the 40-50 verses. You are now quoting them. We former Calvinist know them all and used them…but when we looked closely at them we realized they did not really say what Calvinists say they do (and certainly not when left in context).

        Piper gives the prefect of example of using a proverb (for doctrine!) of “rolling the dice in the lap.” Really? Is that how we establish our understanding of the character of God?!

        The overall tenor of Scripture is that God is love (not loves, but IS love). Christ suffered rejection after rejection but Calvinists insist that man cannot reject God (see my posts about the rich young ruler that Christ loved and called: follow me). Christ says when He is lifted up He will draw all men to Himself…but Calvinists add “all kinds” of men.

        It just got too untenable for me. I found that the overall message of the Scripture was that a loving God created mankind in His image, knowing he would sin. He provided a way out for all, but true love and true relationship require some kind of freedom of choice.

        Calvinism offers no freedom whatsoever.

        Yes, I know “If man was free to choose he would always choose sin…..dead in sin…. and yada yada.” But that is only true because we “make” it be true as Calvinists.

      7. Roland,
        I appreciate your conversation.

        You said this:
        “I believe Scripture teaches us these truths: God does all that He pleases, works all things according to the counsel of His will and His will does not change. There are many more verses that declare these truths.”

        The question is what are “these truths?” Does what He pleases…. Sure we can all say that. According to the counsel of His will….sure we all agree.

        But you have let determinists define this for you. Piper is very, very clear that God is the author of sin “doing things He does not like” (sin) to achieve His glory. You have only to look on the desiring God site to see him say it over and over. I have linked his many pages many times.

        Does what He pleases….. yes. Does what He wants….yes. But that is not the same as everything that happens is what He wants. Now is it?

        A sovereign does whatever he wants….but that is not the same as saying that everything that all of the subjects do is exactly what he wants. That is what Augustinian, Reformed, Deterministic Calvinism teaches. EVERYTHING that happens is exactly what God wants to happen.

        That is because they outrun the verses about “end from the beginning” and “counsel of His will.” In their effort to make Him great…they make him says things He does not say.

        I encourage you to reexamine these verses….in light of the person, ministry, and example of Christ.

      8. Hi Roland,

        If you are looking for difference in position – I can tell you with confidence that the greatest difference is the embrace of the underlying foundational core of Calvinism (i.e. Universal Divine Causal Determinism) – Otherwise called Exhaustive Determinism.

        Many Calvinists are taught a SURFACE or SUPERFICIAL representation of Calvin’s doctrine.

        They are given the impression that SURFACE components of the doctrine are FOUNDATIONAL components when they actually aren’t.

        The TULIP for example came along many years after Calvin established the FOUNDATIONAL CORE of his doctrine.

        The FOUNDATIONAL of the house – is Universal Divine Causal Determinism.
        The TULIP therefore functions as shingles, siding, and window-dressing for the outside of the house.

        Take Unconditional election for example.
        In one sense election in Calvinism is actually conditioned
        It is conditioned upon what is determined at the foundation of the world.
        So in that sense it is conditional

        Where it is Unconditional however is where it is applied to human functionality.
        In other words – it is NOT based upon the “human” condition – but rather conditioned upon a divine will.

        This is all predicated on FOUNDATIONAL CORE of Exhaustive Determinism.

        Now when you start to realize the EXHAUSTIVE nature of Determinism within Calvinism- then you start to understand that within its framework EVERY human function occurs “Unconditionally”.

        100% of whatsoever comes to pass is determined at the foundation of the world
        Leaving ZERO% left over undetermined
        Leaving ZERO% for man to determine.

        So not only do you have “Unconditional” election – you also have “Unconditional” Sin and “Unconditional” Evil.
        Every human impulse occurs “Unconditionally”.

        Because EVERYTHING that comes to pass is conditioned upon the divine will.

        So a major difference between Dr. Flower’s position and Calvinism – is its FOUNDATIONAL CORE of Exhaustive Determinism.

        BTW:
        This is the reason Calvinists are never taught more than a SURFACE representation of the doctrine.
        Calvinist leaders have discovered that if they go beyond a SURFACE representation – people will eventually start connecting logical dots which lead to a pill that is too hard to swallow.

        People then end up rejecting the doctrine.
        So to minimize that from happening – Calvinist teachers are careful to present only a SURFACE presentation of it.

      9. Thanks for your reply. I’ll try to clarify my position. I believe grace is the manner by which God works. He works in us freely, graciously, without us meriting or working for His favor or blessing. I don’t think grace is something God give us in the sense that we have it as we have faith. We can have the grace of God but I don’t think we can say I have grace in God as we would say, I have faith in God. That’s the distinction I would make. Hopefully it is clear. God gives us grace but we don’t exercise it as we do faith. Irresistible grace is the teaching that God’s unmerited favor towards sinners cannot be ultimately resisted. Yes, we can resist God’s grace but if God has chosen us before the foundation of the world to be saved in Christ by grace, we believe that God will ultimately accomplish His will. We can resist but not to the point that we gain victory over God.
        As far as faith, I believe God gives faith to sinners to believe. However, I believe regeneration precedes faith. I would say that regeneration gives us the ability to believe in God, the gift of faith is given to us but God does not force us or irresistibly work in us to believe. We believe because God has regenerated us, given us faith but then our faith is exercised by us. That is something we do but we do not do it apart from God working in us. We do not regenerate ourselves nor do we merit grace, faith, etc. but we exercise our faith in Christ. I hope that’s clearer.

      10. Not too clear Roland.

        “….the gift of faith is given to us but God does not force us or irresistibly work in us to believe. We believe because God has regenerated us, given us faith but then our faith is exercised by us. That is something we do but we do not do it apart from God working in us. We do not regenerate ourselves nor do we merit grace, faith, etc. but we exercise our faith in Christ. ”

        Nah…. that just doesnt work. You cannot have both “we do it” and “we dont do it God does.” Then when someone says that God irresistibly drawing you means ‘forcing” you say no it doesnt.

      11. “Nah…. that just doesnt work. You cannot have both “we do it” and “we dont do it God does.” Then when someone says that God irresistibly drawing you means ‘forcing” you say no it doesnt.”

        So, we do it all or does God do it all? Or do we work together with God? Which position would you hold?

      12. Roland
        So, we do it all or does God do it all? Or do we work together with God? Which position would you hold?

        br.d
        Its either Monergistic or Synergistic
        If faith is something you “do” then that would constitutes a Synergistic model.

      13. I’m not a synergist. I believe what Scripture says such as Philippians 2:12-13

        12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

        It is the clear teaching of Scripture that God does a monergistic work of salvation, verse 13, and we also work out our own salvation, not that we work for our salvation, but our working out is the result of God working in. God works us in to believe and we believe. We exercise faith that is the result of God working in us. Not a contradiction. It’s not both at the same time, it is God first, then us.

      14. Roland
        I’m not a synergist…..

        br.d
        Fine – then faith occurs monergistically – and as such is not something you do.
        That would be consistent with Exhaustive Determinism where every human function occurs monergistically.

      15. BTW: I apologize if I’m detracting you from your conversation with FOH

        I didn’t mean to do that.

      16. I don’t understand what you are getting at. What are trying to say? Calvinism is exhaustive determinism? I’m really confused. Can you please clarify your position? Thanks.

      17. br.d
        Well – I don’t want to get in the way of your conversation with FOH.
        And I apologize if I did that.

        But I’ll answer this question for you.

        Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – on Theological Determinism
        -quote
        Theological determinism is the view that god DETERMINES EVERY event that occurs in the history of the world…..Historical figures include Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin…..etc

        Contemporary theological determinists also appeal to various biblical texts and confessional creeds (for example the Westminster Confession of Faith) to support their view.

        -end quote

        So in Calvinism we have “Universal Divine Causal Determinism”

        Universal: Without Exception, no exclusion
        Divine: A reference to a THEOS as the exclusive determiner
        Causal: A reference the law of Cause & Effect inherent within Determinism – hence events are casually determined
        Determinism = The philosophy of Determinism

      18. Thanks, I do not know anything about Universal Divine Causal Determinism. I’m not a philosopher. I’m a Christian who holds to the biblical teaching that God works all things according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 2:11). What I believe comes from reading Scripture and Bible study aids. Therefore, my knowledge of philosophy is limited to what is contained in works that are related to Scripture and theology. That’s why I’m ignorant of Universal Divine Causal Determinism. Do you reject Universal Divine Causal Determinism on a philosophical or biblical basis, or a mix of both? That also is not clear to me. Thanks.

      19. Again – I don’t want to take you away from your conversation with FOH.
        So please don’t let me do that.

        However, on your last post – if you’ve been raised up in a Calvinist church – and you don’t know that the foundational core of Calvinism is Exhaustive determinism – then that puts you in the vast majority of SURFACE Calvinists – because that represents the norm.

        And as I’ve said – the reason Calvinist teachers withhold that information from their congregations – is because when people start to realize how ABSOLUTE and EXHAUSTIVE determinism is in Calvinism – they will begin to connect logical dots – which will become a pill to difficult to swallow – and they are guaranteed to end up rejecting the belief-system. And Calvinist pastors/teachers in order to avoid that – simply don’t go there.

        As for me – I reject a system inherent in double-speak talking-points and irrational thinking.

        And as you become more familiar with it yourself – you’ll start to see how Calvin himself – and all Calvinists do the same.
        Calvinism manifests as a theological tap dance – where one is constantly halting between two opinions – and so many aspects of the belief-system are held as both TRUE and FALSE at the same time.

        The most popular voices in Calvinism are popular because they’ve become experts in DOUBLE-SPEAK.
        And one has to make a decision about how much he’s going be involved in that.

      20. I’m not a surface Calvinist. My pastor does not teach surface Calvinism. And I did not know that the foundational core of Calvinism is exhaustive determinism. Never heard of it until reading this. As a Calvinist, I would not argue that exhaustive determinism is the foundation of my beliefs. I would argue that Scriptures are the foundation of my beliefs. It is from the Scriptures that we learn and teach these truths.

      21. The problem with this statement is that it lowers scripture down to your level and makes it equal to you.
        Or conversely you raise yourself to the level of scripture.
        You must essentially make your theology canon in the process.

        Professor Gordon Fee used to address this problem in his lectures.
        Would-be scholars who claim what you just claimed – are immediately dismissed as heady-minded and imature.

        The human mind interprets all data in accordance to internal associations which have already been pre-established in the mind.
        That which your mind has been conditioned to embrace as unquestionable truth – is what you are going to see in scripture.

        So if you lived in a time-period in which your mind was conditioned to believe the earth or universe is flat – a flat earth or flat universe is what your mind would see in scripture. And you would be convinced – that was a dictate of scripture without realizing the truth.

        And if you lived in those days and you disagreed – you would be burned at the stake for blaspheming scripture.

        In your case – instead of conditioning your mind to embrace a flat earth – teachers have conditioned your mind to embrace a SURFACE cherry-picked version of Calvin’s Exhaustive Determinism.

        And the funny part is – they didn’t dare tell you the WHOLE TRUTH about it :-]

      22. I don’t understand your point. You accuse me of being a surface Calvinist. I deny it and now I’m heady-minded, bringing Scripture down to my level, and canonizing my theology. I’m confused.

      23. You probably remember the narrative where the lawyer tempts Jesus.
        We are not talking about a civil attorney as we understand them today.
        This was a person who was an expert in the scripture (i.e. the law).

        Jesus asks him 2 specific questions:
        1) What does the scripture say?
        2) How do you read it?

        Did you notice how the lawyer avoids answering Jesus’ 2nd question?

        If he claims his theology is dictated by scripture alone he is not telling the truth
        And that’s why Jesus asks the 2nd question.

        Again – the human mind interprets any data – in accordance to internal associations established within the mind.

        If your mind has been conditioned to embrace Exhaustive Determinism as unquestionable truth – then your mind is guaranteed to see Calvinist conceptions affirmed within the data of scripture – because Exhaustive Determinism is the unique distinctive behind those conceptions. Exhaustive Determinism is what makes Calvinism Calvinism.

        The fact that your teachers didn’t tell you the underlying foundational core is Exhaustive Determinism raises its own questions.

      24. I’ve read a lot of Reformed authors and I’ve never heard of exhaustive determinism. I’ve heard of theological determinism and that I would embrace. I don’t believe exhaustive determinism is relevant to Calvinism. It’s like the argument I’ve heard before that Calvinist are fatalistic. I’ve never read a Calvinist theologian teach fatalistic determinism, as William Lane Craig accuses us of being, but I have not read them all. So maybe some Calvinist does. The problem with fatalistic determinism is that it leaves determinations to fate. We don’t believe that the world is determined by fate, it’s determined by God as revealed in the Scriptures. I fully embrace theological determinism because it is God (theos) who determines all things according to the counsel of His will.

      25. Roland
        I don’t believe exhaustive determinism is relevant to Calvinism.

        br.d
        Well – remember I told you about how Calvinism manifests as a theological tap-dance.

        To say (whatsoever comes to pass is infallibly decreed at the foundation of the world) is NOT relevant to Calvinism – is to deny the foundational core of Calvinism.

        So this follows exactly as I’ve already mentioned to you
        Its the ABSOLUTE and EXHAUSTIVE nature of Determinism in Calvinism – which Calvinist teachers consistently try to evade.

        So to see a professing Calvinist follow that model doesn’t surprise me.
        No one is ever willing to swallow Calvin’s WHOLE camel – not even Calvin himself.
        They all swallow just the parts they find palatable.
        And then they tell themselves they’ve swallowed the whole thing.

        The HYPER Calvinist swallows a little more than the MODERATE Calvinist can.
        But even he can’t swallow it all.

      26. Here’s the foundation of Calvinism, as much as you want to deny it, it is God’s Word
        Isaiah 46:10
        10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
        And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
        Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
        And I will do all My pleasure,’

        Ephesians 1:11
        11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

        Hebrews 6:17
        17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,

        Romans 9:15
        15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”

        Acts 15:18
        18 Known to God from eternity are all His works.

        Proverbs 21:1
        The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
        Like the rivers of water;
        He turns it wherever He wishes.

        1 Timothy 1:17
        17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to [a]God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

        These verses teach me to hold to theological determinism. And there’s many more.

      27. Roland
        Here’s the foundation of Calvinism, as much as you want to deny it, it is God’s Word

        br.d
        There you go making a theology canon again
        Raising it up to the level of scripture
        And in the process lowering scripture down to its level.

        Remember – Jesus’s 2nd question to the lawyer
        How do you read it?

        Currently you are following the lawyer’s example.

        IRRATIONAL thinking – will always result in IRRATIONAL conclusions concerning any data.
        Whether that data is scripture or not – will not change that fact

        The Calvinist reading of scripture
        – Turns the promises of scripture (as they apply to any given believer) into an “uncertain sound”
        – Makes the divine intention towards any given believer unknowable
        – And that which is unknowable to the human mind – is humanly impossible to trust.

        The way the Calvinist escapes these consequences – is to make-believe they don’t exist.

      28. I have a difficult time following your argument. I cite Scripture in defense of my beliefs and you accuse me of canonize my theology.
        And then I don’t know how to read your argument. I don’t know any Calvinist who does what you are saying we do. I don’t know any Calvinist who reads Scripture the way you are saying we do. I have no idea how to follow your argument. I’m really confused.

        “The Calvinist reading of scripture
        – Turns the promises of scripture (as they apply to any given believer) into an “uncertain sound”
        – Makes the divine intention towards any given believer unknowable
        – And that which is unknowable to the human mind – is humanly impossible to trust.

        The way the Calvinist escapes these consequences – is to make-believe they don’t exist.”

      29. I don’t think you’re confused

        I think you’d like to stick with your argument because its worked for you in the past.

        But its not working for you now any more than the lawyers evasion of answering Jesus’ 2nd question worked for him.

        If you are an adult – you should be able to comprehend what I’ve stated.

      30. Honestly, I am not evading. I can’t follow the logic of your argument. It does not make sense to me. I don’t understand your premises. I would need more explanation. How does a Calvinist reading of Scripture result in us “turning the promises of Scripture (as they apply to any given believer) into an ‘uncertain sound’?” What does that mean? An uncertain sound? Again, maybe its my lack of education, but I’ve never heard the phrase ‘uncertain sound.
        ‘Makes the divine intention towards any given believer unknowable’ – I really don’t understand how Calvinists do this. Can you give me an example where a Calvinist “makes the divine intention towards any given believer unknowable?”
        “And that which is unknowable to the human mind – is humanly impossible to trust” – I don’t understand the relevance of this statement to Calvinism. Do Calvinist make things unknowable to the human mind so that it is humanly impossible to trust? In order to know something do we have to have full knowledge of it in order to trust it?

      31. Roland
        How does a Calvinist reading of Scripture result in us “turning the promises of Scripture (as they apply to any given believer) into an ‘uncertain sound’?” What does that mean? An uncertain sound?

        br.d
        Lets un-package this one.
        “Uncertain Sound” is language by Paul. When the watchman blows a sound and that sound is an “uncertain sound” how with the people know what is being communicated? Paul uses that as a principle. So how does that work with Calvinism’s reading of scripture.

        It comes from Calvinism’s use of a philosophical argument to explain Calvin’s god’s role in sins and evils.
        In scripture man is commanded to “choose life”.
        But the Calvinist reading of this has a unique twist to it – because the Calvinist reading has to conform to Exhaustive Determinism.

        100% of whatsoever comes to pass is does so INFALLIBLY by INFALLIBLE decree established at the the foundation of the world.
        ZERO% of whatsoever comes to pass is left Un-determined.
        Leaving ZERO% left over to be determined by any creature – obviously including man.

        So any choice that a person makes – has already been Exhaustively Determined at the foundation of the world – by a divine external mind.

        So for the Calvinist – when the command is given to multiple people to “choose life” it logically follows – that choice has already made *FOR* each person – to INFALLIBLY come to pass.

        Every impulse that will come to pass within your brain was Exhaustively Determined by an external mind and not by your mind.
        Those impulses come to pass within your brain INFALLIBLY and IRRESISTIBLY – and you have no say in the matter.

        So for the Calvinist – a divine external mind determined one person’s choice – to choose “life”
        And a divine external mind determined another person’s choice – to choose “Death”

        The way the Calvinist explains this is by the doctrine of the “Two Wills”
        Calvin’s god has an ENUNCIATED WILL and a SECRET will.
        The SECRET will is his DETERMINATIVE and CAUSAL will
        So the SECRET will is what CAUSES whatsoever will come to pass INFALLIBLY and IRRESISTIBLY.

        The ENUNCIATED will is NON-CAUSAL.
        Here is where the ENUNCIATED will can be the direct opposite of the SECRET will

        So the ENUNCIATED will can command you to “Choose Life” – while the SECRET will CAUSALLY DETERMINES you will INFALLIBLY and IRRESISTIBLY choose “death” That choice has been made for you – and you have no say in the matter.

        It is impossible to falsify or disobey an INFALLIBLE decree – so you are powerless to disobey – you are not permitted to do otherwise than choose “death” at pain of falsifying an INFALLIBLE decree.

        As a result – for the Calvinist – the ENUNCIATED WILL – for the most part – functions as a FALSE REPRESENTATION of the SECRET WILL.

        And all scripture for the Calvinist then becomes the ENUNCIATED WILL.

        And all of the promises within scripture to the believer are the ENUNCIATED will

        And for the most part the ENUNCIATED will functions as a FALSE REPRESENTATION of the SECRET will.

        So as a Calvinist – any promise you read directed to the elect – may not be meant for you.
        The opposite may in fact the case for you.

        And you have no way of knowing if they are or are not.
        You have no way of knowing if you are elect or not.

        Calvin says – the quantity of Calvinists who are elect are a -quote “Few grains of wheat – covered by a pile of chaff”.
        And you have no way of knowing if you are a grain of wheat or a grain of chaff.

        You may be TOTALLY DEPRAVED and you have no way of knowing it because you have been divinely deceived – having been given a FALSE SENSE of salvation.

        Calvin teaches – that you can be given a SENSE such as can be felt without the spirit of adoption.

        So all of the promises in scripture to the believer for you are an “Uncertain Sound”.

      32. No, you misrepresent Calvinism. No Calvinist would say that a true believer in Christ would not have certainty of God’s promises. That is just a blatant misrepresentation of Calvinism. The elect are guaranteed the promises, I would point you to Romans 8, John 6, Ephesians 1, Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;.
        The promise in Philippians 1:6 most definitely applies to the elect.
        Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
        These promises, actions of God on passive recipients, are most definitely applied to the elect.
        John 6:39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
        Here’s another promise for the elect in John 6, “all He (God) has given (the elect are given to Christ) Me I should lose nothing… Christ will lose nobody who is the elect. All who come to Him. That’s a promise that applies to all the elect.
        No. I completely reject your position that all God’s promises to me are an “uncertain sound.” Believe me, I by the grace of God, hear these promises as clearly as the Spirit testifies to my spirit that I am a child of God by the grace of God.

      33. Roland
        No, you misrepresent Calvinism No Calvinist would say that a true believer in Christ would not have certainty of God’s promises.

        br.d
        Of course they are not going to SAY it!!!
        Its not palatable for them to SAY it.
        But it is a part of Calvinism – so you either accept it or deny it.
        And if you deny it – then you are denying FOUNDATIONAL CORE aspects of Calvinism.

        Roland
        That is just a blatant misrepresentation of Calvinism.

        br.d
        Here you’ve made a claim – and I’ll show you how easy it falls apart

        Roland
        The elect are guaranteed the promises,

        br.d
        EXACTLY!
        And Calvinism teaches
        1) Before men are born their LOT is assigned to each of them by the SECRET will of god.
        2) We must thus consider both god’s SECRET election and his inner call. For HE ALONE “knows who are his” .
        3) A small and contemptible number are HIDDEN in a huge multitude – a few grains of wheat covered by a pile of chaff, we must leave to god alone the knowledge of his church, whose foundation is his SECRET election.

        You can point me to all of the scriptures you want to – but you cannot deny this because it is a FOUNDATIONAL CORE of the Calvinist doctrine.

        Roland
        I completely reject your position that all God’s promises to me are an “uncertain sound.” Believe me, I by the grace of God, hear these promises as clearly as the Spirit testifies to my spirit that I am a child of God by the grace of God.

        br.d
        And that is what you tell the Calvinist who rejects Christ and becomes a devout atheist for the rest of his life?
        The promises in scripture to the believer – for him – were in fact and “Uncertain Sound”.

        Roland
        You’ve been taught a watered down – HALF-TRUTH – sweetened version of Calvinism
        A version of it that is designed to turn a blind eye to TRUTHS about it that are unpalatable.
        And doing that is totally understandable!
        But it is also blatant denial.

        The truth is – for the Calvinist – the scripture is the ENUNCIATED will – and not the DETERMINATIVE will
        And you have know way of knowing what the SECRET will for you is.

        In Calvinism – you have no way of knowing whether or not you have been given a FALSE SENSE of salvation.

      34. You wrote, “You can point me to all of the scriptures you want to – but you cannot deny this because it is a FOUNDATIONAL CORE of the Calvinist doctrine.” That’s what I will do, point you to Scripture.
        You wrote EXACTLY!
        And Calvinism teaches
        1) Before men are born their LOT is assigned to each of them by the SECRET will of god.
        2) We must thus consider both god’s SECRET election and his inner call. For HE ALONE “knows who are his” .
        3) A small and contemptible number are HIDDEN in a huge multitude – a few grains of wheat covered by a pile of chaff, we must leave to god alone the knowledge of his church, whose foundation is his SECRET election.

        Again, I’ll point you to the Scripture
        Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
        34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
        Or who has become His counselor?”
        35 “Or who has first given to Him
        And it shall be repaid to him?”
        36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen

        Deuteronomy29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
        Yes I believe there is a secret will of God. Scripture is not exhaustive, it does not tell us everything. God truly does know who the elect are, humans are not omniscience like God. That’s why Scripture tells us that we test others by their spiritual fruit.

        You wrote And that is what you tell the Calvinist who rejects Christ and becomes a devout atheist for the rest of his life?
        The promises in scripture to the believer – for him – were in fact and “Uncertain Sound”.
        No, I would tell the Christian who rejects Christ after believing that they need to repent and turn back to Christ. I would not give a Christian a false sense of salvation by telling them that they are still saved despite their unbelief. The Scriptures warn of this. It’s not just a Calvinism issue.
        I believe all the things that many consider unpalatable about the Bible. I believe God condemns the wicked to eternal punishment, I believe many were drowned in the flood, and so much more. I have not been taught a watered down version of God’s Word as you wrote: You’ve been taught a watered down – HALF-TRUTH – sweetened version of Calvinism

        This is a problem for everyone, not just Calvinist, nobody knows the mind of the Lord. You wrote And you have know way of knowing what the SECRET will for you is.

      35. br.d
        And what you tell the Calvinist who rejects Christ and becomes a devout atheist for the rest of his life?
        The promises in scripture to the believer – for him – were in fact were an “Uncertain Sound”.

        Roland
        No, I would tell the Christian who rejects Christ after believing that they need to repent and turn back to Christ.

        br.d
        Now you have a Christian who rejects Christ
        That is DOUBLE-SPEAK

        Roland
        I will tell them they need to repent and turn back to Christ

        br.d
        You are going to tell someone who rejects Christ and becomes an Atheist for the rest of his life – to repent and turn back to Christ?

        That is like saying you are going to demand fruit that will be an Orange for its whole life – to become an Apple!
        He’s a Calvinist who rejects Christ and becomes and Atheist for the rest of his life.

        How did he end up that way – except but by INFALLIBLE Decree!!!

        You are in serious denial!! :-]

        Roland
        I would not give a Christian a false sense of salvation by telling them that they are still saved despite their unbelief.

        br.d
        This is another blatant denial of the quotes I just gave you from Calvin himself.
        In Calvinism – Calvin’s god is the one who gives you a FALSE SENSE of salvation.
        Established by INFALLIBLE DECREE
        You are not permitted otherwise!
        Unless you have power over an INFALLIBLE Decree :-]

        Roland
        The Scriptures warn of this.

        br.d
        This is a place where Calvinism’s reading of scripture becomes DOUBLE-THINK

        It is LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for the state of your election to fall away from what it was INFALLIBLY decree to be at the foundation of th world.

