Romans 8:29-30 or How We Can Trust God at His Word

This is a re-blog from Transformed Theology, “A Critical Look at Romans 8:29-30” by Pastor Bob Hadley; Pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Pastor Bob succinctly shows how the Calvinistic reading of Romans 8 is out of bounds given the grammatical context of the passage; both the objects of the verbs and their tenses.

Romans 8:29-30 is perhaps the most Calvinistic passage of Scripture in the Bible. Here the Apostle Paul makes the following declaration: “29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (NKJV) The question of the hour is, what do these two verses mean? Is Paul speaking in salvific terms? Is he giving the world a glimpse into the mind of God as He reaches out to touch the hearts of sinners to make them part of His eternal family? The Calvinist says this is exactly what Paul is doing and this is exactly what these two verses are referring to.

In looking at the Greek,

“for those He knew beforehand, He indeed appointed beforehand (predestined) those to be fashioned in the image of His Son that He might be the first born among many brothers. Those He predestined He called by name, invited and those He called those He also justified and those He justified He also glorified.”

These verbs are all aorist active indicative tenses. They indicate that the action of the verb has already taken place with respect to the subject of the verb. Given the tense of the verb, it is clear at least grammatically speaking, this cannot refer to action that is yet to be taken. The Calvinist argument that glorification is so set in the mind of God that it is virtually already settled is not easily substantiated grammatically in this passage of Scripture. This will be highlighted in greater detail later. With this in mind, is there a contextual application that might better suit Paul’s statement?

Paul begins chapter 8 with these words, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Rom 8:1-2 NKJV) It is clear that Paul is speaking if not to Christians, about Christians. In verse 4 he settles that question when he wrote, “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”(NKJV) He goes on to say “8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” (Rom 8:8-9 NKJV) “16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” (Rom 8:16-17 NKJV) Paul is establishing the foundation for their inclusion in the family of God.

Notice the phrase, “if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” This is an important phrase in the exegesis of this text. Paul has taken great lengths to identify the Roman Christians with the family of God; they are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus. So, how are these Roman Christians to respond to the persecution they are facing? This present suffering will end in glorification. What about the tenses in this verse? If we “suffer” is a present active indicative which indicates that Paul is speaking of persecution they are currently experiencing and “that we may be glorified together” is aorist passive subjunctive; which carries with it an intended action that is yet to be completed. The subjunctive voice even with the aorist tense is an indication that there is no past time indicated by the aorist tense of the verb but anticipates some hypothetical event in the future. So Paul is indicating here that the present suffering the Roman Christians are going through will culminate in glory someday.

Paul says that the world itself is going through this futility and “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Rom 8:21NKJV) Paul continues this concept as he argues the necessity of their present suffering: “23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Rom 8:23-25 NKJV) Notice Paul’s next statement, “we are not alone! We have the Holy Spirit helping us and praying on our behalf!” Notice Paul’s next statement: “27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Rom 8:27 NKJV)

Who would these Roman Christians think of when the apostle Paul spoke of “the saints?” It is at least fair to assume they might think of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They might think of David, Job, Isaiah, Jeremiah, all Old Testament saints that God had used to bring Jesus into the world. It is clear that Paul did not think of himself in this category and was not including himself in this company. Notice Paul’s next statement: “28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28-29 NKJV) “We know” is a very important statement here. How do these Roman Christians know that God works “all things out for good for those who love the Lord?” Because they had been taught the Old Testament and they knew that God had worked in the lives of those Old Testament saints and He had brought them through untold difficulties to glory!

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Rom 8:29-30 NKJV) Notice the conjunction, “for”’; it ties what is about to be said with what has just been said. We know what God has done for the Old Testament saints, those that He “already knew, He predestined, (aorist indicative, completed action) to be conformed to the image or likeness of His Son. They died long before Jesus was even born but they are still a part of the promises of God! God planned from the beginning to bring their salvation to completion in Christ Jesus. Moreover, those He predestined (aorist indicative, completed action) He justified (aorist indicative, completed action) and those He justified He glorified (aorist indicative, completed action). If Paul had any intended notion that he was speaking to the Roman Christians he would have used the same tense he used previously in verse 16, that being the aorist passive subjective. He did not do so because he was speaking here of the Old Testament saints who had already died but God had provided hope for.

Paul continues, “31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31 NKJV) If God took care of the Old Testament saints, will He not do the same for us? Yes! “32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom 8:21-36 NKJV) Paul is not at all speaking of predestination of individuals to conversion: he is speaking to these Roman Christians who are suffering immense persecution and encouraging them to “keep the faith” for the God who brought the Old Testament saints to glory is going to bring them to glory!

Paul concludes chapter 8 with this great charge, “37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:37-39 NKJV)

Paul simply wanted the newly born again Christians in Rome to know that they were covered by the blood that covered the saints of old and the same God that brought them out of the immense persecutions they endured would bring them out of those they were enduring.

As Pastor Bob shows, Paul’s point is to encourage the believer as to how they can trust God’s promise that they will be vindicated from their present persecution by glorification. How can the Christian trust this promise? By looking at how God fulfilled that promise to the saints of old. Paul’s point is not to tell believers HOW they became believers as the Calvinist must render it ie. “The Golden Chain of Salvation”

96 thoughts on “Romans 8:29-30 or How We Can Trust God at His Word

  1. A song of praise – covered by the blood of the lamb

    Moses left old Pharaoh, down in Egypt land
    Israelites delivered, by God’s almighty hand
    They got up to the red sea and found that it was blocked
    Israelites were runnin round in shock

    Chorus:
    But it was covered – covered – covered by the blood of the lamb
    Yes it was covered –covered – covered by the blood of the lamb

    David and Goliath were champions of old
    Of Israelites and Philistines, the way the story is told
    Goliath said to David, you’re nothing but a boy, come up to me and you will see I’ll break you like a toy
    But David said I’ll bury you beneath six foot of sod, for you come to me with a sword and a spear, but I come in the name of my God.

    Repeat Chorus:

    Now Jesus went to Calvary and it seemed that all was lost
    Satan and his evil host had nailed him to the cross
    But he looked up to the heavens and he said “Thy will be done”
    And ever since that day for us, the victory has been won.

    Chorus:
    And we are covered – covered – covered by the blood of the lamb.

  2. But what does the individual Calvinist ACTUALLY have that he can TRUST concerning Calvin’s god’s will for his life?

    1) He can trust that Calvin’s god – as the divine potter – designs the MANY out of the human population – for eternal torment in a lake of fire.

    2) He can trust that he is either part of the MANY or he is part of the FEW

    3) He can trust that the benevolent promises he reads in scripture are Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will for his life – while Calvin’s god’s SECRET will for his life may be the opposite.

    4) He can trust that Calvin’s god holds out salvation as a -quote “Savor of condemnation” to a – quote “LARGE MIXTURE” of Calvinists. And then at some point later – quote “Strikes them with greater blindness”.

    5) He can trust that Calvin’s god determines those Calvinists to have a FALSE perception that they are elect when Calvin’s god knows they are not. So he can trust the statistical probability that he is a part of that LARGE MIXTURE and is thus fated for eternal torment in a lake of fire.

    CONCLUSION:
    He can trust Calvin’s god leads him to believe he is “Jacob whom I love”
    When in fact he is REALLY “Esau whom I hate”.

  3. Thanks Eric.
    The Calvinist assumes and/or reads into this passage that “proginosko” must necessarily mean that Paul is talking about some future event that God knows before it arrives and that those He foreknew are the Roman Christians (and extrapolated out to all Christians) or that the only other alternative is the Arminian idea of God “looking through the corridors of time.” As Eric notes, the grammatical context of the passage simply doesn’t support either of these. The Calvinist never considers the most basic meaning of “Proginosko,” which is to “know beforehand”. In chapter 11, verse 2, Paul uses the exact same “proginosko” in this very way when he writes “God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew.” Here he is obviously talking about God’s people, the Jews, whom He “knew before.” There is no reason that Paul could not be using the same word in the same way here in chapter 8, and actually a lot more support for him doing just that rather than the Calvinist reading.

    1. ANDY2015 writes, “The Calvinist assumes and/or reads into this passage that “proginosko” must necessarily mean that Paul is talking about some future event that God knows before it arrives and that those He foreknew are…”

      The Calvinist takes “foreknew” in Romans 8 to contrast with those of whom Jesus said, “I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” As Jesus was speaking of those in the church, it would also apply to those outside the church. The conclusion is that God foreknew the OT saints if Romans 8 is to be restricted, grammatically, to the OT saints. That which is said of OT saints would apply equally to saints in the first century and in the 21st century. Since God foreknew (knew beforehand), predestined, called, justified, and glorified the OT saints then God would foreknow, predestine, call, justify, and glorify all future saints.

      Because Paul writes that God foreknew or knew beforehand those He then called, we knows that God foreknew the OT saints before they came to Jesus. We then remember what Jesus said in John 6, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…” Thus, all that God gives to Christ, he foreknows and then calls.

      Even if we Read Romans 8 to mean the OT saints, there is no reason to think that God would describe His treatment of future saints differently that He treated OT saints. If Andy thinks differently, maybe he can suggest an order of actions he thinks applies to future saints.

      Then, “The Calvinist never considers the most basic meaning of “Proginosko,” which is to “know beforehand”. In chapter 11, verse 2, Paul uses the exact same “proginosko” in this very way when he writes “God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew.” Here he is obviously talking about God’s people, the Jews,…”

      In chapter 11, Paul writes, “God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah,…” The reference to Elijah recalls God saying, ““I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Then Paul’s conclusion, “…at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” In context, when Paul says, ““God has not rejected His people…” he is referring to the remnant and not the Jews in the flesh as Andy has concluded. This follows Paul’s argument begun in Romans 9, “those who are the children of the flesh (the Jews), these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise (the remnant) are counted as the seed.. Paul drives the point home quoting Isaiah in v27, ““Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved.”

      So, we have the Calvinist saying that God has not rejected His people – the children of promise/the remnant – in Chapter 11, while Andy understands Paul to be referring to His people as the Jews in the flesh.

    2. AndyB2015,

      For what its worth, I agree with you. Below is just a few scriptures that support that view…

      Isaiah 43:1 (NKJV)….
      But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.

      Isaiah 45:4 (NKJV)…
      For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.

      Jeremiah 3:8 (NKJV)….
      Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.

      Jeremiah 31:31-32 (NKJV)….
      “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.

      Amos 3:1-2 (NKJV)….
      Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”

      Romans 11:1-2 (NKJV)….
      I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.

      Blessings.

  4. “As Pastor Bob shows, Paul’s point is to encourage the believer as to how they can trust God’s promise that they will be vindicated from their present persecution by glorification.”

    I absolutely believe that the God of the Bible is trustworthy and can be taken at His Word.

    But I wonder how Calvinists can ever trust their Calvi-god when he never means what he says or says what he means, when he has “secret double-meanings” for everything he says and the terms he uses, and when he gives commands that are contrary to his real Will (such as when he tells Adam and Eve that he doesn’t want them to eat the forbidden fruit, but then he causes them to eat it because his real Will is that they sin). How can they ever trust Calvi-god’s commands or what he says when there’s always a “hidden layer” that contradicts what he said?

    Calvinism destroys God’s trustworthiness, among other things. And if we can’t trust that He says what He means and means what He says, then we may as well throw the Bible out, along with our faith!

    Oh, the damage Calvinism has done – using God’s Word to destroy the reliability of God’s Word and His character, and using “humility” against Christians (making them feel that “good humble Christians” accept Calvinism without complaint)!

    Calvinism makes a mess of God’s Truth. But when you throw out the Calvinism, it all starts to make sense, it’s all consistent, and you realize that God is indeed good, holy, righteous, loving, and trustworthy! Just like the Bible says (when it’s read as it is written, without wearing “Calvinist glasses” or having Calvinist theologians tell you how to read it).

    1. Heather, I second all that you said. And your description make me think of how Satan deceived Adam to not trust that God meant well for him, and that what he said could be trusted completely. Adam became convinced that God had a secret agenda, that he wanted to ‘keep Adam down’ rather than that he loved him so much that he would give his all for him.

      Calvinism reminds me so much of its father, from which it came.

    2. Heather posted this one:

      “Calvinism destroys God’s trustworthiness, among other things. And if we can’t trust that He says what He means and means what He says, then we may as well throw the Bible out, along with our faith!”

