Did the Early Church Fathers Teach Calvinism?

In which Dr. Leighton Flowers interviews premier Augustinian scholar Dr. Ken Wilson regarding how the Early Church Fathers saw the depravity and free will of man. They respond to an article by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon of A Puritan’s Mind and quotes used by Dr. Michael Horton in Putting Amazing Back in Grace to claim that Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Chrysostom, Origen, and Ambrose taught a form of Calvinism. In what is a fascinating discussion, they show that these ECFs, taken in their context, similar to the Scriptures, do not actually teach anything resembling Calvinism and indeed clearly affirmed free will theism.

Dr. Ken Wilson’s book
Kindle version: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VTS48L6
Paperback version: https://www.amazon.com/dp/108280035X?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

143 thoughts on “Did the Early Church Fathers Teach Calvinism?

  1. From the Interview:

    Dr. Flowers:
    Even leading Reformed historians confirm that Augustine was the first to clearly teach unconditional election,…i.e. Calvinism as we know it.

    Dr. Wilson:
    Yes – but I would point out that when people make the claim that he was the “First” – I point out – that he wasn’t the “First” [person]. But he was the first “Christian”. Because the Stoics the Gnostics and the Manicheans all taught unconditional election. And that’s why the early church fathers refuted them. So you have to be careful and say he was the first “Christian” to teach unconditional election.

  2. Dr. Flowers:
    Dr. Wilson, you point out that the Gnostics and the Stoics were actually using the same scripture verses and proof-texts that are most often used by John Piper type Calvinists today – proving that the Gnostics and the Stoics were reading those texts in the same way the Calvinist is reading them today.

    Dr. Wilson:
    Exactly! And in “The foundation of Augustinian Calvinism” – I show them side by side. Here is Augustine’s quote [in his earlier writings] where he is refuting those deterministic views – here is the quote and the passage. But then later on he takes the same exact passage – but this time takes exactly the same stance as Fortunatus the Manichaean took and that Felix the Manichaean took….its unbelievable!”

  3. The timing, lol! I was just going through a giant list posted by a Calvinist (which I shortly realized was just copied from someone else) of quotes (many mangled by cobbling together piecemeal phrases or combining commentary into a quote or from who knows where) all claiming to “prove” many early church fathers believed a theory like Limited Atonement wherein Christ only died for a select pre-chosen few. Of course, taken in their context (or even out of context) none of them so far have. It’s mostly a lot of taking things like “Christ died for us” or “Christ died on behalf of the church” as somehow equivalent to the Calvinist theory of Limited Atonement. I was planning to spruce it all up and submit it as a post when finished since this list is making the rounds in forums and blog posts. I *think* the original list was compiled by Charlie Ray, but it’s hard to know since so many post it as if it is their own research.

    For example, here is the first two on the list used to “prove” many early church fathers believed the theory of Limited atonement:

    1. “Clement (A.D. 69): “Making it manifest, that through the blood of the Lord there should be redemption for all those that believe and hope in God,” (Ep. ad Corinth. p. 30). ”

    The idea Jesus only redeems His people, believers, is not equivalent to Christ only “dying for some.” This quote does nothing to support the Calvinist theory of Limited Atonement, and most non-Calvinist Christians will fully agree that redemption only comes through the blood of the Lord and that only those who believe are redeemed.

    Furthermore, this quote is taken from its context in Clement of Rome, First Epistle, Chapter 12, which is using Rahab’s house and scarlet thread as a signal to the soon coming Israelite army to preserve all those in her house as a type to signify how at the time of judgement, all those who believe and hope in Christ will be preserved since redeemed by His blood, while all those outside will perish.
    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/1clement-roberts.html

    2. “Barnabas (A.D.70): Speaking of Christ, “I see that I shall thus offer my flesh, for the sins of the new people; meaning a special and peculiar people that should be taken out from among the Gentiles under the New Testament dispensation, called a new people, to distinguish them from God’s ancient people the Jews,” (Part 1, s. 6, p. 224).”

    This must be a quote from someone talking about what Barnabas wrote, as Barnabas 1:6 is completely unrelated, and much of this is actually commentary/opinion from some more modern source added into the text without quotation marks.

    Barnabas 7:4-5 (84-85) though, does say:
    His commandment having been written, the Lord enjoined, that whosoever did not keep the fast should be put to death, because He also Himself was to offer in sacrifice for our sins the vessel of the Spirit, in order that the type established in Isaac when he was offered upon the altar might be fully accomplished. What, then, says He in the prophet? “And let them eat of the goat which is offered, with fasting, for all their sins. Attend carefully: “And let all the priests alone eat the inwards, unwashed with vinegar.” Wherefore? Because to me, who am to offer my flesh for the sins of my new people, ye are to give gall with vinegar to drink: eat ye alone, while the people fast and mourn in sackcloth and ashes. [These things were done] that He might show that it was necessary for Him to suffer for them.

    Barnabas does not say that God prechooses some individuals to ‘eat of the goat’ on the Day of Atonement and that the goat ‘only dies for the few who God determines will eat.’ On the contrary, he shows the goat is sacrificed on the day of atonement for the sins of all the people, *but* only those eat of it avail themselves of that offering and are forgiven. Furthermore, since the priests ate the innards with vinegar, Christ is also the priest who makes the sacrifice. This is merely one of the types he uses to symbolize the sacrifice of Christ. In chapter VII he shows Jesus being lifted up like the Moses lifting up the snake on the pole, but only those who look on Christ like they did the snake, i.e. believing something dead can bring life, will be healed and have eternal life. Moses was to lift the snake up to all who were bitten to offer healing for their sins, not merely a selected prechosen few.

    Much of the point of Barnabas is that OT prophesy pointed towards the necessity of Jesus suffering at the hands of the Jews and dying so that a new people (Gentiles) could be washed clean from their sin if they believe. (Not that Jesus ‘only died’ for the sins of a select few individuals who were pre-chosen to believe.)
    https://www.biblestudytools.com/history/early-church-fathers/ante-nicene/vol-1-apostolic-with-justin-martyr-irenaeus/barnabas/epistle-of-barnabas.html

    The list is crazy long, but it seems to continue on much the same from there. Phrases are yoiked out of context, cobbled together with other phrases far distant inside a writing (as if one can do … to remove thousands of words and treat them as part of the same sentence, or claimed to mean something the text does not imply.

    1. Good research Jenai!

      I am reminded of how a person can look at a random ink-blot and see a rabbit, a bat, or other creature in it simply because the human mind always looks for mental associations within any kind of data.

      The Calvinist mind has been conditioned to see Calvinism in any text

      And it probably sees Calvinism in a random ink-blot! :-]

    2. Thanks for the “research verification” Jenai. Certainly the internet has allowed many to make a statement and then others to repeat it often enough to “make it fact.”

      1. It’s like that Bible verse, “The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.” Prov 18:17.

        A lot of times big lists of verses or quotes (usually poorly attributed ones) get passed around the internet, and it can be easy to think they are true because at first glance it looks like overwhelming evidence. And then people pass it around as if it is their own research. I’ve fallen for some lists like that in the past (e.g. on U.S. founding fathers, or various science topics, or eschatology, etc.) and didn’t realize until I checked them years later that many of the quotes were wrongly attributed or off or didn’t prove what they claimed.

  4. Thanks for this.
    I am sure that we could find lots of things to disagree with Augustine on ….Mary-worship for example. Infant baptism for example.

  5. Minute 27 of the above video

    A quote from Irenaeus – used by the Calvinist to prove Total Depravity:

    “Man, will be justly condemned, because being made rational, he has lost true reason and lives irrationally”

    This statement actually rejects Calvinism – being predicated on Universal Divine Causal Determinism – in which from the foundation of the world – man is designed such that his every perception is “Determined” for him – (not in and of himself) .

    Therefore on Theological Determinist
    – A Muslim perceives his beliefs as true because Calvin’s god “Determined” him to have that perception.
    – A Jehovah’s Witness perceives his beliefs as true because Calvin’s god “Determined” him to have that perception.
    – Sun Myung Moon perceives his beliefs as true because Calvin’s god “Determined” him to have that perception.

    And likewise a Calvinist perceives his beliefs as true because Calvin’s god “Determined” him to have that perception.

    So in Calvinism human perceptions do not come about through rational reasoning. Rather they come about specifically being “Determined” by an external mind (i.e. Calvin’s god).

    So in Theological Determinism it LOGICALLY follows:
    The Calvinist has no more way of knowing that his perceptions are TRUE any more than the Muslim, Jehovah’s Witness, or Moonee does.

    This statement by Irenaeus would be LOGICALLY INCOHERENT if it were a representation of Theological Determinism.

    1. Right br.d!

      One Calvinist site says this….

      “God foreknowing all things, has prepared for both suitable habitations,” (Irenaeus adv. Haeres. 50:4, c. 76, p. 423.).

      The site then says that this proves that Irenaeus believed that God has condemned some from before time.

      Good News!!!

  6. Minute 36 in the above video

    Dr. Wilson:
    – quote
    “I don’t think people [i.e, Calvinists] are *TRYING* to be dishonest …. I think they’ve got some glasses on which makes it difficult for them to understand”.

  7. At Minute 37:06 of the above video

    Dr. Flowers
    Calvinists that I’ve debated with – they’ll say “god can restrain man when it serves his purpose or he can permit”. Ok well what is it he is restraining or permitting if not the [Libertarian] free will of man?

    Or is he restraining or permitting what he decreed the man want to do?
    Because [as it is in Calvinism] if all things are according to decrees then god is just decreeing man to want to do something that god Is then restraining man from doing. And that makes no sense.

    So in order to talk about permission or restraining of man you have to start with [Libertarian] free will in order to have something for god to restrain or permit. And the same thing for hardening. What is being hardened if not pharaoh’s [Libertarian free] will?

    br.d
    In other words: In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) – Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world determines all things without exception and in every part. So if he then decides to restrain or permit something – the only thing available for him to restrain or permit is that which he has determined. And it makes no sense that he would want to determine an event just so that he can restrain it.

    So the Calvinist in order to remain aligned with scripture – must deny to some degree – the very foundational core of his belief system. We will find him rejecting Libertarian Free will – and then later working to SMUGGLE it back into his system in camouflaged form.

  8. Yeah thank you for this podcast!! I found the dalogue between these two intelligent men to be encouraging & I really loved it!! I’m on my second time around and this time I’m trying 1.5 speed never done it before not to bad… I need to buy a couple copies of Dr. Wilson’s book to hand out!! Also what a good visual with the raggedy ann doll and the (theological systematic glasses of calvinism). I appreciate the humor, because they made me laugh a couple times out loud. I also really appreciate Leighton’s honesty over why he hesitated in coming forward when he no longer adhered to calvinism, to me, that really took courage to admit! & I really respect him for that!!! I know we all need reminded of this passage from time to time,… well at least I do😊

    Galatians 1:10 NASB — For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

    Thanks again great podcast

  9. No response to my article that I think ANY theological argument for or against any doctrine on the early church fathers and such is in my humble opinion extremely weak and irresponsible. So I that is what I think of this podcast but in the most respectful opinion because of the Christlike character of Dr. Flowers.

    I just think Dr. Flowers is not holding some of his own beliefs to the same principle and standard.

    Such as William Wrede’s Secret Motif of 1901 (The Messianic Secret) which the majority of Orthodox Christianity rejects. Now 1901 most definitely comes before Augustine and that logically is before the Early Church Fathers.

    Then we have “Corporate Election” Which Dr. Sean Cole did a podcast on and traced it back in history. It seems the seeds and development of it began with a man you all probably know. Karl Barth. Many Arminians and Traditional Southern Baptist hold to the view of “Corporate Election when it comes to Soteriology instead of “Individual Election”

    Dr. Sean Cole who has debated Dr. Flowers in the past, (both are very good friends, count each other as brothers in Christ) is a student and scholar of church history. He has a podcast on his website, “Understanding Christianity” that is very convincing of the roots of “Corporate Election” I put the link in my much longer response to Dr. Flowers article.

    There is much more that I say that I would like to see some push-back on. Guys I mean this respectfully. I follow Dr. Flowers on Twitter and I am never disrespectful or attack him personally. Dr. Flowers had made me really really think about meticulous sovereignty. I say that in sincerity. I am right now searching the Scriptures and praying over this very issue. Whew..that was hard to admit. But I just cannot come to grips with LFW yet. Down below is the link to my response to Dr. Flowers article

    https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/114982414/posts/283

      1. Thank you BR.D. I have not read this article by Brian. I will definitely read it and check out the comments. I am looking at both sides trying to steer clear of a lot of the philosophy (which I know is impossible) and see the truth found within God Word. It is not found with the ECF that much I know for sure. Thank you for your assistance in directing me to this. I

      2. Sure enough
        It wasn’t the article I was actually pointing you to – but rather that specific post – which raises the question – can rational reasoning exist without LFW.

        So if you have the time – just look at that specific post to see what I’m referring to.

        BTW:
        Some of Augustine’s correspondence has been preserved.
        Augustine had a long time friend whose name was Nebridius, whom he corresponded to by letter.

        In one of Nebridius’ letters to Augustine he praises how Augustine’s letters -quote : “speak of Christ, Plato and Plotinus”
        Plato was a Philosopher, and Plotinus was the doctrinal father of NeoPlatonism.
        So to embrace Augustine is to embrace philosophy.
        Its inescapable.

      3. My “heart-felt research” I get it now. BR.D I am being sincere. Let me explain. In no way do I deny I still have a Calvinist bent. Like the word Trinity, Hypostatic Union are all nicknames for truths found within the Word of God. So Calvinism just like Arminianism and Traditional Baptist are also believed to be nicknames for truths found within the Word of God. I know you do not believe Calvinism is but I do.

        But what brought me to this heart-felt thinking about meticulous sovereignty was a particular verse I was meditating on in Proverbs 16:9.

        Proverbs 16:A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

        I see man planning his own way, but the Lord ultimately directing his steps.

        I think I found some help within the comment section to the article you sent me to.

        These are some comments by a man named Mike responding to Brian Wagner. Very helpful.

        “The argument for you (and Arminians) is about hard determinism, which I do not hold to.”

        It is always about “hard determinism” About God micro-managing. I am not sure if that is what I believe. BR.D….Please don’t stone me here. I am still trying to understand. You know as well as I do there are different flavors of determinism.

        Mr. Wagner actually argues against LFW which is an article you sent me to, to establish that fact.

        Mike:
        “You say that “freedom of will to go against one’s nature, even for God, is not possible.” I’ve said the same thing many times and every LFW’er has argued against it. You don’t seem to understand that this simple admission is an argument against LFW. “The ability to freely make decisions commensurate with the limits of one’s nature and with the opportunities provided for such decisions making” is the definition of compatiblism!”

        Mike:
        “all your article proves is that man has free will. And who is denying this?
        What is being denied is “libertarian, contra-causal” free will. What is the definition of “libertarian”? What does “contra” in “contra-causal” mean? These are anti cause-and-effect. Your statements at the beginning of the article and your word studies don’t support this mystical non-causal free will. In fact the Bible is full of cause-and-effect on almost every page. “God said let there be light and there was light.” You don’t seem to understand Calvinism except as a caricature. You’re in good company at Soteriology 101.

        Brian is a brilliant man, but is article is self-defeating if he is trying to establish LFW in my opinion and others who refuted him there. I understand you think all determinism is wrong but you will have to prove this from Scripture not from Augustine.

        But hey, still sincerely thinking on this issue. So anywhere you want to direct me I will look.

        Different Flavors of Determinism:

        https://www.proginosko.com/2014/07/calvinism-and-determinism/

      4. speakingthetruthinloveblog
        My “heart-felt research” In no way do I deny I still have a Calvinist bent. Like the word Trinity, Hypostatic Union are all nicknames for truths found within the Word of God. So Calvinism just like Arminianism and Traditional Baptist are also believed to be nicknames for truths found within the Word of God. I know you do not believe Calvinism is but I do.

        br.d
        I apologize if you misunderstood my reference to “heart-felt”.
        You stated on your previous post that you were researching the viability of LFW – and that is what I was referring to.
        I had no anticipation that you had serious questions about Calvinism

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        But what brought me to this heart-felt thinking about meticulous sovereignty was a particular verse I was meditating on in Proverbs 16:9.
        Proverbs 16:A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

        br.d
        Whose steps are being directed?
        If they are man’s steps then that would be contradictory to Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism)
        In Theological Determinism the THEOS does not “direct” a man’s steps – he DETERMINES a man’s steps.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        I see man planning his own way, but the Lord ultimately directing his steps.

        br.d
        But in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) that is NOT LOGICALLY POSSIBLE
        Because in that system a man does not plan his way.
        The only one who can plan man’s way is the THEOS who determines every neurological impulse which will ever appear in that man’s brain.

        So technically speaking – man’s plans are NOT UP TO THE MAN – but they are determined by the THEOS.
        Those plans are established before the man exists
        And the man therefore has no say in the matter of what those plans will be.
        They really are not the man’s plans at all
        They constitute the plans of the THEOS for the man

        Also – I wasn’t actually pointing you to Brian’s article nor his dialog with Mike.
        I’m sorry if my reference was unclear and caused you to take time looking at something I wasn’t pointing to.

        I was pointing you to one single post I made to Mike – which entertains the question – can rational reasoning exist without LFW

        If you are indeed researching the viability of LFW then perhaps you will read that specific post (again the link is below).

        https://soteriology101.com/2017/07/24/freewill-as-taught-in-scripture/#comment-40311

      5. br.d
        I am always puzzled when Calvinists quote verses like….”A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”

        Cutting to the chase, determinism and Calvinism would teach this rendering of this verse:

        “God plans/ordains that man have heart-plans, but then God directs him otherwise.” (which of course means we do nothing).

        They cannot hear themselves. OF COURSE God directs man’s steps….. but He directs a man that is moving (with his own steps —at least partially or to start with). Anyway, it only says He directs his steps….not micro-manages, dictates.

        I watched all my kids learn how to walk…and often directed their step. But did not do the stepping for them.

        ps. Sometimes they did not even go the direction I directed them (which we see thousands of time in the OT).

      6. FOH
        I watched all my kids learn how to walk…and often directed their step. But did not do the stepping for them.

        br.d
        That’s it exactly – so again I see that the Calvinist philosophy presupposes one thing while the language of scripture presupposes its opposite. And in order to retain a sense of alignment with scripture the Calvinist must live in a world of DOUBLE-THINK.

      7. “FOH
        I watched all my kids learn how to walk…and often directed their step. But did not do the stepping for them.

        br.d
        That’s it exactly – so again I see that the Calvinist philosophy presupposes one thing while the language of scripture presupposes its opposite. And in order to retain a sense of alignment with scripture the Calvinist must live in a world of DOUBLE-THINK.”

        Respectfully that is not it BR.D and that is why I am searching. We are taking earthly analogies and and disliking a doctrine so much we are not looking at the verse of Scripture close enough to see if it really relates to the passage in question.

        Proverbs 16:9 – A man’s heart plans his way,
        But the Lord directs his steps.

        A little child “is not planning his own ways” It says “A MAN” plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

        Thanks for trying though. But that analogy does not work though. I could be wrong.

        Jeremiah 10:23 – I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

      8. STTIL,
        Are you saying that every decision, thought, action of man is mandated/ordained/imposed by God?

        Are you saying that those poetic verses prove that as doctrine to insist on?

      9. speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Respectfully that is not it BR.D and that is why I am searching. We are taking earthly analogies and and disliking a doctrine so much we are not looking at the verse of Scripture close enough to see if it really relates to the passage in question.

        br.d
        Actually I think you will not be successful in arguing that.
        You can appeal to scripture verses if you want to – but those scripture verses DO NOT presuppose Universal Divine Causal Determinism
        And Universal Divine Causal Determinism is what Calvinism is.