        In Calvinism – your election is either INFALLIBLY TRUE – or it is INFALLIBLY FALSE.
        Something that is INFALLIBLY TRUE cannot fall away from being INFALLIBLY TRUE.
        And something that is INFALLIBLY FALSE has nothing to fall away from.

        The concept of “falling away” from election in Calvinism is DOUBLE-THINK

        Roland
        It’s not just a Calvinism issue.

        br.d
        AH! Now you are starting to accept the TRUTH of it!

        ACCORDING TO THE CALVINIST – its not a Calvinist issue.
        But it is UNIQUE to the Calvinist reading of scripture.

        Roland
        I believe God condemns the wicked to eternal punishment

        br.d
        That represents another watered down – sweetened version of Calvinism.

        In Calvinism – the state of nature – at every instance in time is 100% determined at the foundation of the world
        So if the state of nature is “wicked” then that was 100% determined – and man has no say in the matter.
        As John Calvin says – it is man’s LOT in life.
        Calvin’s god condemns vessels for NOT being what he DOES NOT permit them to be
        And condemns vessels for NOT doing what he DOES NOT permit them to do.

        As Calvin says
        They are “doomed from the womb”

        Roland
        I have not been taught a watered down version of God’s Word as you wrote: You’ve been taught a watered down – HALF-TRUTH – sweetened version of Calvinism

        br.d
        AH! Do you see how you are trying to evade my statement by denying a straw-man version of it!
        I did not say a watered down version of god’s word – I said you’ve been taught a watered down version of Calvinism.

        You know the difference – but you are trying to evade it. ;-]

        You’re kicking at the pricks – trying to deny it – but at the same time – you are in fact recognizing that what I’m telling you is TRUE

        Roland
        nobody knows the mind of the Lord.

        br.d
        Ok, so now we add to that Calvinism’s unique doctrine of the ENUNCIATED will
        Which functions as a FALSE REPRESENTATION of the SECRET will
        And your starting to come to grips with the TRUTH of it.

        All of the promises in scripture to the believer – for you – represent the ENUNCIATED Will – which in all probability are the opposite of the SECRET will – and thus the promises in scripture for you are an an “uncertain sound”.

        Roland
        You wrote And you have know way of knowing what the SECRET will for you is.

        br.d
        Because that is TRUE for every Calvinist – according to the Calvinist reading of scripture.

        You’re trying hard to deny – it – but eventually you’ll have to acknowledge it – if you care about being honest with yourself.

      36. You wrote: Now you have a Christian who rejects Christ
        That is DOUBLE-SPEAK
        No double speak, Peter denied Jesus three times yet he returned and repented. I believe a Christian can fall into unbelief or some terrible sin yet repent and return.
        I don’t know how to respond to your other objections to Calvinism. You are way out in your logic, you just throw out a statement, accuse Calvinism of being what you say it is, and your opinion is the final word. Here’s an example of the things you say that irrelevant to Calvinism.

        You’re trying hard to deny – it – but eventually you’ll have to acknowledge it – if you care about being honest with yourself.

        Are you saying that Calvinist cannot know the secret will of God? Do you believe God has a secret will? Or do you believe that God has made known everything to us? This is why I have difficulty understanding you. You throw out accusation, most of the time they are irrelevant to what I’m quoting from Scripture, and you don’t state what you believe about the Bible. Are you Arminian? Do you hold to a provisionist view like Leighton? Just wondering.

      37. br.d
        Now you have a Christian who rejects Christ
        That is DOUBLE-SPEAK

        Roland
        No double speak

        br.d
        So now a person who rejects Christ is classified as a Christian????
        Somehow I don’t think so! ;-]

        Roland
        , Peter denied Jesus three times yet he returned and repented.

        br.d
        Which means Peter did not fit the description of an Atheist who rejected Christ for the rest of his life!
        Cmon Ronald – how long are you going to kick against the pricks. :-]

        Roland
        I believe a Christian can fall into unbelief or some terrible sin yet repent and return.

        br.d
        Boy for a Calvinist – you sure do think like a Non-Calvinist!!

        Lets make that statement more TRUE to Calvinism
        1) You believe that a person who is INFALLIBLY ELECT can fall into a phase of some lack of faith
        2) However – if that person is INFALLIBLY ELECT then faith is MONERGISTIC which means they CANNOT lack salvific faith

        Your statement is NOT Calvinist – because it presupposes election – which you are NOT PERMITTED to know.
        And you are NOT PERMITTED to know your own ELECTION status either.

        In Calvinism – both you and that person could have been given a SENSE of salvation – WITHOUT the spirit of adoption.
        Which means the both of you have a FALSE PERCEPTION of ELECTION – and don’t know it.

        You could be a grain of wheat.
        But its more statistically probable that you are a grain of chaff according to Calvin.

        The FEW are elect.
        The MANY are not.

        Roland
        You are way out in your logic, you just throw out a statement, accuse Calvinism of being what you say it is, and your opinion is the final word.

        br.d
        I’ve provided what LOGICALLY FOLLOWS in Calvinism
        Everything of which Calvin himself demands and teaches
        You’ve responded with denial – because the TRUTH I presented to you is unpalatable to you
        And I’m so not surprised!! ;-]

        Roland
        Are you saying that Calvinist cannot know the secret will of God?

        br.d
        Roland – Cmon – use your head – how do you know something that is a divine SECRET?

        Roland
        Do you believe God has a secret will?

        br.d
        You are denying what Calvinism teaches – and you want to know about me???

        Roland
        Or do you believe that God has made known everything to us?

        br.d
        I don’t claim to be a Calvinist.
        So my answer will not be LOGICALLY consistent with Calvinism’s answer.
        You see yourself as a Calvinist
        Which means you should be LOGICALLY consistent with Calvinism
        Which means your answers won’t be LOGICALLY consistent with mine.

        Roland
        You throw out accusation, most of the time they are irrelevant to what I’m quoting from Scripture

        br.d
        Once again – you are trying to evade the point.
        We are not talking about scripture
        We are talking about Calvinism’s reading of scripture
        Remember Jesus’ 2nd question?
        How do you read it?

        Roland
        and you don’t state what you believe about the Bible. Are you Arminian? Do you hold to a provisionist view like Leighton? Just wondering.

        br.d
        Actually I did answer that question when I told you I reject any system which turns scripture into an irrational pretzel
        And Calvinism is a system which believers have to cherry-pick and sweeten in order to swallow – which is the version you’ve been taught.
        It makes its advocates eventually become experts in strategically misleading language
        And a person has to make a decision about how much of something like that he wants to be a part of.

        You can classify me as a rational believer.

      38. You didn’t answer some of my questions. You just said you are a rational believer. Does that mean you subject the Bible to reason? I’m not making an accusation, I hope you don’t take it that way or a straw man. I’m just curious to know if your position is: if it’s not rational I don’t believe it. Because that’s how I understand “rational believer.” Could you please explain what you mean? Thanks

      39. Roland
        You just said you are a rational believer. Does that mean you subject the Bible to reason?

        br.d
        It means the scripture is not irrational.

        What one consistently finds with Calvinism is predominately based on today’s current Calvinists psychological response to the doctrine
        He has a need to have something TRUE at some point – and then he finds he has a need to have it FALSE. So he ends up having to have it both ways.

        For example – infallibly decreed events which as such cannot be prevented – and then infallibly decreed events which can be prevented.

        However, these tap-dances are done using very careful language designed to hide the contradiction.

        They typically occur in two steps
        The first step is typically takes the form of an EXPLICIT assertion

        For example: ALL [X] is TRUE

        That is then followed by numerous denials crafted in the for of INFERENTIAL statements which are only logically coherent where ALL [X] is FALSE.

        Typically when a Calvinist is confronted with the DOUBLE-SPEAK – he will probably deny any contradiction and he may try to appeal to mystery.

        The moon is made of pink and yellow cheese puffs – and that is god’s holy word
        And if you deny it you are denying god’s holy word
        And that is not a contradiction because the mysteries of god are beyond our grasp.

        BTW:
        I’ve shown you – Calvinism’s how what LOGICALLY follows in Calvinism’s reading of scripture – leads to conclusions that you do not find palatable. Even though what I’ve shown you is consistent with Calvin himself. But I understand there are many Calvinist pastors/teachers who don’t want to be consistent with Calvin – following the same reaction to it you’ve shown today.

        Another big component of Calvinism that Calvinist consistently are double-minded on is divine permission.

      40. Well the one we just discussed in Calvinism logically follows:
        1) The ENUNCIATED will in most cases is the direct opposite of the SECRET will
        2) The ENUNCIATED will in most cases therefore functions as a FALSE REPRESENTATION of the SECRET will
        3) All scripture for the Calvinist represents the ENUNCIATED will
        4) All promises in scripture to the elect – are exclusively meant for the elect and the elect only
        5) No man is permitted to have certainty of his election status – as the SECRET call and election is for god alone to know
        6) The Calvinist can be given a FALSE SENSE such as can be felt – but without the spirit of adoption.

        CONCLUSION:
        All promises in scripture meant for the believer function as an “uncertain sound” for the Calvinist.
        He is not permitted to have certainty of whether they are meant for himself or not.

      41. Thanks for your response. I will answer your argument according to the numerical structure you accorded me. But, before I do so, I would like to say that as a Calvinist, and most of the Calvinist literature I have read, we do not speak of God’s will as ENUNCIATED. We speak of it as revealed. We believe the Scriptures give us a revealed will of God and also that God has a secret will. Even Leighton Flowers holds to a secret will of God. In his book God’s Provision for All: A Defense of God’s Goodness, he writes: “There is another principle here we should remember. We simply are not knowledgeable enough to fully comprehend all the ways of our Lord. As Scripture reminds us, …” he then quotes Deuteronomy 29:29. The revealed will of God is Scripture and the secret will of God is God’s will not revealed in writing.

        1. I reject this premise that the revealed will of God is direct opposite of God’s secret will. This would mean that God contradicts Himself. As a person of reason, I believe you would reject such a premise as well. Also, this is not a position held by Calvinists. Again, I am not familiar with all Calvinist literature, so I plead for grace that I am ignorant as to all the propositions put forth by all Calvinists. I know there Scriptures that are quoted as showing that God contradicts Himself but I reject such assertions but not the Scriptures. In cases such as these I would argue that there are mysteries left to God and God alone and His workings in the physical realm. Flowers quotes C.S. Lewis as holding such a position that “God’s judgments must differ from ours on many things, and not least on good and evil.” See page 23. I would agree with Flowers and Lewis.

        2. I reject this premise on the basis that premise number 1 is false. As a person of reason, I would assume that you are familiar with the structure of a basic argument. A basic argument has two premises and a conclusion. For example, a basic argument is: Socrates is a man, all men are mortal, therefore Socrates is mortal. Premise 1 is Socrates is a man and premise 2 is all men are mortal. If premise 1or 2 is false it logically follows that the conclusion is false. If it is not true that Socrates is a man, then it is false that he is mortal. If it is not true that all men are mortal but Socrates is a man, then the conclusion is false.

        3. No disagreement here. I believe any Bible believing Christian holds this belief that God’s Word is His revealed will.

        4. Again, I plead for grace as I am not sure that I am knowledgeable enough to say that all the promises of Scripture are only for the elect. I can say that all promises regarding salvation apply to the elect only. I say so because how can God promise to elect a sinner unto salvation and not complete the work? I agree as long as the promises regard salvation but beyond that I am bound by ignorance.

        5. Calvinists believe that Scripture teaches us that there is a general call to sinners to repent and believe. We also believe that there is an effectual call made by the Holy Spirit to God’s elect. Romans 8:30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
        Here’s our reasoning behind effectual calling as it comes from Romans 8:30. First, God has predestined a people. It is not anything else but God’s predestination of people. The text does not teach that God predestined a plan or knowledge of faith or the means of salvation. It is people that God predestined.
        Second, the predestined are called. There is a general calling that is the call to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. A lot of sinners hear this call but not all come to justification. We reason that since only some accept this calling, the called, then it must be a different type of calling than the general call to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. We distinguish between a general call and an effectual call. The effectual call is the inner calling of God’s elect to salvation. They have eyes to see and ears to hear.
        Third, the predestined, the called are justified. Being justified means to be found just or right in the sight of God. But our justification is not our own it is Christ’s justification imputed to us by faith.
        Finally, the predestined, the called, the justified, are glorified. To be glorified means to be in glory with God in heaven. The end result of the Christian is glorification. We will be exalted to a state that similar to Christ’s glorification as He prayed in John’s Gospel.
        We can be sure of our election by the Holy Spirit’s witness Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. This witness is the subjective experience the believer has as a witness or testimony from the Holy Spirit. It is the witness that a sinner who puts their faith in Christ has. A Christian can know they are elect by this witness.
        Second Peter 2:10-11 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

        6. If a Calvinist is not resting on the promises of God in Scripture, then I would agree that he can be given a false sense as such. As Calvinists, again I plead for grace as I am ignorant, we do not rest on Calvinism. We rest on God’s promises. Calvinism has helped me in my walk with Christ in this way: it has pointed me to God’s gracious promises in Scripture. A lot of these verses such as Romans 8 were not taught to me as they are taught in Scripture. I was told many things but I was never told what the plain reading of God’s Word teaches.

        Finally, I reject your conclusion regarding an uncertain sound in an earlier point and I do so again. I cited Scripture that shows a person can have assurance of their election.You wrote: “He is not permitted to have certainty of whether they are meant for himself or no.” Yes, a Calvinist can have certainty of whether the promises are for himself or not. I suggests that you take up some Calvinistic literature to understand what we believe the Bible teaches. I would even recommend a confession such as the Belgic Confession, the Westminster Confession of Faith or the London Baptist Confession of Faith. A catechism would also be helpful such as the Heidelberg Catechism, The Larger and Shorter Catechism, or the Baptist Catechism. The Canons of Dort would be great as well. You can find these all online for free. I would also recommend testing the confessions and catechisms with Scripture. Thanks for reading.

      42. Roland:
        I will answer your argument according to the numerical structure you accorded me.

        br.d
        Good – and I’ll give you feedback on how logical those answers are.

        Roland:
        I would like to first say that as a Calvinist, and most of the Calvinist literature I have read, we do not SPEAK of God’s will as ENUNCIATED. We speak of it as revealed.

        br.d
        This is called a distinction without a difference – since it is “revealed” via communication which equates to enunciation.
        Additionally, some Calvinists do use that exact term. So this point fails as a non-sequitur.

        Roland
        1) The ENUNCIATED will in most cases is the direct opposite of the SECRET will
        I reject this premise that the revealed will of God is direct opposite of God’s secret will.

        br.d
        Ok lets see if that is logical

        Roland:
        This would mean that God contradicts Himself.

        br.d
        No – that would be logically FALSE.
        It simply means he communicates a FALSE REPRESENTATION of something – which is exactly what the statement says.

        In Logic, a contradiction occurs where something is presented as both TRUE and FALSE at the same time.
        And this is not that case.

        You need to more carefully read these statements!

        What is FALSELY REPRESENTED by the ENUNCIATED will – is the SECRET will.
        Because in this case the ENUNCIATED will is presented *AS-IF* it is a DETERMINATIVE will.

        And when the ENUNCIATED will is the direct opposite of the SECRET will – that is obliviously not the case
        So in LOGIC – this would constitute a FALSE REPRESENTATION.

        Roland:
        This is not a position held by Calvinists.

        Br.d
        well that is LOGICALLY irrelevant

        The Jehovah witnesses also have statements of faith – which do not STATE things which LOGICALLY FOLLOW within the belief system. And that is the case also with Calvinists belief system.
        So this argument misses the mark.

        Roland
        As a person of reason, I believe you would reject such a premise as well.

        br.d
        Remember – we are discussing how Calvinism READS scripture.
        So in this case – it is LOGICAL.
        And for anyone to reject LOGIC – is to reject rational reasoning.
        And cannot claim to be Biblical in the process.

        Roland:
        2) The ENUNCIATED will in most cases therefore functions as a FALSE REPRESENTATION of the SECRET will

        I reject this premise on the basis that premise number 1 is false.

        br.d
        Which I’ve now used LOGIC to show you how and where your arguments fail
        So this simply follows that error.

        Let me explain further:
        In statement (2) “in most cases” is TRUE because the predominant manifestation of Calvin’s god’s SECRET will constitute sins and evils – to which the ENUNCIATED in in opposition to.

        The SECRET will = [A].
        And the ENUNCIATED will is [NOT A].
        [A] and [NOT A] are in direct opposition.
        Hence we have the ENUNCIATED will in direct opposition to the SECRET will.

        Roland
        2) All scripture for the Calvinist represents the ENUNCIATED will
        No disagreement here. I believe any Bible believing Christian holds this belief that God’s Word is His revealed will.

        br.d
        Obviously you didn’t find this statement unpalatable – as you did the other statements! ;-]

        Roland
        4) All promises in scripture to the elect – are exclusively meant for the elect and the elect only
        Again, I plead for grace as I am not sure that I am knowledgeable enough to say that all the promises of Scripture are only for the elect.

        br.d
        Roland – are you misrepresenting these statements on purpose?
        Since you altered the statement to make it say something it clearly did not say you’ve created a falsehood.
        Which also fails.

        Additionally – pleading ignorance to Calvinist doctrine – brings you dangerously close to dishonesty.
        Especially when I’ve given you direct quotes from the father of Calvinist doctrine himself.
        You claimed you were not a SURFACE Calvinist
        Perhaps that claim is FALSE?

        Roland
        5) No man is permitted to have certainty of his election status – as the SECRET call and election is for god alone to know

        Calvinists believe that Scripture teaches us that there is a general call to sinners to repent and believe. We also believe that there is an effectual call made by the Holy Spirit to God’s elect.

        br.d
        Cmon Roland!
        Now you are trying to dodge the clear teaching of Calvinism?

        On this statement I’ve given you direct quotes from John Calvin.
        And you are trying to evade them?

        These Doctrinal statements are either TRUE or FALSE
        Intellectual honesty doesn’t grant it to be both

        A man cannot serve two masters ( in this case honesty).
        He will compromise one to cleave to the other.
        You need to make up your mind – which is the case for yourself

        Let your communication be YEA or NAY – for anything else comes of evil.
        My statement as it is clearly delineated – is either TRUE or it is FALSE.
        YEA or NAY

        Roland:
        6) The Calvinist can be given a FALSE SENSE such as can be felt – but without the spirit of adoption.

        If a Calvinist is not resting on the promises of God in Scripture, then I would agree that he can be given a false sense as such.

        br.d
        Sure – but that is just one more evasion strategy.

        In Calvinism whatever the state of man’s nature is – at any instance in time – is 100% predetermined to infallibly and irresistibly be.

        And man has no say in the matter.
        To claim that is not the case is to once again move away from intellectual honesty.
        I think you are being tested here!

        Roland
        Finally, I reject your conclusion regarding an uncertain sound …..

        Br.d
        So this went as I expected it would.

        And I’m glad to have shown you have your responses not only fail rationally – but also lead you away from a Christian form of intellectual honesty.

      43. You wrote: Remember – we are discussing how Calvinism READS scripture.
        So in this case – it is LOGICAL.
        And for anyone to reject LOGIC – is to reject rational reasoning.
        And cannot claim to be Biblical in the process.

        You will not allow or accept how Calvinism reads Scripture. This is why we are speaking passed each other. I’m a Calvinist, I’m telling you how Calvinist read Scripture, then you accuse me of evading the questions, non-sequiturs, and being illogical. Also, you will not allow or accept Calvinist terminology. You are injecting your own ideas of what Calvinist teach. Then you wrote that I’m making distinctions without a difference. I don’t understand how that is applicable. That’s double speak right there! Distinction without difference?

        You wrote: Roland – are you misrepresenting these statements on purpose?
        Since you altered the statement to make it say something it clearly did not say you’ve created a falsehood.
        Which also fails.

        Additionally – pleading ignorance to Calvinist doctrine – brings you dangerously close to dishonesty.
        Especially when I’ve given you direct quotes from the father of Calvinist doctrine himself.
        You claimed you were not a SURFACE Calvinist
        Perhaps that claim is FALSE?

        I believe this is a misunderstanding. I am not pleading ignorance, I am asking for grace. You misread my statement. I am asking you to grant me grace because I am a fallible person and I do not have all knowledge of all of God’s Word and Calvinist doctrine.
        Here’s my statement copied and pasted
        “Again, I plead for grace as I am not sure that I am knowledgeable enough to say that all the promises of Scripture are only for the elect.”

        I will reiterate. I do not know if all of God’s promises in SCRIPTURE apply only to the elect. I do know that Calvinists teach that God’s promises regarding salvation belong only to the elect. God does not promise to save people who never believe.

        I don’t believe I’ve been intellectually dishonest. You are misreading my statements as I showed above. Again, we are getting nowhere. I argue, you accuse. That’s been the pattern of our discussion. I quote Scripture to prove my point, you point out logically fallacies in my point. We are operating on different presuppositions. I do not believe that God’s Holy Word is subject to nor to be tested by logic.

      44. Roland
        You will not allow or accept how Calvinism reads Scripture.

        br.d
        Roland – are you trying to be dishonest – or are you misrepresenting me by accident?

        In two of my statements – you clearly altered them in order to be able to claim to reject your altered version of them
        Is that by accident – or on purpose?

        Roland
        This is why we are speaking passed each other.

        br.d
        FALSE
        I’ve made my statements very clear.
        And more than once you’ve misrepresented them in order to have something to reject.
        *AS-IF* you were rejecting my statements

        Why shouldn’t the SOT101 reader interpret you doing that – as God putting your allegiance to Christian honesty to the test?

        Roland
        I’m a Calvinist, I’m telling you how Calvinist read Scripture,

        br.d
        And I just gave you three examples of that – so what else is new!

        Roland
        then you accuse me of evading the questions, non-sequiturs, and being illogical.

        br.d
        And when I show you how something fails logically – you call that an accusation.
        Why shouldn’t the SOT101 reader interpret that as evasion? :-]

        Roland:
        Also, you will not allow or accept Calvinist terminology.

        br.d
        FALSE
        What I don’t allow or accept – are language strategies designed to HIDE the TRUTH
        Or language strategies designed to MASQUERADE things as something they are not.

        Roland
        You are injecting your own ideas of what Calvinist teach.

        br.d
        By providing direct quotes from the father of what Calvinism teaches no less!
        And you disagreeing with what Calvin teaches – you don’t consider evasion. :-]

        Roland
        Then you wrote that I’m making distinctions without a difference. I don’t understand how that is applicable.
        That’s double speak right there! Distinction without difference?

        br.d
        Wikipedia – Distinction without a difference:
        -quote
        A distinction without a difference is a type of LOGICAL FALLACY where an author or speaker attempts to create distinction between two things where no discernible or practical difference actually exists. It is particularly used when a word or phrase has connotations associated with it that one party to an argument prefers to avoid.

        Roland
        You wrote: Roland – are you misrepresenting these statements on purpose?
        Since you altered the statement to make it say something it clearly did not say you’ve created a falsehood.
        Which also fails.

        br.d
        Which any honest person will clearly see when they compare my statements to your altered versions of them

        Roland
        I believe this is a misunderstanding. I said: I plead for grace as I am not sure that I am knowledgeable enough to say that all the promises of Scripture are only for the elect.”

        br.d
        A minimum – you clearly created an altered version of my statements.

        Roland
        I will reiterate. I do not know if all of God’s promises in SCRIPTURE apply only to the elect.

        br.d
        Which simply follows your pattern of creating an altered version of my statement which you can disagree with.
        Why didn’t you paste my original statements into your response?
        And why shouldn’t the SOT101 reader interpret that as part of a strategy on your part?

        Roland
        I do know that Calvinists teach that God’s promises regarding salvation belong only to the elect.

        br.d
        Which means nothing – because your continuing to respond to a FALSE representation of my statement

        Roland
        I don’t believe I’ve been intellectually dishonest.

        br.d
        Go back and read through the post again.
        But please be aware that there is a volume of readership here who are not active posters – they simply read.
        And the Lord has used your responses to me as an example of Calvinist honesty.

        Roland
        You are misreading my statements as I showed above.

        br.d
        See my answer to that above

        Roland
        we are getting nowhere.

        br.d
        Actually the Lord has used this thread for a very important purpose.
        Silent readers will review it and clearly understand what I mean.
        That is one of the things that makes SOT101 such a blessing!

        Roland
        I argue, you accuse.

        br.d
        This reminds me of a river in Egypt – called “DENIAL” ! ;-D

        Roland
        I quote Scripture to prove my point,

        br.d
        While carefully avoiding Jesus’s 2nd question – “How do you read it”.

        Roland
        you point out logically fallacies in my point

        br.d
        As faithfully as I can!

        Roland
        We are operating on different presuppositions.

        br.d
        Now you’re back to an argument which I’ve already address
        All presuppositions can be proven to be TRUE or FALSE.
        Which is what has happened here today. :-]

        Roland
        I do not believe that God’s Holy Word is subject to nor to be tested by logic.

        br.d
        While evading Jesus’ 2nd question: “How do read it”? :-]

      45. You wrote: Roland – are you trying to be dishonest – or are you misrepresenting me by accident?

        Neither. I write that Calvinist use the phrase revealed will and you reject it and call it ENUNCIATED. I cannot see how I am being dishonest, misrepresenting, or altering your post.

        br.d
        FALSE
        I’ve made my statements very clear.
        And more than once you’ve misrepresented them in order to have something to reject.
        *AS-IF* you were rejecting my statements

        Why shouldn’t the SOT101 reader interpret you doing that – as God putting your allegiance to Christian honesty to the test?