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

      No, it is those people who argues that God loves the entire humanity, yet the rest are thrown to hell. These people wants to claim their own desires not God’s desires which no one can tamper even if they will continue rumble and protest. These are the people who destroys God’s trustworthiness presenting God us a weak God who needs to beg for people to agree with Him and yet does not Get what God wants for Himself in the end. The ultimate decision rests on man not God’s.

      1. Jtleosala
        No, it is those people who argues that God loves the entire humanity, yet the rest are thrown to hell. These people wants to claim their own desires not God’s desires which no one can tamper even if they will continue rumble and protest. These are the people who destroys God’s trustworthiness presenting God us a weak God who needs to beg for people to agree with Him and yet does not Get what God wants for Himself in the end. The ultimate decision rests on man not God’s.

        br.d
        Sorry JT this is DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS.
        Calvin’s god – as the divine potter – DESIGNS people to be everything they are – and he DOES NOT PERMIT them to do anything otherwise than what he DECREES.

        So if they “rumble and protest” then Calvin’s god DECREED it and does NOT PERMIT them to do otherwise.

        Jtleosala
        The ultimate decision rests on man not God’s.

        br.d
        For a Calvinist this is DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS

        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the only decisions that Calvin’s god makes available to man are those decisions Calvin’s god DECREES man to make.

        Nothing comes into existence without Calvin’s god DECREEING it into existence.
        What he does not DECREE – does not exist.
        And what does not exist is not available to man.

        Its just that simple! :-]

      2. br.d to JTL writes, “So if the “rumble and protest” then Calvin’s god DECREED it and does NOT PERMIT them to do otherwise.”

        “…does NOT ENABLE them to do otherwise.” (This because some people have problems with the term, “permit.”)

        Then, “In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the only decisions that Calvin’s god makes available to man are those decisions Calvin’s god DECREES man to make.”

        This being the conclusion from Ephesians 1, “…God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” br.d is not disputing this verse; he just likes to remind people of Ephesians 1.

      3. br.d to JTL writes, “So if the “rumble and protest” then Calvin’s god DECREED it and does NOT PERMIT them to do otherwise.”

        rhutchin
        “…does NOT ENABLE them to do otherwise.” (This because some people have problems with the term, “permit.”)

        br.d
        Well sure – cuz in Theological Determinism it goes without saying – DOES NOT PERMIT equates to DOES NOT ENABLE.

        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the only decisions that Calvin’s god makes available to man are those decisions Calvin’s god DECREES man to make.

        What Calvin’s god does not DECREE does not exist
        What does not exist – is not available to man

        rhutchin
        This being the conclusion from Ephesians 1, “…God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” br.d is not disputing this verse; he just likes to remind people of Ephesians 1.

        br.d
        AH! This will be FALSE Perception #7 that Calvin’s god has determined you to have rhutchin.

        And in the face of br.d repeatedly assuring you he does not conflate Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) with scripture. Calvin’s god is a master at planting FALSE perceptions in your brain – and making it unable to see contradictions.

        But of course in Theological Determinism that is exactly what we would expect to see :-]

      4. br.d writes, ‘Well sure – cuz in Theological Determinism it goes without saying – DOES NOT PERMIT equates to DOES NOT ENABLE. ”

        Good. Some people see “permit” as something else. So, we can use “enable” (or I can) and you will understand.

        Then, “And in the face of br.d repeatedly assuring you he does not conflate Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) with scripture. Calvin’s god is a master at planting FALSE perceptions in your brain – and making it unable to see contradictions. ”

        That’s br.ds way of saying that he cannot dispute the Calvinist understanding of Ephesians 1:11, ““…God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” As br.d says, “…in Theological Determinism that is exactly what we would expect to see.”

      5. rh writes:
        “That’s br.ds way of saying that he cannot dispute the Calvinist understanding of Ephesians 1:11, “…God works all things according to the counsel of His will,””

        Personally, I have never been able to grasp why Calvinism conflates God using all things to accomplish his will with God determining that those things he uses come into existence. There is a huge difference; really huge.

        Perhaps if you had a father like mine, who had no money but a great deal of intuitive ingenuity, you would better understand the distinction between causing events and making the best of events.

        My dad, by necessity, could basically keep a car running with duct tape and wire. Despite no training, he could repair nearly any appliance or motor with a few handtools, and scavenged or handcrafted parts. Did he desire or cause our appliances and cars to break down? Absolutely not! Yet, he accepted the hand he was dealt, and used what little he had to work with, and an amazing amount of clever ingenuity, to make things work.

        We once had a major ice storm, and, like everyone else, had been out of power for a week, and were told it could be a few weeks more before they could get to us. Tired of huddling around the open gas oven, my father went out and reconnected the wires on our house himself. It’s a wonder he didn’t kill himself.

        I am grateful that my Dad taught me a bit about how God works. He neither desires nor decrees the sins and poor choices of men, but made them free, morally responsible creatures. Being far wiser and ingenious than my dad – not to mention having the ability to see the future and control things like weather, life and death, dreams, etc. – God can take whatever comes into existence and still work it all into something usable and good.

        I honestly do not understand why this seems so difficult to grasp, nor ever considered for a second the Calvinist interpretation of Eph 1:11 in all my years of reading the bible.

      6. TS00 writes, “…Calvinism conflates God using all things to accomplish his will with God determining that those things he uses come into existence. There is a huge difference; really huge.”

        Calvinists don’t see a difference. You seem to agree on what God does – you just give it a different slant.

        Then, “Perhaps if you had a father like mine, who had no money but a great deal of intuitive ingenuity, you would better understand the distinction between causing events and making the best of events.”

        “…making the best of events,” or as you describe above, “…making the best of events…that he determined to come into existence.”

      7. br.d
        ‘Well sure – cuz in Theological Determinism it goes without saying – DOES NOT PERMIT equates to DOES NOT ENABLE. ”

        rhutchin
        Good. Some people see “permit” as something else. So, we can use “enable” (or I can) and you will understand.

        br.d
        You’ll want to think that one through a little more.
        Whales are mammals – so in a given context – whale equates to mammal
        However the two terms don’t specify the same thing.
        Likewise PERMIT and ENABLE don’t specify the same thing – even though it LOGICALLY follows Calvin’s god is not going to ENABLE that which he does not PERMIT –

        And per the 7th FALSE perception Calvin’s god determined you to have – and even in the face of br.d repeatedly assuring you he does not conflate Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) with scripture. Calvin’s god is a master at planting FALSE perceptions in your brain – and making it unable to see contradictions. ”

        rhutchin
        That’s br.ds way of saying that he cannot dispute the Calvinist understanding of Ephesians 1:11, ““…

        br.d
        If that’s a perception you have – then Calvin’s god has given you an 8th FALSE perception.
        br.d knows its a silly mistake to conflate Calvinism with scripture.
        Disputing with IRRATIONAL is a dead-end road.

        rhutchin
        God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” As br.d says, “…in Theological Determinism that is exactly what we would expect to see.”

        br.d
        Now your just twisting my words the same way you sometimes twist John Calvin’s and Vincent Chung’s.
        Not a manifestation of intellectual honesty I’m afraid.
        But it does follow a certain manifestation of an age demographic which I’ve previously noted.

      8. br.d writes, “Likewise PERMIT and ENABLE don’t specify the same thing”

        OK. Then you modify your earlier statement, “DOES NOT PERMIT equates to DOES NOT ENABLE. ” Given that you know that the terms, “permit,” and “enable,” do not specify the same thing, then you can understand the problems Calvinists have with the term, “permit.” So, “permit” is the wrong term to use when explaining Calvinist doctrine; “enable” is the better term to describe what God does.

        Then, ‘rhutchin: “That’s br.ds way of saying that he cannot dispute the Calvinist understanding of Ephesians 1:11, ““…
        br.d: “if that’s a perception you have – then Calvin’s god has given you an 8th FALSE perception.”

        The key term, “if.” In this case, your failure to deny the Calvinist explanation of Ephesians 1:11 and provide an alternative explanation means that you cannot dispute the Calvinist explanation. You say, “br.d knows its a silly mistake to conflate Calvinism with scripture,” and in this case, you have not, and probably cannot, explain any conflation by the Calvinists. At least, as long as you refuse to provide an explanation.

        Then, “rhutchin: “God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” As br.d says, “…in Theological Determinism that is exactly what we would expect to see.”
        br.d: “Now your just twisting my words the same way you sometimes twist John Calvin’s and Vincent Chung’s.”

        Then again, maybe you are just confused on this point given your inability to frame an argument against the Calvinist explanation of the verse.

      9. br.d
        PERMIT and ENABLE don’t specify the same thing

        rhutchin
        OK. Then you modify your earlier statement, “DOES NOT PERMIT equates to DOES NOT ENABLE. ”

        br.d
        rhutchin – go back and read my last post – something went over your head.

        rhutchin
        Given that you know that the terms, “permit,” and “enable,” do not specify the same thing, then you can understand the problems Calvinists have with the term, “permit.”

        br.d
        I understand Theological Determinism and IN-determinism mutually exclude each other.
        One’s existence LOGICALLY excludes the existence of the other.

        Now in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) divine PERMISSION is limited to ONLY and EXACTLY what Calvin’s god DECREES. Nothing more and nothing less is PERMITTED.

        Divine permission does not become an Biblically-ethical problem for the Calvinist in the context of “good” events. But it does become a problem for the Calvinist in the context of “evil” events. And that is quite understandable because of those LOGICAL consequences of Theological Determinism stand in contrast to Biblical ethics.

        For example – where Calvin’s god DECREES Adam disobey – it LOGICALLY follows Adam is not permitted to obey – because Calvin’s god would be permitting Adam to falsify/negate the DECREE – and doing so cannot be permitted. Therefore it follows Calvin’s god does NOT PERMIT Adam to obey.

        rhutchin
        So, “permit” is the wrong term to use when explaining Calvinist doctrine; “enable” is the better term to describe what God does.

        br.d
        I used LOGIC (above) to show that is FALSE
        If you can’t understand the LOGIC then I won’t go in circles trying to explain it.

        But I certainly understand why the Calvinist wants to masquerade determinism as IN-determinism – because of the Biblically ethical problems that LOGICALLY follow with Theological Determinism.

        rhutchin
        The key term, “if.” In this case, your failure to deny the Calvinist explanation of Ephesians 1:11 and provide an alternative explanation means that you cannot dispute the Calvinist explanation. You say, “br.d knows its a silly mistake to conflate Calvinism with scripture,” and in this case, you have not, and probably cannot, explain any conflation by the Calvinists. At least, as long as you refuse to provide an explanation.

        br.d
        rhutchin – the fact that you are obsessed with that particular issue just tells me you’re obsessed with it.
        I’m happy with the contribution I provide at SOT101 – sorry if that doesn’t work for you.

        rhutchin
        maybe you are just confused on this point given your inability to frame an argument against the Calvinist explanation of the verse.

        br.d
        Well – we simply have different points of view.
        Given your track record on magical or irrational thinking, and the logical fallacies in so many of your posts – and my track record in exposing them – I think we have a win-win situation. :-]

      10. br.d writes, ‘For example – where Calvin’s god DECREES Adam disobey – it LOGICALLY follows Adam is not permitted to obey…Therefore it follows Calvin’s god does NOT PERMIT Adam to obey.”

        The better word here is “enabled” not “permitted.” When God gives Satan freedom to enter the garden, He understands all that could follow – Eve eating the fruit, offering the fruit to Adam, and Adam eating the fruit – and God then enacts His earlier decision/decree that these events are to happen. Adam is permitted to refuse to eat the fruit but Adam will not refuse to eat the fruit and cannot refuse without God’s help which God earlier decreed not to provide. Adam could not overcome his desires without God’s help.

        Then, “If you can’t understand the LOGIC then I won’t go in circles trying to explain it.”

        Unfortunately, you cannot explain your logic – all you seem able to do is to make claims of logic.

        Then, “I’m happy with the contribution I provide at SOT101 – sorry if that doesn’t work for you.”

        A contribution that consists of many claims and no explanations in support of those claims. You seem unable to tie your claims to the truth of the Scriptures.

        Then, “Well – we simply have different points of view.”

        Except that you seem unable to explain your point of view. You will say, “its a silly mistake to conflate Calvinism with scripture,” and then cannot give examples of any conflation or otherwise explain conflation.

