No One Can Do Good?

by Leighton Flowers

Good deeds are worthless as a filthy rag in the sight of God not because the motive of the doer is necessarily wrong, but because the debt of sin owed is too great to be overlooked on account of such deeds. No deed, even if motivated by a genuine faith and selflessness, can pay off our debt of sin. Only the blood of Christ wipes away our sin and God graciously chooses to bestow the righteousness of His Son to whosoever trusts in Him.

Therefore, the Bible isn’t attempting to say that no one can do a genuinely selfless deed motivated by sincere faith in God. The Bible is only saying that even these good and faithful deeds are worthless apart from the provision of Christ on Calvary!

The apostle Paul taught:

“…there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.” – Romans 3:11

In an effort to demonstrate that all people have fallen short of the glory of God and broken His law, Paul quotes from Psalm 14:2-3, which says:

“The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

There are basically two theological approaches for interpreting this passage:

(1) Calvinistic Approach: Apart from a Divine irresistible work of regeneration (by which God changes a chosen individual’s nature and desires), mankind cannot willingly seek to know, understand, or follow God.

(2) Non-Calvinistic (Provisionist) Approach: Apart from God’s gracious initiative in bringing His Son, the Holy Spirit, and the inspired gospel appeal, no one can merit salvation or consistently seek to obey God in a way that will attain his own righteousness.

The contrast between these two perspectives can be illustrated by this simple question: Does proof that I am incapable of calling the president on the telephone also prove that I am incapable of answering the telephone if the president were to call me? Of course not, yet that is essentially the principle a Calvinist is assuming in their theological approach to this text.

Calvinists read this text to mean that our lack of initiative somehow proves our inability to respond positively to His initiative. They presume that God’s work in sending His Son, the Holy Spirit, and the inspired gospel, calling for all to be reconciled through faith in Christ, is insufficient to enable the lost to respond in faith. But the text simply never says this.

In Romans chapter 3:10-20 the apostle is seeking to prove that no one can attain righteousness by means of the law. But in verse 21 he shifts to reveal a righteousness that can be obtained by means of grace through faith in Christ.

Calvinists seem to think that because mankind is unable to attain righteousness by means of the law that they must equally be unable to obtain righteousness by means of grace through faith in Christ. This, however, is never established anywhere in the pages of Scripture.

Of course, we all can affirm that no one is righteous with regard to the demands of the law. But there have been many throughout the pages of Scripture who have been declared righteous by means of grace through faith.

Calvinists wrongly assume that because mankind is unable to fully keep the demands of the law that they are equally unable to admit their inability to keep those demands and trust in the One who has. Again, this is simply never established in the Bible.

Proof that mankind is morally incapable of earning their own righteousness by doing good works is not proof that mankind is morally incapable of believing and trusting in the righteousness of another.

It must also be understood that placing one’s trust in the righteousness of Christ is not earning one’s own righteousness. Those who trust in Christ are graciously imputed with His righteousness, they are not earning their own.

Psalm 14 in Context

If we go back to examine the context of Paul’s original quote in Psalm 14, a hyperbolic passage used to emphasize how bad unbelievers really are, we read that he is specifically speaking of “the fool” who says, “there is no God,” and then he contrasts between the “evil doers” and “His people…the generation of the righteous.”

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good…Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord? There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. – Psalm 14:1; 4-5

This passage is saying that fools who refuse to believe cannot do good, not that everyone is born unable to believe unless God causes them to do so by some kind of irresistible grace. That would make the fool much less foolish given his incapacitated condition from birth. It would be similar to calling a blind man “a fool” for not being able to see when he has absolutely no control over that ability.

Now, a Calvinist can make the theological argument that “the fool” who says “there is no God” does so because he could not have done otherwise due to an inborn nature sovereignly decreed by God as a result of the Fall. And the Calvinist can attempt to make the case that “the generation of the righteous” who are considered “his people” were made so by some kind of irresistible working of God.

In contrast, a Provisionist (like myself) can argue that these “fools” trade the truth of God in for lies by denying His existence with a libertarianly free choice, and those who become “His” do so by grace through a genuine faith response.  Either way, that is the point of contention — neither side can just assume their position (see question begging fallacy).

It is the Calvinist’s burden to prove that fallen man is born morally incapable of responding in faith to God’s inspired and powerful appeal to be reconciled from that fall. They have to demonstrate how our fallen condition prevents us from responding willingly.

Additionally, Calvinists need to explain why a just God would seal mankind in a fallen/disabled condition from birth and still hold them responsible for their rejection of God’s appeals, even though they have no control over their naturally disabled condition and subsequent “choices” to reject God’s genuine offer of forgiveness.

Also, Calvinists need to explain how their interpretation of Romans 3:11 fits with other teachings of scripture about man’s responsibility to seek God, such as:

“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, 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,” – Acts 17:26-27  

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” -Isaiah 55:6-7

“Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the Lord.” -Zephaniah 2:3

“And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.”  -2 Chronicles 12:14

“Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord.” –Psalms 83:16

“Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” -2 Chronicles 20:3

“For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” –Luke 12:30-31  

“He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” -Romans 2:6-8

“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” –Psalms 9:10

“And those who had set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers.” –2 Chronicles 11:16

Needless to say, the Bible certainly treats fallen men as if they are genuinely responsible (response-able) to His appeals and offers of grace and forgiveness. On what basis do Calvinists rest the presumption that, as a consequence of the sin of another, God has decreed for mankind to be born with “Total Inability” to respond willingly to the gospel?

This is a dogma yet to be found explicitly taught in the Bible.

375 thoughts on “No One Can Do Good?

  1. No sooner did I start the new year’s reading….did I encounter Noah in Genesis 6.

    6: 9 “This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”

    A few verses later the Lord says about Noah….

    “I can see that you alone are righteous.” ((Notice God does not say anything like “I have made you alone righteous.”))

    These verses (and many more about many more people) can mean NOTHING to a Calvinist who must filter all things through his interpretation of Romans 3:11.

    Question to Calvinists:

    What did God mean when He said all these people were righteous?

    1. Indeed, this was the very first, and sadly last, question I brought directly to my new Calvinist pastor. ‘How’, I truly wanted to know, ‘could one reconcile the scriptural narrative of Noah with the Calvinist claim that none are righteous, none can please God, and that God arbitrarily chooses who to save based on nothing other than his own secretive decrees’?

      ‘What’, I innocently asked, ‘does Calvinism do with ‘Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God’, not to mention, ‘Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.’

      I was essentially stiff-armed, and the pastor walked abruptly away in undisguised anger. I was devastated. This was a man that I had begun to trust and love, and I had come to him in an earnest desire for better understanding. I genuinely expected to get a reasonable answer that would put my questions to rest. Yet the lesson I took away, albeit subconsciously, was that asking such difficult questions displeased the pastor. So I learned to keep my mouth, and, to some degree, my mind, shut.

      I encourage others to not make the same mistake. Do not ignore the many, many, continual contradictions, nay outright negations scripture makes to Calvinism. Look at them, ponder them, write them down and add them up. You will quickly discover that Calvinism is a system that is imposed upon the scripture, not found within.

      1. All you have to do is go to Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” So Noah was saved the same way we are saved today: by grace alone through the means of faith alone in the finished work of Christ alone. In Noah’s case, he believed in the promise of God, that he would send a Savior to save his people from God’s wrath. He was credited with Christ’s righteousness through the means of faith. It’s right there in Hebrews 11:7.

    2. Question to Calvinists:

      What did God mean when He said all these people were righteous?

      My Response to FOH:,
      1. God did not meant that Noah was a sinless person, instead God commends Noah for living uprightly in his sight as distinguished from among the rest of his generation during his time on earth.

      2. It is God who enabled Noah to live righteously, not Noah himself. I guess FOH assumes to put the merit to Noah not to God in order to deny the TD of the Calvinists. Noah is also a sinner that needs Christ as his savior.

      No one is sinless except God. It is a false assumption to think and teach righteousness on the “Natural man” or “Fallen man”. Apart from Christ, absolute righteousness (sinless) is impossible to be claimed by any person.

      1. JTL says “It is God who enabled Noah to live righteously, not Noah himself.” Can you support that with a verse that clearly says that God caused Noah to live righteously? I’m not being sarcastic, but I am asking seriously. Because I think they left that verse out of my Bible. (Okay, THAT was sarcastic.)

      2. Kinda makes you wonder why God didn’t just enable the rest of the people to live righteously as well – he could have avoided that nasty flood and the wiping out of who knows how many people. And why all the drama about how wicked everyone was, and how he wished he had never made them? You literally have to ignore everything that scripture actually says to come up with these extra-biblical explanations. Yeah, my Calvie pastor didn’t have a good answer either, which is why he go mad and huffed off, declaring ‘Noah was not righteous’. I’m standing there with my bible open going, ‘Huh?’

      3. jt,

        You had said:
        “No one is sinless except God. It is a false assumption to think and teach righteousness on the “Natural man” or “Fallen man”. Apart from Christ, absolute righteousness (sinless) is impossible to be claimed by any person.”

        My response:
        jt, If you have ever been reading my stuff here on the blog, you should see that what I have been discussing is that the word SIN and RIGHTEOUSNESS are SEPARATE TOPICS, not related…except…to those UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES.

        First of all, let’s admit FINALLY that Christ is GOD, OK.

        Second, let’s ackknowledge Romans 7:7-9, Romans 5:13, Romans 4:15, Romans 4:8, Romans 2:14-16, Romans 3:21, and Acts 17:30, and THEN let me read your NEW REVISED response about MERIT, and RIGHTEOUSNESS.

        Did you know that IGNORANCE is the same as RIGHTEOUSNESS? This is why BABIES are INNOCENT OF ALL CHARGES, IF THERE IS ANY TO BEGIN WITH.

        You had said:
        “2. It is God who enabled Noah to live righteously, ”

        My response:

        THERE IS NO ENABLING GOING ON HERE! Where do you get that idea from?

        You Calvinists are like the TWILIGHT ZONE.

        Ed Chapman

      4. JT wrote: “I guess FOH assumes to put the merit to Noah not to God in order to deny the TD of the Calvinists.”

        Aidan writes:

        Have you not read the verses? It teaches the opposite to TD.

        (Rom 3:11-12)
        “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.”

        Note what it doesn’t say:
        It doesn’t say, “They were born aside,” nor does it say, “They were born unprofitable.”

        Note further:
        If they were ‘born totally depraved,’ then they would have to teach that we are – “born aside” and together “born unprofitable.”

        These verses teach the opposite to the TD of Calvinism.

      5. This is all so silly on the part of Calvinists, and Leighton covers it very well in the video.

        The burden of proof falls on the Calvinists. God says many many time in the word: XYZ was righteous, commended for being righteous, walked in God’s law, walked with God, God-fearing Gentile, etc (on and on).

        JTL and company come along and say… “Nope. The Scripture does not mean what it says cuz we know better!”

        Of course their good deeds do not earn salvation (that is JTL’s straw man every time). But they are still good deeds…not God-hatind deeds.

        The burden of proof falls on you to prove that EVERY one of the people that is called blameless was actually a God-hater! (according to Calvinism) They have to be do-only-evil, “dead” God-haters (according to Calvinism) before they are regenerated. There is NEVER any mention of some presto-regeneration in ANY of these accounts.

        Again…. missing my point JTL.

      6. FOH writes, “The burden of proof falls on the Calvinists. God says many many time in the word: XYZ was righteous, commended for being righteous, walked in God’s law, walked with God, God-fearing Gentile, etc (on and on).
        JTL and company come along and say… “Nope. The Scripture does not mean what it says cuz we know better!””

        No one can be righteous except by the grace of God. As Dr. Flowers states above, “But there have been many throughout the pages of Scripture who have been declared righteous by means of grace through faith.”

      1. Bryan,

        You ask how Noah was righteous in light of Romans 3…

        1.
        Noah didn’t have the law of Moses, JUST LIKE ABRAHAM

        2.
        Noah BELIEVED GOD, JUST LIKE ABRAHAM

        ROMANS 4 EXPLAINS ALL THIS. And…

        Romans 5:13, as well as 4:15, and 8.

        NO OTHER QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED, BECAUSE RIGHTEOUSNESS WITHOUT THE LAW IS WHAT ROMANS 3:21 REVEALS.

        Those under the law, can’t be righteous (SELF RIGHTEOUS), because “FOR ALL HAVE SINNED.

        Deuteronomy 6:25
        And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.

        Well, they didn’t DO ALL THESE COMMANDMENTS, so they failed, as would anyone, except Jesus, hence, for all have sinned.

        The question is not about being sinful, the question is WHEN IS SIN IMPUTED TO A SINNER. In the law, or apart from the law?

        Ed Chapman

    3. I just don’t believe there are two categories…Calvinist and Anti-Calvinist. Isn’t this a false dichotomy and any question with these presuppositions is a loaded question?

      1. Hello Sweet and welcome.

        The two underlying categories actually are Theological Determinism vs Theological IN-determinism.

        See for example the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – on Theological Determinism as ascribed to John Calvin’s theology
        https://www.iep.utm.edu/theo-det/

        A confirmed for example by Calvinist; Dr. James N. Anderson, of the Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte NC
        -quote
        “It should be conceded at the outset, and without embarrassment, that Calvinism is indeed committed to divine determinism”

        See also an article by Dr. William Lane Craig
        Universal Divine Causal Determinism

        https://beyondcalvinism.blogspot.com/2015/08/dr-william-lane-craig-calvinism-and.html

  2. You ask some very good questions, particularly the final one:
    “On what basis do Calvinists rest the presumption that, as a consequence of the sin of another, God has decreed for mankind to be born with “Total Inability” to respond willingly to the gospel?”

    This is, in my opinion, the lynchpin error upon which Calvinism is built. It is not only never stated anywhere in scripture, but is belied by countless examples and narratives. The very purpose of the law, the prophets, warnings, chastisements, exiles, and the incarnation of Jesus is to light the way back to God. To curse all men – in response to another man’s sin – with the inability to know, desire, seek or do good is contrary to all that God desires, commands and intends for his creation.

    The countless warnings, pleadings and teachings of men sent by God suggest the exact opposite. And of course, as the post quotes, God himself declares that he desires that none perish but that all turn from wickedness, receive the abundant pardon of God and the promised everlasting life. God desires, and provides the necessary means, for men to seek and find him. Calvinism simply teaches great error.

    1. So true, TS00. Where, after Adam and Eve’s sin, does the Bible say that God took away man’s free-will as a punishment, cursing him with the inability to make decisions anymore? If Calvinists can find a verse that says “And then after Adam and Eve sinned, God looked at them and said ‘As punishment, I am taking away your ability to make decisions for yourselves'” then I will rethink my anti-Calvinism stance.

      Also, on a different note, I was thinking today about the verse “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” If Calvinism is true and God causes everything that happens for His glory, why do we need to be instructed to do the things that bring God glory?

      If Calvinism is true, much of the Bible is a huge waste of paper, while the rest of it is deception (Calvi-god acts like people can seek him when they can’t, acts like Calvi-Jesus died for all sins when he didn’t, acts like he loves all men when he doesn’t, acts like people can choose between obedience and disobedience when they can’t, etc.)

      1. “Where, after Adam and Eve’s sin, does the Bible say that God took away man’s free-will as a punishment, cursing him with the inability to make decisions anymore?”

        I don’t know what you mean by “decisions”? But if by “decisions” you might mean the freedom to confess “Jesus is Lord” (1 Cor. 12.3) apart from grace, then the answer is no.

        Are you free to will not to sin? Have you now, or ever, had this particular freedom? Or, to make this “decision”?

      2. Hello JAB and Welcome

        You may or may not know that Calvinism is founded on Universal Divine Causal Determinism.
        Freedom is severely altered as a logical consequence – where it follows:
        1) Nothing is UP TO YOU – as everything is already pre-determined at the foundation of the world
        2) The THEOS provides no Alternative Possibilities from what he decrees
        3) The THEOS does not permit the creature to BE/DO otherwise than what is decreed.

        And the slightest movement of every atomic particle and every neurological impulse that will appear in the brain is decreed.

        The only freedom that exists in that system is “compatiblistic” freedom.
        That is – the freedom to BE/DO what you are decreed to BE/DO
        Nothing more – nothing less is permitted or made available.

        Computers and robots have “compatibilistic” freedom.
        Blessings!

      3. brdmod writes, “You may or may not know that Calvinism is founded on Universal Divine Causal Determinism.”

        Calvinism is founded, in part, on the attributes of God that include His infinite understanding, omnipotence and sovereignty that in turn result in God’s perfect knowledge of all future events. In philosophy, this translates to Universal Divine Causal Determinism. In Theology, God is the first cause of all things and people are secondary causes of certain events. In God’s infinite understanding, man acts freely to pursue his desires concurrent with God’s plan.

        Then, “Freedom is severely altered as a logical consequence…”

        This is a philosophical argument. In Theology, man looses his freedom as a consequence of a corrupt nature inherited from Adam and the loss of faith. Consequent to this, people are spiritually dead and lacking any desire for God or concern for God’s holiness.

        Then, “The only freedom that exists in that system is “compatiblistic” freedom. That is – the freedom to BE/DO what you are decreed to BE/DO. Nothing more – nothing less is permitted or made available.”

        While God has necessarily, determined all future events by virtue of His sovereignty, He does so in concert with the free expressions of people who pursue their desires.

      4. br.d
        You may or may not know that Calvinism is founded on Universal Divine Causal Determinism.”

        rhutchin
        Calvinism is founded, in part, on the attributes of God that include His infinite understanding, omnipotence and sovereignty that in turn result in God’s perfect knowledge of all future events.

        br.d
        Sorry – but those attributes are held by NON-deterministic theologies and are therefore not unique to Calvinism
        While Universal Divine Causal Determinism is unique to Calvinism alone

        rhutchin
        In philosophy, this translates to Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

        br.d
        FALSE
        See above

        rhutchin
        In Theology, God is the first cause of all things and people are secondary causes of certain events. In God’s infinite understanding, man acts freely to pursue his desires concurrent with God’s plan.

        br.d
        FALSE
        All systems of Determinism follow a model of CAUSE & EFFECT
        Which is what is being enunciated here – and not to be conflated with NON-deterministic theologies.

        In Theological Determinism freedom is severely altered as a logical consequence – where it follows:

        1) Nothing is UP TO YOU – as everything is already pre-determined at the foundation of the world
        2) The THEOS provides no Alternative Possibilities from what he decrees
        3) The THEOS does not permit the creature to BE/DO otherwise than what is decreed.

        And the slightest movement of every atomic particle and every neurological impulse that will appear in the brain is decreed.

        The only freedom that exists in that system is “compatiblistic” freedom.
        That is – the freedom to BE/DO what you are decreed to BE/DO
        Nothing more – nothing less is permitted or made available.

        Computers and robots have “compatibilistic” freedom.

        rhutchin
        This is a philosophical argument.

        br.d
        And represents the current understanding acknowledged in Christian Philosophy
        See Peter Van Inwagen’s “Consequence Argument” for example

        rhutchin
        In Theology, man looses his freedom as a consequence of a corrupt nature inherited from Adam and the loss of faith.

        br.d
        What is unique to Calvinism however – is (1-3) above.
        – Nothing is UP TO Adam
        – Adam is not provided Alternate Possibilities
        – Adam is not permitted to BE/DO otherwise

        rhutchin
        Consequent to this, people are spiritually dead and lacking any desire for God or concern for God’s holiness.

        br.d
        Non of which is UP TO the creature – (see answer above)

        In Theological Determinism the only freedom that exists in that system is “compatiblistic” freedom.
        That is – the freedom to BE/DO what you are decreed to BE/DO.
        Nothing more – nothing less is permitted or made available.

        rhutchin
        While God has necessarily, determined all future events by virtue of His sovereignty,

        br.d
        All adherents to Theological Determinism are going to argue it is a “necessary” belief system
        But that is a minority view and considered as such within Christian Philosophy

        rhutchin
        He does so in concert with the free expressions of people who pursue their desires.

        br.d
        This is an example of Calvinism’s deceptive *AS-IF*
        *AS-IF* language is designed to present Theological Determinism *AS-IF* IN-determinism.

        Understanding Calvinism is easy
        A Calvinist is a Determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking-points :-]

      5. rh writes:
        “Calvinism is founded, in part, on the attributes of God that include His infinite understanding, omnipotence and sovereignty that in turn result in God’s perfect knowledge of all future events.”

        This is just the epitome of deceptive doublespeak. Calvinism is founded on the belief that God determined WHATSOEVER will come to pass, before any human being ever entered the scene. Let that sink in, any who are truly questioning and seeking understanding.

        You can engage in all the equivocal language in the world, call it freedom, choice or figgy pudding, but if God has irrevocably determined what shall come to pass, no ifs, ands or buts about it, then your ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’ do not mean anything like what the average person means when they use such words. But Calvinists really have no choice but to play this game, else they are left with not only a tyrannical, controlling tyrant, but a cruel, unjust monster as well, who first determines man to sin (by ensuring that the sinner has the ‘desire’ to sin) then punishes him for doing it. Yikes! One can easily see why Calvinists try desperately to avoid such a picture. But it is the picture of God that their theology inescapably paints, however much they seek to deny it.

        Note the feint to ‘infinite understanding’ which other theologians would just call ‘foreknowledge’. Naughty, naughty; Calvinism does not allow for God’s actions to be determined by foreknowledge of anything outside of himself. Thus, the only infinite understanding (foreknowledge) Calvi-god has to work with is the infinite understanding of what he himself has determined to do. Period. It doesn’t matter how he accomplishes is. He can plant ‘desires’ or he can use a bluetooth remote control – it’s all the same. Calvi-god calls ALL the shots, ALL the time, and any Calvinist who tries to get around this is just not facing up to his own music.

        All the deceiver can ever do is twist and manipulate words in hopes of confusing and deceiving. He cannot change reality. He cannot in any way influence truth. All he can do is equivocate, euphemize and pontificate until the listener is befuddled. Which is exactly what Calvinism, beginning with John Calvin, has always done.

        When I think of Calvinists attempts to claim that God loves men I am always reminded of Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady, singing:

        “Words! Words! I’m so sick of words! I get words all day through . . . Make me no undying vow. Show me now! Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme! . . . Don’t talk of fall! Don’t talk at all! Show me! Never do I ever want to hear another word. There isn’t one I haven’t heard . . . Please don’t “expl’ine,” Show me! Show me!”

        All Calvinism can do is multiply words, trying desperately to prove their cruel, monstrous, unjust god actually loves the men he confines to sin, torments their whole life long with evil and suffering then casts into eternal hellfire loves them.

        But I have good news! The real God did not offer up only words, but he did exactly what Eliza longed for – he showed us the depth, the breath, the height and the boundlessness of his love, manifested in his suffering, sacrificial Son, Jesus. The real gospel, uncluttered with destructive man-made doctrines, not only declares, but demonstrates the genuine, universal, unfailing love of God for his creation. It shouts, in ways that words can never express:

        “I love you!”
        “I would give anything to rescue you from the mess you are in.”
        “I want to dwell with you eternally in a peaceful, loving relationship.”

        Don’t be deceived by the words of men – look at the wondrous love shown us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus!

      6. TS00 writes, “This is just the epitome of deceptive doublespeak. Calvinism is founded on the belief that God determined WHATSOEVER will come to pass, before any human being ever entered the scene.”

        Calvinism is founded, in part, on the attributes of God that include His infinite understanding, omnipotence and sovereignty that in turn result in God’s perfect knowledge of all future events. One conclusion from this is that God determines all things. The focus of any theology is God and His attributes. Because God has infinite understanding, is omnipotent and Sovereign, then, necessarily, God determines whatsoever comes to pass. Calvinism did not first decide that God should determine all things and then give Him the attributes that would require this result. Anyone with a hint of knowledge of Calvinism should know this.

        Then, “Note the feint to ‘infinite understanding’ which other theologians would just call ‘foreknowledge’.”

        That was before Open Theism cam along and confused the two choosing to ignore God’s infinite understanding. It is by God’s infinite understanding that underlies God’s counsel and ensure that He can work all things after the counsel of His will. God’s foreknowledge then consists of the knowledge al that which He works.You are correct to say, “Calvinism does not allow for God’s actions to be determined by foreknowledge of anything outside of himself. ” God’s actions are determined by the counsel of His will and thereby become His foreknowledge. You have confused understanding and knowledge making them the same. They are not the same under Calvinism.

        Then, ” He can plant ‘desires’ or he can use a bluetooth remote control – it’s all the same.”

        God planted a corrupt nature, a heart that is deceitful and desperately wicked, and a lack of faith into each person as a consequence of Adam’s son. Only wicked desires emanate from such a person but those desires are shaped within the person by his life experiences, peer pressure, knowledge, etc.

        Then, “All Calvinism can do is multiply words, trying desperately to prove their cruel, monstrous, unjust god actually loves the men he confines to sin, torments their whole life long with evil and suffering then casts into eternal hellfire loves them.”

        This is what the Universalists say whom you claim not to be. If you have God refusing to save even one person whom He could easily save, then you describe your self above.You claim that God loves everyone and then have God letting people die and go to hell when He could have saved them. How are you any different than the Calvinists?

      7. Too bad Calvinists have such a love-hate relationship with Theological Determinism!
        They sure do love it for good events!
        But then out comes a constant stream of DOUBLE-SPEAK attempts at escaping – it for evil events.

        Understanding Calvinism is easy:
        A Calvinist is a Determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking-points.

        DOUBLE-SPEAK as the necessary language of a theology – serves as a RED-FLAG! :-]

      8. rh writes:
        “God planted a corrupt nature, a heart that is deceitful and desperately wicked, and a lack of faith into each person as a consequence of Adam’s son [sic].”

        I rest my case. Compare this statement with the God who left the glories of heaven to be born in a stable, live a humble life, then suffer and die for doing nothing but good, healing the sick, the blind, the lame and spreading hope and peace to the lost and needy.

        Just try and convince me these two pictures equate. This assertion is the exact opposite of all that Jesus manifested. Take a look, Calvinist. Is this one who plants corrupt natures, gives hearts that are deceitful and desperately wicked and withholds faith who you believe God is? If so, I truly, truly pity you, and pray that your eyes be opened to the God who is all love, all goodness, all mercy and desires nothing but to grant forgiveness and life to all men. Trust and see if he is not the rewarder of all who seek him, rather than the destroyer or men.

      9. I agree TS00
        Even the little bit of “author of evil” they allow their language to reveal is rejected by the Biblically ethical Christian.
        And that’s why – most of the time – they strategically use DOUBLE-SPEAK to hide that aspect of the doctrine.

      10. TS00 writes, “Compare this statement with the God who left the glories of heaven to be born in a stable, live a humble life, then suffer and die for doing nothing but good, healing the sick, the blind, the lame and spreading hope and peace to the lost and needy.”

        And what did we do to Him? We crucified Him. Yes, you make your case.

        Then, “Take a look, Calvinist. Is this one who plants corrupt natures, gives hearts that are deceitful and desperately wicked and withholds faith…”

        Does this not explain why Christ was crucified?

        Then, “Trust and see if he is not the rewarder of all who seek him, rather than the destroyer or men.”

        Even you agree that all do not seek Him and that God does destroy those who do not seek Him. John 6 is still correct, “All that God gives to Christ will come to Him.”

        So, what is your case? That God must save if a person is to be saved?

      11. My point is that under Calvinism, Calvi-god must save you from his own monstrous self. He imposes a corrupt ‘sin nature’. He irresistibly inflicts a heart that is helplessly deceived and desperately wicked. He withholds the necessary faith (his condition, his withholding) to be rescued from himself. This is the ugly underbelly of Calvinism’s ‘God-centered’ theology. Yeah, it’s all God, and none of it is good.

        Under the genuine gospel, the true God seeks to save men from deception, slavery to sin and death, wrought by their own free choice, not his divine decree. All sin, suffering and evil derives not by God’s doing, but because of man’s rebellion against God’s good and perfect will. In the former, Calvi-god is the threat. In the latter, God is the Savior.

        Don’t even try to pretend there is no difference between the two scenarios. Were that the case, there would be no such thing as Calvinists vs non-Calvinists, so no one here is fooled by such deceptive word games.

      12. TS00 writes, “Under the genuine gospel, the true God seeks to save men from deception, slavery to sin and death, wrought by their own free choice, not his divine decree.”

        Does that mean that God regenerates everyone and gives everyone faith?

      13. You know full well that most here, including I, believe that God freely grants regeneration to all who believe, that is, put their trust in Him. None are compelled or determined by any means, and none are forbidden by any means to believe or not believe in the promises of God. Truth, as manifested in Jesus, is proclaimed; men must then choose whether to adjust their lives accordingly, or whether they will substitute some more comfortable lie in order to live as they wish. (See Romans 1)

        Why must you play games? Why pretend as if I, and many others, have not stated many, many times what we believe and why? Why pretend as if there have not been endless discussions on omniscience, free will and all of the concepts that separate the Calvinist from the non-Calvinist? By doing so you expose yourself for what you are – a Calvinist troll intent on discrediting what this blog exposes. Your intent is not greater knowledge, or understanding, but piping the Calvinist tune, with all of its discordant notes.

        Contrary to Calvinism, there is no determination by God that a man must sin nor any that a man must not. The commands are made, and men choose to obey them or disobey. This is upheld by all of scripture. Thus, we who are non-Calvinists can rightly assert that God is not the author of evil, but man alone makes the free choice (under the deceptive influences of the evil one) to introduce sin into the creation and into his individual life.

        Unfortunately, Calvinistic influence has infected much of Protestantism with the doctrine of a ‘sin nature’, i.e., Total Depravity, and many have adopted this concept unthinkingly (along with much else that they believe). Few have thought it through as anything other than this is what they have been told scripture asserts. I would posit that today, as more and more are exposed to and come to a greater understanding of the doctrines and errors of Calvinism, more are rejecting the doctrine of Total Depravity along with the rest of the faulty system.

        That is why we are here; to assist those whose hearts urge them that something is not quite right, but do not have the knowledge and experience to parse the intricacies of Calvinism in order to make a better decision as to what they believe scripture teaches. You appear determined to continually cast a wrench in such endeavors, not by making a consistent, logical case, but by playing word games. Most who are around for long come to recognize this.

      14. TS00,

        I agree with you that there is no comparison between the God who purposely implants in men the evil they will do (before time; then again so that Adam will sin; then again “as a result of Adam’s sin”) …and the Christ who walked humbly on the earth and gave Himself self-sacrificially.

        I dont see RH and JTL listening to this kind of comparison (they are entrenched and just looking for a fight).

        I do think that BRD working with Kevin might produce some good discussion, but again….most of the Calvinists that visit either stay for a few posts (then throw up their hands and think we are universalists, or flat out pagans), or they are just angry and looking for a fight.

      15. Good point FOH. All it takes is for one to honestly listen, and then use their God given senses to recognise the truth when they see it. The fact that some suppress it, will bear witness against them in the end.

      16. Yes Aidan….

        But when we appeal to reason and logic ……they scream that we are being humanistic and appealing to philosophy.