        Again, I don’t’ see how I am being dishonest. But you do. I reiterate, we are writing passed each other. “More than once I have misrepresented them in order to have something to reject.” I reject some of your statements but I don’t think I do so while misrepresenting them.

        br.d
        And when I show you how something fails logically – you call that an accusation.
        Why shouldn’t the SOT101 reader interpret that as evasion? :-]

        If I have done so, I apologize. I bring up accusation because you mentioned disingenuous. That to me is an accusation. I believe I am answering your questions but the readers on SOT101 will be the judges.

        br.d
        FALSE
        What I don’t allow or accept – are language strategies designed to HIDE the TRUTH
        Or language strategies designed to MASQUERADE things as something they are not.

        Here’s where you lose me. Here’s when I get confused. I am not trying to HIDE the TRUTH or MASQUERADE things but you write that I am. I explain to you what Calvinists believe according to my own fallible knowledge and you write that I am doing this.

        br.d
        By providing direct quotes from the father of what Calvinism teaches no less!
        And you disagreeing with what Calvin teaches – you don’t consider evasion. :-]

        Where does this quote from Calvin come from? The Institutes, a commentary? Point me to it, I’d like to read it in context or from its source. Thanks.

        br.d
        Wikipedia – Distinction without a difference:
        -quote
        A distinction without a difference is a type of LOGICAL FALLACY where an author or speaker attempts to create distinction between two things where no discernible or practical difference actually exists. It is particularly used when a word or phrase has connotations associated with it that one party to an argument prefers to avoid.

        Is this regarding revealed and secret will?

        br.d
        Which any honest person will clearly see when they compare my statements to your altered versions of them
        br.d
        A minimum – you clearly created an altered version of my statements.
        br.d
        Which means nothing – because your continuing to respond to a FALSE representation of my statement
        br.d
        This reminds me of a river in Egypt – called “DENIAL” ! ;-D

        I have not altered your statements.

      46. Roland
        You wrote: Roland – are you trying to be dishonest – or are you misrepresenting me by accident?
        Neither. I write that Calvinist use the phrase revealed will and you reject it and call it ENUNCIATED.

        br.d
        FALSE
        Perhaps you don’t understand what a “Distinction without a difference” means
        And after I gave you a quote from Wikipedia on it?

        Roland
        I cannot see how I am being dishonest, misrepresenting, or altering your post.

        br.d
        My statement:
        4) All promises in scripture TO THE ELECT – are exclusively meant for the elect and the elect only

        Your altered version of it
        I am not sure that I am knowledgeable enough to say that all the promises of Scripture are only for the elect.

        Roland
        Again, I don’t’ see how I am being dishonest. But you do.

        br.d
        My statements were based on observations of your behavior – which raised the question of a struggle with honesty.

        Roland
        I reiterate, we are writing passed each other. “More than once I have misrepresented them in order to have something to reject.” I reject some of your statements but I don’t think I do so while misrepresenting them.

        br.d
        I’m happy to let the SOT101 reader review our thread and make their own decision.

        Roland
        I believe I am answering your questions but the readers on SOT101 will be the judges.

        br.d
        Agreed

        Roland
        I am not trying to HIDE the TRUTH or MASQUERADE things but you write that I am.
        I explain to you what Calvinists believe according to my own fallible knowledge and you write that I am doing this.

        br.d
        Roland – think about it!
        Calvinism has a THEOS who has TWO wills for a reason!
        Those TWO wills are going to be different.
        Having a doctrine of TWO wills would be senseless of those TWO wills are always one and the same.

        For example:
        The ENUNCIATED/REVEALED will = “Thou shalt NOT sin”
        The SECRET will = “Thou shalt sin”
        .
        Obviously those TWO wills are not the same thing!!
        They are in fact – in direct opposition to each other – just as I stated.

        To present the ENUNCIATED/REVEALED will – *AS-IF* it is the SECRET will – when it isn’t – is to MASQUERADE it as something it isn’t

        Roland
        Where does this quote from Calvin come from? The Institutes, a commentary? Point me to it, I’d like to read it in context or from its source. Thanks.

        br.d
        Calvin’s teachings on the SECRET calling and election that no man is allowed to know
        As well as his teachings on believers being given a FALSE SENSE of salvation/election – only a MANIFESTATION of it
        As well as his teachings on the proportion of ELECT Calvinists being “a few grains of wheat covered by a pile of chaff”
        As well as his teachings on the proportion of NON-ELECT believers in the Calvinist church being a LARGE MIXTURE
        Are all in the institutes.

        Roland
        The distinction without a difference – Is this regarding revealed and secret will?

        br.d
        Yes – that is the fallacy that you committed – attempting to make a distinction between them
        And that becomes obvious- when ironically later on statement (3) you equated them as one and the same thing.

        Roland
        I have not altered your statements.

        br.d
        See example above

      47. Sorry I got these backward!!!

        For example:
        The ENUNCIATED/REVEALED will = “Thou shalt NOT sin”
        The SECRET will = “Thou shalt sin”

        Sorry about that!

      48. br.d
        While carefully avoiding Jesus’s 2nd question – “How do you read it”.
        br.d
        While evading Jesus’ 2nd question: “How do read it”? :-]

        These are two direct quotes from your response to my response. I have not altered them. I’m curious what you are getting at. Do you want me to answers Jesus’ second question? Do you want me to tell you how I read a particular verse? I don’t understand this. I am being serious. What is the point behind these two statements? Thanks.

      49. The premise is this
        Irrational thinking concerning any data – will inevitably lead to an irrational conclusion concerning that data.
        Whether that data is scripture or not – does not change that fact.

        There was a time in which people believed the earth was flat.
        There was a time in which people believed the sun orbits the earth.

        People who read the data of scripture in those days automatically interpreted the scripture so as to lead to false conclusions because their thinking was false.

        Anyone who disagreed with them might be accused of blaspheming scripture and burned to death on the stake.

        And those people proudly proclaimed their theology was all from scripture alone.
        But was that claim TRUE or was it FALSE?

        That is why Jesus asks the question “How do you read it”

        So when you see a Theology which has to find ways to navigate around a multitude of irrational conclusions – and requires the believer exist in a state of Double-Mindedness – how can that be a Theology based on scripture?

      50. The premise is this
        Irrational thinking concerning any data – will inevitably lead to an irrational conclusion concerning that data.
        Whether that data is scripture or not – does not change that fact.

        There was a time in which people believed the earth was flat.
        There was a time in which people believed the sun orbits the earth.

        People who read the data of scripture in those days automatically interpreted the scripture so as to lead to false conclusions because their thinking was false.

        Anyone who disagreed with them might be accused of blaspheming scripture and burned to death on the stake.

        And those people proudly proclaimed their theology was all from scripture alone.
        But was that claim TRUE or was it FALSE?

        That is why Jesus asks the question “How do you read it”

        So when you see a Theology which has to find ways to navigate around a multitude of irrational conclusions – and requires the believer exist in a state of Double-Mindedness – how can that be a Theology based on scripture?

        The answer to your question is simple, it is not based on Scripture.

      51. Roland
        The answer to your question is simple, it is not based on Scripture.

        br.d
        Wonderful!
        So when we examine conclusions and find them irrational – then we know:
        – There must have been irrational thinking behind them.
        – Any claim that they are a dictate of scripture must be FALSE

        And without rational reasoning and due-diligence we would never know.
        For the beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight

      52. You wrote: Sorry I got these backward!!!

        For example:
        The ENUNCIATED/REVEALED will = “Thou shalt NOT sin”
        The SECRET will = “Thou shalt sin”

        Sorry about that!
        2 Samuel 16:10
        10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’
        1 Kings 22:23
        23 Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.”
        2 Thessalonians 2:11
        11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,12
        Jeremiah 13:12-13
        “Therefore you shall speak to them this word: ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Every bottle shall be filled with wine.” ’
        “And they will say to you, ‘Do we not certainly know that every bottle will be filled with wine?’
        13 “Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land—even the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness!

        According to your logic regarding irrational conclusions and double-mindedness, how does someone interpret these takes that show God telling Shimei to curse David, sending lying spirits, strong delusions to believe a lie, and there are many others such as this.

        How to you read this?

      53. Roland
        According to your logic regarding irrational conclusions and double-mindedness, how does someone interpret these takes that show God telling Shimei to curse David, sending lying spirits, strong delusions to believe a lie, and there are many others such as this.

        How to you read this?

        br.d
        I would have to defer to experts who adequately understand the original language and the context in which these statements are made.
        We can’t just strip verses out of their place and context and try to mold them into something we want.

        To reach conclusions without adequate information is unwise and disrespectful to scripture.

        I suspect there is a particular reason you chose this particular set of verses.
        Which makes me assume they serve as proof texts for you.
        Am I right? ;-]

      54. Let me ask you a specific question about rational reasoning Roland.

        Lets say a rooster crows almost every morning before the farmers alarm clock goes off.

        Do you reason as follows:
        There are sufficient occasions in which the rooster crows before the alarm clock – sufficient for me to use it as rule of interpretation
        .
        Therefore based on this rule – I conclude for all occasions in which the alarm clock goes off – the rooster must have crowed

        Is that rational reasoning?

      55. Let me ask you a specific question about rational reasoning Roland.

        Lets say a rooster crows almost every morning before the farmers alarm clock goes off.

        Do you reason as follows:
        There are sufficient occasions in which the rooster crows before the alarm clock – sufficient for me to use it as rule of interpretation
        .
        Therefore based on this rule – I conclude for all occasions in which the alarm clock goes off – the rooster must have crowed

        Is that rational reasoning?

        Yes that rational reasoning but I believe there is still room to come to the opposite conclusion. I believe so because the rooster crows ALMOST every morning. If a person was looking for 100% accuracy in their interpretation, then no. But if they are just looking for a sufficient interpretation, then yes, the conclusion is rational.

      56. br.d
        Therefore based on this rule – I conclude for all occasions in which the alarm clock goes off – the rooster must have crowed

        Roland
        Is that rational reasoning?

        br.d
        Well – that wouldn’t be the case if a wolf eats the rooster would it?
        In that case there is no rooster to crow
        And yet the alarm clock still goes off.
        And then – following our interpretation rule – we are led to believe a rooster crows – which doesn’t exist.

        The critical point on this – hinges on the term “ALL” within our rule.
        “ALL” in logic is classified as a UNIVERSAL term.
        It means without-exception – no exclusions – it must always be the case.

        So with that example – we can see that the rule we’ve created is faulty – and will eventually lead us to a conclusion that is faulty.

      57. No, not a proof texts, not trying to prove anything nor is it a gotcha question. Just curious as I read these verses while reading a book on the problem of evil. I was just curious about your opinion. Thanks.

      58. Well I understand how the problem of evil is a perennial issue with Exhaustive Determinism.

        And that eventually brings up the logical implications having to do with the parameters of freedom granted to the creature that are logically consistent in a world in which 100% of whatsoever comes to pass is Exhaustively determined.

      59. Hi Roland, I hope you don’t mind me chiming in on this discussion of verses you asked about as they relate to God using evil for good. I hope you agree that God isn’t said to be the cause of the evil mentioned in the verses you listed. I am guessing you agree that there is some kind of “permissive” divine will at play in each of those instances.

        In the first passage – It would be easy to see David using a rhetorical device for the first instance, for it would be hard to imagine that a message came to him earlier from Shimei saying – “Guess what David, God told me in a vision to curse you.” Rather David is discerning that the event of cursing that has just taken place was allowed by the Lord, and in that way was from the Lord. He would let God be the judge of Shimei at the present (though later he commissioned Solomon to take care of him. 😉 1Kings 2:8). Remember also that historical accounts don’t always tell us if the speaker has the right evaluation. Was David speaking as an inerrant prophet in this story? I don’t think so.

        In the second passage – God gave a command permitting an evil spirit to do what it had volunteered to do. The evil spirit in this context first revealed his evil intentions to God. The follow through of those intentions were not predestined by God… just permitted by God. The word “put” in “put a lying spirit in the mouth” is a poor translation, and it should be translated “gave”, which is from a Hebrew word that does carry the idea of “permit” sometimes.

        This OT passage in no way supports the idea of an eternal immutable predestination of any or all evil events. The command was only a confirmation of permission for the action freely thought up and volunteered by the evil spirit. God’s command was not the initiation of the evil idea nor was God’s command the cause of that evil action. Right?

        And the action of the evil spirit was not the cause of a human being’s sin. It was a temptation that God permitted as a judgment for previous rejections by King Ahab of His revealed will through His true prophets… right?

        God was not “condoning” the actions of the evil spirit or of the false prophets by His commanding their permission. He does, of course, “desire” to permit evil to continue, and only because He desires more the opportunity for love and mercy that He can bring about in those circumstances, if they will return. God waits for repentance until He decides the time all those evil deeds that He permitted receive justice.

        God’s knowledge of the future is certain concerning all unconditional situations and all still yet possible situations. Yes, He saw these false prophets as willing/hardened recipients of the false prophecy that the false spirit would tempt them with.

        The false spirit was responsible for freely volunteering to sin in giving those lies. The false prophets were responsible for their freely hardening themselves previously against the truth that brought them to this point where they could no longer resist the temptation of a new lie to preach. But they are responsible for preaching it… not the false spirit… and not God.

        In the third passage – the context gives the reason why God sent a “strong delusion”. You left that out, which is curious.
        [2Th 2:10-12 NKJV] … and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

        It was not because they eternally immutably predestined to be unable to “receive the love of the truth” or “believe the truth.” That idea of inability decreed and given by God to most people dishonors His merciful character revealed clearly in His Word.

        The fourth passage is very interesting. I personally think the last word, like in the LXX, should be translated “strong drink”, which perhaps doesn’t change the outcome much, for drunkeness is what the LORD is permitting by giving the blessing of abundance of wine to those He knows will abuse it with drunkeness. But He is not the sufficient cause of their drunkeness, just like He is not the sufficient cause of the immoralities done by those who freely suppress the truth that was given to them to sufficiently lead them to and opportunity for repentance.

        I hope this helps. The fact that God permits these deceptions only helps to prove there was an existing freedom to do the right thing before that deception was allowed to come, but that freedom was rejected.

      60. No problem with you chiming in, thanks for doing so. I wasn’t asking about the verses in a sense of seeking understanding. I was just curious to another person in the discussion in how they viewed God’s actions in these verses. I’m currently reading through Francis Turretin’s Institutes of Elenctic Theology and I came across the issues of God’s providence and sin. Turretin cites these verses as examples of how God sometimes acts permissively but at other times “Scripture, however, speaks too emphatically to allow us to rest in permission alone…” Turretin writes further, “…on God’s part is marked, but also a certain efficacious action is designated.” His argument is long so that’s why I quoted only portions because I would have to write a lot to give his explanation and what he’s arguing. I’m studying this issue of providence and sin. I don’t have an affirmative answer has to how God’s providence and sin are displayed in His Word.

        And this is what Turretin is arguing against. It is not only that God permits, as you wrote, but God is active and efficacious. God sends the evil spirits, He sends a spirit of error, He sends a spirit of strong delusion, God fills with drunkenness. The second passage is God telling Jeremiah to speak to Israel, “Thus says the Lord.” I agree there are reasons as to why God does what He does. However, I don’t believe that one can just dismiss God’s active and efficacious will in texts that explicitly state what God is doing by giving the reasons why God does what He does. So far, I am in agreement with Turretin, God does more than permit, He is active.

        In the third passage I did leave out some of the verse. Even if one reads the entire context, it doesn’t change the biblical statement that God “will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.” I believe non-Calvinist like to soften these kinds of statements. When the truth that God will send strong delusions to believe the lie needs to pressed upon the unrepentant sinner’s heart, mind, and soul.

        In the fourth passage you again mention that God is permitting. Jeremiah 13:13 says, “Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land—even the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness!
        The text says “I (God) will fill all the inhabitants of this land … with drunkenness!” God is filling. So it appears to be more than God permitting. How do I reconcile the Bible when it shows us that God does more than permitting? I don’t know. Looking for answers. Finally, I wasn’t using these verses to prove theological determinism.
        Thanks for responding. It seems like you took some time to reason through my post, I appreciate it.

      61. Roland – Just to present a critical point concerning Calvinism’s use of the term “Permission”

        Divine permission in Calvinism totally rejects the NORMATIVE definition of the word.

        The term “permit,” is derived from the Latin permettere and is defined as:
        To let pass, to let go, to let loose, to give up, to hand over, to allow, or to grant.
        That is the NORMATIVE definition.

        And John Calvin forcibly rejects that definition – calling it a revolting invention .

        John Calvin
        -quote
        When [Augustine] uses the term PERMISSION, the meaning which he attaches to it will best appear from a single passage
        (De Trinity. lib. 3 cap. 4), where he proves that the will of God is the supreme and PRIMARY CAUSE of all things….(Institutes)

        -quote
        “These instances may refer also to DIVINE PERMISSION…But……such a solution is too ABSURD.

        -quote
        “It is easy to conclude how foolish and frail is the support of divine justice by the suggestion that evils come to be not
        by His will, but MERELY by His permission.”

        Therefore in Calvinism – permission has a NON-NORMATIVE meaning:
        1) What is CAUSED is PERMITTED
        2) What is NOT CAUSED is NOT PERMITTED

        The standard definition for equivocation is:
        The deliberate ambiguous or misleading framing of words within a sentence – which can have multiple meanings.
        The framing of the sentence is designed to infer a FALSE meaning – or to hide the TRUE meaning.

        Calvinists will often use the word “Permission” as a replacement word for “CAUSE”
        They don’t want to say god CAUSED a certain sin or evil – so they will use the word “Permitted”

        This is a serious problem because it is language which totally misleads the non-Calvinist who assumes the NORMATIVE meaning.

        So when a Calvinist here appeals to divine permission – we take into consideration – what is really meant is CAUSED.

      62. Therefore in Calvinism – permission has a NON-NORMATIVE meaning:
        1) What is CAUSED is PERMITTED
        2) What is NOT CAUSED is NOT PERMITTED

        Thanks for the response. I believe this is this the gist of your argument. Unless I misunderstand you, you are saying that Calvinist equate causation with permission. I would agree with you that in Calvinism there can be a sense in which causation is equal to permission. We do operate with some presuppositions. First, we believe as Scripture states, God is not the cause of sin or evil. Second, nothing is outside of God’s control. He controls all things. From these two presuppositions a person could or would logically conclude that the second premise makes God the author of sin or evil. But we reject that premise on the basis that Scripture doesn’t teach us that God is the author of sin or evil. So, this poses a problem for the Calvinist. We can’t appeal to permission, as you clearly argued, because if we appeal to permission we are violating our second premise. But, I would also reject the premise that Calvinist equate permission with causation.
        The response to your critical point is not found within Calvinism but Scripture. I would point to some verses from the book of Acts. First, Acts 17:28-31
        28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

        These verses teach us some important truths about God’s control (v. 28, in Him we live and move and have our being). It is in God that we have all things.
        Second, it teaches us that God, while humans have their being in Him, overlooked times of ignorance, v. 30. This verse gives us the impression that God allowed, or permitted, men to walk in ignorance by overlooking. Calvin in his commentary, says that God himself suffered men to walk in darkness. It is as if God has withdrawn His hand in an affirmative manner during these times of ignorance but now commands all men everywhere to repent.
        Third, verse 31 further teaches us that “He (God) has appointed a day.” Appoint can mean to decide, designate, scheduled, arranged, etc.
        So as a Calvinist I don’t compress everything into God’s causation and/or permission. Leighton Flowers is at least in agreement on one point with Calvinists. He said God does determine somethings but not all. I would say God does permit somethings but not all. Because I believe the Bible grants us this truth. We have our being in God, at some time in history, He overlooked times of ignorance, yet even when He had overlooked, He still had an appointed day where He will judge the earth.

        Second, I would point to the biblical narrative of Job. Satan came to God, accused Job, and God granted Satan permission to harm Job’s family. Yet, God did not permit Satan to touch Job. So, I would say that God allows certain things to happen but He doesn’t allow all things to happen. In some instances, Turretin remarks in his book on God’s providence, God is efficaciously involved in events that are sinful. This argument is in another post.

      63. br.d
        Therefore in Calvinism – permission has a NON-NORMATIVE meaning:
        1) What is CAUSED is PERMITTED
        2) What is NOT CAUSED is NOT PERMITTED

        Roland
        Thanks for the response. I believe this is this the gist of your argument. Unless I misunderstand you, you are saying that Calvinist equate causation with permission.

        br.d
        More precisely – Augustine does. And Calvin follows Augustine. And the more you become familiar with the foundational core of Calvin’s doctrine – the more you understand Calvin is a great deal more consistent with his doctrine than Calvinists typically have been and typically are today.

        John Calvin = Calvinism.

        So in Calvinism divine permission must be COMPATIBLE with divine CAUSATION. That is why Calvinism is classified as a form of CAUSAL DETERMINISM.

        Think about it this way.
        That which separates Calvin’s doctrine from all other forms of Christian doctrine is the doctrine of the infallible decrees.
        That is why Calvinism has historically been called “Decretal Theology”

        In Calvinism this is stated as:
        “Whatsoever comes to pass (within creation) was determined at the foundation of the world by infallible decrees”.

        The term “Whatsoever” asserts 100%.
        Nothing left over.
        And this is why Calvinism is classified as Exhaustive Divine Determinism.
        Or Universal Divine Casual Determinism.

        And as you can see by the quote I provided from Calvin he equates Divine Permission as Causation.

        However many Calvinists today do not find this to be a palatable pill to swallow.
        But Calvin is in fact being logically coherent with his doctrine.
        And Calvinists who try to distance themselves from this aspect of the doctrine – have chosen a compromised version of Calvinism which ends up being logically incoherent under scrutiny..

        Roland
        God is not the cause of sin or evil.

        br.d
        That statement divides you from Calvin himself – and thus it divides you from Calvinism.

        If you embrace the proposition that whatsoever comes to pass is infallibly decreed at the foundation of the world – then you have embraced CAUSAL DETERMINISM. And Calvin’s god via infallible decrees – is the CAUSE of whatsoever comes to pass.

        Roland
        He controls all things.

        br.d
        The word “control” is not strong enough to be considered TRUE Calvinism.
        Calvin’s god DETERMINES all things.
        There is much much more than just control involved in that.
        That which is NOT CAUSALLY DETERMINED is NOT PERMITTED.

        Roland
        From these two presuppositions a person could or would logically conclude that the second premise makes God the author of sin or evil.

        br.d
        Correct!
        And this is exactly what John Calvin does not hesitate to declare.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        But it is quite frivolous refuge to say that God otiosely PERMITS them, when scripture shows
        Him not only willing but the AUTHOR of them.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God pg 176)

        -quote
        Hence they [men] are merely instruments, into which god constantly INFUSES what energy he sees meet, and
        TURNS and converts to any purpose at his pleasure. (Institutes)

        -quote
        I have already shown clearly enough that god is the AUTHOR of ALL those things which, according to these objectors,
        happen only by his inactive permission.

        Roland
        But we reject that premise on the basis that Scripture doesn’t teach us that God is the author of sin or evil.

        br.d
        Well that depends on who the we are you are talking about.
        Arminians certainly reject that premise – but they are not followers of Calvin
        But a TRUE Calvinist does not reject that premise.

        Calvinist Vincent Chung
        -qulte
        When Reformed Christians are questioned on whether God is the “author of sin,” they are too quick to say, “No, God is not the author of sin.” And then they twist and turn and writhe on the floor, trying to give man some power of “self-determination,” and some kind of
        freedom that in their minds would render man culpable, and yet still leave God with total sovereignty. There is no biblical or rational
        problem with him being the author of sin.”

        I noticed that you appeal to Turretin.
        I think you will find that Turretin by numerous Reformed thinkers today – is not held up as a “best case” example of Calvinism – because he leaned towards the acceptance of various degrees of Libertarian Freedom available to the creature – which is highly rejected today.

        I mentioned the issue of “MERE” permission to you.
        Calvin totally rejects this as a revolting invention.
        So Calvin’s god does not “MERELY” permit sins and evils.
        He in fact CAUSALLY DETERMINES them

        You are of course free to disagree with Calvin anywhere you want to.
        But be advised – people here understand what PURE Calvinism looks like.
        And in Calvinism PERMISSION = CAUSE.

      64. Roland
        When I provided John Calvin’s arguments on PERMISSION = CAUSE

        You responded by calling that “My” argument.

        It is not “my” argument.
        It is John Calvin’s argument.

        And you should be able to see that from his quotes which I provided as evidence.

        You then appealed to scripture to show how you disagree with it.
        But now you are disagreeing with John Calvin and his interpretation of scripture

        Then you said “WE” reject it – without clearly indicating who the “WE” are.

        I assume what you mean by “WE” is the fellowship you are currently involved in.

        You do know – that if the “WE” you are talking about disagrees with John Calvin – then they are not TRUE Calvinists.

        This is often called INCONSISTENT Calvinism.
        And that is what FOH is getting at in his responses to you also

      65. Thanks for your response;
        br.d wrote:
        It is not “my” argument.
        It is John Calvin’s argument.

        I wrote: by writing that it is your argument I mean to say that the argument is your’s in the way you framed it. I understand that you are reducing Calvin’s argument to a simple short argument. That’s what I understand.

        br.d wrote:
        And you should be able to see that from his quotes which I provided as evidence.

        I wrote: I would like to know where the quotes come from. I was looking through my copies of the Institutes yesterday, couldn’t find them, but then again it’s a big book.

        br.d wrote:
        You then appealed to scripture to show how you disagree with it.
        But now you are disagreeing with John Calvin and his interpretation of scripture

        I wrote: You are correct, I do disagree with Calvin. I believe we (people in general) should be free to disagree with non-biblical writers. I always try to appeal to Scripture. That’s my final authority but I will appeal to non-biblical writers, men with greater knowledge and wisdom, for help.

        br.d wrote:
        Then you said “WE” reject it – without clearly indicating who the “WE” are.

        I assume what you mean by “WE” is the fellowship you are currently involved in.

        I wrote: You are correct. I’ve never heard of brother in my fellowship express this but it is possible one might hold this position. I misspoke if my intention was understood as all Calvinists. I don’t speak for all Calvinists.

        br.d wrote:
        You do know – that if the “WE” you are talking about disagrees with John Calvin – then they are not TRUE Calvinists.