        Scripture speaks of a man planning his way – which is LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE in Theological Determinism
        As a Calvinist you’ve been told a dozen times that the THEOS has a plan for your life.
        Now its time to fully grasp how MICRO-MANAGING that plan is conceived to be in Calvinism.

        John Calvin says it this way:
        -quote
        Men may not even agitate anything in their deliberations but what He *INSPIRES*.
        – A Defense of the secret providence of god – PDF version pg 190

        Calvinist Robert R. McLaughlin
        -quote
        “God merely programmed into the divine decrees all our thoughts, motives, decisions and actions”

        Calvinist Paul Helms
        -quote
        Not only is every atom and molecule, every THOUGHT AND DESIRE, kept in being by god, but every TWIST AND TURN of each
        of these is under the DIRECT CONTROL of god”.

        The scriptures you are quoting presuppose a degree of HUMAN AUTONOMY – that does not exist in Calvinism.

        Please also be advised – I am totally aware that Calvinists blind themselves to these facts and refuse to see them.
        So if you don’t connect the dots – I’ll totally understand why.

      10. Thanks BR.D and Fromoverhere.

        I have read all that both of you have said and I am going to re-read slowly again tomorrow. Wife is home. I am disabled with two hip implants and headed for two knee replacements due to a disease called avascular necrosis. So I have a little time on my hands. I will seriously consider what the two of you have written. I do ask Fromoverhere and you BR.D to look again at the analogy made of Proverbs 16:9

        A man’s heart plans his way,
        But the Lord directs his steps.

        That cannot be made of a little baby.

        I see you are not talking about hard determinism BR.D although it seems you are but I have to take you at your word but you are like the Apostle Paul speaking things that are sometimes hard to understand. I like the spirit of the conversation. So maybe “if the Lord is willing” I will be back tomorrow. God bless to the both of you and thanks.

      11. I only said the “baby” analogy cuz of direct our steps. Let that example go. Dont get sidetracked.

        I still see man making plans in your verse…

        A man’s heart plans his way,
        But the Lord directs his steps.

        Did MAN make the plans of did God make the plans…that He then directs man away from.

        again……. Are you saying that every decision, thought, action of man is mandated/ordained/imposed by God?

      12. BR.D,

        Remember I quoted it being somewhat completed. that is your quote: “I am always puzzled when Calvinists quote verses like….”A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”

        I still think you may be looking at this at a hard deterministic way that Mike was talking about and not thinking about an Eternal God who:

        Isaiah 53:10 – Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. NIV

        Isaiah 53:10 – But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. NASB

        It pleased the Lord and was the Lord’s will to crush Jesus by Him being murdered on the cross so that he could see His offspring. Those who by grace through faith would be saved.

        How would this be done?

        Acts 4:27 “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.

        You see BR.D this is why I say it is not cut and dry as we all might think. It was the Lord’s will and it pleased the Lord to crush Jesus by Him being murdered on the cross.

        It was actually done by lawless hands that did “whatever God’s and and purpose DETERMINED BEFORE TO BE DONE.

        Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you [f]have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

        Once again it was God’s will and it pleased God to crush Christ by Him being murdered on the Cross But he used Second CAUSES/AGENCIES to bring this about by his DETERMINED PURPOSE.

        1 Peter 1:20 – He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

        and His offspring resulting from his murder/death:

        1 Peter 1:21 – Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

        So this is what I am trying to bring a balance to in my mind I cannot deny that those who murdered Christ did so because they were predestined and predetermined to do so.

        But hardcore determinism over everything and to what degree is what I am trying to understand. If you disagree with the above I would very much like for you to explain how you understand it. But do not be offended if I disagree and take the Scriptures at face value.

        And the comments of Mike to Mr. Wagner’s Article were excellent. His article as I believe Mike said were self-defeating. I am going to re-read what you said about the verse in Proverbs. That is the one I am struggling with. I want to hear both sides. Calvinist and Non-Calvinist. There are many more verses as you and I both know that are related to this one verse that shed greater light upon it. I yet to look them up.

      13. STTinlove,

        That was me who commented on that.

        No one denies that God can do what He says He is going to do. He says He will achieve the death and resurrection of Christ, and bends wills and uses evil men to do so.

        Calvinist make the error to say that what God says He will do (and makes sure will happen) is the same as “all that has happened has been exactly what God wanted.” Why do that?

        Calvinists ignore hundreds and hundreds of biblical examples where God makes it clear that what is happening (or happened) is not at all what He wants.

        They ignore the passages like Jeremiah 18 (the original Potter passage!) that say …

        6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.
        ——–

        Notice here He says that He has announced that the nation will be destroyed….but He will relent if they repent and not do as “I had planned.”

        It is the classical approach by Calvinists (you did not invent that by the way, but learned it from a monergism site, I’m guessing) to take the Acts 2 and Acts 4 passages and say “If God made evil men do what He wanted…..then all evil men must always be doing what God has wanted.”

        Nah…. no need to do that!

        God can do whatever He wants…. is not the same as “all that happens is what God wants.”

      14. Fromoverhere,

        Just wanted to mention one more thing to let you and BR.D know that I am reading and I will admit when I truly see something I said wrong.

        Fromoverhere:
        “2. “As it is written” does not mean, “thus saith the Lord” —what are you talking about? it means “as it is written” (elsewhere in Scripture).”

        Excellent point Sir and I learned something here today that I did not learn at the monergism sites. 🙂 Thank you for that. I am sure once I have time to read through it all more slowly I will learn more. But I will have to be convinced. BR.D I do not on purpose blind myself to the truth. If I am blind pray that God will help me see the truth.

      15. speakingthetruthinloveblog
        BR.D I do not on purpose blind myself to the truth. If I am blind pray that God will help me see the truth.

        br.d
        No problem at all and I didn’t mean it that way – sorry if that came off to harsh.
        We’re all in the same boat in that regard.
        Its often called INVESTOR’S BIAS – and its totally human.

        It happens thousands of times a day in the stock market.
        A person buys a stock and that purchase is also a psychological investment.
        That stock can drop like an anvil falling from the sky right in front of the buyer’s eyes and he wouldn’t dream of letting it go.

        Its totally natural! :-]

      16. speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Remember I quoted it being somewhat completed. that is your quote: “I am always puzzled when Calvinists quote verses like….”A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”

        I still think you may be looking at this at a hard deterministic way that Mike was talking about and not thinking about an Eternal God who:

        br.d
        Actually no. The distinction between “Hard” vs “soft” determinism is that “hard” determinism rejects all forms of free-will.
        While “soft” determinism incorporates a view of free-will in the form of compatiblism.

        Compatibilism is the thesis that free-will is compatible with a world in which *ALL* things *UNIVERSALLY* are determined by factors outside of your control. Therefore Compatibilism is a sub-category of Determinism. And as such it carries all of the LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES of determinism.

        Now determinist/compatibilist believers predominate two primary groups.
        1) Atheists who are determinists/compatiblists – hold to what is called NATURAL Determinism.
        2) Theists who are determinists/compabibilits – hold to what is called THEOLOGICAL Determinism.
        Calvinism falls into that camp.

        So if you embrace Calvinism – then you embrace Theological Determinism – and probably also embrace a compatiblist view on free will.
        Out of the preponderance of Calvinists – there are very few – perhaps 1% of the Calvinist population that embrace “hard” determinism.

        So in our discussions here at SOT101 we are never referring to “hard” determinism – but to “soft” determinism with a compatiblist view on free-will.

        So lets unpack-age Calvinism and see what this looks like:

        As a Calvinist you believe that the THEOS at the foundation of the world DETERMINED *EVERYTHING* that will come to pass.
        That word “EVERYTHING” is classified as a *UNIVERSAL* – which means EVERYTHING WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

        So as a Calvinist you embrace Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

        Now take the sum total of all things determined.
        And subtract *ALL* from it
        And how many things does that leave left over for humans to determine?

        You embrace that a THEOS at the foundation of the world DETERMINED EVERYTHING that will have existence and EVERYTHING that will not have existence

        And this includes every neurological Impulses that will ever appear in your brain.
        And guess who DETERMINED those neurological impulses would come to pass?
        The THEOS at the foundation of the world did.

        Did you exist at the foundation of the world – when your every neurological impulses were being determined?
        No you didn’t
        So you had no say in the matter of what neurological impulses will appear in your brain.

        How do you know what the THEOS has determined?
        You know it after it comes to pass and you observe it.
        So after you have a thought – you then know that the THEOS determined you to have that thought.
        And you didn’t exist when he determined that thought.
        So that thought did not originate from you – it originated from the THEOS.

      17. BR.D,

        “The Early Church Fathers had various errors in their own theology.
        And therefore they should not be used as a standard of measure against Augustine

        Did I sum up your argument?”

        I want to thank you first of all for being cordial and respectful with me. I am doing my best.

        But to sum up your answer I can only say no.

        My whole argument was that Dr. Flowers is using this argument when he is not subjecting things that are very pertinent to His own theology and system of belief to the same standard. And it will not stand the test but fail as I show in my argument.

        Proverbs 16:9 – The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

        Jeremiah 10:23 – I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

        Thanks BR.D. As I am working through this I may ask you questions from time to time.

      18. Sure no problem – I’ll wait for you to get sorted out how you want to proceed with that.

        Or in Calvinist terms – how the THEOS at the foundation of the world determined you to proceed with that! :-]

      19. BR.D.

        You have me when it comes to Augustine. He seems to be your thing.

        BR.D
        “BTW:
        Some of Augustine’s correspondence has been preserved.
        Augustine had a long time friend whose name was Nebridius, whom he corresponded to by letter.

        In one of Nebridius’ letters to Augustine he praises how Augustine’s letters -quote : “speak of Christ, Plato and Plotinus”
        Plato was a Philosopher, and Plotinus was the doctrinal father of NeoPlatonism.
        So to embrace Augustine is to embrace philosophy.
        Its inescapable.”

        Can you give me the source of this so I can go and look at it. Or did you recite it from memory. If you did that is ok

        You quoted, “to embrace Augustine is to embrace philosophy” I kind of feel respectfully the same of you. You seem to go to philosophy more than you do to the Word of God to defend your position. You even said, “I will just have to get use to your way of responding.” Guess so. 🙂

        You actually applauded Dr. Flowers podcast on “The Early Church Fathers Did Not Teach Calvinism” I would be interested in you responding to a few points in my article without using Calvinism as a defense if you would be interested. I give reasons why not to use Calvinism even in my previous post above. You can respond here if you do not want to respond under my article. Or if you have no interest I understand. I know interacting with you in the past is not an easy task. But here is the link again.

        https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/114982414/posts/283

      20. speakingthetruthinloveblog
        You have me when it comes to Augustine. He seems to be your thing.
        Can you give me the source of this so I can go and look at it. Or did you recite it from memory. If you did that is ok

        br.d
        Yes – one place you can find it is in the book “Augustine: Conversions to Confessions” By Robin Lane Fox
        But one can probably also find it in

        But you will also find this reiterated in “The Letters of St. Augustine” – by W. J. SPARROW-SIMPSON, D.D.
        -quote
        Nebridius greatly valued Augustine’s letters. They quote ” bring to his ear the voice of Christ and the teaching of Plato and of Plotinus.”

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        You quoted, “to embrace Augustine is to embrace philosophy” I kind of feel respectfully the same of you. You seem to go to philosophy more than you do to the Word of God to defend your position. You even said, “I will just have to get use to your way of responding.” Guess so. 🙂

        br.d
        Yes – I agree. But that is because I also have a discipline in the practice of language. And language is something that is vulnerable to manipulation and trickery. The rules that govern the use of language are quite loose in this regard. Take the whole world of false-advertising language for example and you can see the rules that govern the use of language allow for a lot of manipulation.

        In contrast to that – the rules that govern logic have been fixed in concrete for many years – and its extremely difficult for someone to play tricks on you or fool you using logical reasoning. Once you become disciplined in those rules you can usually discern where someone is operating in some kind of fallacy or word trickery.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        You actually applauded Dr. Flowers podcast on “The Early Church Fathers Did Not Teach Calvinism” I would be interested in you responding to a few points in my article without using Calvinism as a defense if you would be interested.

        Let me try to put into one statement what I think your post was arguing.

        The Early Church Fathers had various errors in their own theology.
        And therefore they should not be used as a standard of measure against Augustine

        Did I sum up your argument?

      21. Speakingthetruthinloveblog, I haven’t read all these comments here, so what I say may have already been covered. But in response to the verse about man planning in his heart but God directing his steps …

        I would be careful about putting too much on that one verse, about boxing God in to one way of working in the world. I look at it like a generalization, that we like to make plans about our futures but only God really knows the best paths to take and He will lead us in the ways He wants us to go, if we are willing to obey Him.

        The reason I say to be careful about putting too much on that one verse is that we also have these verses about things the Bible says actually happened:

        Hosea 8:4: “They [Israel] set up kings without My [God’s] consent; they choose princes without My approval.” (How can this verse be true if God directed their steps, causing them to choose the kings and princes they did?)

        Isaiah 30:1: “‘Woe to the obstinate children,’ declares the Lord, ‘to those who carry out plans that are not mine …'” (How is it possible for them to have plans that didn’t come from the Lord or to fail to carry out plans He wanted them to carry out if He determines every step they take?)

        Acts 14:16: “In the past, [God] let all nations go their own way.” (How can they “go their own way” if every way is God’s way? If God directs all paths?)

        Jeremiah 19:3-5: “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel says …’For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods … They have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to Baal – something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.'” (Once again, how could this verse be true if God directed their steps, causing them to sacrifice their sons?)

        And how about 1 Samuel 13:13-14: In this passage, God says that if only Saul had obeyed Him, then He would have established Saul’s kingdom. But Saul had disobeyed, so God put him to death. If God directed Saul’s steps, causing him to disobey, then how can God claim that He had another plan in mind if Saul had obeyed? If God’s plan all along was to cause Saul to disobey and put him to death, then God is lying when He says He would have established Saul’s kingdom if Saul had obeyed. Because if God always plans everything that happens and always carries out His plans, then there can be no alternative plan that didn’t happen, an alternative plan that hinged on man’s cooperation and obedience.

        I point these out because I can see that you are serious about studying this issue, about finding answers. And so I wanted to share with you some verses that I think show us how God really does operate in the world, how we really do affect what happens in life. I think we can tend to put too much on one verse and then we box God in and get an unbalanced, incorrect view of Him. But if we take Scripture as a whole, paying attention to how God related to people in the Bible, we get a more accurate view of Him and how He works. And then we can see verses like “Man plans but God directs his steps” in a more accurate light.

        Also remember that Proverbs isn’t a set-in-stone, theological, doctrinal statement about how God works and how everything is. It’s a book of generalities and guidelines and advice, etc. If it was supposed to be taken as absolute truth then verses like Proverbs 22:6 (“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”) should be absolute promises that no child who is trained right will ever depart from it when he is older. And a verse like 21:5 (“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”) would be a promise that as long as we are diligent, we are always guaranteed profit and success.

        I admire your desire to figure this issue out. I hope this helps a little.

      22. Well stated Heather.

        You said that better than I have been saying…and nicer too!

        I am always puzzled by this since there are literally hundreds of verses that make the point you make, but Calvinists seem to only want to take those Proverbs and Psalms (not meant for doctrine) and make them more important.

        Aha! I found it! It’s because those 40-50 verses (in the whole Bible) correspond to what they are sure God “must be like.” So, they become a sort of filter by which the other thousands of verses must be interpreted.

      23. You are absolutely correct heather!

        It is bad hermeneutics to use Hebrew poetry as proof-text for doctrine
        FOH mentioned that as well.

      24. Br.d and FOH, Thank you! And thank you for all your faithfulness to “contend for the faith” on Soteriology 101.

        Speakingthetruthinloveblog, I just now saw your comment about not wanting anyone else to join in. Sorry that I jumped in. I don’t expect any response to my comment (in fact, I may not even be back anytime soon to check comments since school has started for my kids), but I wanted to put that out there for your own consideration. In the quiet of your heart. Blessings!

  10. FROMOVERHERE,

    Sorry about that, did not notice you jumped in. But did you notice your analogy of

    Proverbs 16:9 – A man’s heart plans his way,
    But the Lord directs his steps.

    Is just not in harmony with the Scriptures. You have at least admit that here. baby does not have the mental capacity to direct his way. The verse actually says “A MAN” plans his heart.” So your analogy I respectfully cannot accept. Along with another verse that harmonizes with it.

    Before making an analogy you need to look at the passage and make sure it lines up and is in agreement with the it. Now I am not downing you for this mistake. God knows I have done it myself many times and you will find mistakes here more than likely.

    Jeremiah 10:23 – I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

    The way of man is not even in himself

    Fromoverhere:
    STTIL,
    Are you saying that every decision, thought, action of man is mandated/ordained/imposed by God?

    Are you saying that those poetic verses prove that as doctrine to insist on?

    Which poetic verses are we talking about? I hope not Romans 3:10 As it is written:

    “There is none righteous, no, not one; (Because it is written, meaning thus saith the Lord”)

    This is what I am trying to searching the Scriptures on Fromoverhere. As we read read in Proverbs 16:9 that “a man plans his ways” but the Lord directs that man’s steps”

    So no I do not think I believe in Hard determinism. But I do believe in what I wrote above if you will go back and read

    SPEAKINGTHETRUTHINLOVEBLOG
    AUGUST 19, 2019 AT 3:37 PM

    Then if you would like see if Dr. Flowers in his podcast here on “Did The Early Church Fathers Teach Calvinism” is holding himself to the same standard and principle and teaching on the things that are very pertinent to his understanding of Scripture and system of belief.

    William Wrede Secret Motif of 1901 way after Augustine and definitely after the ECF
    Corporate Election as Dr. Sean Cole a student and Scholar of Church History has traced it back to Karl Barth around 1930 or so and published in Barth’s Church Dogmatic’s in 1957 way after Augustine and definitely after the ECF.

    SPEAKINGTHETRUTHINLOVEBLOG
    AUGUST 19, 2019 AT 8:36 AM

    The full response to Dr. Flowers is here

    https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/114982414/posts/283

    So as I said before, “I think ANY theological argument for or against any doctrine on the early church fathers and such is in my humble opinion extremely weak and irresponsible.”

    And if we cannot see that God determined the death of Christ and predestined it by the hands of lawless men as I mention above as God willed and was pleased to crush him, to deny so is Double-Talk. Because it seems to be compatible. To what degree I am not sure right now. I am praying and searching. God bless Fromoverhere.

    God said, Let there be light and there was light, but he is unable to sin But he is the most free being I know. Leighton says he has LFW. In what sense I do not know. I guess he could have chose to create a world where he foreknew from all eternity no one would sin but he did not. (Speaking from most Non-Calvinist Position now) But God chose to create a world where He knew from eternity before he created the evil and good choices that every individual who would ever exist would make. Who would with LFW choose Christ and who with LFW would reject Christ and burn in the Lake of Fire for all eternity. The all holy all loving all powerful God from eternity foreknew (from the Non-Calvinist Christian Orthodox Position) what good and evil actions of all individuals would be and he created that reality.

    God bless.

    1. STTIL,
      I am not sure we are even talking right now. I asked you a simple question referring to the one Proverb you quote:

      “Are you saying that every decision, thought, action of man is mandated/ordained/imposed by God?”

      And you jumped to Romans 3:10?

      1. You are not just gonna just scatter gun the 5-10 go-to Calvinist verses are you? (that is what you just did).

      2. “As it is written” does not mean, “thus saith the Lord” —what are you talking about? it means “as it is written” (elsewhere in Scripture).