      11. rh writes:
        “When God gives Satan freedom to enter the garden, He understands all that could follow – Eve eating the fruit, offering the fruit to Adam, and Adam eating the fruit – and God then enacts His earlier decision/decree that these events are to happen. Adam is permitted to refuse to eat the fruit but Adam will not refuse to eat the fruit and cannot refuse without God’s help which God earlier decreed not to provide. Adam could not overcome his desires without God’s help.”

        Talk about convoluted nonsense. God understands what he formerly decreed (duh) then enacts this decree. Adam supposedly is permitted to resist God’s decree, but not really, because he cannot. Unless God provides help to enable Adam to resist his decree, which God decreed to not provide. (God decrees to not enable people to resist his decrees?) Thus Adam could not really resist God’s decree unless God enabled him to, which would make his making of decrees useless and pretty darn silly. Why would God declare a decree, then enable it to be resisted? Ah, sounds like only a little dose of freedom will rescue us from this insanity.

      12. TS00 writes, “Talk about convoluted nonsense. God understands what he formerly decreed (duh) then enacts this decree.”

        Under Calvinism, God’s understanding precedes His decrees and is the basis for the counsel of His will.

        TS00 writes, “Thus Adam could not really resist God’s decree unless God enabled him to,”

        Just like you cannot resist God’s decrees unless God enables you.

        Then, “Why would God declare a decree, then enable it to be resisted?”

        God enabling you to do X would be part of His decree. God decrees that Satan enter the garden and tempt Eve. Had God also decreed to give Eve wisdom to say, No, she would have said, No. Because Eve said Yes and ate the fruit we have evidence of God’s decree not to give Eve wisdom to say, No. God’s decrees become known to us as time passes and we observe the events that occur.

        Then, “sounds like only a little dose of freedom will rescue us from this insanity.”

        Only God has true libertarian free will – this because God has infinite understanding of His creation and is omnipotent so he can do anything He wants. People cannot have LFW because they have limited understanding of the impacts of their decisions and make decisions for reasons that seem best to them but reflect their limited understanding – those reasons determine their decisions.

      13. rhutchin
        Just like you cannot resist God’s decrees unless God enables you.

        br.d
        Thank you for a marvelous example of Calvinist DOUBLE-THINK. :-]

      14. What a hoot, eh? God enabling someone to resist what he has decreed. Just try to picture that.

        God: ‘I decreed that you marry at the age of 17 and have 14 children.’
        Woman: ‘But I never married or had any children at all!’
        God: ‘That’s because I enabled you to resist my decree.’

        What, pray tell, kind of decree is that? Nonsense. It’s all just word jugglery to this sort of Calvinist.

      15. Absolutely!
        Its just the Calvinist’s way of hedging in order to have it both ways.

        They make big claims about embracing Theological Determinism – sovereignty – the DECREES etc – but they really NEED IN-determinism to make their system palatable. They constantly work to have the very things they reject.

        Speaking out of both sides of the mouth is the typical way of going about that isn’t it?.

      16. TS00
        It’s all just word jugglery to this sort of Calvinist.

        br.d

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

        Dr. William James – The Dilemma of Determinism:
        -quote
        “Compatibilism is a quagmire of evasion. The Compatibilists strategy relies upon stealing the name of freedom to mask their underlying determinism. They make a pretense of restoring the caged bird to liberty with one hand, while with the other they anxiously tie a string to its leg to make sure it can’t get beyond determinism’s grasp.”

      17. br.d
        ‘For example – where Calvin’s god DECREES Adam disobey – it LOGICALLY follows Adam is not permitted to obey…Therefore it follows Calvin’s god does NOT PERMIT Adam to obey.”

        rhutchin
        The better word here is “enabled” not “permitted.”

        br.d
        The better word for those who can’t speak the WHOLE TRUTH.
        The Calvinist strong suit is manipulating words – to Masquerade his system as something it is not.
        So this response is quite understandable

        rhutchin
        When God gives Satan freedom to enter the garden, He understands all that could follow

        br.d
        Calvin’s god gives the creature freedom ONLY to be/do what Calvin’s god DECREES.
        Calvin’s god understands what he meticulously DECREES – and thus he understands what WILL follow.
        Calvin’s god – as the divine potter – knows what he has DESIGNED each creature for.
        And most of them – for eternal torment in the lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

        rhutchin
        Adam is permitted to refuse to eat the fruit

        br.d
        FALSE
        NO creature is PERMITTED to falsify or negate the divine DECREE

        rhutchin
        Adam will not refuse to eat the fruit

        br.d
        Because Calvin’s god CANNOT PERMIT his DECREE to be falsified or negated.

        rhutchin
        And cannot refuse without God’s help which God earlier decreed not to provide.

        br.d
        A great example of DOUBLE-SPEAK
        Calvin’s god is not going to do anything that would falsify or negate his DECREE either

        rhutchin
        Adam could not overcome his desires without God’s help.

        br.d
        Every attribute of Adam is *TOTALLY* determined by Calvin’s god – the divine potter who DESIGNS vessels of wrath – and the creature (including Adam) is NOT PERMITTED to be/do otherwise.

        rhutchin
        Unfortunately, you cannot explain your logic – all you seem able to do is to make claims of logic.

        br.d
        After all that DOUBLE-SPEAK – you want to claim I can’t explain what is LOGICAL
        Good one!
        Thank you for that example rhutchin! :-]

      18. jtl writes:
        “These are the people who destroys God’s trustworthiness presenting God us a weak God who needs to beg for people to agree with Him and yet does not Get what God wants for Himself in the end.”

        Actually, God gets exactly what he wants for himself in the end, without using any force or coercive measures: He gets a people who freely love him in response to his incomparable love and mercy, while allowing all who reject his love and mercy to fit themselves for destruction.

        The astounding thing, one which Calvinism is unwilling to consider, is that God is unafraid to be challenged, resisted and rejected. He does not need to impose his will upon resistless victims in order to have a people who love him and desire to live in proper relationship with him.

        I pity and fear those who value a ‘strong’ God who always gets what he wants by force and tyranny. God is not a God of rape and force. He will not demand that his will be done, but will assist and reward those who respond to his goodness and love with humble obedience. Such a far cry from the egotistic, controlling tyrant of Calvinism.

      19. TS00 writes, “Actually, God gets exactly what he wants for himself in the end, without using any force or coercive measures:…”

        I think JTL would agree with this. Examples are the sale of Joseph by his brothers, God’s use of the Assyrians in Isaiah 10, the crucifixion of Christ, etc.

        Then, “He gets a people who freely love him in response to his incomparable love and mercy,…”

        Recognizing that they freely love God because God draws them to Christ, teaches them, opens their hearts, as with Lydia, convicts them of sin through the Holy Spirit, etc. After all that, who wouldn’t love Christ and God?

        Then, “…while allowing all who reject his love and mercy to fit themselves for destruction.”

        True, but they do not get the benefit God accords to His elect (those who freely love him).

        Then, “He does not need to impose his will upon resistless victims in order to have a people who love him and desire to live in proper relationship with him. ”

        Tell that to Saul of Tarsus (not that he complained).

      20. TS00 writes, “Actually, God gets exactly what he wants for himself in the end, without using any force or coercive measures:…”

        rhutchin
        I think JTL would agree with this. Examples are the sale of Joseph by his brothers, God’s use of the Assyrians in Isaiah 10, the crucifixion of Christ, etc.

        br.d
        All except that Calvin’s god meticulously choreographs the whole puppet show.

        rhutchin
        Recognizing that they freely love God because God draws them to Christ

        br.d
        With the caveat that in Theological determinism they are ONLY Free to be/do what Calvin’s god DECREES them to be/do. And NOT FREE to be/do otherwise.

        rhutchin
        , teaches them, opens their hearts, as with Lydia,

        br.d
        Well – as we’ve discussed – in Theological Determinism – humans really don’t “learn” anything – technically speaking. What happens there is Calvin’s god gives humans FALSE and TRUE perceptions. Technically that cannot be called “learning”.

        rhutchin
        convicts them of sin through the Holy Spirit, etc. After all that, who wouldn’t love Christ and God?

        br.d
        In Theological Determinism’s case – DECREES their first perceptions to perceive sin as NOT sin
        And then latter changes their perceptions to perceive some sin as sin.

        But again – technically speaking – that cannot be called “conviction” because “conviction” is something the person would have to determine for themselves – and Calvin’s god determines *ALL* exclusively.

      21. br.d writes, “All except that Calvin’s god meticulously choreographs the whole puppet show.”

        This from Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.’ br.d is not disputing the Calvinist understanding (How could he?).

        Then, “Well – as we’ve discussed – in Theological Determinism – humans really don’t “learn” anything – technically speaking. What happens there is Calvin’s god gives humans FALSE and TRUE perceptions. Technically that cannot be called “learning”. ”

        According to John 6, “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Christ,” God does teach and people do learn and this accounts for a person coming to Christ. So, Calvinism deviates from Theological Determinism on this point.

        Then, ‘In Theological Determinism’s case – DECREES their first perceptions to perceive sin as NOT sin”

        This by virtue of the depraved heart that Jeremiah describes – “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked;” The depraved person has no ability to perceive sin as not sin.

        Then, “And then latter changes their perceptions to perceive some sin as sin.”

        This, by giving a person faith.

      22. br.d
        All except that in Theological Determinism Calvin’s god meticulously choreographs the whole puppet show.”

        rhutchin
        This from Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.’ br.d is not disputing the Calvinist understanding (How could he?).

        br.d
        Now why would br.d put any stock in an IRRATIONAL understanding?

        And – as we’ve discussed – in Theological Determinism – humans really don’t “learn” anything – technically speaking. What happens there is Calvin’s god gives humans FALSE and TRUE perceptions. Technically that cannot be called “learning”. ”

        rhutchin
        According to John 6, “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Christ,” God does teach and people do learn and this accounts for a person coming to Christ. So, Calvinism deviates from Theological Determinism on this point.

        br.d
        This reminds me of the kinder garden boy who chose vanilla ice cream and then argued it was chocolate. :-]

        Also in Theological Determinism’s case – Calvin’s god firstly DECREES the a person’s perceptions to perceive sin as NOT sin.

        rhutchin
        This by virtue of the depraved heart that Jeremiah describes – “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked;” The depraved person has no ability to perceive sin as not sin.

        br.d
        We’re all to aware of your circular thinking here:
        An attribute of the creature caused an attribute of the creature – caused an attribute of the creature – caused an attribute of the creature – and on into infinite regress.

        We understand – its the Calvinist’s “go to” escape mechanism.

        Calvin’s god may latter change a persons perceptions to perceive some sin as sin.

        rhutchin
        This, by giving a person faith.

        br.d
        Leave it to a Calvinist to think a person can have faith in [X] without being able to perceive [X].
        Another good example of why IRRATIONAL thinking will always resolve to an IRRATIONAL interpretation.

      23. JTLEOSALA: “These people wants to claim their own desires not God’s desires which no one can tamper even if they will continue rumble and protest. These are the people who destroys God’s trustworthiness presenting God us a weak God ”

        Wow … brilliant way of making lies sound good and God-glorifying! Such is how Satan operates and such is Calvinism.

        Reminds me of the brilliant ways that the world turns sexual immorality (affairs, sex before marriage, immoral relationships, etc.) into “good and godly” by claiming things like “Well, God is love, and He is all about the love. All He wants us to do is love each other. The greatest commandment is to love one another! So He doesn’t care about who we love or how we love, just so long as we love each other. Besides, it’s those who judge who are really in the wrong, because God says not to judge others. Jesus never judged; He just loved others and accepted them as they are. He loved sinners and hated the proud religious people because they judged people.” (And FYI, they claim the greatest commandment is to love one another, but it’s not. It’s love God first, then love others. And if they get this wrong from the very beginning, then it will all be wrong!)

        See how easy it is to use the Bible and God’s character to make lies sound like truth!

        And that’s what you are doing here. Using God’s character against Him. Using Scripture against Truth.

        (Well said, Br.d., about the double-mindedness of the Calvinist. They have to be double-minded in order to make their theology fit with Scripture and to be “content” with it. Because any rational, logic person would be – should be – horrified by Calvinism and what it does to God’s truth and character.)

        It’s classic Calvinism: Shame those who disagree with Calvinism by accusing them of being unhumble and of fighting God.

        You are making it sound like we disagree with Calvinism because we don’t want it to be true, because we want to make God into the kind of God we want Him to be instead of accepting Him as you say He is. It’s trying to shed doubt on our motives so that you can tear down our message.