        This is often called INCONSISTENT Calvinism.
        And that is what FOH is getting at in his responses to you also

        I wrote: the distinctions that I am aware of through my own personal studies regarding Calvinism is that there are high Calvinists, hyper Calvinists, moderate Calvinists, and low Calvinists. I would consider myself a moderate. Here’s a quote from Jeffrey Johnson regarding how Calvinists can disagree amongst themselves. Johnson is a Calvinist. The atonement’s efficacy is one area where I would say there is disagreement. Thanks for reading.

        “Five-point Calvinists, on the other hand, may differ on what exactly makes the atonement efficacious, but what keeps them unified and within the boundaries of the Canons of Dort is their shared agreement that the atonement objectively secured its own application for the elect.”

        Johnson, Jeffrey D.. He Died for Me: Limited Atonement & the Universal Gospel . Free Grace Press. Kindle Edition.

      66. Thank you Roland
        I find it interesting – why a person who disagrees with John Calvin – would then call themselves a Calvinist

        I think the term Inconsistent Calvinist – is the best description.
        Because one’s position is not consistent Calvin
        And Calvin is the father of Calvinism and thus the representative standard of Calvinism.

        Some people use the term Calvi-minian when the individual is a mixture of Arminian and Calvinist :-]

      67. br.d, just a quick question. Do you believe that a Calvinist must believe all that Calvin believes regarding Scripture so that they may be considered a Calvinist? Is there room for disagreement among persons who hold to a particular belief system?
        Just wondering. Thanks

      68. Hi Roland.
        You miss the point.

        Lets say a person calls himself a Marxist.
        A Marxist is someone whose beliefs are consistent with Karl Marx

        Thus a Calvinist is someone whose beliefs are consistent with John Calvin

        One is either consistent or not.
        If one is not consistent with John Calvin – then one is simply an Inconsistent Calvinist.

        And some who call themselves Calvinists – are actually more Arminian than they are Calvinist.

        The curious thing is – they don’t like to acknowledge they have a modified version of Calvinism.

        But one thing is consistent.
        The modifications they make – are designed to remove the unpalatable aspects of John Calvin’s Calvinism.

      69. br.d wrote: One is either consistent or not.
        If one is not consistent with John Calvin – then one is simply an Inconsistent Calvinist.

        So you seem to be strict in your use of consistent. I say this because if I disagree on one point with Calvin, I interpret your words as me being automatically an inconsistent Calvinist.

        br.d wrote: And some who call themselves Calvinists – are actually more Arminian than they are Calvinist.
        The curious thing is – they don’t like to acknowledge they have a modified version of Calvinism.
        But one thing is consistent.
        The modifications they make – are designed to remove the unpalatable aspects of John Calvin’s Calvinism.

        I wrote: in what ways would you say that I am more Arminian than Calvinist? Have I ever wrote that I don’t like to acknowledge myself as having a modified version of Calvinism? I have written that I am a moderate Calvinist.

        In regards to removing the unpalatable aspects of John Calvin’s Calvinism, I would say that as a Calvinist, other Calvinist I know, and Calvinistic authors I read, we are seeking to be more faithful to Scripture. If that desire to be more faithful to Scripture causes me to stray from Calvin’s interpretations, then I am more than happy to stray. I seek to align my personal beliefs with Scripture. I do seek the help of men who are wiser and more knowledgable than myself. I also judge their belief in light of Scripture. If Calvin believes that God is author of sin and I read in Scripture that God is not the author of sin, then I believe Scripture over Calvin. Where I believe Calvin is in agreement with Scripture, I’ll agree with him.

        Calvinists are not the only ones with unpalatable aspects. Christianity and the Bible have many aspects or truths that are unpalatable to many people. The problem of evil is a problem for all Christians. The truth of hell is a challenge for all Christians. And when I mean challenge, I’m speaking of those outside of Christianity that reject Christianity on the basis of evil and hell. Before I became a Calvinist, I had many interactions with non-Christians who questioned the love of God based on the truth of evil and hell.

      70. Calvinists are called inconsistent – not only because they are inconsistent with John Calvin – but because they are LOGICALLY inconsistent where John Calvin is.

        Now I understand that John Calvin is not always LOGICALLY consistent with himself.

        In one statement Calvin can make an explicit declaration asserting [X] = TRUE
        And then in another place he can make numerous statements where [X] = FALSE

        And that is an example of a person who is inconsistent with his own belief system.

        So the term “inconsistent” in this case means more than being inconsistent with John Calvin
        It also means being LOGICALLY inconsistent with the foundational core of the doctrine.

        When John Calvin declares his god as the AUTHOR of all things (including sins and evils) he is being LOGICALLY consistent with himself.

        And Exhaustive Determinism is consistent with John Calvin’s Calvinism

        Calvin also had believers within his sphere of influence who disagreed with certain aspects of his doctrine.
        You will find him using very harsh language against them – calling them pejorative names.

        So Calvin is accustomed to having people in his own camp who disagree with him.
        But he doesn’t have kind words to say about them – because he sees them as compromising divine sovereignty.

      71. br.d, thanks for the reply. We have a difference of opinion. You believe I am inconsistent Calvinist, I believe I am not. You gave your reasons, I gave mine. I don’t know how else to reply but to repeat myself, at least on this point. Thanks for reading!

      72. There is a certain scene in a movie I once saw – which Calvinists often remind me.

        A certain priest was sitting at a table
        And with very stern language adamantly declared how his belief system strictly forbids him to drink alcohol – and how completely faithful he was to his belief system.

        He said this while sipping on his favorite whiskey. ;-]

      73. br.d, here’s my position regarding the Remonstrants’ views of soteriology. I reject their position that election is conditional. I reject their position that Christ’s atonement is universal. I reject their position that humans are not totally depraved. I reject their position that grace is resistible. I reject their position that Christ’s saints do not persevere until the end.

        Thanks for reading.

      74. Hi Roland
        One can say he rejects or asserts something.

        And that is generally done – as you have in your last post – by an explicit statement – which is what you just expressed.

        One would then assume – that puts that matter to rest.
        However it starts to fall apart when we find one is not LOGICALLY consistent.

        What the NON-Calvinist observes – is the Calvinist follows his explicit declarations with 1000 inferential denials.

        Quite frequently it takes a form that looks like this:

        I adamantly assert that I believe 2×3=6
        But not in such a way that 6/3=2

        Or it sometimes looks like this:

        I adamantly assert that I did go to the grocery store tonight after work
        Oh by the way – I was at the gym all day today and came directly home from there – and the owner of the gym told me to say hello

        Or it sometimes looks like this

        I adamantly assert that whatsoever comes to pass is infallibly decreed
        But that is not exhaustive determinism.

      75. Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Roland. I am wondering if you have used the argument, typical for those convinced of Reformed theology, that some verses concerning God’s activity must be seen as anthropomorphic, or from man’s perspective. When the reformed person uses that argument, the non-reformed student usually says, “But those replies have just contradicted what was written.” For example – God grieves in Gen 6:6, but Calvin and Gill say no He doesn’t, using those rhetorical ploys I mentioned to try to justify their discounting what is written.

        Well I am not doing exactly the same thing with the verses you listed, but I could! 😉 The point I was making is that permission does indeed fit, and it is not a contradiction to pose the rejection of God as the sufficient cause of those sins mentioned in those verses. Even the reformed theologian argues that God uses means and remains free from culpability in other cases. You just have to understand that just like Paul says – “I might save some”, when literally he is never the sufficient cause to save anyone, God can talk about giving an evil spirit into the mouths of false prophets or to fill with strong drink those who have rebelled against Him, without God ever being the sufficient cause of those sins, or as you said – “efficacious”. Do you know the difference between a sufficient cause and a necessary cause or a necessary condition?

        Thank you for reading my response. God in His command to the evil spirit, who had voluteered his idea and services, permitted that initiative to go forward. I am not sure why you can’t see that. God did not come up with the plan and then command the evil spirit in any irresistible way to fulfill it. It is very similar to Satan wanting to get at Job and God giving him permission. Job sees that as all being from God’s hand, and Job was correct, but it was not from God’s decree – “Satan, this is exactly what you must do and the power of my command will make you do it.” To want to believe that God’s sovereignty is defined as being “bullet proof” of any culpability for effecting specific sin or decreeing the first sin is very dishonoring to how God describes His nature as being righteous! It is akin, imo, to RC wanting to believe in transubstantiation. It is believing in contradiction.

      76. Thanks for your response. You wrote: Do you know the difference between a sufficient cause and a necessary cause or a necessary condition?
        I heard William Lane Craig make some sort of explanation years ago about it. If I recall correctly, he was explaining how God’s foreknowledge of an event does not make it a necessary cause. He further stated that God’s foreknowledge doesn’t mean the event will come to pass but that God knows all possible situations where that event could come to pass. Then he said something about the event known by God does not make God’s knowledge the necessary cause of the event. That’s about all I know.

        You wrote: God in His command to the evil spirit, who had voluteered his idea and services, permitted that initiative to go forward. I am not sure why you can’t see that. God did not come up with the plan and then command the evil spirit in any irresistible way to fulfill it.

        I don’t see it because I don’t see it in the text. In Job it is obvious that Satan is granted permission by God. But here, 1 Kings 22, I think God is more active than in Job. In Job God sets limits on Satan. Here in 1 Kings 22, God is active, He asks who will go persuade Ahab to go and fall, He tells the lying spirit to “go out and do so.” If the text said that God permitted the evil spirit to go out, then yes, I would see it. But the text describes God as being more than permissive. That’s why.

      77. Thank you Roland for another response. I will bow out here, for it seems you have other hefty conversations going. Perhaps we can talk again later. I wasn’t talking about sufficient and necessary causes as it relates to foreknowledge, but just as terms in and of themselves. You might want to Google those terms to learn the difference. And God certainly was asking for volunteers to get Ahab to go up to battle where he would be defeated. Note that God did not just zap Ahab to irresistibly want to go. And note that God didn’t ask if someone would volunteer to be a lying spirit in the mouth of false prophets. You can take the last word in this thread between us. I wish you the best.

      78. br.d
        Roland – as an additional note concerning calling it the “Revealed” will – doing so makes my case all that much more starkly.

        In the case where the SECRET will is [A] and the REVEALED will is [NOT A]
        Then the term REVEALED will itself functions as a FALSE REPRESENTATION.
        Because it FALSELY presents itself as REVEALING the SECRET will – which is FALSE.

        There are TWO will here – which are in opposition.
        SECRET will = [A]
        REVEALED will = [NOT A]

        So using the term “Revealed” will is even more disingenuous than using the term ENUNCIATED will.

      79. Again. I don’t understand where you’re coming from. I’m arguing from Scripture then you’re arguing from logic. I don’t seek to understand Scripture through logic, I seek to understand Scripture through plain reading. You accuse me evading but I think I’m answering your questions. You say “that’s non sequitur.” I believe we are just talking past each other. We’re obviously operating on different presuppositions.

      80. Roland
        Again. I don’t understand where you’re coming from.

        br.d
        Which I don’t buy! :-]

        Roland:
        I’m arguing from Scripture then you’re arguing from logic.

        br.d
        And for you coming to ILLOGICAL conclusions is arguing from scripture?

        Roland
        I don’t seek to understand Scripture through logic,

        br.d
        Which I bet I can show is also FALSE
        Its just that you have been taught to deny the fact that Calvinism does in fact have its own logic through which it understands scripture.

        Take for example Calvinism’s READING of Genesis where it states divine “repentance” for making man.
        The Calvinist understanding of this verse is proceeded through what the Calvinist conceives of as logic.
        for the Calvinist – the term “repentance” is understood in a NON-NORMATIVE sense.

        Take for example – Calvinism’s READING of “You do always resist the holy ghost”
        The Calvinist understanding of this verse is processed through what the Calvinist conceives of as logic
        For the Calvinist – the term “resist” is understood in a NON-NORMATIVE sense.

        Take for example – Calvinism’s READING of “choose you this day whom you will serve”
        The Calvinist understanding of this verse is proceeded through what the Calvinist conceives of as logic.
        For the Calvinist – the term choose” is understood in a NON-NORMATIVE sense.

        So your claim is totally FALSE
        The Calvinist READING of scripture is very much processed through what Calvinism conceives of as logic.
        The question is – is Calvinist logic LOGICAL?

        Roland
        I seek to understand Scripture through plain reading.

        br.d
        You can’t do that and depart from Calvinist conclusions – because you would be betraying Calvinism

        Roland
        You accuse me evading but I think I’m answering your questions.

        br.d
        If you can’t see evasion strategies – and those evasion strategies are there – then what does that tell you?

        Roland
        You say “that’s non sequitur.” I believe we are just talking past each other.

        br.d
        What one “believes” and what is LOGICAL are often not the same thing.
        It is irrational to conflate the two.

        I see this all the time with Calvinists
        The system forces them into a consistent need to evade the law of NON-Contradiction.
        Again – let your communication be YEA or NAY
        Something is either TRUE or it is FALSE

        Needing to have things both ways serves as an indicator that something is wrong.

        Roland
        We’re obviously operating on different presuppositions.

        br.d
        All presuppositions can be put to the test by LOGIC
        And that is what we’ve done today

        For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

      81. Roland and br.d,

        About the untenable “hidden will” “revealed will” part of Calvinism….. (BTW that quote of Leighton from Roland showed nothing! Only that we do not always understand God’s will. But Calvinism constantly promotes the idea of opposing wills!).

        I recently watched highlights of an already-finished sporting event. I rooted like crazy for my team (knowing full well that the final score had them as the losers). I found myself…. watching them score and catching up, thinking…. “Yes! They are gonna get them!”

        Then I said….what am I doing?! It is already decided, and I can’t change a thing!

        Kinda like the Calvinist who goes to sidewalk counsel women in front of an abortion clinic….begging “Please let us help you and your baby…” Then later at night he puts his head on his pillow saying, “All is well. I take comfort knowing that God’s hidden will/ desire was that those 9 women continue and have those abortions today. I only offered them a choice, but God’s will was that they abort.”

        At the end of each day, for a Calvinist, whatever DID happen was exactly what God WANTED to happen. So, you may cry on the sidewalk for the woman to change her mind and give life to the child…but when the day is done….if she aborted it….. that was (per Calvinism) God’s desire, will, anyway.

        No fancy “compatibalist” talk can get around that. As Piper teaches clearly, the Holocaust was God’s will and for His good pleasure.

        I have a busy week, so might not hear much back from me for a while………

      82. You wrote: So using the term “Revealed” will is even more disingenuous than using the term ENUNCIATED will.

        Again, you are accusing me of being disingenuous. I don’t understand why you will not allow Calvinists to use our own language.

        You wrote: Because it FALSELY presents itself as REVEALING the SECRET will – which is FALSE.

        Again, I don’t know how you can come to this conclusion. I’m failing to see the relevance of your statement. Maybe I’m just too dumb. I don’t know. I’ve read your statement 10 times and I don’t understand how you come to this conclusion. The Bible teaches us that God has revealed some of His will to us. Example:
        John 6:40 And this is the WILL of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Here, God is revealing His will to us.,
        1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the WILL of God in Christ Jesus for you. Here, the will of God is revealed as God wants us to give thanks in everything.
        The secret will of God is that will which He has not revealed to us. We don’t know what it is. Therefore, it is secret and belongs to God. How am I FALSELY presenting itself as REVEALING the SECRET will – which is false? I do not claim to know the secret will of God. If you would like to explore this biblical truth I would encourage you to read Genesis 50.
        Genesis 50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
        This is the culmination of Joseph’s interaction with his brothers. Here, “you (the brothers) meant (willed) evil against me (Joseph); but God meant (willed) it (all that happened in Joseph’s life with his brothers) for good.” So we read what is revealed, that is Joseph and his brothers and what they did to him. We also read that operating behind the brothers’ actions was God. God willed for good, the brothers for evil. I know, I committed somewhere between 3-5 logical fallacies. That’s about my average when I respond to you.

        Acts 2:23 Him (Jesus), being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
        Here, God delivered Jesus to be crucified. God also used lawless hands to accomplish His will.

        Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
        They labor in vain who build it;
        Unless the Lord guards the city,
        The watchman stays awake in vain.

        Here, again we see an example of the revealed will of God and the secret will of God. God expects us to build our houses, God expects us to watch over the city but UNLESS the Lord builds the house and guards the city, its all done in vain. This verse teaches us the God is working behind our actions in a manner that is not revealed. He does not tell us or reveal to us how He is building our house or guarding the city. I cannot understand how you come to the conclusion that the above statements and Scripture quotations FALSELY present themselves as REVEALING the SECRET will – which is FALSE?

      83. Roland
        the Spirit testifies to my spirit that I am a child of God by the grace of God.

        br.d
        That is what scripture says.
        But that is NOT the WHOLE STORY in Calvinism

        John Calvin
        -quote
        But the Lord…….INSTILLS INTO THEIR MINDS such a SENSE of his goodness as can be felt WITHOUT the Spirit of adoption. (Institutes)

        -quote
        He SHOWS HIMSELF propitious to them. but it is not as if he had TRULY rescued them from death, and
        taken them under his protection. (Institutes)

        -quote
        He only gives them a MANIFESTATION of his present mercy. (Institutes)

        -quote
        In this Church there is a VERY LARGE mixture…..who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance.

        Thus it follows – the PERCEPTION in your mind that the spirit testifies of your spirit that you are a child of god – may in fact be a FALSE PERCEPTION.

        And I noticed you qualified your statement with “by the grace of god”.

        Which tells me you do know that what I’m telling you is TRUE.

        In Calvinism you have no way of knowing what the “grace of god” is – as it pertains to you.
        Thus – all of the promises to the elect within scripture are an “uncertain sound” for you.

      84. Hummmm…Roland.

        I am not saying that deterministic Calvinists do not base their position on God’s word!! I am simply saying that they base it on their interpretation of a very few verses in God’s word (often as a stand alone verse, not in context).

        I see nothing determining all decisions of all men in any of the verses you quote…certainly not this one…

        1 Timothy 1:17
        17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to [a]God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

      85. FOH, like I wrote in an earlier post. We have a different interpretation of the verses I cited. I believe that when God declares, announces, proclaims the beginning from the end, it means He knows all things because He is the immortal, only wise, invisible God would not declare something He does not know. He’s not a liar. Another verse I cited says that the king’s heart is in God’s hand and who moves however He desires or wishes. I don’t read anything in that text that says, but the king can resist God’s hand. I agree, I don’t think there is a verse in the Bible that directly states God determines the decisions of all men. But these verses and many others, do show that God is in control.
        Colossians 2:11-15 read all that Christ does for His elect. Nowhere do we read that we are robots, we resist the work of Christ, we don’t circumcise ourselves, we don’t bury ourselves with Him, we don’t raise ourselves with Him, we don’t make ourselves alive together with Him. All done on the cross. All done graciously for His elect. Praise God!!!

        11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

      86. You asked what position I hold. What position does Scripture hold in hundreds and hundreds of places?

        Come to me all who labor….

        “Follow me” (to the rich young ruler)

        “Who touched me” to the woman being healed.

        “I have not seen greater faith in all Israel” to the non-Jewish God-fearing man.

        and on and on and on….

        It just humors (saddens) me to see Calvinists take these and hundreds of other clear teachings and then say….. “oh yeah but they were given (forced) that faith by God that Christ is commending them for….cuz they did nothing. ”

        Over and over people are commended for their faith in Hebrews 11. You asked my position. What is your position? God commended all that faith —in hundreds of passages — but they were irresistibly given that faith? Makes no sense.

      87. Well, you know the 40-50 verses that Calvinist use to defend our position. So quoting Scripture doesn’t help. We just have a difference of opinion of what Scripture teaches. I don’t think any less of a brother in Christ who is a non-Calvinist. I hope that I have not written anything that was understood in such a manner. If I have, I apologize. One of my favorite sections of Scripture is Romans 11:33-36, blessings brother!

        33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
        34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
        Or who has become His counselor?”
        35 “Or who has first given to Him
        And it shall be repaid to him?”
        36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

      88. Well said FOH!

        You cannot have something EXIST and NOT-EXIST at the same time.
        That is the law of NON-CONTRADICTION.

        However, MAGICAL THINKING always tries to have things both ways.

        In Calvinism – “faith” is not a function that the person has any say in the matter of – or any control over.
        All human functionality occurs by factors totally outside of the person’s control

        It is a LOGICAL Impossibility to “exercise” something you have no control over.
        So in Calvinism – you are not the one who is “exercising faith” – an external mind is the one who is “exercising” it

    2. Roland,

      Thanks for joining in.  Can you explain what you mean:

      “Salvation is conditional but election is not. Election is unto salvation.”

      In what ways are you saying that “salvation is conditional”?

      1. Salvation is conditioned on faith in Christ. A sinner cannot be saved apart from believing in Jesus Christ. Election is unconditional in that God elects sinners unto salvation without any prerequisite. The Canons of Dort state this as taken from Ephesians 1: “Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, He has out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of His own will, chosen, from the whole human race…” God elects out of mere grace, grace is a gift and does not require anything in us sinners to be elected. I hope that brings some clarity. Thanks.

      2. Thanks. It does bring clarity to your position, and that it is based on the Canons of Dordt.

        I prefer to stick to Scripture, and for example Hebrews 11 where the Scripture gives a long list of those who exercised faith at great cost to themselves.  Scripture makes faith a personal matter (thus the long list of personal names), and not something forced on someone —with no choice— before time. 

        Nowhere does it ever say that “the condition,” faith, is irresistibly given (forced) on someone.    ((Please don’t use Eph 2:8-9; even Calvinists agree that grace is the gift in that verse.))

      3. Agree, I don’t believe that the Scriptures teach that faith is irresistibly given to believers. I’ve never read a Calvinist who would hold to such a position but then again, I have not read them all. Setting aside Ephesians 2:8-9, Philippians 1:29 teaches us that “For to you it has been granted (we could say given) on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but to suffer for His sake.” Here, I believe the Bible is teaching us that believing in Christ is given to us. Believing in Christ is a gift, it is given.
        Whether grace is the gift or faith is the gift, I’ve never heard that Calvinist agree that grace is the gift. I believe that faith is the gift and grace is the means by which we are given faith. Grace means unmerited favor. So I believe that God, through grace (unmerited favor) gives us the gift of faith. I really don’t believe it makes a significant difference because regardless of which position a person holds, Paul writes “that is not of yourselves.” Grace and/or faith is not of yourselves meaning that its cause is not us but God. It’s all Him working in us to save us.

        Philippians 2:12-13 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

      4. Roland,

        Thanks….. I imagine that some might jump in here with quotes from Calvinists who would disagree with you.

        But ….for now…. you said this, “I believe that faith is the gift…” but just above you said, “I don’t believe that the Scriptures teach that faith is irresistibly given to believers.”

        Please explain. It is the gift of God but it is resistible? He gifts people with faith but they can resist it? Some will not accept the gift of faith or the “irresistible grace” of God, but others will not?

        That sounds like a rather unconventional Calvinist position. I would love clarification.

  29. br.d.
    For a Calvinist to assert that any human has the power to “humble themselves” – is to deny one’s own doctrine and is thus DOUBLE-MINDED.

    br.d
    But then – if what Calvin says is true – and a Calvinist is DOUBLE-MINDED – then what we have – is Calvin’s god INFUSING DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS into the Calvinist’s brain – as a manifestation of his good pleasure!

    And that tells us what Calvin’s god created Calvinism for! ;-D

  30. Roland,

    One thing I found about the monergism /synergism idea strawman that Calvinist prop up:

    1. Claim monergism (sounds God-glorifying: He “does it all”).
    2. Claim regeneration precedes faith. (Man had to be “made alive ” before he can then believe and be “made alive (again) in Christ”)
    3. Claim God gives faith. (Man cannot have faith; God gives faith that man must use)
    4. Claim man exercises God-given faith to believe in Christ.

    Then…. for Calvinists the problem is…. when man exercises that faith (albeit “God-given”) it is somehow “not synergistic”. How does that work?

    If a Calvinist has man —-at ANY time, to ANY degree— exercising faith then it is synergistic.

    Otherwise, your only choice is that he “robotically” exercises the faith that was irresistibly forced on him as he was “too-dead” to believe.

    It is very “high-road” and spiritual sounding to say “God does it all” but to then say that man exercises the faith he is given….. that implies synergism.

    Most Calvinists are really synergists, as you are, unless you are a determinist (which Calvinism really is), saying that man does not even used the faith to believe.

    1. FOH,
      1. As a Calvinist, I would agree that we are monergistic. I believe salvation is a monergistic work of God. However, in sanctification, I would hold to a synergistic view. I believe after a sinner is born again, God works in us to work out what He has already done for us. I quoted Philippians. I offer the following verse that teaches us God and the word of His grace builds us up. Notice that Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, speaks to the Ephesian elders as being passive recipients of God’s building up. Here, God is doing the building, the edifying, the sanctifying.
      Acts 20:32
      32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

      2. I also believe that according to the book of Ephesians 2:1-7, that Christians are the passive recipients of God’s gracious work. He made us alive, He raised us up together, He made us sit together… The plain reading of this text states these truths. I believe these truths. God did this to believers. Nowhere in the text does it say that we granted permission to God nor does it say that God forced us to live, sit, and rise.
      4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

      3, 4. I discussed this earlier regarding faith being a gift from God that Christians exercise. But, we have a difference of opinion.

      You also mentioned John Piper and him stating that God is the author of sin. I’m not too familiar with Piper as I lean towards confessional Reformed theology. I tend to listen to theologians who are confessional, my church is confessional. This means that I would be in general agreement with the historical confessions of Reformed Christianity and the historical creeds. I’ll look into Piper’s statements. But thinking off the top of my head, as best as I can, I would not agree with Piper’s statement. I quoted some passages earlier regarding God’s will and sin. I don’t know how to reconcile them, I plead insufficiency and lack of intelligence in doing so. Thanks.