      3. Speaking of elsewhere in Scripture…most of that Romans 3 passage is exactly taken from poetic passages in the Psalms.

      Romans 3:4 Psalm 51:4
      Romans 3:12 Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20
      Romans 3:13 Psalm 5:9
      Romans 3:13 Psalm 140:3
      Romans 3:14 Psalm 10:7
      Romans 3:17 Isaiah 59:7,8
      Romans 3:18 Psalm 36:1

      Calvinists want to make a doctrine out of Romans 3:10 but not

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

      Are those literal? EVERYONE has viper poison on their lips?

      EVERYONE sheds blood (literally) with their feet?

      Nah…. That is very poetic and making a valid point. No one (not even the Jews: “For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin”) is righteous before God.

      That does not mean we have viper poison on our lips.

      Beside….this passage has nothing to do with the conversation at hand.

      1. Fromoverhere,

        Sorry if I got confusing. One thing I hate is when someone uses the scattergun approach. I do not see where I used 5-10 Calvinist go to verses Sir. You will have to show me that one. Listen I am not looking for war or to quarrel I am just trying to understand and I think BR.D understands that.

        “1. You are not just gonna just scatter gun the 5-10 go-to Calvinist verses are you? (that is what you just did).”

        “STTIL,
        I am not sure we are even talking right now. I asked you a simple question referring to the one Proverb you quote:
        And you jumped to Romans 3:10?

        I just thought that might have been one of the poetic verses you might have been referring to. Sorry my fault that I confused things

        “Are you saying that every decision, thought, action of man is mandated/ordained/imposed by God?”

        This is what I am studying and searching out. But for you to just say God bends the will and uses evil men is begging the question. You really did not interact with

        SPEAKINGTHETRUTHINLOVEBLOG
        AUGUST 19, 2019 AT 3:37 PM

        Where it was the Lord’s will and it pleased God to crush Jesus by having Him murdered on the Cross by the hands of Lawless evil wicked men. Acts 2 and 4 says God DETERMINED AND PREDESTINED THAT THEY WOULD DO WHAT THEY DID. You kind of just brushed over it. If we are going to have a real conversation we just cannot do that. We see God’s will involved and we see the wills of wicked men involved doing what God determined and predestined they would do which was God’s will and which pleased Him.

        “Are you saying that every decision, thought, action of man is mandated/ordained/imposed by God?”

        Once again that is where I am at. Br.D says that is the necessary and only logical choice I have. But then you and BR.D have to answer the above and many other Scriptures I could bring up Fromoverhere.

        Fromoverhere said,: “I only said the “baby” analogy cuz of direct our steps. Let that example go. Dont get sidetracked.

        I still see man making plans in your verse…

        I was not getting sidedtracked I was making an actual factual observation of the weakness of your analogy. But I am with you that I still see a man making plans in the verse.

        Proverbs 16:9 – A man’s heart plans his way,
        But the Lord directs his steps.

        You see “a man plans his ways, “BUT” the Lord directs his steps.”

        Fromoverhere responds to my comment “BUT” I refute him soundly.

        “But” is an conjunction to indicate the impossibility of anything already been mentioned.

        Now that is just a theory. Not something I am dogmatic on. But I will look more closely to what you and BR.D have said tomorrow and try and respond directly to it. Just ask for clarification if I seem to be confusing. Thanks for Fromoverhere

      2. Thanks for all that clarification.

        In the Proverbs we have many verses that are “true as a general rule.”

        No harm overtakes the righteous,
        but the wicked have their fill of trouble. [It seems like harm overtakes the persecuted church, right? Seems like some wicked people dont have much trouble, right?]

        28 Those who trust in their riches will fall,
        but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. [seems like some ‘righteous’ are persecuted not ‘thriving’, right?]

        The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse,
        but he delights in those whose ways are blameless. [We have lots of Proverbs talking about people doing good or bad and God liking or disliking it….but not planning it. Why all these many, many verses if He planned everything a person does? What’s the point?]

        Good people obtain favor from the Lord,
        but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes. [Good and bad]

        A person is praised according to their prudence,
        and one with a warped mind is despised. [Good and bad]

        [As a general rule] Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
        but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. [ but we have a president that speaks rashly in the US… has not come to ruin]

        The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
        but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry. [Is this always true? I have seen plenty of wicked have plenty of food!]

        The point is that we dont make doctrine out of Proverbs. You certainly dont want to trump all the hundreds of passages about men doing evil (doing what God says was NOT what He wanted) with one Proverb interpreted to mean “everything that everyone does —good or bad— is what God ordained.” You would be imposing that forced translation on that Proverb and then nullifying hundreds of clear verses with it.

        You believe that if you want….. it’s your choice! Get it? You are deciding things even now!

        A personal God wants personal relationships. A determinist God does not.

  11. BR.D. FOH

    I do not know why but when I read your post they are starting to make me smile. You have this sanctified sarcasm but also have a kind heart that I did not know about. I think I can interact with you and FOH. You two seem to be able to do so in a civil manner. Yes I know both of you are straight forward and firm and that is not going to change. So that is why I am going to say. I do not know if God is willing 🙂 for me to interact with the two of you today or not. We will see. I want to really read slowly and be sure I understand to the degree that I can before I respond. May God’s will be done. As he does according to His Will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of mankind.

    Of what I read last night of FOH’s verses I can only admit it does seem that people were making choices with the own will freely and not being determined. I have no answers right now FOH. I can pull up verses that I believe that show Capitalism but I do not think that is fair or the right thing to do right now. I must deal with what you have shown me.

    Just the two of you ok. No one else is invited to the party. I cannot handle anymore.

    Hey FOH and BR.D….Let me ask you two a question. When you make a comment on here. How do you ensure there is always that word REPLY below your comment. For you two also. It would make things so much easier. Maybe it is not possible, but I will admit I am ignorant of how to do it. It seems sometimes it shows up and sometimes it does not. I would like this to flow a little more orderly.

    Turning on Grammarly also. As you both have both noticed I am terrible at writing and grammar.

    Of what I read last nit

    1. speakingthetruthinloveblog
      BR.D. FOH
      I know both of you are straight forward and firm and that is not going to change.

      br.d
      Good morning speakingthetruthinloveblog – hope you’re feeling well today
      Thanks for saying that – its appreciated.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      May God’s will be done. As he does according to His Will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of mankind.

      br.d
      Here is another opportunity for you to discern a contradiction.
      In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) is there a LOGICAL POSSIBILITY that the will of the THEOS is ever NOT DONE?

      John Calvin’s answer is NO:
      -quote
      He foresees future events only in CONSEQUENCE of his decree (Institutes Vol ii. p. 169.)

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Of what I read last night of FOH’s verses I can only admit it does seem that people were making choices with the own will freely and not being determined. I have no answers right now FOH. I can pull up verses that I believe that show Capitalism but I do not think that is fair or the right thing to do right now. I must deal with what you have shown me.

      br.d
      Thank you for being so honest in this statement – we know Calvinists who will not allow themselves to acknowledge this.
      And yes – I agree with you.
      It has been stated that the ancient reformed divines found two streams within scripture.
      One in which God has sovereign control over events – and one in which God sets before his creatures multiple options and does not pre-determine their choice for them. Those reformed divines concluded that these two streams constitute a mystery.
      I personally am willing to live with that conclusion.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Hey FOH and BR.D….Let me ask you two a question. When you make a comment on here. How do you ensure there is always that word REPLY below your comment.

      br.d
      This has been an ongoing weakness of the technology here at the site. We haven’t been able to figure out a way to get around it.
      The best approach is to make sure you leave your email address in your post and make sure to check the box with the option for the system to send you responses. Then at least you will always have them in your email. When you get an email it will contain a reply button. That reply button will often ensure your post gets loaded in the correct sequence. Sometimes trying to do this on the web-page instead of using the link provided in the email doesn’t work.

      And I wouldn’t worry about spelling and grammar.
      It happens to all of us
      Be well!

  12. OK, FOH and BR.D,

    I may ask say preliminary questions. Yes I promise I am going to comb through all that you have wrote. I will leave no stone unturned. But I want to get to know you two first. Where you stand and what you do believe. You know pretty much what I believe.

    BR.D. you mentioned Gordian Fee. Are you a Pentecostal. I know reading Gordon D. Fee does not make you a Pentecostal because I like Him and have some of his commentaries. I am not a continuationist or a cessationist. I fall into the camp of being “Open but Cautious” I do not believe the “so called gifts of tongues” of the Spirit today are authentic as what we see in the Bible. It seems that gift is the only one that can be counterfeited and manufactured by the flesh today. Did you know John Piper believes in continuation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Or he may fall more into the “Open but Cautious Camp’ Not absolutely sure.

    Did you know that John Piper has been in the hot seat for a long time with many many Calvinist because of his views on the Doctrine of Justification. That being “final Justification” as he calls it. That our works in some sense our necessary to justify before God. Google it. I believe that just as we were saved by grace through faith apart from works initially. And it was the gift of God with no strings attached so no one can boast except in the Lord because Salvation is of the Lord. Just as works or keeping the commandments could not ever justify us initially before God (and it is God who justifies the ungodly through faith in Christ) it will be that way on the day of judgement.

    Sometimes he articulates it right but then he falls back into his old way of thinking. Piper is not my favorite Calvinist.

    How about you FOH. What is your Denominational background if you wish to share. If it is none of my business no worries. I know you are feisty and firm but I do not think you mean to offend. You are just a good debater.

    Myself, I go to a Baptist Church. Is it a Reformed or a Calvinist Church? To be honest I do not know for sure. The Pastor never says anything about TULIP. Never preaches anything right out Calvinist. But he will quote in my opinion 90% of the time from Calvinist theologians and 10% from Non-Calvinist. Now that is when he does quote. Most of the time he teaches and preaches right from the Word of God and it sounds more like a Non-Calvinist Church in my opinion. He knows of my beliefs. That I have a Calvinist leaning. One that I am not dogmatic about but that I am very open to being wrong about. I said the word “open” Mr. Wagner’s ears just perked up. Just kidding guys.

    One thing I have come to notice here on this site there are individual’s from all spiritual backgrounds with all different beliefs and flavors. Sure you agree on some things. But you have one I know who thinks he is sinless, another who says God does not know the future actions of individuals (Open Theism), some that seem to say Abraham was justified in a different way before God than Christians are. What I am trying to say there is one thing that you all have in common and makes you overlook that which you do disagree. Your dislike and mission to disprove Calvinism.

    Hey no need to respond to any of this, I am just rambling. before I get started.

    But good morning to the both of you.

    1. STTIL,
      Thanks for your kind tone.

      I believe if you look at the other pages of this site you would learn a ton about me, but I wont give all the clarity of detail you want here.

      I have an M Div and have been an overseas missionary for 30+ years. We are sent out by a Reformed church, and my BA is from a Reformed school, and I am a former Calvinist.

      Reading though the Bible (no extra books) each year is what led me out of Calvinism. Every day (no exaggeration) I was conflicted seeing verses after verse that made no sense in Calvinism. I looked for alternative interpretations to the 40-50, main, scatter gun, go-to Calvinist verses. Once I saw that there were other, good interpretations of the 40 verses that I had built my Calvinistic, deterministic, hermeneutic on —-I began to enjoy the rest of the Bible!

    2. br.d
      Good morning :-]

      OK, FOH and BR.D,

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      BR.D. you mentioned Gordian Fee. Are you a Pentecostal.

      br.d
      I’m not what you would call a “classic” Pentecostal. Although I see no reason to believe the acts of the Holy Spirit stopped at some point in the church time-line. I think there is a lot of dangerous teaching in the pentecostal movement. As a matter of fact – one can see this flaring up in the history of the welsh revival of the 1900s. There are testimonies of miracles occurring in various places today. But there is also a lot of counterfeit at the same time. Also new-age doctrine is creeping into the church – which in a pentecostal forum can lead to some very dangerous consequences for believers.

      Yes I have a great appreciation of Gordon Fee and I consider his seminary lectures to be top-notch and in step with current scholarship even though he’s been retired now for a number of years. He was kind of extended a mantel from F.F. Bruce – who I also have a great appreciation for.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Piper is not my favorite Calvinist.

      br.d
      In any one of Mr. Piper’s articles – a number of us here could probably point out a dozen examples of DOUBLE-SPEAK.
      He’s a great resource for that here! :-]

      1. BR.D.

        “Although I see no reason to believe the acts of the Holy Spirit stopped at some point in the church time-line.”

        This I actually agree with you on. I have not read an argument by any reformed or non-reformed person that is convincing that the gifts/acts of the Holy Spirit have ceased. For some reason at this present moment we do not see them working within the Church as we did in the Word of God. That is why I am “Open but Cautious” I was also what you would call Pentecostal. I still am if you want the truth. I still believe there can be great revivals, out-pourings of the Holy Spirit. Not sure if you are on the same page there or not. So maybe we have some common ground. I have personally had some strong experiences with the very presence of God, His love was so tangible and real. I love to still away and be alone with the Lord in prayer. Yes to intercede and pray for others. But also to just spend time with the Lord and worship Him. I do love the Lord so much BR.D and I am so thankful for what Christ did for me on the Cross. Can one who is a Calvinist be saved? Even if he just understands Soteriology wrong? Are we saved by understanding doctrine correctly. Or placing our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ?

        Now I must get on with the task at hand. But thanks for sharing your background. I sensed that maybe you were somewhat Pentecostal. But hey, you cannot go wrong with Gordon D. Fee.

        I know many people say you depend to much on books and scholars. I believe they are right to an extent. Something else Brian taught me.

        1 John 2:27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.

        Sometimes we need to put the books down and just pray and study our Bible. But as far as sola Scriptura:

        Your not going to like this quote but just bear with me I think you will agree with it.

        Dr. James White said: ” The Doctrine of “sola Scriptura” often mistaken to mean you and your Bible under a tree in the woods alone. Instead entails that “Christ has established his church and organized it in such a way to provide His people with godly men entrusted with the duty to teach and preach and shepherd and guide.”

        Ok enough rambling.

    3. Hey Brian liked my comment. I think he has forgiven me for being so mean-spirited to him. He was always kind and gracious. I was in a bad place then. No excuses. Mr. Eric Kemp can testify to that also.

      I have my cup of coffee BR.D and FOH. I am going to start at the top and read the first comment all the way through thoroughly. Before commenting. Something else Brian taught me instead of reading it piecemeal and commenting and not getting someone’s full thought and understanding of what they are trying to convey.

      But BR.D, you are Brian-like. I mean some of things you write are hard to understand so I may have to ask for clarification. I am not Rhutchin/Roger. Now I know you guys went at it with Roger but you have to admit he was a pretty intelligent guy who understood what you were saying. I think a lot of drive-bys and sometimes you guys were on him like a chicken on a bug. Sometimes he brought it on himself though. There would be times Brian had show he was wrong but Roger would not admit it. Is Roger still here or did he quit posting or did he get banned?

      1. rhutchin is still here – just not as frequent as he used to be.
        His assignment here appears to be – putting any possible positive spin on the doctrine he can think up in short notice.
        And I must admit he’s incredibly imaginative and agile at it.
        He comes up with the most inventive things!

  13. Ok Br.D you are first as I scrolled down the page. FOH. I ask you kindly not to respond to BR.D posts because it will be hard enough for me just answering and responding to him alone. I am sure I will get to your posts today also. Thank FOH. I will probably not answer back until tomorrow if that is ok.

    Proverbs 16:A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

    This is what got it started. I admitted that I seen man planning his way, “BUT” the Lord directing his steps.

    BR.D commented: “Whose steps are being directed?
    If they are man’s steps then that would be contradictory to Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism)
    In Theological Determinism the THEOS does not “direct” a man’s steps – he DETERMINES a man’s steps.

    My comment: ” THEOS just means God right? But BR.D our you differentiating between the Christian God of the Bible and what you would call the Calvinist THEOS? Am I right to say that you do not believe Calvinist are Christians? If so that is ok. But If I am right on what grounds to make that assertion if you do? Not going to debate that with you just curious.

    In Theological Compatibilism BR.D you must remember that the Calvinist says God “DECREES THINGS FROM ETERNITY” So you are right that the word determine would not be used there. Now I know you still disagree with what I just said but I had to clear up a misconception on your part. Then in time and history God brings about that which he has decreed or determined. Does that mean every single thought ect. like FOH said. I don’t know and that is why I am talking with you guys.

    Proverbs 16:A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

    I think this verse could mean as others have said, (nothing I say will be original) Man pursing his own devices or ways, unconsciously becomes the instrument of accomplishing the purpose of God. A verse that seems to harmonize with this one:

    Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

    Proverbs 19:21 – There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

    Psalms 105:25 – He turned their heart to hate His people, To deal craftily with His servants.

    This was when Israel was in bondage to Egypt. God had increased their number so that they had become stronger than their enemies. Psalms 105:24

    Now for a time of honesty here unless there is a logical explanation from you BR.D . Did God not turn the hearts of the Egyptians in some way to hate Israel.

    Now I agree with you BR.D that God did not do this directly with His power, or compelled them to hate Israel, or that God approved of it because takes no delight in evil. Hating is evil. Just trying to work through this. But I think as it has been stated by Calvinist, that nothing, (I said I think) is independent of God, not even the human will, free as it is, even the worst passions of men. Psalms 76:10 – Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

    John Gill a Calvinist said of this verse. ” Not that God put any hatred into them, there was no need of that, there is enough of evil in every man’s heart against good men, but God did not restrain that hatred, as he could have done, but he suffered to let it vent” And also did things that would stir it up by making Israel mightier and stronger!

    Ok BR.D I will stop there but I think I will come back to this. I think you can agree with some of this. There is nothing about God working evil directly in the hearts of men. But I want to concentrate more on Proverbs 16:9.

    1. speakingthetruthinloveblog
      BR.D commented: “Whose steps are being directed?
      If they are man’s steps then that would be contradictory to Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism)
      In Theological Determinism the THEOS does not “direct” a man’s steps – he DETERMINES a man’s steps.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      THEOS just means God right?

      br.d
      Yes – in the Greek of the NT “God” is “the THEOS”.
      And in Theological Determinism – the THEOS is the DETERMINER of all things

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Am I right to say that you do not believe Calvinist are Christians?

      br.d
      No that would be presumptuous of me.
      But using the term THEOS is more precise for enunciating conceptions that are involved in Theological Determinism

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      In Theological Compatibilism BR.D you must remember that the Calvinist says God “DECREES THINGS FROM ETERNITY” So you are right that the word determine would not be used there.

      br.d
      I don’t see the fact that “ETERNITY” has much to do with it.
      Its just that the language of these verses in no way infer man’s way is PRE-DETERMINED for him by the THEOS.
      Which is stipulated in Calvinism.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      God brings about that which he has decreed or determined. Does that mean every single thought ect.?

      br.d
      Yes – absolutely!
      That is why Theological Determinism is classified as *UNIVERSAL* divine causal determinism.
      The term “UNIVERSAL” means that *ALL* things without exception are predetermined before man is created.

      That’s why we use the math formula
      Take all things determined
      And Subtract *ALL* from it
      And what do you have left over for the creature to determine?

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Proverbs 16:….I think this verse could mean as others have said, …Man pursing his own devices or ways, unconsciously becomes the instrument of accomplishing the purpose of God.

      br.d
      Sure – but that verse would then work wonderfully for a NON-Calvinist reading.
      In other words if one were a NON-Calvinist he would interpret it the way you are doing.
      And the other verses likewise

      But again – that is LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE if man’s every plan is determined for him (not by him) before he is created

      Lets say you have a cardboard box of objects.
      And we say that you determined the color of *ALL* of the objects in the box
      How many objects does that leave left-over for someone else to determine the color of?
      And of course the answer is ZERO

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Did God not turn the hearts of the Egyptians in some way to hate Israel.

      br.d
      In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the THEOS at the foundation of the world determined EVERY neurological impulse the Egyptians would ever have.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Now I agree with you BR.D that God did not do this directly with His power, or compelled them ….

      br.d
      I’m assuming you believe the THEOS is a spirit – and a supernatural being.
      The decree then is a supernatural force of some kind.
      I don’t believe you would try to argue that the decree is without FORCE.

