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”

652 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.”

      1. From the same article (with the link provided below: for those interested)

        “The above passage (Romans 8:29-30) is read by Calvinists to mean God had foreknown those he elected before creation and predestined these chosen individuals to become Christians. We shall now see very clearly and decisively how they have very badly misinterpreted Paul’s message. Paul intends to tell us those faithful Jews whom God had known before the death and resurrection of Christ, had also been before designated to be conformed to the image of Christ. In other words, Paul is saying the death and resurrection of Christ was the fulfillment of the Law and they are now to be conformed to his image in suffering that they may also be conformed to his image in resurrection glory so that Christ would be the firstborn among many brothers.”

        http://www.angelfire.com/space/thegospeltruth/calvinism/U/Rom8_29.html

      2. phillip quoting someone (maybe himself): “The above passage (Romans 8:29-30) is read by Calvinists to mean God had foreknown those he elected before creation and predestined these chosen individuals to become Christians.”

        Romans 8: 29 has, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,…” Those that God foreknew are contrasted, by Calvinists, with those to whom Christ said, “…I never knew you…” in Matthew 7. Whether it deals with Jewish believers in the OT (the children of promise in Romans 9) or all believers does not matter. If we limit “those He foreknew” to Jewish believers in the OT, it is obvious that Paul intends that God will treat all future believers in the same way.

        In Ephesians 1, we read, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…having predestined us to adoption as sons…” God chose (elected) believers having predestined them to adoption. Thus, God’s election of believers is accomplished through His predestination of them. It is through His choosing/predestination that God foreknew them in Romans 8. Then follows God calling, justifying, glorifying.

        Even if we accept the notion that Romans 29 refers to just Jewish believers in the OT, it is obvious that we are to extrapolate this to all believers as the process is the same for each. Thus, Paul says, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” where “us” include Paul and “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:”

      3. Brothers/Sisters

        Follow the pronouns.

        Ephesians 1:1-12 works in perfect harmony with Romans 8:29-30. The “us” and “we” is referring to the Jews who accepted Jesus as the Christ. Verse 12 reads “that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.” “Who” first trusted in Christ? The Jew. The gospel was first for the Jew and only then for the Gentile (Romans 1:16). To whom was predestined the adoption as sons (Ephesians 1:5)? To the same who pertain the adoption (Romans 9:4). The Jews.

        Just as Paul is addressing the Jew in Romans 2:17 thru Romans 11:10, Paul is referring to the Jews in Ephesians 1:1-12. Much like Romans 11:13, in Ephesians 1:13 he turns his attention to “you” being the believing Gentiles.

        Galatians 4:4 (NKJV)….
        But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law (the Jews), that we might receive the adoption as sons.

        There is a reason the Lord said “salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22).

      4. phillip writes, “Brothers/Sisters
        Follow the pronouns.
        Ephesians 1:1-12 works in perfect harmony with Romans 8:29-30. The “us” and “we” is referring to the Jews who accepted Jesus as the Christ.”

        Let’s presume that phillip meant “Follow the pronouns back to their antecedent noun.”

        In Ephesians 1, we read:
        1 Paul…To the saints who are in Ephesus,…
        3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us (Paul + the saints who are in Ephesus)…
        4 just as He chose us Paul + the saints who are in Ephesus)…that we (Paul + the saints who are in Ephesus)…
        5 having predestined us (Paul + the saints who are in Ephesus)…
        6 …He has made us (Paul + the saints who are in Ephesus)…
        8 which He made to abound toward us (Paul + the saints who are in Ephesus)…
        9 having made known to us (Paul + the saints who are in Ephesus)…
        11 In Him also we (Paul + the saints who are in Ephesus)…
        12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
        13 In Him you (the saints who are in Ephesus) also trusted, after you (the saints who are in Ephesus) heard the word of truth…having believed, you (the saints who are in Ephesus) were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
        15 …after I heard of your (the saints who are in Ephesus) faith in the Lord Jesus and your (the saints who are in Ephesus) love for all the saints,

        phillip needs to help us out here by explaining how “us” or “we” became identified with the “Jews” and not the “saints in Ephesus” that is indicated if we follow the pronouns back to v1.

        Romans 8:29-30 may well be referring to OT Jewish believers. It cannot refer to all Jews as Paul had earlier said in Romans 2,, “he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart,…” and then Romans 9, “For 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.”

        phillip’s focus on Israel of the flesh is not warranted given what he has explained.

      5. Roger,

        Your handling of scripture and grammar are well documented here. I’ll let the reader(s) here discern which of us is being consistent with the word of God.

        That said, I noticed you skipped verse 12…

        “…that we (Paul plus the saints who are in Ephesus) who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”

        Good luck with that one, bro!

      6. phillip writes, ‘Your handling of scripture and grammar are well documented here. I’ll let the reader(s) here discern which of us is being consistent with the word of God.”

        ??? What about dealing with the pronouns and tracing them back to v1. Why do you think that is the wrong way to look at Ephesians 1.

      1. Hi Philip
        Seems my reply didn’t didn’t land in the right place. But I mean your “long post”

  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.

      45. br.d
        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.”

        rhutchin
        It is a good strategy. It requires that one provide an explanation in order to refute the claim.

        br.d
        Its also a subtle way of refusing to acknowledge something one strategically can’t allow himself to acknowledge.

        Sorry rhutchin – allowing you to set yourself up as the judge whether or not something is explained – is the equivalent of poking oneself in the eye with a sharp stick. And everyone here at SOT101 at some point acknowledges its simply a game – and they learn not to get seduced into and tricked by it.

      46. The dogmatic Calvinist here says: “Non-Calvinists are known for not providing explanations for difficult verses. ”

        If we don’t provide explanations, it’s for this reason: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)

        We know the dogmatic Calvinists won’t listen anyway!

      47. Heather
        We know the dogmatic Calvinists won’t listen anyway!

        br.d
        Yes – all to often when we first engage – we are led to believe the mind we are engaging will be open.

        Then we find ourselves having to re-iterate things 100 different ways because the mind we’re engaged with “supposedly” doesn’t get the explanation.

        Then we watch the same thing happen with others – and the light bulb in our heads turns on.

        The claim “XYZ can’t explain it” is just a strategy designed to wear people out – and then declare victory.

        When we observe this behavior as the rule and not the exception – the gig is up.
        In vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird. :-]

      48. Seen those nets too many times to fly into them, unless it is for the sake of rescuing another!

  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).

    1. Shawn
      God has established a world in which sin will indeed necessarily come to pass by God’s permission, but not by his “positive agency.”

      br.d
      Hello Shawn and welcome!

      In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the creature is NOT PERMITTED to falsify or negate the divine DECREE.

      Therefore when Calvin’s god DECREES [X] – then it is the case [X] is RENDERED-CERTAIN by the DECREE.
      And in such case the creature is NOT PERMITTED to refrain from [X].

      1 and 1 is always 2.
      And LOGIC does not alter itself just because [X] happens to be a good event or an evil event:

      Where [X] DECREED is a good event – the creature is NOT PERMITTED to refrain from that good event.
      Where [X] DECREED is an evil event – the creature is NOT PERMITTED to refrain from that evil event.

      Therefore the LOGIC of Theological Determinism can be stated in the following proposition.

      What Calvin’s god DECREES is what Calvin’s god PERMITS
      Nothing more – and nothing less is PERMITTED than what is DECREED.

      Therefore LOGIC enables us to not to be mislead by terms such as “positive” and “negative” agency – which INFER “activity” vs “passivity”

      As John Calvin put it:
      -quote
      It is a quite frivolous refuge to say that God otiosely PERMITS them, when Scripture shows Him not only willing but the *AUTHOR* of them.” – Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God (pg 176)

      Author in the Old French of Calvin’s day: Auctor – meaning Originator, Creator, Instigator

  12. And Brd wrote in support of the article :But what does the individual Calvinist ACTUALLY have that he can TRUST concerning Calvin’s god’s will for his life?

    You seem to reason logically so let’s say there is a lay off where you work and you being way down the seniority list just know you won’t have a job come Monday and a co-worker tries to comfort you and tells he thinks you that you might still have a job, but then the boss and owner of the company who controls all things assures that you aren’t going anywhere and you will always have a job with him, who can you trust and find rest and comfort in?

    That being said why would anyone trust in God who isn’t in control of all things that come to pass ,the only way to have unreserved faith without doubt is to pray, hope and believe in God who is on the throne.

    The argument to the article is a pond when flushed out will no longer hold water because the only way to rejoice in my salvation is to depend on Almighty God to bring it to pass and not my sin cursed failure of a free will I have which is what Romans 8:28 -39 plainly teaches without doing greek gymnastics to deny it.

    1. Hi Shawn
      Let address specific highlights from your post.

      Shawn
      You seem to reason logically

      br.d
      Thanks Shawn! I’ll take that as a compliment :-]

      Shawn
      so let’s say there is a lay off where you work and you being way down the seniority list just know you won’t have a job come Monday and a co-worker tries to comfort you and tells he thinks you that you might still have a job, but then the boss and owner of the company who controls all things assures that you aren’t going anywhere and you will always have a job with him, who can you trust and find rest and comfort in?

      That being said why would anyone trust in God who isn’t in control of all things that come to pass ,the only way to have unreserved faith without doubt is to pray, hope and believe in God who is on the throne.

      br,d
      You make an interesting analogy!
      I’m going to assume your “owner of the company” is the THEOS of Calvinism because you state it as “controls all things”.
      And I’ll assume the person worried about getting laid off is a Calvinist.

      So here we have the THEOS communicating “you’re not going anywhere”.
      But does the Calvinist know whether or not the THEOS is speaking his ENUNCIATED will or his SECRET will?

      LOGIC tells us the Calvinist can’t possibly know one way or the other – because the SECRET will is a SECRET.

      The Calvinist also knows that the THEOS’ SECRET will can be the exact opposite of his ENUNCIATED will.
      This means the THEOS might be misleading the Calvinist – making him believe something that is not true.
      And the Calvinist has no way of knowing one way or the other.

      Additionally – Calvin teaches that the THEOS communicates things as a -quote “savor of condemnation”.
      For example – the gospel communicated to a NON-ELECT person may be to bring about that person’s damnation.
      While the same gospel communicated to the ELECT person is communicated to bring about that person’s salvation.

      Following that pattern – the THEOS can communicate words to two Calvinists who are in the same room together.
      And those words are communicated to bring about one Calvinist’s damnation
      While those same words are communicated to bring about the other Calvinist’s salvation.
      Neither Calvinist knows whether or not what is communicated to him is for his damnation or his salvation.

      So given all of that – what does the Calvinist actually have that he can TRUST in this case?

    2. Shawn says: “That being said why would anyone trust in God who isn’t in control of all things that come to pass ,the only way to have unreserved faith without doubt is to pray, hope and believe in God who is on the throne.”

      I would say “How can anyone trust Calvi-god when he lies about what his true will is, causes people to sin and to do the opposite of what he commands, gives some people evanescent grace (fake salvation) so that he can more strongly damn them to hell, pretends to offer salvation to all and to give us a choice about it but then denies most people the chance to be saved, makes it sound like Jesus’s death paid for all sins when Calvi-Jesus really just died for a few people, tells us to seek him and believe in him when he knows we can’t seek him or believe in him unless he causes us to, creates most people specifically for hell because it somehow highlights his justice, grace, and love, etc.?”

      If that’s God “in control,” I’d hate to see God out of control!

      The problem is not with God and His sovereignty. The problem is with the Calvinist view of God’s control, of His sovereignty. The Calvinist assumes that in order for God to be in control, He has to always be controlling/causing everything all the time. Or else He’s not God, according to their ideas of how God should be.

      But it’s they who put their own presuppositions on God, who box Him in to how they think He has to be in order to be God.

      But the Bible shows us a God who is “in control” and sovereign in a very different way. The God of the Bible has chosen to work in cooperation with mankind in various ways. He has chosen to give us real choices and to work our real decisions into His plans. He sometimes causes things to happen and sometimes simply allows things to happen, but He is over and above it all, knowing how to work all things (even our choices, our self-chosen obedience or disobedience) into His plans.

      Calvi-god is a small, weak god who can’t handle any other factors than what he himself causes. But the God of the Bible is a very BIG, wise God who can work all things together for good, even things He doesn’t cause, the things He allows us to do.

      I like these sermons by Tony Evans. They help explain how God chooses to exercise His sovereignty and what mankind’s responsibility is:

      About God’s sovereignty:
      https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=tony+evans+sermons+sovereignty&view=detail&mid=553B23AD7C8CA76F4B06553B23AD7C8CA76F4B06&FORM=VIRE

      Connecting with God for a Breakthrough:
      https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=tony+evans&qft=+filterui%3aduration-long+filterui%3avideoage-lt43200&view=detail&mid=A0DEC5EF0334BB85A8CBA0DEC5EF0334BB85A8CB&&FORM=VRDGAR

      1. Great post Heather:
        The Calvinist Systematic makes their definition of Sovereignty (Universal Divine Casual Determinism ) the Supreme Attribute. In this vein it requires ALL evil to come from God otherwise God is said to have lost His Sovereignty. From the Calvinist systematic ALL of God’s Moral Attributes are Optional, God can turn them on and off in order for their Calvi-god to bring about All evil events even the rape of a child, the hideous acts of Hitler.

        Their Understanding of Sovereignty is that the Calvi-god does not have to be true to His moral nature, in their understanding that is what it means to be Sovereign. He can choose evil as easily as He can choose to bring about morally good and upright things. He is Sovereign so He does not have to be true to His moral nature, that to them is what it means to be Sovereign.
        1. That is why as Sovereign even though His moral nature is Love, He can Sovereignly choose to turn OFF Love and create most For the express purpose of being Hated and Damned.
        2. That is why as Sovereign He can have a revealed will that is Completely Contradicted by His Secret will. As Sovereign He can turn off the Moral Attribute of a “God of Truth”.
        3. That is why His moral Attribute of Holiness can be turned off and He as Sovereign can Author Evil.
        4.That is why as Sovereign He can say He shows NO partiality but in the Calvinist System their Sovereign Calvi-god can be so partial that even a 5 year old can discern, the extreme level of partiality that He shows. This is because in their system, their Calvi-god can turn off any and all moral attributes.
        For the Calvinist that is what it means to be Sovereign. He can be totally untrue to His own moral nature.

        Now, even though they teach this, the Calvinist is required to “Declare that all of the Above is good for it came from Sovereign God”.
        So as Heather says what can you trust about the Calvi-god? You can trust that He is NOT true to His moral nature…But the creature must declare it as good.

      2. br.d
        My Two Cents

        I think we will eventually discover the unique “Good-Evil” characteristic of Calvinism is simply a byproduct of MANICHAEISM – a system which many observe as containing “Ontological Dualism” where good and evil are Co-Equal, Co-Necessary, and Co-complimentary.

        Mani (210-276 C.E.), the founder of Manichaeism, was raised in a Messianic (Jewish Christian) desert sect known as the Elchasites. At age twenty-four Mani parted ways with the Elchasites and started writing, teaching, and preaching his own doctrines which he considered as final and authoritative. He saw himself as the final seal of the prophets; he closed the revelation which had started with Buddha and Zarathustra and had been passed on through Jesus and Paul.

        Professor P. Oktor Skjaervo of Harvard University, an expert on ancient sacred literature, notes that according to Mani his doctrine represented the completion and fulfillment of what previous religions had promised but had not been able to provide.

        One central and critical aspect of the Manichean doctrine on Good and Evil is ONTOLOGICAL DUALISM.

        Augustine notes that Mani –quote “put together two principles, different from an opposing each other, as well as eternal and co-eternal (that is, having always been), and also two natures or substances, namely, of good and evil.”

        Augustine asserts the GOOD-EVIL Dualism, where he writes: “And because this orderly arrangement maintains the harmony of the universe by this very contrast, it comes about that evil things must need be. In this way, the beauty of all things is in a manner configured, as it were, from antitheses, that is, from opposites: this is pleasing to us even in discourse”. (ord 1.7.19)

        Calvinist Jonathon Edwards similarly expresses that without evil, -quote “the shining forth of Gods glory would be very imperfect….nay they could scarcely shine forth at all” (The Works of Edwards).

        So to understand Calvinism – I think it is best not conceiving of it as a system containing both “good” and “evil”.

        But rather a system whose basic form and blue-print is “GOOD-EVIL”.

        And that is why we observe a large number of conceptions within Calvinism – always appear in “GOOD-EVIL” pairs.

      3. br.d writes, “So to understand Calvinism – I think it is best not conceiving of it as a system containing both “good” and “evil”. But rather a system whose basic form and blue-print is “GOOD-EVIL”.

        This is a misrepresentation of Calvinism (given your incomplete description). Obviously, by “GOOD-EVIL’ you would not mean that God (as GOOD) has an equal counterpart identified as EVIL. God is GOOD and stands over His creation. That creation can contain both good and evil but such good and evil would not be independent forces vying against each other but descriptors of actions that occur in the creation and distinguished as good or evil by what God declares to be good and evil (generally, through His law) Thus, obedience is “good” and disobedience is “evil.”

      4. In ONTOLOGICAL DUALISM – where good and evil are Co-Equal, Co-Necessary, and Co-Complimentary – good and evil can still be opposing forces or substances. It is their Co-relationship (see above) that stands out.

        Both the NeoPlatonists and Gnostics of Augustine’s day could easily say “evil is BEAUTIFUL”.

        Take Augustine’s quote
        “it comes about that evil things MUST NEED BE. In this way, the *BEAUTY* of all things is in a manner configured….this is pleasing to us even in discourse”

        Take Edwards quote concerning the NEED for evil.
        “the shining forth of Gods glory would be very imperfect….nay they COULD SCARCELY SHINE FORTH AT ALL”

        You start to get the picture here.
        In ONTOLOGICAL DUALISM – evil is good.

        And that is what is meant by “GOOD-EVIL”
        And that is again why we see so many conceptions in Calvinism which appear in GOOD-EVIL pairs.

      5. GraceAdict writes, ‘The Calvinist Systematic makes their definition of Sovereignty (Universal Divine Casual Determinism ) the Supreme Attribute. In this vein it requires ALL evil to come from God otherwise God is said to have lost His Sovereignty. From the Calvinist systematic ALL of God’s Moral Attributes are Optional, God can turn them on and off in order for their Calvi-god to bring about ”

        Under Calvinism evil comes from the sinful nature of man that resulted from Adam’s sin. Evil actions are subordinate to God and always under God’s authority and control. Anything that happens (even the rape of a child, the hideous acts of Hitler) could have been prevented had God wanted to do so as God has the power and authority to do anything He wants. This is true for non-Calvinism as well as Calvinism, so even GA recognizes God’s sovereign over all things, even evil things.

      6. rhutchin
        Under Calvinism evil comes from the sinful nature of man that resulted from Adam’s sin

        br.d
        Yea right!

        An attribute of the creature caused and attribute of the creature – caused an attribute of the creature – caused an attribute of the creature – an on into infinite regress.

        Can anyone say “evasion strategy” :-]

      7. br.d writes, “An attribute of the creature caused and attribute of the creature…”

        This is explained in genesis where anyone can read the actual transcript.

      8. br.d
        An attribute of the creature caused an attribute of the creature – caused an attribute of the creature – caused an attribute of the creature – an on into infinite regress.

        rhutchin

      9. br.d
        An attribute of the creature caused an attribute of the creature – caused an attribute of the creature – caused an attribute of the creature – an on into infinite regress.

        rhutchin
        This is explained in genesis where anyone can read the actual transcript.

        br.d
        Along with the infinite regress – wink wink ;-]

      10. rh writes:
        “Under Calvinism evil comes from the sinful nature of man that resulted from Adam’s sin.”

        This is such a silly, evasive statement. More accurately, under Calvinism, ‘Evil comes from Calvi-god, who supposedly cursed men with a twisted nature that could do nothing but sin, as punishment for the sin of their father, which was determined by Calvi-god as well, presumably so he could have an excuse to introduce the ‘sin nature’. This would cause endless sin and suffering, but, hey, it will all bring Calvi-god some kind of sick, twisted glory in the end, so what’s a few million people cast into eternal perdition?

        Round and round the Calvinist goes, pretending like Adam’s sin was not predetemined, a so-called ‘sin nature’ was not predetermined and forced upon man by Calvi-god and on an on. If ‘evil comes from the ‘sinful nature’, guess who came up with that little beauty? It sure wasn’t Adam, who had no power to force anything upon his progeny, or to do anything that had not been decreed before he was created.

        All this silly talk. There are really only two possibilities: evil was God’s intentional plan or it wasn’t.

        If God predetermines all things, evil came from him, was his idea, desire, will, etc. Period.

        If God does not predetermine all things, but gave humans the freedom to make choices, then evil could arise, apart from God’s will (but not knowledge), upon the free choice of humans to rebel against God’s will.

        Any talk of various ‘means’ is simply blowing smoke. Either God deliberately came up with evil, or he allowed the possibility that free men might. Which, no, is not the same thing. One is deterministic and the other is that dratted ‘mere permission’ Calvin so despised.

        It is futile to try and distance a deterministic Calvi-god from the sin of Adam, the curse of the sin nature, or ANYTHING that occurs within his meticulousy controlled creation. Remember ‘whatsoever comes to pass’? What lies outside of that? Nothing, absolutely nothing. It is time we stop letting Calvinists pretend otherwise. If they don’t like God being the author of evil, they are going to have to step outside of their deterministic paradigm.

      11. TS00 writes, “There are really only two possibilities: evil was God’s intentional plan or it wasn’t. ”

        In God’s plan, Christ was slain from the foundation of the world. So, God knew that evil would result and had planned for it.

        Then, “If God does not predetermine all things, but gave humans the freedom to make choices, then evil could arise, apart from God’s will (but not knowledge), upon the free choice of humans to rebel against God’s will. ”

        That God predetermined Adam to eat the fruit did not prevent Adam from freely accepting the fruit from Eve and eating it. God did not have to coerce, force, or compel Adam to eat the fruit – he made the decision to eat the fruit and he ate the fruit. That God knew all that Adam would do before Adam knew what he would do and determined all this by creating the universe did not mean that Adam did not act freely. In the same way, God knows every decision that TS00 will make in the next 24 hours and TS)) will make those decisions freely for reasons unique to him.

      12. rhutchin
        God knew that evil would result and had planned for it.

        br.d
        Friday night Calvi walked into his older brother John’s house – just in time to witness his brother murder his own wife.

        Later an investigator was questioning Calvi.

        Investigator:
        Did you see your brother John murder his wife?

        Calvi:
        What is saw was that my brother John knew that murder had resulted.

      13. rhutchin
        That God predetermined Adam to eat the fruit did not prevent Adam from freely accepting the fruit from Eve and eating it.

        br.d
        People often tell LITTLE truths – in an attempt to hide the WHOLE truth.

        Dr. Depaulo – Social Scientist – The Hows and Whys of Lies
        -quote
        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.”

        The rest of the story:
        Calvin’s god predetermined Adam to eat the fruit – and DID PREVENT from Adam the freedom to NOT eat it.

        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the creature is NOT FREE to falsify or negate the divine decree.
        Therefore NOT eating the fruit was NOT AVAILABLE as an option to Adam

      14. rh writes:
        “That God predetermined Adam to eat the fruit did not prevent Adam from freely accepting the fruit from Eve and eating it. God did not have to coerce, force, or compel Adam to eat the fruit – he made the decision to eat the fruit and he ate the fruit. That God knew all that Adam would do before Adam knew what he would do and determined all this by creating the universe did not mean that Adam did not act freely. In the same way, God knows every decision that TS00 will make in the next 24 hours and TS)) will make those decisions freely for reasons unique to him.”

        How’s this for one of your twisted illogical pretzels?

        Of course God predetermining Adam to eat the fruit did not prevent Adam from eating the fruit. What it did prevent was his ‘freely accepting the fruit’ as he had no other choice than to do what was predetermined by Calvi-god. The Calvinist can twist all he wants, but no amount of tortured logic can negate that if God irresistibly predetermined something no man ever has a ‘free choice’.

        “That God knew all that Adam would do before Adam knew what he would do and determined all this by creating the universe did not mean that Adam did not act freely. In the same way, God knows every decision that TS00 will make in the next 24 hours and TS)) will make those decisions freely for reasons unique to him.”

        This is an example, not only of pretzel logic, but of the Calvinist sneaking in ‘mere permission’ which, of course, is forbidden under the divine determinism of Calvinism.