        What about to the many Scriptures that say “Come, let us reason together”? And the ones where Paul “reasons with them”? “Convinces them…”

        Not only does that allow and encourage us to use the reasoning powers God gives us…but in many instances it is specifically ABOUT salvation when Paul is “convincing” them.

        As I have stated many times before, the Scripture should never say (if Calvinism is true) that Paul “convinced them” or “reasoned with them” if the whole thing is completely out of man’s hands. That has the Word saying one thing and Reformed Calvinism saying the complete opposite.

      17. Absolutely true FOH. The scriptures are clear; God wants us to choose Him of our own free will by responding to His appeals to come to Him. But He verbally appeals to us, and reasons with us through His word. No coercion, no manipulating, no irresistible force, just love and free will. Isn’t that how we want others to love us, purely on the basis of choice?

        “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
        And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
        Come, buy wine and milk
        Without money and without cost.

        “Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
        And your wages for what does not satisfy?
        Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
        And delight yourself in abundance.

        “Incline your ear and come to Me.
        Listen, that you may live;
        And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
        According to the faithful mercies shown to David.

        Seek the LORD while He may be found;
        Call upon Him while He is near.

        Let the wicked forsake his way
        And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
        And let him return to the LORD,
        And He will have compassion on him,
        And to our God,
        For He will abundantly pardon.

        The choice is ours!

      18. Aidan writes, “God wants us to choose Him of our own free will by responding to His appeals to come to Him. But He verbally appeals to us, and reasons with us through His word. No coercion, no manipulating, no irresistible force, just love and free will….The choice is ours!”

        What if a person makes a bad decision and rejects salvation? Will you permit God to extend mercy to some of them even if it involves His irresistible force if it means that more will be saved?

      19. RH writes:
        “What if a person makes a bad decision and rejects salvation? Will you permit God to extend mercy to some of them..”

        My response:
        God already extended His mercy to them through the gospel and they rejected it. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” No imaginary force involved. No imaginary power except the gospel.

      20. Amen. God has extended mercy. All day long he has extended his arms out to us. What more could he do than what he has done? No, we will not be able to blame our refusal upon his unwillingness. That is the lie of Calvinism.

      21. And even: The heavens declare the glory of God;
        And the firmament shows His handiwork.
        Day unto day utters speech,
        And night unto night reveals knowledge.
        There is no speech nor language
        Where their voice is not heard.
        Their line has gone out through all the earth,
        And their words to the end of the world.

        But more than that:
        The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
        The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
        The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
        The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;

        There’s the undeniable power and force that draws us to seek God.

        Amen.

      22. Aiden writes, “God already extended His mercy to them through the gospel and they rejected it. ”

        So, no mercy from you for the Calvinists. Only smart guys like you get into heaven.

      23. rhutchin
        What if a person makes a bad decision and rejects salvation? Will you permit God to extend mercy to some of them even if it involves His irresistible *FORCE* if it means that more will be saved?

        br.d
        AH YES!
        This is the Force that forces without forcing! :-]

      24. FOH writes, “when we appeal to reason and logic ……they scream that we are being humanistic and appealing to philosophy.”

        Only when your appeal to reason and logic is not taken from the Scriptures. If you use the Scriptures as the foundation for your reason and logic, then no problem, Jesus said, “if you abide in Me, you shall know the truth…” It is that truth that one comes to know from abiding in Christ that provides the truths from which reason and logic should flow.

        Then, “What about to the many Scriptures that say “Come, let us reason together”? And the ones where Paul “reasons with them”? “Convinces them…””

        Nothing wring with them as long as you align them with John 6, Ephesians, 1 Corinthians 1-2, etc. Paul sought to convince or persuade people confident that God would give the increase.

        Then, “As I have stated many times before, the Scripture should never say (if Calvinism is true) that Paul “convinced them” or “reasoned with them” if the whole thing is completely out of man’s hands.”

        Why not?

      25. TS00,
        I always enjoy what you write…but do have to bring Jesus into it!?

        What with all of His “laying down his life” and “preferring others” and “washing people’s feet”…..

        It’s almost like He is trying to show us a humble, gracious, interacting side of God —-that good, solid Reformed theology just will not make room for in their “God always gets what He wants” approach.

      26. TSOO 
        I agree with fromoverhere I enjoy your well articulated insightful posts.. I’m becoming less astonished when rutchin accuses you or any of us of being a universalist as in this statement below;
        This is what the Universalists say whom you claim not to be. If you have God refusing to save even one person whom He could easily save, then you describe your self above.You claim that God loves everyone and then have God letting people die and go to hell when He could have saved them. How are you any different than the Calvinists?
        Hmm odd I’ve never seen anyone on this site say God “refuses” to save anyone, but that each person created in His image has an actual (authentic choice) not a irresistible pretend response (ie forced love) So what He actually allows in His omniscience is a real authentic response to His offer of mercy and grace through His Son…. Hmmm that seems pretty mind blowing how could God do this???? Funny we see that He is that Amazing!!! As mind blowing as is speaking the world into existence & having 2 moons for mars etc.. So odd they can’t see this simple yet profound theme within Scripture and how absolutley the birth, perfect life, death and resurrection of our Savior actually matters to everyone in the world not just to those sprinkled with irresistible grace!!! There would be no wow factor in that for me… Therefore I too want to spread the word this systematic with its contradictions and refusal to see that casual devine determinism is not the only choice in interpreting Scripture and in fact tarnishes the Amazing God we serve.
        Thanks TSOO

      27. Reggie writes, ” accuses you or any of us of being a universalist as in this statement below;”

        I am not accusing TS00, or anyone else, of being an Universalist. I note that they use the same arguments the Universalist and then take a position counter to Universalism that is no different than the Calvinist – that all will not be saved.

        Then, “I’ve never seen anyone on this site say God “refuses” to save anyone,”

        If all are not saved and God has the power and authority to save any and all, then the only reason a person is not saved is because God refuses to save them. This applies even under LFW where a person freely chooses to reject salvation.

        When you say, “So what He actually allows in His omniscience is a real authentic response to His offer of mercy and grace through His Son…. ” you do not negate God’s power or authority to save. God can easily overcome a bad decision regarding salvation, and when God does not do so, we can conclude that He refused to save.

      28. Rutchin “”God can easily overcome a bad decision regarding salvation, and when God does not do so, we can conclude that He refused to save.”””

        Not really because I don’t see irresistible love I see a genuine offer to love Him or reject truth.

        Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Mark 12:30-31)

      29. Rutchin “”God can easily overcome a bad decision regarding salvation, and when God does not do so, we can conclude that He refused to save.”
        Reggie, “Not really because I don’t see irresistible love I see a genuine offer to love Him or reject truth.”

        What does a genuine offer to love Him or reject truth have to do with it?? A bad decision can be negated by God since He has the ability and authority to save all people if He wants to do so – Thus, if a person is not saved for whatever reason on his part, it is God who can still save him and who can refuse to save him. That is true whether a Calvinist or non-Calvinist.

      30. Your question What does a genuine offer to love Him or reject truth have to do with it??

        Because your irresistible ( I ) and your limited (L) and your unconditional (U) & finally your TD dead as a corpse unable to respond so basically non responsible (rather than response able) because in your view God doesn’t allow the majority of humanity a genuine offer if you don’t see that you are simply seeing God in a box, because your system is all you see!

      31. Reggie writes, “in your view God doesn’t allow the majority of humanity a genuine offer if you don’t see that you are simply seeing God in a box, because your system is all you see!”

        What does that have to do with God having the ability and the authority to save a person who rejects a genuine offer under your system? If God can save a person who rejects a genuine offer, then that person is not saved because God refused to save him.

      32. rhutchin
        If God can save a person who rejects a genuine offer, then that person is not saved because God refused to save him.

        br.dhi
        Well – of course Calvin’s god makes a GENUINE OFFER.
        For the vast majority of the human race – his GENUINE OFFER is eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

        And since Calvin’s god allows nothing to be UP TO US – then humans so DESIGNED are not permitted to reject the GENUINE OFFER.

        And all Calvinists totally love that kind of GENUINE OFFER! :-]

      33. Rutchin so many here have been gracious in responding to you and they are far more eloquent with their rebuttals than I could ever be!!! Are you genuinely concerned over our salvation? or are you on some kind of plight to defend calvinists everywhere?

        And you say;
        “What does that have to do with God having the ability and the authority to save a person who rejects a genuine offer under your system? If God can save a person who rejects a genuine offer, then that person is not saved because God refused to save him.”

        In a real relationships I’m not forced to stay or like another person I can simply walk away! In faith I trust the substance of our relationship with the Creator of the universe is similar.
        He allows the choice through His means, but if rejected this genuine choice between two real possibilities to be in a authentic relationship with Him would lead to eternal separation…

        If someone isn’t saved I don’t blame their Maker for not excepting/loving them they actually are responsible not God and not because their nature never allowed them to humbly cry out… We all need a Savior but not all want One. Period.

        And you distance yourself from this genuine choice, because as Br.d put it;

        br.dhi
        Well – of course Calvin’s god makes a GENUINE OFFER.
        For the vast majority of the human race – his GENUINE OFFER is eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

        And since Calvin’s god allows nothing to be UP TO US – then humans so DESIGNED are not permitted to reject the GENUINE OFFER. “”

      34. Reggie writes, “Are you genuinely concerned over our salvation?”

        The presumption is that you are saved.

        Then, “In a real relationships I’m not forced to stay or like another person I can simply walk away! In faith I trust the substance of our relationship with the Creator of the universe is similar.”

        Let’s take it as a given that God offers a genuine offer to all people and some accept the offer. Of those who reject that offer, given that God has the ability to open a person’s heart and convey faith to them so that they are saved, I don’t see the problem in God extending mercy to some who otherwise would spend eternity in hell. Since God did that for me, I obviously have no problem. I don’t see why you have a problem with that. The more God saves the better.

        Then, “And you distance yourself from this genuine choice, because as Br.d put it;”

      35. Rutchin you say;

        “The presumption is that you are saved.”

        Hmm are you questioning my salvation? If so does that mean you think all non calvinist’s salivation should be in question? Let me remind you only God knows a person’s heart and the motives of it… 

        And you say;

         (although a genuine offer, if accepted by some should reasonably be accepted by all).

        Not really…. I would love for Him to force His mercy & grace on all and then force us all to comply, but then that would not give us a genuine choice it would reduce us to puppets. (So really in the end I don’t want that…) So I pray for softened hearts especially in those I love, and I trust as a child of God my witness also matters, because God allows us to be part of His plan. 

        Yes our sin made it impossible for us to come to Him, but God took the first step in coming to us. That’s the gospel message!! Jesus experienced sorrow, temptation, excruciating pain and death for all the world!.. And honestly before I recognized that ultimately I was a sinner I thought I was a good person, and though I knew right from wrong I rationalized my sin.. And He is so Holy what would be a simple sin to us we certainly cannot comprehend its filth to a Holy God, so for Jesus to die for for us anyway and to forgive all sin through one perfect sacrifice… Hmm I can’t come up with a better picture of love than that…

        I do think our hearts matter & here’s a great reading from Henry Morris;

        Thoughts of the heart
        “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” (Genesis 6:5-6)

        These two verses, describing the incurable wickedness of the antediluvian world that finally brought on the global Flood, contain the first two of over a thousand occurrences of the word “heart” in the Bible. Note the contrast: man’s heart was evil; God’s heart was grieved.

        Both the Hebrew and Greek languages treated the heart as the center of a person’s being, the seat of all feelings and thoughts, and we do the same in English. The writers knew that the heart was a physical organ, with its function of circulating the blood as basic to physical life. Leviticus 17:11, among other Scriptures, notes that “the life of the flesh is in the blood,” but only rarely was the word used thus in Scripture. Nearly always the word is used symbolically in reference to the deep essence of a person’s being. It is also used occasionally to refer to the innermost part of physical objects (e.g., “the heart of the earth,” as in Matthew 12:40).

        In this first occurrence, it refers to the “thoughts” of the heart. Somehow, before one thinks with his mind, he thinks with his heart, and these deep, unspoken thoughts will determine the way he reasons with his brain. Jesus confirmed this in Mark 7:21: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts.”

        How important it is, then, to maintain a heart that is pure. In fact, in sharp contrast to the first occurrence of “heart” in the Old Testament referring to man’s evil thoughts, the first occurrence in the New Testament is in the gracious promise of Christ: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). HMM

      36. rhutchin – I removed your misrepresentation of br.d in this post
        You have been warned – you are free to represent yourself – but you are not free to put words in the mouths of others.
        Try to make your points without crossing over into less than honest boundaries.

      37. brdmod writes, ” I removed your misrepresentation of br.d”

        Don’t remember doing that.

      38. Reggie
        Are you genuinely concerned over our salvation?

        rhutchin
        The presumption is that you are saved.

        br.d
        A WONDERFUL example!

        We must remember that according to Calvinism’s interpretation of the wheat and the chaff – only a **FEW** Calvinists within Calvinist churches are actually elect. The vast majority of them are given a FALSE perception of election/salvation.
        They go through their whole lives being deceived by thousands of divinely determined FALSE perceptions.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        “But because a **SMALL** and contemptible number are hidden within a **HUGE** multitude
        and
        -quote
        “a **FEW** grains of wheat are covered by a **PILE* of chaff

        Therefore
        -quote
        “we must leave to God alone the knowledge of his church, whose foundation is his SECRET election”
        (Institutes 4.1.4)

        Thus it LOGICALLY follows – the vast majority of Calvinists are TOTALLY DEPRAVED.
        And THAT is the Calvinist’s gospel

        Who wouldn’t want to run right out and sign up for that! :-]

      39. Br.d
        John Calvin….

        -quote
        “we must leave to God alone the knowledge of his church, whose foundation is his SECRET election”
        (Institutes 4.1.4)

        Wow not only is this crazy (secret election) it’s very arrogant sounds puffed up & that he felt he had some esoteric knowledge that others of his time were unable to ascertain???
        (intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest, or an enlightened inner circle. The writing in this manual is very esoteric; I need a degree in engineering just to understand it! )

        Nope red flag I wouldn’t rush to sign up either.

      40. What is totally funny is that Calvinists exhibit a kind of totem-pole about who they AUTO-MAGICALLY assume as elect.
        1) Them-self
        2) John Calvin
        3) John Piper – MacArthur etc
        4) Their pastor
        5) Other Calvinists
        6) Non-Calvinist Protestants
        7) Non-Calvinist Catholics/Orthodox
        8) Athiests

        And their assurance of salvation runs in that numeric order – getting less and less as one runs down the list.
        So by the time you get to (5) they acknowledge the potential that other Calvinists may not be elect.

        But everyone else below that level is fair game for eternal torment in a lake of fire
        For the Calvinist’s good pleasure – of course :-]

      41. br.d writes, “What is totally funny is that Calvinists exhibit a kind of totem-pole about who they AUTO-MAGICALLY assume as elect.”

        Calvinists assume that anyone who confesses Christ as both savior and Lord is elect. They add that it is God who began a good work in them as a consequence of their election resulting in their later confession.

      42. br.d
        What is totally funny is that Calvinists exhibit a kind of totem-pole about who they AUTO-MAGICALLY assume as elect.

        rhutchin
        Calvinists assume that anyone who confesses Christ as both savior and Lord is elect.

        br.d
        OH I have heard many argue the very opposite! :-]

        rhutchin
        They add that it is God who began a good work in them as a consequence of their election resulting in their later confession.

        br.d
        John Calvin
        -quote
        “a very *LARGE* mixture having nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance”

        Salvation held out to them as “an occasion for severer condemnation”

        “Illumined only for a time to partake of it….then….strikes them with greater blindness”
        (Institutes, 3.24.8.)

        There’s nothing like a Calvinist who is ACTUALLY consistent with Calvin! :-]

      43. rhutchin: “Calvinists assume that anyone who confesses Christ as both savior and Lord is elect.”
        br.d: “OH I have heard many argue the very opposite!”

        I don’t see why. I have not had that experience, Everyone seems to know that the mere confession of Christ does not always mean that a person is saved because of Matthew Then, ”

        Then, ‘There’s nothing like a Calvinist who is ACTUALLY consistent with Calvin! ”

        Calvin is consistent with Philippians1 and incorporates Matthew 7 into his understanding of salvation as you note in the citations offered. If you have an alternative, even, perhaps, better explanation, you may offer it.

      44. Reggie writes, “Wow not only is this crazy (secret election) it’s very arrogant sounds puffed up & that he felt he had some esoteric knowledge that others of his time were unable to ascertain???”

        Certainly God knows His elect as Calvin stated. Even non-Calvinists who say that those who freely choose salvation are God’s elect and all of these are not really saved, but that God still knows His elect.

      45. rhutchin
        God can easily overcome a bad decision regarding salvation, and when God does not do so, we can conclude that He refused to save.

        br.d
        Here is wisdom:
        Calvinism incorporates Gnostic/NeoPlatonist “Good-Evil” Dualism embraced by Augustine

        That is why in Calvinism – many things are both “Good” and “Evil” at the same time.

        In this case “decisions” AUTHORED by Calvin’s god – for creatures to have.
        Such decisions can be both “Good” and “Evil” at the same time.

        And this explains the Calvinist’s unique world of DOUBLE-SPEAK! :-]

      46. rhutchin
        If all are not saved and God has the power and authority to save any and all, then the only reason a person is not saved is because God refuses to save them. This applies even under LFW where a person freely chooses to reject salvation.

        br.d
        Yes – that is the case with Calvinism.
        Because Calvin’s god DESIGNS the vast majority of the human race for eternal torment – for his good pleasure.
        So obviously he does not desire those so DESIGNED to be saved.

        And that is one of the reasons Calvinism is a minority view.

      47. I would seriously not want to be rh, or any Calvinist standing before God, accusing him of refusing to save men. Let’s see, sending them prophets, dwelling with them in the desert, sending his word, and, most importantly, climactically, sending Jesus the living Word with signs and miracles, then the canonized teaching of his apostles. All day long he has stood with his arms out; what more could he have done than what he did?

        Oh, right, irresistible brute force, the method of choice for Calvinists. Do these guys propose to their wives, or just grab ’em by the hair and drag ’em into their caves? I’m thinking no one is going to be accusing God ‘It wasn’t my decision to remain in my sin. It wasn’t my arrogance, pride, stubbornness and refusal to turn from wickedness. The only reason I’m not in Christ is because you refused to save me. ‘ No sirree, I wouldn’t want to be that guy.

      48. I know what you mean.
        Its ironic how double-minded they are.
        Think like a Calvinist – live like a Non-Calvinist
        I’m sure they have struggles when those two worlds start to conflict or interact with one another.

        Imagine what John Piper’s children must think when they here their father communicates to them – they are probably designed for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for god’s good pleasure.

        Oh he doesn’t come out and say it using honest language – but that notion is embedded in their father’s thinking about them – never the less.

        But notice Piper doesn’t say that about himself! :-]
        Obviously because everyone in his congregation would apply it to themselves as well
        And Piper’s ministry would go the way of the dinosaur.

      49. Agreed I wouldn’t either!! and I’m sure glad I didn’t understand exactly what my sister said right after coming to Christ when she came to visit. She mentioned or her husband did, that one day I’d have to pick one of two positions meaning calvinism or arminianism… Hmm didn’t like it then, but once I realized what the tulip systematic believed I knew that’s not anything I was reading…

      50. False dichotomy. Indeed, many have rejected institutionalized Christianity altogether, but that does not mean that they have rejected God.

      51. Did you know that although the 1st century church met together on the first day of the week to break bread, it was non-Institutional in its function and make up? Perhaps you were thinking of something else? I just thought it might be worth mentioning.

  3. This is so important, because on one hand calvinists want to distance themselves from works based religion to the extent of thinking, that trusting God’s appeals to be reconciled are unattainable apart from MORE…. hmm isn’t that adding something to Jesus??? I’m pretty sure that’s not a good idea if our calvinist friends truly think this through the logical conclusion is this below;
    “placing one’s trust in the righteousness of Christ is not earning one’s own righteousness. Those who trust in Christ are graciously imputed with His righteousness, they are not earning their own.” Yes yes yes & Amen!
    I also agree with Leighton & TSOO about the question below it just isn’t proven in the Bible and if so why keep reading and studying & like Heather reiterates much of Scripture would not be relevant… I won’t believe that lie He gets glory by His self sacrificial love for all not by forcing His love on a select few.

    “On what basis do Calvinists rest the presumption that, as a consequence of the sin of another, God has decreed for mankind to be born with “Total Inability” to respond willingly to the gospel?”

  4. Dr. Flowers writes, “Calvinists seem to think that because mankind is unable to attain righteousness by means of the law that they must equally be unable to obtain righteousness by means of grace through faith in Christ. ”

    Given his Calvinist background, I am surprised that Dr. Flowers got this wrong. He should know that, “Calvinists seem to think that…,mankind must equally be unable to obtain righteousness EXCEPT by means of grace through faith in Christ.” Obviously, both Calvinists and non-Calvinists agree that anyone can obtain righteousness by means of grace through faith in Christ – grace and faith being essential to righteousness. Absent grace and faith no one is able to obtain righteousness by themselves by any means.

    1. Rhutchin: “Obviously, both Calvinists and non-Calvinists agree that anyone can obtain righteousness by means of grace through faith in Christ…”

      I know how this goes with Calvinists:

      Calvinist: Anyone can obtain grace.

      Me: Really!?! Anyone!?! Even the reprobate?

      Calvinist: Well, yes, of course. IF they want it.

      Me: But can the reprobate want grace?

      Calvinist: Of course not! Only the elect WILL and CAN want grace because Calvi-god equips ONLY THEM with the “saved/repentant nature,” which is the only nature that comes with the ability to obtain his grace. The non-elect CAN NEVER and WILL NEVER want grace because Calvi-god gave them the “sinner nature” that can ONLY ALWAYS want to sin and reject him. But if they COULD want grace (which they can’t because they are not one of the elect) then they would get grace. So, see … anyone can obtain grace … if they want it.

  5. Pastor Flowers writes, “Proof that mankind is morally incapable of earning their own righteousness by doing good works is not proof that mankind is morally incapable of believing and trusting in the righteousness of another.”

    Dr. Flowers confuses the issue here even though he seems to understand the point. He should have written, “Proof that mankind is morally incapable of earning their own righteousness by doing good works without grace and faith is consistent with mankind being morally incapable of believing and trusting in the righteousness of another without grace and faith.”

    Dr. Flowers acknowledges this when he says on Romans 3, “But in verse 21 he shifts to reveal a righteousness that can be obtained by means of grace through faith in Christ.”

    Everyone – Cals and non-Cals – agrees that righteousness that only be obtained by means of grace through faith in Christ.

    1. rhutchin,

      I do not buy into your explanation. There is TWO DIFFERENT means to RIGHTEOUSNESS. Actually 3.

      BY DEFAULT, the IGNORANT are righteous. Babies are righteous, NO MATTER WHAT SIN THEY MAY HABVE COMMITTED. But I don’t see where babies commit any sin at all, regardless of “the wicked are estranged from the womb” stuff you might provide.

      They do NOT POSESS faith, because they are IGNORANT of anything good or evil. It is ONLY BY THE MEANS OF THE INTRODUCTION to the law of Moses that they are NOT righteous anymore.

      However, righteousness CAN BE EARNED, (WAGE) IF…

      1. Thru OBEDIENCE, which is the same as saying WORKS, or WAGE, or EARNING, OR MERIT, or whatever words that Calvinists use… OF THE LAW OF MOSES.

      But, nobody has been successful at the except for Jesus, therefore PROVING that it is impossible to EARN SALVATION BY WORKS.

      And since that is so…

      2. YOUR OWN FAITH (not an imputed one) is what gets you grace. Grace is the gift, NOT FAITH.

      SIDE NOTE:

      I’m not sure where the word “GOOD” came into play with the word WORKS, because WORKS, and Good Works are TWO DIFFERENT TOPICS, not having anything to do with WORKS (THE LAW OF MOSES) at all.

      Good works is something like HELPING AN OLD WOMAN ACROSS THE STREET, where as WORKS is “THOU SHALT NOT STEAL”.

      So, I have no idea why GOOD is included in the post.

      Ed Chapman

    2. Rhutchin: “Everyone – Cals and non-Cals – agrees that righteousness that only be obtained by means of grace through faith in Christ.”

      But that’s not the issue. That’s a side-point which, I suspect, is meant to trap people. I think Calvinists are great at getting people to agree with one truth as a way of reeling them in to their paradigm of falsehoods. A little bait-and-switch, subtle sleight of hand. I believe that any common ground that Calvinists seek with non-Calvinists is just to suck people deeper into Calvinism. In my opinion, with Calvinism, common ground is quicksand!

      The real issue is whether we all have the ability to receive God’s grace, if it’s really available to everyone. (And I don’t mean in the fake Calvinist way, where Calvi-god pretends to offer it to everyone when he’s actually created most people to be totally unable to accept it.) Calvinists believe that God’s grace is only for the elect (even if they deceptively say it’s “available” to all people), that the non-elect never have a chance to obtain God’s grace because they were predestined to be unbelievers.

      It doesn’t really matter if righteousness can be obtained through grace if most people were created by Calvi-god to never, ever be able to want/obtain that grace. At least, it wouldn’t matter to the non-elect, which would be most people. So your celebration over this “common ground” is hollow.

      1. All of this word salad can be avoided by pointing to the ‘L’ of TULIP. If the atonement was limited to the chosen few, then there is no ‘grace’ for the reprobate to desire. It is pure strawman nonsense to talk about if or can they ‘desire’ grace. If God predestined who would be saved, and the atonement was made for them alone, there is no grace for the so-called reprobates (unchosen) to desire or not desire. So, no, they cannot have grace if they desire it. That is just an outright lie. This is the ugly little truth Calvinists prefer to not confess, and this is why they distract and confuse with their longwinded nonsensical answers.

        THERE IS NO GRACE FOR THE REPROBATE. PERIOD. So much for being condemned for ‘refusing’ to come to God for grace. I honestly don’t understand why anyone is even still granting Calvinism as even possibly biblical. All the endless talk about what the ‘reprobate’ could have if only their wanter wasn’t broke is nonsense. There is nothing there for the ‘unchosen’ even if they could somehow manage to Gerry-rig their broken nature and be able to seek and desire God. He has nothing for them to ‘come’ to, which also makes nonsense of ‘All day long I have held out my hands . . .’ Held them out for what? If Calvinism is true, there is NO SALVATION for the reprobate, even if they wanted it.

    3. “Everyone – Cals and non-Cals – agrees that righteousness that only be obtained by means of grace through faith in Christ.“ As Heather has pointed out, this language is meant as a trap. As a typical Calvinist, you stated it un-biblically and then tried to get someone to agree with the object of eventually trying to lead them down the dead end Calvinist road.
      I actually do not agree with your statement as it is stated, partly because it is stated un-biblically, and partly because I know all the things you left out. Scripture does not say we are justified (declared righteous) by means of grace through faith in Christ. I also know that you are assuming that your statement must include, even though you don’t state it, the un-biblical concept of irresistible grace, regeneration before faith, then faith only third in line as a gift that only the predetermine few receive by regeneration.

      Scripture however, says we are justified by means of faith, and it is by faith that we have obtained our introduction into His grace.

      “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” Romans‬ ‭5:1-2‬ ‭NASB‬‬

      Therefore, I doubt very much that we will agree as I would only agree if it was stated in a biblically correct manner, “righteousness can only be attained by means of faith in Christ, through which dispenses upon us His indescribable grace which He promised to all who would believe in Him.”

      1. andyb2015
        As Heather has pointed out, this language is meant as a trap.

        br.d
        Excellent!
        When in dialog with Calvinism – one must be keenly on the lookout for statements having some kind of SEMANTIC trick.
        From a perspective of Christian ethics – this aspect of Calvinist language is SADLY true.

        To understand what is meant by SEMANTIC trick see this post:

        https://soteriology101.com/2019/04/15/rebuttal-of-john-pipers-articlea-beginners-guide-to-free-will%ef%bb%bf/#comment-35955

  6. TS00
    TS00
    All of this word salad can be avoided by pointing to the ‘L’ of TULIP. If the atonement was limited to the chosen few, then there is no ‘grace’ for the reprobate to desire.

    THERE IS NO GRACE FOR THE REPROBATE. PERIOD.

    So much for being condemned for ‘refusing’ to come to God for grace. I honestly don’t understand why anyone is even still granting Calvinism as even possibly biblical.

    br.d
    YES!!
    Calvinists tend to be experts at the game of SEMANTIC tricks – working to make things *APPEAR* to be what they are not.

    Take their use of the term “Gift” for example:
    They want to say that “election” is a “Gift”
    While hiding the fact that “reprobation” in their system is by DESIGN – and therefore is also a “Gift”.

    Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – DESIGNS the vast majority of his creatures specifically for eternal torment in a lake of fire.
    That is what he DESIGNED them for – thus that the “Gift” he has for them.

    1. All of this word salad can be avoided by pointing to the ‘L’ of TULIP. If the atonement was limited to the chosen few, then there is no ‘grace’ for the reprobate to desire.

      My Response : The reprobate desires for it but the problem is that it was not legitimately intended for them, so … still they are not saved even if they will assume it for themselves, then Christ says to them: “… I don’t know you, depart from Me…”

      1. The god of TULIP is Calvin! Take away the ‘T’ – the whole flower withers and dies.

      2. JTL: “The reprobate desires for it but the problem is that it was not legitimately intended for them …”

        Oh, so now Calvi-god makes them desire something that he’s predetermined to never give to them!?! He’s even worse than I thought!

        (And I’d love for you to find me the verse that clearly says this stuff! Not a mish-mash of verses taken out of context.)

      3. Heather,
        It is good to have you around.

        JTL is not a real Calvinist. He does not really understand it. He says things like…

        “The reprobate desires for it but the problem is that it was not legitimately intended for them…”

        This is categorically FALSE within Calvinism. He has just rebutted his favorite TD himself.

        They cannot “desire” anything….according to Calvinism they are dead and only/always hate God.

        He is inconsistent but we should show him the grace to retract that phrase…since is it so non-Calvinistic.

        Calvinism proclaims all un-regenerated men as God-haters (all the time) …. “desiring God’s salvation” (like he said) would be impossible (for Calvinism).

      4. I agree with your apprisal of jtl. He is like so many Calvinusts I know, who recite the script, but frequently contradict it without understanding. I pray for him, as I believe he is genuinely deceived and not just playing games. It is those who see the contradictions, but labour to deny and hide them that I have little time for.

        Sadly, and I think it was Heather who described this, those so seduced often embrace the whole system without understanding it, and years down the road discover some of the heinous assertions they have unknowingly embraced. By then, they have too much invested to back out easily. These are the ones I pray for and hope to somehow reach.

      5. FOH writes, “[Reprobates] cannot “desire” anything….according to Calvinism they are dead and only/always hate God.
        He is inconsistent but we should show him the grace to retract that phrase…since is it so non-Calvinistic.”

        Reprobates are spiritually dead. They do not desire anything righteous or godly. They do desire their sin and love to do it. It is entirely Calvinistic for the reprobate to desire sin and evil.

        JTE wrote, “If the atonement was limited to the chosen few, then there is no ‘grace’ for the reprobate to desire.” Obviously, the reprobate have no desire for grace even if it were available to them – the preaching of the gospel is foolishness to them. Nothing wrong with JTE’s statement.