      Somehow the THEOS is able to transmit some kind of supernatural force from his supernatural domain – into the domain of human beings – such that your every neurological impulse is what he determined it to be.

      I don’t know the supernatural TRANSMISSION mechanism that is used.
      And Calvinists don’t stipulate they know what it is either.
      They just stipulate that that is what the THEOS does.

      However Calvin says this:
      -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 I, 17, 11.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Psalms 76:10 – Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

      br.d
      Now we have “restraining” language here.
      So again you are going to have to think this one through.
      If the THEOS at the foundation of the world has every micro-second scripted in advance – then what is he actually restraining except what he scripted?

      This brings us to the notion that man is created with AUTONOMY in Calvinism.
      And you must already know this is explicitly rejected in Calvinism

      All of the verses you are quoting so far speak of some kind of AUTONOMY.
      But in Calvinism everything man does is totally scripted before man is created

      1. br.d,

        As you know we have been around-and-around with the idea of “restraining”. RH pulls that one out when it is convenient for him.

        But your question is appropriate. If Calvinist Gill’s explanation means anything, then it means that God is not “restraining them” from…

        a. doing something is not planned by God

        b. doing something that would be considered “against His will.”

        I have never, ever received a response from a Calvinist on these simple questions:

        Can we do something that is against God’s will?

        Can we do something that God did not plan us to do?

        If the answers are “yes” then Reformed determinism is not possible.

        If the answers are “no” then Gill’s cheesy “did not restrain” is a smokescreen.

        But again, no Calvinists bother to answer this.

      2. Yes the restraining language is simply a smoke screen to create a man-made facade of what they see in scripture.
        Their strongest argument is that their system is derived from scripture.
        If they don’t have “divine restrain” then they don’t have that.
        So they must fabricate it.

      3. “Yes the restraining language is simply a smoke screen to create a man-made facade of what they see in scripture.
        Their strongest argument is that their system is derived from scripture.
        If they don’t have “divine restrain” then they don’t have that.
        So they must fabricate it.”

        This goes back to what BR.D and I were talking about earlier today and I was going to respond to tomorrow. BR.D said something to the effect: “What is God restraining if not his own decrees or what he has determined”

        Kinda like the same argument Dr. Flowers has used when he said: ” What is God redeeming if not his own decrees or determinations”

        But Dr. Flowers and those I am talking to on here will not deny this. Sorry have to use a few verses of Scripture to show this.

        1 Peter 1:20 – Christ was chosen even before the world was created, but because of you, he did not come until these last days.
        1 Peter 1:21 – And when he did come, it was to lead you to have faith in God, who raised him from death and honored him in a glorious way. This is why you have put your faith and hope in God.

        Before God even created the universe, the world or any human beings, before the Fall of Adam and Eve, Christ was Chosen, foreknown to die upon the Cross for sinners, Redemption in Christ.

        Now this was ordained to be before sin and death entered the world.

        God also knew before he ever determined to created anything including human beings that Adam and Eve would fall and sin would enter the world.

        It is like the atheist who mocks Christians because of the cross: God knew we would sin and needs to save us from Himself. His wrath and His eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire for all eternity.God knew we would sin, that he would have to die for our sins, and that work is God redeeming us from His own determination. Since he DETERMINED from the Non-Calvinist perspective to create the world as it would be.

        But here we have “smoke screen, man-made facade, So they must fabricate it” All insinuating dishonesty, that I am lying, just making things up. I am not here for a heated name calling debate or that which insinuates so. I thought I made myself clear.

        I am sorry BR.D. You were patient with me and you had me thinking. I am not the smarter Calvinist as you can see who can really quick;y answer back. I have to take time and think. I thought I had narrowed this down to you and I. But I do not think it is going to be possible. So God bless. Time to disappear. Hey we still have Gordon Fee!! 🙂

      4. speakingthetruthinloveblog
        God also knew before he ever determined to created anything including human beings that Adam and Eve would fall and sin would enter the world.

        br.d
        The question then is HOW did the THEOS know these?
        Remember Calvinism absolutely rejects Foreknowledge via observation.
        The THEOS doesn’t simply look into the future and know Adam and Eve will fall.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        He foresees future events only in CONSEQUENCE of his decree (Institutes Vol ii. p. 169.)

        So at the foundation of the world the THEOS FIRST-CONCEIVED Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit.
        He then RENDERED-CERTAIN Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit
        Knowing what he decreed – as IMMUTABLE – he knows Adam and Eve are NOT PERMITTED to falsify or negate his divine decree.

        On the restraining language used by Calvinists – think it through yourself.
        Nothing can come to pass unless every micro-second of it is meticulously decreed at the foundation of the world.
        So when in the future those things are ready to come to pass what is the THEOS at that point in time restraining?
        He’s restraining the very things he at the foundation of the world decreed come to pass.

        So how are we to understand the divine reason for restraining his own handy-work?
        Perhaps the THEOS wants to present the ILLUSION in people’s minds that he doesn’t meticulously decree everything?
        But john Calvin would absolutely reject that.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Hey we still have Gordon Fee!! 🙂

        And we have a gentleman’s way of dialog also! :-]

      5. Reading as much as time permits and the response to this comment below Br.d was greatly appreciated, because I knew a response was needed…..

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        God also knew before he ever determined to created anything including human beings that Adam and Eve would fall and sin would enter the world.

        Why did He know, because He meticulously determined it? Nah
        Like FOH said God wants a real/authentic relationship😊

      6. I find it forever ironic the degree and tenacity Calvinists will go to – to smuggle back into their system the very things it rejects :-]
        And the next minute they are boasting about how superior it is and how semi-heretical everything else is.

        Five minutes later their right back to smuggling in the very things they call semi-heretical!

        Too funny! :-]

      7. Reggie,

        I am so tempted to reply, I agree with you and I know you think there is no way that can be. But I just cannot handle talking to more than one person. I hope you understand. God bless Reggie. I may comment later because a response came immediately to my mind.

      8. BR.D,

        “I find it forever ironic the degree and tenacity Calvinists will go to – to smuggle back into their system the very things it rejects :-]
        And the next minute they are boasting about how superior it is and how semi-heretical everything else is.

        Five minutes later their right back to smuggling in the very things they call semi-heretical!

        Too funny! :-]

        Not sure if these was directed toward me or not.

        My comments: “Smuggling” meaning secretly and dishonestly. Wow. Being superior and smuggling in secretly and dishonestly things I consider semi-heretical.

        If this was directed toward me BR.D in what way did I do this. You did not think I was going to put Calvinism forward and not test your own system of belief also did you. I hope this is not what all the fuss is about. I hope I am making a mistake here. Because if I am I am going to take it as the MO of the Non-Calvinist when the questions get tough and the Calvinist questions the Non-Calvinist about his system of belief. Let me know if this was directed toward me so I will know it is the Non-Calvinist MO. Because I did none of things above if the comment was directed toward me. At least not on purpose or to my knowledge. Just asking questions. Nothing wrong with that is there. If i am mistaken please forgive me Sir.

        Take care BR.D

      9. Not meant specifically for you.
        And not meant to imply purposeful dishonesty
        But ‘Smuggle” is the best word I can find to describe the phenomenon.

        Here is what I think is going on with Calvinists

        Dr. Bella Depaulo, Social Scientist, in her book: The Hows and Whys of Lies:
        -quote
        “Altruistic dishonesty occurs when a person is working to protect a ‘target’. A high percentage of people who rationalize the use of dishonest language, experience some sub-level degree of discomfort, but which is effectively outweighed by rationalizations. And they generally do not regard their lies as lies. And this is especially true with people who are working to protect a ‘target’.”

        These are called “other-oriented” or “altruistic” dishonesties. Protecting the ‘target’ allows them to perceive themselves as honest rather than dishonest. For the sake of protecting the ‘target,’ a high percentage report they would have felt worse if they had been honest, because honesty would have revealed things about the “target” they do not want people to see.”

      10. “Not meant specifically for you.
        And not meant to imply purposeful dishonesty
        But ‘Smuggle” is the best word I can find to describe the phenomenon.”

        Really…Thats a round about way of saying yes it is meant for you. And you say say even stronger later. A high percentage of people who rationalize the use of dishonest language, experience some sub-level degree of discomfort, but which is effectively outweighed by rationalizations. And they generally do not regard their lies as lies. (Thanks for the quote it was useful)

        BR.D quoted: “br.d
        And I also recognize that the Calvinist will reject this one minute and then work to smuggle it back in the next minute. Lets take a look at how that is done in this post”

        Wrong This is just your now true colors showing true brother. I am so disappointed. We had a good thing going. Now you want to paint me as being sneaky and dishonest because I have brought a couple of hard questions to your own system of belief. That always seems to rattle the Non-Calvinist like something I have never understood.If I am to give up one false system of belief can I not know if the other is true or false and test it if a few questions with out you going ballistic. You started going down the same road as FOH. Then the chicks on the started are starting to come in droves to the rescue.

        I just wanted a civil conversation. Where we discussed the issues. Thats all and I get accused of lying, being dishonest, smuggling and being sneaking. Because you cannot handle (and you did not do very well because you did not interact with them very good) a couple of questions

        Let’s remember:

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        “Yes, we have discussed this before. In Calvinism the Christian God knows the future of time and history not by his foreknowledge (nothing to do with looking into the future) but because he has decreed it.”

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        “But I was arguing from a Non-Calvinist THEOS point of view. That sees the future from Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge.”

        Now your going to accuse me of “smuggling” again and you still do not remember that I am arguing as if I am a Non-Calvinist not a Calvinist. I am also going to give you a Sunday School lesson on the “let your yes be yes and your no be no. And a little lesson on the Poetic Scriptures. Did I just call them Scriptures?

        Speakingthetruthinlove quote: “Before God even created the universe, the world or any human beings, before the Fall of Adam and Eve, Christ was Chosen, foreknown to die upon the Cross for sinners, Redemption in Christ.”

        Now remember what I said as I was making my case and argument here BR.D and I think you know it to. And you thought I would miss it. You should have talk to Mr. Wagner first. I cannot say I was better than him in any of our discussion but he will tell you I do not miss much and I can put things together real good.

        This is what I said about the quote above BR.D

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        “But I was arguing from a Non-Calvinist THEOS point of view. That sees the future from Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge.”

        Once again BR.D I was arguing (not quarreling) from a Non-Calvinist point of view so I was not “smuggling, being dishonest, or sneaky about anything. Now your quote where you directly charge with these these sins.

        br.d
        Here it is! Foreknowledge via observation being smuggled back in.
        In Calvinism this is rejected – because in Calvinism such knowledge is a CONSEQUENCE of the decrees.

        BR.D, did we not establish that fact? “That such knowledge is a CONSEQUENCE OF THE DECREES. Did I not say it in my other quote?

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        “Yes, we have discussed this before. In Calvinism the Christian God knows the future of time and history not by his foreknowledge (nothing to do with looking into the future) but because he has decreed it.”

        Why the false allegations and then try and make me look like the bad guy here. Man I hate this. I was actually starting to look up to you because you were helping me. At least I thought.

        To think you are going to lecture me on evil communications later on. Wow!!

        Mr. Brian Wagner, you know this time I really really tried. I was on my best behavior. I was respectful. I did not personally attack anyone. I put to much faith in people.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        God also knew before he ever determined to created anything including human beings that Adam and Eve would fall and sin would enter the world.

        br.d
        FALSE
        Foreknowledge is a CONSEQUENCE of the decrees.
        The only way the THEOS knows Adam and Eve’s action is by specifically decreeing it.

        Here we go again. The same thing BR.D. I know that from the Calvinist perspective God knows all that will be because he has decreed it from all eternity. But from the Non-Calvinist perspective he knows all things from eternity because of his Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge. That is the point of view of I was arguing from to see how your system of belief would respond to it. Instead you still cannot just directly speak to hit without hiding behind Calvinism and “smuggling” it back in and being aboveboard.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        You said no one has ever answered your God restraining his own decrees or determinations. Well I have attempted to do so. If you could please interact with what I said. I know atheist say they do not believe in God but that is an argument they use.

        br.d
        All that is being done here is a YEA-NAY TAP dance .
        One minute rejecting Foreknowledge via observation – and the next minute smuggling it back in.

        No all that is, IS you got surprised and could not answer the question adequately. That is what set you off along with the question about Autonomous Self-Governing LFW and God Judicially hardening someone.

        The one question was what you said about “God restraining his own Decrees and I likened it to what Dr. Flowers said about “God redeeming His own Decrees.

        My partial answer was something like this. I wish you would go back and read it fully and slowly.

        “This is a rather odd objection. It is like the atheist who mocks Christians because of the cross: God knew we would sin and needs to save us from Himself. But Dr. Flowers accepts the following with no problem: God knew we would sin, that he would have to die for our sins, and that work is God redeeming us from His own determination.”

        As I said I know atheist say they do not believe in God but this is an argument they use. I wish I would have never asked those two questions or interacted with FOH.

        Nothing personal with FOH but it seems he just wants to quarrel, accuse and have a heated debate instead of respectfully discussing the issues. Which I had high hopes for you BR.D. You were being so kind. You know you really had me thinking when I was asking you questions about Proverbs 16:9. BR.D, Rome was not built in a day. But is this what you really like to do also in your heart. Just quarrel, accuse and have a heated debate instead of discussing the issues.

        When you were being kind and respectful. I was actually listening. But now I have closed my ears because of what you think of me. Wait, you were actually practicing a truth and principle of God’s word at first, being reverent, respectful, not quarreling with those in opposition. And I was listening.

        You even said what we had “was a cordial conversation” Why BR.D Why? Why do I believe you will just deny you did anything wrong.

      11. Speakingtruth you actually responded to me and not Br.d I too hope as Heather that you are searching and your questions are good, but ultimately trusting in the harmony of God’s Word matters and maybe this statement you make below does matter;

        [[[Mr. Brian Wagner, you know this time I really really tried. I was on my best behavior. I was respectful. I did not personally attack anyone. I put to much faith in people.]]]

        Please please please never put your faith in any person they/we will ALWAYS let you down. My hope is you do see His love is real and authentic and meant for all, but not all will except this free precious gift☹ anyway hope your knee surgery goes well I believe you mentioned you may need this.
        In Him alone we can stand🌻

      12. br/d
        “Not meant specifically for you.
        And not meant to imply purposeful dishonesty
        But ‘Smuggle” is the best word I can find to describe the phenomenon.”

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Really…Thats a round about way of saying yes it is meant for you.

        br,d
        Yup really! You are simply expressing what most Calvinists have been taught.
        To say YEA now and NAY later
        However with using different phrases.

        In this case “Foreknowledge via observation” is first rejected
        But then it is smuggled back in by simply using different terminology
        Replaced with “Exhaustive knowledge of what Adam will do prior to the decree”
        Which LOGICALLY resolves to “Foreknowledge via observation”

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Wrong This is just your now true colors showing true brother. I am so disappointed. We had a good thing going. Now you want to paint me as being sneaky and dishonest because I have brought a couple of hard questions to your own system of belief.

        br.d
        You see this as hard question.
        But you are simply doing what you’ve been taught to do.
        Reject [A] and then somehow find a way to bring [A] back into your system.
        Its that simple.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        I just wanted a civil conversation. Where we discussed the issues. Thats all and I get accused of lying, being dishonest, smuggling and being sneaking. Because you cannot handle (and you did not do very well because you did not interact with them very good) a couple of questions

        br.d
        What would you say to a young girl who makes excuses for her boyfriend who is beating her?
        Would you call her a lair?
        No- that would be cruel
        But you know she is not being honest – right?
        Would you let her know she is not being honest – probably

        Let’s remember:
        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        “Yes, we have discussed this before. In Calvinism the Christian God knows the future of time and history not by his foreknowledge (nothing to do with looking into the future) but because he has decreed it.”

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        “But I was arguing from a Non-Calvinist THEOS point of view. That sees the future from Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge.”

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Once again BR.D I was arguing (not quarreling) from a Non-Calvinist point of view so I was not “smuggling, being dishonest, or sneaky about anything. Now your quote where you directly charge with these these sins.

        br.d
        Perhaps I misunderstood where you were going.
        If that is the case I apologize
        But it looked to me like you were simply following the same pattern I see with Calvinists here.
        Reject [A] and then smuggle [A] back in using different terminology.

        So lets say I misunderstood your post and you were not in fact using YEA NAY language.
        Lets say you were acknowledging that in NON-Calvinism “Foreknowledge via observation” is accepted. Its not clear to me that you went any place with that. And that is why I read your post as YEA NAY language.

        So what relevance does the Non-Calvinist position have on this issue?

      13. BR.D,

        Now for the Sunday School Lesson

        BR.D said and I quote: “Jesus says: Let your communication be YEA YEA or NAY NAY for anything else comes of evil.

        All divine knowledge is the CONSEQUENCE of decrees!
        And not the other way around

        Let your communication on that be YEA YEA or NAY NAY – because anything else comes of evil”

        My response: ” This is an “absolute command” Why you think it applies to me I do not know. You are either being self-deceived because you have not read what I wrote closely and slowly enough or you are being flat out being disingenuous and trying to spin what I said which would be “evil communication.” Such things ought not to be.

        Now for the Sunday School Lesson. BR.D. If I say I am coming over to your house after work on a Monday to help you dig a water line ditch and then make an excuse that is not true and do not come that is a lie, evil communication and a sin. Let my yes be yes and my no be no. Anything else is sin.

        Are there exceptions to this command. Yelp there sure “are” 🙂 If I say I am coming over to your house on a Monday to help you dig ditch for a water line, then my mother becomes very ill to the point that she has to go to the hospital. I call you and say I cannot make it and explain why. I told you YES I was coming but now I am telling NO I am not coming. Did I sin? No, What I said was legitimate and true and takes priority over digging a ditch, unless because I am a Calvinist I would still be a liar and should have just forget about my seriously sick mom and come and dug that ditch anyway. Not really sure at the moment. Since things are being spun on here and my reputation is being attacked.

        I have not been perfect on here. I know I have probably said things where I have contradicted myself. I know you have BR.D By admitting that I have in the past and in the present acknowledged knowing that from the Calvinist system of belief God knows all from eternity because he decreed it.

        But you still write:

        “All divine knowledge is the CONSEQUENCE of decrees!
        And not the other way around

        Let your communication on that be YEA YEA or NAY NAY – because anything else comes of evil”

        We both know THAT I KNOW “all divine knowledge” from the Calvinist system of belief “is the Consequence of decrees” I have said that and made it plain and clear I was arguing a point from the Non-Calvinist point of view.

        Two quotes again from earlier posts. I just love documentation.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Yes, we have discussed this before. In Calvinism the Christian God knows the future of time and history not by his foreknowledge (nothing to do with looking into the future) but because he has decreed it.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        But I was arguing from a Non-Calvinist THEOS point of view. That sees the future from Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge.

        So either you have just misunderstood, misspoke, or maliciously disingenuous to assassinate my character by spinning what I have said.

        Could everyone else please stay out of this. BR.D is a big boy. He does need to be in a witness protection program. I know he is a Christian, I know he is a man who loves God and fears the Lord. But he accused me and I think I should at least defend myself and show where he at least misspoke. If that is all it was. Maybe he just misunderstood.

        I am not angry. A little hurt. Because I thought you were different. That we could talk and engage respectfully without all this baggage.

