Boasting in Your Belief

by Leighton Flowers & Eric Kemp

Calvinists often argue that if we as Christians were free to suppress the truth or believe it then we could boast in our choice to believe the gospel.

In other words, if we are able to meet the condition of faith that is required for salvation, we can boast. They insist that boasting would only be eliminated if we agree with them that God effectually caused our belief in the gospel (by means of irresistible grace).

There are several blatant problems with this argument:

1) Is the Calvinist’s belief in Calvinism also effectually caused by God?

If so, then why hasn’t God given it to all His children so as to prevent this inevitable boasting?

If not, then why wouldn’t the Calvinist boast in their choice to accept Calvinism?

2) On our view, people who would have the audacity to boast in humbly believing in Christ didn’t really humbly believe in Christ. Their rotten fruit has revealed a fake root. True humility doesn’t boast in itself. It boasts in the One we place our trust. (1 Cor 1:21)

“Let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD. (Jer 9:24)

The condition of faith we assert mankind has the ability to meet is literal humility. Humbly confessing your sin, humbly recognizing your inability to save yourself, and humbling yourself before the Savior who sacrificed himself for you on the cross. How can a view which is based upon fulfilling a requirement of humility inevitably lead to boasting? Sure, people are capable of all kinds of evils, including boasting in being humble, but such boasting violates the principle of humility upon which our view is built.

3) Every honest Calvinist would admit they know at least one Calvinist who is proud and arrogant and one non-Calvinist who is humble and selfless. So why is one prideful and the other arrogant if the doctrine itself isn’t the ultimate cause of these characteristics?

On Calvinism, all things are in accordance with God’s sovereign decree, so those who act pridefully (regardless of their soteriological views) are ultimately doing so because that is how God decreed for them to behave. Why does the Calvinist lament God’s decree?

On our view, however, pride is not from the Father but from the world (1 John 2:16).

1,123 thoughts on “Boasting in Your Belief

  1. We believe because of sufficient yet resistible Grace. It is our choice the use the grace or receive it in vain. Romans 2:4. 2 Cor 6:1.

  2. Not long ago I was with a Calvinist who was “humble-bragging” that he was humble because of his view that God forced him to be saved rather than choosing to place his trust in the finished work of Christ.
    He insisted my way was prideful and his way was humble and so continued on with his “humble-bragging” after awhile it got a bit much. I find “humble-bragging” is quite common amongst Calvinists. They insist they are humble and we are not.

    1. So Calvinists don’t boast about “I CHOSE to trust Christ.” But, like Graceadict said, they do boast about other things. Such as “Look how humble I am to accept such difficult teachings without really understanding them, and to humble myself SO LOW before such a ‘sovereign’ God!” Or how about “I am one of the elect! ME! God loves ME! God chose ME! Jesus died for MY sins because God wanted ME with Him in heaven!” If they don’t boast like this in words, they do it in attitude. I’ve seen both these before. It’s nauseating.

      1. They do boast about other things.
        Such as:
        “My system of CONTORTED-LOGIC and GLORIFIED-EVIL is scriptural – while your system is just humanistic philosophy” :-]

      2. I know hundreds of “humble bragging Calvinists” these abound but actually humble Calvinist are very very hard to come by.
        Their Theology does make it very hard for them to be humble…that is why they have to declare to everyone how humble they are.
        When a person is feeling the need to declare how humble he is it is a sure sign that humility is actually absent and he feels this absence so he has to compensate by promoting himself as being humble. Convoluted but that is how it works.

    2. – Bragging is humble
      – Evil is good
      – Divine interventions of what is infallibly decreed
      – Divine unchangeable decrees can be divinely prevented.
      – The outcome of infallible decrees can be the opposite of those infallible decrees.
      – “Mere” permission doesn’t exist *AS-IF* it does
      – Calvin’s god decrees what people *WOULD* do – and then uses that as his infinite understanding – to make decisions about what they *WILL* do.

      Have you noticed how much DOUBLE-THINK there is in Calvinism? :-]

      1. Humility by itself is not necessarily commendable. There is such a thing as false humility or ungodly humility. I could humbly claim that I am not worthy of being loved by others. Or that I did not deserve to win an award for which I trained very hard. Or a multitude of other things. The point isn’t that we swing to the opposite extreme and claim entitlement, superiority, etc. It is that the “humility” that you are one of the elect is rarely that. It is a sort-of reverse psychology of immense relief that you are “in” while others are “out”.