        But we who disagree with Calvinism are not contradicting the Bible or God as He is. We are fighting against the major distortions Calvinism makes of the Bible and God. We are fighting FOR truth, not against it!

        2 Corinthians 11:12-15: “And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”

        And on a different note, in reference to a comment by someone else: When Calvinists quote “God works all things according to the counsel of his will …”, they mean “God causes all things according to his will.” They change Scripture from “working all things together” to “causing all things that happen.” Another subtle, brilliant way to make their flawed theology sound more valid.

        And well said, TS00: “The astounding thing, one which Calvinism is unwilling to consider, is that God is unafraid to be challenged, resisted and rejected. He does not need to impose his will upon resistless victims in order to have a people who love him and desire to live in proper relationship with him. I pity and fear those who value a ‘strong’ God who always gets what he wants by force and tyranny.”

  5. Great Article and Great post BR.D – Responding to your post BR.D on what can be Trusted by the Calvinist.

    The Calvinist Biggest question is NOT: a.) What is the gospel? What is Truth?
    Nor is it 2.) Have I placed my faith/trust in the gospel?
    Those questions in a very practical sense are totally irrelevant. The ONLY thing that matters is, AM I Elect?

    The ONLY question that really matters in Calvinism is: AM I irresistibly and unconditionally elect for Salvation or Am I irresistibly Elect for Damnation by God? Nothing else matters !!!! Never has Never will.

    Like you point out the Calvinist doesn’t know and can’t know if the “faith/trust” that has been given him is a “genuine saving faith” or a “temporary faith” or a “counterfeit faith” as JMAC calls it. For the Calvinist the Best proof that he has genuine faith is the P of TULIP “his own works” so he looks constantly to his own doings to see if maybe there is enough indication that he might be the elect BUT even there he can’t be sure because in Calvinism the ONLY guarantee that he is saved is IF he has enough good works all the way to the end. BUT once again those good works could be “counterfeit works” the Pharasees were very very very devoted to the end and they were not saved. So the honest Calvinist can never have assurance of his Salvation even though he might teach “Eternal Security”. He can’t know that he is actually one of the “Eternally Secure”.

    The Calvinist paradigm takes peoples focus away from the Gospel and trusting in the Gospel and Christ alone to a Constant looking to ones own works, ones own desires, owns own goodness inside of ones self.

    Notice how this young lady wants assurance NOT once does JMac point her to the cross and Jesus crucified on her behalf. Not once does JMac ask her if she is trusting in His sacrifice Alone for her Salvation.
    The ONLY thing JMac does is get her to examine her own deeds and desires… Calvinism leads people down the wrong path, changes the focus from Jesus Christ and HIM crucified. To are you and your deeds… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHivtfyUmMc
    Check the link out. It is sad.

    1. Thanks GraceAdict – per your posting it – I listened to it.

      For me – MacArthur is doing what all Calvinists do:

      1) Speak “little” truths designed to HIDE the WHOLE truth of their systematic.

      2) Highlight the “good” side of their systematic in order to HIDE the “evil” side of it.

      Like JT here asserts that the Calvinist’s elect status is not kept as a SECRET from the Calvinist.
      By stating: “how can god betray his elect”?

      Which of course – when you think that through – is totally IRRATIONAL.

      I think it understandable that if they allow their brains to connect with the possibility that Calvin’s god may have designed them for eternal torment in the lake of fire – they would be emotionally devastated by that reality and people would probably leave Calvinist churches in droves.

      Therefore MacArthur must HIDE the bad news.

      The reason that girl was asking those question is because she’s RATIONAL enough to connect those dots.

      MacArthur’s answer is: “ignore the little man in front of that curtain over there” :-]

  6. Graceadict: “The Calvinist paradigm takes peoples focus away from the Gospel and trusting in the Gospel and Christ alone to a Constant looking to ones own works, ones own desires, owns own goodness inside of ones self.”

    Br.d. “CONCLUSION: He can trust Calvin’s god leads him to believe he is “Jacob whom I love”
    When in fact he is REALLY “Esau whom I hate”.”

    Great points, both of you!

    And AndyB: “The Calvinist assumes and/or reads into this passage that “proginosko” must necessarily mean that …”

    This right here hits the nail on the head about the fundamental flaw of Calvinism. Calvinists assume things and read things into Scripture based on what they believe it SHOULD NECESSARILY MEAN. This error is abundant all throughout their theology!

    One big one is that for God to be sovereign, it necessarily means that He must always be controlling everything. But Scripture shows that God has chosen to exercise His sovereignty NOT by controlling everything all the time, but by giving people real choices and working their choices into His plans.

    And another big one is that God’s love necessarily ends in saved people. Therefore, if God really loves you,, He will save you. And therefore, He only really loves those He saves. And then they have to go and change the meanings of “God’s love” (creating two different kinds of love, one for the elect and one for the non-elect) and “all men” and “the world” and things like that, to make it fit their view that God really only loves those He saves and saves those He loves. Because their fundamental flawed belief is that God’s love necessarily ends in salvation.

    But in reality, in the Bible, God’s love bought salvation for all men, through Jesus’s death. But He leaves it up to us to accept or reject that gift.

    1. Heather writes:” And another big one is that God’s love necessarily ends in saved people. Therefore, if God really loves you,, He will save you. And therefore, He only really loves those He saves. And then they have to go and change the meanings of “God’s love” (creating two different kinds of love, one for the elect and one for the non-elect) and “all men” and “the world” and things like that, to make it fit their view…”

      Exactly correct Heather…The Calvinist thinking is so wired that when we argue from Scripture that God Really, Authentically Loves All people and we show it from scripture…the Calvinist will call you two names:

      1. So you are a “Universalist”… or if you say not all are saved he then will call you another name…
      2. So You are a Semi-pelegian – you believe God’s love is incapable of saving and man has to save himself.

      These are the tactics they will use…this tactic is dishonest and ignores the 975 scriptures that clearly state man must believe the Gospel.

    2. Great points Grace Addict, BrD, and great additional points Heather,
      I am more convinced than ever that Calvinism is a man-created theology that overlays the erroneous ideas of Augustine and then Calvin on top of scripture and makes scripture mean what the man-created ideas of Calvinism require them to mean, not what scripture actually says if read without Calvinist glasses on. I know a lot of Calvinists (used to attend what I consider to be a hyper-Calvinist church) and I’m still looking to try to find one, but have yet to find a single Calvinist who became a Calvinist by simply reading their Bible for what it says. It just doesn’t happen. No one comes up with this stuff on their own or from just reading and studying scripture. Every Calvinist I know became a Calvinist only when they were exposed to it’s teaching from another person, either a friend who was a Calvinist or from a Calvinist preacher or professor/teacher or famous author who taught them what specific Bible passages “really mean”, or what things such as God’s sovereignty and God’s love “must necessarily mean,”

      1. Great post Anyyb2015

        Years ago when I first started examining Calvinism – I looked at it statistical demographics.
        And realized its a religion predominantly for the white anglo-saxon male.

        And one who has a tendency to believe whatever he’s told.
        Strain at a gnats and swallow really big camels! :-]

  7. All,

    The below are not my words, though I have posted some of the same thoughts/observations here before. I am not saying I agree with every tit for tat, but I do agree with the overall point that Romans 8:29-30 is about Israel. Sorry in advance for the length of this post.

    Here goes….

    Who God Foreknew and Predestined

    At Romans 8:29, Paul says that God predestined some people to be conformed to the image of God’s Son. Who are these people? Who had God known beforehand in the past? If we look forward just a little in this same letter, we find Paul more clearly identifying who he has in mind – Israel.

    I ask, then, has God rejected His people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.” (11:1-2).

    Now in Romans 9-11, Paul will get into this in more specific detail but here in chapter 8 he simply wants to show that God had predestined the nation of Israel to be conformed to the image of His Son. Paul’s whole line of argumentation from chapter 2 right through chapter 11 involves establishing that the Law of Moses could not justify the Jew and God sent his Son to do what the Law could not do (8:3-4). In the book of Acts, Paul addresses his Jewish brethren in Antioch of Pisidia and explains to them that forgiveness of sins was now available to them that they could not receive under the Law of Moses (13:16-39). He tells the same message right here in Romans when he says that now a righteousness of God is manifested which the Law and the Prophets had testified and Jesus’ death was an atoning sacrifice for those sins previously committed under the Law (Rom 3:21-25; cf. Mt 1:21; Heb 9:15). The Law was not given for righteousness but to expose sin (3:20; 5:19-20; 7:1-25; cf. Gal 2:21; 3:19; 1 Cor 15:56). The message of Galatians is similar and Paul tells them that the Law was their tutor and guardian until Christ came to redeem them from the sins committed under the Law and now that the faith of Christ has come they are no longer under the Law (2:19-20; 3:13-4:31). After spending much time explaining that all men are sinners in order to show his Jewish audience they too are sinners, and that the purpose of the Law was to expose sins, the point Paul made at Romans 3:21 is again emphasized at Romans 8:1-4 when he says “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” because God sent his Son to do what the Law of Moses could not do for the Jews of Israel. The Law condemned them and now Christ had finally come to set Israel free from that condemnation. Paul has been explaining to them the new way of the Spirit is now available to them and the Law looked forward to this fulfillment.

    The Context of Romans

    Paul has had his Roman Jewish brethren in his sights throughout Romans and will have them in his sights until chapter 11 when he turns his attention to the Gentiles of the church in Rome, “Now I am speaking to you Gentiles (11:13). He is appealing to these Jews in the church to understand why the covenant of the Mosaic Law is no longer in effect and that is the reason the nations can come in which is the overall thrust of his purpose in writing Romans (1:5; 16:26). We can see quite clearly that he is specifically addressing his Jewish audience if we simply follow his train of thought through his letter. A Jew was a person who by definition was “under the Law” and a Gentile was one “without the Law” (Rom 2:12). He begins at Romans 2:11 where he distinguishes Jews and Gentiles, “All who have sinned without the Law (Gentiles) will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law (Jews) will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the Law (Jews) who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law (faithful Jews; see 2:29-29) who will be justified” and at 2:17, “you call yourself a Jew.” At Romans 3:1 Paul is still addressing the Jews, “what advantage has the Jew?” Romans 3:9 says, “are we Jews any better?” and 3:19, “whatever the Law speaks it speaks to those under the Law” and “Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also” (3:29). And again he includes himself with his Jewish brethren at Romans 4:1, “Abraham our forefather according to flesh” when he proves that justification does not necessarily come through circumcision into the Law since Abraham their very own forefather was not even under the Mosaic Law when God declared his response of faith to be righteous.

    Throughout chapter 4, Paul focuses on the Jewish rite of circumcision to show that it was a response of faith and not a righteousness of the Law which did not even appear until Moses 430 years later. (see Gal 3:17) and in this way he foils the Jewish claim that righteousness can only come by obedience to the Law (Acts 15:1). Paul ends chapter 4 by telling them Jesus died for their transgressions they had previously committed under the old covenant (3:25; cf. Heb 9:15) and was raised for their justification and in Romans 5:1-11 he goes on to show them they now have peace with God having been his enemies and sinners because God reconciled them to himself through His Son. Then Paul explains that all humanity is under sin to demonstrate these Jews too are under sin, just as he previously illustrated at Romans 3:9-23, and he ends with giving them the reason for the Law (5:20-21). It was not to make them righteous but to demonstrate to them they were sinners. And in Romans 6 he begins, “what shall we say then?” and advises the Jews they are no longer under the Law because they are under grace (6:14). He begins at Romans 7:1 with the statement, “Do you not know, brethren, for I am speaking to those who know the Law…” and then he reminds those who were baptized into Christ (cf. 6:3-5) were dead to the Mosaic Law because they had died to the Law and were set free from the Law to serve in the newness of the Spirit (7:1-6). And the remainder of Romans 7 illustrates the powerlessness of the Law for the Jew because all men are moral fallen flesh and in bondage to sin. And then at Romans 8:3-4, Paul shows that Jesus came to do what the powerless Law could not do for them, the Jews. It will not be until chapter 11 that Paul turns his attention to his Roman Gentile audience. His gospel is “first for the Jew” (1:16) and his concern is for them first and foremost (9:1-5; 10:1) and since he is the Apostle to the nations (Gentiles), he needs to ensure these Jewish brethren do not try to turn his Gentile converts toward doing works of the Mosaic Law.