      14. Please go back to my previous post where I apologized if I misunderstood what you were communicating. It looks like what I’ve seen a thousand times. So please read the end of my last post to you

      15. BR.D,

        Now for the Poetic Scriptures that you, FOH and others say do not teach any Doctrine whatsoever.

        Just a quick statement before I build on my argument.

        Luke 24:44 – Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

        Why does Poetry/Psalms have to be fulfilled. I would say there it is highly likely that there is some doctrinal teaching in the Psalms if there are things to be fulfilled.

        Then in Proverbs 16:6 – In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.

        Thats Doctrine BR.D, Teaching from the Most High God. You don’t think so. The Apostle Paul echos the same teaching in the New Testament.

        2 Corinthians 7:1 – Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

        By the fear of the Lord one departs from evil (Psalms) and by the fear of the Lord one cleanses oneself from the filthiness of sin (Hebrews)

        I can find examples like this all day long. You know this BR.D. If you deny it I am just going to chuckle and move on. Because that is all it is going to be is denial because one is deluded in his mind with one thing, exposing Calvinism. Have you noticed that I have taken breaks from here like 4 to 5 days away from posting. Because there is more to this Christian life than debating this one subject that has gone on for centuries. There is Christian living BR.D. The Whole Counsel of God. We get so caught up in this that we lose track of the whole counsel of God. There are souls to be saved, living out God’s will in our lives. You will respond something like. “The THEOS”…..You can be kind and Christlike. When you did that to me. It made me want to even more. You are intelligent. Anyone can see that. That does not mean you are always right.

        Let me continue: Compare

        Proverbs 8:22–23 – “The Lord possessed[a] me at the beginning of his work,
        the first of his acts of old.
        23 Ages ago I was set up,
        at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

        Luke 11:49 – Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’

        1 Corinthians 1:24 – but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

        1 Corinthians 1:30 – 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—

        John 17:5 – And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

        Once again I see Doctrinal teaching in Proverbs that exist in the New Testament.

        Proverbs 4:2 – For I give you good doctrine: Do not forsake my law.

        Doctrine? Doctrine in poetry? I was told this could not be. Sanctified Sarcasm guys. Brian understands. At this point with being called dishonest, smuggling and sneaky by at least two people I think I can utter that and get away with it.

        I want to say this real quick of some things that BR.D said about Proverbs, Psalms etc. Just a quote from memory, paraphrase: He quoted the verse about teaching a child from his youth and when he grows old he will not depart from it. I agree with him there. That is not an absolute. No more than Psalms 91 is. As said in Psalms 91 the Lord is our shield, our refuge, he is faithful, but there are still times that disease and evil touch our lives. So this Psalm is not an absolute or universal to all. But there is doctrinal teaching within the these books that teach us of the very nature of God, of of faithfulness, God as the creator. And much more. As all Scripture is profitable/useful for doctrinal teaching. Remember that verse in the NT. I will show you later.

        But there a lotta more:

        To say that Proverbs and Psalms are not or should not be sources of doctrine is theologically disabling. Take the doctrine of God for example. If you look is the Psalms it is so pregnant with with statements that demonstrate the nature of God. It is hard to read any Psalm without some impact upon our understanding of him.

        Even Psalms 91 does teach us about the integrity of God, that he is our refuge, and His faithfulness. That is doctrine, teaching about the God of Heaven.

        2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

        If the Psalms and Proverbs are NOT sound doctrinally, then by definition, they are not Scripture.

        Psalms and Proverbs are Scripture. So the WORD OF GOD NOT THOSE HERE ON SOTERIOLOGY101 TELLS ME that “all Scripture, including “Psalms and Proverbs” is given by the very inspiration of God, and is profitable/USEFUL for “DOCTRINE” reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.

        The Psalms and Proverbs are LOADED with doctrine,not necessarily Church doctrine.

        There is also much eschatology taught within the Psalms which is doctrine.

        Psalms 110:1 – The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”

        Matthew 22:44 – “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’?

        1 Corinthians 15:25 – For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

        Hebrews 1:13 – And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?

        Hebrews 10:12-13 -But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
        13. waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.

        No, Psalms and Proverbs were never meant to be doctrinal letters but we can find doctrine within them. Thats my story and I am sticking with it.

        So sorry it started off good and then spiraled down in such negativity and accusations. I should have known better. I do not judge. Because I have sinned and failed miserably on here in the past myself. Even now I know my words are not without sin. And for that I do ask anyone that I have offended to forgive me.

      16. If you took a college level class in hermeneutics you would hear the professor warn against using Hebrew poetry to make doctrine.

      17. Heather,

        One who truly is kind-hearted and is not looking to sinfully quarrel. This is most refreshing. I do want to respond to you briefly Heather. BR.D and I are no longer conversing and I am about to disappear for a while and maybe permanently. I don’t want this aggressive tone of sinfully quarreling and accusations. But a civil and respectful discussion.

        I will only comment to you one time and then you can respond with the last word because of your kindness. Pray for me Heather.

        Heather you said and I quote: “I would be careful about putting too much on that one verse, about boxing God in to one way of working in the world. I look at it like a generalization, that we like to make plans about our futures but only God really knows the best paths to take and He will lead us in the ways He wants us to go, if we are willing to obey Him.

        The reason I say to be careful about putting too much on that one verse is that we also have these verses about things the Bible says actually happened:”

        My Response to Heather: “If you read the what I wrote to BR.D carefully (no disrespect) you will notice I was not putting to much or everything into that one verse. It was only a starting point. I actually thought BR.D made some good points that I need to think about.

        Heather said and I quote: “Isaiah 30:1: “‘Woe to the obstinate children,’ declares the Lord, ‘to those who carry out plans that are not mine …’” (How is it possible for them to have plans that didn’t come from the Lord or to fail to carry out plans He wanted them to carry out if He determines every step they take?)

        This is God’s revealed will to us Heather. But I want to show you something in God’s Word that no one on here is yet to answer me yet.

        2 Samuel 24: 1 Again the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.”

        We see God was angry with Israel. so God moves David’s heart against them “to go number Israel and Judah which was as Sin. Because God wanted to punish Israel. This will become clear as we see more in 2 Samuel 24. But God moved David to number Israel which was a sin? We both know there has to be more to the story than this because God is holy and does not tempt anyone to sin.

        2 Samuel 24:3 And Joab said to the king, “Now may the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times more than there are, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king desire this thing?”

        Even Joab tries to get David not to do this because it was a sin.

        4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab and against the captains of the army. Therefore Joab and the captains of the army went out from the presence of the king to count the people of Israel.

        David counts Israel and Judah anyway as God moves David against them to number them because he is angry with them. (Verse 1)

        2 Samuel 24:10 – And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

        Now Heather we see David’s heart is convicted of doing this sin of numbering Israel that God moved Him to do. His heart condemned Him. He says he has sinned greatly and ask the Lord to take away his iniquity for he has acted foolishly.

        So how can God move David’s heart to do something that is sinful and not be culpable. There is parallel passage that explains it all. All by the way your welcome to read all of 2 Samuel 24.

        1 Chronicles 21:1 – Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel

        Notice Heather. It was through the agency of Satan that God moved David’s heart and will to number Israel. LFW? I do not think David could have done otherwise. Or Satan. Both are under God’s Sovereign Control.

        But the fact remains Heather, God was angry with Israel, wanted to punish them (I will show you that) and God used Satan to have David move David to something that was a sin in the eyes of God, Something that God did not delight in. But it was God’s will although he did not delight in it. Just like he did not delight in the murder of Christ but it was by lawless hands that God determined and predestined that it would come about. (Acts 4:27. Acts 2:23, Isa. 53:10)

        1 Chronicles 21:3 And Joab answered, “May the Lord make His people a hundred times more than they are. But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why then does my lord require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt in Israel?”

        Once again as in 2 Samuel 24 we have Joab trying to persuade David not to number Israel and cause guilt in Israel.

        1 Chronicles 21:4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab…. Same as 2 Samuel 24:4

        1 Chronicles 21:7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel. 8 So David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I pray, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

        Notice God is displeased with the very thing He moved Satan to do. Remember look back at 2 Samuel 24:1 where it says God moved David to number Israel and then in 1 Chronicles 21:1 it says Satan moved David to number Israel. God used the agency of Satan to accomplish his will of having David number Israel which was a sin. Because God was angry with Israel 2 Samuel 24:1.

        And God wanted to punish Israel and he does so.

        1 Chronicles 21:11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Choose for yourself, 12 either [d]three years of famine, or three months to be defeated by your foes with the sword of your enemies overtaking you, or else for three days the sword of the Lord—the plague in the land, with the [e]angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now consider what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.”

        13 And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

        You see Heather, I am not throwing all my stock into one verse. There is more to this discussion that has raged on for centuries than those here at Soteriology101 would like for you to believe. It is not cut and dry as one would like to believe.

        I actually admitted in that one verse that I seen “man planning his way” I also see in other translations where it say “But” the Lord “establishes, determines” his steps.

      18. BR.D,

        Stated and I quote: “Remember Calvinism absolutely rejects Foreknowledge via observation.
        The THEOS doesn’t simply look into the future and know Adam and Eve will fall.”

        Yes, we have discussed this before. In Calvinism the Christian God knows the future of time and history not by his foreknowledge (nothing to do with looking into the future) but because he has decreed it.

        But I was arguing from a Non-Calvinist THEOS point of view. That sees the future from Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge.

        So let me lay down the case again.

        “This goes back to what BR.D and I were talking about earlier today and I was going to respond to tomorrow. BR.D said something to the effect: “What is God restraining if not his own decrees or what he has determined”

        Kinda like the same argument Dr. Flowers has used when he said: ” What is God redeeming if not his own decrees or determinations”

        But Dr. Flowers and those I am talking to on here will not deny this. Sorry have to use a few verses of Scripture to show this.

        1 Peter 1:20 – Christ was chosen even before the world was created, but because of you, he did not come until these last days.
        1 Peter 1:21 – And when he did come, it was to lead you to have faith in God, who raised him from death and honored him in a glorious way. This is why you have put your faith and hope in God.

        Before God even created the universe, the world or any human beings, before the Fall of Adam and Eve, Christ was Chosen, foreknown to die upon the Cross for sinners, Redemption in Christ.

        Now this was ordained to be before sin and death entered the world.

        God also knew before he ever determined to created anything including human beings that Adam and Eve would fall and sin would enter the world.

        It is like the atheist who mocks Christians because of the cross: God knew we would sin and needs to save us from Himself. His wrath and His eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire for all eternity.God knew we would sin, that he would have to die for our sins, and that work is God redeeming us from His own determination. Since he DETERMINED from the Non-Calvinist perspective to create the world as it would be.”

        He sent Christ to clean up His and redeem what he created/determined/knew would be. That is why Christ was chosen and foreknown before the fall to bring redemption. THEOS created a world where THEOS knew from the Non-Calvinist position the created creature in THEOS image would become sinful. So THEOS from eternity decreed a remedey to redeem THEOS’s own DETERMINATION to create a world where THEOS knew from all eternity THEOS’s creation in THEOS’s image would become sinful. Now THEOS is cleaning up, redeeming that which he determined to create and knew would be before he created.

        You said no one has ever answered your God restraining his own decrees or determinations. Well I have attempted to do so. If you could please interact with what I said. I know atheist say they do not believe in God but that is an argument they use.

      19. BR.D,

        Stated and I quote: “Remember Calvinism absolutely rejects Foreknowledge via observation.
        The THEOS doesn’t simply look into the future and know Adam and Eve will fall.”

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Yes, we have discussed this before. In Calvinism the Christian God knows the future of time and history not by his foreknowledge (nothing to do with looking into the future) but because he has decreed it.

        br.d
        And I also recognize that the Calvinist will reject this one minute and then work to smuggle it back in the next minute.
        Lets take a look at how that is done in this post

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        But I was arguing from a Non-Calvinist THEOS point of view. That sees the future from Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge.
        So let me lay down the case again.

        “This goes back to what BR.D and I were talking about earlier today and I was going to respond to tomorrow. BR.D said something to the effect: “What is God restraining if not his own decrees or what he has determined”
        Kinda like the same argument Dr. Flowers has used when he said: ” What is God redeeming if not his own decrees or determinations”

        But Dr. Flowers and those I am talking to on here will not deny this. Sorry have to use a few verses of Scripture to show this.

        1 Peter 1:20 – Christ was chosen even before the world was created, but because of you, he did not come until these last days.
        1 Peter 1:21 – And when he did come, it was to lead you to have faith in God, who raised him from death and honored him in a glorious way. This is why you have put your faith and hope in God.

        Before God even created the universe, the world or any human beings, before the Fall of Adam and Eve, Christ was Chosen, foreknown to die upon the Cross for sinners, Redemption in Christ.

        br.d
        Here it is! Foreknowledge via observation being smuggled back in.
        In Calvinism this is rejected – because in Calvinism such knowledge is a CONSEQUENCE of the decrees.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Now this was ordained to be before sin and death entered the world.

        br.d
        Now this is DECREED to be before sin and death entered the world.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        God also knew before he ever determined to created anything including human beings that Adam and Eve would fall and sin would enter the world.

        br.d
        FALSE
        Foreknowledge is a CONSEQUENCE of the decrees.
        The only way the THEOS knows Adam and Eve’s action is by specifically decreeing it.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        You said no one has ever answered your God restraining his own decrees or determinations. Well I have attempted to do so. If you could please interact with what I said. I know atheist say they do not believe in God but that is an argument they use.

        br.d
        All that is being done here is a YEA-NAY TAP dance .
        One minute rejecting Foreknowledge via observation – and the next minute smuggling it back in.

        Jesus says: Let your communication be YEA YEA or NAY NAY for anything else comes of evil.

        All divine knowledge is the CONSEQUENCE of decrees!
        And not the other way around

        Let your communication on that be YEA YEA or NAY NAY – because anything else comes of evil

      20. speakingthetruthinloveblog
        I do not think at this moment I agree with your Calvinist view you have articulated. 😉 Have a good night. You have given me things to think about.

        br.d
        That is the very reason I quote many Calvinist voices of influence – and most importantly Calvin himself on these issues.
        Best for now – and be well!

      21. Just a quick question for BR.D and FOH.

        Can God divinely harden Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Free Will Individuals? Those who can choose between two options? I am speaking in a spiritual moral sense of God causing them to reject Him and become hostile in their minds toward Him.

      22. Of course that is a Gotcha question.

        I will play one more time.

        Yes He can harden. Just like He can strike someone down if He wants. But what is He “hardening”? and why?

        That automatically infers that the heart was NOT hard before, right?

        If God warns someone many times, and they dont obey, He can strike them down if He likes or harden them and let them live a useless life. But the fact still remains that the person was able to obey BEFORE he was hardened.

      23. FOH, are you ok. You seem so angry in your tone.

        “I am wondering if you are really trying to “search this through and consider” or if you are just taking the long approach with us. You are using all the pre-used “Gotcha” verses that determinist use and ignoring all that I write to you.”

        Unnecessary and uncalled for. I am being serious when I say I do not understand all of this. I am working through this. Of course I am going to throw at you the normal Calvinist answers and responses to see what is given back. You cannot see my heart only God can.

        This is not what I am looking for in a conversation. I do not have time to cover every single little word and detail you say. There are two people. You and BR.D.

        Then the so-called “scattergun” you keep accusing me of. FOH, I do not use no more than maybe 4 verses each post.

        Not to mention you put forth several verses in your comments to Sir.

        Then you say they are gotcha verses. This is getting old. We both know both sides have verses that come from the Bible not “pre-used Gotcha verses” Show me where they are wrong. If I am taking them out of context.

        You know what FOH. I like you. I really do. But I feel you like a heated debate and I just cannot give you one. So I am going to end it right here. I am not angry. I just do not want to hear this tone on a daily basis. No I am not sensitive and you can ask Brian Wagner I am very thick skin. I can turn it on but I will not allow my flesh to back down that road and I will avoid at all cost any temptation that tempts me to do so.

        FOH, I am not angry. Please forgive me. I am just trying to avoid what might be a disaster. You believe I am being disingenuous. Look at my conversation with BR.D. That should be enough to tell you I do not know what I am talking about and I am still learning. Take care and God bless FOH

      24. speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Just a quick question for BR.D and FOH.

        Can God divinely harden Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Free Will Individuals? Those who can choose between two options? I am speaking in a spiritual moral sense of God causing them to reject Him and become hostile in their minds toward Him.

        br.d
        In Calvinism we have the rejection of “mere” permission – where the THEOS “merely” permits a person to harden his own heart.
        But in a world where “mere” permission exists – the THEOS can in fact ALLOW the person to harden his own heart.

        But also in a Non-Calvinist world the THEOS can harden a person’s heart if he wants to.
        However – per divine ethics as described in scripture – if the the hardening process is totally the handy-work of the THEOS – then any wrath he expresses – would be expressed towards his own handy-work.

        The individual in this case would be nothing more than a manipulated object. Remember in Calvinism you have the divine potter designing vessels as vessels of wrath. That vessel is simply a manipulated object.

      25. speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Just a quick question for BR.D and FOH.

        Can God divinely harden Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Free Will Individuals? Those who can choose between two options? I am speaking in a spiritual moral sense of God causing them to reject Him and become hostile in their minds toward Him.

        br.d
        In Calvinism we have the rejection of “mere” permission – where the THEOS “merely” permits a person to harden his own heart.
        But in a world where “mere” permission exists – the THEOS can in fact ALLOW the person to harden his own heart.

        But also in a Non-Calvinist world the THEOS can harden a person’s heart if he wants to.
        However – per divine ethics as described in scripture – if the the hardening process is totally the handy-work of the THEOS – then any wrath he expresses – would be expressed towards his own handy-work.

        The individual in this case would be nothing more than a manipulated object. Remember in Calvinism you have the divine potter designing vessels as vessels of wrath. That vessel is simply a manipulated object.

        BR.D I only wanted to test the Calvinist view against your replies and then ask yes this loaded question against your belief of LFW. It is something you would have brought up in a reply against Calvinism. No malicious intent meant.

        My Comment: “If a man has such a freedom of contrary choice he would be able to simply always choose contrary. But if he can simply choose contrary, then hardening is pointless as a man could always choose contrary and would render the hardening pointless.

        Hardening is not synonymous with reprobation. Reprobation is a timeless decision by God. Hardening happens in time. Although God may harden the reprobate, hardening serves more than one purpose. Hardening can be temporary. ( I know this is the Calvinist view) But the first comment is what I am really interested in you responding to. I am just showing the difference between hardening and reprobation.

        God chooses individuals for different reasons. Take God’s choice of Judas compared to God’s choice of Paul.

        Judas was never going to be saved although it is said God desires to save everyone. Jesus called him a devil, the son of perdition which means “man doomed to destruction and Jesus said it would have been better if Jesus had never been born. Just like Pharaoh was only born for one purpose. Not be know God’s redemptive Grace. But that God would raise him up and show forth his power in Him and make his name great in all the earth. Did God ever do that in a most powerful demonstrating way in Egypt. Ultimately destroying Pharaoh and his army in the sea.

        Now Paul was chosen from His mother’s womb.

        Galatians 1:15 – But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,
        16. was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;

        Could Paul with His LFW have rejected that call. From the Calvinist perspective of course no and from your perspective even though you believe in LFW I would assume your answer would be no. Because THEOS knew before he even created what Paul’s decision to the Holy Call would be.

        God didn’t harden of Pharaoh to keep him from exercising saving faith, Rather, the purpose was to make him fanatically stubborn, so that he didn’t exercise prudence.

        All those destructive miracles and killing of the first born and the this King, Pharaoh was in sinful madness with judicial hardening to bring about God’s purpose as illustrated in Romans. To make his name great in all the earth. Then it is said that God is a glory hog and is starving for attention. God deserves the Glory and to be Praised in all the Earth. The whole earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord. Even the wrath of man will Praise Him.