        Ya can’t have it both ways – either God works by meticulous determinism and decreed whatsoever comes to pass, or he created beings with genuine freedom, meaning they have the ability to resist his will. Which means he cannot predetermine their desires or actions. Which means all things are not predetermined, and men actually have the freedom to make genuine choices, not unavoidably carry out the secretly decreed plan of an irresistible outside power.

      15. TS00
        How’s this for one of your twisted illogical pretzels?

        br.d
        I agree – its all based on evasive trick-language.

        I’ve always said – Calvinism always wins the grand-prize for being the most “Subtle Beast” in all of protestant Christianity. :-]

      16. TS00 writes, “How’s this for one of your twisted illogical pretzels?”

        br.d said of Calvinists, “…in order to make scriptures APPEAR to say what the Theological Determinist wants it to say requires twisting language into an unnatural pretzel.” So, you need to start with actual Scripture. In this case, how about using Ephesians 1, “…God works all things according to the counsel of His will,…” and show us how Calvinists twist this.

        Then, rhutchin:“That God knew all that Adam would do before Adam knew what he would do and determined all this by creating the universe did not mean that Adam did not act freely. In the same way, God knows every decision that TS00 will make in the next 24 hours and TS)) will make those decisions freely for reasons unique to him.”
        TS00 “This is an example, not only of pretzel logic, but of the Calvinist sneaking in ‘mere permission’ which, of course, is forbidden under the divine determinism of Calvinism. ”

        TS00 makes this claim and then does not explain what he means.

        Then, “either God works by meticulous determinism and decreed whatsoever comes to pass, or he created beings with genuine freedom, meaning they have the ability to resist his will. ”

        Ephesians tells us that “…God works all things according to the counsel of His will,…” This means that a sovereign God controls everything in His creation so that nothing happens that of which He is ignorant so God rules on all that happens. Thus, Adam will not eat the fruit until God rules that he should. David will not jump into bed with Bathsheba until God rules that He should. On every event, God must rule and He did so before He even created the universe. Once God created the universe, all that was to happen was known to Him and all had been determined. The only logical argument against this has been the Open Theist/Future argument that denies that God knows everything that happens in the future.

      17. rhutchin:“That God knew all that Adam would do before Adam knew what he would do and determined all this by creating the universe did not mean that Adam did not act freely. In the same way, God knows every decision that TS00 will make in the next 24 hours and TS)) will make those decisions freely for reasons unique to him.”

        TS00
        This is an example, not only of pretzel logic, but of the Calvinist sneaking in ‘mere permission’ which, of course, is forbidden under the divine determinism of Calvinism. ”

        rhutchin
        TS00 makes this claim and then does not explain what he means.

        br.d
        I don’t see why anyone would need an explanation for that!
        Its clear to me the statement is a bunch of trick exculpatory language.

        Does it not say something – that there is only one single person here who always claims “XYZ cannot explain it”?
        It makes perfect sense to me why that is the case and why others roll their eyes in response to it.

        Its simply part of the strategy of using never-ending denials to wear someone out in order to claim the victory.
        And I think everyone here recognizes it for what it is.

        I provided almost a dozen quotes from Authors – all acknowledging that Calvinist’s use DOUBLE-SPEAK.
        You’re response to that was to claim it couldn’t be true.
        I presume if it were ten-thousand authors – you will still claim the same thing.

      18. br.d writes, “I don’t see why anyone would need an explanation for that!”

        A citation of the verse TS00 had in mind and an explanation of the manner in which your claim, “…in order to make scriptures APPEAR to say what the Theological Determinist wants it to say requires twisting language into an unnatural pretzel,” is satisfied would seem basic to this.

      19. Here is the example – I state what I mean by it

        -quote
        Its clear to me the statement is a bunch of trick exculpatory language.

        And you delete that explanation and demand another one
        rhutchin – we all know this is just your routine of never-ending denials.

        Poor Brian used to respond to you over and over endless posts until it was obvious to him all you wanted was the last word – which he would eventually concede simply because you would simply wear his patience out responding to you.
        And everyone here knows that is the *REAL* strategy.

        Sorry if no one here wants to do that with you.

      20. TS00: “This is an example, not only of pretzel logic, but of the Calvinist sneaking in ‘mere permission’ which, of course, is forbidden under the divine determinism of Calvinism. ”
        rhutchin: “TS00 makes this claim and then does not explain what he means.”
        br.d: “I don’t see why anyone would need an explanation for that! Its clear to me the statement is a bunch of trick exculpatory language.”

        Then, rhutchin wrote, “br.d writes, “I don’t see why anyone would need an explanation for that!”
        rhutchin: “A citation of the verse TS00 had in mind and an explanation of the manner in which your claim, “…in order to make scriptures APPEAR to say what the Theological Determinist wants it to say requires twisting language into an unnatural pretzel,” is satisfied would seem basic to this.”

        Then, br.d responded, “Here is the example – I state what I mean by it
        -quote
        Its clear to me the statement is a bunch of trick exculpatory language.
        And you delete that explanation and demand another one
        rhutchin – we all know this is just your routine of never-ending denials.”

        I have no idea what br.d’s problem is or where he is going on this. TS00 made a statement and I said it needed an explanation and then described the points of the explanation that would be in order.. Why is that a big deal?

      21. rhutchin
        I have no idea what br.d’s problem is or where he is going on this. TS00 made a statement and I said it needed an explanation and then described the points of the explanation that would be in order.. Why is that a big deal?

        br.d
        And take a person on a never-ending merry-go-round of denials.

        rhutchin – I think you’ve made your own bed here.
        If people could trust that you were sincere they might take you up on your requests for explanations.

        I learned your strategy within a few weeks of participating here – and it became clear the best solution for examples – is simply to let the Calvinists provide them themselves.

        As I’ve stated – when the Calvinist provides them – it becomes obvious – and leaves the Calvinist struggling to back-peddle or use subtle language tricks to try and talk their way out of it.

        And when SOT101 readers observe that – it becomes clear that that is a consistent characteristic of Calvinist language.

        I personally I think the Lord wants to shine a flashlight on that aspect of Calvinism – and he uses Calvinists as his instruments to do it.
        And as a strategy you’re going to deny 10 thousand examples anyway.
        So letting the Calvinist provide the examples is the best option.

      22. Rhutchin says: “I have no idea what br.d’s problem is …”

        Heather says: And that’s exactly the problem! It seems to me that you can’t see (or refuse to see) what the problem is or the tricks we think you’re employing. Thus the “merry-go-round” that Br.d. is talking about. It comes across as a strategy of making sure the debate never ends so that your arguments can never be seen as “defeated,” accomplished by keeping people in a never-ending loop of you ignoring what they say, accusing them of not stating their case clearly or biblically, and asking for more explanations. While this might give the appearance that you really just want to “better understand” their point, we all know that you don’t really want to understand anyone’s points anyway but that you are just waiting to shoot down anything we say. (Thus other people’s comments that you just want to win, and my warning about not throwing our pearls to swine, and our refusal to engage in your “I just want more explanation” nonsense.)

        And Br.d says: “I personally think the Lord wants to shine a flashlight on that aspect of Calvinism – and he uses Calvinists as his instruments to do it.”

        Heather says: I actually have been praying that my ex-pastor – if he continues to refuse to see the errors of his Calvinism – that God hardens his heart even more to cause him to pour out his twisted theology even more thickly and dogmatically, including the disgusting parts they often hide. His full-on Calvinist preaching would probably do more to repel people than any warning I could give.

      23. Heather, I suspect that it is more strategy than hardening that leads a pastor to slowly indoctrinate and only show his true colors after winning the trust, affection and loyalty of his congregation. Not to mention making sure they are firmly enmeshed in the community, making it extremely difficult to break away.

        My pastor taught non-offensive sermons that any non-Calvinist could agree to for over a decade. Only after all that time did he begin to sprinkle in the more overtly Calvinistic ‘scary stuff*’ [* R.C. Sproul]. As a perfect example, those who had become ‘hardened’ to thinking for themselves, did not appear to hear the sort of teaching that, only a few years earlier, they would have responded to in horror.

        It was only those who remained ‘soft’, Berean, willing to examine all that was said who ‘heard’ and rejected the teaching put forth in examples such as God deliberately only rescuing a few children from his burning orphanage, when he could just as easily have saved all. I was gone by then, but I know of at least two families who immediately left the church upon hearing that, both of who had remained uneasy with Calvinism and listened to/read other teaching outside of this pastor’s.

        Much as I resisted the idea initially, I have come to believe, through my personal experience and communication with many others, that there is a deliberate strategy, cultlike, which Calvinism uses to lure trusting, naive believers into their systematic. It involves all of the major tactics of mind control, and, unless one is familiar with such things and can recognize them for what they are, is very, very effective. Hence the subtlety, evasion, euphemism, doublespeak, strawmanning and all we have seen actively at work in these threads.

        I actually prefer the honesty of those who state outright that God doesn’t love everyone, Jesus didn’t die for all, evil is one of God’s tools and countless millions were created for unavoidable suffering and destruction. Their beliefs are heinous, but at least they are honest about them. What they haven’t learned, and most eventually will, is that this sort of honesty doesn’t sell; you have to learn to hide the truth if you want to win converts to Calvinism. I suspect they teach them this in seminary now.

      24. TS00 writes, “there is a deliberate strategy, cultlike, which Calvinism uses to lure trusting, naive believers into their systematic.”

        Yeah. It’s called showing them what the Scriptures say including all those verses non-Calvinists pretend do not exist.

      25. The non-Calvinists that I know are not pretending the Calvie prooftexts do not exist. Rather, they freely offer alternative interpretations and explanations for them. As one sees on these threads day after day. That is a big difference between ignoring and suggesting an alternative meaning. My biggest gripe with dogmatists is they can never start at the necessary beginning – recognizing that there is nearly always more than one possible interpretation of any group of words. In fact, the same group of words, in different contexts, can have various meanings. To deny this simply displays ignorance of language and hermeneutics.

        With that essential understanding, and only with that essential understanding, can any productive interactions proceed. Most Calvinists I know think they can just throw out a verse and, voila, their point is proven. As if others do not know and use the very same verse, but understand its meaning to be other than what the Calvinist believes.

        Prooftexting wars are pointless, as individuals shout verses at one another, as if the more times you repeat something the more right you are.

      26. TS00
        Prooftexting wars are pointless, as individuals shout verses at one another, as if the more times you repeat something the more right you are.

        br.d
        Amen to that!

      27. TS00 writes, “The non-Calvinists that I know are not pretending the Calvie prooftexts do not exist. Rather, they freely offer alternative interpretations and explanations for them.”

        LOL!!! Calvinists identify the truths of Scripture that non-Calvinist cannot refute. Those truths then become the foundation for Calvinist arguments that non-calvinist again cannot refute.

        No one starts with prooftexts (except non-Calvinists).

      28. rhutchin
        Calvinists identify the truths of Scripture that non-Calvinist cannot refute.

        br.d
        And how does the Calvinist known what that his perception of scripture is TRUE – since you’ve already acknowledged the Calvinist doesn’t have multiple perceptions (TRUE vs FALSE) available from which he is “merely” permitted to choose?

        Remember – whatever perception of scripture Calvin’s god determines the Calvinist to have – is what the Calvinist will have.
        And only Calvin’s god knows if that perception is TRUE or FALSE.

        Sorry rhutchin – your claim “Calvinists identify the truths of scripture” fails by your own acknowledgement.

      29. br.d writes, ‘And how does the Calvinist known what that his perception of scripture is TRUE – since you’ve already acknowledged the Calvinist doesn’t have multiple perceptions (TRUE vs FALSE) available from which he is “merely” permitted to choose?”

        Calvinism knows that the Scriptures tell us the truth. Calvinism begins with the simplest truths understood by all and and builds on these to build to an understanding of the more difficult truths. No one can pick and choose which truths to believe – all must be believed because they are all true.

      30. br.d
        And how does the Calvinist known what that his perception of scripture is TRUE – since you’ve already acknowledged the Calvinist doesn’t have multiple perceptions (TRUE vs FALSE) available from which he is “merely” permitted to choose?”

        rhutcnin
        Calvinism knows that the Scriptures tell us the truth.

        br.d
        Sorry – Calvin’s god determines your every perception of scripture – and only he knows whether those perceptions of scripture he’s given you are TRUE or FALSE.

        At this point Calvin’s god has given you 12 FALSE perceptions of me here at SOT101 alone.
        I have no idea how many FALSE perceptions he gives you when you are reading scripture.
        But given your track record so far I certainly wouldn’t buy stock with it! :-]

      31. Great points, TS00. I totally agree!

        And isn’t this a funny idea for a Calvinist: “… you have to learn to hide the truth if you want to win converts to Calvinism.”

        How ironic for them to think they can win more “elected” people if they are careful and strategic in how they present Calvinism … as if they can affect the number of the elect, which they believe has been predetermined before time began.

      32. Very astute, Heather. So all the furtive Calvinist takeovers are not only less than intellectually honest, they totally contradict the theology they claim to affirm. Wow, almost no absurdity within Calvinism surprises me anymore.

  13. Brd wrote :Following that pattern – the THEOS can communicate words to two Calvinists who are in the same room together.
    And those words are communicated to bring about one Calvinist’s damnation
    While those same words are communicated to bring about the other Calvinist’s salvation.
    Neither Calvinist knows whether or not what is communicated to him is for his damnation or his salvation.

    So given all of that – what does the Calvinist actually have that he can TRUST in this case?

    Shawn :Easily answered we trust His revealed promise of salvation and those that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved and yes they have been secretly decreed to believe.

    John 5:24 ¶ “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

    Acts 13:48 ¶ Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

    Now Brd if the arminian salvation hinges on his free will how does he know that he will be brought into the state of glorification?

    1. br.d
      So given all of that – what does the Calvinist actually have that he can TRUST in this case?

      Shawn
      Easily answered we trust His revealed promise of salvation and those that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved and yes they have been secretly decreed to believe.

      John 5:24 and Acts 13:48

      br.d
      Wait now – not so fast Shawn!
      You’re thinking like an Arminian now – and not like a Calvinist.

      You forgot that for the Calvinist – the scriptures also represent the THEOS’ ENUNCIATED will – and not his SECRET will.
      For example – for the Calvinist – verses that specify the THEOS’ will for the ELECT are obviously not meant to convey his will for the NON-ELECT.

      Now do you know if you are elect or not?

      John Calvin
      -quote
      We are *NOT* bidden to distinguish between reprobate and elect – that is for God alone, not for us, to do . . . (Institutes of the Christian Religion, IV. 1. 3.)

      So you can ASSUME that you are elect.
      And you can BELIEVE you are elect.

      But you have no way of knowing if you are elect or not because that is a divine SECRET.

      Remember in Calvinism you have the VISIBLE church – and the INVISIBLE church.
      And the INVISIBLE church is called INVISIBLE because the elect are only VISIBLE to the THEOS.

      Additionally Calvin says – there is a -quote “LARGE MIXTURE” of those in the Calvinist fold to whom the THEOS has -quote “Held out salvation as a savor of condemnation”. And the THEOS will eventually -quote “Strike them with greater blindness”.

      These are Calvinists who are led to believe they are elect – when the THEOS knows they are not.
      He has led them to believe they are elect – and will eventually -quote “Strike them with greater blindness”

      So those scriptures you quoted are for the ELECT only – and you don’t know if that is you or not.

      So again – what is it the Calvinist has to TRUST concerning the THEOS’ will for his life?

      1. I wonder what would happen if Calvinists were to try to place themselves in the perspective of those who are not ‘chosen’ or ‘elected’ by God. Of course the Calvinist always assumes he is elect, so he can glibly talk about God’s right to pass over or damn anyone he wants – because he considers himself safe from such a horrible fate. If the Calvinist were truly able to reflect upon the things he affirms from the perspective of being rejected, I wonder if he might think a little differently.

        He can be so bold about accepting God’s right to condemn helpless, hopeless born into sin people – because he is certain that he has been chosen for reprieve. Apparently he doesn’t see how unloving he is to not care about the horrific fate of others, even though scripture command us to love others as self. I have never heard of a Calvinist who considers himself unelect, and yet regards his theology as scriptural, moral and good. I would love to meet and talk to an unelect Calvinist, and see how he defends his partial god who created him irretrievably for destruction. I’m guessing ain’t never gonna happen.

      2. isn’t that what Calvinists (probably in previous generations) called the “Dreaded False Hope”?

        Here is a real testimony on that:

        Wilbur Ellsworth, – Journey out of Reformed Theology

        There was a young man in the church who came to me. Good, loving guy. Seriously involved with a young lady, to marry her. I just loved that couple.

        He came to me one day and said; I am deeply depressed. My soul is dark.
        I said; Why?
        He said; I don’t love God the way I should.
        I said; tell me why, what’s happening?
        He said; I don’t love God, as I should because I’m not sure he loves me as much as I need.
        I’m not sure I’m Elect!.

        Well if I needed another stab in the heart—that did it. We sat there for 3 hours. Finally, I said to him, if you believe you can’t be sure of God’s love for you, then I will admit you can’t love him as you need to. What does 1st John say? We love because He first loved us.

        I think this is the cruelest moment I’ve ever had in my entire ministry. I said to him, If that is your theology, I have nothing to offer you.
        He just stared at me.

        I said, I don’t believe for a moment that that is the testimony of scripture.
        But if you embrace that theology, I sorrowfully agree with you—you are stuck.

        We talked for about another 10 minutes, and he left under that weight.”

        ————————————————————————————-

        I think the way Calvinist pastors today evade this phenomenon is betraying Calvin’s doctrine of the INVISIBLE church and SECRET election.

        Some Reformed teachers try to make a distinction between Calvin the Theologian and Calvin the pastor.
        Calvin the Theologian communicated like a Calvinist
        Calvin the pastor communicated like an Arminian.

        Calvin himself was actually the father of Calvinist DOUBLE-SPEAK. :-]

      3. TS00 writes: Apparently he (the Calvinist) doesn’t see how unloving he is to not care about the horrific fate of others, even though scripture command us to love others as self.”

        So true TSOO
        Another thing that to me is very disturbing about the Calvinist system is that they Believe their God is like that, unloving to most people, and they are being conformed to the image of their God. So the more a Calvinist is being conformed to the image of their God the more normal that becomes to him. His reasoning is: “If God does not love them except very superficially then to be like my God is to also love them very superficially”. Being conformed to the image of the Calvi-god is actually horrific. So sad but true.

        Tozer “The most important thing about you is what comes to your mind when you think about God”
        Tozer ““When adherents come to believe that God is different from what He actually is; that is heresy of the most insidious and deadly kind.”
        Tozer ““We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God.”

        Calvinism is an error that has horrific consequences…I have seen it played out many times.

      4. GraceAdict
        they are being conformed to the image of their God

        br.d
        Yes!
        Psalm 115:8 teaches us a spiritual principle – we become what we worship
        One who worships a deity who takes pleasure in causing torment – will eventually become like that deity.

      5. GA writes:
        “Calvinism is an error that has horrific consequences…I have seen it played out many times.”

        So have I. Sad to admit, even within myself. I did not like the person I was becoming, the hardness of my heart, the lack of genuine concern for the needs of others. I have seen gentle, kind souls turned into mocking, arrogant pharisees, time and time again, due to a false image of God. I find myself now looking for, and seeking to minister to the random people God sends into my life, rather than just hanging out with my little circle of christian friends.

        Like the woman who briefly entered into my life yesterday. She was raised Catholic, her sister is a nun. But she has seen so much abuse, suffering, authoritarianism, etc. that she wants nothing to do with church. She attends occasionally for the music, which she misses. I tried to just listen and express genuine sympathy and compassion. I offered to help her load up her truck, as she had had multiple back surgeries, with another one planned. I sought to encourage her of the goodness and faithfulness of God, whatever men might do or say.

        Ah, but this would be viewed as a waste of time by former Calvinist friends, to whom the ceremonies and formalities and rules are what matters. Frankly, since we were neither one in church this Sunday morning, we obviously were ‘not of them’. No one can be a child of God outside of the institutional church, its anointed leaders and its sacred sacraments – except, that is not what scripture actually teaches. God is very near us, and desires that we find him, wherever we are in life. I think he cares deeply for this woman, and wants me to also, even though I will probably never see her again in this life. His love and grace are not just for those who become loyal, tithe-paying church attenders, but also for those who are lost and struggling in the mucky streets, thinking no one cares about them.

      6. TS00 writes: ” I have seen gentle, kind souls turned into mocking, arrogant pharisees, time and time again, due to a false image of God. I find myself now looking for, and seeking to minister to the random people God sends into my life, rather than just hanging out with my little circle of christian friends.”

        I thank God for people like you who have been there, seen the evil and harm and can warn others and encourage others to see a God who is demonstrably GOOD to All and genuinely loves ALL. I appreciate you shining the light on this dark system that is deceiving so many at this time.

  14. Brd I answered your question with scripture assurance of salvation of what my convictions are, you may or may not have seen my question for you as you never answered it,here it again.

    Now Brd if the arminian salvation hinges on his free will how does he know that he will be brought into the state of glorification?

    1. Shawn
      Brd I answered your question with scripture assurance of salvation of what my convictions are, you may or may not have seen my question for you as you never answered it,here it again.

      br.d
      Actually you simply side-stepped all of the LOGIC presented and made – for a Calvinist – an IRRATIONAL appeal.

      You mentioned the Arminian and I’m not promoting that.
      But its easy to see on this matter you are thinking like an Arminian – and not like a Calvinist.

      To return to your analogy – you don’t know what your boss has in store for you – because you can’t know if he is misleading you with his ENUNCIATED will – while withholding his SECRET will for you.

      And its FALSE to assume you can rely on scripture promises because you have no way of knowing if those promises apply to you or not.

      Calvin asserts this about the church:
      -quote
      “But because a small and contemptible number are hidden in a huge multitude and a few grains of wheat are covered by a pile of chaff, we must leave to God alone the knowledge of his church, whose foundation is his SECRET election.”

      So you see – you don’t know if you are in that “huge multitude of chaff” or one of the “few grains of wheat”.

      So far – the TRUST you’ve described is based on simply ASSUMING you are elect without any concrete way of knowing whether that is TRUE or FALSE. Which is basically trusting an assumption.

      So if you want us to move forward in RATIONAL reasoning we’ll need you to address that LOGICALLY.

      However if the prospects of not knowing whether or not you’ve been designed for eternal torment or not are disquieting to you – we don’t have to move forward with this. I’m certainly not interested in causing you any duress in addressing such matters.

      I don’t approach these things with any emotion.
      As you’ve noticed – I look at the LOGIC of it.
      But so far you haven’t shown anything concrete that the Calvinist can TRUST regarding the THEOS’ will for his life.

      1. Within Calvinism the ONLY question that has ever Really mattered or ever will matter is:
        Am I elect for Salvation or Am I chosen by God for Reprobation? And the answer to that can only be ascertained at death.
        Since the answer to that question within Calvinism is unattainable this side of eternity.
        The Calvinist has to try and discern what kind of faith he has been given, he has to figure out if he has a “temporary faith” a “spurious faith” a “counterfeit faith”, a “human faith” or the “gift faith” for within Calvinism all of the above are very real possibilities, God himself is even the distributor of the different kinds of faith.

        Since ascertaining what kind of faith the Calvinist has is kind of difficult. The next step in trying to figure out if he is the elect, the Calvinist looks to his own doings, his own works. Are his own works good, are they good enough to prove to himself and others that he has the genuine “gift faith” for within Calvinism if you have the “gift faith” this faith is NOT a defective faith it is a “constantly working faith” and those works are really good, they do not fail, and they are ever increasing in number and quality.
        Here the Calvinist needs to put on an extra dose of pride to answer the question in the affirmative. He has to feel really good about the quality of his works and the quantity of his works in order to believe that God really does love him.

        Within Calvinism it is hard to be humble and admit you are a mess because to admit you are a mess is to admit your faith is not the genuine “gift faith” because the genuine faith is not a defective faith but a working faith and a persevering faith always onward and upward.
        Within the Calvinist system the most assured of their salvation are also the most prideful and arrogant about their works. To gain assurance that he is the elect the Calvinist goes on a works crusade where he tries to work enough to prove to God and himself that he must be the elect. But then deep down inside he knows that even the Pharisees and Religious zealots of every strip work hard, so even his works don’t leave him with any sense of peace because he could be working just like the JWs or the Pharisees…
        At the end of the day the question remains are my works enough and good enough?
        I do not know if I am the Elect for Salvation or Elect for Reprobation, I do not know if I have the ” gift faith” or if my “works are good enough” to confirm my salvation and so be saved. Without my good works, being good enough and being great enough in quantity there is NO possible way to “confirm” my salvation.
        Only the Arrogant Calvinist is Able to Affirm “I know that I am the Elect and God Genuinely loves me because my works are good enough and great enough in quantity and duration to confirm I have the gift faith – Praise be to God I am Elect”.
        So what can the Calvinist Trust about his God?