      6. did you just miss that RH or are you being purposely deceitful?

        JTL quoted someone with the quote you attributed to him!!! (he just did not use quotation marks. But it is just above by TS00 the day before).

        Then JTL says this…. (using “my response”)

        My Response : The reprobate desires for it but the problem is that it was not legitimately intended for them, so … still they are not saved even if they will assume it for themselves, then Christ says to them: “… I don’t know you, depart from Me…”

        So…. RH…. you should be telling JTL not to say such stuff…

        But you must have just mis-read this, so we will give you some slack.

      7. FOH wrote, “JTL quoted someone with the quote you attributed to him!!! (he just did not use quotation marks. But it is just above by TS00 the day before). ”

        OOOps! Guess I agree with TS00’s point (recognizing that TS00 does not hold to this).

      8. Correct. jtl’s statement was:
        “My Response : The reprobate desires for it but the problem is that it was not legitimately intended for them, so … still they are not saved even if they will assume it for themselves, then Christ says to them: “… I don’t know you, depart from Me…””

        There is absolutely no way a Calvinist can assert that the reprobate desires salvation. Out goes Total Depravity. Out goes dead, dead, dead as a doornail sinners. Out goes people only being denied salvation because they don’t ‘desire’ it. Out goes inability to believe, because you cannot want something you don’t believe in.

        All Calvninsts should be jumping up and down, denying the absurdity of jtl’s statement.

      9. TS00
        All Calvninsts should be jumping up and down, denying the absurdity of jtl’s statement.

        br.d
        Well – I’m surprised that both you and FOH wouldn’t know that Calvinists have a “Gentleman’s Agreement” when it comes to online forums.

        They don’t want to acknowledge when their statements contradict each another.

        That’s why JT can assert the total opposite of rhutchin – and then when rhutchin tries to spin the whole thing to hid the contradiction – JT remains mute – allowing rhutchin to speak on his behalf.

        That always reminds me of the two characters in the C.S. Lewis’ screwtape letters :-]

      10. TS00 writes, “There is absolutely no way a Calvinist can assert that the reprobate desires salvation.”

        No one, not even the reprobate desires eternal torment. Even the reprobate can desire to escape hell, and thereby, desire salvation, but the preaching of the gospel is still foolishness to them. They seek salvation on their own terms. Thus, we have people claiming to do works consistent with salvation but Jesus says to them, “I never knew you.” James speaks of those who claim salvation but have no works consistent with salvation. Salvation is not a hard concept for people to understand, but the idea that Jesus is the only way to salvation is rejected. That is why people can base their salvation on works as in Matthew 7, or on church attendance, baptism, being a “good” person, etc.

        The reprobate can desire salvation and have no desire for Christ and “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.”

      11. rhutchin
        The reprobate can desire salvation

        br.d
        This provides another example of how the doctrine of Total Depravity is an ACCORDION doctrine.
        Calvinists shrink it and expand its meaning for their own convenience.

      12. Looks like another 2-tier word for Calvinists, just like their handy dandy two wills of God, Two types of ‘desire’ so they can claim that the reprobate both desire – in one way – salvation – and not desire – in another way – salvation. See, it’s so easy to be always right as long as you can redefine your words on a dime, without explaining which meaning you are using. One aligns with scripture, the other aligns with Calvinism. But they never mention the 2-tier to the uninitiated – just keep using the words as if they mean the same things as everyone else.

      13. TS00
        Looks like another 2-tier word for Calvinists

        br.d
        Absolutely true TS00!
        Calvinist language is saturated with equivocations.

      14. rhutchin
        Reprobates are spiritually dead. They do not desire anything righteous or godly. They do desire their sin and love to do it. It is entirely Calvinistic for the reprobate to desire sin and evil.

        br.d
        Well – that’s the EFFECT
        But in Calvinism – the CAUSE – is that reprobates are what they are by DIVINE DESIGN.

        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) absolutely nothing is UP TO the creature
        Because *ALL* things are determined *FOR* the creature – at the foundation of the world.
        Including the state of nature which exists at any time – (e.g. the nature of the creature)

        Now that brings us to those Calvinists who are deceived into believing they are elect by Calvin’s god.
        As John Calvin says
        -quote
        He holds salvation out to them as a savor of greater condemnation….for a time …..and will then strike them with greater blindness.

        So the MANY within the Calvinists fold are REPROBATE (i.e. chaff) – because they are non-elect.

      15. My previous statement i.e: “The reprobate desires for it but the problem is that it was not legitimately intended for them, so … still they are not saved even if they will assume it for themselves, then Christ says to them: “… I don’t know you, depart from Me…”

        I based it from Matt. 7:21-23 without providing you the reference. Then…. so many of our opponents here reacted with several issues, e.g. accusing me of not a real Calvinist. Isn’t its true that these people in Matt. 7:21-23 desired/assume it for themselves, yet Christ denied them?

      16. Hey jt,

        Your Matthew 7 reference about, “I never knew you”…rhutchin and I went ’round and ’round with this about a month ago.

        When you read chapter 7 as a CONVERSATION, rather than isolating a few verses, you will see WHO those people were that Jesus was saying, “I never knew you”…

        The conclusion is…

        They were people PROCLAIMING to be Christians, BUT, their behavior was NOT that of a Christian, and they were NOT producing fruit, as is what is REQUIRED as a Christian, so all of the Propheysing, Casting out demons, etc., didn’t do them ANY GOOD regarding ENTERING into heaven.

        When the apostles saw people who were casting out demons who were NOT OF THEM, Jesus said, FORBID THEM NOT, for those who do, can’t speak bad about Jesus.

        To summarize, if you are going to proclaim that you are a Christian, you had BETTER BE producing FRUIT. Otherwise, Jesus will…well, what did he do to the ACTUAL FIG TREE that was not producing any fruit…He CURSED THE TREE.

        And THAT is the reason that Jesus said, “I never knew you”.

        It has nothing to do with the CALVIN SPIN that you guys do about REPROBATES. It’s about people proclaiming to be Christians, not producing fruit.

        FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD (JAMES 2:26). IF you are not producing fruit, your faith is MEANINGLESS, DEAD.

        James 2:18-20
        18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

        19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

        20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

        Ed Chapman

      17. chapmaned24 writes, “And THAT is the reason that Jesus said, “I never knew you”. It has nothing to do with the CALVIN SPIN that you guys do about REPROBATES. It’s about people proclaiming to be Christians, not producing fruit.”

        “…people proclaiming to be Christians…” who are not saved would be counted among the reprobate.

      18. You are right… That’s the definition. However, Calvinists have a different take on the origin of being a reprobate, therefore, I reject the Calvinist explanation of those people being the Calvinist version of reprobate, in that God caused them to be such in the first place.

        Ed Chapman

      19. chapmaned24 writes, “However, Calvinists have a different take on the origin of being a reprobate, …”

        Under Calvinism, reprobation has its origin in the sin of Adam.

      20. rhutchin
        Under Calvinism, reprobation has its origin in the sin of Adam.

        br.d
        FALSE
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the state of nature (e.g. the nature of the creature) has its origin in the immutable decree.
        NOTHING comes to pass without being SPECIFICALLY AUTHORED/CAUSED by the immutable decree

        That’s why its called “Universal Divine Causal Determinism”

      21. br.d writes, “In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the state of nature (e.g. the nature of the creature) has its origin in the immutable decree.”

        Within that decree was Adam’s disobedience that came about, not by coercion by God, but as an independent self-determined action by Adam. Adam’s decision was possible because he was made in the image of God and reflected the many factors influencing his decision in the garden. God knew all that would happen based on his infinite understanding but neither His understanding nor His knowledge nor the decree account for Adam’s decision.

      22. br.d
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the state of nature (e.g. the nature of the creature) has its origin in the immutable decree.”

        rhutchin
        Within that decree was Adam’s disobedience that came about, not by coercion by God, but as an independent self-determined action by Adam.

        br.d
        FALSE
        Calvin’s god determines *ALL* there is to be determined *FOR* the creature
        Leaving NOTHING left over for the creature to determine.

        You’re still following Calvin’s instructions:
        Going about *AS-IF* nothing (in this case Adam’s disobedience) is determined in any part.

        Understanding Calvinism is easy:
        A Calvinist is a determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking-points :-]

      23. br.d
        John Calvin
        -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 Predestination pg 176)

      24. br.d quotes Calvin, “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 Predestination pg 176)”

        God is the final arbiter of all that happens and works all things according to the counsel of His will”

      25. rhutchin
        God is the final arbiter of all that happens and works all things according to the counsel of His will”

        br.d
        More deceptive language
        Calvin’s god is the *ONLY* arbiter of all that happens. :-]

        Understanding the Calvinist is easy:
        The Calvinist is a determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking-points.

      26. br.d writes, “More deceptive language Calvin’s god is the *ONLY* arbiter of all that happens.”

        OK. God is the final and only arbiter of all that happen – God is the only sovereign, This stated in Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” You seem to have trouble with this, but you aren’t able to argue an alternative position. So, thanks for clarifying the truth.

        Then, “The Calvinist is a determinist…”

        The Calvinist is a Theological Determinist and involves God in that which is determined. Thus we have Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” Then, in Lamentations, “Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, When the Lord has not commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That woe and well-being proceed?”

      27. rhutchin
        OK. God is the final and only arbiter of all that happen

        br.d
        No one here is fooled by language tricks.
        Everyone here knows the reason for the term “final” is used to obfuscate the fact that Calvin’s god is the ONLY arbiter.

        rhutchin
        – God is the only sovereign, This stated in Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” You seem to have trouble with this,

        br.d
        I find the reverse attribution humorous! :-]
        A RATIONAL person can accept the LOGICAL consequences of Theological Determinism.
        Accepting those consequences is your struggle – not mine

        rhutchin
        but you aren’t able to argue an alternative position. So, thanks for clarifying the truth.

        br.d
        Thank you for the thanks – that was kind of you.
        And I do know what your position is on acknowledging alternative positions.

        rhutchin
        The Calvinist is a Theological Determinist and involves God in that which is determined. Thus we have Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” Then, in Lamentations, “Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, When the Lord has not commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That woe and well-being proceed?”

        br.d
        UNIVERSAL: All things without exception – leaving nothing left over
        DIVINE: A reference to a THEOS
        CAUSAL: A reference to cause and effect – with the emphasis on “Cause”
        DETERMINISM: A reference to the thesis of determinism.

        Its the radical nature of the belief system
        Coupled with the Calvinists emotional need for normalcy and a sense of embracing Biblical ethics
        This struggle is what results in the Calvinist’s DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS

        Ravi Zacharias says it best:
        -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.

      28. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god determines *ALL* there is to be determined *FOR* the creature Leaving NOTHING left over for the creature to determine.”

        God determined that Adam would eat the fruit and Adam determined that he would eat the fruit.. That God determined the final result did not force Adam to eat the fruit.

      29. br.d
        Calvin’s god determines *ALL* there is to be determined *FOR* the creature Leaving NOTHING left over for the creature to determine.”

        rhutchin
        God determined that Adam would eat the fruit

        br.d
        Calvin’s god determines every neurological impulse that will appear in the creatures brain!

        rhutchin
        and Adam determined that he would eat the fruit..

        br.d
        Calvin’s god determines *ALL* things *FOR* the creature.
        Nothing more – nothing less is permitted.

        rhutchin
        That God determined the final result did not force Adam to eat the fruit.

        br.d
        Not only the final result – but as John Calvin says – “every part” is determined *FOR* the creature

        No force is necessary – since Calvin’s god determines what the creature will be/do
        And does not permit otherwise.

      30. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god determines *ALL* things *FOR* the creature. Nothing more – nothing less is permitted.”

        God created Adam in His image. That gave Adam the ability to make decisions consistent with his desires and do so without being coerced by God to decide one way of the other. God’s knowledge of Adam’s decisions before he makes them does not change this.

      31. br.d
        Calvin’s god determines *ALL* things *FOR* the creature. Nothing more – nothing less is permitted.

        rhutchin
        God created Adam in His image. That gave Adam the ability to make decisions consistent with his desires

        br.d
        rhutchin – the funny thing is – to think anyone can’t see through that deceptive language?

        Everyone here already knows Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – determines *ALL* things *FOR* the creature
        Every specific desire that will come to pass is specifically decreed.

        rhutchin
        and do so without being coerced by God to decide one way of the other.

        br.d
        Force is not necessary – as Calvin’s god determines *FOR* the creature – and does not permit otherwise.

        rhutchin
        God’s knowledge of Adam’s decisions before he makes them does not change this.

        br.d
        More deceptive language
        Calvin’s god knows Adam’s decisions because he CAUSES Adam’s decisions.

        That is why Calvinism is classified as: Universal divine **CAUSAL** determinism.

      32. br.d writes, “Force is not necessary – as Calvin’s god determines *FOR* the creature – and does not permit otherwise.”

        Of course, force is not necessary. God let Adam make his own decisions. Of course, God knew what Adam would choose before Adam even made the decision – yet, God did not have to force Adam but only let Adam do that which he desired.

      33. Of course. Because implanting desires within a human being so that they can have no other is not at all like brainwashing and mind-controlling a helpless victim. The whole point of Manchurian Candidate type mind control (research for which our government has been proven to fund) is to make it appear as if the patsy did the dirty deed all of his own free will – when in reality, evil men had planted the irresistible ‘command’ within the mind-controlled victim, which he mindlessly obeys. No ‘force’ necessary. Just wicked irresistible tyranny.

      34. br.d
        Force is not necessary – as Calvin’s god determines *FOR* the creature – and does not permit otherwise.

        rhutchin
        Of course, force is not necessary. God let Adam make his own decisions.

        br.d
        FALSE
        Calvins god – at the foundation of the world – makes *ALL* decisions *FOR* the creature
        There is no such thing as “mere” permission in Calvnism.

        rhutchin
        Of course, God knew what Adam would choose before Adam even made the decision

        br.d
        DUH!
        If Calvins god doesn’t know what he AUTHORES/CAUSES – then he doesn’t have much for brains!

        Poor thing – your still following Calvin’s instructions
        Going about your office *AS-IF* nothing (in this case Adam’s choice) was determined in every part.

        And you say Calvinists don’t follow those instructions!
        What a hoot! :-]

      35. rhutchin: “Of course, force is not necessary. God let Adam make his own decisions.”
        br.d: “FALSE Calvins god – at the foundation of the world – makes *ALL* decisions *FOR* the creature There is no such thing as “mere” permission in Calvnism.”

        Some of the decisions God makes for a person are the person’s decisions. The Jews and Romans wanted to crucify Jesus; that was their decision. It was also God’s decision.

        Then, rhutchin: “Of course, God knew what Adam would choose before Adam even made the decision”
        br.d: “DUH! If Calvins god doesn’t know what he AUTHORES/CAUSES – then he doesn’t have much for brains! ”

        In creating the universe, God authored all that was to come about. God authored/caused all future events by creating the universe. Within that future history, God knew what Adam would choose before Adam even made the decision. This is obvious since God understood what He was doing when He created Adam, made Adam in His image, and gave Adam independence and self-determination.

      36. rhutchin
        Of course, force is not necessary. God let Adam make his own decisions.”

        br.d
        FALSE
        Calvins god – at the foundation of the world – makes *ALL* decisions *FOR* the creature
        There is no such thing as “mere” permission in Calvinism.”

        rhutchin
        Some of the decisions God makes for a person are the person’s decisions.

        br.d
        FALSE
        Just another attempt to back-pedal (i.e. deny) the UNIVERSAL nature of Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

        rhutchin
        The Jews and Romans wanted to crucify Jesus; that was their decision. It was also God’s decision.

        br.d
        No one is fooled by that deceptive language.
        No Decree of [X] = no [X]
        Where [X] = a creaturely decision
        And everything else that comes to pass

        rhutchin
        God knew what Adam would choose before Adam even made the decision”

        br.d
        DUH!
        If Calvin’s god doesn’t know what he AUTHORS/CAUSES – then he doesn’t have much for brains! ”

        rhutchin
        In creating the universe, God authored all that was to come about.

        br.d
        BING!

        rhutchin
        God authored/caused all future events by creating the universe.

        br.d
        FALSE
        Calvin’s god does not creature the universe and then “merely” permit anything to come to pass.
        “Mere” permission does not exist in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism)

        rhutchin
        Within that future history, God knew what Adam would choose before Adam even made the decision.

        br.d
        Not without Calvin’s god determining Adam’s decision *FOR* Adam.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        Men can deliberately do nothing unless he *INSPIRE* it. (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God pg 171–172)

        Men may not even agitate anything in their deliberations but what He *INSPIRES*.
        (A Defense of the secret providence of god – pg 190)

        Paul Helm’s
        -quote
        Not only is every atom and molecule, every thought and desire, kept in being by God, but EVERY TWIST AND TURN of each
        of these is under the DIRECT CONTROL of god (The Providence of God pg 22)

        rhutchin
        This is obvious since God understood what He was doing when He created Adam, made Adam in His image, and gave Adam independence and self-determination.

        br.d
        More deceptive language

        We’re all familiar with those SEMANTIC TRICKS

        What you call “self-determination” is nothing more than Calvin’s god determining *FOR* the creature – what the creature’s “self” will determine.

        Calvinism’s 1001 attempts to SMUGGLE “mere” permission back into his system – in camouflaged form. :-]

      37. rh writes:
        “Under Calvinism, reprobation has its origin in the sin of Adam.”

        That is so blatantly false. Under Calvinism, God determined who would be reprobated long before Adam ever existed. What is rh up to these days with his obvious misstatements? Just looking for drama? Honestly, if you put all of his statements together, it would be such a contradictory mish-mash you wouldn’t know what he believes. Maybe that is the goal.

      38. TS00 writes, “Under Calvinism, God determined who would be reprobated long before Adam ever existed.”

        God brought this about through the creation of Adam and the events in the garden. Calvinists believe that God is omniscient (by virtue of His infinite understanding) and He knew all that would happen in history before He created the world. By creating the world, God initiated all of history and history now plays out exactly as God knew it would.

        Your complaint against Calvinism is that you do not believe God knows the future perfectly Why not just say so and argue your belief.

      39. rhutchin
        Calvinists believe that God is omniscient (by virtue of His infinite understanding) and He KNEW WHAT WOULD HAPPEN in history before He created the world. By creating the world, God INITIATED all of history and history now PLAYS OUT exactly as God KNEW it would.

        br.d
        By now everyone here recognizes the deceptive language here.

        No decree of [X] = no [X]
        Where [X] = Adam’s disobedience
        Where [X] = David sleeping with Bathsheba
        Where [X] = Cain killing Able
        Where [X] = Josephs brothers selling him into slavery

        Trying make Calvin’s god APPEAR like he doesn’t CAUSE events – but “merely” KNOWS about events and “merely” PERMITS them.

      40. br.d writes, “Trying make Calvin’s god APPEAR like he doesn’t CAUSE events – but “merely” KNOWS about events and “merely” PERMITS them.”

        God causes/decrees events even without direct action by Him or coercion. Thus, God decreed the crucifixion of Jesus through the Jews and Romans. God decreed the death of Stephen by the hand of the Jews. Also the examples you cited.

        What is deceptive here? Seems straightforward to me. God knows that which He decrees. That which He decrees is after the counsel of His will.

      41. br.d
        rhutchin – always trying make Calvin’s god APPEAR like he doesn’t CAUSE events – but “merely” KNOWS about events and “merely” PERMITS them.”

        rhutchin
        God causes/decrees events even without direct action by Him or coercion.

        br.d
        FALSE
        A decree is an action.

        And no one is fooled by the “no force” argument.

        Calvin’s god doesn’t have to force a blind woman over a cliff in order to kill her.
        All he has to do is:
        – Determine she fall off the cliff to her death
        – Not permit her to do otherwise
        – Not make any other alternative available to her

        rhutchin
        What is deceptive here? Seems straightforward to me. God knows that which He decrees. That which He decrees is after the counsel of His will.

        br.d
        One would not expect a person to acknowledge deceptive language that person is reliant on.
        But pretty much everyone here is savvy enough to see through it.

      42. br.d writes, “FALSE A decree is an action.”

        A decree is a decision. A decree can include the means whereby the decree is to be carried out, and those means can involve direct or indirect action by God as the example with the Assyrians in Isaiah 10 or in the crucifixion of Christ.

      43. br.d
        FALSE A decree is an action.

        rhutchin
        A decree is a decision.

        br.d
        DUH!
        Its called the “act” of decree – or the “act” of decision – therefore its an action

        And as you say – -quote “god ENFORCES his decree”
        And everyone knows “ENFORCEMENT” is also an action.

        rhutchin
        A decree can include the means whereby the decree is to be carried out, and those means can involve direct or indirect action by God as the example with the Assyrians in Isaiah 10 or in the crucifixion of Christ.

        br.d
        The LOGIC is simple:
        No divine act of Decree = no Decree
        No Decree = No creaturely action

        And
        – Calvin’s god does NOT PERMIT the creature to DO OTHERWISE from his decree.
        – Calvin’s god does NO MAKE AVAILABLE to the creature anything outside of his decree

      44. Actually, my complaint is your inconsistency, and contradictions to the very clear teachings you claim to uphold.

      45. from my perspective – rh’s strategy is to try to make Calvinism APPEAR as UN-Calvinistic as possible :-]

      46. That is the strategy of most Calvinists, because when exposed in its full light it is always rejected.

      47. Absolutely!
        And that’s why Calvinists evade telling the WHOLE truth.
        Their smart enough to know Calvinism will go the way of the dinosaur if they do

      48. rhutchin
        “…people proclaiming to be Christians…” who are not saved would be counted among the reprobate.

        br.d
        That is to say: Calvinists proclaiming to be “elect” – who are not saved are in fact reprobate = TOTALLY DEPRAVED

      49. Jtleosala
        My previous statement that the reprobate desires for it but the problem is that it was not legitimately intended for them,…..

        I based it from Matt. 7:21-23 without providing you the reference. Then…. so many of our opponents here reacted with several issues, e.g. accusing me of not a real Calvinist. Isn’t its true that these people in Matt. 7:21-23 desired/assume it for themselves, yet Christ denied them?

        br.d
        JT – What you are arguing for here contradicts Calvinism’s doctrine of Total Depravity as generally stated. You obviously have your own “custom” version of Calvinism on this matter. Which means – your interpretation of Matt. 7:21-23 deviates from the standard Calvinist reading.

      50. JTL,
        Step back for a minute and look at what is happening. Listen to the discussion.

        Calvinists say that all men are God-haters until God regenerates them (and then they will, without fail, irresistibly “choose” Christ).

        Non-Calvinists say that not all men are God-haters and some in fact do some very good things (please: do NOT say I am saying they merit salvation—- we cannot keep dealing with that straw man).

        When we say to you “the burden of proof” is on Calvinists (you) to show that all men are God haters…. you tell us that some actually desire God/ salvation/ the Lord but He denies them.

        What you say is true….. many are saying “Lord didn’t we do this…or that”…. but the point is— they are obviously NOT God-haters who only do evil all the time (Calvinist position).

      51. Jt wrote:
        “I based it from Matt. 7:21-23 without providing you the reference. Then…. so many of our opponents here reacted with several issues, e.g. accusing me of not a real Calvinist. Isn’t its true that these people in Matt. 7:21-23 desired/assume it for themselves, yet Christ denied them?”

        Aidan:
        Absolutely true! But not for the reasons you gave! In fact this passage refutes the premise of total depravity, total inability, and the rest of it. Remember that in the Sermon on the Mt. Jesus was teaching His disciples as well as the people, many of whom called Him ‘Lord, Lord,’ (Luke 6:46). He is warning them here that it was not enough to simply call Him ‘Lord, Lord,’ but that they needed do what He said. There would be many who would spend their lives calling Him Lord, and doing what would look like great works in His name – but alas, they were the wrong kind of works (v.22-23). They should have DONE the will of the Father, He says (v.20)!

        What was the application of (Mt. 7:21-23) to the people, His listener’s? Jesus makes that application in verses 24-27:

        “THEREFORE, everyone who hears these words of Mine and does them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” – “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” (Mt. 7:24,26)

        What was His message? If you come to Me and hear My words – DO what I say!

        “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and does them, I will show you whom he is like:(Luke 6:46-47)

        Yes, you are right, they desired it for themselves. But Jesus puts the responsibility right back on their shoulders; – If you desire it, then DO what He says!!

      52. JTL,
        I thought of an example.  I hope it helps.

        One day, you tell (command) your son to do some chores around your yard and house (and you will pay him a certain sum). 

        Later you come home and he has not done them. But you see him and he is covered with mud and blood.  You tell him that he did not obey you and do the chores.  He says that there was a huge accident near your house and he has been helping injured people for hours and was not able to get to the chores.

        You could say he was disobedient in that he did not do what you asked.

        You can tell him that you will not pay him for the chores.

        You would NOT call him a father-hater because he did not do them.  You would not call him doing-evil-all-the-time.  

        His actions were not what you wanted and did not “merit” the money but they certainly were not father-hating, evil-doing.  

        Now…. are there “sons” out there that go to a disco and get drunk instead of doing the chores the father asked?  Yes!  

        But certainly there are the others too.

        Calvinism declares that all people (ALL!) are father-hating, only-evil-doing, dead people.  

        Christ even says the opposite in the very passage (Matt 7) that you quote. Some were casting out demons in His name.  Surely that is not God-hating, evil-all-the-time behavior.

        Lydia is called a “worshiper of God” long before Paul preaches the Gospel to her.

        Cornelius is called a God-fearing Gentile long before Peter comes around with the Gospel.

        We cannot accept TD depravity (dead in sin, yes) in light of all of the hundreds of Scriptures that teach the contrary. 

      53. Jtleosala
        The reprobate desires for it

        br.d
        Not really!
        Calvin’s god is the one who determines what each person desires.
        The reprobate are DESIGNED to *NOT* desire salvation.
        The creature is NOT PERMITTED to be/do otherwise than the immutable decree – at pain of falsifying the immutable decree

        Jtleosala
        but the problem is that it was not legitimately intended for them,

        br.d
        BING!
        Thus what we have in Calvinism – the gift of salvation is -quote “not legitimately intended for them”.

        Now lets watch rhutchin try to spin this so that it comes out as both YEA and NAY at the same time. :-]

        Jtleosala
        so … still they are not saved EVEN IF THEY WILL ASSUME it for themselves, then Christ says to them: “… I don’t know you, depart from Me…”

        br.d
        John Calvin
        -quote
        “He holds it [salvation] out as a savor of death, and as the occasion for severer condemnation…..FOR A TIME to PARTAKE OF IT”
        “He then strikes them with even greater blindness” (Institutes vol 2)

        So we see Calvin’s god DECEIVES Calvinists with a false perception of salvation – as JT says “They assume it for themselves”.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        “We must leave to god alone the knowledge of his church, whose foundation is his *SECRET* election.

        “A FEW grains of wheat are covered by a PILE of chaff….a SMALL and contemptible number are hidden in a HUGE multitude”
        (Institutes 4.1.4)

      54. br.d writes, ‘Calvin’s god is the one who determines what each person desires.”

        Including the mechanism by which each person develops his desires. A person’s desires are the product of a self-determining process (image of God stuff) whereby a person’s accrued knowledge, understanding, experiences, friends, etc, all interact to shape a person’s desires. To the extent that God involves Himself in that process – ” The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” – God is active in determining the desires of a person. Otherwise God is not an active influence on a person’s desires as James describes – “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.” Here, temptation draws out new desires in a person that arise out of his existing desires.

      55. br.d
        ‘Calvin’s god is the one who determines what each person desires.
        Nothing more and nothing less is permitted

        rhutchin
        Including the mechanism by which each person develops his desires

        br.d
        No decree = no desire :-]

        rhutchin
        A person’s desires are the product of a self-determining process…

        br.d
        This fails simple math.
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism)

        Take the sum of things determined
        Subtract *ALL* (the number which Calvin’s god determines)
        How many things are there left over for the creature to determine?
        Answer: ZERO

        Calvinist do love their DOUBLE-SPEAK :-]

      56. Excellent assessment, TS00: “Looks like another 2-tier word for Calvinists, just like their handy dandy two wills of God, Two types of ‘desire’ so they can claim that the reprobate both desire – in one way – salvation – and not desire – in another way – salvation. See, it’s so easy to be always right as long as you can redefine your words on a dime, without explaining which meaning you are using. One aligns with scripture, the other aligns with Calvinism. But they never mention the 2-tier to the uninitiated – just keep using the words as if they mean the same things as everyone else.”

        This is how Calvinism has snuck into so many churches unnoticed and unopposed.

      57. TS00 says: “Honestly, if you put all of his [rhutchin’s] statements together, it would be such a contradictory mish-mash you wouldn’t know what he believes. Maybe that is the goal.”

        Yep. We’ve been here before with Rhutchin on other posts when he’s talked about Adam freely choosing and God not having to force Adam to desire to sin. A quote of his from another post: “Yet, in all that, God does not coerce, compel, or force, either Adam or Eve to eat the fruit. They are able to act in line with their desires – desires unique to each one and not coerced, compelled, or forced on them by God.”

        Here is my reply to rhutchin from that post, which fits nicely with what he’s saying here:
        Hmm … he says that God “does not coerce, compel, or force” Adam and Eve to sin? But that they are simply acting out their own desires, which are “not coerced, compelled, or forced on them by God” in any way?

        So … here he says that sinful desires are not put on people by God in any way, but let’s see what comments he’s made on other posts (emphasis is mine):

        “God CONTROLS ALL THINGS because He is sovereign over His creation. God ORIGINIATES ALL THINGS because He created in Genesis 1, God specified and enforced the penalty of Adam’s sin, and God then CAUSES each person born to Adam TO HAVE A CORRUPTED HEART and to lack faith … NOTHING originates outside of God and NOTHING is outside of God’s control.”

        “That which originates people’s thoughts, desires, actions is the sin nature combined with a lack of faith. That condition WAS DETERMINED BY GOD and enforced when He creates each person.”

        “And God DETERMINES all outside AND INSIDE factors by creating the system in the first place.”

        “God MADE PEOPLE IMPERFECT, and people’s imperfection produces false perceptions.”

        “God … enforces the decree that all people are born with a sin nature and without faith.”

        “God predetermined you to choose that which you desired to choose.”

        “Had God not decreed it, Satan could not have entered the garden, Eve could not have been tempted to eat the fruit and would not have offered the fruit to Adam, and Adam would not have eaten the fruit. IT ALL BEGINS WITH GOD’S DECREE.”

        “God CANNOT BE PASSIVE IN ANYTHING simply because He is God. There is no difference between actively ordaining and actively permitting.”

        “It is God who creates man with a sin nature that desires nothing of God’s plan.”

        Let’s hear that again: “It is God who creates man with a sin nature that desires nothing of God’s plan.”

        Let’s hear that again: “It is God who creates man with a sin nature that desires nothing of God’s plan.”

        “The corrupted nature of man dictates neurological impulses and guarantees the certainty of those impulses that God decreed. People’s desires come from their sin nature and their lack of faith.” [My note: It comes from the “sin nature” which, according to Calvinism, was predetermined by Calvi-god!]