        But my response to your answer to my question once again: “If a man has such a freedom of contrary choice he would be able to simply always choose contrary. But if he can simply choose contrary, then hardening is pointless as a man could always choose contrary and would render the hardening pointless.”

        Have a good night BR.D and God Bless.

      26. speakingthetruthinloveblog
        In a NON-Calvinist world – “If a man has such a freedom of contrary choice he would be able to simply always choose contrary. But if he can simply choose contrary, then hardening is pointless as a man could always choose contrary and would render the hardening pointless.

        br.d
        I think this reasoning fails.
        Firstly – I will assume that you perceive in Calvinism the THEOS himself has contrary choice.
        If so does that make things concerning him pointless?

        In the Non-Calvinist world
        The THEOS could simply ALLOW man to use his contrary choice to harden himself.
        Or
        The THEOS could use his supernatural power to harden the man if he wanted to – and simply over-rule the man’s contrary choice.
        But if he over-rules the man’s contrary choice then he must bear full responsibility for the consequences of doing so – because in that case the THEOS is the only one exercising contrary choice. And with contrary choice comes adult responsibility.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Hardening is not synonymous with reprobation. Reprobation is a timeless decision by God. Hardening happens in time. Although God may harden the reprobate, hardening serves more than one purpose. Hardening can be temporary. ( I know this is the Calvinist view) But the first comment is what I am really interested in you responding to. I am just showing the difference between hardening and reprobation.

        br.d
        I agree hardening is not synonymous with reprobation.
        In Calvinism the vast majority if the creatures are designed to be reprobate.
        So the THEOS is the CAUSE of their reprobation.

        In the Non-Calvinist world reprobation occurs as a consequence of creatures having LFW choices.
        So their contrary choice is the CAUSE of their reprobation.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        God chooses individuals for different reasons. Take God’s choice of Judas compared to God’s choice of Paul.

        br.d
        In Non-Calvinism it does not follow that Judas was chosen or designed for the purpose of betraying Jesus.
        But in the Calvinist system it does.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Judas was never going to be saved

        br.d
        For the Non-Calvinist – this concept is IMPOSED upon the text.
        And predicated on canonizing Theological Determinism making it equal to scripture.
        It functions as a filter through which the Calvinist reads the text.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        although it is said God desires to save everyone.

        br.d
        This is not a Calvinist position

        Here is Calvin on 1 Timothy 2:2-4
        -quote
        “The Apostle simply means, that there is no people and no rank in the world that is excluded from salvation”
        (John Calvin’s Commentary 1 Timothy)

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Jesus called judas a devil, the son of perdition which means “man doomed to destruction”

        br.d
        So in Calvinism the THEOS at the foundation of the world designed Judas to be “doomed to destruction”
        And in Calvinism the vast majority of the human race is designed for that purpose also.
        Thus their doom is the consequence of the decree – and they have no say in the matter.
        While in Non-Calvinism these individual’s doom is a consequence of their own LFW choices.
        Same with Pharaoh

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Now Paul was chosen from His mother’s womb.

        br.d
        So in Calvinism – Paul’s every neurological impulse is programmed at the foundation of the world.
        Paul has no say in this matter – he is only permitted to think thoughts the THEOS decrees him to think.
        He is not permitted to refrain from excepting Jesus
        All of his choices have been determined for him before he was created.

        The Calvinist has to take those concepts and READ THEM INTO those statements by Paul
        While in the Non-Calvinist system Paul can refrain from excepting Jesus if he so chooses.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Could Paul with His LFW have rejected that call. From the Calvinist perspective of course no and from your perspective even though you believe in LFW I would assume your answer would be no.

        br.d
        In the Non-Calvinist world the THEOS sets both life and death before Paul and “merely” permits him to choose.
        Both life and death are thus made available for Paul alone to choose – and his choice is not made for him by the THEOS.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Because THEOS knew before he even created what Paul’s decision to the Holy Call would be.

        br.d
        This would be true in Theological Determinism.
        But not in a world in which the THEOS sets before his creatures the choice of life or death – making both options exist as REAL and AVAILABLE the the creature to choose. In the Non-Calvinist world the THEOS can have have complete knowledge of every choice a creature would make in any given circumstance without determining those choices for the creature.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        God didn’t harden of Pharaoh to keep him from exercising saving faith, Rather, the purpose was to make him fanatically stubborn, so that he didn’t exercise prudence.

        br.d
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the THEOS designed Pharaoh as he designed Judas and the vast majority of human beings – doomed to destruction.

        In the Non-Calvinist world – hardening is a consequence of people’s LFW choices.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        All those destructive miracles and killing of the first born and the this King, Pharaoh was in sinful madness with judicial hardening to bring about God’s purpose as illustrated in Romans. To make his name great in all the earth. Then it is said that God is a glory hog and is starving for attention. God deserves the Glory and to be Praised in all the Earth. The whole earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord. Even the wrath of man will Praise Him.

        br.d
        So in the Calvinist world the THEOS creates the vast majority of his creatures for eternal torment in a lake of fire.
        The Calvinist can praise him for that – and say that doing that brings him glory.
        But the Non-Calvinist would never attribute glory to evil.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        But my response to your answer to my question once again: “If a man has such a freedom of contrary choice he would be able to simply always choose contrary. But if he can simply choose contrary, then hardening is pointless as a man could always choose contrary and would render the hardening pointless.”

        br.d
        See answer above

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Have a good night BR.D and God Bless.

        br.d
        Thanks – and you also :-]

      27. One last quick question for BR.D and FOH

        Can God judicially harden an individual with Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Free Will? So that he is hardened cannot believe in God and rejects God at all times as majority of Israel rejects Christ as the Savior and is hardened to the Gospel message? LFW in the sense that one through their free will can choose between two options at any given moment.

      28. Speakingthetruthinlove, Thank you for your reply. And I would like to share my opinion on the “God inciting David to number the troops” passage. Just to present another view. That definitely is a thought-provoking passage, one worth really thinking about and not just glossing over, regardless of our theological position. (If there’s one thing I’ve learned through the comments section on Sot101, it’s that there is no definitive “Gotcha” verse or argument for a Calvinist or non-Calvinist. This issue will always involve deep thought and deep spiritual wrestling because there is so much to it and because Scripture can be so confusing to us. It’s a lot to take in. So I really enjoy learning more about verses worth exploring and hearing how others view them.)

        I tend to look at it as though God simply giving David what David wanted. Basically, David had decided to be sinful and he had drifted from God, as so God gave him the opportunity to sin, because that is what David wanted to do all along. The notes in my Life Application Bible say “Did God cause David to sin? God does not cause people to sin, but he does allow sinners to reveal the sinfulness of their hearts by their actions. God presented the opportunity to David in order to deal with a disastrous national tendency, and he wanted this desire to show itself. First Chronicles 21:1 says that Satan incited David to do it. Hebrew writers do not always distinguish between primary and secondary causes. So if God allowed Satan to tempt David, to them it is as if God did it.”

        To me, as I read the Word, I see that God doesn’t “cause” us to sin, but He does allow us – and even “incite” us, by allowing Satan to tempt us – to act out the sinfulness that’s already in our hearts. But God did not put that sinfulness there. He does not want it to be there. But if it is there because of our own sinful desires and waywardness, He can and will create the opportunity to expose it, to get us to act it out so that it can be dealt with.

        And I happen to believe that David could have done otherwise, if his heart had been right with the Lord. If he had set his heart on doing right, then there wouldn’t have been hidden sin in his heart that God would have to draw out, to expose.

        Notice in Ezekiel 4 that God commands Ezekiel to lie on his side as a prophecy to the people. And God also commands him to cook his food over human excrement, which would be a religious defilement for Ezekiel, violating the laws for purity. This is basically “sin,” according to Jewish customs. Yet God commanded it. Maybe not too unlike God telling David to number the troops. But Ezekiel had his heart set on doing right. Even though God commanded it, Ezekiel could do differently. And he pleaded with God, telling Him “Not so, Sovereign Lord! I have never defiled myself…” And God relented and let Ezekiel cook over cow manure instead.

        The difference between Ezekiel and David was that Ezekiel did not want to sin, whereas David did. God commanded them both to do something wrong (although in David’s case, it seems as though God let Satan do the tempting, according to 1 Chronicles 21:1). But Ezekiel’s heart was set on obedience, so God changed the command. Whereas David’s heart was set on disobedience, and so – although David could have softened his heart and chose to do right – David chose to act out the sin in his heart instead. Thereby earning the punishment. David was fully responsible for wanting to sin, for drifting from God. God just brought about the opportunity to expose what was in David’s heart so that it could be dealt with.

        These are just my thoughts on this very messy topic. Scripture definitely gives us a lot to think about, and I think it’s wonderful to be able to think deeply about all these things and grow in faith and knowledge. I like the way you said it – that we both know there is more going on than what we read. And I think this is one of those passages where we all just have to know that we don’t know exactly how it all works. And when that happens, all we can do is trust God and fall back on what we do know – that He is good and just and holy and loving. Thanks for sharing a passage worth exploring.

      29. Well thought out and well said Heather!

        Yes, God relented to Ezekiel as He did with Moses and Jeremiah, and Abraham (negotiating before visiting Sodom). God makes a great effort to show us in His word that He has a personal, non-deterministic relationship with man.

        I think your understanding of David’s situation is a nice explanation. Ironically ….after David sins and God says He is going to judge him….how does He handle it with David?

        “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.'”

        He gives him choices!!! Bravo to our personal Lord!

      30. FOH
        “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’”

        br.d
        Yes – in Calvinism – Calvin’s god would have:
        1) Determined every one of David’s sinful thoughts before David was created – ensuring he number the people.
        2) Give David three options “wink-wink” – all of those options being ILLUSIONS except for the one he determined.
        3) Predetermined which option David would choose.
        4) The play act the whole thing *AS-IF* David actually did that sin and made that choice all by himself

        Makes the whole thing look like a choreographed theater show now doesn’t it.

      31. Thank you Heather
        Very thoughtful and sincere post!

        You would definitely not fit in – in a Calvinist church – since they embrace Universal Divine Causal Determinism.
        The proposition that the THEOS at the foundation of the world determines absolutely everything down to the slightest movement of every atomic particle. Which means he determines every neurological impulse that will ever appear in anyone’s brain.
        That is why people who find out about it – will call Calvinism a puppet or robot theology. Of course Calvinists disagree. But that’s due to psychological reasons that are quite understandable.

      32. Thank you Heather this is very applicable to real life! I’m glad you’re here hope this school year is a blessing to you and your family🌻 I agree you dont fit in to be lead by a calvinist pastor God is good and He can be trusted!

  14. BR.D.

    Sorry so slow. Trying to think my way though this instead of just writing something down just to be responding.

    br.d
    Whose steps are being directed?
    If they are man’s steps then that would be contradictory to Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism)
    In Theological Determinism the THEOS does not “direct” a man’s steps – he DETERMINES a man’s steps.

    My Comments: I want to talk about Jonah and the fish that swallowed him briefly. How it was divinely appointed and did not happen by chance. It happened by the will of God with human wills involved. They were in a storm and they knew they were going to die. It came to their minds that someone had brought this curse of God upon them. So they cast lots and the lot fell upon Jonah. They cast Jonah overboard and God had a big fish waiting to swallow him to preserve his life so that he could carry out God’s purpose for Nineveh.

    Proverbs 16:33 – The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.

    I would say in the case of Job Proverbs 16:33 was very true. It was definitely the hand of God with human wills involved. It was definitely God who brought about the storm that would destroy them all that moved them to cast the lot in the urn.

    In Jonah’s situation we must see an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent Eternal God overruling the plans of Job. As far as the lot being cast here, Look back again to Proverbs 16:33. What is chance to man is the Divine Appointment of God. It teaches things we think are an accident are really under His providence. (To what degree I am seeking)

    I think maybe the Sovereign Dominion of God is seen clearly in Proverbs 16:1 and Proverbs 16:9

    Proverbs 16:1 – The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

    Proverbs 16:9 – A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps. HCSB

    Some translations do use the word “determine” here. Not saying that means anything.

    I think Proverbs 16:9 could be saying men exercise their plans if God in His wisdom so determines. They sometimes accomplish their own plans, but either way, they accomplish the sovereign will of God. As God at times frustrates the plans of man.

    Psalms 33:10 – The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.

    Who knows I may be back peddling after your response BR.D

    1. speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Sorry so slow. Trying to think my way though this instead of just writing something down just to be responding.

      br.d
      No problem – all at your own time.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      I want to talk about Jonah and the fish that swallowed him briefly. How it was divinely appointed and did not happen by chance. It happened by the will of God with human wills involved. They were in a storm and they knew they were going to die. It came to their minds that someone had brought this curse of God upon them. So they cast lots and the lot fell upon Jonah. They cast Jonah overboard and God had a big fish waiting to swallow him to preserve his life so that he could carry out God’s purpose for Nineveh.

      br.d
      Yes – in Theological Determinism all of these people’s thoughts would have been determined before they were created.
      As John Calvin says – their thoughts were INSPIRED by god
      As Paul Helms says: Every twist and turn of every thought under the DIRECT CONTROL of god
      As John Piper says: All things have their ORIGIN in the decrees of god.
      As Robert R. McLaughlin says – God merely programmed into the divine decrees all our thoughts, motives, decisions and actions

      Proverbs 16:33 – The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      It was definitely God who brought about the storm that would destroy them all that moved them to cast the lot in the urn.

      br.d
      Yes in Calvinism these things are FIRST-CONCEIVED in the mind of the THEOS
      And whatever comes to pass was RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      proverbs 16 and 19 – the plans of man
      Some translations do use the word “determine” here. Not saying that means anything.

      br.d
      Well then think about what that means – the THEOS determines men’s plans before men are created.
      This tells you that men have no say in the matter of what their plans will be – because those plans were established by immutable decrees before men exist.

  15. Your next part BR.D is the difficult one which I will tackle tomorrow. I want to interact with FOH now.

    br.d
    I am always puzzled when Calvinists quote verses like….”A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”

    Cutting to the chase, determinism and Calvinism would teach this rendering of this verse:

    “God plans/ordains that man have heart-plans, but then God directs him otherwise.” (which of course means we do nothing).

    FOH, I can only honestly answer again. I have not found a verse that says God ordains “that man have heart-plans” I know Calvinist do acknowledge that man has creaturely freedom.

    Although I did find a couple of interesting verses.

    Lamentations 3:37 – Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?

    Do you believe that? You have to if you trust the Word of God. Right?

    Amos 3:6 – When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?

    9/11 was a bad disaster, calamity and a great evil to this nation. Just as was the murder of Christ. And God was in Sovereign control of both events. No God is Holy and He Does not work evil directly in the hearts of people. Dr. Flowers used an analogy where he said something like, “if I hire someone to murder another person I am just as culpable as the person who actually did the evil action of murder”

    Thats a bad analogy. First of all it is comparing the creature who is sinful (even if he is a Christian) to a God who is Holy and in Him there is no darkness at all. God may decree the murder of Christ, which I know you agree with that, but he did not work evil in the hearts of those who murdered Christ on the Cross. But it does say evil men did so as God determined and predestined it would be.

    Even with 9/11 calamity and disaster came to a city. Did not the Lord cause it? Through secondary means. The agency of wicked men. I do not know exactly how this was brought about but I know nothing can come to pass unless God has ordained it, and he is not the author of sin, and the liberty and contingency of second causes are not taken away as you think, but they are established.

    Proverbs 16:33 – The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord. Remember Jonah and how I explained it to BR.D

    There is no violence done to the will of man.

    Acts 2:23 – Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

    I see God’s will and man’s will in perfect harmony will, compatible.

    I know this will not satisfy. This is the common Calvinist reply. But I have to go this route first to get your response then I can look closely and meditate and see if there is something I am not seeing. Pray for me. Thanks FOH.

  16. STTIL,

    Nice dialog….I think.

    You dont take every verse you see out of context and apply it directly do you?

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.”

    Let’s not do that with scatter-gun, out-of-context verses and make them say what we want…or take their first, shocking, understanding to be a final interpretation.

    This long lament (which uses literary devices: irony, metaphor, contrast, etc) is not intended to establish doctrine for Christians. Christ or Paul could have easily stated this kind of determinist doctrine, and not made us find it minutely tucked away in some poetic lament.

    Just a couple verses previous to your “gotcha” verse it says.

    33 “For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone. ”

    So ….using your approach we could pull that out and say that never, ever does God bring affliction (not even in punishment?).

    We could say that even by “secondary means” He does not bring affliction. That is such and invented-by-Calvinists idea “through secondary means”.

    But let’s not do that. Let’s not take gotcha verses and make a doctrine.

    I am wondering if you are really trying to “search this through and consider” or if you are just taking the long approach with us. You are using all the pre-used “Gotcha” verses that determinist use and ignoring all that I write to you.

    As an MDiv educated former-Calvinist, I assure you that I have seen all the lot-cast-in-the-lap verses and find them most, incredibly lacking as “proof texts” to prove determinism.

    STTIL, consider this…… so far, you can bring a gotcha verse one at a time….and I can look ANYWHERE in the Bible and show verses that conflict with that. They are not gotcha verses (since there are hundreds and hundreds of them) and they are everywhere. (see the example above with vs 33 being near your gotcha verse…. see the example of viper venom in Romans 3). Calvinists usually only want their verse (or half a verse) and dont see all the other verses that explain or directly contradict their interpretation.

    What is happening is that you WANT to believe reformed determinism and you are gonna go to monergism.com and get the gotcha verses and throw them at us. I dont wanna play that game. Been there.

    I was a young angry Calvinist and used the same approach …..even saying in people’s faces “Dead men dont make choices!!!” …until I realized…Yes they do! Luke 15 shows the (twice called “dead” by Christ) “coming his senses….and returning to a Father who did NOTHING but wait.

    Besides, we are dead to sin, buried with Christ (so… “dead”)…. and we still sin…so “dead men” do make choices! But Calvinist spin their own definition of “dead” “sovereign” “elect” and then wonder why the rest of Christendom does not agree with them.

    When I discuss like this with Calvinists, they just ignore it and bring in the next “gotch” verse. “Moving on…nothing to see” they say.

    Why? Cuz they WANT to believe determinism (either (A) it makes them feel like they have a big God, or (B) they were convinced with one Sproul book, or (C) they gave no push-back when an aggressive YRR person launched at them; or (D) they feel like changing from determinism will make them a wretched universalist or semi-Polynesian!).

    The thing is SO MUCH of the Bible makes no sense if determinism is true (all the warnings, admonitions, atta-boys, praising people for their actions/ faith, etc). It makes no sense that an impersonal God, who decided everything would then (A) hold us accountable for actions (B) send prophets and teaches to plead with us to do “the right thing” (C) endlessly warn us —and even warn evil nations— about doing the wrong thing.

    Since that made no sense to me as a Bible school Calvinist, I decided to look at the VERY FEW verses this idea was based on (the poetic ones you are referring to) and see if they have to mean only the “gotcha” meaning that Calvinists say. They dont!!!

    Have you noticed that you never deal with my questions? For every one of your verses I could put up 400…but for some reason you want yours to count for more?

    I dont wanna pay “gotcha” . Read the Bible with no help from Calvin and see if the message is that an Impersonal God dictated ahead of time every action/thought deed man will ever have. Is that the Good News!?

    1. FOH posted this one:

      “they feel like changing from determinism will make them a wretched universalist or semi-Polynesian!).”

      My Response:

      It was you who prefers and admits comfortably to be called as a “Semi-Polynesian” coming from a certain country, rather than a “Semi-Pelagian”

      1. jtleosala
        It was you who prefers and admits comfortably to be called as a “Semi-Polynesian” coming from a certain country, rather than a “Semi-Pelagian”

        br.d
        If we just remain observant – and discerning – we can see the spirit that Calvinists move in.