      1. Now your tap dance is starting.

        I gave you a dilemma about synergism and monergism and you deflected to sanctification.

        Nope.

        In Calvinism, God makes you alive so He can give you faith.  You exercise that faith and “come” or “hear” or “listen” “obey” “believe” ….which for some reason you say is not synergistic.  But at the same time you insist that He does not “force” you to believe.  Calvinists say He makes you alive, gives you faith so that you can believe in faith. 

        On and on Calvinists say once He has regenerated you and given you faith, you want to follow Him and freely follow him (“not coerced!”).

        So you (Roland) believed in Him.  Did you repent?  Did you “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead”?  

        Who did that?  You?  Synergism (even to the tiniest degree).

        Who did that? God confessing for you—or making you confess…. monergism.  

        You can defend and promote the above kind of monergism if you like.  For me it does not work if you promote the kind that Calvinists use “He makes you alive, and gives you faith so that you can believe in Him.”  That is still you (Roland) doing something. 

        You know the old cemetery example…. “we are 6 feet under!”  So he makes us alive (regeneration precedes faith)… but does that regeneration save?  No (even per Calvinism). Then made alive, we are given faith.  Does that newly-given faith save?  No (per Calvinism).  We need to “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.” 

        He makes you alive, gives you faith….. does He confess for you also? 

      2. Calvinism’s NO FORCE argument is really nothing more than a bluff.

        The Calvinist has no way of proving that FORCE is not used in his system.

        Additionally – he has to argue that the infallible decree is FORCE-LESS – which becomes absurd.

        The NO FORCE argument is an argument the Calvinist borrows from ATHEIST Determinism.
        It is a philosophical argument

        So if Roland uses that argument – then his system is more philosophy than he want’s to admit.

        Additionally – John Calvin asserts FORCE is used with the demonic

        -quote
        “The devil, and the whole train of the ungodly…..can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how
        they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as He…..COMMANDS; that they are not only bound by His fetters but are even FORCED to do Him service” (Institutes)

        So if FORCE is used with the demonic – then what’s to prevent it to be used with humans
        The Calvinism’s NO FORCE argument is really nothing more than a bluff which he has no way to prove

      3. Roland,

        I saw MacArthur do this recently.

        He told all the young bucks to stop (taking Calvinism to its logical end by) saying that God does not love all people.  They (the aggressive YRR), of course, follow Calvin saying that God does not love most people and intentionally created them for damnation (no love of Christ intended for them).

        He then went on to show verses where God does love all people.  It was not quite the old “you dont love your neighbor’s wife the way you love yours” tap dance, but close.  Since MacArthur and Piper only monologue it is impossible to ask them in what way does God love someone that he has created for destruction.

        MacArthur threw a feeble attempt at this with the ol’ “He gives them sunshine and rain,” routine.

        Nah…. That’s pretty childish when compared to the eternal punishment He prepared them for —purposely— with insurmountable road blocks toward saving grace.  

        Imagine the 20-year-old girl who dies from abuse and sex trafficking —who does not know Christ.  MacArthur’s position rings pretty shallow to say that “God loved her by giving her sunshine and rain.”

      4. FOH, I agree with you, Calvinism taken to its logical end results in false doctrine. That’s why there are hyper Calvinist and eternal salvation. I think the danger is on both sides. If I take Arminianism to its logical end I could argue that I did it all by myself, God did not help me, the glory be to me. Take God’s love as stated in John 3:16. If God loves the world, which He does, then I could say that God’s love should result in universal salvation. Everyone is saved because a loving God would not allow a person to go to hell. While I embrace Calvinism, I need to look towards God’s Word first. I hope I do so, if not then I need to repent of putting man’s insights into Scripture before Scripture itself. Logic is not my guide, Scripture is. I’d rather be accused of not making sense and being illogical than being accused of being anti-God’s Word.

      5. Roland,
        Just to let you know I was tracking with you till here. This post lost me on several places.

        “Calvinism results in false doctrine”… yet you call yourself a Calvinist.

        Then:
        “If I take Arminianism to its logical end I could argue that I did it all by myself, God did not help me, the glory be to me.” Truly this is the worst case of a straw man! No one says that!!

        When the Israelites by faith put blood on the door they did not say “glory be to me!”

        When they —by faith—took the first steps into raging waters that then parted, they did not say “glory be to me!”

        When Aaron and Hur held up Moses hands….when they marched 7 days then 7 times around Jericho, when they whittled down to 300 with Gideon (by faith) ….they did not say “glory be to me.” What a thing to say!

        You are only repeating this “Arminian straw man” stuff cuz that is what you read on the monergism site. I am not an Arminian—but I know tons of them—- and none of them say anything close to that.

        They say —-just like the Israelites in Egypt— God has provided a way out of slavery for us if we apply the blood and stay in the house.

        The closest example (analogy) to the cross is Passover —– and God provided the Perfect Lamb. But people must apply the blood and stay in the house.

        If Calvinism were true, God Himself would have applied the blood on the door in Egypt. But he left that obedience up to them.

        Still…. when it was over they never said “glory be to us!”

        Straw man par excellence.

      6. I’ll try to clarify. The statement I made regarding Calvinism and false doctrines is what can happen if someone takes Calvinism to its logical conclusion. That’s why I mentioned hyper Calvinism and eternal justification (sorry I used salvation in the earlier post). Regarding Arminianism, I was saying if I take it to its logical end I could make these arguments. You are right, I don’t know any Arminians who says this, I was writing about logical conclusions. I did this because you mentioned John MacArthur telling Calvinist not to take Calvinism to its logical end. I hope this is a clarification of my position. Hopefully this helps.

  31. Roland,

    I find this idea strange.

    God goes out of His way in the Bible to tell there read that man is created in His image….

    (Ps 8) You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
    6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:

    Created in God’s image, crowned with glory and honor, and ruler over all that God created.

    Yet…. per Calvinism that vast majority of this glorious mankind in God’s image is not offered Christ, and was created for eternal torment.

    It just makes no sense.

    Can a person read a few reformed books and take 40-50 verses and come up with Calvinism? Sure…. if he starts with certain presuppositions. But the “glorious, ruler, man in God’s image” idea makes no sense in Calvinism.

    1. Thanks for the response. When I began studying Reformed theology I had no presuppositions. I had questions about certain verses regarding predestination, election, and salvation. The answers I was given by my pastors did not seem right. For example, when I read Romans 8:30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified, I questioned what this meant. At the time the internet was not accessible as it is now and there was not as much information available. The men that gave me answers that seemed to me biblical were Reformed theologians.

      They were saying, that’s exactly what the text says. That’s exactly what God is saying. There were other verses as well not just Romans. I became a Calvinist first, then embraced the broader Reformed position a few years later. But I retained my Baptist position regarding ecclesiology.
      You wrote: It just makes no sense.

      This was my initial response to verses about election, foreknowledge, predestination, etc. I thought, “this just makes no sense.” Then my non-Calvinist pastors would explain it away, I’d walk away thinking, “okay, they’re pastors, they know better…” But I kept coming across questions and never felt as if I’d shut the door on them. Then I came across Founders Ministries, John MacArthur, RC Sproul, and many others. I did not just read a few Reformed books with 40-50 verses, I struggled with this for at least 3 years before I finally concluded that Reformed theology is the best perspective when it comes to theology.

      1. Roland,
        Mine was a similar journey. When I was in high school, I went to church with a reformed friend of mine. I was the only one who came with a Bible! They all used pew Bibles and liturgy. We jokingly called them the “frozen chosen.”

        Later in Bible school Pink / Boettner were all the rage and for the ones of us who had those niggling questions…..the reformed position was the “safe one.” No sliding into charismatic, Pentecostalism, easy believism, and (much later) the faith movement…. no way! Safe…. get back to the reform! You see so many churches trying it. Hymns! Robes! Liturgy!

        That’s fine. I am a reformed church sent missionary for 35 years.

        It just makes no sense to me taken to it logical end. It does not seem like the message of the Bible:

        Man created in God’s image

        Man CHOOSES to sin…the fall

        God pleads over and over with His people in the OT (does it sound like He is always getting what He wants??!)
        Calvinism/ reformed INSISTS that God ALWAYS gets what He wants. All that happened in the OT was exactly what God wanted.

        Reformers come along and baptize children (Calvin refused to let infant-baptized adults be baptized when they understood the Gospel). Calvin himself only EVER had infant, Roman Catholic baptism.

        They baptize images of God and make them children of the covenant. Then teach that X-huge% of them are only created for destruction.

        Not only does it not make sense, and not only does it not seem like the message of the Bible, but if it IS the message of the Bible it makes God the author of all sin and the enjoyer of the torment of most of His creation.

        Just hard to find that in the Bible and even harder to worship that kind of God.

        Are you just fine saying that everything that happened in the OT (child sacrifice, etc) was exactly what God wanted?

      2. Might I also add that your misinterpretation of Romans 8:30 stems from the common error of ignoring context. All you have to do to avoid your error is to not ‘start’ at verse 30, but study the entire passage. Tell me, is there any reasonable explanation for omitting the previous verse, which is not only pertinent, but quite obviously part of the train of thought? “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

        One cannot possibly make a case for cutting off this passage here, ignoring the ‘Moreover’ of verse 30, as well as the beginning of the listing of these promised blessings, the description of which begins much earlier, in at least verse 18.

        It appears to be a deliberate omission, purposely changing the apparent meaning of the passage. In context, it is clear that the predestination promised is, firstly, of those God foreknew, and, secondly, the predestination describes the blessings foretold to those foreknown, that is, being conformed to the image of Christ by being called, justified and glorified.

        This sort of less than adequate, honest treatment of the text leads to endless faulty interpretations, not only by Calvinism, but by all manner of men and institutions, witting and unwitting. You will find, if you have read many blogs or listened to podcasts on Sot101, as well as in countless books and essays throughout history, that any interpretation you have learned from Calvinists has well-supported alternative interpretations which have been thoughtfully set forth by godly, learned bible scholars.

        This was pivotal in my own rejection of Calvinism. I vividly recall the teaching of a visiting pastor, who had only recently migrated to Calvinism, and the breath of fresh air it was to what I had not yet realized was the authoritarian, dogmatic indoctrination I had become accustomed to. This pastor was very open about the sometimes less than perfect translation of even his preferred bible version, and was very upfront about admitting alternative interpretations to the text that differed from his own. Compare this to my pastor, who taught as if his (Calvinism’s) interpretation was the only possible, plausible interpretation to be had, and anything else was rank heresy. I began to realize that I had been slowly brainwashed into accepting what I was told, rather than earnestly studying and thinking for myself, seeking out differing opinions and prayerfully seeking the Spirit’s leading.

      3. FOH – I was thinking about this the other day.
        There is a logical fallacy called the “Sharpshooter” fallacy.

        A man claims his aim with a gun is as perfect as a man’s aim can be.
        He goes out to a barn and shoots one bullet at it.
        Then he paints a bulls-eye around his bullet hole.
        Then he claims his process was the opposite.

        Like slicing verses out of chapters and painting bull-eyes around them! ;-D

      4. Indeed. AKA…

        Making the text say what you want…

        Coming to the text with the answer…

        Outrunning the text…

        eisegesis…..

        Calvinists take the hundreds of text —in most books of the Bible—- saying something like (God speaking) “I did not want you to…” “Why did you not do what I wanted….”

        They then filter them through some vague “end from the beginning” verse (which can mean what you want)…. and make them all disappear! Bull’s eye!

        That of course makes God the author of Israel’s disobedience (cuz “He always gets what He wants”). Then they turn around and say that is not true since the Bible say He cant be the author of their disobedience.

        Makes your head spin!

      5. TSOO, thanks for chiming in. I just wanted to make a few comments regarding your comment.
        First, I was not trying to interpret Romans 8:30. I was just giving a brief example of some verses that were instrumental in me embracing Calvinism. I thought I sufficiently explained this in the post you commented on. I was answering a question from another participant. I’ve studied the entire passage and I did not just start at verse 30, in the post yes, when I first read these verses nearly 20 years ago, no I did not start reading at verse 30. I’m not making a case for anything, I’m not deliberately omitting anything, and I was not purposely changing the apparent meaning of the text. The post was my experience as I began to read God’s Word and try to understand it. When I asked my pastors what predestined meant in the text, they told it did not mean that God predestines some and not others. Why I asked? And many times whenever the opportunity arose. Because it would be unfair for God to predestine some to salvation and others to damnation. Also, I was told that humans have freewill and God cannot, will not, does not, violate human freewill.

        Second, you wrote: “It appears to be a deliberate omission, purposely changing the apparent meaning of the passage. In context, it is clear that the predestination promised is, firstly, of those God foreknew, and, secondly, the predestination describes the blessings foretold to those foreknown, that is, being conformed to the image of Christ by being called, justified and glorified.” Unless I misunderstand you, you wrote in this paragraph, “the predestination described the blessings foretold to those foreknown.” I do not believe that that is what Paul is saying. The verse reads “Moreover WHOM (not blessings but people) He (God) predestined …” Whom is the word used in place of who as an object of a verb or preposition. Paul is not writing that God predestines blessings. Paul is writing that God predestines people to be conformed to the image of His Son. In verse 29 “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.”
        It is persons that God foreknew not blessings, not decisions, but persons. When I first heard, I had been a Christian nearly 10 years, a person explain the text to me this way, then it made sense. But I did not accept right away. I struggled with the biblical teaching that God predestines sinners to be conformed to the image of His Son.

        You wrote, “Compare this to my pastor, who taught as if his (Calvinism’s) interpretation was the only possible, plausible interpretation to be had, and anything else was rank heresy. I began to realize that I had been slowly brainwashed into accepting what I was told, rather than earnestly studying and thinking for myself, seeking out differing opinions and prayerfully seeking the Spirit’s leading.”

        My experience with Calvinism is the opposite of yours. I was saved in a freewill theology church. All my pastors for 13 years after I became a Christian rejected Calvinism. I heard the term Calvinism maybe 5 times. Each time it was brought up the only thing I was told is that Calvinists deny freewill. Yet, within that 13 year period, there was period of about 10 years, where I struggled with verses that talk about election, predestination, God’s foreknowledge. I never believed that I was being given biblical answers and I wasn’t.
        During this time I earnestly studied the Scriptures, thought for myself, sought out different opinions, and diligently sought God’s wisdom on these issues. Then I heard Calvinistic preachers and teachers explaining doctrines such as predestination and election from the Bible. I gradually became convinced of the five points, then along the way began to embrace broader Reformed perspective on God’s Word.
        I consider myself a moderate. I don’t believe that non-calvinist are heretics. I don’t believe that it’s Calvinism only. I can understand why Christians and non-Christians reject Calvinism. It’s not easy believing that we are not freewill autonomous creatures.
        Thanks for reading, sorry for the long post.

      6. Roland,
        I will congratulate you on two things.

        1. You are polite! Many of the YRR bucks come in here guns blazin’ thinking we “just havent heard someone explain it!” When we do not acquiesce within two posts….they can get pretty snarky!

        2. You have hung in there! Many of the aforementioned (snarky) posters have slammed the door on their way out after calling us heretics.

        So….thanks for that!

      7. FOH, thanks for the kind comment. I don’t believe non-Calvinists are heretics. I don’t believe everything Leighton teaches but I came to his website to seek understanding of his position not to insult my fellow brothers in Christ. Hopefully, I have refrained from insulting anyone. These discussions get heated and it can be frustrating when it seems as if the other side does not understand us. I think we should be having these discussions in love, sharpening each other’s swords.

      8. Roland,

        Let me just add another comment to the 2 things I just said about you.

        Concerning your voyage into Calvinism….it was similar to mine.  

        One of the times that I was at L’Abri (Francis Schaeffer) I was in a Bible study with one of the chalet leaders there.  He made it clear that he was a Calvinist (as was I).  Every meal and moment of prayer he made sure to pray for the salvation of several friends and members of his family.

        That made no sense to me and I approached him. His weak answer was one more ding in the armour for me.  

        Honestly, how can a Calvinist pray for the salvation of someone?  They have drawn a thick line in the sand making sure that everyone knows that all things soteriology are God’s choice.  Man had NO-thing to do with it: neither the receiving man or the witnessing man (even though Paul says he “persuades men”). It is all on God.

        The attempts to solve this by saying “God moves people to pray for the people God is going to save…” are hollow.  This could not be true since many times we pray for people that God does not save.   And …..here’s the rub….. since He does not save them (and never planned to) we are actually praying AGAINST His will.  
        So the ol’ “He moves us to pray for what He is gonna do” idea is a non-started. 

        So…. the next time you hear in your Calvinist settings anyone praying for the salvation of someone….please tell them that this is just not correct per Calvinism.  

      9. FOH, I quoted this from your response and you’re right, this is the rub. “And …..here’s the rub….. since He does not save them (and never planned to) we are actually praying AGAINST His will.”

        I don’t believe any sincere Christian wants to pray against God’s will, non-Calvinist or Calvinist. Here’s where I begin:
        1 Timothy 2: 1-8
        Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

        God, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, commands Christians through Paul’s letter to Timothy to pray for all men. That’s why a Calvinist should pray for all men. I know, not a very Calvinistic answer but at least it’s biblical.

      10. Roland,

        I hope you are sincerely looking for the truth….because I believe you have explained it yourself right here.

        Like you said ….it is biblical!!!

        We can pray for all men…. to God, “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

        We can pray to God because He desires all men to be saved!

        We can sincerely pray to God, “…who gave Himself a ransom for all.”

        A Calvinist does not believe that God “desires all men to be saved” ….. so he cannot pray that way.  But I can!  Because it’s biblical!

        A Calvinist does not believe that Christ “gave Himself a ransom for all”… so he cannot pray to be able to persuade them (like Paul said)…. but I can! 

        Please listen to the very passage you quoted! Please dont “explain it away” like Calvinists do with “all kinds” of men.

      11. FOH wrote:I hope you are sincerely looking for the truth….because I believe you have explained it yourself right here.

        Like you said ….it is biblical!!!

        We can pray for all men…. to God, “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

        We can pray to God because He desires all men to be saved!

        We can sincerely pray to God, “…who gave Himself a ransom for all.”

        A Calvinist does not believe that God “desires all men to be saved” ….. so he cannot pray that way. But I can! Because it’s biblical!

        A Calvinist does not believe that Christ “gave Himself a ransom for all”… so he cannot pray to be able to persuade them (like Paul said)…. but I can!

        Please listen to the very passage you quoted! Please dont “explain it away” like Calvinists do with “all kinds” of men.

        I wrote: I am not looking for truth in the sense that I lack some understand of soteriology. But I am looking for truth in what Leighton Flowers is saying, that’s why I came to SOT101. But I’ve spent most of my time defending Calvinism. At least I’m examining my own personal interpretations of specific texts.

        I believe Calvinists can pray as Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2. We do pray for our nation’s leaders at our prayer meetings. We pray that God through our nation’s leaders would work through them so that “we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” We don’t pray this for ourselves (I mean my local church) but for all Christians in the United States. We also pray for our nation’s leaders salvation. I believe this concept that Calvinists cannot pray for all men to be saved comes from a misunderstanding of Calvinism. As a Calvinist, I can glean from many texts that God does not save all men. In some sense His desire is not completed as it does not result that all men are saved, only some. Also, I would add that we don’t know who the elect are, so we pray for all men because God draws all His elect from all men. Where else would God elect some sinners but from all sinners?

        1 Timothy 2:4 is one of the key texts that non-Calvinist point out to discredit Calvinism. I can see why it is used because it goes directly against the Calvinist doctrine that God does not save all men. You know how Calvinist interpret this text. I believe the context allows for this interpretation that it is all kinds of men, “giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority.” There is mentioned of different kinds of men as I just quoted. God does not exclude kings and men in authority from being saved. I know you believe it is explaining away but I believe it is interpreting the text according to its context. Thanks for reading.

      12. Roland,

        You have a lot of threads going with br.d and Brian too so perhaps some confusion.

        My point in a previous post was that you were trying to prove something (about praying) and IT WAS YOU who quoted the 1 Timothy passage TO me.

        I found that ironic since in that passage (that you quoted) it says God “wants all men to be saved” and “gave Himself for all” etc.

        Perhaps you missed the irony there.

        Then you added:

        “I believe this concept that Calvinists cannot pray for all men to be saved comes from a misunderstanding of Calvinism. As a Calvinist, I can glean from many texts that God does not save all men. In some sense His desire is not completed as it does not result that all men are saved, only some.”

        No….it is from an UNDERSTANDING of Calvinism that I said what I said.  Like Austin Fisher (author of “Young, Restless, and No Longer Reformed”) says ….it is when he fully understood all that Calvinism means that he finally began to look into the validity of it.   Same was true for me….when I fully understood it….. I left.

        Notice above that you said……   “In some sense His desire is not completed….”

        That is a no-no Roland.  You cannot have your cake and eat too.  

        In Calvinism/ Reformed theo, God ALWAYS gets what He wants.  

        So what you did…say “His desire is not completed…” is off the rails.  That is not possible.  He must always get what He wants.  ALL that happens is what God wants.

        That is what leaves Calvinists tied up into such pretzels trying to say “He wants it (“will of command”) but He didnt really want it (“will of ____________” fill in term desired).  That is just nonsensical to me.

        p.s.I am glad that you do not consider us heretics!  Thanks!  Now ask yourself why “God decreed” that we be so vehemently opposed to Calvinism.  Is He letting us choose that (free will) or is that a decree from Him that we oppose what He wants known as the truth? i.e…. Did God decree that Wesley adamantly oppose Whitefield (Calvinist), or does He just let some things happen.  If ANYTHING can happen that God does not want/ decree then Reformed theology crumbles.

      13. FOH, thanks for your response, you wrote:You have a lot of threads going with br.d and Brian too so perhaps some confusion.

        You are right about that! My head was spinning yesterday as I responded. I tried to make sure I was responding to the proper person.

        You wrote:I n Calvinism/ Reformed theo, God ALWAYS gets what He wants.

        I wrote: I agree, God always gets what He wants. The statement I made regarding God’s desire to save all men and that all men are not saved, leads me to question how can God desire all men to be saved, yet not all are saved. I think that’s a challenge for all Christians, not just Calvinists. I think it presents a greater challenge to Calvinists since we hold to the Scriptural teaching that God is in control of all things. I could give you some of my Calvinistic 40-50 verses we like to use but I did not. Or I could seek to harmonize the Scriptures using other Scriptures to show that while Paul writes that God desires all men to be saved, overall, Scripture teaches us that not all are saved. Being a former Calvinist you would know what my responses would be. So if you know my responses, at least generally, then I’m hesitant to offer up a repetition of what you already know. I believe you are familiar enough with Calvinism to know what Calvinists generally believe.

        One question I have for you. Pau writes that God desires for all men to be saved. Paul also writes that Christ, 1 Timothy 2:5, is the one mediator between God and men. Do you believe that Christ mediates on behalf of all men? If so, does Christ fail in His mediation if not all come to salvation? Is Jesus Christ a failure? Is God a failure because all men are not saved?

        One more thought before I finish. If I embrace a non-Calvinistic interpretation of Scripture. If I reject the five points and so on, I believe I would be giving up more than just Calvinism. I would have to reject Reformed theology and embrace, or remain neutral, which isn’t feasible, the truth that God does not control or is in control of all things. I would have to believe that there are events outside of God’s decrees, God’s providence, God’s will, etc. And if this is true, my concern is that some things are left to infallible men, such as salvation. If some things (lack of a better term, sorry) are left to infallible men, and not all to God, I would say that would be the lesser God of the Bible. I would say that I would be embracing a view of God that is less than what the Bible expresses to us humans. That view of God is scarier than the view of Calvin’s view of God. It raises all kinds of issues and questions.

        Why would I pray to a god who is not in control or has not decreed or does not know all things, etc.? Why should I heed the commands of a god whose will can be ultimately resisted? Why should I love a god, who declares his love for the world, desires all to be saved, yet lacks the ability, capacity, will, etc. to do so? Why should I trust a god who cannot keep his promises? If all things do not have their being in God, then what kind of god is there according to God’s Word?
        I believe I would have to strip God of His divine attributes. His omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence. But I could believe God has these attributes, however, if He never puts them to use or exercise them, does He really have them?

        When God told Noah of the flood, did God tell Noah because He knew the rain was coming or because He decreed it, made it come to pass, willed, etc.? When God gave Noah the dimensions of the ark, did God know that all people would not come in? Did God decree it, make it come to pass, will it, so that all would not come in? The ark was probably not big enough for all yet God gave the dimensions. Did God know? Not know the ark wasn’t big enough? Oops, sorry Noah, the ark is not big enough, I didn’t know so many would obey your preaching. Start over, Noah! The God of the Bible is shown us to be far greater and grander than just knowing the future or even knowing all possible situations of the people.
        Did God love all the people drowning while it rained? If so, then why didn’t He command Noah to open the ark and let all in? Would a loving person allow another to drown and refrain from rescue? The argument that non-Calvinists make regarding God, raise these kinds of questions.

      14. Roland,

        That is a great letter and full of good topics!  Since I am not recopying all of your post, I hope you can keep track of my responses.

        1 You said:  “I agree, God always gets what He wants.”  The burden of proof (for you to stay biblical) rests on you then to harmonize the hundreds (not one or two)….hundreds of passages in the Bible where God Himself says things like, “I wanted you to XY but you did not,”  “The evil that you did was not what I wanted and did not even enter my mind!”  etc etc .  Hundreds of times.  What do all those hundreds of passages mean ((((Hint: You can do what visiting Calvinists do and start with the phrase “God did not mean what it sounds like He is saying here….”  Rinse.  Repeat.))))

        2. You said:  “The statement I made regarding God’s desire to save all men and that all men are not saved, leads me to question how can God desire all men to be saved, yet not all are saved.”  Why are you so vexed about this?  God shows His desire hundreds (hundreds!) of times in the Bible: Go into the land….but they saw the giants!; He desired that they not ask for a king…they asked; He desired that Saul take out the Amalekites (and then tore the kingdom away because he did NOT do what God desired).  