      2. GraceAdict writes, ‘Within Calvinism the ONLY question that has ever Really mattered or ever will matter is:
        Am I elect for Salvation or Am I chosen by God for Reprobation? And the answer to that can only be ascertained at death.”

        This might be an issue for those outside Calvinism, but I am not aware that it is an issue inside Calvinism. Calvinists believe that Christ died for their sins and that God gives them faith to believe this. This faith leads them to ask for forgiveness and to turn away from their din. This is the same that non-Calvinists do.

        Then, “The Calvinist has to try and discern what kind of faith he has been given,…”

        The Calvinist sees the assurance and conviction of Christ that he finds in the Scriptures to be the faith that he has been given. He knows that any “faith” not focused on Christ can be a “temporary faith” a “spurious faith” a “counterfeit faith”, or a “human faith.”

        Then, “Since ascertaining what kind of faith the Calvinist has is kind of difficult. The next step in trying to figure out if he is the elect, the Calvinist looks to his own doings, his own works.”

        This is wrong. The Calvinist looks to Christ as the source of his salvation. He knows that he would have no desire for Christ if God had not given him faith.

        Then, “[The Calvinist] has to feel really good about the quality of his works and the quantity of his works in order to believe that God really does love him. ”

        As br.d would say, this is a false representation of the Calvinist.

        Then, “Within Calvinism it is hard to be humble and admit you are a mess because to admit you are a mess is to admit your faith is not the genuine “gift faith” ”

        For the Calvinist, admitting that you are a mess comes from the faith that God has given him.

        Then, ‘Only the Arrogant Calvinist is Able to Affirm “I know that I am the Elect and God Genuinely loves me because my works are good enough and great enough in quantity and duration to confirm I have the gift faith…”

        GA has a vivid imagination. Why the need to misrepresent the Calvinist??

      3. rhutchin
        Calvinists believe that Christ died for their sins and that God gives them faith to believe this. This faith leads them to ask for forgiveness and to turn away from their din. This is the same that non-Calvinists do.

        br.d
        John Calvin
        -quote
        But because a *SMALL* and contemptible number are hidden in a HUGE MULTITUDE and a FEW GRAINS of wheat are covered by a pile of chaff, we must leave to God alone the knowledge of his church, whose foundation is his SECRET election.

        Looking at Calvin’s doctrine statistically:
        What percentage does a “few grains” constitute out of a “pile”?
        Statistics tell the Calvinist he has a 99% chance – Calvin’s god has given him a FALSE faith – leading him to ask for a FALSE forgiveness.

        That is also something the Calvinist can believe in.

      4. RH seems to thinks it is vivid imagination to take what Calvinists say at face value. That is what we do, we are not used to saying there is a secret message that only a select few can truly understand.
        I consider John Piper a pretty good example of Calvinism: check his quotes out below Piper affirms my claims about Calvinism: RH is the one that has a vivid imagination thinking that Calvinism can assert contradictory claims and still be Biblical.

        John Piper Quotes to the end of Post:
        “No Christian can be sure he is a true believer hence there is an ongoing need to be dedicated to the Lord and deny ourselves so that we might make it.”
        “…we must also own up to the fact that our final salvation is made contingent upon the subsequent obedience which comes from faith.”
        “You Don’t get into heaven by faith alone, you get justified by faith alone, you get into a position where God is for you by faith alone and in order to get into heaven that faith must bear the fruit of love.”
        “Essential to the Christian life and necessary for final salvation is the killing of sin and the pursuit of holiness, mortification of sin, sanctification in holiness.”

        “Perseverance is the mark of the elect and necessary for final salvation.
        “The Bible sometimes makes love the condition of the ongoing and final experience of future grace… faith in the promise must be so real that the love it produces proves the reality of the faith.”
        “Thus love for others is a condition of future grace in the sense that it confirms that the primary condition, faith, is genuine. We could call love for others a secondary condition”
        “…a full and free amnesty is offered to all the rebel subjects who will turn from their rebellion, call on him for mercy, bow before his throne, and swear allegiance and faithfulness to him forever.”

        Regarding Preaching Piper says: “Heaven and hell are at stake every SUNDAY Morning, not merely because unbelievers might be present, but also because our people are saved if “indeed they continue in the faith”
        In other words, labor on behalf of the elect is not icing on the cake of their eternal security. It is God’s appointed means of keeping them secure. Eternal security is a community project…”
        “There is as much need of persons exercising care and diligence to persevere in order for their salvation, as there is of their attention and care to repent and be converted.
        Preaching is a means of grace to assist the saints to persevere. Perseverance is necessary for final salvation. Therefore, every sermon is a “salvation sermon”- not just because of its aim to convert sinners, but also in its aim to preserve the holy affections of the saints and so enable them to confirm their calling and election and be saved.” END of quotes by Piper

        The focus for the Calvinist has to be on his own works other wise “Final Salvation” is a pipe dream.

      5. GraceAdict
        John Piper Quotes to the end of Post:
        “No Christian can be sure he is a true believer hence there is an ongoing need to be dedicated to the Lord and deny ourselves so that we might make it.”

        br.d
        This is an excellent quote GraceAdict! – where can I find it?

      6. It is in his book: The Supremacy of God in Preaching… there were some good things in that book BUT also some very Catholic doctrines were being espoused in that book as well.

      7. GraceAdict
        Am I elect for Salvation or Am I chosen by God for Reprobation? And the answer to that can only be ascertained at death.

        br.d
        Very true!
        Reformed author Francis Wendel puts it this way:
        -quote
        This is no more than an application of the principle that the judgments of God are incomprehensible and unfathomable to us, and that it is therefore impossible, in spite of all the ‘signs’ that may be given, for us at this present time to distinguish the elect from the reprobate……Predestination will be fully revealed to us only in the life beyond.”

        GraceAdict
        Only the Arrogant Calvinist is Able to Affirm “I know that I am the Elect and God Genuinely loves me because my works are good enough and great enough in quantity and duration to confirm I have the gift faith – Praise be to God I am Elect”.

        br.d
        Yes it LOGICALLY follows – this stance is an act of HUMAN confidence – and therefore it is an act of WORKS.
        So this actually does resolve to a form of works righteousness – and arrogance is the RED-FLAG. it is HUMAN in nature.

        Dr. Erich Fromm – Ph.D Social Psychologist in “Escape from Freedom” writes
        -quote
        One possible way to escape this unbearable state of uncertainty and a paralyzing feeling of one’s own insignificance, is the very trait which became so prominent in Calvinism: the development of a HYPER ACTIVITY and striving for productivity. Activity in this sense assumes a compulsory quality: the individual has to be active in order to subdue underlying feelings of doubt and powerlessness. This kind of effort and activity works to promote a sense of confidence and conciliation. – (Page 88)

        The Calvinist may claim his confidence is in Calvin’s god – when in fact his confidence is in his own works
        Calvinists watch each others behavior looking for signs/indicators of that person’s eternal destiny.
        And that practice is essentially called READING TEA LEAVES to ascertain one’s future.

      8. br,d writes, “I don’t approach these things with any emotion.”

        LOL!!! When it comes to Calvinism, you are as emotional as it gets. Mr. Spock you are not.

      9. br,d
        “I don’t approach these things with any emotion.”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! When it comes to Calvinism, you are as emotional as it gets. Mr. Spock you are not.

        br.d
        AH – thank you rhutchin – this will be FALSE perception #9 Calvin’s god has given you.
        As the count increments Mr. Spock retains the number! :-]

      10. Rhutchin says: “GraceAdict writes, ‘Within Calvinism the ONLY question that has ever Really mattered or ever will matter is:
        Am I elect for Salvation or Am I chosen by God for Reprobation? And the answer to that can only be ascertained at death.” … This might be an issue for those outside Calvinism, but I am not aware that it is an issue inside Calvinism. Calvinists believe that Christ died for their sins and that God gives them faith to believe this.”

        Heather says: You just proved TS00’s point that “[The Calvinist] can be so bold about accepting God’s right to condemn helpless, hopeless born into sin people – because he is certain that he has been chosen for reprieve.” You are claiming that Calvinists are certain they have true faith, and not evanescent faith.

        Rhutchin says: “[The Calvinist] knows that any “faith” not focused on Christ can be a “temporary faith” a “spurious faith” a “counterfeit faith”, or a “human faith.”

        Heather says: And yet Calvin himself taught that those with evanescent faith will be tricked (by Calvi-god) into thinking they have true faith, to the point that they won’t see a difference. See John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 2, Section 11:

        “I am aware it seems unaccountable to some how faith is attributed to the reprobate, seeing that it is declared by Paul to be one of the fruits of election; and yet the difficulty is easily solved: for though none are enlightened into faith, and truly feel the efficacy of the Gospel, with the exception of those who are fore-ordained to salvation, yet experience shows that the REPROBATE ARE SOMETIMES AFFECTED IN A WAY SO SIMILAR TO THE ELECT, THAT EVEN IN THEIR OWN JUDGMENT THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM. Hence it is not strange, that by the Apostle a taste of heavenly gifts, and BY CHRIST HIMSELF A TEMPORARY FAITH, IS ASCRIBED TO THEM. Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, THE BETTER TO CONVICT THEM, and leave them without excuse, INSTILLS IN THEIR MINDS SUCH A SENSE OF HIS GOODNESS as can be felt WITHOUT the Spirit of adoption.”

        Rhutchin says: “The Calvinist looks to Christ as the source of his salvation.”

        Heather says: No! The Calvinists looks to his belief that God “elected” him as the source of his salvation, that Calvi-god “forced” him to look to Christ (trusting that Calvi-god didn’t really just give them evanescent grace, yet not knowing for sure till they die). Because the Calvinist cannot look anywhere on his own. He can only do as Calvi-god forces him to do.

        Rhutchin claims this is a false representation of the Calvinist: “[The Calvinist] has to feel really good about the quality of his works and the quantity of his works in order to believe that God really does love him. ”

        Heather says: But it’s not a false representation. Because if a Calvinist has to wonder if they might have been given evanescent grace (fake election), then they cannot really rest assured in their election as proof of their salvation. They can only find assurance of their salvation if they “persevere in the faith,” in good works, all the way to the end of their lives, thereby “proving” that they had genuine faith and not fake faith. (And if a Calvinist is not concerned that they might have been given evanescent grace instead of genuine, saving grace then they don’t really understand their own theology.)

        Rhutchin says: “For the Calvinist, admitting that you are a mess comes from the faith that God has given him.”

        Heather says: Wow! How mighty big and humble of the Calvinists! Having “faith from Calvi-god” to admit that Calvi-god (who predestines and causes everything that happens) has caused you to sin and caused you to do things wrong and caused you to be a mess. Very humble! Admitting Calvi-god’s causation of sin for him!

        Rhutchin says: “br,d writes, ‘I don’t approach these things with any emotion.’ … LOL!!! When it comes to Calvinism, you are as emotional as it gets. Mr. Spock you are not.”

        Heather says: If we don’t get emotional about a theology that completely destroys God’s truth and character then shame on us! Only those who don’t truly understand the Gospel or don’t truly understand (or care about) the damage Calvinism does to the Gospel and to people’s faith could remain unemotional about such wretchedness!

        So, Rhutchin, have you given God permission yet, in prayer, to correct your theology if you’re wrong? Or do you just keep assuming that the “wisdom” you ask for and get is actually from the real God, and not some human or demonic source? Asking for wisdom is not the same thing as asking for correction. Because if someone is listening to the wrong source, then they aren’t getting biblical, godly wisdom anyway. Many, many people underestimate Satan’s ability to disguise himself as an angel of light!

      11. Funny stuff!

        Since Calvin’s god determines all of RHs perceptions – and determines RH to perceive things TRUE which are in fact FALSE – then it LOGICALLY follows – RH has no way of knowing TRUE from FALSE.

        So all of RH’s claims totally collapse anyway – since he has no way of knowing whether they are TRUE or FALSE :-]

        Where can I sign up for that! :-]

  15. It’s very possible and dangerous that human reasoning takes over logical reasoning this happens in the doctrine of the trinity as it don’t logically make sense to human reason so therefore it can’t be no matter what the totality of scripture teaches so you don’t believe it,so you become a Mormon,JW,or oneness.

    It’s the LBFW people who actually hold to a doctrine that gives no assurance of salvation ,I remember someone telling me he thought he could lose his salvation,and I responded how many sins does it take and what kind and he shrugged his shoulders,well I thought it would be good to know when heaven or hell is the outcome.

    We know that we are saved because the Bible says we have passed from death until life and find are hope in the shed blood of Christ alone in His finished work which was freely given unto us by the grace of God.

    I asked the question again to someone who might be able to answer, where does someone find full assurance in salvation and in what is the assurance if LBFW is believed?

    1. Shawn, I haven’t read your comments fully or the responses to them (and I am not speaking for LBFW itself because I haven’t looked into what it all entails), but as a Christian who believes the Bible and who believes that God offers salvation to all and that He tells us to choose whom we will serve, I believe that we can find assurance in God’s promise to do what He says (save us, forgive us, give us eternal life) if we truly do what He says (seek Him, repent, willingly and truly make Jesus our Lord and Savior).

      He can be trusted to do what He promised He’d do if we do what He commanded us to do. Our assurance is in His Word and in what kind of God He is: honest, loving, trustworthy, merciful, gracious, forgiving, etc.

      Yes, some people can convince themselves that they are saved when they are not. But this is because they want to believe it. They want to believe they have the truth, even when they don’t. But God does not keep the truth from them. He has made it available and clear to all. And so they are responsible for lying to themselves, for refusing to see the truth. And they won’t see the truth until they are willing to admit they are wrong.

      But, even if faith is still a bumpy ride for most Christians, those who are truly saved (who have the Holy Spirit as an assurance, a seal) will continue on in the faith (because of the Spirit’s help), even if it’s full of ups and downs and setbacks, and even if we falter at times. We might lose heart sometimes, but God never loses hold of those who are truly His.

      I’m sure this isn’t the kind of concrete answer you are looking for, but it’s the best I can do. Blessings!

      1. Heather wrote :We might lose heart sometimes, but God never loses hold of those who are truly His.

        With due respect you are not being consistent here with free will salvation if a lost depraved sinner has free choice into Christ are you saying he loses freedom after he is in Christ?

      2. Shawn
        With due respect you are not being consistent here with free will salvation if a lost depraved sinner has free choice into Christ are you saying he loses freedom after he is in Christ?

        br.d
        Shawn – in order for anyone to give a correct answer to this question – you need to define what you mean by “free will salvation”.

      3. Br.d.: “Shawn, With due respect you are not being consistent here with free will salvation if a lost depraved sinner has free choice into Christ are you saying he loses freedom after he is in Christ?

        br.d: Shawn – in order for anyone to give a correct answer to this question – you need to define what you mean by “free will salvation”.”

        Heather: Yes, and he also needs to explain what he means by “loses freedom after he is in Christ.” Does he mean we lose freedom to make decisions? Freedom to make a decision to leave Christ, after having had freedom to choose to come to him?

        Assuming he’s talking about losing the right to freely-decide to walk away from Jesus after having freely-decided to chose Jesus as Lord and Savior, I would say that I believe a true believer gets the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion. And so a true Spirit-filled believer WILL NOT walk away from Jesus, even if they might struggle and back-slide from time to time. (I believe some of the “predestination” verses are actually about the path a true believer walks after salvation – that they are destined to grow to be more and more like Christ because of the Holy Spirit’s help – than being about “predestined to heaven or hell.” The general path a believer takes after salvation is what’s been predestined, not whether they will or won’t believe.)

        The Spirit is the seal, the guarantee of salvation, for the true believer. But I do not think God gives the Spirit to people who only pretend to choose Jesus as Lord and Savior or who think they did when they really didn’t. Once you are sealed with the Spirit, you are a true believer and can never be lost again. (If you could be, then what is forgiveness really? How effective was Jesus’s death then?)

        But if you were never sealed with the Spirit, no matter how “saved” you felt or the rituals you went through, then you are not truly a believer. And I pray that those people would figure it out before it’s too late.

      4. br.d: “…you are not being consistent here with free will salvation if a lost depraved sinner has free choice into Christ are you saying he loses freedom after he is in Christ?”
        heather: “Heather: Yes, and he also needs to explain what he means by “loses freedom after he is in Christ.” Does he mean we lose freedom to make decisions? Freedom to make a decision to leave Christ, after having had freedom to choose to come to him?”

        Under Calvinism, people are depraved and unable to make any move toward God/Christ because they lack faith and have corrupt hearts. Thus, they are slaves to sin and free only to sin. As Paul wrote in Romans 8, “…the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God [i.e.,they have no faith per Hebrews 11]. Once a person is given a heart transplant and receives faith through hearing the gospel, he is free to come to Christ 9i.e., believe). Technically, he would be free to walk away from Christ except that the Holy Spirit comes to indwell him and prevents that outcome.

      5. rhutchin
        Under Calvinism, people are depraved and unable to make any move toward God/Christ because they lack faith and have corrupt hearts.

        br.d
        Firstly – please review that statement attributed to br.d in your post – I don’t think that was my statement.

        Secondly on Calvinism’s doctrine of TOTAL DEPRAVITY it is also the case per Calvin that the Calvinist fold contains a -quote “few grains of wheat” while the rest are – quote “a huge multitude of chaff”.

        Statistically speaking – a “few grains” would represent a very small percentage of a “huge multitude”.
        So statistically speaking – the Calvinist fold contains a “huge multitude” of TOTALLY DEPRAVED Calvinists.
        And no one in the Calvinist fold knows who they are – because that is a SECRET.

        I think its just hilarious – TOTALLY DEPRAVED Calvinists assuming to speak with authority! :-]

      6. br.d: “Firstly – please review that statement attributed to br.d in your post – I don’t think that was my statement.”

        Sorry. heather had written, “Br.d.: “Shawn, With due respect you are not being consistent here with free will salvation if a lost depraved sinner has free choice into Christ are you saying he loses freedom after he is in Christ?”

        Better to have written, “”Br.d.: “Shawn said…”

      7. Rhutchin says: “Under Calvinism, people are depraved and unable to make any move toward God/Christ because they lack faith and have corrupt hearts.”

        Heather says: You’re right. UNDER CALVINISM do we find this idea, but not in the Bible!

      8. Rhutchin:: “Under Calvinism, people are depraved and unable to make any move toward God/Christ because they lack faith and have corrupt hearts.”
        Heather: ” ou’re right. UNDER CALVINISM do we find this idea, but not in the Bible!’

        How do you understand Romans 8, “…he carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”?

      9. Rhutchin says: “Under Calvinism, people are depraved and unable to make any move toward God/Christ …”

        And then he asks: “How do you understand Romans 8 …”

        Heather asks: And how do you understand these verses:

        “God did this [created the nations of the earth] so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27)

        “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)

        “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29)

        “Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:10)

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

        “This is what the Lord says to the house of Israel: ‘Seek me and live . . .’” (Amos 5:4)

        It’s a desperate, self-deluded Calvinist who looks at all these verses and says “God didn’t really mean that we can seek Him, that we can and should take steps towards Him, even though He tells us over and over again to seek Him. It really just means that men CANNOT seek God unless God causes them to seek Him.”

        Nonsense and hogwash!

        (And my question is rhetorical. I don’t really want to hear your answer.)

      10. Heather wrote, “And then [rhutchin] asks: “How do you understand Romans 8 …” Heather asks: And how do you understand these verses:
        “God did this [created the nations of the earth] so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27) etc.

        It’s a desperate, self-deluded Calvinist who looks at all these verses and says “God didn’t really mean that we can seek Him, that we can and should take steps towards Him, even though He tells us over and over again to seek Him. It really just means that men CANNOT seek God unless God causes them to seek Him.”

        Maybe you could harmonize the verses you cited with Romans 8.

      11. rhutchin
        He tells us over and over again to seek Him. It really just means that men CANNOT seek God unless God causes them to seek Him.”

        br.d
        BING!
        Universal Divine CAUSAL Determinism.

        And this also applies to all sins and evils – the creature CANNOT commit even one single specific sin or evil unless Calvin’s god CAUSES the creature to do so – and no specific event is PERMITTED and nothing made available – outside of what Calvin’s god specifically DECREES for every specific part of every specific event.

      12. rhutchin
        He tells us over and over again to seek Him. It really just means that men CANNOT seek God unless God causes them to seek Him.”

        br.d

        Dr. William Lane Craig:
        -quote
        Universal, divine, causal determinism cannot offer a coherent interpretation of Scripture.
        God would be like a child who sets up his toy soldiers and moves them about his play world, *PRETENDING* that they are real persons whose every motion is not in fact of his own doing and *PRETENDING* they merit praise or blame. -end quote

        On this model:
        Where it tells us Calvin’s god commanded Adam to not eat. It really just means Adam CANNOT NOT eat (i.e. obey the ENUNCIATED will) unless Calvin’s god CAUSES Adam to NOT eat (i.e. to obey the ENUNCIATED will).

        And here we have a THEOS who communicates to his creatures *AS-IF* his ENUNCIATED will were his SECRET will
        When he knows what he is leading them to believe is FALSE.

        And that is not turning scripture into unethical and IRRATIONAL?

        Historically – the Calvinist will use DOUBLE-SPEAK to talk his way out of this unethical conundrum.
        So he becomes an expert at pointing 10 fingers in 20 directions at the same time.

        And that process is what we call the IRRATIONAL pretzel.

      13. br.d writes, “And that process is what we call the IRRATIONAL pretzel.”

        It starts with br.d attributing to me that which heather wrote who misrepresents the Calvinist as the self-deluded Calvinist. . I thought that was against the rules.

      14. rhutchin
        It starts with br.d attributing to me that which heather wrote who misrepresents the Calvinist as the self-deluded Calvinist. . I thought that was against the rules.

        br.d
        rhutchin you just posted an assertion that Ephesians affirmed the statement posted in your name within that post
        Somehow I don’t think it was something Heather stated – or you wouldn’t have tried to affirm it with scripture.

        Additionally – my statement “And that process is what we call the IRRATIONAL pretzel.” was the summation of a number of points which I made and not Heather.

      15. heather: “He tells us over and over again to seek Him. It really just means that men CANNOT seek God unless God causes them to seek Him.”
        br.d: “BING! Universal Divine CAUSAL Determinism.”

        Ephesians is still true, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.”

      16. rhutchin
        He tells us over and over again to seek Him.
        It really just means that men CANNOT seek God unless God causes them to seek Him.”

        br.d
        BING!
        Universal Divine CAUSAL Determinism.

        rhutchin
        Ephesians is still true, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.”

        br.d
        Well – since you want Ephesians to affirm that model – then it LOGICALLY follows – you want it to also affirm the following.

        On this model:
        Where it tells us Calvin’s god commanded Adam to not eat. It really just means Adam CANNOT obey what Calvin’s god commanded (i.e. the ENUNCIATED will) unless Calvin’s god CAUSES Adam to obey it. And we know Calvin’s god CAUSES Adam to do the opposite ( the SECRET will).

        I suppose Ephesians states all of that also. :-]

      17. Rhutchin: “Maybe you could harmonize the verses you cited with Romans 8.”

        Heather: Yes, I can. They (those with a carnal mind) are in the flesh because they want to be, not because God created them to be or because He denied them the opportunity to be saved. And God calls all to seek Him because He knows we can. The call/opportunity to seek Him is available to all because Jesus’s death paid for the sins of all men and the offer of salvation is extended to all men. And so if we choose to not seek Him, if we choose the carnal over the spiritual, it’s our fault. (And not in the fake Calvinist way of “men make decisions according to the natures that Calvi-god predetermined they’d have”).

        It’s Calvinists who can’t rationally harmonize the “seek God” verses with Romans because they assume that God causes the reprobate to be the reprobate, that He determines who gets a carnal mind and who gets the renewed mind. And they can’t harmonize God’s commands to seek Him (REAL commands to seek Him, where the person actually has a choice) with Him predetermining/causing who would seek Him and who wouldn’t. The only way they can do this is to make up the idea of 2 calls – one call for the elect that they have to respond to because Calvi-god controls them to respond and one call for the non-elect that they are predestined to resist. AS IF that’s a real choice! AS IF God really meant “You can’t really seek Me unless I make you seek Me, and I will only make the elect seek Me” when He says “Seek Me.”

        (I don’t say this for your sake, but for others reading. Because I’m going to guess you will not be able to hear or understand what I’m saying.)