  17. My daily reading has me in 1 Cor 14:1-17, and includes Ps 37.

    Paul talks here about the tongues idea. He talks about desiring better gifts. He says “if you do this…..then this.” He talks about “it is better to do this…” etc.

    All of these are Paul explaining to us that we make a difference. We can choose a good this or a less-good thing. No where does Paul hint or say that all of these decisions are already decreed by God. In fact….. if everything is decreed by God why is Paul telling us we have choices and pleading with us to make the right ones?

    Determinism makes no sense ….. in this chapter or any chapter. Sure, we can cherry-pick a verse (especially a Proverb or Psalm) out (out of context) and make it sound like everything is set and decreed beforehand by God. But then we have to ignore all the rest of Scripture telling us that we make decisions that matter.

    1. FOH, the Semi-Polynesian – his doctrine as I have seen it over the past conversations here at SOT is that of “Synergism” not Monergism. Man has a share in obtaining Salvation. Pelagius has been tagged as heretic by the Church fathers, that is why he would like to create a new name as “Semi-Polynesian” for himself, my goodness…

      1. jtleosala
        FOH, the Semi-Polynesian – his doctrine as I have seen it over the past conversations here at SOT is that of “Synergism” not Monergism. Man has a share in obtaining Salvation.

        br.d
        Monergism is a coherent conception within Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism)
        But the Calvinist has a love-hate relationship with it.

        He wants GOOD events to be Monergistic and EVIL event to not be Monergistic.

        Sorry! In Calvinism EVERYTHING including all sins and evils are Monergisitic
        That is the inescapable CAUSAL nature of Theological Determinism.

  18. My daily reading gets me to Psalm 37:12-29 (NIV)

    14 The wicked draw the sword
    and bend the bow
    to bring down the poor and needy,
    to slay those whose ways are upright.
    15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
    and their bows will be broken.

    [Is this ALWAYS the case? Can we make a doctrine of this verse if we pull it out?]

    19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
    in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

    [Is this ALWAYS the case? Can we make a doctrine of this verse if we pull it out?]

    20 But the wicked will perish:
    Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
    they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
    21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
    but the righteous give generously;

    [Is this ALWAYS the case? Can we make a doctrine of this verse if we pull it out?]

    23 The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;

    [Here we have a verse about “the Lord directing (making firm) our steps”. It also says that this is about the one “who delights in Him.” So does He decree all steps/actions/ thoughts of everyone or only direct those who delight in Him?]

    27 Turn from evil and do good;
    then you will dwell in the land forever.
    28 For the Lord loves the just
    and will not forsake his faithful ones.

    [Here is clearly a “Do good and you will get…” You have a choice…turn from evil…but you can also pursue evil. Not determined for you.]

    28 Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed;
    the offspring of the wicked will perish.

    [Is this ALWAYS the case? Can we make a doctrine of this verse if we pull it out?]

    In one morning’s passage alone (and this happens every day), we see that determinism will not stand against Scripture.

    Indeed, we can take a verse from here and there and make a description of what “God must be like.” There are a couple that sound like the deterministic God of Calvinism. But that ignores the other thousands of verses that explain it otherwise.

  19. Here is a typical conversation with a Calvinist:

    They say they “found” some interesting verses. Typically they are just pulling these from Piper’s site or monergism.com. But ….that’s okay….let’s go along.

    Lamentations 3:37 – Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?

    [We are then told we must believe their version of this verse if we are to trust the Word of God [this means…believe their imposed, out-of-context, interpretation….or else we do not believe the Word of God.]

    Amos 3:6 – When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?

    [We can suggest to our friends that Amos is talking about —in this instance you will know that it is the Lord— and offer another interpretation of that one obscure 1/2 verse in the minor prophet Amos. But…nope…it makes no difference since they insist …and since they need that 1/2 verse to strengthen the HUGE doctrine of all-determinism.

    Then they will introduce 9/11 or the Holocaust and declare that God decreed (and therefore delighted in) all these terrible acts.

    Really? Are we that desperate to make a God that we can put in a “mystery box”? We take a couple of poetic verses (ignoring thousands of others), and “defend” God by telling the world that He decreed all the sin, rape, torture of the world “for His glory.” Good News!

    This is a huge statement about the God of the Bible. The God we see in Jesus Christ. But if it is so clear (that God decreed every action and sin of every person) why is it so “obscure” in the Bible— found mostly in 1/2 verses and proverbs?

  20. Let’s bring the Calvinist-Determinism philosophy to a more personal level.

    Lamentations 3:37 – Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?

    Amos 3:6 – When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?

    Lamentations and Amos are used to explain that God decreed / delighted in 9/11, the Holocaust, etc. Those things are too big. Let’s get personal.

    At the end of the day, a believer settles in on his bed. He thinks back on the day when he lost his temper, spoke an unkind word, spoke an unwholesome word, or looked at something he should not have (porn is even affecting those in the church).

    Now…. I want to think that this believer cries out to God and confesses that he did wrong, asking the Lord to help him in the next day.

    But if we apply the above verses (the way our Calvinist friends do….. meaning that even 9/11 was decreed / delighted in by God) then a person can relax that every wrong word we spoke…. every bad image we looked at, was all decreed by God and therefore His will.

    Dear Calvinist friends: Is that a correct assessment of what you are saying?

    If not, please tell us what you mean.

    Does man ever do anything that is not the will of God?

    1. FOH what you say here in your other post
      [[[Really? Are we that desperate to make a God that we can put in a “mystery box”? We take a couple of poetic verses (ignoring thousands of others), and “defend” God by telling the world that He decreed all the sin, rape, torture of the world “for His glory.” Good News!]]]]

      I say NO this is Horrible Horrible News!!!! & it really would make Him a liar even in this verse below, because if He decreed for all sin that would include all!!!! So even the molestation of a helpless child!!! Also physical abuse, mental abuse, addictions, adultery ect He would have caused all burden that anyone carries… so why say this to His children?

      Galatians 6:2 NASB — Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

      My reading today from Dr. Morris
      August 21, 2019
      From Disobedience to Obedience
      “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.” (1 Peter 1:14)

      A graphic figure of speech often used in the Bible is the attribution of character traits to parental inheritance.

      In our text, those who honor God’s laws are called “obedient children”—a term conveying the same sort of message as “children of light, and the children of the day” (1 Thessalonians 5:5), as well as “children of the kingdom” (Matthew 13:38). In contrast, note Ephesians 5:6: “Because of these things [that is, the sinful practices listed in Ephesians 5:3-5] cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” A definitive passage is 1 John 3:10: “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”

      Those who are “by nature the children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3) can, of course, become children of God by the new birth. This becomes the greatest of all incentives toward a godly life. The biblical terms “regeneration” and “born again” are widely misused today, but they represent wonderful, life-changing realities: “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).

      Therefore, as in our text, we must no longer “fashion” ourselves according to our former lusts but according to our new life. “Be not conformed [same Greek word as ‘fashioned’] to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). No longer in darkness and ignorance, we now “have light” as the “children of light” (John 12:36) and the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16) as children of wisdom (Matthew 11:19). We now have the very highest of all callings, as children of God, and we must “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1). HMM

      1. I hear ya Reggie!

        Our Calvinist friends try to present God to the world using a few 1/2 verses here and there. Basically the message is that “God has decreed it all.”

        Not sure what the point is. If it is true, even us denying their point is part of God’s decree…. as is any sin and viciousness that man can contrive.

        If God has rendered-certain His will, and all that happens is exactly as God decreed, then there is no point in them even discussing this.

        Surely the world has the right to accuse God of being the author of evil if Calvinists are correct that He is the author and decree-er of everything.

      2. FOH
        Surely the world has the right to accuse God of being the author of evil if Calvinists are correct that He is the author and decree-er of everything

        br.d
        Yup! But of course the general narrative of scripture does not depict that does it?
        And Calvinism wants to be perceived as doctrine derived from scripture.
        So that’s why we see all of the DOUBLE-SPEAK

  21. Ok, I will play. I am not going to be disrespectful or personally attack anyone. I am just going to attack the doctrine. My tone is going to sound more firm. If your offended, sorry, not trying to.

    FOH
    Surely the world has the right to accuse God of being the author of evil if Calvinists are correct that He is the author and decree-er of everything

    br.d
    Yup! But of course the general narrative of scripture does not depict that does it?
    And Calvinism wants to be perceived as doctrine derived from scripture.
    So that’s why we see all of the DOUBLE-SPEAK

    I guess this will be what Dr. Flowers call the “you-too” argument. Which is just an attempt to try and keep the Calvinist from trying to show the Non-Calvinist the flaws and weakness of his own system of belief.

    The Calvinist does not believe God is the Author of sin. I am not going to defend that. I showed above in 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21 how this works and God is not culpable of sin.

    One thing I do know as I show the flaws and weakness of the Non-Calvinist system of belief they will just use Calvinism as their defense and HIDE BEHIND CALVINISM. That is weak and irresponsible if you cannot defend your own system of belief.

    I assert the Non-Calvinist system of belief is the Author of Sin and Guilty by Association and denies it when they know their system of belief teaches it. But it is easier to point the finger at Calvinism than solve the issue within their own system of belief.

    Let it be known that I am now ARGUING FROM A NON-CALVINIST POINT OF VIEW!!!!!!

    Let it be known that I am now ARGUING FROM A NON-CALVINIST POINT OF VIEW!!!!!!

    I know the two who quoted above believe in the Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge of God.

    So before the Non-Calvinist THEOS ever created he knew every sinful and evil action that every individual who would ever exist would make. Whether that action was molestation, rape, murder, those would reject Christ and burn in hell for all eternity.

    But the Non-Calvinist THEOS DETERMINED and CHOSE to create that REALITY ANYWAY!!

    The Non-Calvinist THEOS is all-loving, thrice Holy, and all-powerful. But the Non-Calvinist THEOS DETERMINED AND CHOSE to create a REALITY where there would be wicked and sinful actions that THEOS knew would be before THEOS ever created even though THEOS is the Holy and all-loving. THEOS knowing these evil actions and wickness would bring great pain, sorrow and suffering to billions upon billions through time and history.

    The Non-Calvinist THEOS is all-loving, Holy why would THEOS create a reality that is contrary to it’s nature. Is THEOS really all-loving and Holy?

    The Non-Calvinist THEOS is Omnipotent, all-powerful, almighty, could stop the sinful wicked actions that are causing great pain, sorrow and suffering.

    But the Non-Calvinist THEO who is suppose to be all-loving, holy and all-powerful, just sites on it’s throne in heaven and does nothing. Purposeless evil. Does not the Non-Calvinist THEOS love people? Does not the Non-Calvinist THEOS hate sin? Why did the Non-Calvinist THEOS create a reality where he knew beforehand the what the evil wicked actions of individuals would be. Why does not the Non-Calvnist THEOS stop it since it is all-powerful.

    This makes the Non-Calvinist THEOS the Author of Purposeless Sin and Guilty by association!!!

    This makes the Non-Calvinist THEOS the Author of Purposeless Sin and Guilty by association!!!

    Now wait for it. Here it comes. They will like a craven hide behind Calvinism as their defense. Instead of giving a positive defense of their own system of belief. Or just deny the accusations that have been said (I am not the only one who has said it) Close this gap in your own theology and system of belief without hiding behind Calvinism in fear and you will be one step closer in defeating it. But you won’t. With that. I am finished here because I know there is no satisfactory answer to this. Dr. White has challenged Dr. Brown the same way and Dr. Brown is missing in action. Yeah I know you guys do not like Dr. White. Try not to hide behind him either. It makes you look really weak.

    1. Kevin,
      You have been on this blog many times with several different names.

      You have told me that you will no longer converse with me. You recently told Heather that you wont talk to BRD either (that did not take long!)

      But you keep posting.

      The fact that God does some things in Scripture (judges people by killing them) does not mean that all killing comes from him.

      Same goes for the David story. He was doing something —-in that situation— and He tells us about it. That does not translate to mean that all lying, deceiving, murdering and conniving come from Him!

      One difference between us is that you see God act in the Bible and then you extrapolate from that the idea that ALL actions of those kinds, anywhere, therefore come from Him.

      Jesus turned water into wine…. but that does not teach us that all wine was once water—changed by God.

      Jesus healed blind people…. but so does science sometimes. Not every now-seeing blind person was a miracle from God. Some of it was man’s logic and science.

      What you do is find a couple verses or instances in the Bible and then impose that on all things. This is one difference between us.

      As you have told me that we cannot converse I will not expect an answer from you….and truly I am writing this from a friendly position.

      But please dont keep coming on here as a difference person saying that you are really searching on these issues only use capital letters yelling that we are being unkind to you.

      1. “Kevin,
        You have been on this blog many times with several different names.

        But please dont keep coming on here as a difference person saying that you are really searching on these issues only use capital letters yelling that we are being unkind to you”

        This is typical FOH wants to try and get me banned and he probably will not that it matters. FOH I also asked that you stop talking to me while I was talking to BR.D because you are incapable of having a respectful discussion. You are rude and arrogant.

        Yes I have had other WordPress accounts. I have deleted some then registered again but everyone has always known my name is Kevin. I become interested then uninterested. Brian Wagner has always known who I was. We talked through private email for a long time. At one time I had two accounts for two different purposes. How is that your business!!

        And in the past I did not keep coming on here as a different person, everyone knew who I was. Why would I want to hide That is just stupid and trying to stir things up which seems to be what you do best. Why do I care if anyone knows who I am. Why would I make references to being mean-spirited to Brian Wagner and Eric Kemp knowing they would know who I was and could reveal who I was at anytime See how nonsensical your statement is. (that is you making something up of course) saying “I am searching these issues”

        I only said that this time and I do not care if you believe it or not. I really was and I still do not understand everything completely. I do not attend a Calvinist Church. I do not frequent Calvinist websites often as you say is typical of Calvinist getting verses from monergism.com or from John Piper website. I do not even care for John Piper. I have stated that on here already.

        The verses you alluded to that Calvinists find “typically” because they went to I think you said Monergism.com or Piper. Well I did not. I read my bible like a lot of other Calvinist do. So your little statement is disrespectful and disingenuous. That is where I got the verse. Among all my other gotcha verses I keep on my computer.

        Capital letters and yelling. I know that is what people think and I should not use them. But others do also on a few words at times to emphasize. So let it go dude. Your just trying to get me banned as you have a lifetime membership card (your one of the chosen ones and I am not, but I am going to unsubscribe anyway.) It really seemed like it was going to be different this time. But you in your arrogance and disrespect I blame.

        “You have told me that you will no longer converse with me. You recently told Heather that you wont talk to BRD either (that did not take long!)”

        Yes and I also ask made it clear that I did not want you talking to me any longer either. My last comment you made I did not mention any names. It was made indirectly to the doctrine. A rebuttal to any Non-Calvinist in general who wants to respond. I only said the two who made the comments above believe in………To show what the Christian Orthodox Faith believes concerning Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Foreknowledge. Never spoke anything directly to any of the occupants who made those quotes.

        “Same goes for the David story. He was doing something —-in that situation— and He tells us about it. That does not translate to mean that all lying, deceiving, murdering and conniving come from Him!”

        You do not actually see that in this statement that your admitting to something that you said God cannot do. Interesting

        “As you have told me that we cannot converse I will not expect an answer from you….and truly I am writing this from a friendly position.”

        Your have not been friendly or respectful for sometime now FOH. Or in this post where you continue to try and say I am being sneaky, hide my identity for some who knows what reason. Lecture me in a manner where you are looking down on me.

        What you need to do is exercise that free will of yours and obey the Word of God, “Live a quiet life and mind your own business”

        So please quit falsely accusing me, act like your being friendly, when your lecture is one of hypocrisy and stinks like dung in the nostrils of God.

        I do not expect an answer back. I am sure you can write your letter to me and it will get a pass but I will not. But I am truly done here. I am going to unsubscribe so there will be no temptation. You can continue to attack my character all you want FOH and walk in your self-righteousness. I see the vanity of this place. It is not Christlike and is most definitely an exercise in futility. Minds that are deluded with one thing, refute Calvinism. I feel sorry for you FOH, I really do.

      2. He’s gone again, I was willing to give him a chance but he literally cannot handle it for 5min.

      3. I think he may have indicated he has health issues.

        But we all know that Calvinists often arrive imagining themselves some sort of Don Quixote – who will finally achieve glory by slaying Calvinism’s Gnostic dragons. But alas – each one eventually realizes that imagination is not going to be any more real than the last Calvinist who came along with it.

        I do have to hand it to them though – the ones who face that reality and end up leaving – do so because they have enough love for the truth to come to that realization.

        And that pretty much leaves us with the remaining Calvinists who don’t need to face any reality because they’re just so talented at pulling theological rabbits out of the magicians hat. :-]

    2. FOH
      Surely the world has the right to accuse God of being the author of evil if Calvinists are correct that He is the author and decree-er of everything

      br.d
      Yup! But of course the general narrative of scripture does not depict that does it?
      And Calvinism wants to be perceived as doctrine derived from scripture.
      So that’s why we see all of the DOUBLE-SPEAK

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      The Calvinist does not believe God is the Author of sin. …..

      br.d
      What FOH is indicating is not what Calvinists SAY they believe – but what is a LOGICAL CONSEQUENCE of the system.

      And besides that John Calvin himself says:
      -quote
      “Scripture clearly shows him to be the AUTHOR of them”

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Let it be known that I am now ARGUING FROM A NON-CALVINIST POINT OF VIEW!!!!!!

      So before the Non-Calvinist THEOS ever created he knew every sinful and evil action that every individual who would ever exist would make…… But the Non-Calvinist THEO who is suppose to be all-loving, holy and all-powerful, just sites on it’s throne in heaven and does nothing. This makes the Non-Calvinist THEOS the Author of Purposeless Sin and Guilty by association!!!

      br.d
      OH!
      That is what you are trying to communicate!

      Well Dr. Alvin Plantinga has the answer here for you.
      -quote
      A world containing significantly free (i.e. Libertarian Free) creatures is more valuable than a world containing no free creatures at all (i.e. without Libertarian Freedom).

      God can create free creatures. But even an omnipotent God can’t CAUSE free creatures to only do what is right. If he did, then they wouldn’t be significantly free. Thus, in creating creatures capable of moral good, God must create creatures capable of moral evil. When these creatures misuse their freedom, evil and suffering result. This fact does not count against God’s goodness or power, however, since God could prevent the occurrence of moral evil only by preventing the possibility of moral good. – end quote

  22. When all is said and done, even if one could prove that the early church fathers taught a form of Calvinism, it wouldn’t really matter. The only thing that really matters is what the apostles taught and have handed down to us. “We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:6).”

    This then is how we should measure every teaching, in order to get back to New Testament Christianity.

    1. Hello Aidan,
      There is a measure of truth to this that seems intuitive at first – until one thinks it through.

      I remember Professor Gordon Fee in a seminary lecture – relating a story of how he was once lectured by a certain pastor.
      The pastor very forcefully asserted: “We don’t interpret the Bible – we just read the Bible and do what it says!”

      The students in Fee’s class – of course realized the irrational reasoning the pastor was operating in.
      The human mind automatically “interprets” all data according to internal associations – what the mind already holds as truth.
      Therefore its utterly impossible for the human mind to read the Bible and not interpret that data without bias.

      The early church fathers had their own interpretation of the original manuscripts circulating the Apostolic churches.
      As a matter of fact – we are told by experts that if we lost the New Testament – we could regain the whole of it as quoted within the letters of the early church fathers as they communicated to one another.