        I just do not get Calvinists about the “God always gets what He desires (Greek-Augustian philosophy)” thing.  He could not possibly make it more clear in the Bible.

        It is because people bring their definition of God (sovereignty) TO the text instead of let the text speak. 

        3. You wrote:   Do you believe that Christ mediates on behalf of all men?This is not nearly as “gotcha” as you think.  The Scripture tells us that, in that there is one mediator between the Creator and created beings, it is Christ.  That passage does not tell how a person gets mediated for, only that He is the only one between God and mankind.  Public defenders are available for all persons arrested, but they can refuse them.  The judge can still say that the advocate was available as a mediator “for all men”. 

        The verse is pretty clear:
        For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people.

        One God.
        One mediator between God and mankind
        “gave as a ransom for all”

        It  does not say that He is meditating for everyone, but that He is the only option in the mediator category.  

        4. You said: Is Jesus Christ a failure? Is God a failure because all men are not saved?
        This is the typical Calvinist presupposition.  But the Bible does not bear this out.  He made “a way” of escape over and over in the Bible, but people need to act on this and apply it: ark, Passover blood on the door, serpent on the pole.  These are all “ways of escape” that are compared to the cross….and they are all conditional.  He made a way of escape….but men had to act in faith.  If they did not…. it does not make “God a failure.”  That is a Calvinist straw man construction.    

        Calvinist think they “gotcha” when they ask… “Did Christ save or only make a way of salvation?”  I answer: let’s look at what the Bible teaches about God providing a way of escape!  He is consistent… always requiring action from men.  Always.
         
        5. You said:   “If some things (lack of a better term, sorry) are left to infallible men, and not all to God, I would say that would be the lesser God of the Bible. I would say that I would be embracing a view of God that is less than what the Bible expresses to us humans….scarier”

        A. Why lesser? AW Tozer says it would be a “little” God that had to micromanage everything in order to win. That is just a man-made idea. It doesnt make Him bigger; it makes Him smaller. Tozer (and I) think that it makes God huge if He can give man free will and STILL win!

        B. Where does the Bible express that everything that happens is exactly what God wants?  That is a huge statement/ doctrine and God had the whole Bible to make it clear, and yet all the proof-text verses are just kind vague-ish and nuanced.

        C. Scarier?  Scarier than a God who creates 95% of humanity in His image only to decree from before time they were created for eternal torment, for “His good pleasure”?   I am afraid you have gotten so immune to thinking this way that you cannot see how “scary” and repulsive that idea is. 

        6. You said: “Why would I pray to a god who is not in control or has not decreed or does not know all things, etc.? Why should I heed the commands of a god whose will can be ultimately resisted? Why should I love a god, who declares his love for the world, desires all to be saved, yet lacks the ability, capacity, will, etc. to do so?”

        What?  This is really amazing!!!

        A. Why would you pray to a god who has ALREADY decreed everything? What in fact would be the point of your prayer?

        B. You cant even hear yourself!  In the same sentence you ask why you “should heed” and then say His will can’t be resisted.  Do you even see the irony of that?  If His will cannot be resisted —-then you (Roland) are not “heeding” anything.  You (Roland) are not making any choices. 

        C. Again…you ask why should you love…. as if it is you doing the loving.  Your theology teaches that you had no choice. These questions are all irrelevant and moot if you are deterministic anyway, since you made no choices to love or not love.

        If you can make a choice to heed/not heed or to love/not love then your decision could go either way…. and it is not settled.  If in fact all your decisions are decreed by God before time then you only think you are choosing to heed/not heed.  

        7.  You said: “I believe I would have to strip God of His divine attributes. His omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence.”  
        Nah… that is just what you were taught by the “all or nothing” reformed guys.  You would just have to look at these concepts in a less Greek-philosohy sort of way and let Scripture tell you what they mean.

        8. You said:  “…did God tell Noah because He knew the rain was coming or because He decreed it, made it come to pass, willed, etc.?”What?  You are acting like making the flood happen means He decreed all things (before time).  Okay…. but remember…you are the one who brought up Noah. What does the Scripture say…..

        (Gen 6:6) And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (ESV, Calvinist version).

        Calvinists cannot explain that verse.  Of course….every Calvinist commentary you read will start with “Well… it doesnt really mean what it says…”  Have a look at them.   So much for listening to Scripture!  What can that passage possibly mean for a Calvinist?

        9.  Here is the kicker!  You said (sarcastically), “Oops, sorry Noah, the ark is not big enough, I didn’t know so many would obey your preaching. Start over, Noah!”
        Have you not seen the many passages like this one in Jeremiah 18?

        18:5 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8 and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.
         
        Why don’t Calvinists ever believe these passages (Yes, I know about the two events where it says that God is not lying nor will He change His mind).  Calvinists will gladly tell you all these many passages about God “relenting and regretting” DO NOT mean what they say, but they never go on to say what they are actually trying to teach us. 

        10. You said:   “Did God love all the people drowning while it rained? If so, then why didn’t He command Noah to open the ark and let all in? Would a loving person allow another to drown and refrain from rescue? The argument that non-Calvinists make regarding God, raise these kinds of questions.”  

        This is irrelevant to our discussion because it is the same for Calvinists.  Unless you are the kind (unlike MacArthur) that says God only loves a small portion of humanity.  

        The question of whether the definition of love means you have to do whatever the other person wants despite their disobedience and rebellion has long been settled.  God can both love someone and give them the freedom to reject his love and “way of escape.”  That does not nullify His love… It just tells us that He wants a personal relationship. Calvinism denies a personal relationship since God both provides the way of escape and forces who He wants into it. 

        Thanks for talking!

      15. Roland,
        I hear you and other Calvinists regularly say “God is in control” and then try to explain that, in spite of that, He is not the author of sin.

        That is precisely the point! It is the presupposition of what it means to “be in control” that gets in the way.

        You have kids? When my kids were young I could say “I am in control of my family. The head of my home.” That does not in any way mean that I can make them do what I want…and certainly does not mean that everything they did was what I want.”

        Queen Elizabeth is sovereign over her nation. Is everything that happens what she wants. Do we EVER use that term in that way?

        That is the conundrum for Calvinists.

        We say that “God does whatever He wants.” Calvinists say “all that happens is what God wants.”

        Automatically and logically (not biblically) that make Him the author of sin.

        There is just no way to square that circle.

        ps.
        And what’s more all the verses that Calvinists use to come up with that idea are: “all that happens is what He decreed” “He is high above the heavens” “knows the end from the beginning” “roll the dice in the lap” verses. Based on their interpretation of these few, vague verses Calvinist are now obliged to lay all sin at God’s door! No thanks!

      16. FOH wrote: And what’s more all the verses that Calvinists use to come up with that idea are: “all that happens is what He decreed” “He is high above the heavens” “knows the end from the beginning” “roll the dice in the lap” verses. Based on their interpretation of these few, vague verses Calvinist are now obliged to lay all sin at God’s door! No thanks!

        Acts 4:27-28
        27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

        In verse 28, were the apostles wrong to pray this way? Where is the vagueness? I would like to read your take on God doing whatever His hand and His purpose determined before to be done regard how Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles and Israel treated Jesus.

      17. Roland,

        You asked:

        “In verse 28, were the apostles wrong to pray this way? Where is the vagueness? I would like to read your take on God doing whatever His hand and His purpose determined before to be done regard how Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles and Israel treated Jesus.”

        You keep equating “God does what He pleases” with “everything that happens is what God pleases.”

        They are not the same.

        Is God going to micro-manage and make sure that what He says He will do, happens? Yes! Does that include turning the hearts of kings (by means of knowing them and what they want are attracted by) to do what He wants? Yes! Does that include the most significant event (the cross) in history? Of course!

        Of course if God plans to do something He will bring it about (There are passages like Jeremiah 18 that tell us that He sometimes will change from His course). Especially when it concerns the most significant event in history!

        Does that mean (like you say, and Calvinists use “sovereign” to mean) that ALL that happens is exactly what He wants to happen? No….why should it?

        God can do whatever He wants is not the same as all that happens is what God wants.

        You have used (like the previous visitors) all the same gotcha-verses that are already discussed at length in all of these articles and subsequent posts on this site. It gets redundant to have Calvinist come on here and put out the Acts 4:27 verse…. as if that means that ALL things at ALL times…. are exactly what God wants.

        Please tell me, is that what this passage —-or any passage in the entire Bible —-is trying to teach us?

        Are you saying that the message of the Bible is that ALL that happen….ALL the time is EXACTLY what God wants?

        Even your small, unfaithful acts today? At the end of the day, do we not pray, “Lord, forgive me for doing today what You did not want.”

        God does not always get what He wants. The Bible makes that abundantly clear.

      18. FOH, back again, real quick, I got a busy weekend, thanks for responding.

        You wrote: Are you saying that the message of the Bible is that ALL that happen….ALL the time is EXACTLY what God wants?

        Me: Yes, according to how God is revealed in Scripture.

        You wrote: God does not always get what He wants. The Bible makes that abundantly clear.

        Me: If I agree with this statement, then this is no god at all. But yes, I believe the Bible teaches that God gets what He wants.

        These are very short answers to complex issues. I know could be fleshed out. You know as a former Calvinist what I am going to say, how I would answer, so I kept it short. Thanks for reading.

      19. Roland,

        Real fast also…

        You said: “If I agree with this statement, then this is no god at all. But yes, I believe the Bible teaches that God gets what He wants.”

        The “no god at all” thing is just a human construct.  That is the reformed “He controls everything or He controls nothing.”  Nah…. they just made that up!

        I’m sticking with the hundreds of times in the Bible where He calls out to people, telling them exactly what He wants them to do ….and they dont.

        For your position to be true, you have to take those hundreds and hundreds of passages and say some nonsensical “He wills it but He doesnt really will it…”

        Nah….. not necessary.  

      20. Roland,
        We are overseas missionary for 30+ years and still doing that now.

        I was in a meeting today (online) with a missions team as a consultant. The room was full of Calvinists.

        They went on and on about “the best way” to do an evangelism project and “a strategy that works” and all kinds of clever ideas.

        Why? Because they think what they do makes a difference. Because they believe Paul when he says he “convinces men” “persuades men”. So they try all kinds of strategies to convince men.

        Their theology teaches that their strategies make NO difference because it is God’s choice and depends 0.0000% on men (the receiving men or the preaching men). If any preaching men said it in any way depended on them!!! NO way!! 100% God.

        Oh no…… you cannot use the “secondary means” idea. Doesnt work. If they (the secondary means people) —in ANY way make any mention that it was their strategy that made the difference (and they do!!) it “robs God of His glory.” “He did not do 100% of it” because they played a part.

        Now some Calvinists practice what they preach. We are on the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic two days a week with different ones.

        They “preach” through a megaphone at the entering women. When we talk to them about their “method” they say it is not their job. Their job is to say “repent”. If they woman is chosen, she will. No need for fancy words or a strategy.

        Most Calvinists are not like this. They use persuasion and strategy…. all the while theologizing that nothing they do matters one bit.

        Another conundrum for Calvinists.

      21. FOH wrote: They “preach” through a megaphone at the entering women. When we talk to them about their “method” they say it is not their job. Their job is to say “repent”. If they woman is chosen, she will. No need for fancy words or a strategy.

        Most Calvinists are not like this. They use persuasion and strategy…. all the while theologizing that nothing they do matters one bit.

        Another conundrum for Calvinists

        I wrote, they are right, the preacher’s job is to say repent. Read the apostolic preaching from the book of Acts13
        36 “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; 37 but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. 38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

        Acts 16
        30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
        31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

        The apostolic preaching is fairly simple, forgiveness of sins is offered, belief on the Lord Jesus Christ is for salvation. It’s not always that persuasion is required for sinners to come to Christ but just simple Gospel proclamation.

      22. Roland,
        I hate to say this but you keep doing this.

        You quote back long passages of scripture that have nothing to do with what we are talking about.

        I dont feel sincerity in the conversation.

        I was telling you that Piper and Calvinists talk about strategy and how that “can make a difference” (“Dont waste your life!”) and you never address that idea.

        Nah, no strategy of ours can make a difference, or that would be taking .000001% of the credit from God, and Calvinists can’t do that…but they do!!!

        Then you listed a bunch of unrelated preaching verses…. and then said…

        “The apostolic preaching is fairly simple, forgiveness of sins is offered, belief on the Lord Jesus Christ is for salvation. It’s not always that persuasion is required for sinners to come to Christ but just simple Gospel proclamation.”

        1. Wrong: forgiveness cannot be offered to someone!!! God does NOT offer forgiveness to those for whom Christ did not die. Man is NOT rejecting something that God is offering (per Calvinism). That would “make him stronger than God.” Right? You MUST alter that statement (that is one thing that really amazes me…when Calvinists talk like Arminians!!).

        2. Persuasion? What do you mean it is sometimes required?? That is ridiculous! If they are chosen, then they need no human persuading (unless you want to claim some credit or they want to say “Roland persuaded me to believe” Yikes! a no-no!) . If they are not chosen then all the persuading in the world is only trying to talk a reprobate away from the end that God planned for him.

        A Calvinist can never say, like Paul does, that he persuades men to the Gospel. That defies their hermeneutic. Paul persuaded people (and says so) and that it why I could see he was not a Calvinist.

      23. FOH, thanks for responding. I quoted those verses from Acts to show that apostolic preaching is fairly simple, as preaching does not require complexity. I thought the verses were relevant to what you were saying regarding Piper’s argument that we can have better preaching strategies. I believe we can have better preaching strategies but it is not required. I’ve tried to bring clarity to what Calvinists believe and have historically practiced, but I have come short.
        I can say what I believe as a Calvinist and I can tell you how I practice what I believe, but I think I’m bringing confusion. I quote the Bible, and you write that I can’t do that or that I am wrong, Calvinists don’t believe that.

        As a former Calvinist, how would you suggest I precede with my Calvinistic beliefs? Can I precede? Am I allowed to read and teach the Bible, or just the Institutes of the Christian Religion? I’m not being sarcastic, rude, snarky, etc. What advice would you give to someone like me?

      24. Roland,

        I am working on a longer reply to other posts, but will stop to answer this one. You said:

        “As a former Calvinist, how would you suggest I precede with my Calvinistic beliefs? Can I precede? Am I allowed to read and teach the Bible, or just the Institutes of the Christian Religion? I’m not being sarcastic, rude, snarky, etc. What advice would you give to someone like me?”

        You basically have two choices:

        1. Continue the way you are going: Say, theology-wise, that the Institutes are correct, but daily-living-wise live like they are not. This is VERY common for Calvinists. We all live like our lives and decisions matter!! Dont waste your life, right? That is NOT a reformed idea, but Piper promotes it anyway.

        Teach like a Calvinist (He says the Holocaust was God’s doing) but live like your every decision could make a difference (a real eternal difference) for those around you (which is just not the Calvinist truth since it is all settle and God already decided what He will do with people not matter how well you live your life before them!).

        2. Do like I did. When I realized that my view of sovereignty actually makes God responsible for all misdeeds of all time (and I know that He is not the author of sin) I told myself that I needed to re-examine all of the steady diet of Calvinist teaching I had been taking in for those years.

        I held, like many, that two opposing ideas were true: God decrees everything that happens + God does not decree sin. Mystery! So then I decided (with my free will) that I would no longer say “mystery” but rather have a look at the “decrees everything” part and see if the Word bears it out.

        It doesnt.

        You see, once I started reading the books my early-wave Calvinist friends gave me and started to feel some “relief” that the “predestination verses” made sense ….. I then began a steady diet of reformed books and churches (it was before websites, which really makes the steady-ingestion possible!) and did not look back for a long time.

        Now….with so many good explanations for the very few vexing “predestination” verses available a person does not have to look as hard as I did.

        That is why so many of my Calvinist friends are leaving it, and young ones not getting in in the first place.

      25. FOH,
        Thanks, appreciate the response and advice. That’s why I came to SOT101 after watching Flowers and White debate. If there is a better alternative to Calvinism, then I would study it and test it according to Scripture.

      26. Roland,
        I dont watch all the youtube episodes that Soteriology 101 (Leighton) does, but when I do watch, I usually say, “Yes! I wish that kind of simple explanation had been readily available when I was a young Calvinist!!”

        My story is all over these pages and posts. I put down the books and read huge chunks of the Bible and asked the Lord to show me His nature and the message of the Bible.

        Those years of reading led me away from the Calvinist, before-time determinism that insists that God created 95% of humanity (in HIs image) only to torment them “for His good pleasure.” Eew, what a message that is! The Bible is Good News! Not repulsive news.

        Also, we were having several kids during that time and I was schooling them and telling them to check out the truths of the Gospel…. I was not looking at them like, “well you are either chosen or not chosen and there aint nothing I can do or say to influence you!”

      27. FOH
        That is why so many of my Calvinist friends are leaving it, and young ones not getting in in the first place.

        br.d
        So TRUE!
        Theological Determinism is the thesis that whatsoever comes to pass – does so INFALLIBLY – by factors outside of one’s control.

        Which means every human perception comes to pass INFALLIBLY by factors outside of the human mind’s control.

        Dr. William Lane Craig
        -quote
        Universal Divine Causal Determinism (aka Calvinism) cannot be rationally affirmed.

        When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined.

        Everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control.

        Therefore Determinism (aka Calvinism) could be true
        But it cannot be rationally affirmed because its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation.

      28. br.d
        So TRUE!
        Theological Determinism is the thesis that whatsoever comes to pass – does so INFALLIBLY – by factors outside of one’s control.

        Which means every human perception comes to pass INFALLIBLY by factors outside of the human mind’s control.

        Dr. William Lane Craig
        -quote
        Universal Divine Causal Determinism (aka Calvinism) cannot be rationally affirmed.

        When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined.

        Everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control.

        Therefore Determinism (aka Calvinism) could be true
        But it cannot be rationally affirmed because its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation. (Full quote)

        I wrote: Real quick, you quote Craig as believing that Calvinism cannot be rationally affirmed. I disagree from a biblical perspective. While I cannot put this into a syllogism, at least not in structure, and I can’t challenge Craig or you on the basis of reason alone, He has Phd and you seem competent in logic, I’ll try to answer biblically. As best as I can.

        You’ve mentioned earlier regarding compatibility, whether Calvinism is compatible with human freewill (sorry, asking for a terminology loan), specifically whether Universal Divine Causal Determinism and human freewill (again terminology on loan). I would like to provide at least one biblical text that show theological determinism and human freewill (thanks for the loan).

        Exodus 3:21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. 22 But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

        Two things, God giving favor in the sight of the Egyptians, God determining something, yet, the woman asking their neighbors for gold. God acting and humans acting. Here is compatibility. Both are true yet without one, either God’s determination or woman asking, there can be no full accounting of the event. Thanks for reading. I’m not respond back for a few days, busy weekend ahead, squeezed in a response.

        Thoughts?

      29. Hi Roland
        Before we go to this verse – let me first get some clarity on what kind of Calvinism you actually embrace.
        I want to know if the Calvinism you understand and embrace is different than what is stated below.

        The following snippet is from an article called BIBLICAL CALVINISM
        It is written by the Calvinist author Daniel Curt

        Divine Sovereignty:
        —————————
        God willed to create a universe.
        But before He did the creating He formed a “plan”.

        It is a blueprint for EVERYTHING
        It is not merely a wish or a command, but His decree that pre-programs EVERYTHING.
        He “works ALL things after the counsel of His own will”.

        Thus, it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to see that God foreordained [i.e. decreed] EVERYTHING that will come to pass.
        He predestined EVERYTHING that will ever happen, down to the smallest detail.

      30. br.d wrote Before we go to this verse – let me first get some clarity on what kind of Calvinism you actually embrace.
        I want to know if the Calvinism you understand and embrace is different than what is stated below.

        The following snippet is from an article called BIBLICAL CALVINISM
        It is written by the Calvinist author Daniel Curt

        Divine Sovereignty:
        —————————
        God willed to create a universe.
        But before He did the creating He formed a “plan”.

        It is a blueprint for EVERYTHING
        It is not merely a wish or a command, but His decree that pre-programs EVERYTHING.
        He “works ALL things after the counsel of His own will”.

        Thus, it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to see that God foreordained [i.e. decreed] EVERYTHING that will come to pass.
        He predestined EVERYTHING that will ever happen, down to the smallest detail.

        I wrote: Yes, I would generally agree with Curt’s statement. I write generally because beyond this statement I don’t know how much Curt is committed to Calvinism. But, I would also like to add that pressing Curt’s statement into biblical text is not a proper way to read Scripture. I do not believe I need to inject the belief that God decreed everything into every verse. So, I hope you don’t excuse the verses I cited by appealing to God’s decree and that He decreed the freewill actions of the Egyptian women and that Exodus 3 is irrelevant to what I believe about the texts.

        I would ask that you answer the question I put forth. The verse show God’s determination and the Egyptian women’s wills are compatible.

        Thoughts? Thanks, appreciate your response and reading. I might not get back today, squeeze another quick response in.

      31. Roland
        Yes, I would generally agree with Curt’s statement. I write generally because beyond this statement I don’t know how much Curt is committed to Calvinism.

        br.d
        Well let me give you his listed credentials

        Dr. Curt Daniel Ph.D – Teacher of Reformed Theology and Reformed History
        Graduated Central Bible College (B.A.), also Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), also University of Edinburgh (Ph.D.).
        Dr. Daniel teaches, preaches and publishes theological works consistent with Scripture and Reformed Theology.

        Looks to me like he’s about as committed to Calvinism as a Calvinist can get!

        Roland
        But, I would also like to add that pressing Curt’s statement into biblical text is not a proper way to read Scripture.

        br.d
        Well – this is his statement of BIBLICAL CALVINISM
        And I’ll bet 90% of today’s Calvinists will not hesitate to affirm everyone of these statements
        They won’t question these statements as a proper way to read scripture.

        You see Roland – I don’t believe you are a TRUE Calvinist
        However, I believe that you think you are.

        But I think your reading of scripture is a mixture of an Arminian reading and a Calvinist reading.
        So we can’t move forward with you claiming to represent a Calvinist reading of scripture.

        I want to see exactly which statement you do not fully agree with
        I will number them
        You tell me which number you are hesitant to agree with – and which words in that statement you are hesitant to agree with.

        1) God willed to create a universe. But before He did the creating, He formed a “plan”.

        2) It is a blueprint for EVERYTHING

        3) It is not merely a wish or a command, but His decree that preprograms EVERYTHING

        4) . He “works ALL things after the counsel of His own will”.

        5) Thus, it is absolutely essential to see that God foreordained [i.e. decreed] EVERYTHING that will come to pass.

        6) He predestined EVERYTHING that will ever happen, down to the smallest detail.

      32. Thank you Roland
        But there is one more critical question about those statements.

        Is every one of those statements always TRUE – without exception – 100% of the time?
        Can there ever be a context in which one of those statements can ever be FALSE?

      33. br.d, no I am not familiar with the Square of Opposition but I did take some time to look at the diagram.

      34. Wonderful!
        And thank you.

        The square of opposition is a powerful tool which allows us to discern falsehoods

        It divides statements (i.e. propositions) into 4 categories.
        1) Universal Positive: ALL frogs are green
        2) Universal Negative: NO frogs are green
        3) Particular Positive: SOME frogs are green
        4) Particular Negative: SOME frogs are NOT green

        The authors and writers of Reformed Theology understand the terms – Universal and Particular

        Universalism – The proposition that ALL people are saved
        Particular Election – The proposition that SOME people are saved

        So you can see how the terms “Universal” and “Particular” work within the square of oppositions.

        This tool makes it easy to identify falsehoods when two statements are made.

        Here is an example of two statements that represent a falsehood because they are logically contrary
        A) ALL things which come to pass are infallibly decreed
        B) NO things which come to pass are infallibly decreed
        These two statements represent a falsehood because they are contrary to each other

        Here is an example of two statements that represent a falsehood because they are logical contradictions
        A) ALL things which come to pass are infallibly decreed
        B) SOME things which come to pass are NOTinfallibly decreed
        These two statements represent a falsehood because they contradict each other

        Do you see how that works?

      35. OOOOPS! I got the example of the contradiction wrong!!

        These are logical contradictions
        A) ALL things which come to pass are infallibly decreed
        B) SOME things which come to pass are NOT infallibly decreed
        These two statements represent a falsehood because they contradict each other

      36. Wonderful!

        We can now apply this understanding to our 6 statements.

        Let us call these 6 statements “BIBLICAL TRUTHS”

        Here is an example of a falsehood based on logical contradiction

        A) ALL of the time and with ALL events which come to pass – The “BIBLICAL TRUTHS” are TRUE
        B) SOME of the time and with SOME events which come to pass – The “BIBLICAL TRUTHS” are NOT TRUE

        These two statements represent a falsehood because they logically contradict each other.
        I think you are seeing this – right?

      37. I’d like to add one thought. It seems to me that you are subjecting God’s actions to logic. So, if you are, and God’s actions do not pass your logical test or they appear to be in contradiction, then God’s actions are not true. A conclusion that I would reject not on the basis of logic but God’s Word. If God has not decreed all things that come to pass and by logic you prove that, then I would reject your logical conclusion and believe what God’s Word declares first. I do believe you could probably prove that God has not decreed all things that come to pass by using logic.
        I’m operating with a presupposition. It is this: nothing is above God. I base this not on some logical conclusion I came to but on the revelation of God’s character and actions in Scripture.

      38. Roland
        I’d like to add one thought. It seems to me that you are subjecting God’s actions to logic.

        br.d
        Do you then hold that a human interpretation of divine actions cannot be false?

      39. br.d
        Do you then hold that a human interpretation of divine actions cannot be false?

        I wrote: Yes, I do believe a human interpretation of divine actions can be false. So, if you prove by logic that Calvinistic interpretations of divine actions are false, then Calvinism is false, and I should reject Calvinism. There are many implications that follow this hypothetical conclusion. And I do not doubt that you can prove by logic that Calvinism is false.