      18. heather writes, “They (those with a carnal mind) are in the flesh because they want to be, not because God created them to be or because He denied them the opportunity to be saved.”

        Romans 8 says, “you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” So, you seem to be saying that all people are presumably born in the spirit because, “The call/opportunity to seek Him is available to all because Jesus’s death paid for the sins of all men and the offer of salvation is extended to all men.” Thus, it is only by a conscious free will decision that a person rejects Christ and is then lost; a person is not lost (or in the flesh) prior to exercising the opportunity to reject Christ.

        Then, “It’s Calvinists who can’t rationally harmonize the “seek God” verses with Romans because they assume that God causes the reprobate to be the reprobate, that He determines who gets a carnal mind and who gets the renewed mind.”

        Calvinists claim that no one can come to Christ without God first drawing them to Christ. Prior to being drawn by God, the preaching of the cross is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to gentiles despite all the appeals in Scripture to seek God or come to Christ..

        Then, “The only way they can do this is to make up the idea of 2 calls – one call for the elect that they have to respond to because Calvi-god controls them to respond and one call for the non-elect that they are predestined to resist.”

        Experience seems to show that the gospel can be preached to many people at one time and some will be drawn to Christ and accept Christ and others will reject Christ. We know why a person would be drawn by the gospel to Christ. What is impossible to explain – on the basis of free will – is why some will reject Christ when others, who are no different, accept Christ. If free will is valid, then one person accepting Christ should mean that all accept Christ as all are equally capable of understanding the gospel and their need for Christ.

      19. rhutchin
        Calvinists claim that no one can come to Christ without God first drawing them to Christ

        br.d
        But of course “Calvinist claims” are strategically designed to HIDE more than they reveal.
        Calvinists are taught to divulge “little” truths – like the one above – designed to masquerade as the WHOLE TRUTH.
        And that is what Heather has been referring to.

        Calvin’s god wills all men saved – and at the same time – wills all men damned.

        The Calvinist will “claim” HALF of that TRUTH – while HIDING the other HALF.
        And then contort language into an IRRATIONAL pretzel in order to talk his way around it.
        And that’s supposed to be a “biblical” mode of communication! :-]

      20. rhutchin: “Calvinists claim that no one can come to Christ without God first drawing them to Christ”
        br.d: “Calvinists are taught to divulge “little” truths – like the one above – designed to masquerade as the WHOLE TRUTH.”

        Again with the misrepresentation of Calvinism Calvinism searches the Scriptures for all truth and then harmonizes all those individual truths into a whole.So, Calvinism takes these truths among others:

        – God works all things according to the counsel of His will.
        – All that the Father gives to Christ will come to Christ.
        – No one can come to Christ unless the Father who sent Christ draws him.
        – We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
        – God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.
        – whom God 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.
        – 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?

      21. I noticed that you didn’t add this one to your list

        Calvin’s god wills all men saved – and at the same time – wills all men damned.

        And I know why!
        Just exactly as I stated – speaking “little” truths while HIDING the WHOLE truth.

        We all know how the language tricks work. :-]

      22. br.d writes, “I noticed that you didn’t add this one to your list
        Calvin’s god wills all men saved – and at the same time – wills all men damned.

        OK.

        – The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
        – Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

      23. Rhutchin: “What is impossible to explain – on the basis of free will – is why some will reject Christ when others, who are no different, accept Christ. If free will is valid, then one person accepting Christ should mean that all accept Christ as all are equally capable of understanding the gospel and their need for Christ.”

        It’s impossible to explain why some people reject Christ and others accept Him!?!

        Wow, that’s sad! Do you really think people are all identical automatons or something? That we’re all part of the Borg, and so if we don’t all do the same thing then something must have gone haywire?

        Umm … yeah … I guess it’s “impossible” to explain how people can make different “free-will” choices if one doesn’t really believe that free-will means we can make different choices.

        If you misunderstand/misrepresent what free-will really is while acting like you are properly understanding/representing free-will then, yeah, it’s pretty “impossible” to explain how people can have the “free-will” to make different choices!

        But this would explain why you conclude that if all people were capable of freely choosing to accept Christ, it must necessarily mean that all WOULD accept Christ. Therefore, the Calvinist conclusion is that since all people don’t accept Christ then it must mean that all are not capable of accepting Christ. Which therefore must mean that some people must have been predestined by Calvi-god to accept Christ and the rest were predestined to never be able to accept Him. Which means there is really no such thing as true free-will.

        All of this stems from the bizarre idea that having the free-will to accept Christ MUST MEAN that everybody WOULD accept Christ … because, apparently, “free-will” means that we would all do everything exactly the same because there is “no difference” between any of us. Which, actually, would be the exact opposite of free-will. Being locked into making only one choice is NOT free-will!

        Oh my goodness, this is too funny! It’s like if Lewis Carroll wrote an episode of The Twilight Zone!

      24. heather writes, ” Do you really think people are all identical automatons or something? That we’re all part of the Borg, and so if we don’t all do the same thing then something must have gone haywire?”

        You are arguing that people are not the same and some are more able to accept Christ while some are less able. That goes against free will that says that every person has the same opportunity to accept Christ. It’s a simple decision: eternal life vs eternal death. We can easily understand why a person would choose eternal life, but why would a person choose eternal death. That an illogical decision but free will conveys to people the ability to think logically.

      25. rhutchin
        You are arguing that people are not the same and some are more able to accept Christ while some are less able.

        br.d
        The significant distinction of “ability” in regard to free-will is a Calvinist significant distinction – no LOGICAL reason to presuppose that distinction on the non-Calvinist.

        rhutchin
        That goes against free will that says that every person has the same opportunity to accept Christ.

        br.d
        In Theological Determinism everybody does NOT have the same opportunity to accept anything

        What Calvin’s god does not DECREE does not exist.
        That which does not exist is not available to the creature – and that includes opportunity.
        So where Calvin’s god does not DECREE a person accept [X] then accepting [X] is not available to that person.
        And Calvin’s god would not PERMIT that person to accept [X] if it were available.

        rhutchin
        It’s a simple decision: eternal life vs eternal death.

        br.d
        But in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) humans don’t make that decision for themselves.
        It is made for them by Calvin’s god.
        Remember – we are talking about *UNIVERSAL* Divine Causal Determinism – where the THEOS determines *ALL* things – leaving ZERO left over for creatures to determine.

        rhutchin
        We can easily understand why a person would choose eternal life, but why would a person choose eternal death.

        br.d
        Who is “we” in this statement?
        What the Calvinist knows (per Calvinist doctrine) is the THEOS makes those choices for the creature.
        And John Calvin specifically states there is no attribute of the creature which determines that choice
        That conception is unique to Calvinists and not shared by Non-Calvinists.

        rhutchin
        That an illogical decision but free will conveys to people the ability to think logically.

        br.d
        That is true within IN-Determinism yes – but it is no TRUE in Theological Determinism.
        In Theological Determinism we don’t have FULL free-will.
        We only have the freedom to be/do what Calvin’s god DECREES.
        Creatures are NOT FREE to be/do otherwise.

        Additionally – in Theological Determinism – a person wouldn’t know if he were thinking LOGICALLY or not – since Calvin’s god determines his every perception a human will have – and determines people to have FALSE perceptions and to perceive them as TRUE.

        Therefore the person has no way of knowing whether a perception they have is TRUE or FALSE.
        And one could hardly call that LOGICAL thinking.

      26. Calvinists can get really hung up on their misunderstanding of Ephesians 1:11. When the Bible says that “God works all things…”, the Calvinist hears “God causes/controls all things …”

        But according to the concordance, “Works” in that verse doesn’t mean “God causes or controls all things.” It means …
        1) to be operative, be at work, put forth power
        1a) to work for one, aid one
        2) to effect
        3) to display one’s activity, show one’s self operative

        To be active in something, to aid it, is not the same thing as “to actively cause all factors or to completely control everything.” Why would the writer use a word that says God is merely active in something if they really meant God totally controlled it? If God totally controlled it all, then the writer himself, by using that word, is downplaying God’s involvement.

        So who’s right then? The writer or the Calvinist?

        The difference is like this (humor me here, don’t read into illustrations too much):

        The Bible’s use of “works all things together”: A professional chef go into someone’s kitchen, looks around at the ingredients they have on hand, adds some more of his own, and then “works it all together” into something great.

        The Calvinist’s use of “works” in that verse: A chef writes the recipe exactly as he wants it to go, buys exactly the ingredients he needs, follows the steps exactly to get the results he wants. The chef causes all things to be exactly as they are and controls all the factors.

        I believe if the writer of Ephesians said that “God works all things together” to get His Will done, he actually meant “God works all things together” to get His Will done. NOT “God causes all things to be exactly as they are and completely controls everything and everyone to get His Will done.”

        But that’s just me.

        But we can say this to a dogmatic Calvinist till we’re blue in the face, and they’ll simply keep saying “But what about ‘God works all things according to the counsel of his will’?” As if it irrefutably proves that God “causes” all things according to His Will.

        And round and round we go on the merry-go-round!

      27. Yep, the ol’ blue in the face routine. It comes from being arrogant, dogmatic and unwilling to consider other points of view. And yes, I know it for what it is because I was once guilty of practicing it.

        I have pretty much given up the hope that discussing theology with most Calvinists can ever be productive. I now believe that there is no use even discussing issues until you come to the understanding that what you believe and what I believe are two different interpretations. This is as true of any other disagreement as it is of scriptural debates. The arrogant dogmatist simply cannot allow that they just might be partly wrong, ill informed, missing something or entirely deceived about what a particular verse or verses mean.

        It is the height of arrogance to say ‘I believe in what scripture teaches’, thinking, and often saying that everyone else simply hates God or refuses to obey what scripture clearly teaches; as if your, and only your interpretation is 100% accurate and unquestionable. Because you, or your clan, have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – as if such a thing exists outside of God. They appear unable to see that they are, literally, claiming to know as only God knows.

        To have a reasonable, productive conversation, you must start with, ‘Let’s examine our different interpretations of the same words, and ponder together, while examining the whole context, why we tend to think one meaning is more likely than the other’.

      28. TS00 writes, “To have a reasonable, productive conversation, you must start with, ‘Let’s examine our different interpretations of the same words, and ponder together, while examining the whole context, why we tend to think one meaning is more likely than the other’.”

        Great idea!! We can both start with our understanding of a particular Scripture and work from there. I’m up for it.

      29. rhutchin
        Great idea!! We can both start with our understanding of a particular Scripture and work from there. I’m up for it.

        br.d
        Sorry to say – I certainly wouldn’t be mislead by that!
        And I doubt anyone else here – knowing what they’ve observed would – be either.
        I think you’ve made you own bed on this one – I’m afraid.
        Unfortunate – but true.

      30. Dr. Jack Cottrell – Does Ephesians 1:1-11 Support Calvinism?

        The following is a snippet from the original article
        -quote

        This last verse says that God works “all things” after the counsel of His will. This is why determinists such as Calvinists speak of an eternal decree that is all-inclusive and universal: does not Paul say all things?

        But those who take this in an absolute sense have ignored the immediate *CONTEXT* and the main theme of Ephesians as a whole. The term “all things” (panta) is not necessarily absolute and must be understood within the limitations imposed by the *CONTEXT*.

        This is seen quite clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:6, which says that God is the one “who works all things [panta] in all persons.” The language is exactly parallel to that of Ephesians 1:11; even the verb is the same [energeo]. Yet the context of 1 Corinthians 12 clearly limits “all things” to spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit, and verse 11 says so specifically: “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”

        In a similar way, the context of Ephesians 1:11 does not allow us to think of the “all things” in an absolutely inclusive sense, but shows us the specific focus of God’s purpose which is in view here.

        What is this focus?…………..the fact that God was now, in Christ,……uniting the Gentiles (the Gentiles!) with the Jews into a new kind of body called the church (3:10). In chapter two he comments on the fact that Jesus broke down the barrier that divided Jews and Gentiles and thus made the two groups into one new man, reconciling them both in one body to God through the cross (2:11-16). Even his reference to marriage–”the two shall become one flesh”–reminds him again of this great mystery, that the two groups (Jews and Gentiles) have become one body in Christ and his church (5:31-32).

      31. “Dr. Jack Cottrell – Does Ephesians 1:1-11 Support Calvinism?
        The following is a snippet from the original article
        -quote
        This is seen quite clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:6, which says that God is the one “who works all things [panta] in all persons.”

        Let’s read 1 Corinthians 12: “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:” Here context is obvious, “all in all” refers back to the work of the Holy Spirit within the church. No problem with that.

        Now, let’s read Ephesians 1: “God chose us…predestined us…He has made us accepted…He made to abound toward us…having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,…In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will… that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.” At the least, “God works all things” refers to all that was said before, “God chose us…predestined us…made us…etc.” Thus, Paul could say in Ephesians 2, “…we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…”

        In the Scriptures, we find the God described with the phrase, “God who,” so that we have:
        – God, who comforts the downcast,
        – God who commanded light to shine out of darkness
        – God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
        – God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ,
        – God who always leads us in triumph in Christ
        – God the Father who raised Christ from the dead
        – God, who is rich in mercy
        – God who works in you
        – God who tests our hearts.
        – God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory
        – God who alone is wise
        – God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
        – God, who cannot lie
        etc.

        When we read, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will, we know that God does indeed work all things and does so according to the counsel of His will – in other words, not capricious or arbitrarily.

        Otherwise, Cottrell did a good job explaining context. He just missed the sense of “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” Cotrell writes, “In a similar way [to 1 Corinthians 12], the context of Ephesians 1:11 does not allow us to think of the “all things” in an absolutely inclusive sense, but shows us the specific focus of God’s purpose which is in view here. ”

        The only problem is that 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 1 are not contextually similar except that each describes God working in the lives of believers. If anything, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” applies across the board to all that God does.

      32. rhutchin
        Cottrell ….just missed the *SENSE* of “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.

        br.d
        Of course – that is stated simply because it disagrees with the Calvinist’s *SENSE*
        And everyone knows the Calvinist *SENSE* is canon! :-]

      33. heather writes, “To be active in something, to aid it, is not the same thing as “to actively cause all factors or to completely control everything.”

        The verse does not say that God aids anything – it says God works all things. By adding that God is “aiding,” you are engaging in eisegesis – making the verse say what you want it to say and ignoring what the verse really says.

        Then, “Why would the writer use a word that says God is merely active in something if they really meant God totally controlled it?”

        God is merely active because He is the one who “works all things.” To “work all thinks” would seem to assume control over all things. So, Paul is being clear – “God works all things.”

        Then, ” If God totally controlled it all, then the writer himself, by using that word, is downplaying God’s involvement.”

        When Paul writes, “God works all things,” we are to understand that God has control over that which He works. Don’t we? If God did not have control, how could He work all things. Certainly some things out of His control would not work as He planned.

        Then, “The Bible’s use of “works all things together”:

        hetaher seems to have Romans 8 in view here, “we know that [God works] all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Her example is a little off. Rather than, “A professional chef go(es) into someone’s kitchen, looks around at the ingredients they have on hand, adds some more of his own, and then “works it all together” into something great,” it should be, “A professional chef goes into someone’s kitchen, sees that the people are preparing food, looks around at the ingredients they have on hand, then throws out some ingredients and adds some more of his own while instructing the people in the use of the additional ingredients, and thereby “works it all together” into something great.” Not a perfect example but better.

      34. Actually, under Calvinism, the kitchen would have to be designed and created by Calvi-god, the chefs designed and created by Calvi-god to be deliberately inept, the ingredients would have to have been designed and deliberately placed by Calvi-god, including the rotting vegetables and the absence of important staples, and then Calvi-god, without admitting to being the secret orchestrator of all, rides into town in his white Cadillac, jaunts into the kitchen as if he had never seen it before, and appears to magically save the day, using the inferior and inadequate materials at hand to create a masterpiece for which only he knows the recipe.

        Never is it addressed that Calvi-god could have created a perfectly stocked kitchen, created the chefs with perfect knowledge and ability and there would have been no crisis in the first place for him to provide ‘salvation’ for. All a grand, deceptive charade intended to give the tyrannically controlling and deceptively manipulative narcissist, who dreamed up and caused all the problems in the first place, all the glory for ‘working all things together for good’ while casting off the helpless, inept chefs as failures. Yeah, Calvinism is a grand scheme.

      35. TS00 writes, “Actually, under Calvinism, the kitchen would have to be designed and created by Calvi-god,…”

        OK. So, do you have an alternative to God doing it?

        Then, “Never is it addressed that Calvi-god could have created a perfectly stocked kitchen,…”

        That’s because we know that God did not do it that way. We are born as sinful creatures who are at enmity with God and cannot obey Him and do not want to obey Him.

        Then, “Yeah, Calvinism is a grand scheme.”

        And the non-Calvinist has yet to come up with a different scheme that is consistent with Scripture.

      36. “And the non-Calvinist has yet to come up with a different scheme that is consistent with Scripture.”

        Right. Like that is not what this blog and the commenters thereon do without fail, day after day. It is not consistency with scripture that non-Calvinists lack, it is merely consistency with Calvinism’s faulty interpretation of many scriptures.

      37. rh:
        “And the non-Calvinist has yet to come up with a different scheme that is consistent with Scripture.”

        Same ol’ same ol’.

        Yes, the non-Calvinist would say that God did design a perfect kitchen that was well stocked with the finest of quality of ingredients, and did create beings who had the knowledge and capacity to create nothing but fabulous masterpieces from all that was provided.

        But these chefs were not robots. They were not controlled by God to use what he provided wisely and well. Instead, they took advantage of the amazing capacity to think and create with which God designed them and crafted a laboratory in one corner of the kitchen. Here they cooked up toxic, unnatural combinations of ingredients, even genetically engineering what was normal into abnormal, dangerous for ingestion substances. They not only cooked up endless cakes and candy, rather than mouthwatering feasts of roast and vegetables, they poured toxic chemicals upon the meat and vegetables until even these were not fit for consumption.

        Because God provided the means for intelligent, creative, independent choice these chefs were able to misuse and/or ignore perfectly good resources. Because God designed these chefs in his image, they too were able to create, and were just as able to create unwisely as wisely. Scripture points to pride, greed, desire for undue glory as motivations for the seemingly unthinkable behaviors, such as, in our example, of creating toxic, unhealthily damaged food when delicious, nutritious options would have been even easier to pursue.

        Nowhere does scripture suggest that the pride, greed, desire for undue glory, etc. that led to sin and evil were determined and designed by God, but arose from within what were once sinless creatures. How is that possible? I do not know of anyone who has explained it well, including those Calvinists who attempt to deny that their theology demands that God ordained Adam’s original sin. I have not heard a reasonable explanation for that original sin, which is perhaps why most default to it having been decreed by God.

        I do not claim to understand how what was created sinless can, on its own, become corrupt. But even more incomprehensible is that a good and perfect God himself dreamed up and brought to pass the deliberate corruption of his good and perfect creation. So choose which inexplicable option you stand behind. Neither are easily understood, but only one demands the rejecting of the self-claimed goodness and sinlessness of God. This one I reject.

      38. heather writes, “To be active in something, to aid it, is not the same thing as “to actively cause all factors or to completely control everything.”

        rhutchin
        The verse does not say that God aids anything – it says God works all things. By adding that God is “aiding,” you are engaging in eisegesis – making the verse say what you want it to say and ignoring what the verse really says.

        br.d
        Didn’t you want to use the term “ENABLE” to describe Calvin’s god’s role in Adam’s sin?
        How does ENABLE not equate to AID?

        Otherwise – following this line of reasoning it LOGICALLY follows Calvin’s god is the only one who WORKS to bring about Adam’s sin.
        Adam would then be nothing more than a passive instrument – since Adam doesn’t WORK.

      39. br.d writes, “Didn’t you want to use the term “ENABLE” to describe Calvin’s god’s role in Adam’s sin?
        How does ENABLE not equate to AID?”

        I don’t see why enable should mean aid. One can enable and not aid.

        Then, ‘Otherwise – following this line of reasoning it LOGICALLY follows Calvin’s god is the only one who WORKS to bring about Adam’s sin. Adam would then be nothing more than a passive instrument – since Adam doesn’t WORK.”

        God’s working all things can incorporate actions by others – the Assyrians of Isaiah 10 being an example.

      40. br.d
        Didn’t you want to use the term “ENABLE” to describe Calvin’s god’s role in Adam’s sin?
        How does ENABLE not equate to AID?”

        rhutchin
        I don’t see why enable should mean aid. One can enable and not aid.

        br.d
        Two points:
        Firstly: if you are RATIONAL – you will agree that ENABLE can equate to AID
        Therefore the term ENABLE can have multiple meanings – and as such in this context is EQUIVOCAL
        So that provides another example of how Calvinists tend towards EQUIVOCAL terms.

        Secondly:
        If ENABLE does not mean AID – then it can function as an implicature for “merely” permitting.
        And in this case – “mere” permission can be SMUGGLED in – in camouflaged form.

        If you care want to argue that Calvinists don’t use EQUIVOCAL language then you will pick a word that doesn’t have so many meanings! :-]

        rhutchin
        God’s WORKING all things can incorporate actions by others

        br.d
        But wait – we are talking about WORKING *ALL* things.
        Remember Calvinism is predicated on *UNIVERSAL* Divine Causal Determinism.
        In which Calvin’s god Determines *ALL* things – leaving ZERO left over for the creature to determine.

        It only makes sense then that Calvin’s god who WORKS *ALL* things – leaves ZERO WORK left over for the creature.
        It would then make sense why Calvinists call humans “Instruments”

      41. br.d writes, “If ENABLE does not mean AID – then it can function as an implicature for “merely” permitting.”

        But not in the Calvinist context.

        Then, “Remember Calvinism is predicated on *UNIVERSAL* Divine Causal Determinism.”

        Calvinism is predicated on God being sovereign, He determines all things through direct action and through secondary means. The example is the Assyrians in Isaiah 10 that you understand.

      42. br.d
        If ENABLE does not mean AID – then it can function as an implicature for “merely” permitting.”

        rhutchin
        But not in the Calvinist context.

        br.
        AH! This is what Dr. Steven Hassan – expert in religious cults – calls INSIDER LANGUAGE
        Insiders within a religious group know what is meant by the meanings they apply to words and phrases within their statements.
        Often terms that are used have multiple meanings.

        This language model enables OUTSIDERS to misinterpret what is meant by statements. INSIDERS know what they are communicating but the OUTSIDER is mislead – and group members have a silent vested interest in OUTSIDERS being mislead by those terms.

        Now Remember Calvinism is predicated on *UNIVERSAL* Divine Causal Determinism.

        rhutchin
        Calvinism is predicated on God being sovereign

        br.d
        A rose is a rose by any other name.

        rhutchin
        He determines all things through direct action and through secondary means. The example is the Assyrians in Isaiah 10 that you understand.

        br.d
        Dr. Neal Judisch – Dept. of Philosophy – University of Oklahoma – OnSecondary Means within Calvinism
        -quote
        Whether or not the control Calvinists imagine exerted by Calvin’s god is immediate or mediated through secondary causes, is ultimately an IRRELEVANT RED-HERRING.

        For the ethical problem remains: The CONTROL IS THERE. And that CONTROL IS INTENTIONAL, SUPER-OPERATIVE, AND UNREMITTING.

        In the Calvinist scheme it isn’t within one’s power to alter, affect, or to “do otherwise” than what one is being controlled to think, choose, or do.-end quote

      43. br.d writes:
        “This is what Dr. Steven Hassan – expert in religious cults – calls INSIDER LANGUAGE
        Insiders within a religious group know what is meant by the meanings they apply to words and phrases within their statements.
        Often terms that are used have multiple meanings.

        This language model enables OUTSIDERS to misinterpret what is meant by statements. INSIDERS know what they are communicating but the OUTSIDER is mislead – and group members have a silent vested interest in OUTSIDERS being mislead by those terms. ”

        Take ‘sovereign’ for example. What they mean by this is deterministic, but they prefer to not acknowledge this, as it too clearly shows that Calvi-god is the author of evil. Any my deceptive Calvinist pastor had the nerve to state that all they mean by ‘sovereign’ is that Calvi-god allows evil to happen. So much for the forbidden ‘mere permission’, which they have to sneak in frequently to avoid the charge of God authoring evil.

        It is a charge that simply cannot be escaped, and it is a devastatingly awful one. Few who call themselves Calvinists would accept it, which is why the good Westminster Divines sought so hard to hide it, and Calvinists to this day play endless semantic games to mask the truth.