      Some of the early church fathers are the direct disciples of the Apostles themselves. So their interpretation of NT texts provide indicators of the way those texts were historically understood.

      In contrast to that – I knew of a Bible teacher who taught that a Christian woman who wore pants would go to hell – because the Bible says so. The NT itself states “No scripture is of private interpretation”. In his mind his interpretation was not a “private” interpretation.

      Suffice to say – getting a BIG-PICTURE of those things which influence interpretation throughout history provides us with a great deal of wisdom.

      Understanding how Augustine’s interpretation was influenced by Gnostic and NeoPlatonism informs us how the Calvinist interpretation of scripture evolved.

      1. Hi BR.D,

        Yes, there are things we can learn from reading the early church fathers. For example, how they never taught infant baptism, the worship of Mary, or Peter as the first Pope, and many other such teachings that happened as a result of apostasy. But the only way we can compare what was true and what was not, is from what the apostles taught and handed down. They were inspired men and were not fallible in their teaching like the church fathers, or the theologians of the age.

        And yet as fallible as men are, we can still know the truth and live by it; Jesus said, ” If you abide in My word,…you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:31,32). Learn as you will from others, but the scriptures themselves give us an assured wisdom greater than the wisdom of men, and teach us all we need to know, including how to interpret the word of God. It just takes time and a willingness to find out. In fact, the apostle Paul taught the all sufficiency of the scriptures to fully equip us, when he said:

        “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” ( 2 Tim.3:16,17). The question is; do we want to believe it?

      2. Aidan
        They teach us all we need to know, including how to interpret the word of God. It just takes time and a willingness to find out.

        br.d
        Oh if it were just that simple!
        We wouldn’t have so may interpretations.
        We wouldn’t have Theology A claiming Theology B’s interpretation is semi-heretical
        We wouldn’t have so many bible teachers running around conceiving of their interpretation as the golden standard.
        And we wouldn’t have Augustine classified as the primary conduit of Gnostic/NeoPlatonist doctrine synchronized into Christian doctrine.

        But the reality is – we have all of that.
        And every tradition of interpretation boldly claims they do just exactly what you stated
        And they claim the others don’t.

        I’m afraid we can’t escape any of that – as its part of our condition.
        That doesn’t mean we can’t strive for an unbiased interpretation.
        And we know that requires us to be lovers of TRUTH rather than lovers of self.

        Jesus said “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick”
        And as it was then – we have every other Theology claiming everyone else is sick accept them.
        There is no getting better for any man who is unwilling to acknowledges he too is afflicted with the same condition.

      3. Br.d

        [And we know that requires us to be lovers of TRUTH rather than lovers of self.

        Jesus said “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick”
        And as it was then – we have every other Theology claiming everyone else is sick accept them.
        There is no getting better for any man who is unwilling to acknowledges he too is afflicted with the same condition.]

        Reggie Wow this is very good & your post is accurate we do have much division sadly, but thank you for pointing this out so clearly 🌻

  23. BR.D,
    I do understand where you are coming from. It is very easy to become cynical when you see everybody claiming to be right in a religious world filled with so much division and false teaching. Some of the things you said are exactly the same kind of things I hear all the time from people, both religious and non-religious.They say, ” What makes you right when there are so many religions and churches out there all claiming to have the truth!”

    But isn’t this precisely what the devil wants? He doesn’t want us to find the truth, he wants to bury the truth in a religious world full of lies and half truths, and it’s even better when people are turned off by it all.

    But Jesus warned us about this, namely, that there are few who find the way that leads to life. And that this narrow way would have it’s dangers in the form of false prophets coming to you in sheep’s clothing – hence the warning to “beware.”

    And, you are right – we are sick. But many are blind and sick because of their theologies, not because of the scriptures. There is no getting better for any man who won’t listen to the word of the Great Physician above all else. That’s why we have an epidemic on our hands!

    You spoke of “tradition of interpretation”? What’s yours? Can you point to the scriptures that teach it, or does it come from men?

    1. Thanks Aidan
      Yes I would have to say I have what I guess I would call a “schema” for my interpretation – as that is consistent with the way every human mind works. However I don’t espouse a formal “Tradition” of interpretation. I don’t specifically espouse any group.

      And yes – some of my interpretation would have to be of men.
      That is the reality I was speaking about.
      I have the same affliction all men have.

      Now Satan’s part is to take advantage of our condition.
      While Jesus’ part is to take upon himself the sin of our condition and to deliver us from its bondages.

      And Paul – having the beating heart of a loving father – wants his children to know their inheritance in Christ.
      And to grow up into the measure and stature of Christ – no longer tossed about by every wind of doctrine.

      But Paul also acknowledges he has not yet attained – and neither has anybody else.
      And not by reason of not trying.

      As long as I am living in my current body with my current afflictions I still have the condition.
      Again that doesn’t mean I don’t strive for the perfection.
      But it does require I face the reality of my condition.

      1. Hi BR.D,

        I will hopefully be able to talk to you more about this on Thursday when I get more time.

        Thanks,

        Aidan.

  24. Hi BR.D,
    Following our earlier discussions on how we should approach the scriptures to determine the will of God, I would like to show how the Bible directs us in that noble pursuit.

    Many religious people claim they follow the Bible as their guide in religion, yet division persists. After we agree to follow the Bible as our sole standard of authority, we still must determine how the Bible teaches or directs us.

    It should be clear that the following are not rules of interpretation which are imposed upon the scriptures, but rather – rules or principles which are found in the scripture.

    THE BIBLE TEACHES IN THREE SIMPLE WAYS.

    The Bible teaches by direct command, approved examples, and necessary inferences or conclusions.

    1. DIRECT COMMAND or PRECEPT: This is a direct statement of something that must be done or not done. Example, the command “You shall not murder” (Ex 20:13; Rom. 13:9). Or, the simple command “Repent and be baptized” (Acts 2:38).

    2. APPROVED EXAMPLES: By this is meant the practice of the people of God in the New Testament under the guidance of the apostles. This can also be called approved apostolic example. We call it “approved” because it meets God’s approval.

    There are numerous examples in the Bible which do not meet His approval (e.g., Gal. 2:11-13; 1 Cor 5:1-13; 11:20-22).

    What the apostles taught is what they had received from the Lord, and therefore by divine appointment. For instance, the approved apostolic example in Acts 20:7 established authority for two main things – assembling on the first day of every week, and also the Lord’s Supper on the first day of every week.

    3. NECESSARY INFERENCE / IMPLICATION or CONCLUSION. This is something that is neither expressly stated nor specifically exemplified, but is “necessarily” implied or inferred by the clear import and meaning of the language used.

    For example, we infer from the language and context that Philip baptized the eunuch, and not that the eunuch baptized Philip, though such is not specifically stated (Acts 8:38).

    But we must be careful because not all inferences or conclusions are “necessary ones.” Some have inferred infant baptism from the household baptisms of Acts 16:15,33. This is not a necessary inference but a forced one. As we well know, there are many “households” without infants.

    CONCLUSION: In order for a thing to be authorized there must be either — Precept, Approved Example, or Necessary Inference in the New Testament scriptures. In fact, all of these three methods of receiving divine authority are illustrated by the Lord’s Supper. If we are to determine what God wants us to do today, we cannot do so, unless we follow these scriptural methods.

    Thanks,

    Aidan.

    1. Well said Aidan… here’s my take.

      There is a difference between logical inferences that must be true based on premises that are facts that require the inferred conclusion. But often the premises that are assumed as true are not proven.

      In those cases the conclusion becomes only a reasonable “sounding” inference as much as the premises behind it “sound” true… But those reasonably “sounding” premises are just unproven assumptions or presuppositions.

      Calvinists are guilty of extrapolating/drawing reasonable “sounding” inferences for more meaning from verses that was not really there in those verses. That is another way of saying eisegesis! 😊

      I use this example of faulty extrapolation of reasonable “sounding” inferences when teaching logic.

      1 2 3

      I ask the students which number is next.

      The problem is one cannot be dogmatic. The answers, because of different presuppositions, can be 4, 5, 10, 0, or 1. All can be made a reasonably “sounding” inference or guessed as the next number. But there is NO logically necessary inference that can be drawn from just those numbers and that question.

      4 would be next if integers are assumed. 5 is next in the Fibonacci sequence if it is assumed. 10 is next in base 4. And 0 is next if working backwards in integers, and 1 is next if starting the same sequence over. All seem to be the correct and reasonably “sounding” inference based on an already chosen presupposition.

      The Calvinist reads “before birth” in Jer 1:5 and then extrapolates/presupposes “before creation”.
      He reads Acts 13:48 as saying God ordained before creation some specific individuals to believe, but “God” and “before creation” are not in that verse. He reads Rom 8:29 as saying God foreknew some specific individuals before creation that He predestined to be saved, but again “before creation is not in that verse. He reads Eph 1:4 as saying that God chose some specific individuals to be in Christ before creation, but the verse actually says He chose before creation that those in Christ would be holy and blameless before Him.

      In each of those examples there are things not found in those verses that Calvinists think they see dogmatically to be there.

      1. Great post Brian!

        We also have the “so called” Holy Fathers (i.e. Master Interpreters) of the Catholic church who would put someone to death for saying the earth orbits around the sun – because it was obvious to them scripture teaches otherwise.

        The human mind interprets all data in accordance to what it already holds as TRUTH.

        Teach a person that reverend sun young moon is a deity such that that is TRUTH in his mind – and he is guaranteed to affirm what he believes is true within the data of scripture.

      2. But in the case of Calvinism – I think there is more going on then simply their indoctrination process – whereby they are taught extra-biblical doctrines – and taught to hold them as INFALLIBLE TRUTH – and then they auto-magically read those doctrine into scripture.

        I think another component of the Calvinist indoctrination system is the human ego. And I think that explains why they so tenaciously maintain a white-knuckle grip on their doctrines – and the vast majority of them are not in the slightest willing to even question anything they’ve been taught.

        We can see that tenaciousness clearly exhibited here at SOT101 – to the point where the Calvinist occasionally moves into a form of MAGICAL and IRRATIONAL thinking – which becomes totally obvious to everyone except them.

      3. Hi Brian, Just a thought on your definition, and I agree with your point on needing to make it on the facts. I read a definition of “necessary” inference that has stuck with me for years now.

        It goes, “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.”

        A perfect example of how to establish the truth by “necessary” inference is found in Matthew 22:31,32; when Jesus argued against the Sadducees concerning the resurrection.

        Therefore, inferences, just — mere inferences — do not establish truth. Otherwise, John would still be alive, Jesus performed miracles by the ruler of demons, and infant baptism would have to be accepted.

  25. You are right BR.D, The heart has a lot to do with how one hears and responds to the word of God. This is precisely what Jesus meant when He said, “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.” (Luke 8:15).

    The word of God is able to cut to our innermost being and judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb. 4:12). Therefore, it speaks volumes about one’s heart when they hear the truth and either ignore or reason against it. The fact is we will be judged by His word. That’s why, even in it’s interpretation, we need to allow God’s word to direct us as to how that must be done.

    1. Yes – I totally agree.
      And I don’t know any Biblical scholar who wouldn’t agree with that.

      You’ll find I have a tendency to like Dr. Gordon Fee – and I remember one of his lectures on the book of Romans
      He started by reviewing all of exegetes throughout history – who at some point tried their hand at applying their own interpretive skills on it. As you may know – its a fairly weighty book within scholarship.

      I remember one particular scholar Dr. Fee mentioning was Barth.
      And his off-hand comment: “Barth turns Paul into Barth”.

      The whole room of students burst out laughing of course.
      But it is indicative of what we are dealing with.

      We humans are prone to treating scripture pretty much the same way we treat everything.
      The prophesy is subject to the prophet.

      John warned of a certain leader in a church whose name was Diotrephes – whom John candidly stated “loves to have the preeminence among the brethren”.

      I’m afraid I’ve seen way to many Diotrephes in my day – many of them claiming the proper handling of scripture.
      The danger of that – is that naive believers dutifully look up to them.

      1. Hi BR.D,

        What really struck a cord with me is when you said; “I’m afraid I’ve seen way to many Diotrephes in my day – many of them claiming the proper handling of scripture.The danger of that – is that naive believers dutifully look up to them.”

        I came from a world steeped in Catholicism here in Ireland, where people dutifully looked up to men to tell them God’s will. Luckily, I started to rebel — from a very young age — by asking too many questions against a church and system you didn’t question. We were always told that you couldn’t understand the Bible for yourself. And that’s why we needed these holy men to explain it to us!

        But I always questioned things, especially when it didn’t make sense. And I did it even more when I started to read the Bible in my youth. I began to notice that things were quite the opposite to what we were being told to practice. I moved away from the Bible and religion in my teenage years, but it was only when I came back to it in my late teens – early twenties, that everything really began to change for me.

        Why am I telling you this? Because I know the danger of naive believers dutifully looking up to a religious leadership. The Catholic Church practically ruled the institutions of this country with an iron grip right up into the 80’s. It was only perhaps in the late 80’s and 90’s that things began to really change here. But I believe that it was even worse in my father’s day. Schools were run with a heavy hand, where questioning things wasn’t always received well. In old Catholic Ireland, us ignorant people had to accept what we were told — we knew our place. This was the culture that I was born into, back in 1964.

        Yet, what helped me in my search for truth was my conviction that all the answers to life were with God and in His word. That helped me greatly in my trouble. That’s why we should examine the scriptures daily to see whether the things we are being taught are true (Acts 17:11). You can carefully examine Acts 15 and see that it’s the apostles who teach us how to interpret what God has revealed in the three ways that I’ve shown you.

        This is not relying on men, but on God who has revealed it for us – it’s just a matter of trusting Him.

      2. Wonderful testimony Aidan!
        Thank you so much for sharing it!

        I was not personally affected by Catholicism as a youth – but I have dear brothers and sisters who have similar testimonies to yours. One or two of them involving sexual child abuse as well.

        The Lord has saved us both from different forms of religious abuse. And I will be eternally grateful for how He lovingly guided and shielded me from it along life’s path.

  26. Reading through the Bible I come to Isaiah.

    1: 24 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    the Mighty One of Israel, says,

    [this is God’s strongest “Sovereign” term about Himself]

    [Then He goes on with “I will…I will… Yes… He can do what He says He will do!] Then…

    27 “those who repent will be revived by righteousness.
    28 But rebels and sinners will be completely destroyed,
    and those who desert the Lord will be consumed.”

    Again, in the midst of His making sure we know He is sovereign, He tells us that some will choose to repent, others will rebel, and others will “desert the Lord.” None of this matches determinism and the definition of “sovereign” that is taught by Calvinists.

    They teach that God “always gets what He wants”…. and that “everything that happens is what God wants.”….. otherwise they say “He is not sovereign.

    That is not a biblical approach. God declares He is sovereign many times in Isaiah all the while stating that man will do things that God does not want.

    Calvinists cannot let God tell us who He is. They insist on making Him be what “He must be like” according to a preconceived idea.

    1. It is written – God decided to make man in his image.
      John Calvin decided to return the favor
      And the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree :-]

  27. My Bible reading today takes me to Isaiah 3-5 and 2 Cor 11.

    Very often Calvinists tell us that 1 Cor 1 tells us …”For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, ” and that means they have to be brought back from the dead “made alive” “born again” “regnerated” to be given faith to understand.

    Today I read Paul saying in 2 Cor 11:1 …I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me!

    So, Paul is writing to believers about his “foolishness” (even says it that way in the Calvinist ESV).

    But somehow that 1 Cor 1 “foolishness verse” means man is too dead to understand….. but this one doesnt?

    Man is not “too dead” when Paul brings the power of the Word! That is why Paul “reasons with him”…. “persuades” him…”convinces him.” Of course it is foolishness at first…. but Paul reasons with people (dead people can’t reason).

  28. FOH keeps on posting this one below :

    “My Bible reading today takes me to Isaiah 3-5 and 2 Cor 11.

    Very often Calvinists tell us that 1 Cor 1 tells us …”For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, ” and that means they have to be brought back from the dead “made alive” “born again” “regnerated” to be given faith to understand.

    Today I read Paul saying in 2 Cor 11:1 …I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me!

    So, Paul is writing to believers about his “foolishness” (even says it that way in the Calvinist ESV).

    But somehow that 1 Cor 1 “foolishness verse” means man is too dead to understand….. but this one doesnt?

    Man is not “too dead” when Paul brings the power of the Word! That is why Paul “reasons with him”…. “persuades” him…”convinces him.” Of course it is foolishness at first…. but Paul reasons with people (dead people can’t reason”

    ——-Here’s My Response——

    1. I noticed that FOH had already posted this item above in the other topics in this blog. and I responded to him already about his assertions to the issue he made about Apostle Paul.

    ——-My Response to this Thread is reflected below——-

    2. Did the Early Church Fathers teach Calvinism? – The correct answer is YES.
    This is evidenced by the following qoutes:

    2.1 Irenaeus AD 180 – He asserts a preparation of happiness for some, and of punishment for others, upon the presence or foreknowledge of God. His words are these : “God foreknowing all things has prepared for both suitable habitations” – (Irenaeus adv. Haeres 50:4 c. 76, p. 423) – This is the “TD” or “TI” of the Calvinists

    2.2 Athanasius AD 350 – “How therefore should He choose us before we were, unless, as He has said, we were before delineated in Him? How verily, before men were created should He predestinate”. ( Athanasius. contr. Orat. 3, p.245, 246, vol. 1)

    2.3 “Our first parents fell into open disobedience because already they were secretly corrupted for the devil act had never been done had not an evil preceded it. And what is the origin of our evil will but pride?” – (NPNFI – 02 St. Augustine’s City of God and Christian Doctrine)
    This is the “TD” of the Calvinists

    2.4 “By craving to be more, man becomes less, and by aspiring to be self-sufficing, he fell away from Him who truly suffices him”. (NPNFI – 02 St. Augustine’s City of God and Christian Doctrine)

    1. jtleosala
      Did the Early Church Fathers teach Calvinism? – The correct answer is YES.
      This is evidenced by the following qoutes…….(from ECF)

      br.d
      This question was address by Dr. Ken Wilson in his research on the ECF.
      For SOT101 readers who wish to know the WHOLE TRUTH – I suggest they watch the presentation provided.

      However, all of academia recognizes that Augustine synchronized Gnostic and NeoPlatonic doctrines into Catholic doctrine.

  29. Hi Jtleosala,

    It would really be of far greater importance If you could prove that the apostles and Calvin taught the same doctrine. And when the Calvinist can prove that much, he then needs to stop calling himself a Calvinist and just simply a Christian. But to be fair, the Calvinists are not the only ones in the world guilty of following after men.

  30. Thanks BR.D,
    This really is an ongoing issue in the religious world and the cause of much division (1 Cor. 1:12). God wants all men to be saved and know the truth. Which can never even begin to happen until all are prepared to stop following after men instead of Christ.

  31. Thanks again BR.D,

    Bit of a time difference here in Ireland. And, I’m at home this week doing some work mainly outside before winter comes. In regard to the ECF; I think it’s also as you have said, namely: “This question was address by Dr. Ken Wilson in his research on the ECF.
    For SOT101 readers who wish to know the WHOLE TRUTH – I suggest they watch the presentation provided.”

    People tend to make faulty “conclusions,” especially when they don’t want to hear all the facts. Those who have a love for the truth will want to hear the “whole truth,” before making the “necessary inferences”. This reminds me of a song here back in the 80’s, which said, “But a good heart these days is hard to find.”… which always struck me as very true. That is why we need to watch over our hearts with all diligence, for from it flow the issues of life (Prov. 4:23)!

    1. Thank you for your kind words Gongtha!

      Due to a very heavy schedule Dr. Flowers isn’t able to respond to posters here – but you may find him on FaceBook.

      Blessings!

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