      40. I would never consider it my place to judge another person in that way.

        One of the top 10 scholars of the 20th century is F.F Bruce
        As a Scholar and believer, he had his own personal positions concerning various matters of doctrine.

        But he was internationally appreciated and considered one of the top 10 scholars of the 20th century because he presented information with which the believer could use to make informed decisions.
        He was excellent as bringing clarity to all sides of the issue so that informed believer could freely reach his own conclusions.

        That is what I strive to do also.
        A particular believer’s beliefs represent a very serious personal investment.
        So lets say I invested a certain stock – and you had information that could help me understand all of the ramifications of that investment.

        Wouldn’t you want to share that information with me as an act of kindness?

      41. br.d,

        This is what I love! You said: “A particular believer’s beliefs represent a very serious personal investment.” And I think many Calvinists would agree with you (since they have such a wide range of beliefs and disagreements even while still using the label Calvinist/ reformed/ determinist).

        I always get a kick out of the idea that God decreed a world where we would have so many choices!

        Or…. God decreed a world where He would NOT decree our every choice!

        That’s clearly makes Him above-all!

      42. FOH
        I always get a kick out of the idea that God decreed a world where we would have so many choices!

        br.d
        Yes!!!

        What becomes even more radical for me is the concept of human perceptions being infallibly decreed to be false perceptions throughout one’s life.

        Take for example Calvin’s interpretation of the “Wheat and the chaff”
        Here he insists that god inserts into the Calvinist mind – a FALSE sense of election/salvation.
        He gives the Calvinist mind a “manifestation” of it
        He deceives the Calvinist into believing Jesus died for him – when that is FALSE.

        That Calvinist will have literally thousands of infallibly decreed false perceptions coming to pass within his brain throughout his life.

        Now it is impossible for a false perception to not exist – if that false perception is RENDERED-CERTAIN.

        So on Calvinism – the Jehovah’s Witness goes through his life living 1000 false perceptions with zero cognition.
        And the non-elect Calvinist goes through his life living 1000 false perceptions with zero cognition.
        How is any Calvinist to know the difference?

      43. br.d
        Do you then hold that a human interpretation of divine actions cannot be false?

        I wrote: A few more observations I would like to make. First, if logic is a tool, I am going to concede that you are more apt at using the tool of logic than I am. I am not a student of logic. So, using an analogy of a person who uses tools such as a mechanic, you are better at fixing the car than I am. I concede this.
        Second, the evidence of your premises are not and have not been Scripture. They have been Calvin’s and others propositions (interpretations) about Scripture. So, I will also concede that Calvin and others can be wrong and your premises right.
        Finally, I get confused as to the point you are getting at. I am not confused about the logic you are using, your arguments, etc. I am confused as to the conclusion you are attempting to get me to agree with or see. At least that is my interpretation of your actions.

      44. Thank you for sharing that Roland
        I think all of those concerns can be addressed if we proceed in a gradual progressive and kindly manner
        And if we leave each other free to use information as a benefit
        And we leave each other free to utilize that information in whatever way we feel comfortable.

      45. br.d wrote: Thank you for sharing that Roland
        I think all of those concerns can be addressed if we proceed in a gradual progressive and kindly manner
        And if we leave each other free to use information as a benefit
        And we leave each other free to utilize that information in whatever way we feel comfortable.

        I wrote: fully agree.

        br.d wrote: Wouldn’t you want to share that information with me as an act of kindness?

        I wrote: yes. I’m familiar with F.F. Bruce, I have several of his books in my library, a great Christian scholar.
        Thanks for reading.

      46. Cool!

        Ok – we agree that logic can be used as a tool to identify where human thinking can be false.
        And we have the square of opposition that we can use as a tool for that.

        And we also have the 6 statements of BIBLICAL TRUTHS

        And we agree – on the example of a falsehood based on logical contradiction

        A) ALL of the time and with ALL events which come to pass – The “BIBLICAL TRUTHS” are TRUE
        B) SOME of the time and with SOME events which come to pass – The “BIBLICAL TRUTHS” are NOT TRUE

        These two statements represent a falsehood because they logically contradict each other.

        So now that we agree on that – how do we apply that to our reading of scripture?

        We see events within the narrative of scripture
        And we must conclude – our BIBLICAL TRUTHS must be TRUE – for every event written in scripture.

        So when we look at events concerning human functions such as choices etc – we must factor in what we hold as BIBLICAL TRUTHS.
        If we have an interpretation of a verse which resolves one of our BIBLICAL TRUTHS as FALSE – then we have a bad interpretation.

        Does that make sense?

      47. Roland,

        You said: “It is this: nothing is above God.”

        Of course!  I think we would all agree with that!

        Nothing is above God….INCLUDING His ability and right to create a world where man makes some choices that He does not make ahead.  Get it?

        He decreed that He would not decree everything (but your model places you above Him saying that He cannot do that).  

        That still makes Him just as “above everything” as your model (and even more so since your model limits His ability).

        That is the way most people actually live…. and the way Piper talks all the time, saying “God allows” this and that.  

        But that is where your system breaks down (or at least Piper’s).  If God decreed/ planned/ ordained everything, He is not “allowing” anything.  How silly theologians sound when they say both of those things!

        But the main place where your system breaks down is not logic.  It is Scripture.

        Scripture shows God to be NOT getting His desire hundreds and hundreds of times in the Word.  Hundreds of times more than it says some vague term used to insist that He has absolutely decreed everything (including all sin).

        That was a breakthrough for me…. He is great, powerful, and above-all enough to have decreed a world where He was not going to decree every action.   He decreed the beginning.  He decreed the end.  But He decreed not to decree every sin in between. 

        As a Calvinist, I was in fact limiting God….saying He must be a certain way and could not have (not above all enough) created any way He wanted. As a Calvinist, I had him in a man-made box…but that was not the description of Him in the Bible.

        He will still win, crush Satan, and establish His kingdom!  But this model completely and unequivocally absolves Him from all sin.

        Your model clearly makes Him the author of all sin…. even if the 1689 London Baptists stick a band-aid on it and say…. “Uh, no He’s not.”

      48. Thanks for your response.
        FOH wrote:
        Nothing is above God….INCLUDING His ability and right to create a world where man makes some choices that He does not make ahead. Get it?

        I wrote: I agree with your statement. I get it. But my issue with this statement is that I need to see biblical evidence that God made a world where man makes some choices that He does not make ahead. I see far more scriptural evidence that shows God as decreeing, foreordaining, planning, etc. than man making choices that are outside of God’s decrees or at least foreknowledge.

        FOH wrote:
        But that is where your system breaks down (or at least Piper’s). If God decreed/ planned/ ordained everything, He is not “allowing” anything. How silly theologians sound when they say both of those things!

        I wrote: I would encourage you to read Exodus 3:21-22, Isaiah 10:5-15; 44:28-45; Ezra 1:1. These are some of the verses that show that divine determinism and human will are compatible.

        FOH wrote:
        Scripture shows God to be NOT getting His desire hundreds and hundreds of times in the Word. Hundreds of times more than it says some vague term used to insist that He has absolutely decreed everything (including all sin).

        I wrote: I believe I quoted Scripture regarding God’s decree in another post. I don’t believe the verses are vague. And seeing God get His desire in Scripture is what led me to embrace Calvinism. God gets His way.

        Thanks for reading.

      49. Roland,
        Thanks.

        I do know the very few passages you mentioned. They could easily have various interpretations.

        But, have you addressed my reference to the hundreds and hundreds of passages where it is the “The LORD Almighty” speaking (when it is LORD in all caps that means Sovereign)?

        In those hundreds of passages He speaks for Himself and says “you did not do what I wanted…” “if you had done that I would have done this…” “you did things that I did not command” “you did things that did not even enter my mind.”

        On and on and on. Hundreds of passages that not only do NOT sound deterministic, but sound like God is TRYING to tell us what He is like.

        As I said…can a person build a determinist position of God from extracting 10-20 verses and kind of listing them together? Sure. People do those kinds of things all the time (that is how we get cults).

        But the overall message of the Bible shows a God dialoging with, pleading with, disciplining, calling to, and even wooing people who sometimes do NOT do what He wants.

        That concept is never properly dealt with by Calvinist (IMO). It is most often just whisked away with “Oh those hundreds of passages where God —the LORD—- the Almighty is pleading? Oh those are just anthropomorphisms…. and dont mean what they say.”

        Nah….. that just man’s easy way out. A easy way out that places reformed systematic above Scripture.

      50. Here is a small sample of such verses that suggest God does not always ‘get His way’ , in no particular order:

        They did not keep the covenant of God, and refused to walk in His law; (Psalm 78:10)

        For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their actions are against the Lord, to rebel against His glorious presence. (Isaiah 3:8)

        But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you. (1 Samuel 13:14)

        For the sons of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, that is, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished because they did not listen to the voice of the Lord, to whom the Lord had sworn that He would not let them see the land which the Lord had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. (Joshua 5:6)

        Therefore the Lord God of Israel declares, ‘I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever’; but now the Lord declares, ‘Far be it from Me – for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed. (1 Samuel 2:30)

        if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it. (Jeremiah 18:10)

        and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known. (Deuteronomy 11:28)

        But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: (Deuteronomy 28:15)

        Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:6)

        They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. (Titus 1:16)

        For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. (Titus 3:3)

        “I spoke to you in your prosperity; but you said, ‘I will not listen!’ This has been your practice from your youth, that you have not obeyed My voice. (Jeremiah 22:21)

        The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are observed. So they do not drink wine to this day, for they have obeyed their father’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again; yet you have not listened to Me. (Jeremiah 35:14)

        The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12-13)

        Who gave Jacob up for spoil, and Israel to plunderers?
        Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned,
        And in whose ways they were not willing to walk,
        And whose law they did not obey?
        So He poured out on him the heat of His anger
        And the fierceness of battle;
        And it set him aflame all around,
        Yet he did not recognize it;
        And it burned him, but he paid no attention. (Isaiah 42:24-25)

        For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, (Hebrews 2:2)

        Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness, do not let all the hardship seem insignificant before You, which has come upon us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers and on all Your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria to this day. However, You are just in all that has come upon us; for You have dealt faithfully, but we have acted wickedly. (Nehemiah 9:32-33)

        nor have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. (Daniel 9:10-11)

        If you will not listen to the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the command of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers. (1 Samuel 12:15)

        But if they will not listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 12:17)

        The Lord said, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice nor walked according to it, (Jeremiah 9:13)

      51. Thanks TS00,

        That is ….as you say…. just a small sample. There are hundreds more, coming at it from all angles in most books….so that He can make it clear where He stands on human choices.

        Yet people with man-made presuppositions still insist on filtering all of these hundreds of passages through the “end from the beginning” or “roll the dice in the lap” verses, and coming up with the idea that God even decreed all of our “vain labors”.

        Saying in effect: He wants us to do well, make good choices, and live like Christ, but if we dont, well, that was all “His secret divine will” anyway.

        It makes no sense to me, but it sure make an occasional sin easier to justify!!!

      52. Roland,

        Woah…wait a second….

        You wrote: I agree with your statement. I get it. But my issue with this statement is that I need to see biblical evidence that God made a world where man makes some choices that He does not make ahead.”

        What?  How about the opening scene of the Bible….

        Gen 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

        “you are free!!” “you must not eat”

        But man does….

        Are you so entrenched in a man-made systematic that you cannot read the Bible for all its worth?  

        Another one is two chapters later…

        4:6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

        God asks why he is angry.
        God tells him he has choices.
        God tells him that he CAN (has the ability to) do what is right.
        God tells him that he will be accepted if he does right.
        God tells him that sin is nearby but he MUST rule over it (so, he can, right?)

        Then Calvinists insists that we read this passage saying, “Yes God told him to rule over sin, but He didnt mean it since He had decreed beforehand that He would sin.”

        A classic misuse and twisting of Scripture!

        Do you realize what you have done with this statement: ” … I need to see biblical evidence that God made a world where man makes some choices that He does not make ahead.”  

        No matter what someone shows you, you will just superimpose the (man-made) idea ” Nope…that doesnt count, cuz God decreed that ahead.”  

        I could show you hundreds and hundreds of passages where God is speaking and giving people a choice….but you would just superimpose “His immutable decree” on all of them.

        That renders most of the Bible useless, or even deceptive… making us think that God is offering two or three things to people, but decreeing all along that they NOT be able to do any of them.

      53. FOH,
        What? How about the opening scene of the Bible….

        Gen 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

        I wrote: I have a question: When God told Adam that he is free to eat, do you believe God is saying that Adam is free in the sense that his will is free or in the sense that God has not forbidden Adam from eating from any tree in the garden? Or both?
        Two of my personal thoughts. First, I believe Adam’s will is free because he has not eaten from the knowledge of good and evil. This is a pre-fall event. Second, I believe that when God tells Adam he is free, he is free in the sense that God has not forbidden it.

        FOH,
        Another one is two chapters later…

        4:6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

        God asks why he is angry.
        God tells him he has choices.
        God tells him that he CAN (has the ability to) do what is right.
        God tells him that he will be accepted if he does right.
        God tells him that sin is nearby but he MUST rule over it (so, he can, right?)

        I wrote: I know you disagree that Calvinists don’t believe humans have choices and that Calvinism does not allow for choices because we believe God has decreed everything. But as a Calvinist, I believe what God is asking Cain is sincere. These are real questions. What are the implications for God? None. For Cain? I believe God is leading Cain to introspection, examination, etc. I believe this is really about Cain because I believe God is omniscience and He knows the answer to these questions.
        Can Cain rule over sin? No, I don’t believe Cain can rule over sin. Why? Verses that teach us about human nature being fallen, our righteousness is as filthy rags, we are slaves to sin, etc.
        So, is God’s command to Cain that he must rule over sin sincere? I would say yes. Here’s why. As a Reformed Christian I would agree with Calvin that God’s law (I would include God’s commands) has three purposes. One, to teach us God’s character and our own as well. Two, as guide for living a life pleasing to God. Three, to restrain evil.

        FOH,
        Then Calvinists insists that we read this passage saying, “Yes God told him to rule over sin, but He didnt mean it since He had decreed beforehand that He would sin.”

        I wrote, I tried to offer some insight into how I might differ from other Calvinists who would insist as you wrote above.

        FOH
        Do you realize what you have done with this statement: ” … I need to see biblical evidence that God made a world where man makes some choices that He does not make ahead.”

        I wrote: Sorry, I poorly worded my sentence. In order for me to believe that God made a world where He did not decree everything, including men’s choices, how men make them, and the means by which God works within men’s choices, I would need to see it in the Bible. I don’t believe the Bible teaches us that there are persons and events outside God’s decree.

        FOH,
        No matter what someone shows you, you will just superimpose the (man-made) idea ” Nope…that doesnt count, cuz God decreed that ahead.”

        I wrote: I don’t know where I have done this in our discussion. I don’t believe I have evaded evidence by deferring to God’s decree. I’ve tried to answer your questions as best as I can.

        FOH,
        I could show you hundreds and hundreds of passages where God is speaking and giving people a choice….but you would just superimpose “His immutable decree” on all of them.

        I wrote: I try to answer this kind of thinking in regards to Cain above. Hopefully, I’m clear and I don’t believe in imposing God’s decrees onto verses that show God giving humans choices. I believe when God gives us choices, commands, orders, etc., God is sincere. The implication and the purposes as to why God does them maybe different depending on the context. I assume we disagree on this.

        FOH,
        That renders most of the Bible useless, or even deceptive… making us think that God is offering two or three things to people, but decreeing all along that they NOT be able to do any of them

        I wrote: I believe God’s decree is multifaceted. God’s decree does not only determine outcomes but also means and causes.

        Thanks for reading, sorry for the long post.

      54. Roland,

        You sound sincere, and you are respectful.  That is good.

        However, most of what you said is just personal opinion (and you have the free will to make that choice!), and makes no sense.

        You asked about those passages in Genesis.  I read them at face value.  I refuse any longer to take presuppositions from Augustine (who worshiped Mary) or Calvin (who believed in infant Catholic baptism and persecuted Baptists) and the like to “make” Scripture say what they want.

        Roland, You cannot both say that Adam was free to make a choice and that God decreed his choice from before time.

        Could Adam have done differently than he did?  I say yes.  You say no. Could Cain have?  I say yes.  You say no.

        Scripture and God show Adam and Cain to have a real choice.  If you say that the choice was immutably decreed by God before they existed then they have no choice.  All the “personal opinions” in the world do not change that those two things cannot both be true.

        You said: “What are the implications for God? None. For Cain? I believe God is leading Cain to introspection, examination, etc. I believe this is really about Cain…”

        What?  This makes NO sense.  You cannot even hear yourself!

        The “no implication for God” means that God has already planned/ made/ decreed/ willed/ ordained Cain’s disobedience. If that is true (and you insist that it is) then how can God be “leading Cain to introspection, examination, etc”  That makes NO sense!

        God has already immutably decreed Cain’s decision.  Cain cannot change that —or “learn” from the situation. He cannot “learn” anything. 

        There is no message from God, or message from the Bible since we cannot change one bit what has been ordained for us.  Fatalism.  In Islam it is called Qadar.  It is exactly the same as the determinism that you are describing.
          
        God told him to rule over the sin…but He decreed that he fail.

        That is your theology.

        Do you have kids?  You try to lead your son to “introspection and examination.”  One night he comes home drunk with a banged up car and sneaks his girlfriend into his room.  

        The next morning you see him and tell him how disappointed you are.  He simply says….. “God decreed it that way Dad.”  

        What do you say?
        A. No He didn’t (Nope. You cant say that)

        B. Well, this is about you son and I hope you learn…. but then again if you dont learn, and lead a horrible life, that will be God’s decree also.

        C. It WAS God’s decree son—everything you do is!

        D. (Borrowed answer from non-Calvinist). Son, I love you and want you to be like Christ.  God did NOT decree this and you had every opportunity to NOT do it. 

        Your theology cannot be found in the Bible or the real world.  Sorry. 

      55. FOH,

        Could Adam have done differently than he did? I say yes. You say no. Could Cain have? I say yes. You say no.

        I wrote, just a real quick question based on your statement above from your response. I’m not asking a gotcha, question, I don’t believe it is fair when having discussion and I hope I have not done so in the past.

        What are your thoughts on God’s foreknowledge? Do you believe He knows all? Knows some things? Do you believe the Bible teaches us that God is learning our decisions? Do you believe the Bible teaches us that God knows all possible events as well as the ones that actually occur?

        Just curious, I’m not looking for any kind of fault in your beliefs to point out and say, “you’re wrong!” And if you don’t want to answer that’s fine as well. I’m trying to understand how or why you would ask that Adam could have done differently than he did and why you believe he could have. Thanks

      56. Roland,
        I dont think I am gonna engage with that question.

        You keep saying foreknowledge and you equate that with “decreed”. So I do not think there is any way for us to keep looking at this together.

        You still have not told me why the Word has hundreds and hundreds of examples of the LORD saying “You did not do what I wanted…”If you had come X I would have done Y.” “what you did had not even entered my mind.” To King Saul: “If you had obeyed, I WOULD HAVE made your family…..”

        Why does a God who has decreed immutably EVER talk this way (let alone hundreds of times)? What is He trying to tell us about Himself?

        On Calvinism, none of these hundreds of passages make any sense (and they are all “explained away” by Calvinists).

        Honestly, what is the point of any of the teaching of the Bible if everything has been decreed? We can only learn what He has decreed we will learn anyway.

        Also, I would love to hear what you say to your son in the conditions I described.

        A pastor with a crying couple in his office is looking sternly at the husband who has been unfaithful to his wife. She is wailing. The husband looks at the pastor and says, “Haven’t you been teaching us here for years that everything that happens was decreed by God. I can only submit my unfaithfulness as something that was decreed by God.”

        The pastor says???

      57. Roland,
        I will gladly engage with your question, if you would answer mine.

        1. What do all those passages mean? God saying “I would have….if you….”

        Calvinist love to take the high road and say, “You guys think that God ‘learns’ from man or waits on decisions from man, or reacts to man. God only acts and never reacts!!” Why then all these hundreds of passages that deceive us (upon simple reading) that He is interacting with man!? Hundreds —practically the entire message of the OT!

        2. What do reformed pastors tell their sinful parishioners after the fact? Was it God’s decree? Or did they do something that God did not want. Yes they went against His “will of command” but they simply fulfilled His “secret will.” Right?

        These are not “gotcha” questions. They are what I read everyday in the Bible in my journey out of Calvinism.

      58. FOH,
        1. What do all those passages mean? God saying “I would have….if you….”

        Calvinist love to take the high road and say, “You guys think that God ‘learns’ from man or waits on decisions from man, or reacts to man. God only acts and never reacts!!” Why then all these hundreds of passages that deceive us (upon simple reading) that He is interacting with man!? Hundreds —practically the entire message of the OT!

        I wrote: I don’t believe I have attributed anything to you as you claim Calvinists love to do. That’s why I ask questions. I think it is better to ask than to assume or speculate on a person’s thoughts.
        God interacts with man for many reasons. I don’t believe I have ever denied that. Through His interactions with man God teaches us about Him, about ourselves, wisdom on what to do and not do, and I’m sure there’s much more that I cannot think of.

        FOH,
        2. What do reformed pastors tell their sinful parishioners after the fact? Was it God’s decree? Or did they do something that God did not want. Yes they went against His “will of command” but they simply fulfilled His “secret will.” Right?

        I wrote: I’m not a pastor, so I cannot say for sure that reformed pastors tell their sinful parishioners after the fact that their sin is God’s decree. I suspect they don’t do that. But I do know that in my local Reformed church our pastors do not excuse sin when teaching and preaching. God’s secret will is not that we sin. I’ve written before that we don’t believe God is the author of sin but you believe that Calvinism teaches this, we should embrace, and so on. On this point we are at an impasse.
        As a former Calvinist, did your pastors excuse sin by deferring to God’s decree? Have you ever heard that from a Reformed pastor?

        Thanks for reading.

      59. Roland,
        So God only “permits” sin?

        It is not part of his divine decree or secret will?

        He allows it but does not decree it? People do it “against His will”?

        That is NOT what reformed theology teaches. God does not “allow” man to do what God does not want.

        But the Bible teaches that He does!

        Jeremiah 19:5
        They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.

        You can hurry off to monergism.com, or carm.org and see what they say….but when you get there…. I bet there start with something like… This verse doesnt really mean what it says. Rinse. Repeat.

        Over and over…deny what the Bible says clearly in hundreds of passages…. because they do not fit the systematic that is more important.

      60. FOH,
        So God only “permits” sin?

        I wrote: No, I don’t believe the Bible teaches that God “only” permits sin. There are times when He permits sin. There are times when He is more than permissive. I believe I can rationally hold to both positions. It’s not one or the other. Now, God doesn’t do both at the same. He permitted Satan to touch Job’s family but God is not responsible for Satan’s actions.
        Read the following Scripture to see how God uses Assyria, Assyria is in God’s hand to be a rod, a staff, God sends Assyria, and gives Assyria charge. But please take note of verse 7 Yet he (Assyria) does not mean so nor does his heart think so. Here, God is working against Assyria will by sending Assyria when they do not want to be the rod, the staff, and go as God sends them. Take note of the second half of verse 7 But it is in his heart to destroy and cut off a few nations. God is using Assyria but God using in them in a way that does not violate what is already in Assyria’s heart. This text shows us one action but two beings working for two different purposes.

        Take note of verse 12, God says in this verse that He will punish Assyria for “the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.” Sum this up: God is punishing Assyria for something God sent Assyria to do. It sounds irrational, illogical, unfair, unjust to Assyria but this is how the biblical God operates, He does as He pleases. I believe in this God by faith. I believe you disagree with the implications. If I’m wrong as to what the text is plainly saying, then I ask for a proper interpretation. Thanks for reading.

        Isaiah 10:5-12
        5“Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger
        And the staff in whose hand is My indignation.
        6 I will send him against an ungodly nation,
        And against the people of My wrath
        I will give him charge,
        To seize the spoil, to take the prey,
        And to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
        7 Yet he does not mean so,
        Nor does his heart think so;
        But it is in his heart to destroy,
        And cut off not a few nations.
        8 For he says,
        ‘Are not my princes altogether kings?
        9 Is not Calno like Carchemish?
        Is not Hamath like Arpad?
        Is not Samaria like Damascus?
        10 As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols,
        Whose carved images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
        11 As I have done to Samaria and her idols,
        Shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols?’ ”
        12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has [b]performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.”

      61. Roland
        There are times when He permits sin. There are times when He is more than permissive. I believe I can rationally hold to both positions.

        br.d
        Roland if you are interested and available – I would enjoy asking you what you mean be RATIONAL in this statement.

      62. br.dbr.d
        Roland if you are interested and available – I would enjoy asking you what you mean be RATIONAL in this statement.

        Thanks for responding. Yes, I am interested but really quick. I won’t be available for the next three days as I will be away from home. So if I don’t respond, which I most likely will not, it is not because I’m ignoring post.
        When I wrote that it is a rational position to hold I mean it in layman’s terms. I am a layman. I do not have a formal education in philosophy, logic, or theology. I do read a lot but it’s mostly theological works. I am ignorant as to logical tools such as the Square of Opposition but I know that one. I’m aware of a basic syllogism, 2 premises and a conclusion but beyond that my knowledge is limited to a layman. So, that’s what I mean. Thanks for reading.

      63. No problem Roland – thanks.

        Why don’t you look post me here when you get back.
        In the mean time – be well! :-]

      64. FOH,
        That is NOT what reformed theology teaches. God does not “allow” man to do what God does not want.

        I wrote: To learn what Reformed theology teaches you should look to the Reformed confessions, catechisms, and authors. You are saying what Reformed theology teaches but I have never heard of a Reformed theologian, pastor, or teacher say this: “God does not ‘allow’ man to do what God does not want.” We have a huge disagreement here, a point I think we are at an impasse.

        FOH,
        Jeremiah 19:5
        They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.