    Once Paul demonstrates to his Jewish brethren they have died to the Mosaic Law with Christ in their conversions, he turns to the benefits of being raised with Christ in the Spirit and explains to them that the same Spirit of life that is in them is the firstfruits of their resurrection glory (8:5-25) and it is in this Spirit they long to be clothed in that glory while they suffer. So when we come to Romans 8:28, and Paul refers to God working out all things to the good for those who love him, he has the suffering Jews in his sights. What God did for Jesus, Paul says that God will do for them, those he foreknew and had predestined to be conformed the image of God’s son. Romans 8:29 is a statement that God had planned Christ for the nation of Israel. He had planned for them to become conformed to the image of Christ. Christ was the goal and end of the Law (10:4) and now that Christ had come, and died, and rose again, these Jews were to be conformed to his image in suffering and death in the promise that God will glorify them in the sonship of resurrection (8:17-25; cf. Php 3:10-21).

    God Foreknew Israel

    The chronological point of reference in Romans 8:29 is the cross. Before the cross, God foreknew the Jews of Israel, those who loved him, and were called according to His good purpose. God was calling Israel His good purpose, to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that Jesus might be the firstborn among many brothers by new birth out of the dead. Israel were those Jews under Law and God sent His Son to do what the Law could not do for them. The goal and end of the Law was the death of Jesus Christ. His death was the ultimate purpose of the Law and the Temple and its sacrifices looked forward to Calvary. God had predestined Israel to be conformed to the image of His Son when that day came. And now Paul pleads with his Jewish brethren, to the Jew first, to suffer and die with Christ just as Christ suffered and died in the promise that they would be raised with Christ and reign with him in glory.

    The message of Romans 3:20-26 and the message of Romans 8:3-4 and the message of Romans 8:29-30 are essentially the same message, from the Law to Christ and the way one goes about doing this is by dying with him and being raised up with him in the Spirit. If we back up just a few verses to 8:10-11 we find Paul promising the Jews that if the Spirit of Christ lives in them they will be bodily raised on the day of resurrection. He continues in this theme and teaches them that if indeed they suffer with him in the Spirit and put to death the misdeeds of the flesh they will reign with Jesus (8:12-17). And then he explains to them that these present sufferings are nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed in them on the day of resurrection, the Christian hope of glory (8:18-25). Paul is clear when he tells them that one does not hope for something one already has. In Romans 8:30, he says that God will glorify those he predestines in that resurrection. He is discussing the very same thing at 1 Corinthians 2:7-9 and Ephesians 1:5-11. Indeed, this is the final step in being conformed to the image of Christ (1 Cor 15:49). The Jews are to trust God since he works out all things according to his good purpose and will for those who love him (8:28) and their sufferings in Christ will culminate in resurrection glory.

    Paul uses the same language at Philippians 3:10-21 where he says:

    “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship his sufferings, being conformed (symmorphoo) to his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own, but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus…. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ who will conform (symmorphos) our body of humiliation to be like his body of glory, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Php 3:20-21).

    Paul is exhorting these Jews to pick up their cross, suffer with Christ, and be conformed to his image in his suffering unto death and his resurrection unto life. When Christ returns and they are resurrected into glory they will be finished being conformed to his image. These Jews God foreknew, he predestined to be conformed to the image of God’s Son so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers, he being the firstborn out of the dead (cf. Col 1:18; Rev 1:5). Those Jews he predestined to this He calls to this and those Jews He calls to this He justifies and those Jews He justifies he glorifies. God works out all things to the good for those who love him and their sufferings will be worked out to the good of resurrection glory.

    How does Romans 8:29-30 apply to me?

    Whenever we read our Bibles, we must be very careful that we understand that every message does not apply to us directly. For example, Jesus taught many of his Jewish brothers to be obedient to the Law before he died on the cross. This is no longer applicable to Jews much less Gentiles who never were under the Law. Much of the time the message is directly applicable to us but much of the time it is not. Leviticus is essentially not applicable to our Christian lives although we may learn much from that book. In the same way, we must be careful to filter what was written so that we know what is applicable to us, or at least how it may be applicable to us in a different way. We must read the Bible understanding who it was written to. The words “you” and “us” and “we” do not always necessarily refer to “you” the reader or “we/us” Christians. Sometimes they may refer only to Jewish Christians exclusively such as the word “our” at Romans 4:25. Jesus died for our sins too but this is definitely not what Paul is talking about in that verse and through 5:11 where he uses the words “us”, “we”, and “our” to refer to Jews of which Paul was one. In the case of Romans, it was written to a mixed Jewish/Gentile church in Rome and we must not even then assume that all things said in this letter pertain to every believer in Rome because they do not. Much of it only pertains to those who were Jews before they were Christians. Some of it only pertains to the Gentiles. Some of it pertains to both of them.

    At Romans 8:29-30, the contemporary believer may apply the message to himself but he must be very careful. Unless he is a Jew, he must understand that the message of Romans 6:14 and 7:1-6 is not applicable to him, at least not in the strict sense Paul intended since no Gentile dies to the Law when they are baptized into Christ. He can read Romans 8:13-25 and know that if he has the Spirit of Christ and share in his sufferings have the blessed hope of resurrection glory. He can know that if he loves God that God works out all things to the good for him. He can know that God now foreknows him prior to the glorification Paul promises in verse 30. He can know that God has predestined for him this inheritance of heavenly glory. He can know that God calls him to that heavenly reward and will justify him and he can know God will glorify him.

    1. phillip quoting someone writes, “At Romans 8:29, Paul says that God predestined some people to be conformed to the image of God’s Son. Who are these people? Who had God known beforehand in the past? If we look forward just a little in this same letter, we find Paul more clearly identifying who he has in mind – Israel. ”

      The issue is v29-30, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

      Romans 8 begins “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,…” with “those who are in Christ Jesus,…” referring to all believers whether Jew or gentile. This context is maintained through to v28, but then in v29-30. some say that Paul uses the example of ancient Israel – “For whom He foreknew,..” – to drive home his point. So, let’s accept that to be true. Paul’s point is that even as “…whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” in ancient Israel, so Has God predestined believers today so that God will call, justify; and glorify them. The Calvinist point still prevails – those whom God foreknew, He predestines and those God predestines, He will call and those God calls, He will justify, and those God justifies, He will glorify. The order does not change. Whether a believer in ancient Israel or a believer today, it is those whom God foreknows that He predestines, then calls, justifies and glorifies.

      Then, ‘Now in Romans 9-11, Paul will get into this in more specific detail but here in chapter 8 he simply wants to show that God had predestined the nation of Israel to be conformed to the image of His Son….”

      Paul makes clear in Romans 9, that it is not the nation of Israel that God is conforming to the image of His son. Paul writes, “they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” It is the children of promise whom God is conforming to His son. The children of promise are described as the “remnant” in chapter 8, “Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved.” and chapter 11, “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

      National Israel is not in view in Romans 9-11, as Paul emphasizes, “those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.”

  8. TSOO posted this one:

    “I pity and fear those who value a ‘strong’ God who always gets what he wants by force and tyranny. God is not a God of rape and force. He will not demand that his will be done, but will assist and reward those who respond to his goodness and love with humble obedience. Such a far cry from the egotistic, controlling tyrant of Calvinism.”

    ——–Here’s My Response———

    1. God’s anger and tyranny could be better viewed from the doctrine of “Incarnation”. Due to God’s anger and wrath kindled for His creation led Him to brutally kill His only begotten Son. There is nothing in man that we can be proud of when all humanity is worthy to be thrown to hell. But God is not like that. Because of His Love to the elect and Mercy extended to the Gentiles, He picked out some for Himself while passing the rest.

    2. TSOO said : “He will not demand that his will be done…” – This statement is in contrary to Jesus Christ’s teaching on Prayer recorded in:
    Matt. 6:10 where it says: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

    If God did not intend to save the entire humanity on earth then, who is TSOO to label God as an egoistic tyrant God?

    This idea of TSOO unveils to the table the doctrine of synergism or Semi-Pelagian where man has a counterpart in his salvation, that would still require God to give a reward.

    3. Mark 14:36 “… take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will”

    What was the Will of the Father? – The answer is to kill Jesus Christ due to the sins that was placed on Him.

    Jesus Christ is always consistent and in-agreement with the will of God the Father, to the point of willingly sacrificing Himself to die on the cross, but TSOO seems to contradict the will of God by “assisting and rewarding those who respond to His goodness and love with humble obedience”. So… this idea contradicts the sufficiency of the “substitutionary atoning act of Christ” on the cross and the Grace of God that is unconditionally and freely given to undeserving sinners. It promotes the idea that God is obligated to reward Salvation due to the self efort of showing humble obedience which is espoused here by TSOO.

    4. God’s manipulation of Pharaoh in Egypt is also another proof of a strong God who gets what He wants by force even to the killing of the entire Egyptian babies, without any sincere intention of saving those Egyptian babies.

    1. Jtleosala
      1. God’s anger and tyranny could be better viewed from the doctrine of “Incarnation”. Due to God’s anger and wrath kindled for His creation led Him to brutally kill His only begotten Son.

      br.d
      With the caveat that Calvin’s god DESIGNS and PROGRAMS man to brutally kill his own begotten son- and does NOT PERMIT man to do otherwise.

      Jtleosala
      There is nothing in man that we can be proud of when all humanity is worthy to be thrown to hell. But God is not like that.

      br.d
      Sorry this doesn’t fly. Calvin’s god is making man due exactly what Calvin’s god conceives – which makes Calvin’s god the AUTHOR of EVERYTHING man is like. Kinda hard for him not be like what he AUTHORS

      Jtleosala
      He picked out some for Himself while passing the rest.

      br.d
      The priest on the Jericho road – passed over the robbed man.
      But in this case Calvin’s god choreographs the whole show.

      Jtleosala
      If God did not intend to save the entire humanity on earth then, who is TSOO to label God as an egoistic tyrant God?

      br.d
      If Calvin’s god DESIGNED the vast Marjory of his creatures for eternal torment in lake of fire for his good pleasure – who are they to call him a tyrant?

      Jtleosala
      This idea of TSOO unveils to the table the doctrine of synergism or Semi-Pelagian where man has a counterpart in his salvation, that would still require God to give a reward.

      br.d
      Straining at the gnat of synergism – swallowing the camel of Gnosticism and NeoPlatonism.

      Jtleosala
      What was the Will of the Father? – The answer is to kill Jesus Christ due to the sins that was placed on Him.

      br.d
      To DESIGN man to kill his own son and NOT PERMIT man to do otherwise.

      Jtleosala
      4. God’s manipulation of Pharaoh in Egypt is also another proof of a strong God who gets what He wants by force even to the killing of the entire Egyptian babies, without any sincere intention of saving those Egyptian babies.

      br.d
      Yup – Calvin’s god DESIGNS/PROGRAMS the Egyptians to kill babies – in order to manufacture the excuse of sending them plagues. And that concept is supposed to be derived from scripture.

      1. Great Post BR.D.
        Thanks for taking the time to respond that way you do. It is so clear and well presented.

    2. Seriously, Jtl??
      There is nothing stronger than love manifested in goodness, kindness, longsuffering and forbearance to allow people to come to their senses, e.g (prodigal son) it wasn’t by force, but through the Father’s goodness and love that caused him to come to his senses
      .
      Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:
      eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; (Rom. 2:4-7).

      (Isaiah 42:1-4) The gentleness of Christ when He came.
      He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
      Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.

      A bruised reed He will not break,
      And smoking flax He will not quench;
      He will bring forth justice for truth.

      He will not fail nor be discouraged,
      Till He has established justice in the earth;
      And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”

      No force and tyranny in these passages: more like goodness and kindness — persuasion, and a willing heart.

    3. Jtleosala: “Because of His Love to the elect and Mercy extended to the Gentiles, He picked out some for Himself while passing the rest.”

      Totally misleading! Calvi-god did not “pass over the rest.” He created them specifically so he could hate them and send them to hell. That’s not “passing over them.”

      And that’s not a “loving and merciful God.”

      That’s a monster! That’s a psychopathic lunatic who walks up to someone at a park, says “I am claiming you for my own because I love you so much” and then he runs around slaughtering everyone else around them, and then he tells the “chosen” person, “See how much I love you and how merciful I am to you. I spared you when I could have destroyed you too.”

      Any logical, rational person would call that a “dangerous psychopathic lunatic.”

      But Calvinists call him “God.” A “loving, merciful, just God.”