      44. TS00
        and Calvinists to this day play endless semantic games to mask the truth.

        br.d
        So very well said!

      45. Br.d.: “Dr. Jack Cottrell – Does Ephesians 1:1-11 Support Calvinism? …”

        Thank you, Br.d. Great quote. Context is key and adds so much to a proper understanding of what God is really saying in His Word!

      46. Rhutchin: “It starts with br.d attributing to me that which heather wrote who misrepresents the Calvinist as the self-deluded Calvinist. . I thought that was against the rules.”

        Actually, in my comment that you are referring to, I don’t claim that any old Calvinist (or that all Calvinists in general) is “the self-deluded Calvinist.” But I specified that “It’s a desperate, self-deluded Calvinist who looks at all these verses [where God tells us to seek Him] and says ‘God didn’t really mean that we can seek Him, that we can and should take steps towards Him, even though He tells us over and over again to seek Him. It really just means that men CANNOT seek God unless God causes them to seek Him.'”

        If you want to self-identify as one of those Calvinists who says that “seek Me” really means “no one can seek Me unless I make them seek Me,” then that’s your choice.

        But if it makes you feel better, I will reword it as “In my opinion, a Calvinist has to be desperate and self-deluded to look right at a verse that says ‘Seek Me’ and convince themselves that it’s really saying ‘No one can seek Me unless I make you seek Me.'”

        Do you have a better, more accurate word than “self-deluded” for when someone looks right at a verse that says one thing and claims that it says something else completely? Feel free to substitute that word instead.

        And it’s funny how you cry “against the rules” when I share an opinion about Calvinists who misrepresent verses, but time and time again you claim that those who disagree with you have cut verses out of their Bibles and ignored Scripture and fail to read their Bibles and fail to present any Scriptural support for their arguments. If that’s not “misrepresentation” – smug, condescending, judgmental, misrepresenting libel (in my opinion) – then I don’t know what is! And yet no one else seems to cry “against the rules” when you do that.

        So … sorry, not sorry.

        (And if my frustration here gets me kicked off this site … it’s worth it!)

      47. heather writes, ““In my opinion, a Calvinist has to be desperate and self-deluded to look right at a verse that says ‘Seek Me’ and convince themselves that it’s really saying ‘No one can seek Me unless I make you seek Me.’”

        It is actually Romans 3 that says this, “we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”

        Then, we have John 6, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;” Then, there is 1 Corinthians 1, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,…”

        So, rather than ranting about deluded Calvinist, how about harmonizing al that the Scriptures say about seeking Christ.

      48. Rhutchin: “It is actually Romans 3 that says … Then, we have John 6 … So, rather than ranting about deluded Calvinist, how about harmonizing al that the Scriptures say about seeking Christ.”

        I can’t. Those verses aren’t in my Bible. I cut them out.

      49. heather writes, “I can’t. Those verses aren’t in my Bible. I cut them out.”

        I thought FOH was the only one to do that. If you ever put them back in, maybe you could put in some time into harmonizing them.

      50. Tell the truth, Heather; you actually just read them with a different understanding. (I get the joke.:) ) How is it that the Calvinist, time after time after time repeats the same verses, even after being told hundreds of times how those verses can be understood differently? Their prooftexts do not get them off the hook.

        Notice what rh does not do? He does not respond to your legitimate complaint. How can one honestly explain God’s repeated command to all men to seek him, turn from wickedness, do what is right, etc. as disingenuous, mocking calls to men who are utterly unable to do what he commands? You can take the harmony of the whole Mormon Tabernacle Choir and you are not going to make music out of that sort of dissonance.

      51. TS00 writes, “How is it that the Calvinist, time after time after time repeats the same verses, even after being told hundreds of times how those verses can be understood differently?”

        because no one ever explains the different understanding. How about explaining the different understanding of John 6:37, ““All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…”

        Then, “How can one honestly explain God’s repeated command to all men to seek him, turn from wickedness, do what is right, etc….”

        If heather or you would cite the verse in question, I can give it a try.

    2. Shawn
      It’s very possible and dangerous that human reasoning takes over logical reasoning this happens in the doctrine of the trinity as it don’t logically make sense to human reason so therefore it can’t be no matter what the totality of scripture teaches so you don’t believe it,so you become a Mormon,JW,or oneness.

      br.d
      Question – how do you determine TRUE vs FALSE without reasoning or LOGIC?

      Libertarian Free will can be defined as the condition upon which multiple options are set before a person – all options existing as real and available – and that person permitted to choose among that range of options – that choice being compatible with that person’s nature. And specifically with the key factor – that person’s choice is not made for them by someone else.

      Give that definition – that gives us what is called “Libertarian Functionality”
      Libertarian functionality is then the condition upon which TRUTH and FALSE are set before a person – and that person is permitted to RATIONALLY affirm TRUE from FALSE.

      In contrast to that – we have Theological Determinism in which a THEOS determines *ALL* things without exception – which obviously includes all human perceptions.

      On this model – the human is NOT PERMITTED to determine anything – but *ALL* mental perceptions are determined in advance for him.

      Empirical data tells us we have FALSE perceptions. So on this model it LOGICALLY follows the THEOS determines the human to perceive perceptions as TRUE which in fact the THEOS knows are FALSE perceptions. And on this model – since the human cannot determine anything for himself – the person is unable to determine whether or not a perception the THEOS gives him is TRUE or FALSE.

      So lets see how that model would look in the real world:
      – The THEOS determines the Catholic to perceive his perceptions TRUE and others FALSE
      – The THEOS determines the Jehovah’s Witness to perceive his perceptions TRUE and others FALSE
      – The THEOS determines the Calvinist to perceive his perceptions TRUE and others FALSE

      CONCLUSION:
      None of these people have the ability to know what perceptions they have are TRUE or FALSE because their perceptions are determined for them by an external mind.

      Calvinist Gregory Koukl puts it this way:
      -quote:
      The problem with determinism, is that without freedom, rationality would have no room to operate. Arguments would not matter, since no one would be able to base beliefs on adequate reasons. One could never judge between a good idea and a bad one. One would only hold beliefs because he has been predetermined to do so. Although it is theoretically possible that determinism is true…..no one could ever know if it – if it were. Everyone of our thoughts dispositions and opinions would have been decided for us by factors completely out of our control. Therefore in practice, arguments for determinism are self defeating.”

      Shawn
      I asked the question again to someone who might be able to answer, where does someone find full assurance in salvation and in what is the assurance if LBFW is believed?

      br.d
      Shawn – you’ve also asked how an Arminian would have assurance of salvation. And the irony here is that all of your answers about your assurance of salvation are Arminian answers. So without realizing it – you’re actually answering your own questions.

      Dr. Ravi Zacharias laments that way to many Christians make statements that are all to obviously IRRATIONAL
      Give yourself some time to think these things through – no need to respond to this immediately

    3. Shawn writes: “I asked the question again to someone who might be able to answer, where does someone find full assurance in salvation and in what is the assurance if LBFW is believed?”

      GA: I am going to assume that you REALLY are seeking an answer and are open to consider what the Bible teaches if that is the case I am glad to engage.

      1. The Bible says we are made in the image of God and even after the fall the image of God is still imprinted on mankind,1 Cor. 11:7, Ac 17:28-29 we are the Offspring of God. Gen. 9:6 shows that the image of God is still imprinted on fallen man.

      2. God is a moral being, we his image bearers are moral beings, plants glorify God but are not moral beings because they have no ability to make choices. Man as God’s image bearer has been given many abilities including the ability by God to make moral choices (hence he is a moral being). He is not a plant being.

      3. Man has sinned and come short of the glory of God, man is a sinner separated from God unable to work his way back to God. Even in this sinful condition the Bible says man retains abilities:
      Rom 1:19  For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 
      ( Things can be known about God and those things are plain to fallen man. WHY? Because God made them plain to him)

      This fallen man can clearly see things:
      Rom 1:20  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 
      ( The Bible says His invisible attributes and divine nature are clearly perceived by fallen man and that is why fallen man is without excuse)
      Fallen man can progress to an even darker state:
      Rom 1:21  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 
      (-Fallen man – had some perception of God indicated by (they knew God) BUT how did fallen man respond to the light that he had? He did not honor or give thanks to God v21… SO this resulted in a darkened state even worse than before.)

      As we can see in v23 They exchange God’s glory (that they saw in v 20 for the images of birds, beasts and men.) So then God gives them up to their own choices…

      4. God continues to love All of His image bearers created by Him for Himself even though they are fallen and dirty, and sinful. Let’s see what Scripture says: NOTICE the emphasis scripture gives to ALL and Whole world.

      Jn. 3:16 For God so loved the World that He gave His only son…
      1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD.

      1Ti 2:3  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 
      1Ti 2:4  who desires ALL people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH. 
      1Ti 2:5  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 
      1Ti 2:6  who gave himself as a ransom for ALL, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 
      1Ti 2:7  For THIS I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the TRUTH, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 

      1Jo 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the WORLD.

      2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us, NOT willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.

      Isa 53:6 ALL we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one to his own way; and Jehovah has laid on Him the iniquity of us ALL.

      Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He by the grace of God should taste death for ALL.

      Ezek. 18:23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? Says the Lord God. “But instead that he should turn from his ways and live.”
      Eze 33:11 As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?

      Scripture Clearly Establishes that God LOVES the Whole World NOT just a few. That God has provided for their Salvation.
      NOW is what else?

      5. The Bible Clearly states how Salvation is experienced: Through belief, faith in the correct OBJECT, Jesus Christ, the one died for the sins of the WORLD.

      Act 16:31  And they said, “BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 

      Joh 3:15  that whoever BELIEVES in him may have eternal life. 

      Rom 4:5-6  And to the one who DOES NOT WORK but BELIEVES in him who justifies the ungodly, his FAITH is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 

      Rom 10:10  For with the heart one BELIEVES and is justified, 

      Conclusion: How does one get saved and know you are saved. By Believing what the Bible says. 1. God loves the World and that includes YOU 2. That Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world (that includes YOU) 3. That God says there is ONE way to be saved and that is to Believe the Good news of what Jesus did for YOU. 4. Recognize that God is NOT playing games, pretending to love some while actually hating them but HIS word is truth and RESTING in that Truth ALONE.

      The question for the NON-Calvinist is: What is the Gospel and Are you Trusting in that message ALONE for your Salvation? If you are then you can have absolute certainty and assurance that God is NOT playing games with you or anyone else.

      Joh 6:47  TRULY, TRULY, I say to you, whoever BELIEVES has ETERNAL LIFE. 

      NO games, no secret plan, no secret will that contradicts His Revealed will. Just a God of Truth that is 100% Trustworthy in ALL that He says. Just believe Him = Assurance.

    4. Shawn writes:

      “I asked the question again to someone who might be able to answer, where does someone find full assurance in salvation and in what is the assurance if LBFW is believed?”

      ——A fellow Calvinist like Me responds——–

      There is no assurance actually because LFW themselves are the ones who maintains their own salvation. In other words, the assurance rests in themselves. If the self is imperfect and cannot be relied upon, then Salvation being claimed is nothing but to them it is lost. For Me there was nothing lost because it was not possessed on the first place. Those people in Matt. 7:21-23 also profess a claimant of Salvation but were all denied by Christ.

      An imperfect being has no assurance to be able to keep it because even believers still commit sins.

      Whereas in Calvinism, the one who maintain the Salvation is no other than God Himself who promised the elect that NO one can snatch them out from the Father’s hand. Also, the love of Christ in Romans 8:35 is the one used to tie up the union of the believers in Christ that even if the believers would attempt to eject from that union is not possible.

      1. jtleosala
        There is no assurance actually because LFW themselves are the ones who maintains their own salvation

        br.d
        JT don’t you have anything other than straw-man arguments?

      2. Jtleosala, As a Gospel-believing, non-Calvinist, my assurance of salvation is in God Himself, in His trustworthy character and in His clearly-stated Word, in His promise to do what He said He’d do (forgive me and save me) if I do what He says I must do to be saved.

        Whereas a Calvinist’s “assurance of salvation” is merely in the hope that they were truly elected by Calvi-god and not given “fake salvation,” evanescent grace. Because Calvi-god is known to deceive people, to say one thing but mean another, to cause people to do the opposite of what he commands them to do, to cause sin but punish people for it, to pretend to love all and to offer salvation to all but then to create most people for hell for his sick sense of justice against sin and love/grace for the “elect,” etc.

        If Calvinists want to trust a “god” like that, then that’s their choice.

        I, however, would find no comfort or assurance in being “saved” by a lying, deceptive, contradictory, unloving, unjust, untrustworthy “god” like that.

        After all, if Calvi-god gets glory by creating most people to be hated and to be sent to hell … and if he gets glory for causing sin … and if he gets glory for causing some people to think they’re elected when they’re really not (deceiving them into thinking they’re saved until the very end) … and if he can’t ever really be trusted because he never really means what he says or says what he means, and he always has a secondary “secret” layer of meaning behind the things he says which contradict his words … then what’s to stop him from “getting glory” by tricking all Calvinists into believing lies just so he can punish them in hell!?!

        How can any Calvinist ever be sure that their whole theology isn’t a great big trick by a god who likes to deceive people, to put them in hell, to make them feel saved when they’re not, and to cause sin and unbelief … for his glory!?!

        Some assurance that is! Calvinists should not be commended for their fierce devotion to a god like that. They should be pitied!

      3. Heather posted this one:

        “Whereas a Calvinist’s “assurance of salvation” is merely in the hope that they were truly elected by Calvi-god and not given “fake salvation,” evanescent grace. Because Calvi-god is known to deceive people, to say one thing but mean another, to cause people to do the opposite of what he commands them to do, to cause sin but punish people for it, to pretend to love all and to offer salvation to all but then to create most people for hell for his sick sense of justice against sin and love/grace for the “elect,” etc.”

        ——-Here’;s My Response——-

        Where in Scripture can you find your post above? If you can’t provide a verse in the bible for that assertion then, it is just an “argumentum ad hominem” hurled at the Calvinists side.

      4. jtleosala
        Where in Scripture can you find your post above? If you can’t provide a verse in the bible for that assertion then, it is just an “argumentum ad hominem” hurled at the Calvinists side.

        br.d
        JT – that is a silly argument – what was posted is from the teachings of John Calvin.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        But because a *SMALL* and contemptible number are *HIDDEN* within a *HUGE MULTITUDE* and a *FEW GRAINS* of wheat are covered by a pile of chaff, we must leave to god alone the knowledge of his church, whose foundation is his *SECRET* election.

      5. “John Calvin
        -quote
        But because a *SMALL* and contemptible number are *HIDDEN* within a *HUGE MULTITUDE* and a *FEW GRAINS* of wheat are covered by a pile of chaff, we must leave to god alone the knowledge of his church, whose foundation is his *SECRET* election.’

        This verified by Christ in the parable of the tares, ““Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” There is also Matthew 7, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

      6. “John Calvin
        -quote
        But because a *SMALL* and contemptible number are *HIDDEN* within a *HUGE MULTITUDE* and a *FEW GRAINS* of wheat are covered by a pile of chaff, we must leave to god alone the knowledge of his church, whose foundation is his *SECRET* election.’

        rhutchin
        This verified by Christ in the parable of the tares,….etc

        br.d
        Calvinism’s exegetical rule #1: All scripture must affirm Universal Divine Causal Determinism – and any scripture that doesn’t must be made void. :-]

      7. heather writes, “As a Gospel-believing, non-Calvinist, my assurance of salvation is in God Himself, in His trustworthy character and in His clearly-stated Word, in His promise to do what He said He’d do (forgive me and save me) if I do what He says I must do to be saved.”

        This is exactly what the Calvinist says. The Calvinist adds that “if I do what He says I must do to be saved.” is only possible after a person receives a heart transplant and is given faith. So, as a non-Calvinist, can you do what you say without faith? Or with a corrupt heart?

      8. rhutchin
        The Calvinist adds that “if I do what He says I must do to be saved.”

        br.d
        I think this is a typo – can you correct this statement?

      9. heather to JTL, “Jtleosala, As a Gospel-believing, non-Calvinist, my assurance of salvation is in God Himself, in His trustworthy character and in His clearly-stated Word, in His promise to do what He said He’d do (forgive me and save me) if I do what He says I must do to be saved.”
        rhutchin: “The Calvinist adds that “if I do what He says I must do to be saved.”
        br.d: “I think this is a typo – can you correct this statement?”

        I don’t think there is a typo in what heather wrote. I had responded, ” The Calvinist adds that “if I do what He says I must do to be saved.” is only possible after a person receives a heart transplant and is given faith. ” Makes sense to me.

      10. Jteosala
        Whereas in Calvinism, the one who maintain the Salvation is no other than God Himself who promised the elect that NO one can snatch them out from the Father’s hand.

        br.d
        So it LOGICALLY follows the Calvinist has assurance that the ELECT are the ELECT.
        Sorry JT – that does not speak to the question of the Calvinist’s ELECT status.

        Unless you want to claim you know all of Calvin’s god’s SECRETS :-]

      11. Jtleosala says: “Where in Scripture can you find your post above? If you can’t provide a verse in the bible for that assertion then, it is just an “argumentum ad hominem” hurled at the Calvinists side.”

        Heather says: My point exactly! It’s not in Scripture. As I and Br.d. pointed out, it’s from John Calvin, from Calvinism. Which is … NOT IN SCRIPTURE!!!

        Funny how a Calvinist would know that it’s not scriptural when they think a non-Calvinist is the one stating it. But if they realized it was John Calvin (Calvinism) stating it, then you can be sure they’d totally find ways to make it scriptural.

        Without meaning to, before realizing who really espouses that belief, Jtleosala called it what it really is: Unscriptural!

      12. Heather:: “Whereas a Calvinist’s “assurance of salvation” is merely in the hope that they were truly elected by Calvi-god and not given “fake salvation,” evanescent grace. Because Calvi-god is known to deceive people, to say one thing but mean another, to cause people to do the opposite of what he commands them to do, to cause sin but punish people for it, to pretend to love all and to offer salvation to all but then to create most people for hell for his sick sense of justice against sin and love/grace for the “elect,” etc.”
        JTL: “Where in Scripture can you find your post above? If you can’t provide a verse in the bible for that assertion then, it is just an “argumentum ad hominem” hurled at the Calvinists side.”
        Heather: My point exactly! It’s not in Scripture. As I and Br.d. pointed out, it’s from John Calvin, from Calvinism.

        I don’t think this is from Calvin. the citation by br.d does not substantiate this – especially, “…Calvi-god is known to deceive people,” certainly, God deceives the Reprobate as 2 Thessalonians tell us, “for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” I am not aware that Calvin, or Scripture, says that God deceives His elect. If you had 2 Thessalonians in mind, I don’t see an issue.

      13. My point exactly! It’s not in Scripture. As I and Br.d. pointed out, it’s from John Calvin, from Calvinism.

        rhutcnin
        I don’t think this is from Calvin.

        br.d
        Institutes – Chapter 1 – Under the heading “Of the true church”
        If you have the PDF version its on page 812

      14. Rhutchin asked about Calvi-god deceiving people. First, notice that I am talking about CALVI-god deceiving people, not the God of the Bible. So I am not looking for biblical references of God deceiving people because Calvi-god and the God of the Bible are not the same person. And secondly, I did not specify that Calvi-god deceives the “elect.” So that’s not the issue here. I said Calvi-god deceives “people.” And notice that I included “Calvinism,” not just John Calvin, because Calvinism itself teaches us these things about Calvi-god, if not by actual words than by the hidden things they really believe that they cover up with more “acceptable-sounding layers” of nonsense.

        But for one example of Calvi-god’s deceptiveness, which I posted earlier, see John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 2, Section 11:
        “… yet experience shows that the REPROBATE ARE SOMETIMES AFFECTED IN A WAY SO SIMILAR TO THE ELECT, THAT EVEN IN THEIR OWN JUDGMENT THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM. Hence it is not strange, that by the Apostle a taste of heavenly gifts, and BY CHRIST HIMSELF A TEMPORARY FAITH, IS ASCRIBED TO THEM. Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, THE BETTER TO CONVICT THEM, and leave them without excuse, INSTILLS IN THEIR MINDS SUCH A SENSE OF HIS GOODNESS as can be felt WITHOUT the Spirit of adoption.”

        In this example, according to Calvin himself, Calvi-god himself deceives people into thinking they are elected when they are not, in order to have more reason to damn them to hell.

        Maybe, as you say, Calvi-god doesn’t trick his “elected” people, but he does trick non-elected people into thinking they are elected. How then can any Calvinist be assured of their election and salvation, if Calvi-god likes to trick people into thinking they are elected when they are not? Who’s to say Calvi-god hasn’t tricked most Calvinists into thinking they are saved, yet only really “elected” a tiny few of them? Which Calvinists then are elected and which aren’t? Which Calvinist leaders can you trust to give you the “right answers” about Calvinism and Calvi-god, if you can’t know which are truly elected and which aren’t because THEY THEMSELVES can’t even know if they are truly elected or not? And if Calvi-god likes to deceive people and gets glory by putting people in hell, then who’s to say that he hasn’t deceived EVERYONE, that no one is saved and we are all predestined to hell for his glory? A god who deceives cannot be trusted at any time, in any way.

        Additionally, if Calvinists insist that Calvi-god is the God of the Bible (HE’S NOT!), then we have other examples of deceptiveness by Calvi-god. Because the Bible tells us over and over again to seek God and to choose whom we will serve and to choose between obedience and disobedience. Any normal, logical person would read these (along with many other commands) as instructions to us to make our choices, to choose the right thing. But if the Bible was written by Calvi-god (IT WASN’T!), a god who knows we cannot make any real choices on our own because he alone has already predetermined everything we will do and he causes us to choose what we do, then he deceives us all throughout the Bible into thinking we have a choice, that we can make decisions. Why instruct people to make the right choice if they never really had a choice to begin with?

        Deceptive!

        Also, if Calvinists insist Calvi-god is the God of the Bible (HE ISN’T!), then Calvi-god also deceives us by saying things in the Bible like “God loves all men” and “Jesus died for all men/sins” and “God doesn’t want anyone to perish.” The clear, obvious understanding of these verses would be “God loves all men” and “Jesus died for all men/sins” and “God doesn’t want anyone to perish.” Yet Calvi-god would be deceiving us because he has “secret, double-meaning layers” behind all these verses – hidden meanings that apparently were revealed only to super-special, enlightened Calvinists who somehow figured out what God REALLY meant to say when He wrote one thing but supposedly meant another.

        According to Calvi-god and to Calvinism, all doesn’t really mean all. It means “only the elect” (or “all kinds of people,” but not “all people”). Calvi-god only really loved the elect and Calvi-Jesus only died for the elect, for the few lucky people who won the “salvation lottery.”

        So if Calvi-god wrote the Bible (HE DIDN’T!), plainly saying that he loves all people and that Jesus died for all men and that he wants no one to perish, yet really meaning that he truly loved ONLY the elect and that Jesus ONLY died for the elect and that he really does want people in hell for his glory, then he deceives us all throughout the Bible. (Yet they cover this up by saying Calvi-god loves the non-elect too, but with a different kind of love, a “give them food and water while they’re alive before sending them to eternal hell” kind of love. Wow, that’s some amazing love! If this is how Calvi-god shows his love to people, I’d hate to get on his bad side!)

        And yet, the Calvinist might simply counter with the idea that Calvi-god deceives only the non-elect, those destined to perish anyway, but that the Calvinist elect have the truth all figured out!

        Bravo, Calvinists! Enjoy eternity with that kind of a god! With a god who tricks people into thinking they’re saved when they’re not, who deceives us into thinking we can make choices when we can’t, who commands us not to sin but then causes us to sin and then punishes us for it (and don’t give me that “remote source vs. proximate source of sin” garbage!), and who “loves” most people by creating them specifically so that he could hate them and send them to hell for the things he caused them to do!

        Calvi-god’s hidden double-meanings for words and verses contradict what the Bible clearly and simply says. And if this isn’t deception then nothing is!

        (I’m so sick and tired of Calvinism’s nonsense. Seriously! I just don’t have the time or energy for it right now. And so I think I’m going to take a break for awhile. I need time to cool down. But one last thing before I go …

        Rhutchin, have you given God permission yet to correct your theology if you’re wrong? And “I ask for wisdom” doesn’t count! That’s an excuse to not pray “God, correct me if I am wrong in how I am understanding You and Your Word.”

        But if Calvinists want to refuse to pray for correction and they want to keep convincing themselves that their “wisdom” comes from the God of the Bible, then that’s their choice! No skin off my back. I’m not the one who’ll be standing before God trying to defend how I altered His Word to fit my errant theology and how I destroyed His good, holy, loving character in the process!)