        But here’s the catch: how can you be sure? What if it is all an elaborate ruse that God is conducting in his “secret counsel” to make you look like and feel like a Christian – only to find out that you were deceived in your heart? And that this will somehow bring glory to Him? After all, the Calvinist believes that having some destined for hell brings God glory more than a God that accepts anyone and allows them to choose (not earn) salvation? If a Calvinist is honest with himself, he cannot rule this out.

        Now, Calvinists will argue that knowing who is elect is not secret (they will undoubtedly claim that they themselves are part of the elect – humbly, of course) and that the only thing secret is why God chooses to save some and not others. But I think we all understand that if it is truly outside of our hands to accept or reject Christ, then no true Calvinist can have any assurance of salvation. It becomes an endless loop of “but what if I only think I’m elect and really am not? If I’m told to examine myself to see if I be in the faith but cannot exercise my will to change the outcome, then isn’t this just a fool’s errand?”

      2. Absolutely totally true!
        When one reviews Calvin’s doctrine of the wheat and the chaff – one discovers that according to Calvin, the vast majority of the Calvinist fold are chaff. In his words “a few grains hidden under a pile of chaff”.

        Here are some quotes:
        -Whatever CONCEPTIONS we form in our minds, they were directed by the secret INSPIRATION of GOD .” (Institutes)

        – Some are pre-ordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation, and accordingly as each has been created for one of these ends, we say he has been predestined to life or death.

        – Yet sometimes he also causes those whom he illumines only for a time to partake of it; then he….forsakes them…..and strikes them with even greater blindness (Institutes)

        – ….those to whom He holds it [salvation] out as a savor of death, and as the occasion for severer condemnation ( Institutes)

        – But the Lord….. instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt WITHOUT the Spirit of adoption. (Institutes)

        – When he shows himself propitious to them, it is not as if he had truly rescued them from death, and taken them under his protection. He only gives them a MANIFESTATION of his present mercy. (Institutes pg 340)
        ————————————————————————————————————————————————

        So Calvin’s god gives the vast majority of Calvinist’s a FALSE perception of faith, election, salvation – in order to magnify their torment int the lake of fire.

      3. nrteebs writes, “the Calvinist believes that having some destined for hell brings God glory’

        Calvinists believe that God works all events into His plan, so all events have a purpose in God’s plan. Thus, Paul can say, “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” and believers can know that even evil acts are part of God’s plan and God’s plan is to bring glory to Himself.

        Then, “Calvinists will argue that knowing who is elect is not secret ”

        No. Calvinist say that the identity of the elect is God’s secret. That is why we preach to all people, both elect and non-elect, and God will use that preaching to draw His elect out of the crowd. The problem, as Calvin explains, is that the gospel is attractive for many non-spiritual reasons meaning that the church becomes filled with both wheat and tares. Thus, Jude says, “…certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ….These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. …These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.”

        Then, ‘I think we all understand that if it is truly outside of our hands to accept or reject Christ, then no true Calvinist can have any assurance of salvation.”

        On the contrary, for John writes, “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” and “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If anyone doubts his salvation, he need only seek forgiveness from God. To many, Calvinists and non-Calvinists, this is an ongoing activity as the Holy Spirit continuously convicts the believer of sin.

        Then, ” If I’m told to examine myself to see if I be in the faith but cannot exercise my will to change the outcome, then isn’t this just a fool’s errand?””

        The believer is told to examine himself and then prays, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” The believer knows that he cannot change himself (as a leopard cannot change its spots) and that only God can change him.

      4. rhutchin
        Calvinists believe that God works all events into His plan,

        br.d
        Here is wisdom – never hold your breath waiting for a Calvinist to tell the WHOLE truth.

        Calvin’s god is the EXCLUSIVE conceiver and determiner of 100% of whatsoever comes to pass.
        1) Man cannot be/do otherwise than what is infallibly decreed
        2) Man cannot be/do what is not infallibly decreed

        Nothing more and nothing less is permitted or made available to the creature.

        Welcome to Hotel Calvin-Fornia
        You can check out any time you like – but you can never leave :-]

      5. To locate IRRATIONAL INCONSISTENCY within the mind of a Calvinist who perceives himself deliberating over scripture is now easy.

        For Calvin teaches him to go about his office AS-IF nothing (including the perceptions within his brain) is predetermined in any part.

        While his doctrine dictates the very opposite
        That whatsoever “perception” comes to pass within his brain was rendered-certain by Calvin’s god.
        Calvin’s god being the exclusive AUTHOR of each and every perception actualized within his brain.