      And worse yet is that Calvi-god doesn’t just slaughter those people, he makes them specifically so that he can slaughter them. He causes them to be the unbelieving sinners they are just so he can put them in hell, punishing them for the things he causes.

      I’ve said this before, but I shudder to think of how Calvinists will feel when they stand before God, trying to explain their tragically incorrect theology and the horrible misrepresentation they spread of God and His truth!

      1. Agreed. Nor do I find myself able to agree with pretty much anything jtl believes. God did not murder his own Son. That’s absurd, to charge God with murder. Does he realize he is accusing God of breaking his own ‘Law’? Who in their right mind believes God is a murderer, yet murder is a sin for anyone else? That poor guy is so confused it is pitiful to see.

        But that’s the kind of insanity that arises from insisting that God’s allowing events to occur equates to God decreeing them to occur. You cannot help but believe God is the chief of sinners if sin arises from his desires and decrees, (and yeah, I know all of the yadda about using secondary, secretive means that supposedly hides his responsibility.) I do not believe for a moment that God ’caused’, inspired or in any way decreed anyone to murder Jesus. He knew full well what evil, ambitious, Satan worshippers would do were the epitome of light, goodness, grace and love to confront them, and he allowed these tragic events to play out. Because he happened to know that evil and death could not keep Jesus in the grave. His intention was to reveal that amazing truth to all men, so that we could be freed from the fear of death and the power over us that it gave to Satan.

        How can anyone refrain from laughing out loud at a definition of grace that says ‘I will save you from the horrible fate I alone dreamed up’? Hello? God ‘graciously’ saves a select few from an unthinkable hell, after first cursing them with a ‘sin nature’ that prevents them from doing anything but sin? Gee, thanks, Calvi-god, for saving me from the monster that you are and the monster you made me be. Too bad about the others, eh? Somebody has to burn, just glad it’s not me.

        Yes, jtl, I do and will always call your false and blasphemous characterization of God as monstrous, narcissistic, egotistical, tyrannical and evil. Heather’s frightening picture of the psychopathic killer is not at all farfetched as a description of Calvi-god. It is he alone who determines whatsoever comes to pass, then exhibits a violent, murderous wrath against those helpless puppets who simply do as he ordained them to do in some eternity past. He chose to make all mankind sinful. He randomly selected a few to rescue from himself, then acts as if his anger against the other helpless God-created ‘sinners’ is justifiable, glorifying even.

        I do not hesitate to declare loudly that I see no glory in such a monster. Nor to state that I see no such monster taught in the written word or exhibited in the life of The Living Word. If Calvinists look forward to hanging out for eternity with the psychopath they have manufactured, I don’t even want to think about what that says about them.

      2. Aidan, Heather, and TS00 – great points… I do feel sorry for JTL, his view of his Calvi-god is not the Biblical GOD.

        Jtleosala: “Because of His Love to the elect and Mercy extended to the Gentiles, He picked out some for Himself while passing the rest.”
        Heather writes: “Totally misleading! Calvi-god did not “pass over the rest.” He created them specifically so he could hate them and send them to hell. That’s not “passing over them.”

        GA: Great way to take the spin off of JTL’s misleading statements. As BR.D. says Calvinist terminology hides at least as much as it reveals. We must be ready to unmask what is being hidden by their statements. What they hide is more revealing than almost everything they say.

        The Calvinist tries to paint a picture of their Calvi-god being loving, kind and compassionate when it is not the case from what they actually believe about their Calvi-god. They make it sound like the Calvi-god is just passing through the Universe and just happens to come upon a community of poor miserable creatures who have nothing good about them plus they are all drowning without hope and then their Calvi-god, who is just passing by, decides out of His kindness to pluck some of those miserable souls from the ocean that would certainly destroy all of them. The Calvi-god who was just passing by is sooo good he saved some of them. He didn’t need to save any but He saved some for His Glory. Isn’t He Good? That is the picture that they try and leave the unsuspecting with BUT we know better and Heather you hit the nail on the head saying: “Totally misleading! Calvi-god did not “pass over the rest.” He created them specifically so he could hate them and send them to hell. That’s not “passing over them.”

      3. TS00 writes, ‘God did not murder his own Son. That’s absurd, to charge God with murder.”

        Acts says, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know–Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;…For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.”

        You would not use the term, “murder, so how would you describe what God did to Jesus?

        Then, “that’s the kind of insanity that arises from insisting that God’s allowing events to occur equates to God decreeing them to occur.”

        That’s the conclusion from God being sovereign. Nothing can happen unless God says (or decrees) it happens.

      4. You prove my point. Because God allowed something to happen does not mean he decreed it to happen. To allow is to allow, that blasted ‘Mere permission’ Calvin so hated. To decree is to originate, determine, cause. Big difference. Only Calvinists seem unable to grasp this huge difference.

        All acknowledge that God must at least allow evil to be done; Calvinism makes him its author, determinor and source.

      5. TS00 writes, “To decree is to originate, determine, cause.”

        Then you define “decree” differently than Calvinism. Under Calvinism, God understands everything that could happen and it is His decision as to what will happen. Of course, to satisfy Brian, God understood these things in eternity past. It is God’s understanding that provides the foundation for His counsel by which God decides, or decrees, all things. Thus, Paul writes, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will…”

        However, it is true that God does originate some events. God originated the creation and Adam and Eve. It is God who placed A/E in the garden and then gave Satan free reign to enter the garden to tempt Eve. God originated the flood of Noah and the destruction of Sodom and the division of people by language. God impregnated Mary and gave Joseph a dream that led to Joseph protecting Jesus.

        For all other events, God is the ultimate cause because He works all things according to the counsel of His will. In this repsect God uses secondary means using Joseph’s brothers to sell Joseph, using the Assyrians to punish Israel, using the Romans to crucify Jesus.

        All of these events resulted from decisions, or decrees, God made.

        Then, “All acknowledge that God must at least allow evil to be done; Calvinism makes him its author, determinor and source.”

        Calvinism says that nothing can happen, even evil, unless God decides/decrees, according to the counsel of His will, that it should happen.

      6. TS00
        To decree is to originate, determine, cause.”

        rhutchin
        Then you define “decree” differently than Calvinism.

        br.d
        FALSE

        Dr. James N. Anderson – Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte NC
        -quote
        “It should be conceded at the outset, and without embarrassment, that Calvinism is indeed committed to divine determinism”

        Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – on Theological Determinism
        -quote
        Theological determinists, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin…….Contemporary theological determinists also appeal to various biblical texts….and confessional creeds (for example the Westminster Confession of Faith)

        Dr. William Lane Craig:
        -quote
        UNIVERSAL DIVINE CAUSAL DETERMINISM cannot offer a coherent interpretation of Scripture. The classical Reformed divines recognized this. They acknowledge that the reconciliation of Scriptural texts affirming human freedom and contingency with Scriptural texts affirming divine sovereignty is inscrutable.

        rhutchin don’t you know by now – when you’re being outright dishonest – people are going to call you on it?

      7. br.d writes, “rhutchin don’t you know by now – when you’re being outright dishonest – people are going to call you on it?”

        TS00 wrote, “To decree is to originate, determine, cause.” Then you ignore the “originate,,,cause” part of what TS00 wrote and get indignant about the term, “determine.” We can say that God determines all things – after all, that is what Ephesians 1 tells us, “works all things according to the counsel of His will,” That does not mean that God originates or causes all things other than as the ultimate originator and cause of the universe.

      8. br.d
        rhutchin don’t you know by now – when you’re being outright dishonest – people are going to call you on it?”

        rhutchin
        TS00 wrote, “To decree is to originate, determine, cause.” Then you ignore the “originate,,,cause” part of what TS00 wrote and get indignant about the term, “determine.” We can say that God determines all things – after all, that is what Ephesians 1 tells us, “works all things according to the counsel of His will,” That does not mean that God originates or causes all things other than as the ultimate originator and cause of the universe.

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

        Secondly:
        Since Calvinists try to HIDE the dark side of the systematic HIDING the fact that Calvin’s god is the ORIGINATOR/SOURCE/CAUSE is understandable – but who is going to call that honest.

      9. I do indeed consider it intellectual dishonesty to subtly redefine decree as ‘allow ‘. You, I and others have provided many quotes from Calvin and other highly regarded Calvinist spokesmen that utterly discount that as consistent with Calvinistic theology.

        Few would use the English word ‘decree’ to indicate mere permission. I consider it simply deliberate obfuscation. Because the Calvinist hates to admit that his system unavoidably makes Calvi-god the author and sole originator of evil, along with all other ‘whatsoevers’.

      10. The business of “mere” permission is a real Achilles heel for the Calvinist – because it has traditionally stood out as one of their most observably dishonest SEMANTIC tricks. And its pretty prolific in Calvinist literature.

        John Piper always appeals to “mere” permission when the topic goes to Calvin’s god CAUSING evil. While Calvin himself rails against those who appeal to it – calling it “frivolous refuge”.

        I think Calvin lived in a time when he didn’t have to worry about the Christian community (mostly Catholic) rejecting his doctrine because of its “Author of evil” problem.

        But for Calvinists today its a very real problem.
        And that’s why rhutchin is so obsessed trying to dream up argument schemes to hide the problem

      11. I suspect that this was the Achilles’ heel that brought Calvinism down. When Calvin was running a tyrannical theocracy, and all who dared disagree with him could expect banishment, torture or death, it was pretty simple to keep Calvinism afloat. Once the wisdom of men forbid religious tyranny, Calvinism had to win people over the honest way – which they never could do. So we have gone from tyranny to deception. Because no one is going to worship a God who is the author of rape, murder and all other evil. (Okay, there are some scary Calvinists who do, but I don’t even want to know what’s behind that.)

      12. Great Responses TS00 and BR.D.
        It is so blatantly obvious that the system of Calvinism often hides more than it reveals.As BR.D says it is NOT a truth telling system. Many of Calvinism’s key doctrines and communication are purposefully misleading. For instance many will proclaim loudly one truth and in their mind sneak in a qualifier or insert a misleading word that the public doesn’t know pretty well obliterated the loud proclamation:

        1. God loves the whole world (mental insert -without distinction = most are excluded)
        2. God is absolutely Sovereign and Holy (mental insert – means determinism, he authors sin)
        3. Man and man alone is 100% responsible for his sin (mental insert – God is irresistibly Determining every sin to happen including rape and murder)
        4. Jesus died for the sins of all (mental insert – only the few elect – we call them the all)
        5. God loves you (mental insert – He gives you rain -but made most of you For hell)
        6. God foreknows and understands all things (mental insert – He decrees and determines all things)

        NONE of these statements are meant to be truth telling BUT only make you think they mean one thing when they are really thinking something completely different even while they say them or write them.
        As BR.D. says Calvinism is NOT a Truth telling system. What it hides is more telling then what it reveals.
        Sound kind of subtle and sneaky? I wonder why?

      13. GA writes:
        “As BR.D. says Calvinism is NOT a Truth telling system. What it hides is more telling then what it reveals.
        Sound kind of subtle and sneaky? I wonder why?”

        I’m pretty sure that was a rhetorical question, but I’ll suggest a few reasons why Calvinists cannot be truthtellers.

        1) Their theology completely contradicts the most obvious meaning of the vast majority of scripture.
        2) Their theology crafts the most monstrous picture of God that, if told outright, all would reject him.
        3) Their theology leads to a fatalism that is completely unlivable, eliminating all purpose and hope.
        4) Their theology has redefined the common definition of so many words that, were they to admit it, most would question their integrity and intentions.

      14. TS00
        Their theology has redefined the common definition of so many words that, were they to admit it, most would question their integrity and intentions.

        br.d
        SO TRUE!
        Anyone who does not question misleading word games is simply asking to be played the fool.

      15. TS00
        Their theology has redefined the common definition of so many words that, were they to admit it, most would question their integrity and intentions.

        br.d
        SO TRUE!
        Anyone who does not question misleading word games is simply asking to be played the fool.

        GA: That is why it seems there IS something dark behind the system…Now I know people in the system can be totally deceived and unaware of how their system is manipulative, dishonest and ensnares them, so I feel for those who are unknowingly caught in the trap…BUT I detest the “trap” that catches these people. The “trap” harms people, and it dishonors God.

      16. GraceAdict
        BUT I detest the “trap” that catches these people. The “trap” harms people, and it dishonors God.

        br.d
        Totally agree GraceAdict!
        That’s what its all about! :-]

      17. TS00 to br.d writes, “I do indeed consider it intellectual dishonesty to subtly redefine decree as ‘allow ‘.”

        That is why we should use words like “decide” or “enable” and not “permit” or “allow.”