        “More simply, God gives people a sin nature and withholds faith from them.”

        My reply: Oh, I get it now! Calvi-god doesn’t really give people their “sinful desires.” He just gives them the “sin nature” that is full of ONLY SINFUL DESIRES, that leads to them ONLY being able to “choose” sin, and that can NEVER lead to them choosing to do right unless Calvi-god causes it to happen.

        Yep, this is TOTALLY DIFFERENT than Calvi-god “coercing, compelling, or forcing” people to sin! I can see now how Calvi-god doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with people choosing to sin!

        Calvi-god doesn’t “compel” them to sin; he just gives them the “sin nature” that can only always want to sin.

        I get it now! Totally gets Calvi-god off the hook for sin, doesn’t it!?!

        ————- end of reply ———–
        So in Calvinism … “Calvi-god is responsible, but he’s not responsible. Man is responsible, but he’s not responsible. Calvi-god has preplanned and tightly controls EVERYTHING, even sin and unbelief, but he’s not responsible for sin or unbelief. Man is responsible for his decisions, but Calvi-god decreed first what would happen. Man desires what he wants to desire and acts in accordance with those desires and so he can be held accountable for what he does, but Calvi-god first forced him to desire what he does. Calvi-god “understands” what man will “freely choose,” but Calvi-god preplanned what man would choose. Calvi-god decrees things, but then decrees that man rebels against those decrees. Calvi-god decrees things, but then intervenes to do the opposite of what he decrees. The reprobate could desire God/salvation if he wanted to, but he can never and will never want to do good or to be saved because Calvi-god gave him the sinner-nature that can only desire to sin and rebel. But because the reprobate “desired” to sin, the fault lies with him. Because he could have chosen otherwise if he wanted to … but wait … he could never want to or choose to do good because his Calvi-god-given nature wouldn’t let him. But IF he could …”

        Like someone else pointed out, it’s like trying to wrestle a greased pig.

        As I said, in Calvinism, the reprobate have a “desire” to sin because Calvi-god gave them the nature that comes ONLY with the desire to sin. But if Calvinists can pin the responsibility for sin on men by saying “but they desired it” [even though they could ONLY sin because of their Calvi-god-given sinful natures which wouldn’t let them choose otherwise] then they can make it sound like man is really responsible for their sins, instead of God.

        Like how a person who is given a love-potion “desires” to love someone, as Leighton used as an example before. Can it really be said that the person “freely desired” to love someone if they were given a love-potion that inevitably caused them to love someone and they couldn’t choose otherwise? Just because they now “desired” to love someone, is that really love? Are they really responsible for loving that person? Is it really their own choice, when no other options are available to them?

        And a question regarding Rhutchin’s statement: “God created Adam in His image. That gave Adam the ability to make decisions consistent with his desires …”

        So if being created in the image of God means only making decisions consistent with your desires, then that means that God can only make decisions consistent with His desires. How then can Calvi-god “desire that all men be saved” but then specifically create most men for hell? That’s doing the opposite of what he desires.

        Therefore, if Calvi-god’s image is really one of “doing the opposite of what he desires,” does that mean that since Adam sinned, his desire must have been to do the opposite of sinning, to be righteous and obedient? Which means that sinners really do desire to do good. And can we then excuse any wrong we do by saying “Well, I desired to do right, but I am doing the opposite of what I desire because I was made in the image of Calvi-god who does the opposite of what he desires. I’m just reflecting the image of my god.”

        And Adam apparently was created with the desire to sin and rebel. Does this also reflect Calvi-god’s image? (Just playing devil’s advocate here.)

        I think Calvinism relies partly on its wordy, illogical, inconsistent, merry-go-round nonsense to trap people, to make them so dizzy that they simply shut up and fall in line. Debating a Calvinist is like following the white rabbit down the rabbit hole, where you just keep falling and falling, where everything is nonsense and backwards, and where nothing is what it seems. Oh, and while falling down the rabbit hole, you’re wrestling that greased pig. Don’t forget about the greased pig.

        Sorry for such a long comment. I couldn’t help it.

      58. Great post Heather!

        rhutchin
        God … enforces the decree.

        br.d
        Pretty hard to ENFORCE something without any FORCE involved!

        I call it:
        A force that forces without forcing!

        And that’s why we understand Calvinism as a world of DOUBLE-SPEAK! :-]

      59. We can probably find hundreds of conflicting positions/statements within Calvinism.

        (Below) The first being what Calvinism says, and the second being what Calvinists say and live….

        T from before time….. “Y’all are still responsible for your actions. You have a choice!”

        U…. but God does not show favoritism. “God loves everyone!” (((in a certain way)))

        L… Christ died for all of you (written on a site or blog or spoken to a huge audience) (((even though His death is limited))) My personal favorite: “We tell them Christ died for them cuz we dont know who the elect are.”

        I ….. God does not force or coerce anyone

        P….. Direct quote from Calvinist site “Gospel Coalition” on Calvinist poster-boy Josh Harris recently leaving the faith: “Many have already commented on Harris’s seeming apostasy (for our part, we are still praying that this is a wandering from the path rather than a final abandonment).” Oh well…. I guess they feel that a believer can “finally abandon” after all.

        Anyway….. say one thing and live another is standard practice.

        I prefer to just listen to the Bible and accept what it says even if it does not fit with what I once thought “it must say”.

      60. Heather,
        That certainly qualifies in the “hall of fame” for RH mish-mash finding!

        The bottom line for most Calvinists is that they want to honor God…make Him big…make Him over-all (which becomes all-controlling). The problem for ex-Calvinists like me is that they (me, at the time) make Him into something that He never even says about Himself.

        So a vague, poetic phrase like “know the end from the beginning” is used to confirm their conception of God “He controls/ decrees everything that happens.” Like so many modern reformed guys say “He controls everything, or He controls nothing.” Nah….they just made that up.

        The second reason they act the way they do is that they are scared that believing anything else will put them in a dangerous place (or on a slippery slope). “Before you know it, I will be at a seeker-friendly church….or I will be a name-and-claim it advocate….Can’t have that!!”

        So IMO the intentions are God-honoring and “firm-faith-preserving”… but my biggest contention is that they make God into a Holocaust-decreeing monster in the process.

      61. FOH writes, “my biggest contention is that they make God into a Holocaust-decreeing monster in the process.”

        So, do you think the Holocaust caught God by surprise?

      62. Heather and Reggie,

        You see this is why I wrote that about ignoring RH. It’s such a silly, childish ploy.

        for them….either God decreed/ loved/ willed/ desired/ ordained/ planned the Holocaust…. or “it caught Him by surprise.”

        That is the black-n-white world they live in. ((there are many options in between!))

        It’s either their idea/ thing…or some silly idea that no one wants.

        That is how many get into Calvinism. Like I wrote earlier today…. they are told this kind of silly logic and then they go to Calvinism as a bulwark against some thing that they do not want (word-faith movement, universalism, God caught by surprise, etc).

        But …nah…. too silly of a response to respond to.

        And notice also that most of his posts are one-liner, shots-across-the-bow (taking no time and no reflection on his part, but maybe costing us a lot of time in response).

      63. FOH writes, “That is the black-n-white world they live in. ((there are many options in between!))”

        Yet, you don’t let us know some of the other options.

      64. FOH I do agree for whatever reason it doesn’t appear he has any reflection or true thought on where this ends even your Hebrews 11:6 of course makes sense against calvinism… Also he does seem to distance himself from what this system actually believes. But then also defends it🤔 yet I do think if I were just starting to read this it would sound legitimate in some ways to me. Just like a pastor who doesn’t come right out and say “I’m not sure which one of you has a yellow strip” But here’s the gospel (me adding to their thoughts here)… & I believe/think it saves those who believe. What….. Oh and btw that really only happens if you’ve been irresistibly drawn. Now go in peace & have a nice day!!! and love God and others!!!
        Here is question I’ve pondered… Whose love are they abiding in? a 5 point Tulip system or Jesus’?
        I also agree with all of this you said below and just because He is infinite/immeasurable He didn’t puppeteer the holocaust ugg I dislike even writing that….
        “So a vague, poetic phrase like “know the end from the beginning” is used to confirm their conception of God “He controls/ decrees everything that happens.” Like so many modern reformed guys say “He controls everything, or He controls nothing.” Nah….they just made that up.
        The second reason they act the way they do is that they are scared that believing anything else will put them in a dangerous place (or on a slippery slope). “Before you know it, I will be at a seeker-friendly church….or I will be a name-and-claim it advocate….Can’t have that!!”

        So IMO the intentions are God-honoring and “firm-faith-preserving”… but my biggest contention is that they make God into a Holocaust-decreeing monster in the process.”

      65. rhutchin
        So, do you think the Holocaust caught God by surprise?

        br.d
        Well – if we’re talking about Calvin’s god – then it couldn’t have come to pass without him AUTHORING/CAUSING it.

        And if after doing that – if it catches him by surprise – he doesn’t have much for brains :-]

      66. Don’t apologize for your long comment. You were just doing what, if done consistently, will lead anyone away from Calvinism. It’s called ‘connecting the dots’.

        Calvies complain that we non-Calvies suggest that they don’t think for themselves, but simply go with whatever they are told. This is exactly what you here demonstrate. It is the same process that led me out of the wilderness, as well as FOH and many others.

        When you take the one-off catchphrases and well-rehearsed prooftexting and try to line them all up, you discover they make no sense! What was said ‘here’ utterly contradicts what was said ‘there’. Yesterday’s ‘decree’ is today’s ‘desire’. Today’s ‘omniscience’ is tomorrow’s ‘infinite understanding’. But if you actually take the time, as you did here, and I did repeatedly in my journals, to try and line up all of the truth claims, you find it cannot be done.

        I liken it to the puzzles I used to do in the Sunday newspaper as a child. There were different ones, but my favorite type was when you were provided with a long list of ‘facts’ and from it you had to derive who did what when. If you simply read the individual truth statements, they will not tell you what you need to know. It really is just a matter of organizing and comparing all of the details. You had to construct a graph (or at least I did) and put in the multiple pieces of information in order to begin, one at a time, ruling out who could not have been in the necessary place at the right time to do what was done. Never once did I find a puzzle in which, after charting it all out, the truth statements did not lead to the desired answer.

        This is what must be done with Calvinism. If you simply take all of their truth claims as they stand, they really don’t tell you what you need to know. They are designed that way on purpose. It is only when you take each statement and graph it out and overlay it with all of the other truth statements that you are able to eliminate, one at a time, the validity of any of the truth statements! They all prove to be in contradiction. The puzzle will never work!

        None of my 7 siblings liked that type of puzzle. It took a lot of time and patience to chart everything out. But I found a great deal of satisfaction in taking all of the seemingly unrelated or contradictory statements and making them all make sense and provide the necessary clues to resolve the puzzle’s problem.

        This is the same way, Heather, that you and I tackle Calvinism’s truth claims. We take them at their word. We examine one against another. And when we find contradiction after contradiction, not only with one another but with scripture, we go ‘Hey, wait a minute, somebody messed up. This will never work!’

        I posit that this is exactly what most people do with the puzzle called Calvinism. It is just too complicated and time consuming to wrestle with all of the data. Many begin the process, but when contradictions quickly arise, they assume that they are just too ignorant to understand it. Most just give up and trust in Calvin, Spurgeon, Piper or whomever their preferred ‘trusted authority’ is. They believe the claims that, in the end, all of the seeming contradictions actually lead to a reasonable belief system. But they don’t put in the actual work to see if such is true.

        I am no more clever than the next guy; just more OCD anal in having to have everything make sense before I can let it go. Once I began to acknowledge and look into the contradictions of Calvinism, there was no going back.

      67. FOH says: “The problem for ex-Calvinists like me is that they (me, at the time) make Him into something that He never even says about Himself.”

        BINGO!!! The core of what’s wrong with Calvinism!

      68. TS00 says: “I posit that this is exactly what most people do with the puzzle called Calvinism. It is just too complicated and time consuming to wrestle with all of the data. Many begin the process, but when contradictions quickly arise, they assume that they are just too ignorant to understand it. Most just give up and trust in Calvin, Spurgeon, Piper or whomever their preferred ‘trusted authority’ is. They believe the claims that, in the end, all of the seeming contradictions actually lead to a reasonable belief system. But they don’t put in the actual work to see if such is true.
        I am no more clever than the next guy; just more OCD anal in having to have everything make sense before I can let it go. Once I began to acknowledge and look into the contradictions of Calvinism, there was no going back.”

        Exactly! So true! I think Calvinism sneaks in so easily because it’s too exhausting/complicated for most people to want to put the time into figuring out exactly what’s being said, what the Bible says, how they contradict each other, etc. And I will admit that it IS a long process, to sort out their gibberish, their deception, their “double meanings,” to figure out what the Bible really says by cross-referencing verses and going to the concordance, etc.

        And I don’t think most people want to get into it. They want to simply trust the powerful, persuasive, charismatic Calvinist preacher. And if something does strike them as odd, they simply decide that they themselves must not be smart enough to understand it all, that they are misunderstanding the Calvinist preacher who must surely know what he’s talking about. After all, he knows SO MANY verses and can read Greek! So he must be right! Right!?!

        But I am like you. I have always had a inquisitive brain that had to get to the bottom of things, to know what I believe and why (not just about theology, but about health choices, school choices, cleaning products, food choices, every decision, etc.) I never just “go with what others are saying” or “trust what others tell me.” I always had to find solid answers before I put my faith in something, which always led to me doing hours and hours of research before making significant decisions, determined to have a solid basis for my decisions.

        Like you said, once you begin looking into Calvinism, there’s no going back. Once I started to see how the pastor was manipulating people and how different his gospel was from the Bible (and how significant those differences are!), I couldn’t just accept what I was being told (like a good, little follower) or ignore the red flags. I had to know for myself if what he was saying was true or false, and why and how. And once I jumped into that rabbit hole, there’s no going back, and I am continually amazed at how deep and backwards it is! And now I can’t be quiet about it. Not when so much is at stake!

        (Sadly, though, most people at our former church seem more than happy to just trust what the Calvinist pastor is telling them to believe. And as more of us non-Calvinists leave, they will only get more and more entrenched in Calvinism, with no one left to warn them.)

        Anyone remember this song: Secret Ambition by Michael W. Smith. I watched it this morning, and was thinking about how the “old men” who are “threatened by the voice of a paragon” and who are “leading their lambs far away” reminds me of Calvinist theologians/preachers. They are threatened by the voice of God saying “I love ALL MEN. Jesus died for ALL MEN. And salvation is available for ALL MEN.” They are threatened by the idea that the door of salvation is open to ANYONE and EVERYONE. Instead, they huddle in their little “elect” groups, jealously guarding their spiritually-elite, pre-chosen, “Jesus only loves ME and only died for ME” status, as they lead their trusting lambs farther and farther away from Truth, salvation, and Jesus. It’s sad.

        I will NEVER limit Jesus’s sacrifice and God’s love to just a few lucky people! What an assault on the Gospel and on God’s character!

        Secret Ambition link: https://www.bing.com/search?q=secret+ambition+michael+w+smith&form=EDNTHB&mkt=en-us&httpsmsn=1&msnews=1&plvar=0&refig=067ccacb2f664cc4daa022634b7beb73&PC=HCTS&sp=2&qs=AS&pq=secret+ambition&sk=PRES1AS1&sc=8-15&cvid=067ccacb2f664cc4daa022634b7beb73&cc=US&setlang=en-US

      69. Heather writes, “So true! I think Calvinism sneaks in so easily because it’s too exhausting/complicated for most people to want to put the time into figuring out exactly what’s being said,…’

        Calvinism is simple to understand. It says that God is omniscient and knows the future perfectly. Because of His omniscience, God knows when He creates the world he names of the elect and non-elect and that nothing will change. If God had wanted a different future, He could, and would, have decreed a different outcome. People easily understand this.

        I suspect that you understand this also. Maybe you can explain the gibberish, deception, and “double meanings” in this. How is Calvinist doctrine different than what the Scriptures tell us.

      70. rhutcnin
        Calvinism is simple to understand…..

        br.d
        And that’s why in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism):
        – Absolutely nothing is UP TO the creature
        – No alternative possibility from what is predestined exists
        – The creature is not permitted to BE/DO otherwise than what is predestined

        But the Calvinist goes about his office *AS-IF* none of that is true

        Its called DOUBLE-THINK :-]

      71. Yep, he prays for Josh Harris, or anyone, as if his election or non-election was not settled in eternity past and absolutely nothing can have any influence on his predetermined actions and destiny. Out of one side of his mouth he declares: “God knows when He creates the world he names of the elect and non-elect and that nothing will change.”

        Then, out of the other side he says, “Yes, because they believe that God has the final say in all things. James said, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” So, ample reason to appeal to God concerning Harris.”

        Just how and for what does one appeal to Calvi-god? You certainly cannot ask him to change his mind. Or change what Joshua Harris might or might not say or do. Or, frankly, anything else. All has been irrevocably determined, and ‘nothing will change’. So yeah, the only reasonable Calvinist prayer I can come up with is, ‘Yeah, here I am to pray, since you commanded me to do so. But, since you have already determined all things, I cannot for the life of me think of how or what I should pray, so I’m punting to the Holy Spirit to pray for me . . . again. Wake me up when he’s done.’

      72. TS00
        I wonder if a Calvinist ever stops to think that the thoughts appearing in his brain have their origin in divine immutable decrees?

      73. TS00 writes, “Yep, he prays for Josh Harris, or anyone, as if his election or non-election was not settled in eternity past…”

        The Calvinist knows that God has decreed all things and did so in eternity past. However, the Calvinist knows thta God has ordained prayer as the means to appropriate things long settled. When James tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him,” we know with absolute certainty that asking God for wisdom results in God giving wisdom. This because God has already decided the issue.

        Then, “Just how and for what does one appeal to Calvi-god? You certainly cannot ask him to change his mind.”

        The purpose of prayer is not to change God’s mind but to appropriate that which God has said He will do in respond to prayer. So important is prayer that we are told, “the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

      74. rhutchin
        God has ordained prayer as the means to appropriate things long settled.

        br.d
        Another great example of Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking
        In this case *AS-IF* Calvin’s god leaves anything UP TO the creature (e.g. to appropriate) :-]

        In Calvinism
        1) Believe all things about yourself are predetermined in every part before you were born
        2) Go about your office *AS-IF* (1) is false

        Its called Calvinism’s DOUBLE-THINK belief system :-]

      75. br.d writes, “In Calvinism
        1) Believe all things about yourself are predetermined in every part before you were born
        2) Go about your office *AS-IF* (1) is false”

        It should be, “2) Go about your office *AS-IF* (1) is true”

      76. br.d writes, “In Calvinism
        1) Believe all things about yourself are predetermined in every part before you were born
        2) Go about your office *AS-IF* (1) is false”

        rhutchin
        It should be, “2) Go about your office *AS-IF* (1) is true”

        br.d
        Well a few Calvinists -( e.g. the “HYPER” ones) do – because they don’t readily accept the DOUBLE-THINK
        But the majority of Calvinist (as we see here with Calvinists posts at SOT101) do accept the DOUBLE-THINK

        For example – going about *AS-IF* “mere” permission exists is true – when the doctrine (John Calvin confirms) rules out “mere” permission.

        And it makes perfect sense to observe Calvinists going about *AS-IF* they don’t follow John Calvin’s *AS-IF* instructions.
        DOUBLE-THINK is what one expects with a system of DOUBLE-THINK :-]

      77. Rhutchin says: “Calvinism is simple to understand. It says that God is omniscient and knows the future perfectly. Because of His omniscience, God knows when He creates the world he names of the elect and non-elect and that nothing will change. If God had wanted a different future, He could, and would, have decreed a different outcome.”

        Heather: You’re hiding the biggest part, the part that changes everything – that Calvinists believe that Calvi-god preplanned exactly how everything would go. Calvi-god doesn’t just “know that future”; he planned it out down to the minutest detail, even our sins and unbelief. (“Omniscience” in Calvinism doesn’t just mean “knows everything.” It means “pre-decides everything, and then causing it to happen that way.” Big difference!)

        Calvi-god doesn’t just “know the names” of who will believe and who won’t. He decides who will believe and who won’t. All of this makes him responsible for our sins and for those who don’t believe in him. The unbelievers never had a chance to believe in him because they were predestined to be unbelievers. Calvi-god caused them to be unbelievers. He didn’t even let Jesus’s sacrifice pay for their sins. That’s how “damned” they are, from the very beginning.

        This foundational Calvinist belief changes the meaning of your quote above. And … thank you … because it demonstrates the “gibberish, deception, and double meanings” I was talking about.

        Also rhutchin says: “However, the Calvinist knows that God has ordained prayer as the means to appropriate things long settled…. The purpose of prayer is not to change God’s mind but to appropriate that which God has said He will do in respond to prayer.”

        Heather: So Calvi-god determined long ago to give Calvinists certain things in response to prayer. So getting these things has been pre-ordained, destined to happen, nothing different can happen. So then praying for these things has also been predestined, and there’s no chance of NOT praying for what Calvi-god predestined you to pray for. So … you don’t have any control/influence over whether you pray or not, for it’s all been ordained long ago and is certain to happen.

        So essentially, a Calvinist does not have to worry about whether they pray or not, nor do they have to make the effort or the time to pray or not. Because whatever happens has been ordained to happen from the beginning. And whatever has been ordained will inevitably happen, regardless of us. They will inevitably pray those prayers that Calvi-god predestined they would pray, regardless of their efforts. And if they don’t pray then they were predestined to not pray. And there is NO CHANCE of not getting what Calvi-god predestined you to get. Nor is there any chance of getting things that Calvi-god predestined you to not get.

        I can’t think of a better way to totally destroy the need to put effort and thought into prayer, to make prayer a priority!

        (Also, this makes me wonder why Calvi-god ordains that Calvinists pray for things they don’t ever get, all those unanswered prayers.)

      78. Nice points Heather!

        I also noticed rhutchin’s very careful language

        For example – notice how he will say “The Calvinist says XYZ” – instead “In Calvinism XYZ”
        There is a difference.

        What a given “Calvinist says” can be just about anything
        Representing what a “Calvinist says” doesn’t require including the WHOLE truth about Calvinism.

        So one can obfuscate the WHOLE truth without lying
        By representing what “The Calvinist” (whoever that is) says
        Rather than representing “Calvinism” – which would include John Calvin himself.

        You immediately caught the fact that rhutchin obfuscates that Calvinism is a doctrine of divine CAUSATION and AUTHORSHIP
        And punts instead to divine knowledge.
        That is not a TRUTH-TELLING representation of Calvinism.

        But one can give a TRUTH-LACKING representation without lying – by attributing it to “The Calvinist says”.

        I n the garden of protestant Christianity – the Calvinist always wins the prize for being the most subtle beast in the field.
        Note: A reference to Genesis 3:1

        And we can see that is the case here in the garden of SOT101 :-]

      79. Heather writes, ” (“Omniscience” in Calvinism doesn’t just mean “knows everything.” It means “pre-decides everything, and then causing it to happen that way.” Big difference!)”

        OK, let’s back it up. God has infinite understanding and this enables God to “work all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1) That which God works (or ordains), He knows. So, Yes, God pre-decides everything according to the counsel of His will. He then brings it abut by His creation and His interaction with His creation.

        Then, “Calvi-god doesn’t just “know the names” of who will believe and who won’t. He decides who will believe and who won’t.”

        Yes. God draws His elect to Christ and it is the elect who are taught by God (John 6) thereby receiving assurance and conviction of Christ (or faith) by which they outwardly believe. All this is accomplished by God through the preaching of the gospel.

        Then, “All of this makes him responsible for our sins and for those who don’t believe in him.”

        Responsible in that God is the one who provides a person with faith and without faith a person will not believe in Christ and without faith, a person will only sin. However, a person is responsible for his sins because he desires to sin and sins with the purpose of satisfying his desires. The person acts independent of God (disobeys God’s law) and does so voluntarily and self-determining without any prompting by God. Without faith, there is nothing they can do about it.

        Then, “This foundational Calvinist belief changes the meaning of your quote above. ”

        No, it does not. God is still omniscient and He knows the elect and non-elect when He creates the world. Obviously you understand this. The additional details you bring out do not change this but help explain the dire situation of the non-elect. There is no “gibberish, deception, and double meanings” in this. You certainly understand it as do other people.

        Then, “So Calvi-god determined long ago to give [His elect] certain things in response to prayer.”

        It is all known to God who is omniscient. It is more intense and dramatic for us who are not omniscient and rest in the assurance and conviction God gives us through His word.

        Then, “I can’t think of a better way to totally destroy the need to put effort and thought into prayer, to make prayer a priority!”

        I don’t see a problem in a person praying with assurance and conviction that he will receive that for which God has promised to give. I find it an inducement to pray. To give a human example – If you were assured and convicted that you would win the lottery, you would buy the ticket that turned out to be the winner. I would be illogical and foolish for you to think that you don’t need to buy the lottery ticket because you will win the lottery anyway.

        Then, “(Also, this makes me wonder why Calvi-god ordains that Calvinists pray for things they don’t ever get, all those unanswered prayers.)”

        Calvinists are human and will pray for things that God never told them to pray for. Doesn’t everyone?

      80. rhutchin
        Calvinists are human and will pray for things that God never told them to pray for. Doesn’t everyone?

        br.d
        THE FATED MENTAL PHENOMENON OF THE DELIBERATING DETERMINIST
        Dr. Tomis Kapitan – Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus, metaphysics
        -quote
        “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 outside his control.

        Thus the ascription of RATIONAL-INCONSISTENCY within the mental state of the deliberating determinist is secured!

        C’est La Vie! What will be is what will be!
        The practically-minded deliberating determinist, haunted by the specter of his own RATIONAL-INCONSISTENCY can be encouraged by this account of the matter” -end quote

      81. Or more briefly stated: In the same post RH says:

        “So, Yes, God pre-decides everything according to the counsel of His will…..

        [and]

        “Calvinists are human and will pray for things that God never told them to pray for.”

        Precisely opposites declarations in the same post.

      82. Well – this one is pretty savvy at using deceptive language – and I noticed it was stated as: “praying for things that Calvin’s god never **TOLD** them to pray for”.

        So a couple of things to take note of here:
        1) When Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will is the opposite of the SECRET will – then the ENUNCIATED will is a FALSE REPRESENTATION of the SECRET will.

        So the Calvinist gets the privilege of Calvin’s god “telling” him to pray for something that his SECRET will opposes.
        And the Calvinist wants to call that process “appropriating” what Calvin’s god has for him.
        What a hoot! :-]

        What does a person who is designed to function like a robot pray?
        Whatever its designer – at the foundation of the world – DECREES it to pray. :-]

      83. br.d writes, “So the Calvinist gets the privilege of Calvin’s god “telling” him to pray for something that his SECRET will opposes.”

        I bet you can’t provide an example of this. I think you just made this up, so it’s not true.

      84. br.d
        So the Calvinist gets the privilege of Calvin’s god “telling” him to pray for something that his SECRET will opposes.”

        rhutchin
        I bet you can’t provide an example of this. I think you just made this up, so it’s not true.

        br.d
        That is funny!
        Its Calvinist theology not mine!
        So Calvinists will make up their own examples for themselves.

        But for the sake of RATIONAL SOT101 readers – the LOGIC is simple:

        1) Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will can be the opposite of his SECRET will
        2) Calvin’s god ENUNCIATED will – for example that the Calvinist pray [X] – would equate to Calvin’s god “telling”
        3) Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will in this case can be in opposition to his SECRET will.

        CONCLUSION:
        The Calvinist gets the privilege of being infallibly determined to pray for something that Calvin’s god’s SECRET will opposes.
        Looks a lot like robot functionality doesn’t it!

        So we can see that obotic functionality is one of the privileges reserved solely for Calvinists. :-]

      85. rhutchin: “I bet you can’t provide an example of this. I think you just made this up, so it’s not true.”
        br.d: “So Calvinists will make up their own examples for themselves.”

        In other words, br.d has no examples and did make it up. We see this in you supposed logical argument. Your point 3 is something you made up assuming that you maintain context and “in this case” refers to prayer. You cannot provide an example to illustrate the truth of 3.

        So, with regard to your conclusion, we can say that you have no example for iy and just made it up, so it’s not true.

      86. rhutchin
        I bet you can’t provide an example of this. I think you just made this up, so it’s not true.”

        br.d
        That is funny!
        Its Calvinist theology not mine!
        So Calvinists will make up their own examples for themselves.

        But for the sake of RATIONAL SOT101 readers – the LOGIC is simple:

        1) Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will can be the opposite of his SECRET will
        2) Calvin’s god ENUNCIATED will – for example that the Calvinist pray [X] – would equate to Calvin’s god “telling”
        3) Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will in this case can be in opposition to his SECRET will.

        CONCLUSION:
        The Calvinist gets the privilege of being infallibly determined to pray for something that Calvin’s god’s SECRET will opposes.
        Looks a lot like robot functionality doesn’t it!

        rhutchin
        In other words, br.d has no examples and did make it up.

        br.d
        If one considers that conclusion RATIONAL – then one must live with his own reputation! :-]

        rhutchin
        We see this in you supposed logical argument. Your point 3 is something you made up assuming that you maintain context and “in this case” refers to prayer. You cannot provide an example to illustrate the truth of 3.

        br.d
        You have the opportunity of using LOGIC to show how point 3 is LOGICALLY invalid if you want to try.
        Good luck with that! :-]

      87. rhutchin: “In other words, br.d has no examples and did make it up.”
        br.d: “If one considers that conclusion RATIONAL – then one must live with his own reputation! ”

        Still no example. So, br.d just made it up.

        Then, ‘You have the opportunity of using LOGIC to show how point 3 is LOGICALLY invalid if you want to try.”

        Point 3 says, “3) Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will in this case can be in opposition to his SECRET will.”

        If by “in this case,” you mean in the case of prayer, it’s your premise and your responsibility to prove it true. Given that you cannot cite an example to demonstrate the premise, there is no reason to think it true. It’s just something you made up, so your argument fails.

      88. rhutchin: “In other words, br.d has no examples and did make it up.”

        br.d
        If one considers that conclusion RATIONAL – then one must live with his own reputation! :-]

        rhutchin
        Still no example. So, br.d just made it up.

        br.d
        So live with the reputation of that conclusion! :-]

        You have the opportunity of using LOGIC to show how point 3 is LOGICALLY invalid if you want to try.”

        rhutchin
        Point 3 says, “3) Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will in this case can be in opposition to his SECRET will.”

        If by “in this case,” you mean in the case of prayer, it’s your premise and your responsibility to prove it true. Given that you cannot cite an example to demonstrate the premise, there is no reason to think it true. It’s just something you made up, so your argument fails.

        br.d
        FALSE
        All I need is the GENERAL doctrine – the assertion that Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will can be in opposition to his SECRET will.
        There is nothing in that doctrine – as it is stated – that stipulates it can’t.

        So it will be your burden to prove LOGICALLY how my point 3 is LOGICALLY invalid.
        And your claiming it doesn’t apply in this case – is as you say – is in fact making something up :-]

      89. br.d writes, “FALSE
        All I need is the GENERAL doctrine – the assertion that Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will can be in opposition to his SECRET will.
        There is nothing in that doctrine – as it is stated – that stipulates it can’t.”