      15. wonderful post Heather!

        I think LOGIC and the evidence at hand will confirm that Calvin’s god actually does deceive the ELECT.

        1) We know that even the ELECT are not without sin
        2) We know that ERROR including FALSE perceptions is a manifestation of sin.
        3) We know that in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the THEOS determines all human perceptions including those of the ELECT.

        It LOGICALLY follows:
        At minimum – Calvin’s god deceives the ELECT every time he determines them to have FALSE perceptions – which he determines them to perceive as TRUE.

        Additionally it follows – every sin of any kind – is NOT determined by the ELECT.
        But rather by Calvin’s god who determines *ALL* things – leaving zero things left over for the ELECT to determine.

        So under Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) it is fair to say Calvin’s god does indeed “deceive” the ELECT.
        And the divine DECREE is the LOGICALLY NECESSARY explanation for their sin nature.

      16. br.d writes, ‘But rather by Calvin’s god who determines *ALL* things – leaving zero things left over for the ELECT to determine.”

        Following Craig, in determining all things, God makes all things certain but not necessary. All things are determined of necessity through various means – e..g, Joseph’s brothers sell Joseph to the Midianite traders resulting in Joseph being taken to Egypt as God had determined to be done.

      17. rhuthin
        Following Craig, in determining all things, God makes all things certain but not necessary. All things are determined of necessity through various means – e..g, Joseph’s brothers sell Joseph to the Midianite traders resulting in Joseph being taken to Egypt as God had determined to be done.

        br.d
        rhutchin – you need to learn to speak for yourself and not for others.

        Dr. Craig would hardly fall into the LOGICAL FALLACY of claiming “things are determined of NECESSITY through various means”.

        An omnipotent being is not limited to the NECESSITY of using means to accomplish purposes – because that would falsify the doctrine of divine omnipotence.

        And when we start conflating Theological Determinism – (a scheme in which Calvin’s god determines *ALL* things without exemption – leaving ZERO left over for creatures to determine) with events that occurred in scripture – for example Joseph’s brothers.

        What we get is Calvin’s god determining every neurological impulse that will ever appear in Joseph and his brothers brains – making them think and do whatever Calvin’s god determines them to think and do – while treating them *AS-IF* he didn’t.

        And here is where Calvin gets his instructions for Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking
        – quote
        “you are to go about *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part [by Calvin’s god]” when your sacred doctrine tells you the opposite.

        DOUBLE-THINK eventually turns everything into an IRRATIONAL pretzel.

  16. Heather posted this one:

    “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!”

    ———Here’s My Response———-

    This is a phony statement… Of course you do contradict what the bible says and God as He is. One example of these is the one reflected below:

    If Jesus will say: “No one can come to the Father except a person is drawn by the Father to the Son” = The non Calvinists is so quick to respond by saying in unison : “Oh NO, ALL can come to the Son through the use of their own Choice”- despising the? act of Drawing of the Father.

    The verse does not say ALL people are drawn by the Father to the Son. if that is really true then why are not ALL people go to heaven?

    If ALL people can come to the Son, then why is it that the rest are still thrown to hell? You have espoused a doctrine that is illogical contradicts itself, that you cannot afford to reconcile.

    verse 65 Jesus said again : “And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that NO man can come unto Me, except it were given unto Him of My Father”

    So… how can one will rely to trust God in His words if it is being distorted and used as a scaffold to a defective doctrine espoused by the opponents?

    1. Jtleosala
      If Jesus will say: “No one can come to the Father except a person is drawn by the Father to the Son” = The non Calvinists is so quick to respond by saying in unison : “Oh NO, ALL can come to the Son through the use of their own Choice”- despising the? act of Drawing of the Father.

      br.d
      A classic straw-man argument
      You’ll have to wait a LONG time for anyone here to say a person is drawn to Jesus with nothing but “their own choice”.

      But you may find people here acknowledging the Calvinist has no way of knowing whether or not he’s drawn to Christ or is TOTALLY DEPRAVED. :-]

      1. Adict Grace posted this line:

        “Conclusion: How does one get saved and know you are saved. By Believing what the Bible says. 1. God loves the World and that includes YOU 2. That Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world”

        ——Here’s My Response——–

        1. God equally loves all people on earth is false. It is just an illusion and an insincere offer to many.

        2. Jesus Christ offered His life for the sheep according to John chap. 10:11, 17, not the goats, Tares, swine, False Prophets, Swine, False Prophets, Judas Iscariot, The residents of Canaan that was annihilated by Joshua and his armies except Rahab the harlot at the command of God the Father.

        If Jesus had already been punished and paid all of the sins including sin of unbelief to Christ, then why is it that the rest are still thrown to hell as a form of punishment? What happened to the efficacy of the blood of Christ that was used to cleanse them from the sin of unbelief?
        Does it mean that the sin of unbelief is the ever great antidote to invalidate the blood of Christ that was already shed for the sin of unbelief?

        So… how can one be able to trust God in His words if it is used to scaffold a false and inconsistent; illogical claim?

      2. jtleosala
        1. God equally loves all people on earth is false. It is just an illusion and an insincere offer to many.

        br.d
        JT – you and rhutchin need to discuss whether you will allow him to speak for you. He has been arguing what you mean by this is that Calvin’s god *DOES* love the Non-Elect – he just has a different kind of love for them

        jtleosala
        Jesus Christ offered His life for the sheep according to John chap. 10:11, 17, not the goats, Tares, swine, False Prophets, Swine, False Prophets, Judas Iscariot, etc

        br.d
        Yes – that is Calvinist doctrine – which of course is a minority view.

        jtleosala
        If Jesus had already been punished and paid all of the sins including sin of unbelief to Christ, then why is it that the rest are still thrown to hell as a form of punishment?

        br.d
        This question is based on the presupposition that the world created is governed by Theological Determinism.
        That presupposition is NOT LOGICALLY NECESSARY.
        So the question fails.

        jtleosala
        What happened to the efficacy of the blood of Christ that was used to cleanse them from the sin of unbelief?

        br.d
        See answer above

        jtleosala
        So… how can one be able to trust God in His words if it is used to scaffold a false and inconsistent; illogical claim?

        br.d
        I think this statement is a case of self-projection. :-]
        For example – if there is NO ESCAPE from what Calvin’s god DECREES – then how is it LOGICAL for you to claim you had an escape from what Calvin’s god DECREED?

      3. br.d writes, “JT – you and rhutchin need to discuss whether you will allow him to speak for you. He has been arguing what you mean by this is that Calvin’s god *DOES* love the Non-Elect – he just has a different kind of love for them’

        JTL and I agree on this. The context for my comment were the views of Pink and DA Carson where Carson said God’s attitude toward the Reprobate was “love” but different than that love God expresses toward His elect. My view is in line with Pink and JTL – God does not “love” the Reprobate. The Reprobate would certainly not characterize God’s attitude in prohibiting them entry into heaven as “love.”

        JTL: “If Jesus had already been punished and paid all of the sins including sin of unbelief to Christ, then why is it that the rest are still thrown to hell as a form of punishment?
        br.d: “This question is based on the presupposition that the world created is governed by Theological Determinism.”

        No, the question presumes an inherent value to the death of Christ and God’s intent for the death of Christ.

      4. br.d to , “JT – you and rhutchin need to discuss whether you will allow him to speak for you. He has been arguing what you mean by this is that Calvin’s god *DOES* love the Non-Elect – he just has a different kind of love for them’

        rhutchin
        JTL and I agree on this.

        br.d
        As far as I’m concerned you’re still speaking for JT when he is an adult and should be free to speak for himself.

        When he affirms Calvin’s god *DOES* love the NON-ELECT in any kind of way – as you say – then I will know the two of you agree.
        Otherwise – he is on record multiple times for insisting Calvin’s god *DOES NOT* LOVE the NON-ELECT.

      5. JTL
        If Jesus had already been punished and paid all of the sins including sin of unbelief to Christ, then why is it that the rest are still thrown to hell as a form of punishment?

        br.d: “This question is based on the presupposition that the world created is governed by Theological Determinism.”
        And Theological Determinism is NOT LOGICALLY NECESSARY- so this question fails.

        rhutchin
        No, the question presumes an inherent value to the death of Christ and God’s intent for the death of Christ.

        br.d
        That is obvious – but it does so under the premise of Theological Determinism.
        In an IN-deterministic world any gift can be made available – and it still LOGICALLY follows – anyone who rejects that gift simply doesn’t get that gift.

        And LOGIC doesn’t put any distinction on the value of the gift – just the fact that it is a gift and the recipient is permitted to accept or reject it.

    2. Jtleosala says: “The verse [“No one can come to the Father except a person is drawn by the Father to the Son”] does not say ALL people are drawn by the Father to the Son. if that is really true then why are not ALL people go to heaven? If ALL people can come to the Son, then why is it that the rest are still thrown to hell? You have espoused a doctrine that is illogical contradicts itself, that you cannot afford to reconcile.”

      Heather: I agree with you that “No one can come to the Father except a person is drawn by the Father to the Son” doesn’t say “all people” are drawn to Jesus.

      But this verse does: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32)

      So how do we reconcile the two?

      First off, Calvinists assume that the “No one can come …” verse means that God specifically picks out certain people to “draw” to Jesus. Where does it say this in the verse? All it says is that we can’t come to Jesus unless God draws us, that those who come to Jesus do so because God “drew” them. But where does it say in Scripture that this “drawing” isn’t for everyone? (Calvinists assume it’s not for everyone!) Where does Scripture refute the idea that God draws all people but that we decide to submit to or resist that drawing? (Scripture shows over and over again times when God drew people but they resisted.)

      If I send out invitations to people for a party that I am paying for fully, I have invited them. I am drawing them to the party, a party they could not have known about or come to unless I made them aware of it. But they have the responsibility/opportunity to either accept that invitation or reject it. They do not have to earn their place or pay for their entrance into the party. It’s all been done by me, paid for by me, made possible by me. All they have to do is accept the invitation. But none of them could have come – those who accept the invitation could not have come – had I not made it possible by inviting them and by paying the price for all.

      This is an example of how I believe salvation is. God made it all possible. He created the whole idea of salvation and eternal life. Jesus paid the price for all. And God invites all people to come to Jesus. But it’s up to us to accept or reject that invitation. If we accept it, we are not “working for salvation.” We are simply acknowledging and accepting all the effort and work that God did to make it all possible. But if we reject it, then it’s on us, and we will end up “paying” for our sins ourselves, in hell.

      Just because many don’t come doesn’t mean they weren’t invited. Just because some come doesn’t mean they were the only ones invited.

      Also, you are assuming here that “being drawn” necessarily ends in salvation, that only a select few are drawn and that they will inevitably be saved because they were drawn. Therefore, you reason that God can’t draw ALL people because not all people are saved. Where is this in Scripture? Because as I pointed out, John 12:32 says otherwise.

      The problem is that you (that Calvinists) are reading into Scripture what you think it HAS TO mean. For you, “drawing people” HAS TO mean “they will be saved.” Whereas I believe that God draws all people, but that many can and do resist, as seen all throughout the Bible. (And what a waste of energy and fake compassion it is for Calvi-god to create people specifically for hell but then “pretend” to love them and to pay for all sins and to make salvation possible for all and to give them a choice when they really have no choice!)

      You ask “If ALL people can come to the Son, then why is it that the rest are still thrown to hell?”

      There is nothing logically wrong with this sentence, unless you assume that “all can come” necessarily means “all HAVE TO come.” Of course, “all HAVE TO come to Jesus” (“be saved”) would be incompatible with people being thrown into hell. But “all CAN come” is not incompatible with people ending up in hell.

      Scripturally, all people CAN come to Jesus, but most don’t … because they don’t want to. They have the opportunity to be saved because Jesus’s death paid for all sins of all men. (Not Calvi-Jesus though, his death only paid for the sins of the elect – a lie from the pit of hell! In my opinion.) Jesus paid the price for all men, and so all CAN come to Him. But this doesn’t mean that all WILL come to Him. And those who reject the sacrifice He made for them will end up in hell.

      So … putting it all together … God draws all men, but we have to decide between accepting or rejecting that “draw.” The draw is not irresistible, as Calvinism wrongly assumes. It’s not just for the elect. It’s for everyone, and whoever accepts the call to salvation will become a part of His elect. The invitation is open to all. Everyone’s ticket to heaven has been paid for. But God will not force us to accept it. And if we reject it, then we end up in hell, the place God was trying to save us from.

      If you start with presumptions and wrong assumptions – if you force your own ideas of what Scripture HAS TO mean, when Scripture says otherwise, and if you force your own ideas of how God HAS TO be in order to be God, in contrast to how He’s really revealed Himself in Scripture – then you will be building a flimsy, incorrect theology from the very start. And then it takes a lot of “word gymnastics” and secret “double meanings” and contradictory double-think (as Br.d. often points out) to make Scripture fit with your incorrect theology.

      But instead of examining and correcting the inaccurate presumptions they start with and then build their theology on, Calvinists just keep trying to make the building on top more secure.

      Calvinism: A house of cards built on a foundation of Jell-O!

      1. Great post Heather!

        JT
        The verse [“No one can come to the Father except a person is drawn by the Father to the Son”] does not say ALL people are drawn by the Father to the Son.

        br.d
        For the Calvinist – it wouldn’t matter if the word ALL were in that verse or not.

        For the Calvinist – the Holy Spirit occasionally makes the mistake of using the word ALL – when he should have used the word SOME

        And only John Calvin is DIVINE enough to know – in which verses of the Bible – the Holy Spirit uses a misleading word! :-]

      2. br.d writes, ‘or the Calvinist – the Holy Spirit occasionally makes the mistake of using the word ALL – when he should have used the word SOME”

        The Holy Spirit never made, or makes, mistakes. When the Holy Spirit moved men to write, “all,” He made clear through context the meaning of “all,” That meaning is discovered by seeking out the antecedent noun it is used to represent. Anyone can read context and discover the meaning of pronouns.

        Of course, Calvinists define “all” to mean “Jew and gentile,” because of Ephesians 3, where Paul wrote, “you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,”

        Others seem to run to Webster’s dictionary to define terms used in the Scriptures.

      3. br.d
        For the Calvinist – the Holy Spirit occasionally makes the mistake of using the word ALL – when he should have used the word SOME”

        rhutchin
        The Holy Spirit never made, or makes, mistakes…… Anyone can read context and discover the meaning of pronouns.

        br.d
        “Anyone” or really?
        Isn’t it interesting that Calvinin is the only systematic in which ALL really means SOME

        That’s why the world needs John Calvin – because “Anyone” wouldn’t know all those verses in which ALL really means SOME.

        rhutchin
        Others seem to run to Webster’s dictionary to define terms used in the Scriptures.

        br.d
        If its easy to say others run to Websters dictionary then its just as easy to say the Calvinist runs to John Calvin
        Unless you want to argue that Calvinists are the DIVINE ones :-]

      4. Very helpful thoughts, Heather. I hope that jtl will actually read them with an open heart.You can lead them to the water – which you do so well – but you cannot force them to drink. And God, who actually could, has chosen to not use force, but to make salvation a genuine, freely offered gift to all men.

        Calvinistic regeneration is like a permanent, never wears off date-rape drug. There is no ‘drawing’, there is only unseen, irresistible, mind-changing force. The formerly resistant victim becomes, with absolutely no choice, a willing, compliant slave. Frankly, I am far more grateful that God forgave my self-chosen rebellion rather than instilled rebelliousness (sin nature) within me from birth but still demanded I do what I had been rendered unable to do.

        Which scenario more truly depicts love? Which scenario more truly depicts grace? Which scenario more truly depicts justice and decency? It isn’t even a contest. Seems like a good place to toss in one of my all time favorite anti-Calvinist quotes, from King James I (yes, that King James!):

        “This doctrine is so horrible, that I am persuaded, if there were a council of unclean assembled spirits assembled in hell, and their prince the devil were to put the question either to all of them in general, or to each in particular, to learn their opinion about the most likely means of stirring up the hatred of men against God their Maker; nothing could be invented by them that would be more efficacious for this purpose, or that could put a greater affront upon God’s love for mankind, than that detestable formulary, by which the far greater part of the human race are condemned to hell for no other reason, than the mere will of God, without any regard to sin; the necessity of sinning, as well as that of being damned, being fastened on them by that great nail of the decree before-mentioned.”

      5. TS00 writes, “God, who actually could, has chosen to not use force, but to make salvation a genuine, freely offered gift to all men.”

        Does not God do this by giving a person an assurance and conviction in Christ that we call faith, and it is this faith that enables, and ensures, that a person will believe in Christ? What does Christ promise with respect to God’s working in a person – “…the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out….This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day…No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” God does not use force: God gives sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and healing to the broken God then gives them Christ to see, the gospel to hear, and freedom from slavery to sin – “Christ Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

        Then, “Calvinistic regeneration is like a permanent, never wears off date-rape drug.”

        Calvinistic regeneration is life to the dead, sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf. You ran with Calvinist, so you know this. However, in order to satisfy your pride (presumably, for why else would you do it), you have to distort this.

      6. rhutchin
        Does not God do this by giving a person an assurance and conviction in Christ that we call faith,

        br.d
        OOOPS!
        Now rhutchin – you’ve forgotten so soon?

        Calvin’s god gives people FALSE perceptions.
        Look at how many FALSE perceptions he’s given you so far.

        And ONLY he knows if the perceptions he’s given you are FALSE or TRUE.
        Now a FALSE perception – by definition – is a perception one doesn’t KNOW is FALSE.

        Since this is the case – the only thing you have a TRUE assurance of – is that he determines your perceptions.
        Whether you have been given some special kind of faith or not – is not yours to know – since you have no way of knowing if your perceptions of it are TRUE or FALSE.

      7. Good points, Br.d. and TS00. Particularly …

        Br.d.: “For the Calvinist – the Holy Spirit occasionally makes the mistake of using the word ALL – when he should have used the word SOME. And only John Calvin is DIVINE enough to know – in which verses of the Bible – the Holy Spirit uses a misleading word!” (Amazing how often Calvi-god said things in the Bible he didn’t really mean and how often he didn’t say the things he really did mean! Good thing John Calvin – Calvi-god’s right-hand man – came along when he did to clarify all of Calvi-god’s confusing writings!)

        TS00: “Which scenario more truly depicts love? Which scenario more truly depicts grace? Which scenario more truly depicts justice and decency? It isn’t even a contest.” (So true! I am shocked at how Calvinists think that god is a god worth trusting and loving!)

        Rhutchin: “Calvinistic regeneration is life to the dead, sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf.”

        This is a misrepresentation of Calvinism. And as you say, it’s “against the rules.”

        To be accurate, Calvinistic regeneration is life to A FEW lucky prechosen dead people, sight for A FEW lucky prechosen blind people, and hearing to A FEW lucky prechosen deaf people. But it is death, blindness, and deafness for everyone else, because Calvi-god deliberately made them that way!

        When you say “THE dead” and “THE blind” and “THE deaf,” you deceptively imply that it is for ALL dead, blind, deaf people. And you misrepresent Calvinism.

        And you ask … “Does not God do this by giving a person an assurance and conviction in Christ that we call faith, and it is this faith that enables, and ensures, that a person will believe in Christ?”

        No … He does not! How do you not realize by now that we non-Calvinists do not think God forces faith on people before they can believe, in order to make them believe!?!

        And about your comment to TS00 – “However, in order to satisfy your pride (presumably, for why else would you do it), you have to distort this.” That’s just pathetic. I guess if someone can’t come up with intelligent arguments about the issues, they have to start attacking the person to try to get some sort of a “win.” A low-blow! Pathetic!

      8. Rhutchin: “Calvinistic regeneration is life to the dead, sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf.”
        heather: “This is a misrepresentation of Calvinism. And as you say, it’s “against the rules.”

        No, it’s not. Ephesians 2 tells us, “you God made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,..God, who is rich in mercy…even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…” That is regeneration. Isaiah wrote, “Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, And spirit to those who walk on it: “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the prison house. I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

      9. rhutchin
        Calvinistic regeneration is life to the dead, sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf.

        br.d
        We must always remember Calvinist will speak “little” truths in order to HIDE the WHOLE truth.

        Calvinistic regeneration is life to the “few”, sight to the “few”, and hearing to the “few”
        Calvinistic damnation is death, blindness, deafness, and eternal torment in the lake of fire to the “MANY”.

        And that of course includes the MANY of Calvinists who are TOTALLY DEPRAVED and don’t know it :-]

      10. To clarify my comment, since the emphasis didn’t come across in the text:

        I am shocked at how Calvinists think THAT god (the god of Calvinism, of course) is a god worth trusting and loving!

      11. Heather
        I am shocked at how Calvinists think THAT god (the god of Calvinism, of course) is a god worth trusting and loving!

        br.d
        Well when it boils down to it – they really don’t have any choice in the matter.
        I remember the story of the Japanese robot engineer who programmed his robot to say “I love you” to him.

        Ravi Zacharias
        -quote
        Here me carefully. If you are totally determined, then you are pre-wired, to think the way you do.
        Your nature is that you are hard wired to come out to a single conclusion.
        What is input into the computer is what ultimately comes out.
        This is the bondage of total subjectivity.

      12. br.d writes, “[Calvinists] really don’t have any choice in the matter.”

        No, they don’t. They must follow the Scriptures and it is the Scriptures that tell us God is sovereign, that His understanding is infinite, and His power omnipotent. God created the universe and all that is in it and He is sovereign over His creation down to the smallest component. No one here has been able to dispute that.

      13. br.d
        “[Calvinists] really don’t have any choice in the matter.”

        rhutchin
        No, they don’t. They must follow the Scriptures …..

        br.d
        Well – technically the Calvinist is not “following scripture” because that would require Calvin’s god “Merely” permit the Calvinist to do so.
        Technically – the Calvinist is simply functioning robotically – being CAUSED to follow whatever neurological impulses Calvin’s god DECREES fire in the Calvinists brain.

        Ravi Zacharias
        Here me carefully.
        If you are totally determined, then you are pre-wired, to think the way you do.
        Your nature is that you are hard wired to come out to a single conclusion.
        What is input into the computer is what ultimately comes out.
        This is the bondage of total subjectivity.

      14. heather writes, “I am shocked at how Calvinists think THAT god (the god of Calvinism, of course) is a god worth trusting and loving!”

        God is trustworthy because God is true and can be trusted and His word is true and can be trusted. God is worthy of our love because He created us and God will always do tight, whether to those who serve Him or refuse to serve Him.”

      15. rhutchin
        God is trustworthy……

        br.d
        What specifically can Calvin’s god be trusted for- specific to the PERSON of each Calvinist?

      16. Rhutchin’s comments with my clarifications [in brackets] of what Calvinism REALLY teaches (in my opinion):

        “No, they don’t. They must follow the Scriptures [because Calvi-god forces them to, they don’t have a choice] and it is the Scriptures that tell us God is sovereign [and it is Calvinists who tell God how He HAS TO exercise His sovereignty – by controlling/causing EVERYTHING, even sin and unbelief – or else He can’t be God], that His understanding is infinite [and by “understanding,” Calvinism essentially means “ordains” – rhutchin’s words: “God first understands everything that men can do; God then ordains what men will do” – which means Calvi-god preplanned, controls, and causes everything, even sin and unbelief], and His power omnipotent [and Calvinists have decided that for God to be truly omnipotent, He has to always be using His power all the time to control everything, or else He doesn’t fit their idea of a sovereign God]. God created the universe [and therefore, according to Calvinism, He must control everything in the universe, even sin and unbelief, or else He’s not God] and all that is in it and He is sovereign over His creation down to the smallest component [and once again, Calvinism’s “sovereign” means “controlling all things all the time, or else He’s not God”].”

        Rhutchin also says: “God is trustworthy because God is true and can be trusted and His word is true and can be trusted.”

        Again, I say (from comments I’ve already made):

        “Calvi-god is known to deceive people, to say one thing but mean another, to cause people to do the opposite of what he commands them to do, to cause sin but punish people for it, to pretend to love all and to offer salvation to all but then to create most people for hell for his sick sense of justice against sin and love/grace for the “elect,” etc. For one example of Calvi-god’s deceptiveness, which I posted earlier, see John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 2, Section 11:

        “… yet experience shows that the REPROBATE ARE SOMETIMES AFFECTED IN A WAY SO SIMILAR TO THE ELECT, THAT EVEN IN THEIR OWN JUDGMENT THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM. Hence it is not strange, that by the Apostle a taste of heavenly gifts, and BY CHRIST HIMSELF A TEMPORARY FAITH, IS ASCRIBED TO THEM. Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, THE BETTER TO CONVICT THEM, and leave them without excuse, INSTILLS IN THEIR MINDS SUCH A SENSE OF HIS GOODNESS as can be felt WITHOUT the Spirit of adoption.”