        Then, “Few would use the English word ‘decree’ to indicate mere permission. I consider it simply deliberate obfuscation.”

        You seem to understand Calvin’s objection to “mere permission” and why he opposed that term also.

        Then, “the Calvinist hates to admit that his system unavoidably makes Calvi-god the author and sole originator of evil, along with all other ‘whatsoevers’.”

        That is because God is the author of evil (God works all things according to the counsel of His will) but God is not the originator of evil (Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed).. God authored all the events in the garden by His decrees but it was Eve who originated her actions to eat the fruit.as God did not coerce, compel, force, or prompt her to eat the fruit.

      18. rh writes:
        “That is because God is the author of evil (God works all things according to the counsel of His will) but God is not the originator of evil (Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed).. God authored all the events in the garden by His decrees but it was Eve who originated her actions to eat the fruit.as God did not coerce, compel, force, or prompt her to eat the fruit.”

        The same sort of nonsense as before. Now we have rh admitting God is the author of evil – quite contrary to the Westminster Confession – but that he is not the ‘originator’ of evil. Which is, of course, totally contradictory and merely an attempt at semantic deception. If God decreed, authored determined or – fill in the blank – evil, before men were even created, then he indeed is the originator of evil. He is not the direct enactor, but he is most definitely, as the only Sovereign, controlling power of the universe, the originator of evil, as he must be of whatsoever comes to pass.

        But rh still thinks that he can first state a false assertion, then somehow justify it by quoting scripture that discounts it. In other words, it is the childlike attempt to pretend to agree with scripture by using a euphemism when you contradict it. Maybe God won’t notice, if you use another word? I guess he is not as clever as he is powerful.

        Many a child has tried to insist they did not ‘technically’ disobey their parent’s command: ‘But you told me not to step in any puddles. I didn’t step in any puddles, I jumped!’ Most parents are clever enough to see through such tricks. I might suggest to rh that God can see through his semantic tricks as well.

        Word games are all Calvinists have to play with.

      19. TS00 to br.d writes, “I do indeed consider it intellectual dishonesty to subtly redefine decree as ‘allow ‘.”

        rhutchin
        That is why we should use words like “decide” or “enable” and not “permit” or “allow.”

        br.d
        And Bill Clinton said “That depends on what you’re definition of what the word ‘is’ is”

        If Bill Clinton were religious he would be a Calvinist for sure! :-]

      20. Hey RH your flexibility is astounding to take words and redefine them and take synonyms and say they don’t mean the same thing. You realize with your ability you could make the BIBLE say absolutely ANYTHING.

        RH writes: “That is because God is the author of evil (God works all things according to the counsel of His will) but God is not the originator of evil … God authored all the events in the garden by His decrees but it was Eve who originated her actions to eat the fruit as God did not coerce, compel, force, or prompt her to eat the fruit.”

        GA: You claim “God is the Author of Evil” lets see what else God is the Author of so that we can see in what way God is the Author of Evil we will use scripture, so that it is clear what you are saying about God Authoring evil. We will see if it makes sense to say “God is the Author of Evil but He does not originate it”. Because if you can say that about evil you can say the same thing about these passages. God authors X but does not originate X.

        Act 3:15  and you killed the AUTHOR of life, whom God raised from the dead. esv

        Heb 5:8  though being a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 
        Heb 5:9  And being perfected, He became the AUTHOR of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him, 
        Heb 12:2  looking to Jesus the AUTHOR and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.  nkjv

      21. GraceAdict writes, ‘”You claim “God is the Author of Evil””

        God is the author of evil in the sense of Ephesians 1 – “God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” The term “all things” includes those actions described as evil.

        Then, ” God authors X but does not originate X.”

        This in the sense of Joseph’s treatment by his brothers. Joseph described their actions this way, “…as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good,…” God was the author of these events in that He works all things according to the counsel of His will, but God did not originate the evil desires in the brother’s hearts even though He was able to control those thoughts and turn them to good and did not.

      22. br.d
        “Author” in the Old French of Calvin’s day: “Acteor” – meaning: Originator, Creator, Instigator”
        Calvin equates CAUSE with ORIGIN

        John Piper
        -quote
        Calvin states “Gods will is the CAUSE of all things” – therefore in Calvinism nothing ORIGINATES outside of his will.”
        Piper equates CAUSE with ORIGIN

        Oxford Handbook on Free-Will
        -quote
        Aristotle succinctly put it, “When acting is up to us, so is not acting”.
        This “up to us-ness” also suggests that the ORIGINS or SOURCES of our actions are in us and not in something else over which we have no control—whether that something else is fate or God, the laws of nature, birth or upbringing, or other humans”

        Christian Philosophers equate CAUSE with ORIGIN/SOURCE

      23. Because it cannot, logically, be otherwise. If God is the cause of X, then God is the originator of X. It matters not one whit how he causes X, through which various means or human instruments he works. If God causes X it is he, and he alone, who is responsible for X.

        If X is causing a dog to be hit by a stick in the hand of a child, neither the stick nor the child can be held responsible if this event was irresistibly decreed to occur by an outside, unchallengable power. It does not matter that God made the stick impassive. It does not matter that God placed the desire to hit in the child. The whole event was caused by God, and any means involved are simply tools, and hold no responsibility for doing that which they cannot possibly avoid doing.

        This is the gist of Calvinist determinism, which Calvinists will try through semantic trick after semantic trick to avoid, but it simply cannot be honestly denied. Under Calvinism, God alone causes ALL THINGS, thus God alone is responsible for ALL THINGS.

        Which is why Calvinism, by its very nature, creates dishonesty, cognitive dissonance and deceptiveness in its followers. I have seen many sincere, honest believers succumb to this trap, in an attempt to cling to man-made Calvinist doctrines without shedding the scripture’s portrayal of God. It cannot be done without intellectual dishonesty, semantic jugglery and compartmentalization to avoid the logical inconsistencies. Honest men are turned into furtive deceivers, of themselves and of others.

      24. TS00
        It cannot be done without intellectual dishonesty, semantic jugglery and compartmentalization to avoid the logical inconsistencies. Honest men are turned into furtive deceivers, of themselves and of others.

        br.d
        And this is why Calvinists always remind me of the sneaky used car salesman who calls himself “Honest John”

        He becomes an expert in pointing 10 fingers in 20 directions at the same time. :-]

      25. Not satisfied, Roger! 😉 Sorry. It is illogical to have in determinism before creation both 1.) “God understands everything that could happen” before willing/decreeing what happens and 2.) everything being eternally immutably predestined by God to work out only one way. In determinism there is no sequential event of divine choice after foreknowledge of “coulds” in divine foreknowledge. Therefore there are no “coulds” or other possibilities no matter how often determinists want to affirm that illogical mystery.

        In Molinism they want to claim that there was a sequential choice before the decree, but then they deny that any more sequential choices can continue for God after creation because they believe God could only choose a “completed” created world scenario that goes on forever, taking away all His own freedom of choice in it. So they bootleg determinism into their system and claim the free will of God and man existed into that middle knowledge decision, even though man didn’t exist yet for any of those so-called free-will decisions that they still become responsible for in God’s mind. I call Molinism smoke and mirrors determinism.

      26. Brian, thanks for that really helpful comment. I still consider myself an ‘independent’ but I am ‘open’ to the thinking of Open Theism 😉 and always eager to understand it better. Your words shed a lot of light for me on where you are coming from.

      27. I’m glad TS00 that I’ve been of some help in your journey. It took me a few years to get where I am now. And not all open theists are biblically rooted or biblically consistent. If ever you would like me to discuss these things further, let me know.

      28. I appreciate that offer, and my respect for you and the thoughts you have shared would lead me to turn to you for more insight on the subject should it become one I feel the need to explore further. I never know what door God is going to open next.

      29. Let me just share a quick overview of my journey – How I came to the dynamic omniscience view?

        I think each generation before and after Christ has struggled with the concepts of determinism and freewill. And if my journey has any commonality in this struggle, I looked around for who were discussing it and what Scriptures they used in support of their views.

        My search began in earnest when I read the four view book – Predestination and Free Will. That led me to see Foreknowledge was the issue, and so I read the four view book – Divine Foreknowledge. That led me to see that Eternality was the issue, and so I read the four view book – God and Time. I wasn’t so interested in who was arguing or what else they wrote, but what were their best Scriptural arguments and responses to those that opposed.

        Of course, doing a diligent search will make one ask, “Who before these modern voices held to the view that I now think is the most biblical?” During that time when I was working through those debate books, I began researching earlier views of “dynamic omniscience”, a term I did not know back then, but is the best one I choose for my own view now. I found 19th century McCabe – Divine Nescience first. FB discussions on sites like this one has led me to see there were many others in history before him who held to an open view of the future.

      30. Thanks for taking the time to share, Brian, and I am going to save a copy of this post for the bibliography. I am not as concerned as I once was with believing I have it all figured out (I know I never will) but do like to read, think and grapple with things as best I can. I’m not sure I will ever fit into anyone’s camp, but I do like to pick and choose from the best of the best.

        I certainly reject Divine Determinism as being either biblical or logical. We have both seen others’ descriptions of God being outside of time, etc. However it genuinely works, I do believe that God has created human beings with the privilege and responsibility of having a meaningful, purposeful existence. I believe that our thoughts and our actions, our sacrifices and prayers have genuine, life-changing consequences. This is sobering, on one hand, as we realize that we are accountable for how we use our minutes and our days, and it also affirms our worth in God’s eyes as valuable, contributing members of his family.

        I am grateful that I am not just a cog or a robot, designed and created with no ability to do other than what has been eternally scripted for me. I am also extremely thankful that my failings do not assign me to a hopeless future, but always retain the possibility of redemption and restoration. May we all ever seek to offer ourselves more fully as servants of the living, loving God.

      31. Brian,

        Thanks for sharing what you believe and how you arrived at it. I lean towards God being “all knowing”, that being that He sees the future as clearly as He sees the past. However, that belief is not set in stone.

        Genesis 22:12 (NKJV)….
        And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

        Notice it says “Now I know” and not “Now I have always known”. But this is how most the scholars and experts interpret this verse (as if they could provide clarity when the Holy Spirit couldn’t).

        The question for me is simply this. Can an all-powerful God choose not to know something? In other words, is God “forced” to know all things?

        Blessings, brother.

      32. Thx Phillip. I believe God’s mind accurately reflects what He says in Scripture in tensed language. I don’t believe He can choose not to know something that exists, or to know a falsehood as true. One set future does not exist as a place or in His mind as a completed plan. He is not able to know that “future” as true, for it doesn’t exist.

        Verses – future is not completely set.

        Genesis 2:19 NKJV — Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.

        Exodus 33:5 NKJV — For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the children of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. I could come up into your midst in one moment and consume you. Now therefore, take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do to you.’ ”

        Jeremiah 18:11 NKJV — “Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.” ’ ”

        Matthew 24:20 NKJV — “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.”

        Matthew 26:39 NKJV — He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

        God’s mind conforms univocally with what He has revealed in His Word. It’s not locked in right now to seeing everything as “will be” or “is”.

        1. Was God waiting to see what Adam would call the animals, to know what they would be called?
        2. Was God waiting to see if Israel would take off their ornaments to know what He would do next?
        3. Was God saying He was devising a plan which means making decisions in His mind not made before about the future.
        4. Did Jesus affirm the disciples’ prayer could effect the setting of the date of Jerusalem’s fall, indicating Jesus’ believed it might not yet be set?
        5. Did Jesus pray about possible changes that could be made in God’s will because He knew such changes were indeed possible?

        The answer is an obvious “yes” to all those questions which are based on the clear meaning of those texts. If anyone thinks those texts don’t clearly show those self evident implications it must be because they are biased against the idea of the future being able to work out more than one way.

        ********

        The underlying issue in foreknowledge is if one is willing to believe that there are truly changes taking place in God’s mind in His knowing a “before” that then becomes known as an “after” and a “might be” that then becomes known as either a “will be” or a “could have been”.

        Calvinism rejects that such change in God’s mind exists before or after creation. Arminianism rejects that the idea of “before” creation means “before” and illogically accepts that changes in God’s mind exist and don’t exist at the same time. Molinism believes logically that some kind of change existed in God’s mind before creation but which cannot happen now after creation.