        Your point 3 was, “3) Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will in this case can be in opposition to his SECRET will.” So, you essentially throw this out. Smart move.

        I have no problems with your general doctrine. Had you maintained that general doctrine in your point 3, there would be no problem. But you didn’t.

        When God’s enunciated will relies on people for its accomplishment, it is easy to see why God’s secret will can differ from it. However, when God’s enunciated will depends on God alone, as with prayer, then God’s enunciated will is not different than His secret will. Even you should be able to figure out why that is so.

      90. br.d
        FALSE
        All I need is the GENERAL doctrine – the assertion that Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will can be in opposition to his SECRET will.
        There is nothing in that doctrine – as it is stated – that stipulates it can’t.

        rhutchin
        Your point 3 was, “3) Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will in this case can be in opposition to his SECRET will.” So, you essentially throw this out. Smart move.

        br.d
        rhutchin – do you really think anyone is going to fall for that?

        rhutchin
        I have no problems with your general doctrine. Had you maintained that general doctrine in your point 3, there would be no problem. But you didn’t.

        br.d
        Ok – its obvious you’re chasing your own tail at this point.
        What I stated was consistent – whether you’re able to see it or not
        And no one is going to be fooled by you calling it “My” general doctrine
        They already know its Calvinism’s general doctrine.

        rhutchin
        When God’s enunciated will relies on people for its accomplishment……..

        br.d
        Which of course in Calvinism it doesn’t – because in Calvinism all things which come to pass do so infallibly and rely on an infallible decree and nothing more.

        rhutchin
        it is easy to see why God’s secret will can differ from it.

        br.d
        And that perception is totally unique to Calvinism
        The non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who commands people to do [X] while SECRETLY and supernaturally not permitting them to do what he has commanded them to do. And they don’t have a god who deceives them with an ENUNCIATED will – which leads them to believe he wills [X] when he SECRETLY wills [NOT X].

        rhutchin
        However, when God’s enunciated will depends on God alone, as with prayer

        br.d
        rhutchin – your blowing smoke now!

        Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will – as well as his SECRET will is not dependent upon anything outside of himself
        That is CORE Calvinism!

        You’re just dreaming stuff up now to trying to bail yourself out.
        Nowhere is there any OFFICIAL statement in Calvinism which asserts what you hope to pull off.
        And its obvious the reason for Calvinism’s doctrine of two wills – is to have wills that oppose one another.
        Which is what your argument seeks to obscure.

        rhutchin
        then God’s enunciated will is not different than His secret will. Even you should be able to figure out why that is so.

        br.d
        So you did attempt to make a stab at a LOGICAL argument – and it failed. :-]

      91. br.d writes, “do you really thing anyone is going to fall for that?”

        They should. Calvinism understands that God expresses His will for people in such things as the Ten Commandments – this His enunciated will. However, we find that God has enabled people to act independently of Him to disobey Him and His commandments – this is God’s secret will. For example, God commands, “Thou shalt not murder,” (enunciated will) but does nothing when one person murders another person (secret will). No one denies that this happens, not even you, so I don’t know what your problem is when you say, “And its obvious the reason for Calvinism’s doctrine of two wills – is to have wills that oppose one another.” You are free to frame a different position, one that is actually different than Calvinism..

        Then, “Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will – as well as his SECRET will is not dependent upon anything outside of himself
        That is CORE Calvinism!”

        True. So?

        Then, “The non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who commands people to do [X] while SECRETLY and supernaturally not permitting them to do what he has commanded them to do. ”

        The non-Calvinist does have a god who commands people to do [X] (Ten Commandments) while SECRETLY and supernaturally permitting them to do what he has commanded them to do. This is nothing more than Calvinism. That God has an enunciated will and a secret will is obvious from reading the Scriptures.

      92. br.d
        do you really think anyone is going to fall for that?

        rhutchin
        They should. Calvinism understands that God expresses His will for people in such things as the Ten Commandments – this His enunciated will.

        br.d
        Correct – in fact – for the Calvinist all scripture comes under the rubric of Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will.
        And Calvin’s god’s SECRET will can be the opposite of his ENUNCIATED will.

        And it is a LOGICAL impossibility for a person to disobey the SECRET will.
        Therefore when the ENUNCIATED will and SECRET will are in opposition – then it is a LOGICAL impossibility for a person to obey the ENUNCIATED will.

        rhutchin
        However, we find that God has enabled people to act independently of Him to disobey Him and His commandments

        br.d
        This is deceptive language – by appealing to the word “Him” it does not differentiate between the two wills.

        It is a LOGICAL impossibility for the creature to act independent of the SECRET will

        Again:
        When the SECRET will is in direct opposition to the ENUNCIATED will – then the ENUNCIATED will is a FALSE representation of the SECRET will.

        rhutchin
        For example, God commands, “Thou shalt not murder,” (enunciated will) but does nothing when one person murders another person (secret will).

        br.d
        This is a wonderful example of Calvinist DOUBLE-SPEAK:
        Calvin’s god cannot falsify his SECRET will
        He “does nothing” to stop the person from obeying his SECRET will because he CANNOT – at pain of falsifying the immutable decree.

        Then, “Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will – as well as his SECRET will is not dependent upon anything outside of himself
        That is CORE Calvinism!”

        rhutchin
        True. So?

        br.d
        Thus your Non-Calvinist argument that the ENUNCIATED will is reliant upon actions of fallible creatures is false

        Now:
        The non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who commands people to do [X] while SECRETLY and supernaturally not permitting them to do what he has commanded them to do. ”

        And the non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who deceives people by representing an ENUNCIATED will [X] – while SECRETLY his will is [NOT X]

        rhutchin
        The non-Calvinist does have a god who commands people to do [X] (Ten Commandments) while SECRETLY and supernaturally permitting them to do what he has commanded them to do.

        br.d
        Here we have a wonderful example of obfuscation.
        This is applicable ONLY when the SECRET will is not in direct opposition to the ENUNCIATED will
        Which is not what is at focus here – so it serves as a red-herring

        Thanks rhutchin – for those wonderful examples :-}

      93. br.d writes, “Correct – in fact – for the Calvinist all scripture comes under the rubric of Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will.
        And Calvin’s god’s SECRET will can be the opposite of his ENUNCIATED will.”

        “…can be…” is the operative phrase. Sometimes God’s secret will is opposite to His enunciated will and sometimes it will be the same.

        Then, “And it is a LOGICAL impossibility for a person to disobey the SECRET will.
        Therefore when the ENUNCIATED will and SECRET will are in opposition – then it is a LOGICAL impossibility for a person to obey the ENUNCIATED will.”

        This is true for Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike.

        Then, “This is deceptive language – by appealing to the word “Him” it does not differentiate between the two wills. It is a LOGICAL impossibility for the creature to act independent of the SECRET will.”

        By this time, that should not be an issue. Everyone should equate God’s enunciated will with His commands regarding the behavior of people (e.g., the Ten Commandments). The creature is able to act independently of God’s enunciated will and thereby to disobey God.

        Then, “the ENUNCIATED will is a FALSE representation of the SECRET will.”

        God’s enunciated will is true representation of the way God wants people to behave – it is the basis for God’s judgment of people. God’s enunciated will is a true representation of the demands He places on Himself.

        Then, “He “does nothing” to stop the person from obeying his SECRET will because he CANNOT – at pain of falsifying the immutable decree.”

        God can, and does, take action, at times, to ensure that His enunciated will is obeyed when His eternal plan (that reflects His secret will) calls for obedience to His enunciated will. This is common with believers.

        Then, “The non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who commands people to do [X] while SECRETLY and supernaturally not permitting them to do what he has commanded them to do.’

        Sure he does. Even the non-Calvinist recognizes sin as resulting from God’s enunciated commands to people that are then disobeyed.

        Then, “And the non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who deceives people by representing an ENUNCIATED will [X] – while SECRETLY his will is [NOT X] ”

        Of course he does – sin is the example.

        Then, “This is applicable ONLY when the SECRET will is not in direct opposition to the ENUNCIATED will”

        When David committed adultery with Bathsheba, he evidenced God’s secret will for him and that was in direct opposition to the ENUNCIATED will of God to not commit adultery.

      94. br.d
        Correct – in fact – for the Calvinist all scripture comes under the rubric of Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will. Calvin’s god’s SECRET will can be the opposite of his ENUNCIATED will.

        rhutchin
        “…can be…” is the operative phrase. Sometimes God’s secret will is opposite to His enunciated will and sometimes it will be the same.

        br.d
        Correct – thanks for acknowledging that

        And it is a LOGICAL impossibility for a person to disobey the SECRET will.
        Therefore when the ENUNCIATED will and SECRET will are in opposition – it is a LOGICAL impossibility for a person to obey the ENUNCIATED will

        rhutchin
        This is true for Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike

        br.d
        FALSE
        The doctrine of an ENUNCIATED will vs a SECRET will is unique to Calvinism alone.
        The Non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who deceives people by representing a will that is the opposite of of what he represents.

        rhutchin

        This is deceptive language – by appealing to the word “Him” it does not differentiate between the two wills. It is a LOGICAL impossibility for the creature to act independent of the SECRET will.”

        By this time, that should not be an issue. Everyone should equate God’s enunciated will with His commands regarding the behavior of people (e.g., the Ten Commandments). The creature is able to act independently of God’s enunciated will and thereby to disobey God.

        Then, “the ENUNCIATED will is a FALSE representation of the SECRET will.”

        God’s enunciated will is true representation of the way God wants people to behave – it is the basis for God’s judgment of people. God’s enunciated will is a true representation of the demands He places on Himself.

        Then, “He “does nothing” to stop the person from obeying his SECRET will because he CANNOT – at pain of falsifying the immutable decree.”

        God can, and does, take action, at times, to ensure that His enunciated will is obeyed when His eternal plan (that reflects His secret will) calls for obedience to His enunciated will. This is common with believers.

        Then, “The non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who commands people to do [X] while SECRETLY and supernaturally not permitting them to do what he has commanded them to do.’

        Sure he does. Even the non-Calvinist recognizes sin as resulting from God’s enunciated commands to people that are then disobeyed.

        Then, “And the non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who deceives people by representing an ENUNCIATED will [X] – while SECRETLY his will is [NOT X] ”

        Of course he does – sin is the example.

        Then, “This is applicable ONLY when the SECRET will is not in direct opposition to the ENUNCIATED will”

        When David committed adultery with Bathsheba, he evidenced God’s secret will for him and that was in direct opposition to the ENUNCIATED will of God to not commit adultery.

      95. br.d
        For the Calvinist all scripture comes under the rubric of Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will.
        And Calvin’s god’s SECRET will can be the opposite of his ENUNCIATED will.”

        Rhutchin
        can be…” is the operative phrase. Sometimes God’s secret will is opposite to His enunciated will and sometimes it will be the same.

        br.d
        Correct – thanks for acknowledging that

        And it is a LOGICAL impossibility for a person to disobey the SECRET will.
        Therefore when the ENUNCIATED will and SECRET will are in opposition – then it is a LOGICAL impossibility for a person to obey the ENUNCIATED will.”

        rhutchin
        This is true for Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike.

        br.d
        FALSE
        The doctrine of an ENUNCIATED will vs a SECRET will (two opposing wills) is unique to Calvinism alone.
        The Non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who deceives people by representing a will that is the opposite of of what is represented.

        rhutchin
        However, we find that God has enabled people to act independently of Him to disobey Him and His commandments

        br,d
        This is deceptive language
        By appealing to the word “Him” it does not differentiate between the two wills.
        It is a LOGICAL impossibility for the creature to act independent of the SECRET will.
        And it is a LOGICAL impossibility for the creature to disobey the SECRET will.

        rhutchin
        By this time, that should not be an issue. Everyone should equate God’s enunciated will with His commands regarding the behavior of people (e.g., the Ten Commandments). The creature is able to act independently of God’s enunciated will and thereby to disobey God.

        br.d
        FALSE
        As I said above – the doctrine of a god who has two internally opposing wills is unique to Calvinism alone.
        The Non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who deceives people by representing a will that is the opposite of of what he represents.

        In Calvinism’s doctrine of the two wills – when the SECRET will is the opposite of the ENUNCIATED will – the ENUNCIATED will is a FALSE representation of the SECRET will.

        rhutchin
        god’s enunciated will is true representation of the way God wants people to behave

        br.d
        This is more deceptive language
        The word “God” obfuscates the fact that Calvinism has two divine wills that are in direct opposition to each other.

        rhutchin
        it is the basis for God’s judgment of people.

        br.d
        Well – Calvin’s god judges people for the things he SECRETLY makes them do – not permitting them to do otherwise.
        But the non-Calvinist doesn’t have such a duplicitous god.

        rhutchin
        God’s enunciated will is a true representation of the demands He places on Himself.

        br.d
        Thank you rhutchin for a supreme example of gobbledeegoop :-]
        Calvin’s god putting demands on others which he does not permit them to do – equates to him putting a demand upon himself!
        What a hoot! :-]

        rhutchin
        For example, God commands, “Thou shalt not murder,” (enunciated will) but does nothing when one person murders another person (secret will).

        br.d
        This is a wonderful example of Calvinist DOUBLE-SPEAK:
        Calvin’s god cannot falsify his SECRET will – (i.e. his immutable decree)
        He “does nothing” to stop the person from obeying his SECRET will because he CANNOT – at pain of falsifying the immutable decree.

        rhutchin
        God can, and does, take action, at times, to ensure that His enunciated will is obeyed

        br.d
        Thank you rhutchin – more bood examples of Calvinism’s deceptive language

        Calvin’s god’s SECRET will is his *CAUSAL* will – that will which MAKES people do what they do.
        The only times when Calvin’s god’s ENUNCIATED will is obeyed is when his SECRET will is not in direct opposition to it.

        When his SECRET will is in direct opposition to his ENUNCIATED will – his ENUNCIATED will is a FALSE representation of his SECRET will.

        Now:
        The non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who commands people to do [X] while SECRETLY and supernaturally not permitting them to do what he has commanded them to do.

        rhutchin
        Sure he does. Even the non-Calvinist recognizes sin as resulting from God’s enunciated commands to people that are then disobeyed.

        br.d
        Thanks rhutchin – for more deceptive language
        NO! The non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who has a SECRET will that is in direct opposition to that will he represents concerning himself – to people.

        And the non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who deceives people by representing an ENUNCIATED will [X] – while SECRETLY his will is [NOT X] ”

        rhutchin
        Of course he does – sin is the example.
        When David committed adultery with Bathsheba, he evidenced God’s secret will for him and that was in direct opposition to the ENUNCIATED will of God to not commit adultery.

        br.d
        What is unique to Calvinism alone:
        Calvin’s god does not permit the creature to DO OTHERWISE than obey the SECRET will.
        Calvin’s god does not make available any Alternative Possibility for the creature
        No Decree specific to Adultry = No Adultry

        And the non-Calvinist doesn’t have a god who deceives people by representing an ENUNCIATED will [X] – while SECRETLY his will is [NOT X]

      96. FOH writes, ““So, Yes, God pre-decides everything according to the counsel of His will…..
        [and]
        “Calvinists are human and will pray for things that God never told them to pray for.”
        Precisely opposites declarations in the same post.”

        LOL!!! What opposites declarations? Do you mean that Calvinists (or anybody else) never pray for anything that God never pre-decided or intended they pray for?

      97. rhutchin
        LOL!!! What opposites declarations? Do you mean that Calvinists (or anybody else) never pray for anything that God never pre-decided or intended they pray for?

        br.d
        The idea that Calvin’s god CAUSES people to pray for things that oppose his SECRET will – is unique to Calvinism alone.

        Being infallibly determined to pray against the divine will – is one of those SPECIAL privileges reserved solely for Calvinists
        One of the various things that makes Calvinists so very SPECIAL! :-]

      98. br.d writes, “The idea that Calvin’s god CAUSES people to pray for things that oppose his SECRET will – is unique to Calvinism alone.”

        All people have probably prayed for something opposite to God’s will. Nothing unique about Calvinism here. The health and wealth boys are famous for doing this.

      99. br.d
        The idea that Calvin’s god CAUSES people to pray for things that oppose his SECRET will – is unique to Calvinism alone.”

        rhutchin
        All people have probably prayed for something opposite to God’s will. Nothing unique about Calvinism here. The health and wealth boys are famous for doing this.

        br.d
        The irony here is that you don’t seem to think SOT101 readers are savvy enough to see through the fact that I’m following Calvinist doctrine – by differentiating between the ENUNCIATED will and the SECRET will – and that the very reason Calvinism has the ENUNCIATED and the SECRET will – is to have one which is in opposition to the other. And its easy enough for a RATIONAL person to see how it applies.

        Once again – I’m happy to let RATIONAL SOT101 readers connect the LOGICAL dots.
        But I can understand how doing that might not make you a happy camper :-]

      100. br.d writes, “I’m following Calvinist doctrine – by differentiating between the ENUNCIATED will and the SECRET will – and that the very reason Calvinism has the ENUNCIATED and the SECRET will – is to have one which is in opposition to the other. And its easy enough for a RATIONAL person to see how it applies.”

        With regard to prayer, God’s enunciated will is the same as His secret will. Unless you can cite an exception.

        An example of enunciated will is God’s command to obey the Ten Commandments. An example of God’s secret will is a violation of a Ten Commandments as with David’s adultery. We don’t have that distinction in the case of prayer. where God promises one outcome but secretly provides for another. I don’t think all SAT101 readers grasp this; you don’t seem to.

      101. br.d
        I’m following Calvinist doctrine – by differentiating between the ENUNCIATED will and the SECRET will – and that the very reason Calvinism has the ENUNCIATED and the SECRET will – is to have one which is in opposition to the other. And its easy enough for a RATIONAL person to see how it applies.”

        rhutchin
        With regard to prayer, God’s enunciated will is the same as His secret will. Unless you can cite an exception.

        An example of enunciated will is God’s command to obey the Ten Commandments. An example of God’s secret will is a violation of a Ten Commandments as with David’s adultery. We don’t have that distinction in the case of prayer. where God promises one outcome but secretly provides for another. I don’t think all SAT101 readers grasp this; you don’t seem to.

        br.d
        And you say I make stuff up!
        What a hoot!

        That you would demand a specific example of a GENERAL doctrine – is simply a demand you are making because you think it serves your current ends. I’m sure a Calvinist could just as easily come up with an example – if it served his ends.

        But in this context you would of course call that a non-example. :-]

      102. br.d quoting Kapitan, “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 outside his control. ”

        Under Theological Determinism, “…was previously determined by factors under his control.”

      103. br.d quoting Kapitan,
        “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 outside his control. ”

        rhutchin
        Under Theological Determinism, “…was previously determined by factors under his control.”

        br.d
        Thanks rhutchin – a nice example of the Calvinist’s love-hate relationship with his own doctrine.
        Determinism in its every form – is academically recognized as “factors outside one’s control”

        Where nothing is UP TO YOU – since everything is “Determined” exclusively by Calvin’s god who doesn’t share it with anyone.

        William Lane Craig:
        -quote
        The compatibilist thinks that free will is compatible with my choice’s being CAUSALLY DETERMINED BY FACTORS OUTSIDE ME.
        That’s why it’s called “compatibilism”! .” -end quote

        John Feinberg
        -quote
        “God’s decree which are based on nothing outside himself, covers and CONTROLS *ALL* things”
        (No One Like Him., p. 504),

        Stanford Encyclopedia – Causal Determinism
        -quote
        Hence, states of the world in the past as already done are fixed and thus BEYOND OUR CONTROL. Forward-looking determinism then entails that these past states—beyond our control, perhaps occurring long before humans even existed—determine everything we do in our lives.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        “For his will is the **CAUSE** of all things that are”
        (Institutes 3. 23. 1)

        That’s why it is called *UNIVERSAL* DIVINE CAUSAL DETERMINISM. :-]

      104. br.d writes, “Determinism in its every form – is academically recognized as “factors outside one’s control””

        Theological Determinism incorporates factors under one’s control. This is possible because God makes people in His image enabling them to interact with their environment. Of course, the person is still subordinate to God and in a clash of wills, God wins.

      105. br.d
        Determinism in its every form – is academically recognized as “factors outside one’s control

        rhuthcin
        Theological Determinism incorporates factors under one’s control.

        br.d
        That’s your particular version of it – and its understandable why! :-]

        rhuthcin
        This is possible because God makes people in His image enabling them to interact with their environment. Of course, the person is still subordinate to God and in a clash of wills, God wins.

        br.d
        Another great example of Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking pattern
        *AS-IF* a person’s will could come to pass without Calvin’s god CAUSING it to come to pass via an infallible immutable decree.

        I see you’re still following Calvin’s instructions.
        Going about your office *AS-IF* nothing ( in this case a person’s will) is determined in every part.

        With all of the examples you’ve provided – following Calvin’s *AS-IF* thinking – at this point its silliness to try and deny it.

        But Ravi Zacharias has the faithful testimony
        -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.

      106. rhuthcin: “Theological Determinism incorporates factors under one’s control.”
        br.d: “That’s your particular version of it – and its understandable why! ”

        Theological Determinism that is based on Scripture apparently differs from philosophical theological determinism. Maybe, you will sort it out one day.

      107. rhuthcin
        Theological Determinism incorporates factors under one’s control.”

        br.d
        That’s your particular version of it – and its understandable why! ”

        rhutchin
        Theological Determinism that is based on Scripture apparently differs from philosophical theological determinism. Maybe, you will sort it out one day.

        br.d
        I’m happy to accept what is acknowledged in Christian academia – but thanks for thinking of me! :-]

      108. BR.D.: “For example – notice how he will say “The Calvinist says XYZ” – instead “In Calvinism XYZ” There is a difference. What a given “Calvinist says” can be just about anything. Representing what a “Calvinist says” doesn’t require including the WHOLE truth about Calvinism.”

        Brilliant and insightful! And now that you say that, I remember all the times rhutchin says things like “Calvinists say that too” about things non-Calvinists affirm, such as God wants all men to be saved, anyone can come to Christ if they want to, God loves all people, God calls to all people, people freely make their own choices, etc. (These are things either he has affirmed, or just Calvinists in general.)

        Yes, Calvinists SAY those things, but it’s what they HIDE that makes all the difference:

        “God wants all men to be saved (hidden belief: But God doesn’t always cause the things He wants though, so He still causes most people to go to hell for His glory) … Anyone can come to Christ if they want to (hidden: But only the elect CAN and WILL want to.) …. God loves all people (hidden: But He has two different kinds of love – a saving one for the elect, and a “gives you food and water” one for the non-elect) … God calls to all people (hidden: But there are two different kinds of call, and only the elect can respond to the salvation call that God gives them) … People freely make their own choices and do what they want to do (hidden: According to their natures, and our natures are assigned to us by Calvi-god and we can’t change them, and those who get the ‘sinner nature’ can ONLY ALWAYS want to sin and choose to sin.)”

        What the Calvinists SAYS is a deceptive cover for what they truly believe, and their fundamental beliefs end up negating or contradicting what they SAID. If a Calvinist says “that’s what Calvinists say,” then you need to suspect that there is a deeper, contradictory layer they are not saying. So never assume that the first thing they SAY is an accurate picture of what they truly believe.

      109. heather writes, “I remember all the times rhutchin says things like “Calvinists say that too” about things non-Calvinists affirm, such as God wants all men to be saved, anyone can come to Christ if they want to, God loves all people,”

        Recognizing that the Calvinists defines “all men” and :all people” to be Jews and gentiles. The non-Calvinist defines “all men” and :all people” as each and every individual. This distinction is well known. No one is hiding anything here.

        Then, “Calvinists SAY those things,…Anyone can come to Christ if they want to (hidden: But only the elect CAN and WILL want to.) ….”

        The Calvinist position is that no one can come to Christ in line with John 6. This is TD and is well known and not hidden.

        Then, “What the Calvinists SAYS is a deceptive cover for what they truly believe, and their fundamental beliefs end up negating or contradicting what they SAID.”

        I don’t know where you get this stuff, but your ignorance is astounding. These issues have been routinely discussed in this forum and you should know netter. The problem is not that Calvinism hides stuff but that it is open about its beliefs and those beliefs cause many people heartburn.

      110. rhutchin
        I don’t know where you get this stuff, but your ignorance is astounding. These issues have been routinely discussed in this forum and you should know netter. The problem is not that Calvinism hides stuff but that it is open about its beliefs and those beliefs cause many people heartburn.

        br.d
        I totally agree with Heather.
        Calvinism is always hiding its dark implications – many here acknowledge that – and you should know better.
        Your posts consistently serve as excellent examples.
        But no one is expecting the Calvinist – who must maintain a certain self-perception – to see himself the way he is observed. :-]

      111. Heather
        you need to suspect that there is a deeper, contradictory layer they are not saying. So never assume that the first thing they SAY is an accurate picture of what they truly believe.

        br.d
        Exactly!
        And I suspect we’ll see them engineer newer ways of doing the same thing – so as to go undetected.

        Calvinism – promoting and defending itself – by wearing a Non-Calvinist mask.
        And that is supposed to be a characteristic a Holy Spirit inspired theology?

      112. Rhutchin replies to me: “These issues have been routinely discussed in this forum and you should know better.”

        My rhetorical question: How exactly should I know better or can I know better if Calvi-god himself ordained for me to not know better, for his glory?

      113. br.d
        rhutchin says to Heather – “These issues have been routinely discussed in this forum and you should know better.”

        That statement is called “blowing smoke!” :-]

        But the other much more derogatory statement rhutchin posed in your direction was downright nasty.
        rhutchin in times past – has been known to make overt attacks on sisters participating here.
        And in a few occasions – those personal attacks were successful at getting them to leave.
        So one wonders if that was his plan.

        I don’t intend to see that happen again!
        So I’m watching.

      114. It is kind of you to want to watch out for Heather, but my impression is that she can more than hold her own, with Rhuthin or anyone else. Women are not inherently timid and weak, despite the common perception. If I needed help defending God or myself, Heather would be a great choice. She’d make a great lawyer. I’d hate to be on the opposing team.

      115. Thanks TS00

        I do enjoy putting my two-cents – especially on Calvinist double-speak.
        But yes – I agree – I have the same respect for Heather.

      116. heather asks, “How exactly should I know better or can I know better if Calvi-god himself ordained for me to not know better, for his glory?”

        God made you in His image. That means you have a mind/brain and are able to think rationally according to rules of logic that you can learn. You gather information, store that information and can piece different information together and form concepts. So, when you state, “What the Calvinists SAYS is a deceptive cover for what they truly believe, and their fundamental beliefs end up negating or contradicting what they SAID,” you ought to have some sense of what you mean by the terms, “a deceptive cover,” “what [Calvinists] believe,” and how you determined that Calvinist’s fundamental beliefs contradict what they say. If you do know all this, then God has decreed that you know it and you should them be able to explain your statement. If God decreed you to be ignorant, then you know that you have no basis for making that statement – “What the Calvinists SAYS is a deceptive cover for what they truly believe, and their fundamental beliefs end up negating or contradicting what they SAID,” I, obviously, think that you should know better and have no basis for that statement. So, how about explaining what led you to make that statement and let’s see.

      117. heather
        How exactly should I know better or can I know better if Calvi-god himself ordained for me to not know better, for his glory?”

        rhutchin
        God made you in His image. That means you have a mind/brain and are able to think rationally according to rules of logic that you can learn. You gather information, store that information and can piece different information together and form concepts.

        br.d
        rhutchin is constantly appealing to “Mere” permission – which is rejected in strict Calvinism.
        Calvinists are always looking for ways to SMUGGLE “mere” permission back into their system – in camouflaged form.

        He also rejects what is acknowledged in all academia concerning Theological Determinism – that nothing is UP TO the creature.

        He has his own customized form of Theological Determinism
        But he does follow Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking pattern

        – “Mere” permission doesn’t exist *AS-IF* it does
        – Nothing is UP TO US *AS-IF* it is.
        – Calvin’s god determines everything *FOR* the creature – *AS-IF* he doesn’t

      118. br.d writes, “He also rejects what is acknowledged in all academia concerning Theological Determinism – that nothing is UP TO the creature. ”

        Then Calvinism, because it is based on Scripture, is not philosophical determinism or philosophical theological determinism. So, all your appeals to philosophy accomplish nothing.

      119. br.d
        He also rejects what is acknowledged in all academia concerning Theological Determinism – that nothing is UP TO the creature. ”

        rhutchin
        Then Calvinism, because it is based on Scripture, is not philosophical determinism or philosophical theological determinism. So, all your appeals to philosophy accomplish nothing.

        br.d
        You’re free to have your own customized (i.e. deviant) version of Theological Determinism – most Calvinists understandably do.
        And not wanting to accept the LOGICAL consequences – as acknowledged in academia is also understandable.
        Its all part of the Calvinist’s love-hate relationship with Theological Determinism.

        And of course – Calvin’s *AS-IF* thinking comes into play as well :-]

      120. br.d writes, “And not wanting to accept the LOGICAL consequences – as acknowledged in academia is also understandable.”

        I suspect academia pays no attention to the Scripture in developing a philosophical theological determinism. You never tie Theological Determinism to any Scripture, but maybe you don’t even know.

        I’ll stick with the Scriptures; you stick with philosophy. We will continue to disagree.

      121. rhutchin
        I suspect academia pays no attention to the Scripture in developing a philosophical theological determinism.

        br.d
        I can understand why one would want to think that way about *CHRISTIAN* academia :-]

        rhutchin
        You never tie Theological Determinism to any Scripture, but maybe you don’t even know.

        br.d
        I do with RATIONAL thinkers – but not in this case.

        rhutchin
        I’ll stick with the Scriptures; you stick with philosophy. We will continue to disagree.

        br.d
        Sure – I understand how that position can work for someone :-]

  7. TSOO posted this one:
    “Kinda makes you wonder why God didn’t just enable the rest of the people to live righteously as well – he could have avoided that nasty flood and the wiping out of who knows how many people..”

    My Response:
    It is because God decides for Himself. You cannot question God in His decisions because He is above all and not accountable to anyone else.

    Why did God drop Cain and his offering while picking out Abel and his offering? Why did God drop Esau and pick our Jacob? Why did God created vessels for destruction and some for dishonor? Why is it that the majority of people prefers to enter in the wide gate while few enters by the narrow gate? Why did God the Father does not draw all humanity on earth to the Son? Why did Christ offered His life to the sheep and not to the entire humanity on earth?

    The seed falls into all of the types of soil yet,only the good ground prospers and the rest are all failure? …

    The Bible declares that no one is righteous and sinless except God, yet still some insists that the gentile babies are born righteous and sinless because they are not under the law.

    Cain, the uncircumcised gentile was punished by God for killing his brother Abel even if there was no law (Thou shalt not kill) existing during that time?

    1. Jt wrote: “Why did God drop Cain and his offering while picking out Abel and his offering?”

      Aidan writes:
      The bible answers that. It was a matter of faith : “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous” (Heb 11: 4).

      Cain was given the choice: “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” (Gen 4:7).

      Seems Cain had the ability to rule over his sin, but chose poorly!