        In this example, according to Calvin himself, Calvi-god himself deceives people into thinking they are elected when they are not, in order to have more reason to damn them to hell…. How then can any Calvinist be assured of their election and salvation, if Calvi-god likes to trick people into thinking they are elected when they are not?

        A god who deceives cannot be trusted at any time, in any way.

        Another example: If Calvi-god wrote the Bible (HE DIDN’T!), plainly saying that he loves all people and that Jesus died for all men and that he wants no one to perish, yet he really meant that he truly loved ONLY the elect and that Jesus ONLY died for the elect and that he really does want people in hell for his glory, then he deceives us all throughout the Bible.

        Calvi-god’s hidden double-meanings for words and verses contradict what the Bible clearly and simply says. And if this isn’t deception then nothing is!

        If Calvinists want to consider that “trustworthy” and if they want to trust a “god” like that, then that’s their choice.

        I, however, would find no comfort or assurance in being “saved” by a lying, deceptive, contradictory, unloving, unjust, untrustworthy “god” like that….

        Calvinists should not be commended for their fierce devotion to a god like that. They should be pitied!”

        (And if that’s what Calvinists consider “trustworthy,” then the people around them had better beware of the ways the Calvinist seeks to emulate their “god,” of how the Calvinist tries to be “trustworthy” and “loving” and “gracious” like their Calvi-god.)

      17. Heather, to JTL: I agree with you that “No one can come to the Father except a person is drawn by the Father to the Son” doesn’t say “all people” are drawn to Jesus.
        But this verse does: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32)
        So how do we reconcile the two?”

        We can note that the one verse has God drawing people to Christ and the other verse has Christ drawing people to Him by His death. So, it appears that context is different in each verse. Then, we know from experience that many people in the world never hear about Christ during their lives, so when Christ said, “all people,” He could not have meant each and every person who ever lives. John 6 tells us that God must draw each person individually to Christ except the Father draw him). John 12 says that Christ draws all people regardless who they are but does not say anything about specific individuals. So, both are true – Christ draws all people, without distinction (He draws the Jew as well as the gentile) to Him and from among those drawn to Christ by the cross, God draws individuals to Christ. IN John 6, Jesus chastised the people whom He had fed saying, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” People can be drawn to Christ to have physical needs met with no desire to serve Him.

        Then, “First off, Calvinists assume that the “No one can come …” verse means that God specifically picks out certain people to “draw” to Jesus. ”

        That is wrong. Calvinists take the verse to mean exactly what it says.
        1. No one can come to Me…
        2. …unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and
        3. …I will raise him up at the last day.

        If God draws each and every individual, then Christ will raise up each and every individual at the last day. If God is more selective and picks out certain people to draw the Christ, then Christ will raise up those people at the last day. Calvinists would be fine with God drawing each and every individual to Christ so that all would be saved. However, other Scriptures suggest that all will not eb saved so God cannot be drawing everyone to Christ.

        Then, ‘This is an example of how I believe salvation is.”

        Your analogy does not follow John 6. What do you do with the end of the verse, “and I will raise him up at the last day”? Paul reinforces this verse when he wrote, “God who has begun a good work in you [by drawing you to Christ] will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ [Christ will raise him up at the last day].” When you say, “you are assuming here that “being drawn” necessarily ends in salvation,’ that is based on the last part of the verse, so you need to address this.

      18. RH writes: Calvinists take the verse to mean exactly what it says.
        1. No one can come to Me…
        2. …unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and
        3. …I will raise him up at the last day.
        If God draws each and every individual, then Christ will raise up each and every individual at the last day.”

        Your logic is faulty because the Conclusion does NOT follow from the three truth statements laid out 1,2,and 3.
        The verse would have to have a 4th statement to make your logic sound.
        The 4th would have to say:
        4. ALL that are drawn are irresistibly drawn and cannot resist.
        But the verse simply does not say that. So your conclusion does not follow.

        We would agree that all who are saved have been drawn but we see scripture clearly stating that people can resist the drawing and so not be saved.
        Act 7:51  ..you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.

      19. GraceAdict writes, “The verse would have to have a 4th statement to make your logic sound.
        The 4th would have to say:
        4. ALL that are drawn are irresistibly drawn and cannot resist.”

        How do you understand the third part of the verse, “…3. …I will raise him up at the last day.”

      20. The context is clear as to who experiences the raising up:
        Joh 6:40  For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” 

        The one who chooses to believe.

      21. GraceAdict writes, “The context is clear as to who experiences the raising up:
        Joh 6:40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” The one who chooses to believe.”

        LOL!!! Poor GA. He just can’t deal with John 6:44. The rules of hermeneutics require that one deal with the verse in context and then move out. GA cannot do that.

      22. rhutchin
        LOL!!! Poor GA. He just can’t deal with John 6:44. The rules of hermeneutics require that one deal with the verse in context and then move out. GA cannot do that.LOL!!! Poor GA. He just can’t deal with John 6:44. The rules of hermeneutics require that one deal with the verse in context and then move out. GA cannot do that.

        br.d
        rhutchin – by this claim without evidence – you’ve simply shown you don’t have any evidence for your claim.

        i could say poor rhutchin he has no response for John 6:44 but that would be playing your silly game of false representation.
        Why don’t you provide a LOGICAL argument instead of making a blind claim.

      23. br.d writes, ‘by this claim without evidence – you’ve simply shown you don’t have any evidence for your claim.”

        LOL!!! br.d apparently does not know evidence when it is right in front to him.I asked GA very specifically to explain his understanding of 6:44, especially the end of the verse, “I will raise him up at the last day.” GA evaded the question and went on a tangent. If GA, or even you, could actually deal with 6:44, you would do so in a direct, logical manner. That you do not makes it obvious that you do not know what to do. So, maybe you could help GA explain the verse.

      24. rhutchin
        LOL!!! br.d apparently does not know evidence when it is right in front to him.I asked GA very specifically to explain his understanding of 6:44, especially the end of the verse, “I will raise him up at the last day.” GA evaded the question and went on a tangent. If GA, or even you, could actually deal with 6:44,

        br.d
        Well that is simply your opinion that GA evaded the question.

        So why can’t you detail how his response LOGICALLY fails?
        Just because you don’t like a response or it doesn’t conform to a Calvinist response doesn’t AUTO-MAGICALLY mean it fails

        Instead of making false representations of people why now provide CONCLUSIVE evidence?

      25. RH your logic is faulty when you look at this text.
        Joh 6:44  No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 
        But Before we get to that:

        1. We all agree that God is and has been the aggressor in any relationship where someone gets saved.
        God is the one seeking the lost and wooing the lost ones. When anyone gets saved God was the pursuer and man was the responder. Luk 19:10  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” 

        HOWEVER WE believe differently than you, in that we see in scripture that God loves the whole lost world and is providing salvation for all if they will respond in belief. Jn. 3:15-17 (we have made this argument many times so it is well documented)

        2. We also see that the word teaches that man is NOT a corpse as the Calvinist claims. Since that is the case, God makes His appeal to lost mankind through multiple avenues. This would be irrational if man were corpse like:
        God is seeking even through…nature…conscious…the law written on man’s heart…the gospel…the Spirit’s convicting…Ambassadors making an appeal on behalf of God…all of this is “God’s love letter to the world”.

        Check these verses ou,t could you say these things about a corpse like being? :

        Rom 2:15  They show that the work of THE LAW IS WRITTEN ON THEIR HEARTS, while their CONSCIENCE ALSO BEARS WITNESS, and their conflicting THOUGHTS ACCUSE or even EXCUSE them.

        *Notice how uncorpse like these verses are*

        Rom 1:19  For what CAN BE KNOWN ABOUT GOD is PLAIN TO THEM, because GOD HAS SHOWN IT TO THEM. 
        Rom 1:20  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature,HAVE BEEN CLEARLY PERCEIVED, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. SO THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE. 
        Rom 1:21  For although THEY KNEW GOD, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 
        Rom 1:22  Claiming to be wise, they became fools,  

        God is communicating His Greatness to the world through multiple avenues because the lost are NOT Corpse like.
        Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
        2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.
        3 There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.
        4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,And their words to the end of the world.

        On Mars Hill Paul addressing pagans who are all lost he says:
        Act 17:26  And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 
        Act 17:27  that THEY SHOULD SEEK GOD , and perhaps FEEL THEIR WAY TOWARD HIM AND FIND HIM. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 

        The indication is that those individuals who respond positively to God’s self revelation in nature, God will bring them to a place where the gospel is heard and they can believe. I know of people who experienced this exact thing.
        Now the Gospel preached is GOD making His Appeal through a man or woman. Another one of God’s communication to man.

        2Co 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, GOD MAKING HIS APPEAL THROUGH US. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

        As we have seen in these verses there are many ways that God is drawing men to himself he is using nature…conscious…the law written on man’s heart…the gospel…the Spirit’s convicting…Ambassadors making an appeal on behalf of God…all of this is “God’s love letter to the world”. HOWEVER NOT EVERYONE responds as they should even when God is pursuing them, revealing himself to them, making HIS APPEAL to them, drawing them, in fact many many do not.

        NOW come FULL Circle back to:
        Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

        First Lets make explicit what the verse does NOT say…the Calvinist smuggles in an idea that is not here.
        The verse Does NOT say:
        “ALL that the Father draws WILL COME to me and I will raise them up on the last day.”
        (That is what the Calvinist wants you to believe it says BUT it does NOT say that… the Calvinist is using a slight of hand trick)

        What we know from the passage and other scriptures above is that: God is pursuing, wooing, revealing, making his appeal and tugging at peoples hearts, and when anyone does respond and “Come to Him” he was first pursued by God, he was first drawn by God. Man is not the aggressor in the Relationship God is the Aggressor (in a good way). Man is the responder to God the Pursuer.
        The one who “comes to Him” was not the aggressor in the relationship he simply responded to God the pursuer. Man is the pursued and God is the pursuer. To help see that lets show what I mean.
        Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
        (No one can respond and come to Jesus UNLESS the Father has first Pursued him. The one who comes responding to God’s pursuing I will raise up on the last day.)
        Joh 6:47  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 

        The verse Does NOT say what the Calvinist wants you to believe it says. The Calvinist imports his determinism onto the text.

      26. Brian used to spend a lot of time going back-&-forth with RH over scripture.

        I remember the patience Brian had in those never-ending back-&-forths. And how it eventually occurred to Brian that the on-going strategy was nothing more than a “dancing boxer” routine designed to wear him out.

      27. br.d writes, “Brian used to spend a lot of time going back-&-forth with RH over scripture.”

        Something no one else ever seems to be able to do. Even Brian never addressed John 6:37 and had to change John 6:44 to mean a plural and not a singular throughout. His view on God’s knowledge of the future negates God’s infinite understanding of all things. However, he does make the attempt – something br.d studious avoids.

      28. br.d
        Brian used to spend a lot of time going back-&-forth with RH over scripture.
        And how it eventually occurred to Brian that the on-going strategy was nothing more than a “dancing boxer” routine designed to wear him out.

        rhutchin
        Something no one else ever seems to be able to do.

        br.d
        No one interested in pocking themselves in the eye with a sharp stick either :-]

      29. It’s very sad Roger that you have completely misrepresented me in your last statement. I have dealt with John 6:37, the “him” of 6:44, and affirmed God’s infinite understanding often. Let me at least remind you of 6:37.

        John 6, 37
        John 6:37 speaks of the Father’s giving (present tense) to Christ. Therefore it would be calling Jesus a deceiver to suggest all had already been given to Christ, unless, of course, Jesus did not know the determinist doctrine very well.

        If determinism was true, Jesus would have known it and He would have said – “All the Father already gave to me will come to me.” The context of John 6 clearly indicates what kind of people the Father was actively giving to the Son… They were those who were looking to the Son and believing in Him (6:40). There is nothing in this chapter about pre-creation decrees or individual election. The determinist forces those ideas into these verses because he wants to see them there.

        The response of freewill is a condition that God sovereignly made part of the “giving” requirements to be met before the coming. No-one is given to Christ before creation. Remember the word “gives” in John 6:37 is present tense which clearly contradicts the determinist idea of some being eternally immutably given before creation.

        The context points to drawing, looking at, believing in, and other things in that are in the process and responses of whom the Father’s gives. Jesus is explaining these things to unbelievers because He wants them to keep seeking Him, but not just for food that perishes.

        If you can’t see that Jesus is being used by the Father in this context to draw people to a decision to trust Jesus for everlasting food, everlasting life… I certainly can’t share the context any more clearly than Jesus has.

      30. Well said Brian
        RH posted :br.d writes, “Brian used to spend a lot of time going back-&-forth with RH over scripture.” Something no one else ever seems to be able to do.

        I have used scripture extensively to show RH where he is wrong and yet he says “Something no one else ever seems to be able to do.” In fact that is the reason BR.D warned me… NOW I know RH knows his statement is not true – yet he says it about multiple posts made in the last few days – this is simply stating a false hood. If you are willing to do that within 24 hours of people making arguments using scripture. I have NO Confidence that you are honest about the scripture itself. You can make scripture say whatever you want it to say. Even if you have to state a false hood in the process.
        That seems to be the very same way you arrive at Calvinism by stating false hoods about what the Bible says. Wow RH – that is very low indeed.

      31. GraceAdict writes, “I have used scripture extensively to show RH where he is wrong…”

        There are exceptions and you are one of them.

      32. brianwagner writes, “John 6, 37
        John 6:37 speaks of the Father’s giving (present tense) to Christ. Therefore it would be calling Jesus a deceiver to suggest all had already been given to Christ, unless, of course, Jesus did not know the determinist doctrine very well.
        If determinism was true, Jesus would have known it and He would have said – “All the Father already gave to me will come to me.””

        We agree that God’s giving of a person to Christ precedes a person coming to Christ. Determinism establishes the certainty of events and here we see the certainty expressed by people coming to Christ because God gives him to Christ. Under determinism, there is nothing wrong with God deciding X in the past and executing X in the present.

        The real issue is v40. As v40 follows v37, it would be normal, I think, to equate “coming” to Christ with “seeing and believing.” As v44 says “No one can come…,” we have the order, God gives, God draws, a person comes, Christ raises. Would “those who were looking to the Son and believing in Him” really have to be drawn to Christ? What purpose would be served by God “giving” to Christ those who are “seeing and believing” as they already belong to Christ? If not, what does it mean to “believe” in Christ?

        I agree where you say, “There is nothing in this chapter about pre-creation decrees or individual election.” That has never been an issue in the understanding of v37 or v44, so I don’t know why you bring it up.

        I am confused by your statement, “The context points to drawing, looking at, believing in, and other things in that are in the process and responses of whom the Father’s gives.” It appears to me that you mean the order to be: God draws; the person sees and believes; God gives; the person comes; Christ raises. The issue then is what Christ meant by “coming” to Him: if a person comes after seeing and believing.

        Then, “If you can’t see that Jesus is being used by the Father in this context to draw people to a decision to trust Jesus for everlasting food, everlasting life… I certainly can’t share the context any more clearly than Jesus has.”

        We agree on this. We seem to disagree on God’s motivation for doing this. I say God does it because He has decided to give the person to Christ and you seem to be saying that God does it in order determine whether to give the person to Christ but no knowing whether the person will respond to His drawing by seeing and believing.

        Then, ” I have…affirmed God’s infinite understanding often.”

        Actually, by denying God knowledge of some future actions, you deny God’s infinite understanding. Understanding is tied to knowledge. Take away knowledge and you take away understanding. If God does not know how a person will respond to Christ, He cannot understand the person. Thus, God cannot have infinite understanding.

        Then, ” I have dealt with…the “him” of 6:44…”

        I don’t remember that in much detail. You expressed a position on 6:44 but I don’t remember you explaining how it related to 6:44. That seemed fuzzy to me – if I had understood your position, I might better have remembered it.

        Sorry about any misrepresentation of your positions. I find your positions confusing at times and difficult to grasp, so I explain what I understand you to say. Since you are the teacher, the burden is on you to teach.

      33. Brian
        If determinism was true, Jesus would have known it and He would have said – “All the Father already gave to me will come to me.””

        rhutchin
        We agree that God’s giving of a person to Christ precedes a person coming to Christ…etc

        br.d
        Firstly – this statement could be a deceptive misrepresentation – depending upon how it is interpreted.
        So once again we have an example of how Calvinists are instructed to use EQUIVOCAL language.

        Brian is highlighting the fact that the LANGUAGE of scripture does not LOGICALLY flow with the underlying assumption of Determinism.

        And I would add – the model of EQUIVOCAL language we find inherent within Calvinism – is antithetical to the model of the language of scripture

        Thus Calvinism’s EQUIVOCAL language model serves as a RED-FLAG!

      34. rhutchin
        Since you are the teacher, the burden is on you to teach.

        br.d
        Using false representations of others as an ongoing strategy is not something one learns from a divine source.

      35. The false implication being that rh didn’t actually misrepresent Brian, it was simply Brian’s fault for not teaching him well enough. Anyone hear strains of ‘The woman YOU gave me . . .’ As Jesus showed, it is actions that reveal who one’s father is, not the robes in which one is arrayed, or the misappropriated words one espouses.

      36. TS00 writes, “The false implication being that rh didn’t actually misrepresent Brian,…”

        If Brian says I misrepresented him, then I did. My point is that I did it ignorantly as I did not understand his position – still don’t.

      37. rhutchin
        If Brian says I misrepresented him, then I did. My point is that I did it ignorantly as I did not understand his position – still don’t.

        br.d
        Well – in Theological Determinism – if by “understanding” you mean via RATIONAL thinking – then you wouldn’t have that mental functionality any way – since that would require a mental process that is exclusively LIBERTARIAN.

        As William Lane Craig states it – the ability to “weight the evidence pro and con – and make a LIBERTARIAN choice between them” doesn’t exist for you.

        What does exist for you is Calvin’s god determining your every perception.
        And since we have numerous examples of Calvin’s god giving you all sorts of FALSE perceptions here – if it is the case that you don’t perceive the information Brian has shared with you Calvin’s god determined that would be the extent of your perception.

        So in Theological Determinism its more accurate to say Calvin’s god determined you to have an inadequate perception of it.

      38. rhutchin: “Since you are the teacher, the burden is on you to teach.”
        br.d: “Using false representations of others…”

        I think we should all agree that Brian is a teacher. We should remember what James said, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”

      39. I’m guessing I’m not alone in thinking God is not going to lay rh’s stubborn refusal to listen to scripture and reason at the feet of Brian – or anyone else but rh.

      40. rhutchin: “Since you are the teacher, the burden is on you to teach.”
        br.d: “Using false representations of others…”

        rhutchin
        I think we should all agree that Brian is a teacher.

        br.d
        What Brian pointed out as the false representation in this case was the false representation I was referring to also.
        My comment was to meant to highlight a pattern.

      41. rhutchin: “Since you are the teacher, the burden is on you to teach.”

        Very consistent with Calvinist thinking…sounds very much like Derek Webb, the Calvinist who rejected God…”it’s totally up to God to make me want Him”

      42. Interesting!
        Is that a direct quote from him?
        I would like to get my hands on that – and its reference – do you have that?

      43. I went back and listened to the video my quote is a bit off but the way Derek says it, it is even more astounding than how I remembered it.
        So I need to correct that…I should not have used “…” marks.
        But please listen to him yourself it is even more shocking. Start at the 58:00 minute mark and listen for 3 minutes at least.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORYcoIpIQSw
        It will make you so sad how Calvinism has been so destructive.

      44. I guess I didn’t see anything in that conversation that surprised me.
        They both talk like they live in two mutually exclusive worlds.

        Derek talks like he has the ability to resolve questions through scientific rational reasoning – when the doctrine he follows tells him an external mind (the THEOS) determines his every perception. He might just as well be in a hypnotic trance controlled by a THEOS – for as much as he could control his own perceptions – according to his own doctrine. And yet he thinks the opposite. This mode of DOUBLE-THINK is totally consistent with all Calvinists.

      45. I fulfilled my burden as a teacher. My conscience is clear when I see most students understand what I’m saying. 😊 Some burden rests on the student.

        Thank you Roger for affirming the Father “gives” folks to the Son… which clearly rejects the notion of their having been eternally immutably given to the Son already. So it sounds like you dont believe the Father “gave” anyone to the Son before creation… but only that He decided back then to give some to Him in the future after creation (though no decision is actually made in divine determinism). That must mean you also reject the normal Calvinistic imposed meaning of “gave” found in 17:2, 6, 9, 12, 24. Great! Those verses also only mean those given to Christ after their choice to follow Him (not before creation).

        Now if you can just try to see how you are limiting the definition of infinite understanding by thinking God can only know a future locked in and limited to working out only one way. You need to try to see His infinite understanding as perfectly knowing a future with some things already determined but also with almost infinite possibilities for other good things.

        My view of what Scripture teaches about infinite understanding is much better than yours. 😉 I have no more to share in this thread between us. Take the last word. Your apology was accepted. Thx.

      46. brianwagner writes, “Thank you Roger for affirming the Father “gives” folks to the Son… which clearly rejects the notion of their having been eternally immutably given to the Son already.”

        Oh, Brian!! If you give your children/grandchildren gifts at Christmas, some were likely purchased during the year preceding Christmas (my wife is on the lookout for gifts when we hit the outlets coming home from the beach). So, that God gives His elect to Christ today does not say anything about the timing of God’s decision to present those gifts. As you describe my position, “[God} decided back then to give some to Him in the future after creation (though no decision is actually made in divine determinism).” Rather than “decided” we can say, “God chose us” as Paul does -but you get the picture.

        Then, ‘Those verses also only mean those given to Christ after their choice to follow Him (not before creation).”

        – [God] has given [Christ] authority over all flesh,
        – I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world.
        – I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me,
        – Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
        – I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

        Only Brian could tease out “after their choice to follow Him” from these verses.

        Then, “Now if you can just try to see how you are limiting the definition of infinite understanding by thinking God can only know a future locked in and limited to working out only one way.”

        We seem to agree that God’s infinite understanding extends to all possible events that could happen in the future. That allows God to decree that which will happen in the future. It is God’s decree that then locks in that future so that the future can only happen in one way. It may be that you don’t understand this because you tend to be a little wishy-washy in decisions you make so that your decisions can change on a moment’s notice and people know not to take you seriously. However, once God makes a decision about the future, He will not change that decision because His understanding of the future will not change, so He has no reason to change.

        Then, “You need to try to see His infinite understanding as perfectly knowing a future with some things already determined but also with almost infinite possibilities for other good things. ”

        Of course, God’s understanding of the future encompasses an infinite possibilities for other good things. Thus, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” When “God works” an infinite set of possibilities is reduced to one reality.

        Then, “Your apology was accepted.”

        Oh Brian! Do your students fall for this tactic??

      47. brianwagner
        It’s very sad Roger that you have completely misrepresented me

        br.d
        BING!

        It becomes obvious after so many occasions and so many examples – that misrepresentation is an inherent characteristic of Calvinist language.

        One must wonder how misrepresentation is the DIVINE INTENT – for the forwarding of the “so called” true gospel

      48. GraceAdict writes, “HOWEVER WE believe differently than you, in that we see in scripture that God loves the whole lost world and is providing salvation for all if they will respond in belief. Jn. 3:15-17 (we have made this argument many times so it is well documented)”

        This is not a difference. We both agree on the “…if they will believe…” part. Where we seem to disagree is the role of faith in this. Calvinists say that God gives faith to a person and with that assurance and conviction, people then believe. Faith is necessary to belief. What is the role of faith (assurance and conviction) in your system?

        Then, “We also see that the word teaches that man is NOT a corpse as the Calvinist claims.”

        OK. This means that the Calvinist sees a person who has no faith as analogous to a dead person in their attitude toward god and you don’t. So, can a person without faith react positively to the gospel. We agree about the need for the “…the Spirit’s convicting…” without which no one could be saved.

        Then, “Check these verses out could you say these things about a corpse like being?…The indication is that those individuals who respond positively to God’s self revelation in nature, God will bring them to a place where the gospel is heard and they can believe. ”

        Again, the issue is faith (plus the convicting of the Holy Spirit). Can a person respond to God’s self revelation in nature without faith or without the convicting of the Holy Spirit?