        Only Open theism offers the idea that God’s mind corresponds with the truth and sequence revealed in His Word univocally. An event declared as “will be” was known only as “will be” in His mind. Once it happened, it became known as “fulfilled”. Those declared as “might be” are only known as “might be”. He will freely choose to cause or permit one “might be” to change in His mind to a “will be” and another “might be” into a “won’t be/could have been”.

        The idea the future is limited to and locked in to working out only one way is a lie… or that changes happening in God’s mind is imperfection is also a lie. God’s Word counters clearly those lies. And God’s mind cannot believe lies as truths.

      33. brianwagner writes, “There is no sequential event of divine choice after foreknowledge of “coulds” in divine foreknowledge. Therefore there are no “coulds” or other possibilities no matter how often determinists want to affirm that illogical mystery. ”

        Ephesians 1 says, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” The term, “according to,” establishes the condition upon which “works” are determined, so we do have a sequential order with God’s counsel being the cause of God’s works. As God’s knowledge consists of that which God has decided to work, there is no divine choice after foreknowledge as God has made His decisions and there is no need to change those decisions (God’s understand being infinite allows no room for improvement). All determinism means is that God, according to the counsel of His will, makes decisions about (or determines) what He will do (or work).

      34. And Scripture clearly indicates that God did not make all His decisions before creation. And it does not teach that God’s waiting to make decisions or having a variety of possible choices based on relationships with other free will beings would mean or cause any imperfection. Being locked in and limited to a reality working out only one way forever is imperfection, imo.

      35. Love your post, TS00. This part in particular made me laugh out loud: “If Calvinists look forward to hanging out for eternity with the psychopath they have manufactured, I don’t even want to think about what that says about them.”

      36. Calvinists constantly try to say that God “ordained” sin but isn’t the author of it. Yet Calvin himself would disagree

        “… everything done in the world is according to His decree…” (Institutes, Book 1, Chapter 16, section 6).

        “… the devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are, in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how much soever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as [God] permits – nay, unless in so far as he commands …” (Book 1, Chapter 17, section 11)

        “The counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined” (Book 1, Chapter 16, section 8).

        It is a deceptive Calvinist who tries to hide the fact that Calvi-god is the author/originator/controller of sin. Besides isn’t it the Calvinists themselves who say that if there’s one tiny thing God doesn’t control/cause, then He isn’t God? And yet then they try to say that God doesn’t cause the evil intentions in a person’s heart.

        Make up your mind, Calvinists! Does He or does He not control EVERYTHING!?! Is there or is there not anything outside of His sovereign causation and control, such as mankind’s desires!?!

        For a little of what other Calvinists say about God and sin, see …
        https://anticalvinistrant.blogspot.com/2019/08/do-calvinists-really-believe-god-causes.html

      37. Nice post Heather

        I would add to that the wisdom of Dr. Bella Depaulo, Social Scientist, in her book: The Hows and Whys of Lies:

        WHAT IS ALTRUISTIC DISHONESTY

        “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.”

      38. heather writes, “Calvinists constantly try to say that God “ordained” sin but isn’t the author of it. Yet Calvin himself would disagree
        “… everything done in the world is according to His decree…” (Institutes, Book 1, Chapter 16, section 6). ”

        This Calvin’s conclusion from Ephesians 1, “God works (or decrees) all things according to the counsel of His will,” According to this verse, there is nothing outside of God’s sovereign causation and control, such as mankind’s desires. So, how about giving us your understanding of Ephesians on this point.

      39. Note: Rhutchin first said “God was the author of these events in that He works all things according to the counsel of His will, BUT GOD DID NOT ORIGINATE THE EVIL DESIRES IN THE BROTHER’S HEARTS …”

        And yet now he says: “This Calvin’s conclusion from Ephesians 1 … there is NOTHING outside of God’s sovereign CAUSATION AND CONTROL, such as mankind’s desires.”

        And yet he sees no contradiction here.

      40. Heather
        And yet he sees no contradiction here.

        br.d
        Its not clear to me whether or not rhutchin “sees” his own contradictions – or whether he is simply strategically MAKING-BELIEVE he doesn’t contradict himself – and/or MAKES-BELIEVE Calvinists don’t hold to contradicting positions.

        Take for example the two Calvinist positions on whether or not Calvin’s god loves everybody.
        The Calvinists who follow A.W. Pink’s position will assert FALSE.
        The Calvinist who follows D.A. Carson’s position will assert TRUE.

        And as we can see in rhutchin’s posts on this – he tries to claim there is no contradiction in TRUE vs FALSE.

        And given the fact that he sometimes appears to display an inclination to love winning rather than to love TRUTH – I suspect he is simply MAKING-BELIEVE no contradictions exist in the face of them.

        This behavior pattern parallels his perennial claim that no Non-Calvinist can explain anything.
        I suspect these are simply strategies.

        And we must remember – Calvinist language is NOT a TRUTH-TELLING language.

      41. After re-looking at my statement “And given the fact that he displays an inclination…” I can see this is outside the boundaries of SOT101 behavior – and should apologize and retract it.

        I apologize – and correct it as “And given what APPEARS to be an inclination…..etc”

      42. br.d writes, ‘Its not clear to me whether or not rhutchin “sees” his own contradictions…’

        This is a misrepresentation until you back up your claim with an example.

        Then, ‘And given the fact that he displays an inclination to love winning rather than to love TRUTH…”

        This is also a misrepresentation.

        Then, “And as we can see in rhutchin’s posts on this – he tries to claim there is no contradiction in TRUE vs FALSE.”

        Again, a misrepresentation because you offer no offer to justify your claim.

        Why are you able to misrepresent my positions without proof and jump on me when you allege that I misrepresent people.

        Then, ‘This behavior pattern parallels his perennial claim that no Non-Calvinist can explain anything.”

        No one, certainly not me, ever said that no Non-Calvinist can explain “anything.” I have said that, with regard to John 6:37, and even you have not proved me wrong by providing a non-Calvinist explanation.

      43. br.d
        Its not clear to me whether or not rhutchin “sees” his own contradictions…’

        rhutchin
        This is a misrepresentation until you back up your claim with an example.

        br.d
        SOT101 readers can review any number of threads where examples are highlighted.

        Then, ‘And given the fact that he displays an inclination to love winning rather than to love TRUTH…”
        This is also a misrepresentation.

        br.d
        Did you not see my follow-up post where I apologized and retracted that statement?

        rhutchin
        Again, a misrepresentation because you offer no offer to justify your claim.

        br.d
        SOT101 readers can review any number of threads where examples are highlighted.

        rhutchin
        Why are you able to misrepresent my positions without proof and jump on me when you allege that I misrepresent people.

        br,d
        The answer to that is simple
        We address positions rather than make claims about persons.
        As you can see – if I go over that boundary – I apologize and retract.

        rhutchin
        No one, certainly not me, ever said that no Non-Calvinist can explain “anything.” I have said that, with regard to John 6:37, and even you have not proved me wrong by providing a non-Calvinist explanation.

        br.d
        Fair enough – I will retract that “anything” in that statement.

        However the “XYZ can’t explain it” argument is seasoned over numerous posts historically – and over many issues – so much so that SOT101 readers remark about its consistency. Whats to prevent people from concluding its simply a strategy.

      44. br.d writes, ‘However the “XYZ can’t explain it” argument is seasoned over numerous posts historically – and over many issues – so much so that SOT101 readers remark about its consistency. Whats to prevent people from concluding its simply a strategy.”

        It is a good strategy. It requires that one provide an explanation in order to refute the claim. Non-Calvinists are known for not providing explanations for difficult verses. One of these verses is Ephesians 1:11, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” Another is John 6:37, “All that the Father gives Christ will come to Christ,” Here is a change for SOT101 readers to provide explanations that purport to explain these verses from a non-Calvinist perspective. Even br.d could give it a try.

  9. TSOO posted these lines:

    “I pity and fear those who value a ‘strong’ God who always gets what he wants by force and tyranny.”

    “Agreed. Nor do I find myself able to agree with pretty much anything jtl believes. God did not murder his own Son. That’s absurd, to charge God with murder. Does he realize he is accusing God of breaking his own ‘Law’? Who in their right mind believes God is a your murderer, yet murder is a sin for anyone else? That poor guy is so confused it is pitiful to see.”

    ——–Here’s My Response———

    1. It was you (not me) who was the first one who said : “God always gets what He wants by force and tyranny”.

    I just responded to you by citing the “incarnation of Jesus Christ” where God the Father totally abandoned His Son while hanging on the cross and decreed for Him to be killed by the Roman soldiers.

    2. It was you (not me) who placed on me that “argumentum ad hominem” of accusing God of breaking His own law, even though I had never said it.

    3. But anyway, if I go along with your idea it only shows that unknowingly that statement of yours coincides with God commanding Joshua’s army to annihilate the residents of Canaan including their sucklings and animals without giving them any little chance to repent and be saved except Rahab, the harlot.

  10. THE FATED MENTAL PHENOMENON OF THE DELIBERATING DETERMINIST

    Dr. Tomis Kapitan – (1949-2016), Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., of metaphysics, philosophy of language, and international ethics, analyses the phenomenon – of Determinists consistently perceiving/believing their own personal deliberations as OPEN and not predetermined at the very moments in which they are deliberating.

    To locate an inconsistency within the beliefs of a DELIBERATING DETERMINIST now seems easy; for as a deliberator, he takes his future act to be yet undetermined.

    But as a determinist, he assumes the very opposite – that his future is already determined and fixed in the past, such that everything he does was previously determined by factors beyond his control.

    Thus the ascription of RATIONAL-INCONSISTENCY within the mental state of the DELIBERATING DETERMINIST is secured.” -end quote
    (The Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 36, No. 14 (1986), pp.230-51)

    br.d
    COMFORTING WORDS FOR THE DELIBERATING DETERMINIST:

    1) If one’s perceptions, choices, and actions are settled in the past, and come to pass as one’s unavoidable destiny, then

    2) the DELIBERATING DETERMINIST has absolutely no way of determining whether his current perception is TRUE or FALSE. And no way of knowing what his next perception will be.

    3) Since he has absolutely no way of knowing either of these things, then

    4) It is totally futile to deliberate or worry over what is – or deliberate over what will be

    C’est La Vie! What will be is what will be.

    – Dr. Tomis Kapitan
    -quote
    The practically-minded DELIBERATING DETERMINIST, haunted by the specter of his own RATIONAL-INCONSISTENCY and fatalism, can be encouraged by this account of the matter. “

  11. Jonathan Edward’s wrote God willing that sin exist in the world is not the same as sinning. God does not commit sin in willing that there be sin. God has established a world in which sin will indeed necessarily come to pass by God’s permission, but not by his “positive agency.”

    God is, Edwards says, “the permitter . . . of sin; and at the same time, a disposer of the state of events, in such a manner, for wise, holy and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted . . . will most certainly and infallibly follow.”

    He uses the analogy of the way the sun brings about light and warmth by its essential nature, but brings about dark and cold by dropping below the horizon. “If the sun were the proper cause of cold and darkness,” he says, “it would be the fountain of these things, as it is the fountain of light and heat: and then something might be argued from the nature of cold and darkness, to a likeness of nature in the sun.” In other words, “sin is not the fruit of any positive agency or influence of the most High, but on the contrary, arises from the withholding of his action and energy, and under certain circumstances, necessarily follows on the want of his influence.”

    Thus in one sense God wills that what he hates come to pass, as well as what he loves. Edwards says,

    This is a fundamental truth that helps explain some perplexing things in the Bible, namely, that God often expresses his will to be one way, and then acts to bring about another state of affairs.

    God opposes hatred toward his people, yet ordained that his people be hated in Egypt (Genesis 12:3; Psalm 105:25—“He turned their hearts to hate his people”).

    He hardens Pharaoh’s heart, but commands him to let his people go (Exodus 4:21; 5:1; 8:1).

    He makes plain that it is sin for David to take a military census of his people, but he ordains that he do it (2 Samuel 24:1; 24:10).

    He opposes adultery, but ordains that Absalom should lie with his father’s wives (Exodus 20:14; 2 Samuel 12:11).

    He forbids rebellion and insubordination against the king, but ordained that Jeroboam and the ten tribes should rebel against Rehoboam (Romans 13:1; 1 Samuel 15:23; 1 Kings 12:15-16).

    He opposes murder, but ordains the murder of his Son (Exodus 20:13; Acts 4:28).

Leave a Reply