    2. To address a few of your points:

      JTL: “Why did God drop Cain and his offering while picking out Abel and his offering?”

      Heather: You assume that God made this decision arbitrarily, solely based on His own whims. But … “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you furious? And why do you look despondent? If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.'” (Genesis 4:6-7) and “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous,” (Hebrews 11:4).

      Do you not see the effect humans have on what God decides? Where do you see “God deciding for Himself, based on nothing we do or don’t do,” in these verses? And don’t say that the “by faith” part in the Hebrews verse means that God caused Abel to have the faith to offer the pleasing sacrifice, because that’s NOT IN THE VERSE!

      JTL: “Why did God created vessels for destruction and some for dishonor?”

      Heather: Ah, yes, let’s look at Romans 9:22-23: “What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath – prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory . . .”

      When I was studying this verse, I was getting concerned that it really did mean that God deliberately prepared some people to be destroyed in hell.

      But as I researched it more, I learned that older Bible translations say “fitted” for destruction, not “prepared” for destruction. And according to Strong’s concordance, “fitted” in this verse indicates a strong correlation between someone’s character and their destiny. It is written in such a way to imply that the objects of wrath PREPARED THEMSELVES for destruction. Not that God fashioned them that way.

      Thankfully, this confirms what I think the rest of the Bible teaches, that we determine our eternal destinies by our choice. We cause ourselves to go to hell or heaven based on whether we respond to God or resist Him. Mankind was “prepared in advance for glory,” but we destine ourselves for destruction when we reject God’s offer of salvation.

      JTL: “Why is it that the majority of people prefers to enter in the wide gate while few enters by the narrow gate?”

      Heather: Well, clearly it can ONLY be because God CAUSED them to want to enter the wide gate, right? I mean, there COULDN’T POSSIBLY BE any other reason that people would reject God other than that He caused them to, right?

      JTL: “Why did God the Father does not draw all humanity on earth to the Son?”

      Heather: Umm … “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32) God draws all people (calls to all, makes salvation available to all), but men resist because they don’t want to submit to God.

      JTL: “Why did Christ offered His life to the sheep and not to the entire humanity on earth?”

      Heather: “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) And “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'” (John 1:29) And “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9)

      But I guess “whole world” doesn’t mean “whole world” and “everyone” doesn’t mean “everyone,” huh!?! Lost in translation? Sure would be nice if Calvi-god said what he meant and meant what he said. But, thank Calvi-god that John Calvin came along over 1500 years later to clear up what Calvi-god clumsily wrote in his word!

      My definition of Calvinist theology: “We (Calvinists) decide how God has to be and act in order to be the kind of sovereign God we say He is, based on our definition of sovereign. And then we use ‘God decides for Himself and so you cannot question God in His decisions because He is above all and not accountable to anyone else’ to excuse any of the horrible things we say God is responsible for and to shame you into agreeing with us, or at least into not opposing us.”

    3. Why do mankind sin?

      Jtleosala
      It is because God DECIDES for Himself.
      You cannot question God in His decisions because He is above all and not accountable to anyone else.

      br.d
      BING!

      Now lets what rhutchin try to DOUBLE-SPEAK this
      Trying to make it APPEAR that Calvin’s god looks into his crystal ball of “infinite understanding” of what creatures will be/do
      And uses that information to determine what creatures will be/do

      *AS-IF* Calvin’s god uses his “infinite understanding” to LEARN what the creature will be/do
      So that he can be the -quote “Final Arbiter” of it.

      I find it ironic how two Calvinists at SOT101 can say the exact opposite of each other and one of them allows the other to speak for him – so as to give the APPEARANCE they both assert the same thing.

      What a hoot! :-]

      1. br.d writes, “Now lets what rhutchin try to DOUBLE-SPEAK this
        Trying to make it APPEAR that Calvin’s god looks into his crystal ball of “infinite understanding” of what creatures will be/do
        And uses that information to determine what creatures will be/do”

        God understands all that could happen. God applies His infinite understanding to determine what He will do – “God works all things according to the counsel of His will…” thereby setting the stage for that which people would do given the actions God takes. God decided to give Satan access to the garden – Satan went into the garden to deceive Eve and tempt Adam, then God decided not to help Eve and then Adam avoid eating the fruit – both then ate the fruit; and warned Cain about killing his brother and then watched as Cain killed Abel and did nothing to stop it; etc.

      2. rhutchin
        br.d writes, “Now lets what rhutchin try to DOUBLE-SPEAK this
        Trying to make it APPEAR that Calvin’s god looks into his crystal ball of “infinite understanding” of what creatures will be/do
        And uses that information to determine what creatures will be/do”

        rhutchin
        God understands all that could happen.

        br.d
        If after having decreed everything that will happen – he doesn’t understand what will happen – he’s not very smart! :-]

        rhutchin
        God applies His infinite understanding to determine what He will do

        br.d
        AS-IF that is unique to Calvinism?

        rhutchin
        thereby setting the stage for that which people would do given the actions God takes.

        br.d
        Calling Calvinism a “STAGE” is totally correct – I couldn’t have said it better myself :-]

        rhutchin
        God decided to give Satan access to the garden

        br.d
        Well in Theological Determinism nothing is UP TO the creature – since *ALL* things are determined *FOR* the creature.
        So the only “access” Satan has to be/do – is what Calvin’s god determines him to be/so

        rhutchin
        Satan went into the garden to deceive Eve and tempt Adam,

        br.d
        Yes – because Calvin’s god AUTHORED that – and did not permit otherwise.

        rhutchin
        then God decided not to help Eve and then Adam avoid eating the fruit

        br.d
        Here you are following John Calvin’s instructions – going about *AS-IF* nothing ( in this case Adam and Eve eating the fruit) was not determined in every part.

        Calvinists do love their DOUBLE-SPEAK :-]

        rhutchin
        both then ate the fruit

        br.d
        Yes – because Calvin’s god AUTHORED that – and did not permit otherwise.

        rhutchin
        god warned Cain about killing his brother

        br.d
        While deceiving Cain in to believing that choice was UP TO him when it was already predetermined *FOR* him.

        rhutchin
        and then watched as Cain killed Abel and did nothing to stop it; etc.

        br.d
        Calvin’s god cannot stop that which he immutable decrees to infallibly come to pass.

        Understanding Calvinism is pretty straight forward
        A Calvinist is a determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking points.

      3. Your comments exhibit God’s ‘allowing’ evil to happen, which is in line with non-Calvinism, but not consistent Calvinism. We non-Calvies acknowledge that God allows evil. Calvinists – and other determinists – insist that God himself decrees/ordains/originates all things – including evil. You know this full well, but, once again, play the game of asserting the claims of the ‘opposition’ as if they are your own. If ordaining evil meant merely permitting it, If ordaining people to hell meant merely permitting them to choose to do so, if ordaining our every thought, word and deed meant merely permitting them, we would all be Calvinists. So stop trying to borrow concepts that do not belong in your theology. If you want out, walk away from Calvinism and be consistent in your ‘mere permission’ talk.

      4. TS00
        Your comments exhibit God’s ‘allowing’ evil to happen, which is in line with non-Calvinism, but not consistent Calvinism”

        br.d
        You caught rhutchin in the act – trying to SMUGGLE “mere” permission into Calvinism – in camouflaged form.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        “It is a quite frivolous refuge to say that he otiosely permits them, when scripture shows him not only willing but the *AUTHOR* of them. (Concerning Eternal Predestination pg 176)

        “Author” in the Old French of Calvin’s day is from “Auctur” which means: Originator, Creator, Instigator

      5. TS00 writes, “Your comments exhibit God’s ‘allowing’ evil to happen, which is in line with non-Calvinism, but not consistent Calvinism.”

        When the Calvinist says that God “allows” evil, he means that God decrees evil to happen by His decision not to prevent evil when He has the power to do so. For example, God could easily have prevented the crucifixion of Christ, and He did not. So, how does evil happen if it is by God’s decree? It happens according to the non-Calvinist definition of “allow” – by independent, self-determining actions of evil people. That God “determines” what people do means that God gives people the freedom to do evil and do so willfully and voluntarily. Let’s take the example of a child molester doing unspeakable things to a child. God understood that this would happen even as Adam ate the fruit in the garden. In the course of time, God observe the child molester take the child and God observes the child molester do unspeakable things to the child in minute detail. However, God had already made the decision that He would not stop this horror, and He made this decision – ordained it – long ago. If you stood by and did nothing while a child molester did evil, and you had the power and ability to stop him, then you would have determined the outcome.

      6. rhutchin
        When the Calvinist says that God “allows” evil, he means that God decrees evil to happen by His decision not to prevent evil when He has the power to do so.

        br.d
        Another great example of Calvinism’s DOUBLE-SPEAK

        1) In Theological Determinism – no alternative of what is determined *FOR* the creature is allowed.
        Nothing more – and nothing less.

        2) Nothing can come to pass unless Calvin’s god CAUSES to come to pass – via decree
        And Calvin’s god cannot prevent what he infallibly decrees.
        However he can create a FALSE PRESENTATION of divine prevention
        Creating an event to APPEAR *AS-IF* it came to pass without him AUTHORING every microsecond of it

      7. Right? Rh would have God saying, ‘Let’s see, shall I allow that event that I alone can and did ordain to occur, or should I ‘prevent’ my own determinations? I guess it gets boring playing alone, so God decided to pretend like the puppets he’s manipulating actually move of their own free will. Ah, now we have some imaginary drama, as if all things did not originate from the mind and hand of God. Such are the games Calvinism has their god play.

      8. Great post TS00!

        I don’t know if you are a star trek fan – but the next generation star trek has a technology called the “Holodeck”

        The “Holodeck” is essential a computer SIMULATED reality.

        A computer is 100% determined – and it cannot create Libertarian Freedom
        But it can create a SIMULATION of it.

        Calvinism is 100% determined – and it cannot create divine prevention of divinely predetermined events.
        But it can create a SIMULATION of it.

        The divine intervention/prevention that rhutchin is arguing for – is actually nothing more than a SIMULATION.

        Nothing comes to pass without Calvin’s god decreeing it.
        And Calvin’s god cannot prevent what is immutably decreed

        So what the Calvinist has are SIMULATIONS of divine prevention.

      9. The question is, ‘Why?’ Why, if they are so humbly proud of their ability to live with a deterministic, controlling, narcissistic, partial and cruel God who randomly creates people who he could have saved for destruction and makes them completely unable to NOT do evil, do they insist upon playing the game of ‘God merely permitted man to do what he desired’ or ‘God didn’t prevent man’s evil’? C’mon, how dumb do they think we all are? This is why thinking people have always rejected Calvinism in the long run.

      10. Aristotle once asked the question:
        Is man a rational being who has some capacity for emotion – or is man an emotional being who has some capacity for rational thought?

        Calvinists are in an emotional struggle with the radical nature of their doctrine.

        It reminds me of the Solipsist who asks the question “Why aren’t there more of us?”.
        When Solipsism is the belief that you are the only person in existence and everyone else is a figment of your imagination.
        How could a rational Solipsist ask such a DOUBLE-MINDED question.

        The same struggle exists with Calvinists
        And very few of them are prepared to emotionally accept the radical distinctions of determinism

        There are a few Calvinists whose emotions don’t affect them.
        They are called HYPER Calvinists – and they could care less about trying to make Calvinism APPEAR acceptable.

        Most Calvinists can’t accept the radical nature of the doctrine – and that’s what makes them DOUBLE-MINDED.

        Calvinists like Piper and MacArthur have a different vested interest.
        They know that if they tell the WHOLE truth – Calvinism will go the way of the dinosaur.

      11. br.d writes, “Calvinists are in an emotional struggle with the radical nature of their doctrine.”

        br.d cannot argue the Scriptures, so he argues Aristotle.

      12. br.d
        Calvinists are in an emotional struggle with the radical nature of their doctrine.

        rhutchin
        br.d cannot argue the Scriptures, so he argues Aristotle.

        br.d
        rhuthcin – did you know that John Calvin had around a dozen references to statements by Plato in the Institutes?

        And on the INTERPRETATION of scripture:
        IRRATIONAL thinking will always eventually result in an IRRATIONAL INTERPRETATION of any data
        Whether that data is scripture or not.

        And the Calvinist and Solipsist are still left with an emotional struggle – over the radical nature of their doctrine. :-]

      13. ‘argue the scriptures’ = play prooftext games

        No one ‘argues the scriptures; they argue over their preferred interpretations. You can do that all day long and accomplish nothing.

      14. TS00
        No one ‘argues the scriptures; they argue over their preferred interpretations. You can do that all day long and accomplish nothing.

        br.d
        A man after my own heart!!
        How many wasted hours I’ve seen people doing that!

        I bumped into a web-site of a Calvinist last month who quoted verses he says proves the earth is flat.

        He probably has a white-knuckled grip on that reading of scripture! :-]

      15. TS00 writes, “Right? Rh would have God saying, ‘Let’s see, shall I allow that event that I alone can and did ordain to occur, or should I ‘prevent’ my own determinations? ”

        All is built into His original decree. God decreed to prohibit Joseph’s brother killing Joseph and He implemented that decree in the course of time. God decreed the conception and birth of Christ and implemented that decree in the course of time. “…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,…”

      16. TS00
        Right? Rh would have God saying, ‘Let’s see, shall I allow that event that I alone can and did ordain to occur, or should I ‘prevent’ my own determinations? ”

        rhutchin
        All is built into His original decree….etc

        br.d
        You see what I was saying TS00?
        In a 100% determined world – where nothing can come to pass without it be determined by a THEOS – the only way the Calvinist can have divine prevention is to created a DETERMINISTIC SIMULATION of it.

        It follows Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking pattern.

        In this case Calvin’s god is preventing [X]
        *AS-IF* [X] could possibly happen without him decreeing it.

        Its a COMPUTER SIMULATION of divine prevention.
        As rhutchin says – it has to be “built into” the program.

      17. br.d writes:
        “In this case Calvin’s god is preventing [X]
        *AS-IF* [X] could possibly happen without him decreeing it.”

        This is the crucial problem with all of rhutchin’s shenanigans. Calvinism asserts that God decrees all things. Whatsoever comes to pass.

        Let’s hear it, rh – name one thing that is excluded from ‘whatsoever comes to pass’. Those things that are excluded – which arise from man’s free will or some other source – are the only things Calvi-god could ‘prohibit’ or ‘allow’. You either dictate what comes into existence – as per Calvinism – or there is/are other power[s] which have the ability to bring things into existence which you, as the sovereign power, choose to prohibit or allow. Which is it?

        As has been said countless times, non-Calvies have no issue with God prohibiting or allowing the free choices of men. We just have a problem with Calvies trying to deny it or, in rh’s case, have it both ways.

      18. I find it humerus how Calvinists will accuse non-Calvinists of robbing Calvin’s god of sovereignty.

        And then when its time to defend him from being the Author of evil – they make the same exact statements – which they claimed robbed him of sovereignty!

        So they do the very thing they accuse the non-Calvinist of doing.
        But when its them doing it – its ok! :-]

      19. Rhutchin: “When the Calvinist says that God “allows” evil, he means that God decrees evil to happen by His decision not to prevent evil when He has the power to do so.”

        Heather: So “allows” means that Calvi-god decides not to prevent the things that he has already preplanned, ordained, and will cause to happen!?! Kinda like how he decrees people to resist his decrees and how he “intervenes” to stop things from happening that could have only been in the plan because he previously planned them to begin with.

        Rhutchin: “That God “determines” what people do means that God gives people the freedom to do evil and do so willfully and voluntarily.”

        Heather: So Calvi-god gives most people exactly ONE option: the choice to do evil. And he gives them a potion that makes them “want” to do evil and to be unable to choose anything else. And you call this “independent, self-determining actions of evil people.”

        Yep, Calvinism makes SO MUCH SENSE!

        And rhutchin says: “Let’s take the example of a child molester doing unspeakable things to a child. God understood that this would happen even as Adam ate the fruit in the garden. In the course of time, God observe the child molester take the child and God observes the child molester do unspeakable things to the child in minute detail. However, God had already made the decision that He would not stop this horror, and He made this decision – ordained it – long ago. If you stood by and did nothing while a child molester did evil, and you had the power and ability to stop him, then you would have determined the outcome.”

        Heather: What the heck is this nonsense (in my opinion)!?!

        God “understood”!?! Of course Calvi-god “understood” this abuse would happen because Calvi-god PLANNED it to happen, CAUSED it to happen, and gave the people involved NO CHOICE to do anything differently!!! Calvi-god didn’t just decide not to stop it; he planned it and carried it out! And to say that Calvi-god didn’t plan it and cause it is to deny Calvinism’s twisted view of “sovereignty.”

        And exactly how in the world can you say that if someone knew something bad was happening but didn’t stop it even though they could have, then THEY determined the outcome? Did THEY plan the abuse!?! Did THEY cause the abuser to do what he did!?! Did THEY force the abuser to abuse the child!?!

        So I guess, according to Calvinism, the person who commits a crime is not guilty for his actions at all, because the criminal isn’t the one who “determines the outcome.” NO! Instead the one who’s on the outside, who didn’t stop it, who allowed it to happen, is the one who’s really responsible for what happened. According to you, the observers who don’t step in are the ones who determine the outcome, who are responsible for it happening. This would be a great tactic for defense lawyers of guilty criminals, placing blame everywhere but on the one who is actually responsible for doing the actions.

        “My client is not responsible for taking out a gun and shooting that man who was sitting in a chair minding his own business. NO! The one who is really responsible for this crime is the woman who saw my client aiming a gun at the man and who didn’t jump on the gun and wrestle it away from him. SHE’S the one who determined that this killing would happen!”

        I’m not saying that observers don’t have a part in what happens, in allowing things to happen, in changing or not changing the course of events. But … if a crime is committed when there is no observer who could’ve stepped in but didn’t step in, then who is guilty? Because apparently, according to you, the one who doesn’t stop a crime is the one guilty for the crime. But if there is no one around to “allow” the crime to happen, then who’s guilty!?! And if you are gonna say the criminal has some responsibility, then where is the line for observers? At what point does the responsibility for the crime shift to them? At what point does the observer become the determiner, instead of the criminal? What a can of worms you’ve opened!

        And obviously since you’re talking about God here, saying that He is the determiner of all things because He doesn’t intervene (intervening apparently to change things He’s decreed to happen!?!), then you are saying that God is responsible for all the evils that happen. And of course, this means that the people who actually do the evils don’t have a part in determining what happens. They are only helpless puppets, doing the evil that they had no choice but to do.

        I bet it would be wild to see how this “defense lawyer” stuff holds up when Calvinists are standing before God, giving their excuses for why they said, believed, and taught what they did!

      20. Heather, Heather, Heather….. when will you learn!?

        I thought you knew that RH just goes round ‘n round with “decrees” and “allows”. We have seen him making blatantly contradictory statements many many times.

        Piper is the master. It is all over his site. Even in messages where Piper is saying he will deal with God decreeing sin…. he slips into the (non-Calvin) allows and permits.

        But fret not….and dont waste a lot of time doing this with RH. It really is a dead end.

        Just post all the good Scriptures that talk about how our loving God is calling all men and women to Himself!

      21. FOH actually I appreciated reading Heather’s recent post to rutchin…. I don’t have space to save all contradictions that are said & also you never know when someone new to the site is reading. I only say this because maybe some need to hear it more than once or see it in writing often. Just a friendly thought!

      22. Sure. I am fine with it too!

        I started 3 years ago and thought I would be the first one to answer him.

        I kept going not realizing that I was wasting my time….. but what you say is true!

        I even responded to him the other day (have not in a long time) when he mis-quoted TS00 and attributed it to JTL (HUGE mistake…for which he —to his credit— backed down).

        I dont really respond to JTL either but really had to recently when he was telling us that the wicked do desire Christ (Matt 7) but that Christ was just not given to them. Major no-no for Calvinists (or those who think they are Calvinists—- but dont live like it).

        Anyway…. you are right…Heather’s words are worth seeing!

      23. Thanks Reggie!
        That is actually rhutchin’s strategy
        He keeps reciting the same DOUBLE-SPEAK talking-points over and over – because someone might be reading it for the first time.

      24. Heather – there were a few words in this post that I deleted – as they were a little too expletive for this environment

      25. heather writes, “So “allows” means that Calvi-god decides not to prevent the things that he has already preplanned, ordained, and will cause to happen!?!”

        Under Calvinism, God is sovereign, so that he is the final arbiter or disposer of all that happens. With Adam in the garden, God could have done nothing and let Adam decide what he would do, or God could have chosen to intervene to strengthen Adam to obedience. God’s decision then becomes His plan – that which He has preplanned, ordained, and will bring about by His act of creation.

        Then, “So Calvi-god gives most people exactly ONE option: the choice to do evil.”

        Given that God is omniscient, He knows exactly what a person will choose to do, so even with multiple options, only one option will prevail and that option is already know to God. God does not give a person a potion that makes them want to do evil, but as a consequence of Adam’s sin, God withholds righteousness from the person resulting in a heart that Jeremiah describes as “deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked;” God then withholds faith from the person and only introduces it through the preaching of the gospel. Without righteousness and faith, the person is as described by Paul in Romans 8, “those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh…For to be carnally minded is death…Because 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.” The only remedy is then as Paul says, “you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” So, the evil decisions of people without righteousness and faith result from the independent, self-determined choices of evil people.

        Then, “Calvi-god didn’t just decide not to stop it; he planned it and carried it out! And to say that Calvi-god didn’t plan it and cause it is to deny Calvinism’s twisted view of “sovereignty.”

        The manner in which God carries out His plan is noted in Habakkuk, ““Look among the nations and watch– Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you. For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, A bitter and hasty nation Which marches through the breadth of the earth, To possess dwelling places that are not theirs.” The Isaiah 10, “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hand is My indignation…Yet he does not mean so, Nor does his heart think so; But it is in his heart to destroy, And cut off not a few nations.” Then, there is Cyrus, “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the LORD his God be with him, and let him go up!”

        Then, “And exactly how in the world can you say that if someone knew something bad was happening but didn’t stop it even though they could have, then THEY determined the outcome?”

        That’s basically the Calvinist position. God is the final arbiter of all that happens and nothing can happen unless He decree it to happen. In Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will…” So every event that happens is decreed/ordained/determined by God to happen.

        Then, “So I guess, according to Calvinism, the person who commits a crime is not guilty for his actions at all, because the criminal isn’t the one who “determines the outcome.””

        The person who commits the crime does not do so because God forces him to do so. As with the Assyrians, they just want to murder and plunder and God uses them to accomplish His purposes. Same situation with Joseph’s brothers. Their purpose was not to send Joseph to Egypt to save the world but to get rid of him. yet God determined that Joseph be sent to Egypt to save the world.

        Then, “But … if a crime is committed when there is no observer who could’ve stepped in but didn’t step in, then who is guilty?”

        God is always present at every sin for no other reason that His omnipresence. The person acts out of His desires and is guilty for his actions.

        Then, “Because apparently, according to you, the one who doesn’t stop a crime is the one guilty for the crime.”

        The one who could stop a crime and does not do so is the one who determined the crime to occur. He is not guilty of the crime because he did not force the perosn to commit the crime – the person did it because that was his desire.

      26. rhutchin
        Under Calvinism…God..is the final arbiter or disposer of all that happens.

        br.d
        This is a good example of deceptive language
        Calvin’s god is the *ONLY* arbiter and disposer of all that happens.

        rhutchin
        God could have done nothing and let Adam decide what he would do

        br.d
        FALSE
        No decree of [X] = no [X]

        Where [X] = Adamic disobedience
        Where [X] = David’s sin with Bathsheba
        Where [X] = Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery

        rhutchin
        Given that God is omniscient, He knows exactly what a person will choose to do

        br.d
        More deceptive language
        Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – chooses *FOR* the creature – what the creature will choose.

        rhutchin
        so even with multiple options, only one option will prevail and that option is already know to God.

        br.d
        FALSE
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) there is no such thing as multiple options available to the creature.
        Calvin’s god permits only one single option – that which he decrees come to pass.
        All other options exist only as ILLUSIONS which Calvin’s god determines creatures to have.

        rhutchin
        So, the evil decisions of people…..result from the independent, self-determined choices of evil people.

        br.d
        FALSE
        Calvin’s god determines *ALL* things *FOR* the creature – leaving ZERO left over for the creature to determine.

        rhutchin
        …. nothing can happen unless He decree it to happen.

        br.d
        BING!

        rhutchin
        The person who commits the crime does not do so because God forces him to do so.

        br.d
        No force necessary – as Calvin’s god determines what sins/evils the creature will commit and does not permit otherwise

        rhutchin
        The person acts out of His desires…etc.

        br.d
        No decree = no desire

      27. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god permits only one single option – that which he decrees come to pass.”

        And God does this without forcing that option on a person. God is incredible.

      28. br.d
        Calvin’s god permits only one single option – that which he decrees come to pass.

        rhutchin
        And God does this without forcing that option on a person. God is incredible.

        br.d
        Thank you for acknowledging that there is no such thing as multiple options in Theological Determinism
        But will your YEA today – be NAY tomorrow?

        Peter Van Inwagen
        -quote
        Determinism may now be defined: it is the thesis that there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future.
        It is only if the universe is IN-deterministic, therefore, that time really is a “garden of forking paths.”
        (Metaphysics – the power of rational beings – page 125)

        If Theological Determinism is true – the human perception of multiple options from which to choose is a FALSE PERCEPTION
        An ILLUSION – the THEOS determined come to pass within the human brain.

      29. Thank you for your comments, Reggie and FOH.

        Reggie, I’m glad to hear that you appreciate reading the comments. That’s exactly why I write them against the Calvinists on this site (why many of us do), not for their sakes or because we think we can “defeat” them, but for the sake of those reading, to help them see the manipulation, errors, illogicalness, word games, contradictions, etc. of Calvinism. So thank you for your comment!

        And I know where FOH is coming from. And I’m sure he knows that I’m not writing for rhutchin’s sake and that I’m aware of rhutchin’s merry-go-round of games. I think he’s pointing out the futility of addressing rhutchin not to criticize me … but to criticize rhutchin for his endless, deceptive word games. Like saying “It’s pointless to argue with a fool.” That’s not meant to shame the person arguing with the fool, but to shame the fool. And least that’s how I took it, FOH. So it’s all good. 🙂

      30. BRDMOD said “Heather – there were a few words in this post that I deleted – as they were a little too expletive for this environment”

        I totally understand. I apologize. And thank you for moderating! You’re doing a good job. 🙂

      31. Much appreciated Heather!
        And please let me know if I do something similar.
        We’re in a wonderful body where every joint supplies :-]

    4. JT wrote:
      “The Bible declares that no one is righteous and sinless except God, yet still some insists that the gentile babies are born righteous and sinless because they are not under the law.”

      Aidan: First of all, you provide no scripture for your presumptions! Secondly, you ignore the scriptures that teach the polar opposite, namely, that everyone is born sinless (Ezek.18; Rom. 3:12, 23; Is.53:6 etc..)

      No one cares what anyone’s opinion is! If you have anything to say, instead of talking about how depraved you think babies are, deal with these scriptures!

      1. 1 Corinthians 15:10-11
        10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

      2. Bryan,

        You had qutoed:
        “1 Corinthians 15:10-11
        10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”

        Nothing more than saying, “WE ARE WEAK BUT HE IS STRONG”…learned that from a SUNDAY SCHOOL SONG.

        He was talking to believers, NOT UNBELIEVERS, that is the caveat to “and so you believed”. He didn’t mention those who DIDN’T believe that he preached to…just the current audience. I surely hope that don’t think that “and so you believed” is referencing the word, “CHOSEN”, or “ELECT” or some magical act that God must perform to GET THEM to believe”, otherwise, they could not beleive on their own accord?

        Ed Chapman

      3. Aidan, You need to ask Ed Chapman (not me) of scripture support regarding “Gentile babies are born righteous because he insisted that babies are not under the law and nothing laws has been violated”. I guess you can become the best tandem with him on this area because you also ignore the TD, right?

      4. Just like Ed, I find no scripture that explicitly supports TD! Do you? If so, where?

      5. Aidan asks of JTL, “Just like Ed, I find no scripture that explicitly supports TD!”

        John 6 – “No one can come to Me…”
        Hebrews 11 – “…without faith it is impossible to please God…”
        John 3 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

      6. That’s an inference, but not a necessary inference! Can you quote something a little more definitive with TD in it?

      7. Aiden writes, “Can you quote something a little more definitive with TD in it?”

        That specific term is not in the Scriptures. Neither does the term, Trinity. Each is a short hand term for basic concepts gained from the Scriptures.

      8. Which you still have to definitively prove just like the concept of the Trinity.

      9. Aidan
        That’s an inference, but not a necessary inference! Can you quote something a little more definitive with TD in it?

        br.d
        I’ve asked Calvinists for EXPLICIT verses before – and never get one.
        Its always a verses that are CONSTRUED to conform to the philosophy.
        Calvinists are taught to AUTO-MAGICALLY read their doctrine into a few specific verses
        When non-Calvinists don’t see what they see in those verses – Calvinists don’t seem to be able to comprehend why.

      10. Yep! Total brainwash! But, let’s keep asking for the verses to expose that brainwashing.

      11. Aidan…

        Here’s the stunner. They quote Heb 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”…. as a proof text for TD!!!!!??

        They are so pre-convinced that faith is a given-thing that they super-impose that idea onto verses that actually disprove TD!

        Nobody (except Calvinists) thinks that faith is a given thing!! That defies there very concept of faith! People put their faith in lots of things: politician, leaders, religions, etc. That is just a silly argument.

        But…as I said, they come to the table with so many presuppositions that they cannot hear themselves.

        Look at all the places in Scripture that say “you of little faith” “if only you had more faith” “increase my faith” “never have I seen such faith in all of Israel [said about a Gentile by the way]”. (((was God giving it out in small doses??)))

        Then all the instances of faith as you go on in Hebrews 11. Never –not even a hint— does it say “God gave Abel faith” etc. Nah….they just make that stuff up and expect people to believe them!

      12. I wonder what RH makes of (2 Ti. 2:18) “who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.”?

        overthrow the faith of some?

      13. Ha!

        There are plenty of “back to your old ways” or “shipwrecked faith” verses from Paul and others! (Dont forget Hebrews 6 and 10!)

        One slight problem with that is a lot of the Baptists on this site are one-point Calvinists (P) and believe OSAS, so RH does not get challenged on those verses much.

        Anyway…. if he ever did get challenged and did answer…. the answer would start with “Well.. that verse does not really mean what it looks like…”

        That is the standard introduction to hundreds of verses.

        Well there is another standard introduction: “You have to take the whole of Scripture” (which really means rinse those hundreds of verses through the filter of OUR interpretation of these 2-3 verses.”

      14. Seems like they are building scriptures around their system, it’s a house of cards!

      15. Aiden writes, “…overthrow the faith of some?”

        That is why God inspired men to write down the Scriptures. Peter warned, “…there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies,…” Then Paul, “…such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.” Yet, Paul says, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

      16. And ….once again…

        “Be careful for all those bringing heresies that might overthrow your faith….”

        “But…you can’t have your faith overthrown….so…whatever.”