        Then, on John 6:44, “The verse Does NOT say:
        “ALL that the Father draws WILL COME to me and I will raise them up on the last day.”
        (That is what the Calvinist wants you to believe it says BUT it does NOT say that… the Calvinist is using a slight of hand trick)”

        How do you avoid that conclusion? If Christ raises each person drawn by God then doesn’t Christ raise all whom God draws? Earlier Christ said, “I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” How do you see Christ losing a person.

        Then, “The verse Does NOT say what the Calvinist wants you to believe it says. The Calvinist imports his determinism onto the text.”

        Yet, you cannot explain how Christ loses any person drawn to Him by God. You still are unable to deal directly with that which 6:44 explicitly states. You say, “The one who comes responding to God’s pursuing I will raise up on the last day.” In 6:44, the one God pursues is the one God draws and that is the person Christ raises.

        The verse actually does say what the Calvinist wants you to believe it says. Your problem is that you cannot make it say something different. You know this because of the way you see yourself unable to argue against the verse.

      49. rhutchin
        Can a person respond to God’s self revelation in nature without faith or without the convicting of the Holy Spirit?

        br.d
        Calvin’s god DESIGNS the person to have a FLOPPY DRIVE program absent the human functionality called faith.
        For the “elect” ones he eventually gives them a new FLOPPY DRIVE which contains that human functionality.

        Up that point in time – they have no human functionality called faith.
        Absent that functionality called faith – one doesn’t even have the ability to believe he exists. :-]

      50. You have still missed the main point. You think there is only one Qualification stated in this verse ( God drawing). There are TWO.
        Joh 6:44  No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 

        1. Prerequisite A. The Father must draw ( we showed how God is drawing through many means)
        2. Prerequisite B The person must “come to me” ( a response to the drawing)
        AFTER A and B are met then and only then – “And I will raise him up on the last day.”

        If Prerequiste B is not met then no raising up, God’s drawing is genuine but it does not forcibly kidnap a person…He woos, extends His love, calls, convicts.

        You skip right over the second Prerequisite. That is why you didn’t like the fact I brought in vs. 40 which focuses on the second Prerequisite
        Joh 6:40  For this is the will of my Father, that EVERYONE WHO LOOKS ON THE SON AND BELIEVES in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”  or vs 47
        Joh 6:47  Truly, truly, I say to you, WHOEVER BELIEVES has eternal life. 

        The second Prerequisite is just as important as the first one for “And I will raise him on the last day.” to occur.

        It is very instructive that vs 44 is in between these two verses and these two verses clarify what you are missing. The response is required NOT just the drawing.

      51. GraceAdict writes, “You think there is only one Qualification stated in this verse ( God drawing). There are TWO.
        Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
        1. Prerequisite A. The Father must draw ( we showed how God is drawing through many means)
        2. Prerequisite B The person must “come to me” ( a response to the drawing)
        AFTER A and B are met then and only then – “And I will raise him up on the last day.”

        It is obvious that your Prerequisite B does not appear in the verse. The link is God draws – Christ raises. Your Prerequisite B is subsumed under Christ’s statement, “I will raise him up,” as Christ would not raise up a person except this were so. The direct linkage between “draw-raise” guarantees that the person will come. You are letting your philosophy rule your analysis of 6:44..

        Then, “It is very instructive that vs 44 is in between these two verses and these two verses clarify what you are missing.

        v40 is linked by context to v37 and describe those who come to Christ as a result of God giving them to Christ. v47 is linked by context to v45, “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father.” The conclusion from this context is that God draws those whom He gives to Christ and God teaches those whom He draws. God drawing subsumes His gift and His teaching of those drawn while Christ’s raising subsumes the person believing. Thus, Christ can say of those drawn by God to Him, “I will raise…” thus losing none of those given to Him by God.

      52. Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

        GA. writes: RH assumes only ONE prerequisite but there are TWO.
        1. Prerequisite A. The Father must draw ( we showed how God is drawing through many means)
        2. Prerequisite B The person must “come to me” ( a response to the drawing)
        AFTER A and B are met then and only then – “And I will raise him up on the last day.”

        RH writes: It is obvious that your Prerequisite B does not appear in the verse. The link is God draws – Christ raises. Your Prerequisite B is subsumed under Christ’s statement, “I will raise him up,”

        Notice that even the ESV arranges the grammar such that the coming and drawing are linked and not as you say.

        An illustration would be the President of the US has a son and the son is talking to some young people on the street.

        No one can come to me in the White House Unless my Father invites him. And I will treat him very well.
        Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

        Notice in both phrases there are TWO prerequisites. The Father must invite/draw and the person Must come before that last sentence can happen.

        This allows us to see the order and the prerequisites more clearly because now we are not talking about something that MUST import the Calvinistic Assumptions to make it work, inside of a theological bubble.  

      53. GraceAdcit writes, “Notice in both phrases there are TWO prerequisites. The Father must invite/draw and the person Must come before that last sentence can happen.”

        You reduce the meaning of “draw” to mean “invite” where the Calvinist takes the word to be the much stringer, “drag.” The Greek is “HELKUO” and is used elsewhere of a person dragging a net to shore. Vines has on v44 that it refers to the inward drawing as by divine impulse. So, in order to reach your conclusion, you have to water down the meaning of “draw.” v44 is immediately followed by the phrase, ““It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me,” in v45. That verse can be taken to explain the “drawing” of v44.

        You also water down the promise of Christ as “I will treat him very well” When Christ said, I will raise him up,” He meant, “I will give him eternal life.”

        You insist that the verse has two prerequisites, God draws and the person comes. The verse only says God draws. You insert “the man comes,” but then insert “if the person chooses” and this is not implied in the text. IN v37, Jesus did include the concept of “the person coming” when He said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,” Those that God gives to Christ are those that He then draws to Christ. What happens – “They will come.” No if, and, or but.

        In order to support your philosophy, you have to ignore v37 and then water down the meaning of v44.

      54. rhutchin
        You reduce the meaning of “draw” to mean “invite” where the Calvinist takes the word to be the much stringer, “drag.”

        br.d
        Yes the Calvinist has a DIVINE IRRESISTIBLE FORCE which does the dragging.

        Its interesting that the same Greek root word/derivative are also found in James 1:14

        ἐξελκόμενος – Being Drawn Away [Present Participle Middle]

        From ἐξέλκω [to entice (Strong’s); to drag out (Mounce)] – from ἐξ – [out of] and ἑλκύω – to drag

        So accordingly the Calvinist reading would be:
        Each person is tempted when their desires are enticed and made evil – being dragged away by a DIVINE IRRESISTIBLE FORCE (i.e. Calvin’s god)

      55. Now the Calvinist can site the fact that in one case – a human attribute ἐπιθυμίας “desire” is said to be doing the dragging.
        While in the other case a human attribute “desire” is absent – and the dragging is being done directly by Calvin’s god.

        So the Calvinist can punt to secondary means “desire” in one case – where that secondary means is absent in the other.

        But as we know – Calvinist interpretation is governed by his holding Universal Divine Causal Determinism as canon.

        So when the Calvinist compares his canon – Universal Divine Causal Determinism – with the canon of scripture (any verse) – the resulting interpretation will be guaranteed – which is why the Calvinist incorporates the concept of an IRRESISTIBLE DIVINE FORCE (i.e. the DECREE).

        So in both cases (re: salvation as well as all sin and evil) an IRRESISTIBLE DIVINE FORCE is the CAUSAL FORCE that is at work.
        And this lines up with the Calvinist’s interpretation of the ἐνεργοῦντος “work” in Ephesians 1:11

        This word ἐνεργοῦντος is where we get our English word “energy”.
        So for the Calvinist – the the SOURCE/ORIGIN of everything that comes to pass – (re: salvation as well as all sin and evil) is an IRRESISTIBLE DIVINE ENERGY.

        As the Calvinist can say:
        Calvin’s god ENFORCES all things to come to pass by using a FORCE that FORCES without FORCING. :-]

      56. But of course – the whole business of DRAGGING would be a mute point – if the word “ALL” in the text is interpreted as “ALL” without exception. And it is interesting to note – that that is the MAJORITY view.

        It is only the Calvinist who interprets the word “ALL” to LOGICALLY equate to the word “SOME”.

        It would be so much less misleading if the Holy Spirit had just used the more precise word in the first place

        But alas – we need John Calvin to inform us where the Holy Spirit uses misleading terms! :-]

      57. br.d writes, “But of course – the whole business of DRAGGING would be a mute point – if the word “ALL” in the text is interpreted as “ALL” without exception. And it is interesting to note – that that is the MAJORITY view.”

        It is impossible to understand br.d on this point as he does not tell us the verse that has caught his attention.

        v37 says, ““All that the Father gives Me…” where”ALL” is “ALL without exception” but qualified by “that the Father gives.” It is only those that the Father gives who come to Jesus but it is ALL without exception who come. This is basic Calvinism. Where br.d says, “It is only the Calvinist who interprets the word “ALL” to LOGICALLY equate to the word “SOME” we understand that God does not give ALL (meaning each and every individual) to Christ but only a subset of the human population, so that we understand that God gives “SOME” of the entire human population to Christ and not ALL the human population.

        This is reinforced in v39, “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” Here ALL is ALL without exception but still qualified by “that the Father gives” so we don’t read this as the entire human population but only some of the human population – those that the Father gives.

        In v45, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.”

        Here “ALL” is qualified by the phrase, “taught by God.” Here, again, God does not have to teach the entire human population but only those He gives to Christ and this can be a subset of the human population or SOME of the human population.

        I did not see the word, “ALL,’ anywhere else in John 6, so I don’t know what br.d was talking about.

      58. And thus the rest of what br.d posted is also at play.

        Since in Calvinism – the word “ALL” LOGICALLY equates to the word “SOME” we are indebted to John Calvin – for clearing up the misconception that the MAJORITY VIEW have on the word “ALL”.

        Oh if only John Calvin had inspired the text instead of the Holy Spirit – the MAJORITY VIEW would not be the wrong view. :-]

      59. br.d writes, “Now the Calvinist can site the fact that in one case – a human attribute ἐπιθυμίας “desire” is said to be doing the dragging.
        While in the other case a human attribute “desire” is absent – and the dragging is being done directly by Calvin’s god.”

        Yes, a human attribute, human desires, drags a person into sin by means of temptation.
        Regarding salvation, there is no human desire for Christ, so God must drag the person to Christ.

        God may arrange the temptation as He did in the garden when He gave Satan the ability to enter the garden to tempt Eve. However, God did not tempt Eve, but had given her the ability to develop desires based on her interactions with Adam and her environment. Thus, God could observe all the action in the garden while doing nothing to stop either Eve eating the fruit or giving the fruit to Adam and he eating also.

      60. br.d
        Now the Calvinist can site the fact that in one case – a human attribute ἐπιθυμίας “desire” is said to be doing the dragging.
        While in the other case a human attribute “desire” is absent – and the dragging is being done directly by Calvin’s god.”

        rhutchin
        Yes, a human attribute, human desires, drags a person into sin by means of temptation.
        Regarding salvation, there is no human desire for Christ, so God must drag the person to Christ.

        br.d
        And thus the rest of what br. posted concerning that position is also in play.
        That ALL human activities (re salvation and all sin and evil) are CAUSED by a DIVINE IRRESISTIBLE FORCE/ENERGY.

        And the LOGICAL consequences are as Dr. Neal Judisch states:
        -quote
        Whether or not the control Calvinists imagine exerted by Calvin’s god is immediate or mediated through secondary causes, is ultimately an irrelevant red-herring. For the ethical problem remains: The CONTROL IS THERE. And that CONTROL IS INTENTIONAL, SUPER-OPERATIVE, AND UNREMITTING. In the Calvinist scheme it isn’t within one’s power to alter, affect, or to “do otherwise” than what one is being controlled to think, choose, desire, do.

        In other words Calvin’s god DOES NOT PERMIT the creature to refrain from salvation or to refrain from sin and evil.
        NO ALTERNATE POSSIBILITY is made available to the creature.

      61. br.d writs, ‘In other words Calvin’s god DOES NOT PERMIT the creature to refrain from salvation or to refrain from sin and evil.”

        The sin nature knows only to sin.
        Faith knows only to desire Christ.

      62. rhutchin
        br.d writs, ‘In other words Calvin’s god DOES NOT PERMIT the creature to refrain from salvation or to refrain from sin and evil.”

        rhutchin
        The sin nature knows only to sin.
        Faith knows only to desire Christ.

        br.d
        And these are simply “means” which Calvin’s god uses to NOT PERMIT the creature to refrain from salvation or to refrain from sin and evil.

        But as LOGIC shows concerning any “means” – it is SUFFICIENT but not NECESSARY.
        Calvin’s god can use any alternative “means” he wants to – to NOT PERMIT the creature from refraining from salvation or refraining from sin and evil.

        Thus in the Calvinist scheme “means” are totally discretionary.

        Since Calvin’s god is not obligated to create man with a sin nature – it LOGICALLY follows man is not obligated to have one.

        This displays the model of Calvinist ethics:
        Calvin’s god creates sin so that he can save a few from from what he created.

        Anyone can set all houses on fire in order to save a few.
        It doesn’t take a divine being to pull that one off :-]

      63. br.d writes, “Anyone can set all houses on fire in order to save a few.
        It doesn’t take a divine being to pull that one off :-]”

        As God did when His angel went across Egypt and killed the first-born but spared the Israelites. Kinds hard to do that without being divine.

        Or when God saves His Elect and passed over the Reprobate. Kinds hard to do that without being divine.

      64. br.d
        Anyone can set all houses on fire in order to save a few.
        It doesn’t take a divine being to pull that one off :-]”

        rhutchin
        As God did when His angel went across Egypt and killed the first-born but spared the Israelites. Kinds hard to do that without being divine.

        br.d
        NAH!
        Anyone could do that with a brain and the right equipment! :-]

      65. rhutchin
        Or when God saves His Elect and passed over the Reprobate. Kinds hard to do that without being divine.

        br.d
        Of course in this case “pass over” is another SEMANTIC sign of Gnostic DUALISM where so many things in Calvinism appear in antithetical pairs: Where so many things appear as: “Good-Evil”, “True-False”, and “Yes-No”

        In this case Calvin’s god – as the DIVINE POTTER – DESIGNS the vast majority of his creatures for eternal torment in the lake of fire.
        So in this case DESIGNING equates to “passing over”.

        Additionally – if we were to use Egypt as an analogy for the Calvinist model of salvation – in which Calvin’s god DOES NOT PERMIT the vast majority of his creatures from escaping the bondage of sin which he DESIGNED

        Per that model – it would LOGICALLY follow Calvin’s god NOT PERMITTING the vast majority of the Israelites from escaping the bondage of Egypt

      66. br.d writes, “So accordingly the Calvinist reading would be: Each person is tempted when their desires are enticed and made evil – being dragged away by a DIVINE IRRESISTIBLE FORCE (i.e. Calvin’s god)”

        Context, Context, Context. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own [irresistible] desires and enticed.” This is not speaking of God drawing a person by temptation as James says in v13, immediately before v14, “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.” What br.d has done is bad hermeneutics.

      67. br.d
        So accordingly the Calvinist reading would be: Each person is tempted when their desires are enticed and made evil – being dragged away by a DIVINE IRRESISTIBLE FORCE (i.e. Calvin’s god)”

        rhutchin
        Context, Context, Context. “But each one is …..etc

        br.d
        Already accounted for in my follow up post.

      68. It is nonsensical to declare blithely that ‘the issue is faith’, which falsely portrays the idea that man is personally responsible for whether or not he has faith. Then, out of the other side of your mouth, you promote the lie that God deliberately (and cruelly) makes men incapable of ‘faith’, makes an unreasonable demand that those whom he incapacitated come up with this impossible ‘faith’ anyway, then, in reprehensible partiality hands out a limited number of ‘faith tickets’ to some randomly selected chosen few and destroys the remaining cursed and helpless ‘faithless’ ones. Who have no faith only because Calvi-god ensured they could and would not. This is not only doublespeak, but it is horrific, unthinkable evil.

        Under Calvinism it is not ‘a faith issue’. It is a cruel god issue. Substitute faith with any other tangible factor, say hair. Calvi-god curses all men with baldness, then insists that only those who brush their hair can be saved. Of course, bald men cannot brush their hair, so Calvi-god is obviously being malicious and cruel. Then he makes a big show about granting a select few men the gift of hair, so that they can have the ability to brush their hair and be saved.

        It would be obtuse to say it was a ‘hair issue’; anyone could see through that silliness. It is a cruel, mocking, controlling god issue, and that is all there is to it. It would also be obtuse to assert that this ugly wickedness of Calvi-god is somehow glorifying and praiseworthy. It is not – it is despicable.

        A truly loving, merciful God would not cruelly curse all men with inability – in response to the sin of another, a sin they had absolutely nothing to do with. Wouldn’t that be something a god who claims to be love could surely grasp? Don’t curse the people, make unreasonable demands or get destructively angry at the very things you wreaked upon them. It’s about as simple as it gets.

      69. Well stated TS00 — “Under Calvinism it is not ‘a faith issue’. It is a cruel god issue. ”

        They are Full of cover ups, evasions, ignoring implications, word games, tricks in logic and then when it is pointed out their famous claim that you brought attention to “You are using human logic” Any logic that does not end up at TULIPS is called human logic even if it is sound and totally Biblical. Any logic that ends up at TULIPS no matter how distorted and unbiblical it is will be called “true Christianity” They have placed TULIPS above the WORD and they make the WORD conform to their beloved Augustine and Calvin.
        TULIPS – The S stands for Sovereign means Meticulous Determinism.

      70. Interesting that for RH reading what comes just before his one verse seems a terrible error to him.

      71. RH: “How do you understand the third part of the verse, “…3. …I will raise him up at the last day.”
        GA: “The context is clear as to who experiences the raising up: Joh 6:40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” The one who chooses to believe.”
        GA: “Interesting that for RH reading what comes just before his one verse seems a terrible error to him.”

        It is obvious that GA knows he has a problem (as do all non-Calvinists) with the last part of John 6:44, “…I will raise him up at the last day.” That’s fine. He doesn’t have a way to get around it and that is just the way it is.

        However, GA refers to v40 to establish those whom God draws. As “The context is clear as to who experiences the raising up:” and he concludes that the one God draws is “The one who chooses to believe.” GA can’t quite explain why we should understand it that way. One might also conclude that the one God draws is the one who chooses to believe. Why would this be the case? Because we know from v45, “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Christ.” GA wants us to believe that only those who believe can then be taught by God rather than those taught by God being those who believe.

        Let’s look at the context for v40:
        37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
        38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
        39 “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
        40 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

        We see that v39-40 both begin “his is the will of the Father who sent Me,” and both end, “I will raise him up at the last day.” So we know that the same people are the subject of God’s will and Christ’s raising on the last day.

        Thus, …”all God has given Christ …” are the same as “everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him…” Because of the order of the narrative, we understand that those whom God gives to Christ are those who then see the son and believe. If we were to read this to mean that a person must first sees the son and believes, then there would be no reason for God to give that person to Christ as the person’s belief means that he already belongs to Christ.

        Then, GA seems to want us to understand this to mean that God gives certain people to Christ resulting in these people believing and then God draws them to Christ. If a person already believes, why then draw them to Christ? The natural reading of John 6 is:
        1. All that the Father gives Christ will come to Christ;
        2. No one can come to Christ
        3. God draws the person to Christ
        4. The person drawn by God is taught by God
        5. The person taught by God believes in Christ.

        The problem for the non-Calvinist begins with v37, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,” and continues into v44, “I will raise him up at the last day.” GA seems to understand this and he appears not to like it.

      72. rhuthin
        It is obvious that GA knows he has a problem (as do all non-Calvinists) with the last part of John 6:44, “…I will raise him up at the last day.” That’s fine. He doesn’t have a way to get around it and that is just the way it is.

        br.d
        Again you’re making a claim – with no LOGICAL evidence
        What’s wrong with providing that?

      73. rhutchin
        Because of the order of the narrative, we understand that those whom God gives to Christ are those who then see the son and believe.

        br.d
        And how do you know that that supposition is CONFIRMED by all scholarship?

        rhutchin
        If we were to read this to mean that a person must first sees the son and believes, then there would be no reason for God to give that person to Christ as the person’s belief means that he already belongs to Christ.

        br.d
        And how do you know that that reasoning is CONFIRMED by all scholarship?

        rhutchin
        The problem for the non-Calvinist begins with v37, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,” and continues into v44, “I will raise him up at the last day.” GA seems to understand this and he appears not to like it.

        br.d
        But you haven’t even brought in the doctrine of the DIVINE IRRESISTIBLE FORCE into your equation here.
        Where is the DIVINE IRRESISTIBLE FORCE – which is added to the Calvinist’s reading of the text CONFIRMED by all scholarship?

      74. Rhutchin says that “Calvinistic regeneration is life to the dead, sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf” is NOT a misrepresentation of Calvinism.

        I stand by my comment that it is, because Calvinist regeneration is not for “THE” dead, blind, and deaf. It’s only for A FEW dead, blind, and deaf.

        Let’s pretend that you own a zoo that has 100 of each kind of animal in cages. And I work for you taking care of the animals. And one day, two tigers escape from the cage, but I call you up and say “THE tigers escaped.” Would that be an accurate assessment of what happened? Did “THE tigers” escape, when in reality only 2 out of 100 escaped? Wouldn’t any logical person assume that “the tigers” means “the tigers” and not “a couple tigers”? And they would say that I misrepresented the situation.

        If I had 50 kids, and 2 went to bed early, and my husband called and asked where the kids were and I told him “The kids went to bed early,” would it not be misleading, if only 2 out of 50 went to bed early while 48 of them are still up and playing?

        If you want to say that you’re not misrepresenting what Calvi-god accomplished then that’s your choice. But I see it differently.

        Calvinism, in my opinion, tries to make it sound like Calvi-god did great things out of great love for many people, that he swooped in to save the day for many people, rescuing them from hell-fire, while everyone else, sadly, faces an eternal death that they supposedly deserve.

        But I echo what Graceadict said earlier, in response to Calvi-god supposedly simply “passing over” those he didn’t elect:

        “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.””

        Calvi-god is less like a gracious savior who seeks, out of love, to save THE dead, blind, and dead … and, as I pointed out earlier, he is more like a psychopathic lunatic who walks up to someone at a park and 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.”

        And let’s face it, Calvi-god hates and condemns far more “dead, blind, and deaf people” than he bothers to save, even though it’s well within his power to save all. But therein lies Calvi-god’s “need” for evil. He needs evil to highlight how good he is. He causes evil for his glory. He sends people to hell for his glory. To him, evil is good and Calvi-god-glorifying! And so, ultimately, evil is only a meaningless construct in our own minds that we apply to some unpleasant situations, because to Calvi-god, all evil is good and glorifying to him, even creating people for hell and “punishing” them for the things he caused them to do!

        Which commenter out there said (in another post) that Calvi-god can get away with any sort of evil simply by appealing to his “sovereignty”?

        So true! Calvinists try to excuse anything and everything Calvi-god does by simply saying “Oh, well, he’s sovereign and can do whatever he wants for his glory and plans. And it’s a mystery we don’t have to understand. We just have to accept it, like good little Calvinists. Who are you to talk back to God!?!”

        Well, when a theology calls evil “good” and makes God the ultimate cause/controller of all evil and presents God as someone who constantly deceives people by saying things He doesn’t really mean and not saying the things He really does mean … then we had better question it! Because Truth is on the line!

      75. Rhutchin: “LOL!!! Poor GA…. LOL!!! br.d apparently … LOL!!! Calvinists identify … LOL!!! When it comes to Calvinism … LOL!!! OK, maybe you are not as bright as I think. … LOL!!! Double-talk by the non-Calvinist. … LOL!!! So, br.d wasn’t referring to history … LOL!!! The only choice that matters …”

        Does anyone else think of a brain-washed victim of the Joker laughing uncontrollably all by himself in a corner when he “LOLs” like this?

        Just wondering.

        (And I’m still not totally convinced that rhutchin isn’t really just a super-fast Calvinist computer program that’s programmed to spit out classic Calvinist arguments in a moment’s notice, unable to really go beyond repeating the same preprogrammed responses over and over again.)

      76. Heather writes:
        “(And I’m still not totally convinced that rhutchin isn’t really just a super-fast Calvinist computer program that’s programmed to spit out classic Calvinist arguments in a moment’s notice, unable to really go beyond repeating the same preprogrammed responses over and over again.)”

        I’ve learned that’s pretty much what you get with Calvinism. They memorize the script, then regurgitate the official ‘answer’. It’s pretty much like a programmed computer, with no real thought going on. When your system is based on ‘authority’ there is little room for independent thought or place for growth in wisdom.