        I wrote: Don’t worry I dint’ run off to monergism or CARM (I haven’t been to these websites in at least 5 or more years). Here’s how I interpret this verse. I believe when God says the He did not command He is speaking of Jerusalem’s and the king’s actions. God did not command them to do this “Because they have forsaken Me and made this an alien place, because they have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with the blood of the innocents.” God did not command them to do this.
        “Nor did it enter my mind” I believe there are two possible, maybe more, interpretations of this phrase. One, God did not know the actions of Jerusalem and the king. Which I reject on the basis that God is omniscient. Two, that this is a phrase of disapproval. The Hebrew word for mind can be translated heart. This is how I interpret this verse as best as I can. I would say it is an idiomatic expression of God’s disapproval.

        Thanks for reading.

      65. You know what Roland,
        There is not a nickel’s worth of difference between you and me.

        The only difference is that I BELIEVE that what we do makes a difference…

        You only ACT like what we do makes a difference.

        You attach all this high-fallutin sounding theology onto a lifestyle that basically says we do make choices, a difference, an affect on people whether they believe.

        I simply take that part of the Scripture to be true and the man-made Greek ideas of determinism to be ….well… just that….man-made.

        We dont live any differently in our world. The more time you spend helping your kids with homework, the better they will turn out.

        My wife tells me just now to have you read my 1,000 other posts on all these articles……

      66. Thanks for responding FOH,
        It is true, our lives probably look the same. I do live my life making choices but Scripture informs that my choices are not just my choices. In my early formative years of viewing the Bible through a Reformed lens, I came across this verse from Psalm 127:1

        Unless the Lord builds the house,
        They labor in vain who build it;
        Unless the Lord guards the city,
        The watchman stays awake in vain.

        I see in this Psalm the responsibility I have to build my house but “unless the Lord builds the house,” I labor in vain. So here’s how I pray everyday, live my life everyday. I pray, Lord build my house as I have a responsibility to build it but unless You do it, I am doing it in vain. I believe this scriptural truth gives a general principle, that unless the Lord works in our lives, we work in vain.

        If this is the end of our discussion, as it appears you are pointing me to your other posts, then it has been a blessing. I don’t carry any ill will against those who hold to a different position than I do. Thanks for the discussions, hopefully we have not discussed in vain but if the Lord has been in it, discussing with us, then there will be some sort of spiritual profit, thanks again.

      67. Roland,

        So happy to have discussed this with you!

        So happy to see you say that you are seeing all this “through a reformed lens” (that is honest of you). 

        So happy to see Ps 127…. and I can hear Keith Green singing it now.  Both the Puritan Board and Desiring God pay tribute to him, calling him their “favorite Arminian.”

        Of course we labor in vain if the Lord is not in it!  But …a difference….I call it “vain labor” that the Lord is “not in.”   

        Reformed theology calls it “His secret will/ divine decree.” (what He really wanted anyway—since all that we do, even our “vain labor” is what He wants, right?).

        I will leave this conversation a bit disappointed that you have never admitted to that.  Even your closing words to me demonstrate that…
        “….hopefully we have not discussed in vain but if the Lord has been in it, discussing with us, then there will be some sort of spiritual profit…..”

        Clearly you are less reformed than you think!  

        “…but if the Lord has been in it….”  IF?  IF?  How (according to your theology) can the Lord NOT have been in it?  He decrees everything!

        If the Lord was not “in it” ….. then what?  It was “vain labor”?  It was against His will? Man’s “vain labor” …. does He not ultimately want and will that too? Has he not decreed even our “vain labor”?

        I was hoping that you would be consistent enough to admit that this is what your theology teaches.  God divinely decrees all that happens…. even our “vain labor”. 

        The only reason I keep coming back to this site posting back and forth with visiting Calvinists is to point out the things that I used to believe that make no sense to me now.  One difference now from when I was a young YRR (with MacArthur and Piper…around the same wave) is that I NEVER read contrarian (non-Calvinist) arguments.  I only continued my steady diet of Pink, Boettner, Banner of Truth, and the Puritan Board.  

        Now I (still) read Calvinist articles (contrarian view) all the time.  Do you? 

        I have never been happier in the Lord than since leaving Calvinism.  I have purpose in life!  My “vain labors” were not decreed by God (that was such an easy cop-out), so I ask Him for strength and direction.  I ask Him to be “in” my “house-building”.  

        I used to read that Psalm this way.

        Unless the Lord builds the house,
        They labor in vain who build it; (but even this “vain labor” is God’s decree so …..oh well, it had to be!)

        So now I ask the Lord to guide me (by His Holy Spirit) away from vain labor.  And I know that if I go the wrong direction, it is because of some feebleness of mine…. not Him!! Blaming it on divine decree….. that’s just an easy way out of responsibility.

        After hearing from you, I feel that even though you may continue to TEACH that God has immutably decreed all things that come to pass, you will at least LIVE and ACT like it is not true.  You will continue to LIVE as if we can choose between things that “He is in” and things that “He is not in”…..  that we choose, ourselves, each day whether to do things that are “vain labor” (that He does not want) or what He really wants.

        Be well.   

      68. FOH,
        You keep saying foreknowledge and you equate that with “decreed”. So I do not think there is any way for us to keep looking at this together.

        I wrote: I do believe that foreknowledge and God’s decree is related but I have tried to communicate that they are not equated. Hopefully I have been successful, if not, then I need to be more careful with formatting my sentence and word choice. I asked the question about foreknowledge because I am curious as to how your view of Divine foreknowledge differs from mine. That’s all.

        FOH,
        You still have not told me why the Word has hundreds and hundreds of examples of the LORD saying “You did not do what I wanted…”If you had come X I would have done Y.” “what you did had not even entered my mind.” To King Saul: “If you had obeyed, I WOULD HAVE made your family…..”

        I wrote: The answer I would give depends on the context of the verses. As I wrote in an earlier post, I do believe these are sincere words from God, “If you had obeyed, I would have made your family…” I believe I gave an answer regarding Cain. I don’t deny that if I do X, then God would have done Y. I don’t understand what conclusion you are at getting. If you believe that God does not know all things that come to pass, then I can understand why you point out these verses. I suspect the verses are quoted to show that God does not know all things or something similar. I don’t know.
        “What you did had not even entered my mind.” Chapter and verse, I’ll get back to you

        FOH,
        Honestly, what is the point of any of the teaching of the Bible if everything has been decreed? We can only learn what He has decreed we will learn anyway.

        I wrote, there are many points to learning from the Bible. I don’t see how God’s decree makes learning pointless.

        FOH,
        Also, I would love to hear what you say to your son in the conditions I described.

        A pastor with a crying couple in his office is looking sternly at the husband who has been unfaithful to his wife. She is wailing. The husband looks at the pastor and says, “Haven’t you been teaching us here for years that everything that happens was decreed by God. I can only submit my unfaithfulness as something that was decreed by God.”

        The pastor says???

        I wrote: I would not respond this way to my son. I would not excuse his sin. God’s decree does not excuse our sin. The Bible teaches us that humans are still responsible for our own sin. There are Bible verses that teach us this.

        Thanks for reading.

      69. Jeremiah 19:5 “…and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind.” (ESV Calvin Version).

        How much more clear could He be!?

      70. Roland,

        Very confusing! We are responsible for it, but God decreed it (immutably) to happen. Not just knowing it would. Not just “allowing” it to happen ..decreed that it would.

        He planned before time the the man would cheat on his wife. There is just no other way to look at your theology.

        Sure…. you can try to split that atom….saying…. God planned to let man be free to choose “according to his nature” or some such….but that does not work.

        1. God decreed all things.

        2. It is NOT that person’s nature if he is a believer who sins. ((Often RH, resident Calvinist on these pages, will say that unbelieving man is free to act…but only free to sin.)) But again…not true if these are sinning Christians.

        The cheating husband says, “Haven’t you been teaching us here for years that everything that happens was decreed by God. I can only submit my unfaithfulness as something that was decreed by God.”

        The pastor says?

        A. It was NOT decreed by God.
        B. It was decreed by God ….but, well you are still responsible.
        C. It was decreed by God and you could have done no other.

        Still no answer……

      71. br.d, I copied and pasted Curt’s statement and inserted some of my own words. My words are in parentheses.

        1) God willed to create a universe. But before He did the creating, He formed a “plan”. (fully agree)

        2) It is a blueprint (hesitant to agree with the word blueprint) for EVERYTHING

        3) It is not merely a wish or a command, but His decree that preprograms (don’t like the term preprogram as it implications I don’t agree with nor does Scripture) EVERYTHING

        4) . He “works ALL things after the counsel of His own will”. (Amen!)

        5) Thus, it is absolutely essential to see that God foreordained [i.e. decreed] EVERYTHING that will come to pass. (fully agree)

        6) He predestined EVERYTHING that will ever happen, down to the smallest detail. (fully agree)

        I am much more comfortable with the following statement taken from 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith Chapter 3 Paragraph 1
        “God has decreed himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree.”

        Curt’s statement is too rigid. It does not mention “the will of the creature” or “the liberty or contingency of second causes.” Some Calvinists would reject the idea of liberty or contingency of second causes. I don’t know if Curt does. But I am far more comfortable with the Confession’s statement than Curt’s. Thanks for reading.

      72. Thank you Roland
        We can talk about the attributes of contingency and second causes later.
        What is important is the critical first question

        Is every one of those statements always TRUE – without exception – 100% of the time?
        Can there ever be a context or situation in which one of those statements can ever be FALSE?

      73. Roland,

        I even left for the mission field as a young Calvinist thinking I was “going to make a difference.” But then years later I thought….. that makes no sense.

        Years later Piper wrote a book with the most ridiculous title for a Calvinist. “Don’t Waste Your Life!”

        Great book….just not a Calvinist theme at all.

        You cannot be a consistent Calvinist and teach that what you choose with your life will make a difference in the outcome of someone else’s life (or yours for that matter). It is all set by God. Maybe He wants you to waste you life “for His glory.”

        In any case, the book is riddled with ideas on how to “better evangelize”. Please try to explain how a Calvinist can teach that he can “better evangelize” and change the outcome of anyone!!!

        There is no such thing as “better evangelism” cuz they teach that they are taking some of the credit and glory from God!

  32. Roland:

    Let’s build on that “glorious man in God’s image” idea.

    A reformed person like you, will baptize his children….. making them a child of the covenant.

    Of course that baptized person might not be chosen and might reject Christ.

    So now we have a man who is crowned with honor and glory, the ruler of all that God created, made in the image of God, and a baptized child of the covenant….. and yet… Christ was not ever intended for him. God’s only purpose for this glorious, baptized, image of God is eternal destruction and torment.

    Kinda dings the idea of being a baptized child of the covenant and in made in God’s image, wouldn’t you say?

  33. FOH writes: “The closest example (analogy) to the cross is Passover —– and God provided the Perfect Lamb. But people must apply the blood and stay in the house.”

    —–My Response——
    1. How can the people apply the blood and stay in the house using their :so called free will”?
    2. How can it be called “free will act” if there is a prime mover that triggers the action?- They do it because of fear and there was the command coming from a Divine Authority?
    3. A spiritually dead person cannot respond to spiritual activity unless there is a Divine intervention coming from God.
    4. People got “born again” not because of their own so called “free will” but according to Jesus Himself it is the decision/WILL of God not man.- John 1:13 “… born not of the flesh and blood nor of the will of man but by the will of God”. No Pastor, Priest or family relative can exercise their own will in order to convert a person through the use of sinners prayer and then promise that person that he is already saved.
    5. Did FOH decided for himself to be born out from his mother’s womb? Was FOH consulted if he wants his name or does not like the name that was given to him?- Just the same in going to heaven, is it because of the WILL of FOH why he will get to heaven?
    6. Can FOH get all that he wants in his prayers using his so “called free will” ?
    7. Can FOH make use of his so called “free will” to deny the termination of this life in this world?
    8. The Pelagian doctrine is a heresy trying to compete with God in working out/accessing salvation. Why not just trust what God can do for you rather that trusting what you can do to be saved?

    1. JT
      —–My Response——
      1. How can the people apply the blood and stay in the house using their :so called free will”?

      br.d
      The same way they did in Egypt! ;-]

      JT
      2. How can it be called “free will act” if there is a prime mover that triggers the action?

      br.d
      Well that is certainly TRUE in Calvinism
      All sin and evil is CAUSED and AUTHORED by a prime mover who moves every impulse within the brain to move the infallibly and irresistibly. And man has no say in the matter.

      JT
      They do it because of fear and there was the command coming from a Divine Authority?

      br.d
      Well of course Calvin’s god would be the prime mover who moves the impulse of “fear” – – rigtht?
      Man cannot have an impulse in his brain he can call his own in Calvinism.

      JT
      3. A spiritually dead person cannot respond to spiritual activity unless there is a Divine intervention coming from God.

      br.d
      Well – in Calvinism – whatever the state of nature (and thus the nature of man) is – at any instance in time – is 100% meticulously determined by Calvin’s god. Leaving ZERO% left over – and thus NOTHING is ever up to any man

      JT
      4. People got “born again” not because of their own so called “free will” but according to Jesus Himself it is the decision/WILL of God not man.- John 1:13 “…

      br.d
      In Calvinism yes! Not only that – in Calvinism man’s will is *ONLY* free to be/do what Calvin’s god determined.
      Calvin’s god permits man NOTHING more and NOTHING less.

      JT
      5. Did FOH decided for himself to be born out from his mother’s womb?
      Was FOH consulted if he wants his name or does not like the name that was given to him?

      br.d
      And in Calvinism – that is the way it is with EVERYTHING having to do with man.
      Man has ZERO% say in anything.

      JT
      6. Can FOH get all that he wants in his prayers using his so “called free will” ?

      br.d
      Where in the world does that idea come from?

      JT
      7. Can FOH make use of his so called “free will” to deny the termination of this life in this world?

      br.d
      That would be a question to ask someone who committed suicide
      But of course – your a Calvinist – so for you that person didn’t have any say in that matter anyway!
      So don’t bother to ask. :-]

      JT
      8. The Pelagian doctrine is a heresy trying to compete with God in working out/accessing salvation.

      br.d
      Please don’t leave out the GNOSTICISM CALVINIST one!!!
      That one is a dooosy!! ;-]

    2. Hey JT – here is a question about freedom.

      A mind external to yours – at the foundation of the world – determines 100% of whatsoever perception will come to pass within your brain – right?

      Every impulse and perception is determined *FOR* your brain by an external mind – right?

      And thus your brain is NOT “free” to determine TRUE from FALSE on any matter – right?

  34. 1. You should remove the word “FREE” from the WILL. Man possess a will but not absolute nor autonomous. Man’s will has been enslaved by sin. How can it be free when Christ say so? – John 8:34
    2. If God bestowed man the will, it does not mean that his will is superior from the will of the Creator. Daniel 4:35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, What have You done?”
    3. Man was created not to equalize nor to become an independent god also to himself. He is dependent from the Divine Creator. This is supported by the ff. verses: Eph. 2:8-9 – on obtaining Salvation; Jas. 1:5 = on wisdom; Psa. 104:27 = dependent on everything; Psa. 121:1-2 = help comes from God; Prov. 16:9 = on the establishment of man’s plans.; John 15:5= according to Christ Can do nothing except connected to the vine.
    3. God, is the One who possess free will that is absolute and autonomous. He can allow or not allow man to use his will. If He allow, it does not cancel God’s knowledge what man will decide or choose for himself to do. God incorporates these actions of man in the accomplishment of what He had determined so that the dead end result is still the accomplishment of what He had desired to happen. (The story of Joseph in Egypt supports this)
    4. God’s decrees can never be modified nor be changed by the use of the will of man that has been enslaved by sin. If it is a slave of sin, then how can it be free? – Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying: My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.”
    John 8:34, Jesus answered them: “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commit sin is a SLAVE OF SIN”
    5. Man, having a will, has the capability to choose, but his choices are secondary and will not able to change what God has decided upon. The prophet Jonah disobeyed God, but the dead end result is still the accomplishment of what God desired.

    1. JT
      1. You should remove the word “FREE” from the WILL….Man’s will has been enslaved by sin.

      br.d
      In Calvinism man does not have a will he can call his own
      Because every impulse comes to pass INFALLIBLY and IRRESISTIBLY within his brain

      JT
      2. If God bestowed man the will, it does not mean that his will is superior from the will of the Creator

      br.d
      Especially when it is the case that every impulse occurs in his brain by INFALLIBLE factors outside of his control.

      JT
      3. Man was created not to equalize nor to become an independent god also to himself.

      br.d
      Well that’s one thing Calvinism gets right! :-]

      JT
      3. God, is the One who possess free will that is absolute and autonomous.

      br.d
      Autonomous from what?

      What you really mean – is Calvin’s god’s will is not determined by external factors outside of his control.
      Therefore Calvin’s god has LIBERTARIAN free will
      And that is therefore the Imago Dei (image of God)
      And we can clearly see that Calvin’s god does NOT make man after his image and likeness

      JT
      4. God’s decrees can never be modified nor be changed by the use of the will of man that has been enslaved

      br.d
      Calvin’s god’s decrees are INFALLIBLE and IMMUTABLE – and cannot be changed by anyone – including Calvin’s god.

      JT
      5. Man, having a will, has the capability to choose

      br.d
      Here is the dishonesty of Calvinism!
      He takes away man’s will – and then has to replace it with a MASQUERADE *AS-IF* it were man’s will.

      In Calvinism every impulse occurs INFALLIBLY and IRRESISTIBLY within the brain
      That is not man’s will at work – it is Calvin’s god’s will at work.

      So now tell us JT
      Since your brain’s Epistemic functions are not Libertarian in nature – what kind of freedom does your brain have to determine TRUE from FALSE on any matter?

  35. br.d writes:
    “Autonomous from what?”

    “What you really mean – is Calvin’s god’s will is not determined by external factors outside of his control.”
    “Therefore Calvin’s god has LIBERTARIAN free will”
    “And that is therefore the Imago Dei (image of God)”
    “And we can clearly see that Calvin’s god does NOT make man after his image and likeness”

    My Response:
    1. God is autonomous from everything because No one is higher than God. He is not accountable to no one because no one created Him. He is self-existent. The laws He created were intended for man not for Him.
    2. br.d has a defective idea concerning the image of God in man. He wants the will of man to become equal or even surpass the will of the Divine Creator which is not true.
    3. Man is dependent from his Divine Creator and can never become an independent sovereign god to himself.
    4. br.d’s god is trying hard to convince the readers that the will of man is superior than God – that man is tormented in hell because of the refusal of man using his will to accept the gift offered. But in reality, was the offer made legit? Christ, the Good Shepherd looks after the lost sheep (Luke 15:4) not the goats because according to Christ Himself, “He offered His life for the sheep” – John 10:11

    1. JT
      1. God is autonomous from everything…..

      br.d
      Which means he is NOT determined by an external mind – and/or by factors outside of his control

      Thus we eliminate Determinism
      Thus we eliminate a form of freedom that must be compatible with determinism
      Thus we have LIBERTARIAN freedom

      JT
      2. br.d ….wants the will of man to become equal or even surpass the will of the Divine Creator

      br.d
      Is that supposed to be an example of Calvinist logic??? ;-D

      JT
      3. Man is dependent from his Divine Creator and can never become an independent sovereign god to himself.

      br.d
      Well at least you get that right!

      JT
      4. br.d’s god is trying hard to convince the readers that the will of man is superior than God

      br.d
      Another example of Calvinist logic???

      If you buy that one – I’ve got a bridge in Florida – I know you’ll want!! ;-D

      But now JT – I’ve asked you this question – now for the 3rd time – and you don’t seem to be able to answer it.

      Since your brain doesn’t have Libertarian Freedom – then your Epistemic functions are not Libertarian.

      So what Epistemic freedom does your brain have to determine TRUE from FALSE on any matter?

  36. br.d. = This is for you :
    1. You are espousing a defective LFW and that is not possible unless man existed for himself alone like God. As I said, man is dependent from His Creator.

    2. Man has a WILL but not unlimited. It is not totally free and is under the control of God the creator. – This you already agree with me in your post above this thread and I quote : “JT Man is dependent from his Divine Creator and can never become an independent sovereign god to himself. br.d Well at least you get that right!”

    3. When God controls, It is up to His own discretion whether He will not allow or allow man to use his will. (In God, Controlling is not always suppressing) br.d has no right to question God nor charge God as “double speak” or to advise God to take a logic course. If br.d is no longer in his right mind and will still insist then go and file a case for God in court and put Him in jail. br.d must understand that God is not accountable to anyone else. No other god is above Him.

    4. If God allows man to use his will without Divine intervention, it does not mean that God becomes the loser. God still gets all what He wants in the accomplishment of His decrees at the dead end result. (God decrees the end from the beginning – Isaiah 46:10 “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure”)

    5. Man is a moral being. This is one of the “Imago Dei” of God in creating man. It is intrinsic for man to distinguish between right from wrong. But this morality has been tarnished by SIN since the fall of man to sin. Provissionist’s like br.d, teaches that NOT ALL of man was affected by SIN which is not true.

    1. JT
      br.d. = This is for you :
      1. You are espousing a defective LFW and that is not possible unless man existed for himself alone like God. As I said, man is dependent from His Creator.

      br.d
      Nah! You’re just making that up! :-]

      JT
      2. Man has a WILL but not unlimited.

      br.d
      And in Calvinism – who determines every nanosecond of what man’s will will be?

      Cat got your tongue?

      JT
      It is not totally free and is under the control of God the creator.

      br.d
      Well then answer my question –
      What Epistemic freedom does your brain have to determine TRUE from FALSE?
      I’ve asked you that now 4 times

      Now answer?

      JT
      3. When God controls, It is up to His own discretion whether He will not allow or allow man to use his will.

      br.d
      Here is where you become dishonest

      You take away with one hand and give back with another

      What you are describing – John Calvin calls “MERE” permission – and it is TOTALLY rejected.

      Calvin’s god determined 100% of whatsoever comes to pass within your brain
      Not 90%
      Not 80%
      100%

      And that leaves ZERO% left over for your brain to determine.

      JT
      4. If God allows man to use his will without Divine intervention, it does not mean that God becomes the loser.

      br.d
      Here is where you become IRRATIONAL

      1) If Calvin’s god intervenes or prevents what he RENDERS-CERTAIN come to pass – he becomes a house divided against itself
      2) No event can come to pass without it being RENDERED-CERTAIN

      So there is no such thing as Calvin’s god intervening in events in Calvinism

      JT
      God still gets all what He wants in the accomplishment of His decrees at the dead end result.

      br.d
      FALSE
      No event can come to pass unless it is what Calvin’s god wants

      JT
      (God decrees the end from the beginning

      br.d
      Well at least you get that one right!

      JT
      5. Man is a moral being.

      br.d
      Not in Calvinism!
      In Calvinism man is Calvin’s god’s INSTRUMENT

      John Calvin
      -quote
      Hence they are merely instruments, into which god constantly INFUSES what energy he sees meet, and
      TURNS and converts to any purpose at his pleasure. (Institutes)

      John Calvin
      -quote
      Men can deliberately do nothing unless he *INSPIRE* it. (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God pg 171–172)

      So JT – why can’t you answer my question?

      You don’t have Libertarian Freedom
      So what Epistemic freedom does your brain have to determine TRUE from FALSE?

  37. br.d is blind as a bat. Perhaps he can only see my answer if God will decide to un-blind him and to open his ears. But if he continues to create and worship his own br.d pet god, that only shows that he is destined by God for that purpose.

    1. JT
      br.d is blind as a bat.

      br.d
      Here we have a classic case of reverse attribution!

      You can’t answer a question – and you attribute that inability to someone else – AS-IF* they can’t answer it – when its actually you that can’t answer it!

      That is funny! ;-D

      I’ll give you one more try JT – and then it will be obvious that you are incapable of understanding the question.

      On your belief system – Libertarian freedom does not exist.
      So your brains Epistemic functions are not Libertarian free

      So the question is:
      What Epistemic freedom does your brain have – to determine TRUE from FALSE on any matter?

  38. HOW PSYCHOLINGUISTICS HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND CALVINIST LANGUAGE

    Psycholinguistics is the study of the influence of psychological factors on the development, use, and interpretation of language.

    Language involves a volitional process of sentence framing, where specific words are chosen or avoided in order to produce a desired effect. The degree to which the desired effect is “buy-in”, is the degree to which undesirable words will be avoided during the process of word selection for sentence framing. Specific words are intuitively avoided, because those words work against the underlying urgency. Consequently, in the process of word selection, the urgency to avoid words which risk “buy-in”, naturally leads to a selection of alternative words which are less precise, increasingly equivocal, and thus increasingly misleading.

    Consider the very simple sentence: “Mary saw the man with the binoculars”.

    Psycholinguistics tell us that the average mind follows a certain basic flow in the process of interpretation. An individual might initially interpret this sentence to mean that Mary saw a man who was using binoculars. However, it could also mean that Mary while using the binoculars saw the man.

    When the human mind encounters ambiguous sentence framing, it naturally moves through an interpretation process in which it initially looks for the most viable meaning. But with ambiguous sentence framing, uncertainty may arise. And when this is the case, the mind reexamines sentence structure more carefully, looking for textual indicators which would assist a more accurate interpretation. When those indicators are absent, the mind then looks for additional indicators external to the sentence such as surrounding context, or factors surrounding the person who is communicating.

    If this additional information is insufficient, the mind will then most likely settle on an interpretation based on palatability. In other words, it will interpret the sentence in the way which produces the most emotionally palatable or acceptable effect. In this process, it will assume an interpretation that may be completely inaccurate based on acceptability.

    Therefore, the degree to which the primary urgency is “buy-in” becomes the degree to which the art of sentence framing produces a more cosmetic language, and less a truth-telling language. Statements are designed to lead recipients into interpretations which maximize acceptability at the risk of being misleading. And when this is case, sentences become structurally ambiguous for the sake of taking advantage of this effect.

    So, over time, when we have “buy-in” as the consistent repeated underlying urgency rather than truth telling, the result is the evolution of a misleading language.

Leave a Reply to Reggie Cancel reply