      17. You are absolutely right! Why all the warnings if your faith cannot be overthrown.

        Excellent point, FOH.

      18. Seems like you have no real answer to this verse except smoke and mirrors. And still the verse stands, ‘they overthrew the faith of some.’

      19. Aiden writes, “Seems like you have no real answer to this verse except smoke and mirrors.”

        Guess that puts you and I on equal footing as even you have no answer to the verse. I would not characterize Scripture as “smoke and mirrors.”

      20. Aiden writes, “Seems like you have no real answer to this verse except smoke and mirrors.”

        Guess that puts you and I on equal footing as even you have no answer to the verse. I would not characterize Scripture as “smoke and mirrors.”

        br.d
        Its fun to watch Calvinists maintain a white-knuckle grip on the assumption their INTERPRETATION of scripture is canon. :-]

      21. Yep, just wait for the ‘All scripture is truth’ and ‘You just want to reject scripture and believe what you want’ statements. I hear them every time I challenge my resident Calvinist. Anyone who does no believe like the Calvinist obviously hates God, denies the inerrancy of scripture, or just want to do their own thing. Such accusations don’t grasp that we all (biblical believers) claim adherence to the same group of words (albeit often less than perfectly translated), but that no words have meaning apart from the application of hermeneutics, reason, logic, etc.

        Words do not just stand alone, with obvious and unchallengable meaning. Ask anyone who has ever been married, had kids or ever been in a conversation with another human being. There is a great deal of conflict and misunderstanding that arises from the unavoidable fact that all people do not ‘hear’ the exact same thing even when they hear the exact same words. Which is why the key to understanding is a relationship of trust and love, which allows individuals to work through vast variances in experience, intelligence, insight and understanding that can leave us feeling as if we speak different languages.

        The same is true with God. And ultimately, our best asset is Jesus, the living Word, who reveals God’s essence in living form, giving us a standard by which to test what interpretations we are giving to the written words preserved in scripture. We must rely on an ongoing relationship, through the Holy Spirit, that allows us to work through our misunderstandings.

      22. I think for the Calvinist – wrapping himself in scripture – is the equivalent of a politician wrapping himself in the flag.
        Its the same strategy for both

        And for me – they are simply revealing they don’t have any cards in their hand.
        So they rely on pretense
        It probably works at fooling some people – some of the time.
        And if it works for them – they’ll stick to it like glue.

      23. br.d writes, “And for me – they are simply revealing they don’t have any cards in their hand.”

        No cards except for the Scripture for which you complain, “I think for the Calvinist – wrapping himself in scripture – is the equivalent of a politician wrapping himself in the flag.”

        If one does not wrap himself in Scripture, in what does he wrap himself – Aristotle??

      24. rhutchin
        If one does not wrap himself in Scripture, in what does he wrap himself – Aristotle??

        br.d
        Honesty does not need to wrap itself in any pretense at all :-]

      25. rhutchin
        No cards except for the Scripture for which you complain

        br.d
        How many Calvinists does it take to create a straw-man! :-]

      26. TS00 writes, “we all (biblical believers) claim adherence to the same group of words (albeit often less than perfectly translated), but that no words have meaning apart from the application of hermeneutics, reason, logic, etc. ”

        So why don’t you apply hermeneutics, reason, logic, etc. and present alternatives? Take John 6, where Jesus says, “No one can come to me…” The Calvinist says it means what it says, “No one (no person without faith) is able (has any inclination of power) to come (believe in faith) me…” Even Brian agrees that “No one can come to me…” means “No one can come to me.”

        Even Dr. Flowers, who seems to waffle on this, says above, “there have been many throughout the pages of Scripture who have been declared righteous by means of grace through faith.” In fact, “grace through faith” is a major theme above, as, for example, “in verse (Romans 3) 21 he shifts to reveal a righteousness that can be obtained by means of grace through faith in Christ.”

        It is obvious to the Calvinist that the unsaved receive nothing related to salvation except by means of grace through faith in Christ. Do you have a hermeneutic that argues otherwise?

      27. RH wrote:
        Guess that puts you and I on equal footing as even you have no answer to the verse. I would not characterize Scripture as “smoke and mirrors.”

        Aidan:
        I described what you gave me as “smoke and mirrors” because I found you vague and lacking in explanation. You had given it as an explanation to (2 Timothy 2:18) – “and they overthrow the faith of some.” But now you have just acknowledged that what you gave me was – “no answer to the verse,” confirming your “smoke and mirrors” manoeuvre.

        The answer to that verse is in the verse itself, namely, “they overthrow the faith of some.” Maybe that possibility is difficult for you to accept as a Calvinist, but it’s certainly not difficult to understand what it means.

      28. Aiden writes, ““they overthrow the faith of some.” Maybe that possibility is difficult for you to accept as a Calvinist, but it’s certainly not difficult to understand what it means.”

        So, tell us what it means. Does it mean that a person loses their salvation” or does it mean that they become unfruitful Christians for a time? You avoided the issue on Matthew 7. Perhaps, you can do better here.

      29. Aidan,

        Remember all verses that dont say what they want can be softened. But verses that say what they want (4,5,6 of them) MUST be interpreted their way. That’s the way it goes.

        So the Calvinsit site “Ligonier” quotes this verse:
        “For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins” (2 Peter 1:9).

        Notice here that “blind” does not mean…. well…. literally blind, right”

        But “dead in sin” means….. literally 6 feet under (ask a Calvinist)….a corpse, lifeless.

        This site goes on to say …

        “While true believers may at times forget the significance of Christ’s work and sin, their lapse is never permanent. However, if someone finally falls away, not only have they forgotten the work of Christ, they have never really trusted in Him at all.”

        Presto!! It is so because….well…. we say so!!!

      30. FOH writes, “But “dead in sin” means….. literally 6 feet under (ask a Calvinist)….a corpse, lifeless. ”

        That’s “… literally 6 feet under spiritually (ask a Calvinist)….a spiritual corpse, lifeless to spiritual things.” So, knowing the truth, given your claims to having been a Calvinist, why do you (purposely?) distort the truth?

      31. rhutchin
        given your claims to having been a Calvinist, why do you (purposely?) distort the truth?

        br.d
        AH YES! The “when will you stop beating your wife” routine! :-]

      32. Per the Ligonier site:

        “While true believers may at times forget the significance of Christ’s work and sin, their lapse is never permanent. However, if someone finally falls away, not only have they forgotten the work of Christ, they have never really trusted in Him at all.”

        This interpretation has them all “praying for” Calvinist poster-boy Josh Harris.

        Since he was a leading Calvinist (megachurch and conferences) for over 20 years, his divorce from wife and divorce from faith has them praying. Praying what?

        The decision on his salvation (according to Calvinism) was made before time…..so done deal on that.

        And if saved…. they are praying that his straying is what ….short? What if a long straying is for God’s glory?

        The four-Calvinist article on Gospel Coalition bizarrely says:
        “…for our part, we are still praying that this is a wandering from the path rather than a final abandonment.”

        They can pray that? As Calvinists? Oh well, If he dies still denying Christ….they can say that he never knew Him….which does not bode well for any Calvinist who might think he is a believer!

      33. FOH writes, “They can pray that? As Calvinists?”

        Yes, because they believe that God has the final say in all things. James said, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” So, ample reason to appeal to God concerning Harris.

      34. rhutchin
        Yes, because they believe that God has the final say in all things. …

        br.d
        And because John Calvin taught them they can
        -quote
        “go about their office *AS-IF* nothing (in this case whatever thoughts Calvin’s god determines to be actualized in their brains) is determined in any part.

        [X] is TRUE *AS-IF* [X] is FALSE

        Calvin’s god determines every choice they will ever make *FOR* them – *AS-IF* he didn’t

        Its called *AS-IF* thinking
        Its the only way the Calvinist can retain a sense of normalcy. :-]

      35. Once again, an example of an Arminian answer and verse used to prove …of all things Calvinism.

        Of course God’s word says “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” !!! That’s exactly what renders Calvinism so useless!

        A. If God decided before time to save him, your prayer in 2020 has nothing to do with it.

        B. If God created him as a “vessel of wrath” “for His glory” your prayers are actually going against God’s desire.

        In any case….(in Calvinism) his “seeming apostasy” or “wandering from the path” has been decreed by God too (for His glory). So… a Calvinist prays what?

      36. FOH
        In any case….(in Calvinism) his “seeming apostasy” or “wandering from the path” has been decreed by God too (for His glory). So… a Calvinist prays what?

        br.d
        He thinks DOUBLE-THINK
        So it makes sense that he prays DOUBLE-THINK – right?

      37. I honestly cannot come up with a reasonable Calvinist prayer that does not sound like nonsense. It was one of the ways God cornered me into taking an honest look at what I was allowing to be poured into my children’s heads. I mean, I didn’t believe it, so I just continued to think and pray as I always had, but what about my kids? When a really significant issue came up with one of my sons, I realized that I could avoid no longer asserting that Calvinism was not true, (rather than sitting on the fence and poking fun at its inconsistencies) and that he could indeed pray for God’s assistance, deliverance, etc. without wondering if this ‘thing’ was from God and something he could not hope to avoid.

        Imagine being a Calvinist parent and trying to help your child deal with a significant sin or failure! If you were consistent with your theology, you could only shrug and say, ‘I guess that is what God wants for you, or he would not have brought it to pass. Suck it up buttercup, and give God the glory anyway!’

      38. Said the 16-year-old son of a Calvinist to his dad after taking the car against the father’s expressed desires and crashing it on the hillside,
        “You’re right Dad that it was not God will of command to disobey you, but it must have been His sovereign will —-and gave Him glory right?”

      39. FOH writes, “Said the 16-year-old son of a Calvinist to his dad…”

        Yes, but you are still grounded. Disobedience, even to the glory of God, has consequences.

      40. Nah…. You’re just making that up.

        So the son is grounded…but sneaks out anyway. Again his disobedience is God’s sovereign will (according to Greek-philosophy Augustine and Calvin).

        When he disobediently sneaks out (Calvinist sovereign will “for God’s glory”), he goes to his girlfriend’s house and sleeps with her (Calvinist sovereign will “for God’s glory”). Later she finds herself pregnant and she has an abortion (Calvinist sovereign will “for God’s glory”).

        We could just do this all day! Piper and the Calvinist’s version of sovereign will “for God’s glory” says that God delighted in the Holocaust!! Delightful!

        Just think about telling those still alive who have the tattoo from the concentration camp on their arms that it was for God’s glory that they were tortured then and tormented all these years. Delightful!!

        Oh….I forgot to add… we also tell them “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”

        Rats….. no….Calvinists dont say “God loves you.” (cuz they dont know if God does love that person in front of them).

        And they certainly do not say “He has a wonderful plan for your life” !!! Cuz (according to Piper, and RH, and Calvin) it may be a torturous life on this earth followed by eternal punishment.

        Yum! Good News!

      41. The thing is, and I know you know this, that most self-claimed Calvinists do not truly believe such things. Most are, as another recent post termed it, ‘nominal Calvinists’. And their Calvinist influencers will not come right out and tell them the ugly truth – if they even acknowledge it to themselves. Because, as you have said many times, consistent Calvinism is simply unlivable for the average person.

        I don’t mean that as a slam or an insult. It is the truth as best I see it. The rare, hardcore, hyper-Calvinists who can acknowledge the unpalatable truths of their theology have had to sear that which is compassionate within them. Over the years they are gradually, subtly brainwashed until, one day, they no longer have a heart for others, as they are gradually conformed to the image of their false picture of God. That which was gentle, loving and gracious is slowly extinguished, until nothing is left but a cold, arrogant shell, full of head knowledge and devoid of a heart. I hate to see that happen to anyone. Even most nominal Calvinists I know have little love for ‘hyper-Calvinists’, but they do not grasp that this is what consistent Calvinism looks like.

      42. Our daughter is on staff a non-denom church that has been bitten by the YRR craze.

        She had a discussion with the youth pastor (boy is he in the target demographic: white, non-Pentecostal, educated, young, American, male — he might as well wear a target on his back with a big YRR in the middle!).

        Anyway….he told her that he was (newly) a Calvinist (surprise!).

        She then asked him about 10 questions, all of which he should have answered in the positive: “So, you believe this then….”

        He answered “Of course not!” to every one!! (surprise again).

        Just give him time….. he will transforms his present understanding of a God who loves everyone into a sadistic God who programmed people to hate Him so He could punish them for it! Ordained and decreed (for His glory!) rape, torture, Holocaust…. He just has to get over to a few web sites and start drinking it in.

        Put your Bible down youngin!!!

      43. Put your Bible down youngin – until we get your brain re-programmed on how you are to read it

        Once we get done RE-FORMING your brain – you’ll be full of 101 wonderful DOUBLE-SPEAK talking-points! :-]

      44. Exactly what I have witnessed, again and again. Well-meaning people seduced into a not fully explained Calvinism, then gradually brainwashed until they can accept things that they would once have declared utterly unthinkable. Their empathy and compassion is decimated, as they are ridiculed at being too ‘weak’ to be able to handle ‘the truth’, and they become cold, heartless demagogues for Calvinism. Tragic. Perhaps they were never ‘truly’ saved, to take a leaf out of Calvinism’s book. The ever increasing army of former Calvinists is encouraging however. Many finally come to their senses, and look back with astonishment at how they were seduced and manipulated.

      45. I think the Lord was really illuminating your mind TS00
        I would suspect there are many more Calvinists who are so dedicated to Calvinism and have learned thought-blocking techniques to stop themselves from questioning the IRRATIONAL nature of the doctrine. They just assume their children will do the same.

        But then again – like John Piper says about his kids – fall all he knows – Calvin’s god has designed his kids for eternal torment in the lake of fire – along with the rest of the “MANY”.

      46. Confused Calvinist in his prayer closet:

        “Dear God, I hold up Joshua Harris to you. I ask that you . . . er . . . well, if you . . . I mean, since you . . . uh, did you . . ., oh, never mind. You have this, like everything else already covered. Whatever is going on with Josh, it is obviously your doing, so why am I even bringing it up? Forget I mentioned it. Wait, why did you ordain me to mention it anyway? Arggghhhh . . . I think I hear my wife calling. You can keep the dime. “

      47. TS00 writes, “Confused Calvinist in his prayer closet: “Dear God, I hold up Joshua Harris to you….”

        Confused Calvinist in his prayer closet: “Dear God, I hold up Saul of Tarsus Harris to you….” What did Sail of Tarsus then say, “…when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, …” Fortunately for the confused Calvinist, “the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 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.”

      48. rhutchin
        “the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought,

        br.d
        Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world determining all thoughts that will come to pass in the creature’s brain.
        Oh I think I’ll send the Spirit along with this particular neurological impulse!
        That way I can at least SIMULATE what the scripture says! :-]

      49. FOH writes, “Of course God’s word says “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” !!! That’s exactly what renders Calvinism so useless!”

        Prayer appropriates that which God has decreed. So, James, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Then, Jesus, “Then Jesus spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,…And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?” and “Jesus said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Paul said, “…pray without ceasing,…” and “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.” and many other encouragements to pray. Nothing useless here.

      50. rhutchin
        Prayer appropriates that which God has decreed.

        br.d
        *AS-IF* Calvin’s god “merely” permits the creature to be/do anything.

        1001 ways to SMUGGLE “mere” permission back into the system
        In camouflaged form of course!

        The doctrine rules out “mere” permission for him – but he can’t live without it.

        Hence all their DOUBLE-THINK

      51. There ya go again, quoting scripture that disproves your theology, as if you can have your cake and eat it too. We know full well that scripture – and biblical theology – affirms the importance and power of prayer. Our question is how any honest, consistent Calvinist can pretend as if he believes those scriptural claims. Oh, I know, they think they can say ‘I believe it because it says so right here in scripture, and avoid confronting the reality that, although scripture says one thing, their theology asserts the opposite. This, my friend, is the issue.

      52. TS00 writes, “they think they can say ‘I believe it because it says so right here in scripture, and avoid confronting the reality that, although scripture says one thing, their theology asserts the opposite. This, my friend, is the issue.”

        What does Scripture say that Calvinist theology asserts the opposite? Can you give an example without prooftexting.

      53. I think that’s exactly it, FOH. When they start off with the presupposition of TD, then you’re dead from the get go! Therefore you need a supernatural injection in order to be given faith as a gift. And so, when they see someone who has faith, they automatically connect that as proof of TD, not to mention the gift, and the rest of TULIP to boot.

        In one sense, it’s a very logical system! The only problem is that it’s foundation is built on sand!

      54. I mean, how ridiculous is this concept:

        You walk up to someone and quote this beautiful verse:

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

        They say….wow.

        You say… but you cannot seek Him. You cannot believe He exists. You cannot have faith…..

        They say…. huh?

        You say… Unless(!!)…. unless God regenerates you and then you will irresistibly seek Him and believe Him.

        They say… uh….what’s the point of the verse?

        You say…. no point really….

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

        Calvinist version: And without [God gifting man faith] it is impossible to please God, because anyone who [he irresistibly compels to] come[s] to him must [first be regenerated and given faith in order to be enabled to] believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

        I still have a few quibbles. I cannot help but wonder why God is pleased by the faith that he himself irresistibly gave to men. Is he that shallow, that his own controlling works give him a thrill? I mean, I can see why genuine faith, from the uncoerced heart of men would be pleasing, but not the Calvinistic God controlled faith.

        Which also leads one to question why God plays the games he does. If he wants men to believe in him, and such pleases him, why in the world did he curse all men to be unable to believe? Wouldn’t he be pleased to the max if he had instead zapped men with an inability to not believe? Seems kinda masochistic.

        Then there is the rewards thing. You don’t reward someone for receiving something. Nor for doing what they irresistibly must because you did something mystical to them. And he calls that action that he made not only possible but unavoidable, ‘earnestly’ seeking? Hmmm . . . I have to tell ya, this Calvi-god does not seem like the brightest bulb on the block.

      56. Aiden writes, “In one sense, it’s a very logical system! The only problem is that it’s foundation is built on sand!”

        Until you or someone else explains the “sand” part, that system will prevail as it is logical. Unsubstantiated claims, as in “When they start off with the presupposition of TD, then you’re dead from the get go!,” will not cut it.

      57. RH wrote:
        “Until you or someone else explains the “sand” part, that system will prevail as it is logical. Unsubstantiated claims, as in “When they start off with the presupposition of TD, then you’re dead from the get go!,” will not cut it.”

        Aidan:
        “In one sense, it’s a very logical system! The only problem is that it’s foundation is built on sand!” Meaning it’s not founded on Christ and His word (Mt. 7:24-27). And you are mistaken, it won’t prevail no matter how logical it is, since it is not scriptural. It is your unsubstantiated claims concerning TD that will not cut it.

        For it is written,
        “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
        AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”

        The only thing that will cut it in regard to TD, is actual scriptural proof.

  8. Heather wrote -JTL says “It is God who enabled Noah to live righteously, not Noah himself.” Can you support that with a verse that clearly says that God caused Noah to live righteously? I’m not being sarcastic, but I am asking seriously. Because I think they left that verse out of my Bible. (Okay, THAT was sarcastic.)

    Yes we can Heather but you have to take the totality of scripture instead of isolating a verses.
    “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

    1)Does true righteousness please God?

    2)Can they who are in the flesh please God apart from the Spirit of God?

    Romans 8 :7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
    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. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
    10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

    1. Shawn
      Yes we can Heather but you have to take the totality of scripture instead of isolating a verses.

      br.d
      More precisely this is called: Chain-linking MY INTERPRETATION of XYZ verses together
      In order to ensure I get MY INTERPRETATION of all other verses
      So that I can use MY INTERPRETATION as a lens through which to INTERPRET all scripture.

      This process entails one major vulnerability
      MY INTERPRETATION might be IRRATIONAL
      And as such will make scripture IRRATIONAL
      In such case I will have to work overtime to try to obfuscate the IRRATIONAL nature of MY INTERPRETATION

      1. Shawn:
        If we have shown anything on this site it is the fact that Calvinism depends on 40-50 key verses with which one must filter all the rest. It is precisely the totality of Scripture that got me and others out of Calvinism.

        Please see our hundreds and hundreds of posts quoting hundreds and hundreds of verses that are ignored (or dismissed) by Calvinists.

        Shawn….I did not find Calvinism by the totality of Scripture. I found it by being told to pay attention (and give preference to) a few key verses.

      2. FOH
        Shawn….I did not find Calvinism by the totality of Scripture. I found it by being told to pay attention (and give preference to) a few key verses.

        br.d
        And to be honest – it kinda looks like that was what was done in this case – doesn’t it?

        How many verses would it take to represent: “the totality of scripture”?
        Just my 2-3 go-to verses! :-]

        I like N.T. Wright’s joke:
        “Romans 9 has become the happy-hunting-ground for Calvinist theology” :-]

      3. br.d writes, “I like N.T. Wright’s joke: “Romans 9 has become the happy-hunting-ground for Calvinist theology” ”

        Romans 9 is certain;y fertile ground for Calvinist doctrine.

      4. rhutchin
        Romans 9 is certain;y fertile ground for Calvinist doctrine.

        br.d
        No response necessary! :-]

      5. FOH writes, “Calvinism depends on 40-50 key verses with which one must filter all the rest. It is precisely the totality of Scripture that got me and others out of Calvinism.”

        Don’t you mean the totality of Scripture less the 40-50 key verses normally cited by Calvinists?

    2. Thank you for your response, Shawn. But where in all that does it say that God enabled Noah to be righteous or that God chooses who to give the Spirit to? A verse on being “in the Spirit” does not explain how that person came to be “in the Spirit,” nor does it imply that God chooses who to give the Spirit to and who to withhold Him from? Example: Saying “All the people in Bus A are going to heaven” doesn’t explain how they got onto the bus, nor does it imply that God determined who would be on the bus.

      I agree with BR.D. that this is “Chain-linking MY INTERPRETATION of XYZ verses together in order to ensure I get MY INTERPRETATION of all other verses, so that I can use MY INTERPRETATION as a lens through which to INTERPRET all scripture.”

      I say that it’s philosophizing about what verses mean to get the interpretation Calvinists want.

      1. heather, to Shawn, writes, “A verse on being “in the Spirit” does not explain how that person came to be “in the Spirit,” nor does it imply that God chooses who to give the Spirit to and who to withhold Him from?”

        From Ephesians 1, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,…” So, we know that the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the believer after he comes to believe.

        Belief is preceded by faith and we know from Romans 10 that faith comes from hearing the gospel. In John 6, Jesus said, ““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.” So the assurance and conviction of the gospel that we call faith derives from one being taught by God. If God is the teacher, we know that the person will believe as the person is said to come to Christ as a direct result of God’s teaching.

      2. rhutchin
        If God is the teacher, we know that the person will believe as the person is said to come to Christ as a direct result of God’s teaching.

        br.d
        In this case “we” = Calvinists only
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) Calvin’s god SOLELY determines *FOR* the creature – what the creature will perceive and what the creature will believe.

        Nothing more and nothing less is permitted.

        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.

        Calvinist Paul Helms
        -quote
        Not only is every atom and molecule, every THOUGHT and DESIRE…..every TWIST and TURN of each
        of these is under the *DIRECT CONTROL* of god (The Providence of God pg 22)

      3. jtleosala
        Heather, of course you will agree with Br.D, the “neurological impulse man”. He is your ally…

        br.d
        And you let rhutchin speak for you because why? :-]

      4. Or someone at the foundation of the world decreed it
        Did not permit otherwise – and did not make any alternative available! :-]

      5. JTL: “Heather, of course you will agree with Br.D, the “neurological impulse man”. He is your ally…”

        Heather says: No … I agree with BR.D. because Calvi-god pre-ordained, from before the foundation of the world, that I agree with him. Calvi-god controlled my thoughts so that I became an ally of BR.D.s. I couldn’t choose anything differently. And all for Calvi-god’s glory.

        So I guess the real question is … Why do YOU have a problem with it? Why mock it, if Calvi-god decreed it for his glory? Who are YOU to mock or criticize what Calvi-god decreed? And why aren’t you afraid of ticking off Calvi-god by mocking or criticizing what he’s decreed for his glory?

        (Oh, wait, that’s right … Calvi-god decreed that you criticize his decrees. I forgot how much Calvi-god loves to decree things that go against the things he decrees, how much he loves to cause people to oppose him, for his glory. Silly me!)

      6. Heather
        I forgot how much Calvi-god loves to decree things that go against the things he decrees, how much he loves to cause people to oppose him, for his glory. Silly me!)

        br.d
        It is a pretty DOUBLE-MINDED belief system isn’t it! :-]

      7. It is self-negating, if one just thinks it through – as Heather is so good at demonstrating.

      8. TS00
        It is self-negating, if one just thinks it through – as Heather is so good at demonstrating.

        br.d
        Agreed.
        But it is funny their minds are so conditioned – they can’t see what they are doing is declaring YEA one minute and NAY the next

    3. Shawn wrote:
      1)Does true righteousness please God?

      2)Can they who are in the flesh please God apart from the Spirit of God?

      Romans 8 :7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
      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. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
      10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

      Aidan:
      That’s why these Christians at Rome were told in no uncertain terms:

      “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Rom. 8:11-12)

  9. One thing that no one is really talking about is the CONTEXT of Romans 3:12, except for ONE PERSON to whom I responded already.

    I’ve said it before, that this is DIRECTED at the JEWS ONLY, but seems not many are getting it. Some do. Most don’t.

    So, let me give my take AGAIN on Romans 3:12.

    The JEWS ONLY was under the Law of Moses. Gentiles were not.

    The Jews have 613 commandments, Gentiles did not.

    Gentiles are not seeking God, because they don’t know anything about God. So how can they? The Jews had all the info. And it was forbidden to them to share THEIR HERITAGE…until AFTER Jesus rose from the dead.

    But the Jews were walking on eggshells to ATTEMPT to be obedient to the 613 commandments that they had to follow, and OF COURSE THEY FAILED. OF COURSE, and why? Because it’s a SET UP TO FAIL. God NEVER intended for ANYONE to be obedient, Gentile or Jew. It’s purpose was to fail in order to show that righteousness CANNOT be obtained FROM ATTEMPTING to obey the law, all because you will fail.

    But we have Christians still attempting to OBEY THE LAW, hence the book of FOOLISH GALATIANS.

    But while they were attempting to EARN eternal life, walking on eggshells, THEY DON’T HAVE TIME IN THE DAY TO DO GOOD. You try it, and see if YOU would do good when YOU have to “observe, obey” the law, and see how YOU do.

    613 COMMANDMENTS and YOU think you have time in the day to DO GOOD?

    But comes Jesus on the scene, REMOVING THE BURDEN OF THE LAW, for those who accept that, and guess what? WE CAN DO GOOD, because all ya gotta do under Jesus is ONE COMMANDMENT, instead of 613.

    People just are not putting context into this.

    Ed Cahpman

    1. Ed Posted this one: “The JEWS ONLY was under the Law of Moses. Gentiles were not.”

      My Response:

      1.Yes, and I agree to that Ed. No Problem with me. The 10 was reduced by Christ into 2 only and…

      2. Yet, under the NT Gentile Christians are ought to live by the commandments of Christ, not for the purpose of obtaining Salvation. It is just the means in which God uses in accomplishing the progression of His decrees for the believer. Whether the believer will obey or not, it becomes incorporated into God’s plan in accomplishing the final dead end of God’s desired result.

      3. One more thing even though the 10 was reduced by Christ into 2, yet Gentile Christians cannot fulfill it for themselves consistently and on a 100 % compliance by using their will. This is because Gentile believers are saved by Grace through faith in Christ not by the law.

      4. New breed of Calvinist like me believes both God’s determinism and use of Human freedom. The God of the Holy scriptures allowing man to use his will cannot be ignored by the non-Calvinists.

      5. The believer’s performance whether they did obey or dis-obey. becomes a part of God’s plan for eternity. For Br.D, the “neurological impulse man” this is hard to accept and round and round call it as double talk etc. But, this is scriptural-the one that I embrace as a Calvinist. I don’t have any problem with both determinism and human freedom. It is still compatible and just accept it as it is. If one will just take a stand on one side, he will become an extremist and will become an enemy of the other side.

      1. jt,

        Hey there, long time no hear from!

        You had me at hello, but I must correct you on something. IT wasn’t 10 down to 2. It was 613 down to 2. There are 613 commandments in the Law of Moses.

        But this is where ya lost me:

        3. One more thing even though the 10 was reduced by Christ into 2, yet Gentile Christians cannot fulfill it for themselves consistently and on a 100 % compliance by using their will. This is because Gentile believers are saved by Grace through faith in Christ not by the law.

        4. New breed of Calvinist like me believes both God’s determinism and use of Human freedom. The God of the Holy scriptures allowing man to use his will cannot be ignored by the non-Calvinists.

        5. The believer’s performance whether they did obey or dis-obey. becomes a part of God’s plan for eternity.

        My response to that:

        That’s not true. First of all, Love your neighbor as yourself is what PROVES that you love God, and you are right that we can and do fail at that, and when that happens, we recognize it, but as the book of Hebrews tells us, God PUNISHES HIS CHILDREN as a FATHER, and does NOT CAST US OUT…and, we can ask for forgiveness. In either case, God does not cast out his CHILDREN.

        Romans 12:2
        And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

        THAT VERSE is TELLING us to DO SOMETHING that is the will of God, it does not say that God WILL transform our minds, it tells us to transform our own minds.

        Then we have Matthew 7, those who claim to be Christians but are NOT PRODUCTING FRUIT, for faith without works is DEAD.

        In other words, if you believe, but are doing NOTHING to prove it, then your faith is dead, and since it is by faith, if you are not proving your faith, then Jesus will say, “I never knew you”, meaning that they were not children (Christians) in the first place, for God does not cast out his children, and by that I mean those who are PROVING “their” faith. I put quotation marks around “their” because Calvinists think that it is GOD’S FAITH IMPUTED to them, but it is not. It is their belief.

        So, bottom line, I do not buy into your determinism stuff, either. The determining factor is upon the individual, not God. All God did was to provide a WAY, and Jesus said, “I am the way”.

        Ed Chapman

  10. Aidan McManus:

    You posted this one: “Yes, you are right, they desired it for themselves. But Jesus puts the responsibility right back on their shoulders; – If you desire it, then DO what He says!!

    My Response to Aidan: And they have done it, i.e: prophesied in Christ’s Name; cast out demons in Christ’s Name and have done wonderful works (just like the claims of the non-Calvinists of good works) but Jesus still rejected them. Why?

    Aidan posted that: i.e.: “Christ had put the responsibility back to to heir shoulders”.

    What responsibility are you talking about? are you smarter than Christ who knows everything and you will judge them by assuming they are not in the state of TD?. If they were not in the state of TD then, why is it that their good works as you claim in the non-Calvinists camp was totally rejected by Christ?

    No one can come to the SON without the Father’s decision to draw them to the Son. If any one attempt to come without the drawing power of the Father, surely they do it for by themselves alone and the result is futile.

    1. No one said they did good works, except they themselves. You asked why did Jesus reject them? You tell me, what reason does Jesus give in the passage? And what warning is He giving to everyone who comes to Him and hears His words (cf..Luke 6:46- 49)?

    2. Aidan
      Yes, you are right, they desired it for themselves. But Jesus puts the responsibility right back on their shoulders; – If you desire it, then DO what He says!!

      jtleosala
      My Response to Aidan: And they have done it, i.e: prophesied in Christ’s Name; cast out demons in Christ’s Name and have done wonderful works (just like the claims of the non-Calvinists of good works) but Jesus still rejected them. Why?

      br.d
      This blindly assumes what they did was what Jesus said – without any evidence showing that to be the case.
      Its also DOUBLE-THINK for a Calvinist – who holds that humans are UNABLE to obey the divine will without supernatural enablement.

      1. br.d writes, “This blindly assumes what they did was what Jesus said – without any evidence showing that to be the case.”

        LOL!!!! If we cannot believe Jesus, who can we believe??

      2. Where did Jesus indicate they did what He said? He indicates the opposite, which is why they were unable to enter in.

      3. Aiden writes, “Where did Jesus indicate they did what He said? He indicates the opposite, which is why they were unable to enter in.”

        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!’”

        Jesus does not accuse them of lying and why would they lie at that point. Do you think people will stand before Christ and try to bluff their way into heaven?

      4. rh writes:
        “Jesus does not accuse them of lying and why would they lie at that point. Do you think people will stand before Christ and try to bluff their way into heaven?”

        Yep. That seems to me to be what the passage is saying. They simply ‘claimed’ to do the things that Jesus commanded, apparently with the power of the Enemy. Just as Pharaoh’s magicians were often able to imitate the works of God through ‘magic’.

        What cannot be faked is genuine, sacrificial love. The kind that sums up the law and the prophets. Oh, some can put on pretty good fronts, but the truth will inevitably seep out. Artificial niceness is brittle and unsustainable, whereas genuine love never fails, never gives up, never considers the cost too high. These false men might have fooled others, but they did not fool God, and he will indeed declare them, with their claims of being his servants, liars.

        Honestly, the things people will do to twist scripture if it doesn’t fit their preconceptions.

      5. rhutchin
        Jesus does not accuse them of lying

        br.d
        An adult should know a person can be wrong without lying.

        And Jesus doesn’t state they did what he said.
        But Jesus does say “If you love me you will keep my words”.

        I suspect that’s why Aidan asked the question.

      6. Their sincerity should not be used as the litmus test for truth. I would say to RH, context, context, context. Verses 24-27 is where the application is made for (vv. 21-23). In spite of their protests, they were refused entry because of the premise stated in verse 21.

      7. Aiden writes, “Verses 24-27 is where the application is made for (vv. 21-23). In spite of their protests, they were refused entry because of the premise stated in verse 21.”

        The discussion starter was this: “br.d writes, “This blindly assumes what they did was what Jesus said – without any evidence showing that to be the case.”
        LOL!!!! If we cannot believe Jesus, who can we believe??”

        We have now moved on recognizing that it is laughable to doubt what Jesus says. So, moving on…

        As Jesus frames His teaching, He says that only the person who does the will of God will enter heaven (and we know that, in this context, a person cannot do the will of God without faith.). Jesus then gives an example of people who will not enter 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; ” What is wrong with these people? In Mark, we read, “these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Jesus doesn’t go into detail but gives an explanation in v24-27.Even Aiden doesn’t explain what v24-27 has to do with the earlier claims of those people. (At least, he doesn’t offer anything.) It’s a difficult teaching.

      8. rhutchin
        The discussion starter was this: “br.d writes, “This blindly assumes what they did was what Jesus said – without any evidence showing that to be the case.”
        LOL!!!! If we cannot believe Jesus, who can we believe??”

        We have now moved on recognizing that it is laughable to doubt what Jesus says. So, moving on…

        br.d
        That was your error – not mine.
        Obviously Jesus didn’t say they obeyed his commandments (i.e. obeyed the will of the father) which is what Aidan meant by “what Jesus said”.

      9. Matthew 7:21-27 is not difficult if you speak where Jesus speaks and are silent where He is silent. Anything in between is mere supposition. When it comes to scriptural authority on any matter, the silence of the scriptures is prohibitive. In other words, you have no authority to speak or practice something that the scriptures are silent on. Anyone who has served in the military understands the principle that you do not act or speak without authority.
        You might for example hear someone say, “Well the bible doesn’t say you can’t use milk and cheese for the Lord’s supper.” True! But does that mean we can do it? No! Because God has specified unleavened bread and fruit of the vine for the Lord’s Supper, and therefore we cannot go beyond what the Lord has said.

        Same here in this passage (Mt. 7:21-23). Jesus said absolutely nothing in regard to their miraculous claims in the past. He doesn’t get into it with them, except to say that He never knew them, depart from Me you who practice lawlessness. The only reason given for their failure to enter into the kingdom of heaven is, NOT DOING the will of the Father. That was His premise for the whole passage, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” Those in the passage who didn’t DO the will of the Father were accused of practicing lawlessness. I know one thing, if you spend your life doing the will of the Father, you don’t spend it practicing lawlessness.

        The application of these verses (21-23) is found in the word “THEREFORE” in (v24). Jesus says, Therefore, whoever hears these words of Mine and DOES them is like the wise man; but whoever hears and does NOT DO them is like the foolish one who comes to ruin and destruction. In other words, he is the man who did NOT DO the will of the Father so as to enter into heaven. That’s basically the application of it!

        What’s the contrast in (vss 24-27)?
        It’s – “Everyone who hears My words and DOES them, (against) “Everyone who hears My words and does NOT DO them” The former will enter into heaven, the latter will be told to depart!

        “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)

        That’s the message!

      10. Aidan,
        You make a good point and I have many times made the (similar) point “look at what Scripture does NOT say.”

        In all the passages about faith “I have not seen faith like this in all Israel” “Oh you of little faith” “if you only had more faith” (Heb 11:6) “you must have faith to please God” (Heb 11) ” Abel, Enoch, Abraham…etc.”…. it NEVER…. EVER! says anything about “giving” people faith.

        Nowhere. They have to twist Eph 2:8, 9 to say faith is the gift (Even Calvin’s own commentary say it is salvation that is the gift not faith).

        So…yes Scripture does NOT say a lot of things when it could.

        But that will not stop them from forcing it to say what they want.

      11. Aidan writes, “That’s the message!”

        Nothing wrong with what you say. Except that you completely ignored the issue at handt – “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?”

        You had said, “Where did Jesus indicate they did what He said? He indicates the opposite, which is why they were unable to enter in.” So, why was prophesying, casting out demons, and doing wonders is the opposite of God’s will?

      12. I’m sure Aiden can answer for himself, but IMO, if Jesus says ‘I never knew you’ these people were not doing these wonders in His name, but merely claiming to. Which means they were receiving power from some other supernatural force, which would be demonic.

      13. TS00 writes, “if Jesus says ‘I never knew you’ these people were not doing these wonders in His name, but merely claiming to. ”

        That’s the position I am advocating.

        Then, “Which means they were receiving power from some other supernatural force, which would be demonic.”

        I like this explanation. So, do you have any Scriptures that support this conclusion which even you seem to acknowledge is important to have?

      14. Wait, I thought you alleged that I don’t use scripture. 😉 My suggestion was that prooftexting is pointless, because it can be twisted to ‘prove’ anything. Especially bringing in random outside texts taken out of context and pretending as if they apply to unrelated verses. That does not mean one does not read and try to understand scripture as best as possible; simply that one cannot make dogmatic assertions that ‘This, and only this, is what this verse means, forever and always, write it down, amen.’ (Despite Calvin’s claims.)

        All the scripture we have on the subject are the verses that have been here quoted multiple times. There are no ‘gotcha’ verses. As is always the case, reading scripture requires using reason and logic, asking questions and seeing what information you can find in the narrative. People are claiming to have done things in Jesus’ name, and Jesus is saying ‘I never knew you’. Logic tells us that both things cannot be true. Jesus cannot work in and through people he does not even know.

        So scripture tells us that wonders (miracles?) have been done, claiming to be in Jesus’ name, whereas Jesus asserts that he has no relationship with the liars claiming to have done amazing deeds by his power and in service of God. We can, with sound reason, assert that Jesus did not provide the power to people he did not know to do the wonders claimed. This is further backed up with Jesus’ query as to why they did not do the Will of his father. The wonders done – Jesus does not deny that they did them – must have been done outside of the will of his father.

        No prooftexts, no gotcha verses, no bringing in unrelated scriptures to insist that these verses can’t possibly mean what they say because they negate cherished presuppositions. We have to think about what is being said and reason from what is provided. Might we come to faulty conclusions? Sure. That is why we remain correctable, willing to listen to others’ insights and re-examine our conclusions as often as questions demand. We keep our eyes open to see if similar narratives appear elsewhere that either uphold or negate what we believe is being said here. Our studies never end, and we continually ask God to teach us, lead us, correct us and bring us into fuller understanding so that we can be useful servants, willing and able to do his will.

      15. TS00 writes, “Wait, I thought you alleged that I don’t use scripture.”

        Well, you aren’t one to cite Scripture in your comments. You did not do so in this case, but you posed an interesting explanation, so I asked if you had Scripture to support it.

        Then, “My suggestion was that prooftexting is pointless, because it can be twisted to ‘prove’ anything.”

        Scripture is truth. Prooftexting is the use of the truth of Scripture in the wrong contexts. While people can allege “prooftexting,” we don’t usually find those people explaining how Scripture truth is misapplied. br.d is famous for this.

        Then, “one cannot make dogmatic assertions that ‘This, and only this, is what this verse means, forever and always, write it down, amen.”

        Often, Scripture truth is dogmatic. For example, “…there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” or, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,” These verses are dogmatic in stating specific truth. So, is much of Scripture. The difficult Scriptures tend to be parables and visions.

        Then, “Jesus cannot work in and through people he does not even know. ”

        This is an excellent point and the one Aiden did not address. This is not always true as God does work through evil people for His purposes as demonstrated in the crucifixion of Christ.

        The rest of your comments are on point and support the need for sound exegesis of the Scripture. Without sound exegesis, even your explanations lose their force.

      16. rhutchin
        While people can allege “prooftexting,” we don’t usually find those people explaining how Scripture truth is misapplied. br.d is famous for this.

        br.d
        How many Calvinists does it take to manufacture a straw-man? :-]

        Bottom Line:
        IRRATIONAL thinking will always result in an IRRATIONAL interpretation of any data
        Whether that data is scripture or not.

      17. RH,wrote: concerning (Mt. 7:22)
        TS00 writes, “if Jesus says ‘I never knew you’ these people were not doing these wonders in His name, but merely claiming to. ”
        “Which means they were receiving power from some other supernatural force, which would be demonic.”
        RH responds:
        “That’s the position I am advocating. I like this explanation.”

        Earlier RH quoted (Mt. 7:22)
        “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?”

        Then RH said to me:
        “You had said, “Where did Jesus indicate they did what He said? He indicates the opposite, which is why they were unable to enter in.”

        Then RH asked me:
        So, why was prophesying, casting out demons, and doing wonders is the opposite of God’s will?”

        Aidan responds:
        Why do you seem to contradict yourself all the time? TSOO and myself say pretty much the same thing, albeit for different reasons, and you give what looks like two completely different answers contradicting each other?

        What I mean is, TSOO basically said these people were not in a relationship with Him and were not doing His will, and your response is, “That’s the position I am advocating.”

        But earlier, in a line of reasoning between myself and yourself, which included Br.d at one point; I had basically been saying that Jesus indicates they did not keep His word and do the will of God, which you seemed to be contradicting:

        This all started when JT indicated that in “prophesying and casting out demons etc..” they had done what Jesus said.
        br.d responded, “This blindly assumes what they did was what Jesus said – without any evidence showing that to be the case.”

        RH, this is your following responses to this:
        LOL!!!! If we cannot believe Jesus, who can we believe??
        “Jesus does not accuse them of lying and why would they lie at that point.”
        “So, why was prophesying, casting out demons, and doing wonders is the opposite of God’s will?”

        Seems like you advocated that they did do what Jesus said: saying the evidence was that they said they, “prophesied and cast out demons in Jesus’ name,” and He never denied it, nor accused them of lying. So therefore we should believe Jesus on this, and why was casting out demons and doing wonders the opposite of God’s will?

        Did you then change your mind on this when you spoke later with TSOO? What really is your position on Matthew 7:21-23? Its a little confusing to say the least!

      18. Aiden writes, “But earlier, in a line of reasoning between myself and yourself…I had basically been saying that Jesus indicates they did not keep His word and do the will of God, which you seemed to be contradicting:”

        My understanding is that I said the people were prophesying etc. and you said that they were not prophesying, etc. I think we both agreed that they were not doing the will of God as evidenced by Jesus saying, “I never knew you.” TS00 offered an explanation for this, “…they were receiving power from some other supernatural force, which would be demonic.” That sounds reasonable to me and apparently to you.

        When you said, “Where did Jesus indicate they did what He said? He indicates the opposite, which is why they were unable to enter in.” I took that to mean that you did not think that the people were actually prophesying, etc. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

      19. RH wrote:
        “When you said, “Where did Jesus indicate they did what He said? He indicates the opposite, which is why they were unable to enter in.” I took that to mean that you did not think that the people were actually prophesying, etc. Sorry for the misunderstanding.”

        My Response:
        No problem RH. I tend to try and avoid speculating and focus on the main issue. In regard to the prophesying etc.., there are examples in scripture which make me scratch my head. For example, we know that Balaam was a bit of a crook, yet he prophesied? The scriptures don’t seem to have a lot of good to say about him. Also, we even have a donkey speaking? Then there was king Saul, who, if memory serves, prophesied at a time in his life when he wasn’t particularly good? And, I just noticed there recently in Mt. 24:24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Which one would assume were counterfeit miracles, but which Jesus calls “great signs and wonders” well capable of fooling people.

        Again, examples like these make me even more cautious in how I comment on that verse. But, one thing we do know for certain, is what the greater message is, namely, “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.”

        Hope these comments are helpful.
        Aidan

      20. Agreed.
        And I think rhutchin would have also agreed – accept in this case he was attempting to defend JT – and painted himself into a corner doing it.

      21. Okay! Thanks Br.d,
        But I just want you to deal with what the passage actually says, RH, I’m not interested in making anyone feel cornered.

      22. br.d
        This blindly assumes what they did was what Jesus said – without any evidence showing that to be the case.”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!!! If we cannot believe Jesus, who can we believe??

        br.d
        Silly!
        This falls into the same error :-]
        Unless you know where Jesus said they obeyed his commandments?

    1. Amen. Context is the enemy of Truth.

      Any words can be twisted to mean something far different from what their author intended. ANY WORDS. I have frequently said to my household Calvinist, if I could get one thing clear, that would be it, and it is the only way meaningful discussion can ever take place. Prooftexts don’t prove anything. Those who wield them are, rather, asserting one particular interpretation of them, and ignoring the very real, documented fact that there are other viable, common interpretations held by godly men and women of the VERY SAME WORDS.

      I get it. I used to do it. I may sometimes yet fall into the trap of doing it. But I try to humbly acknowledge that what I believe is simply what I believe. The one Truth I refuse to hold without certainty is that God is completely good, faithful, and the essence of love itself. Anything else, I am willing to hear ya out on.

      1. TS00 writes, “Prooftexts don’t prove anything. Those who wield them are, rather, asserting one particular interpretation of them, and ignoring the very real, documented fact that there are other viable, common interpretations held by godly men and women of the VERY SAME WORDS. ”

        So, present them.

        Then, “But I try to humbly acknowledge that what I believe is simply what I believe.”

        Are you saying that truth is not established in the Scriptures but that each person is to believe that truth which he wants to believe while another person believes the truth he wants to believe?.

      2. I would grant that Truth is established in scripture, but it required lifelong, diligent study to begin to attain. Instead, we often rashly interpret scripture to mean whatever we want, or have been persuaded, to believe. The Holy Spirit has been given to lead us into greater understanding of truth, but it requires time, patience, diligence, and, most of all, humility. We must be willing to surrender our cherished presuppositions, admit where we have been wrong, and acknowledge that we yet understand only in part.

        The more we read and study, remaining open to the Spirit’s leading, the more we can begin to see our misconceptions revealed, as the entirety of scripture is allowed to deepen our understanding of what we now only dimly see. Many prefer to latch on to a few prooftexts, interpreted a particular way, and filter all other scripture through that distorted lens. This will never lead to a greater understanding of truth, but only dogmatic error.

      3. TS00 writes, “I would grant that Truth is established in scripture, but it required lifelong, diligent study to begin to attain…”

        We have the benefit of the insights of great expositors of the Scriptures on both sides of an issue We have more Scriptural exegesis than people at any time in history. We know the difficult verses (for non-Calvinist, the 40-50 that FOH always speaks of) so we can very easily get down to the heart of the matter.on any issue. However, what do we find in this forum – a lot of complaining about Calvinism and almost no exegesis of Scripture except for Brian, phillip ans Ed. br.d seems enamored with Aristotle with exegesis of Scripture being a foreign concept. You, who should have a lot of practice in exegesis given that you are surrounded by Calvinists in your own family, seem only able to ramble on about your feelings. You know what to do, as evidenced from this comment, but you never seem able to do it.

  11. I think you meant to say, TS00, “Context is the ally of truth”.

    Context will help defend against those who would isolate verses and string them together into some sort of metaphysical system. As the common village Calvinist does.

    After building the metaphysical system out of decontextualized proof texts, the village Calvinist contorts the rest of the Bible to fit the system.

    Some of their favorite methods include redefining words; “You foolish non Calvinist, don’t you know that being Sovereign means meticulously controlling everything that exists?”

    And don’t forget the “500 wills of God”! “Yes, yes, foolish non Calvinist, God’s will for everyone to come to Him is secondary to His secret will for you to be fuel for the fires of Hell”! “And that will is subject to His double secret will to……”

    The list is long….

    1. Carl
      “You foolish non Calvinist, don’t you know that being Sovereign means meticulously controlling everything that exists?”

      br.d
      Interestingly enough – if one is watchful – you’ll see that for good events – yes – that is their EXPLICIT definition of “Sovereign”

      But for evil events – all of a sudden that EXPLICIT definition disappears
      And is replaced by an INFERENTIAL definition
      Of “allowing” and “foreknowing” what will happen.

      Their THEOS reminds me of a magician’s disappearing rabbit trick.
      For good events the rabbit appears
      And for evil events he disappears

      He must be a very obedience rabbit! :-]

    2. Yes, thanks for that correction, Carl. Even as I hit ‘Post’ I was thinking, ‘Wait, is that right?’ But in my tired, migraine state, I read what I ‘thought’ and not what I wrote. 😉

  12. Oops, I forgot my all time favorite, the A=notA assertion…

    “Foolish non Calvinist, don’t you know that everything is decreed by God, yet in such a way that He is not responsible for all the evil things that He decreed?

    1. Ed reatec to my post:

      “Hey there, long time no hear from!”

      “You had me at hello, but I must correct you on something. IT wasn’t 10 down to 2. It was 613 down to 2. There are 613 commandments in the Law of Moses.”

      But this is where ya lost me:

      3. One more thing even though the 10 was reduced by Christ into 2, yet Gentile Christians cannot fulfill it for themselves consistently and on a 100 % compliance by using their will. This is because Gentile believers are saved by Grace through faith in Christ not by the law.

      4. New breed of Calvinist like me believes both God’s determinism and use of Human freedom. The God of the Holy scriptures allowing man to use his will cannot be ignored by the non-Calvinists.

      5. The believer’s performance whether they did obey or dis-obey. becomes a part of God’s plan for eternity.

      My response to that:

      That’s not true. First of all, Love your neighbor as yourself is what PROVES that you love God, and you are right that we can and do fail at that, and when that happens, we recognize it, but as the book of Hebrews tells us, God PUNISHES HIS CHILDREN as a FATHER, and does NOT CAST US OUT…and, we can ask for forgiveness. In either case, God does not cast out his CHILDREN.

      Romans 12:2
      And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

      THAT VERSE is TELLING us to DO SOMETHING that is the will of God, it does not say that God WILL transform our minds, it tells us to transform our own minds.

      Then we have Matthew 7, those who claim to be Christians but are NOT PRODUCTING FRUIT, for faith without works is DEAD.

      In other words, if you believe, but are doing NOTHING to prove it, then your faith is dead, and since it is by faith, if you are not proving your faith, then Jesus will say, “I never knew you”, meaning that they were not children (Christians) in the first place, for God does not cast out his children, and by that I mean those who are PROVING “their” faith. I put quotation marks around “their” because Calvinists think that it is GOD’S FAITH IMPUTED to them, but it is not. It is their belief.

      So, bottom line, I do not buy into your determinism stuff, either. The determining factor is upon the individual, not God. All God did was to provide a WAY, and Jesus said, “I am the way”.

      Ed Chapman

      My Response: Thanks Ed for responding and for the correction made ; it’s a total of 613. I will remember this figure from you. No problem with me if we are not in the same boat with my position regarding determinism and human freedom as long as both of us do believe in a Permanent Salvation. Some non-Calvinists here denounce it and it is their problem anyway.

      Matt.. 7 – “… They were not Christians in the first place…” – Yes I agree to your statement here. and I can further say that nothing was lost from them simply because they have not really possessed in them the gift of Salvation.

  13. Posted in the portal of this topic:

    “Of course, we all can affirm that no one is righteous with regard to the demands of the law. But there have been many throughout the pages of Scripture who have been declared righteous by means of grace through faith.”

    ——My Response———

    1. Calvinists believes in righteousness obtained by means of grace and through faith in Christ. So… what’s problem there?

    2. Faith is a gift from God. It comes to the elect sinner at the time of hearing the word proclaimed according to Romans 10:17

    3. Grace – is the unmerited favor freely given by God to undeserving sinners that are bound to hell. So… is there something left to the fallen man for him to use in accessing salvation or even righteousness? God is the only one who is Holy and Sinless while the fallen man is the opposite.

    4. Righteousness is imputed by God to those who believes and are united in Christ. Any righteousness claimed apart from the imputation made by Christ are just fictitious and false promises.

    So… “No one can do good” — Why? Because Salvation is not earned by doing good works. You can display all of your good deeds but it brings nothing merit to God. It is only Jesus Christ who saves.

    1. jtleosala
      1. Calvinists believes in righteousness obtained by means of grace and through faith in Christ. So… what’s problem there?

      br.d
      Yes – but in Calvinism all of that is just *SHOW* now isn’t it
      Because Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – predetermines whatever the state of the creature will be
      So unrighteousness/righteousness are established fate.

      And the creature has no REAL say in the mater of what is fated now does he?

      jtleosala
      2. Faith is a gift from God. It comes to the elect sinner at the time of hearing the word proclaimed according to Romans 10:17

      br.d
      Same answer as above

      jtleosala
      3. Grace – is the unmerited favor freely given by God to undeserving sinners that are bound to hell. So… is there something left to the fallen man for him to use in accessing salvation or even righteousness? God is the only one who is Holy and Sinless while the fallen man is the opposite.

      br.d
      Same answer as above

      jtleosala
      4. Righteousness is imputed by God to those who believes and are united in Christ. Any righteousness claimed apart from the imputation made by Christ are just fictitious and false promises.

      br.d
      Same answer as above

      jtleosala
      So… “No one can do good” — Why? Because Salvation is not earned by doing good works. You can display all of your good deeds but it brings nothing merit to God. It is only Jesus Christ who saves.

      br.d
      Obviously in Calvinism neither salvation or damnation are earned.
      Because both of these are fixed by immutable decree before the creature even exists.
      And its a LOGICAL impossibility to earn something that is established before you exist.

      As Calvin says – the reprobate are “doomed from the womb”.

      Just like Robots – are what they are by design
      They don’t “earn” their way into being what they are designed to be.

      1. br.d writes, “And the creature has no REAL say in the mater of what is fated now does he?”

        Did you have a say in the time of your birth or death, your parents, the country and culture into which you were born, mental abilities, etc. Of course you didn’t. You were fated to these things by God’s hand were you not? Can you now say that God has not continued to extend mercy to you that He does not extend to others? I don’t see how. It is by God’s hand that you live, move and have being. Why do you pretend that God is not involved in your life and refuse to give glory to Him for who you are.

      2. br.d
        And the creature has no REAL say in the mater of what is fated now does he?

        rhutchin
        Did you have a say in the time of your birth or death, your parents, the country and culture into which you were born, mental abilities, etc.
        Of course you didn’t. You were fated to these things by God’s hand were you not?

        br.d
        Correct – but now lets watch as the issue of evil being FATED is obfuscated.

        rhutchin
        Can you now say that God has not continued to extend mercy to you that He does not extend to others? I don’t see how. It is by God’s hand that you live, move and have being.

        br.d
        Here we have a great example of Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking
        Since EVERYTHING is fated in Calvinism – what in fact is Calvin’s god “extending mercy” for – except what he AUTHORS!
        In such case – he’s not really extending mercy to the creature – he’s extending mercy to the works of his own hands.

        rhutchin
        Why do you pretend that God is not INVOLVED in your life and refuse to give glory to Him for who you are.

        br.d
        Here we have a combination of following Calvin’s *AS-IF* thinking instructions – and reverse attribution.
        “Going about your office *AS-IF* nothing (in this case your every neurological impulse) is determined in every part.

        So actually – it is the Calvinist who PRETENDS
        He PRETENDS that every thought/choice/desire that appear in his brain are NOT determined in every part *FOR* him by an external mind before he was created.

        He PRETENDS that some things are UP TO him

        He PRETENDS he is -quote “Self-Determining” and functions – quote “independently”

        *AS-IF* his every attribute were not programmed at the foundation of the world.

        And *AS-IF* thinking – is what we call Calvinism’s DOUBLE-THINK :-]

      3. br.d writes, “Here we have a great example of Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking”

        As br.d avoided the issue presented. I don’t think you grasp “infinite understanding.”

      4. br.d
        Here we have a great example of Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking

        rhutchin
        As br.d avoided the issue presented. I don’t think you grasp “infinite understanding.”

        br.d
        Infinite understanding that allows him to determine everything in every part *AS-IF* it isn’t
        I understand Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking :-]

      5. br.d writes, “Infinite understanding that allows him to determine everything in every part *AS-IF* it isn’t”

        Actually, by His infinite understanding God is able to determine everything in every part as they will be. That then means that God has an omniscient knowledge of future events as even you have atested in your citations.

      6. br.d
        Infinite understanding that allows him to determine everything in every part *AS-IF* it isn’t :-]

        rhutchin
        Actually, by His infinite understanding God is able to determine everything in every part as they will be. That then means that God has an omniscient knowledge of future events as even you have atested in your citations.

        br.d
        Easy to connect the dots:
        Since Calvin’s god determines/programs every neurological impulse that will appear in the Calvinist’s brain – and since Calvinists go about their office *AS-IF* nothing (whatever they are focused on at the moment) is determined in any part – then it LOGICALLY follows – that Calvin’s god has determined/programmed Calvinist’s *AS-IF* thinking.

        Which we lovingly call Calvinism’s DOUBLE-THINK :-]

      7. br.d writes, “Since Calvin’s god determines/programs every neurological impulse that will appear in the Calvinist’s brain…”

        This by virtue of the brain God instills in the person and the making of a person after His image. By His infinite understanding, God knows every neurological impulse as well as every movement of every atom but God does not have to initiate these. Placing one’s hand on a hot stove generates neurological impulses that lead to one removing his hand from the stove. The information and experiences a person gathers in life are stored in his brain and come into play when decisions are to be made. God determines these by not intervening in a person’s ability to think although there are times when God had ordained to do so. As an example, Joseph’s brothers first seek to kill Joseph but being prevented by God from doing so (as He had ordained in eternity past), they settle on a plan to sell Joseph based on the appearance of the Midianite traders. All these events God understood before He created the universe and had ordained at that time.

        The, “…and since Calvinists go about their office *AS-IF* nothing (whatever they are focused on at the moment) is determined in any part – then it LOGICALLY follows – that Calvin’s god has determined/programmed Calvinist’s *AS-IF* thinking.”

        If AS-IF thinking does occur then certainly God has ordained it as He does all things, but usually, Calvinists act as if God has ordained all things with their confidence being in the good providence of God.

      8. br.d
        Easy to connect the dots:
        Since Calvin’s god determines/programs every neurological impulse that will appear in the Calvinist’s brain – and since Calvinists go about their office *AS-IF* nothing (whatever they are focused on at the moment) is determined in any part – then it LOGICALLY follows – that Calvin’s god has determined/programmed Calvinist’s *AS-IF* thinking.

        Which we lovingly call Calvinism’s DOUBLE-THINK :-]

        rhutcin
        If AS-IF thinking does occur ….

        br.d
        And we can observe it within posts here at SOT101 – following John Calvin’s *AS-IF* thinking instructions.

        rhutchin
        then certainly God has ordained it as He does all things,

        br.d
        Determined/Programmed it – at the foundation of the world before creatures exist.

        rhutchin
        but usually, Calvinists act as if God has ordained all things with their confidence being in the good providence of God.

        br.d
        Yes – but of course due to Augustine’s embrace of Gnostic/NeoPlatonist “Good-Evil” Dualism – where “Good” and “Evil” are undifferentiated – it LOGICALLY follows – that “good” providence” and “evil” providence are also undifferentiated.

        And this is why – in Calvinism – the “Evil” that Calvin’s god determines/programs is both “Evil” and “Good” at the same time.
        So “Evil” predestined for each Calvinist is “Good”.

        And that is what we lovingly call Calvinism’s gospel of “Good-Evil”. :-]

  14. Great answer to RH… BR.D

    br.d
    Yes – but of course due to Augustine’s embrace of Gnostic/NeoPlatonist “Good-Evil” Dualism – where “Good” and “Evil” are undifferentiated – it LOGICALLY follows – that “good” providence” and “evil” providence are also undifferentiated.

    And this is why – in Calvinism – the “Evil” that Calvin’s god determines/programs is both “Evil” and “Good” at the same time.
    So “Evil” predestined for each Calvinist is “Good”.

    And that is what we lovingly call Calvinism’s gospel of “Good-Evil”. :-]

    1. Thanks GraceAdict!

      And it makes perfect sense to me why rhutchin is always trying to put a non-Calvinist mask over Calvinism.
      These are simply attempts to obfuscate the “Evil” component they instinctively find distasteful.

      But in doing that they are actually showing the hypocrisy of all the boastings about a “supposed” superior stance on divine Sovereignty

      If they really did embrace the divine Sovereignty they occasionally boast of – they wouldn’t be spending 99% of their time trying to put a mask of benevolence over it.

      And there but for grace go I

      1. br.d writes, “But in doing that they are actually showing the hypocrisy of all the boastings about a “supposed” superior stance on divine Sovereignty”

        What superior stance? Sovereignty is based on God’s perfect understanding of His creation and His omnipotent power over His creation. Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists hold to this.

        Then, “If they really did embrace the divine Sovereignty they occasionally boast of – they wouldn’t be spending 99% of their time trying to put a mask of benevolence over it.”

        Why not? God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust.

      2. No comment needed from me on these responses – the SOT101 reader with intellectual honesty – should have enough discernment to get the picture. :-]

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