        Thus, the ascription of IRRATIONAL INCONSISTENCY within the mental state of the Calvinist perceiving himself a deliberator of scripture is secured.

        Who wouldn’t want to sign up for that! :-]

  3. Bro. Kemp,

    I’ve never seen or heard this argument from a monergist/Calvinist except as a logical conclusion of synergistic doctrine, much in the same way that synergists assert that the logical conclusion of Calvinistic “determinism” is to make God a moral monster and the author of sin. I don’t think that anyone actually believes that any true believer, whether synergist or monergist, would boast in their faith. The argument is that they “could” boast, not that they “would” boast.

    I’ve heard analogous responses to this argument such as “can a sick person boast because they simply received medicine” or “would a drowning person deserve credit simply because they grabbed onto a lifeline.” These do not really answer the question or concern of the monergist. The better analogy is if two people are drowning and both are offered a lifeline and one accepts while the other refuses, would those observing this rescue assign some merit or credit to the one accepting the lifeline over the one who did not? Certainly, the rescuer would be assigned the vast majority of the credit but would it not be human nature to assign some credit to the one who accepted the help? The issue is not whether the one rescued would actually boast but whether those who witnessed the rescue might think that he or she could boast.

    In contrast, if the drowning person is unable to grab the lifeline (because he is unconscious or her hands are tied behind her back) and the rescuer grabs the person and lifts him or her to safety, there is absolutely no doubt as to who deserves all of the credit for the rescue. Now we can debate the actual inability of the drowning person or even question why the rescuer might save one and leave the other to drown, but we can be sure that the rescuer will be the only one that could boast.

    As with any human analogy, this falls far short of actually describing the true situation of the drowning person (the rebel sinner who is dead in trespasses and sins) and the amazing love, grace, and mercy of the rescuer (the God of the universe Who willingly gave Himself in place of that sinner) but it at least ensures that only the Rescuer receives praise and honor.

    1. Mark – Did the prodigal’s father go out and save his lost son or did the lost son repent and approach his father with a repentant heart and then the father saved him? That is a biblical illustration about being lost and repentance… though I don’t think someone watching a rescue of a drowning person ever thinks of how “wise” the rescued drowning person was to accept being rescued. 😉 Also, you may have missed my previous reply to you below.

  4. Thanks Mark for taking a stab at push back on that article.

    The problems I see with your analogy is that it does not match scripture. 

    The Old Testament is full (hundreds) of places where it says something like “I and I alone, the Eternal will rescue you…” and then God tells them what they must do to be rescued.  Did He do it “alone”?  Yes…. and no.  It was conditional. 

    For example, “bringing them out of Egypt” is mentioned hundreds of times in many OT books and of course is very present in the NT (Jude 1:5, Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.)

    Of course everyone knows they were “dead in slavery” (like later we are “dead in sin”) and He delivered them out.

    But …not “dead” like in the analogy you gave.  They still had to sacrifice the animal, put the blood on the door, and stay in the house.

    For your lifeline analogy to be accurate, they would have had nothing to do (been a non-participant).  Those who did nothing died. Those who applied the blood in faith lived. 

    As for your “could boast/ would boast” idea….that falls flat too.

    Of course they “could have” boasted “Well…. we did kill our animals and apply the blood on the door after all!”  Nah…that’s just dumb. I often wonder why monergists insist on using this faulty lifeline analogy in the light of scripture. 

    Listen to Miriam’s song after crossing the Red Sea…. “He has triumphed gloriously” .  Of course giving the glory to God …but it was not until “Moses stretched out his hand over the sea” that the water parted (Moses could a boasted on that one!).

    Later the Jordan parted when they had the faith to stand in the river.  Over and over the lesson that God’s deliverance is there if you act in faith (you are not “that dead”). 

    Sure God did it all —- rescued us from the slavery of sin …. if we apply the blood in faith.  Will we boast about that?  That’s just dumb. 

    ps. For good measure see the many posts on this site about Luke 15 where the son is “dead” but came to his senses. MacArthur makes that all about salvation and the Father is God… but the MacArthur forgets to mention that the Father just waited at home for the son to come to his senses while in a faraway land.  That does not match your life lifeline analogy either.  Best not to use that one in the light of what Scripture says. 

    1. Good points FOH… Red Sea, Jordan and the whole of scripture shows this kind of interplay. Notice the order below “You Turn then God pours out His spirit”. BUT if you refuse then God does X.

      Pro 1:23  If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. 
      Pro 1:24  Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, 
      Pro 1:25  because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, 
      Pro 1:26  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, 

  5. Calvinists often argue that if we as Christians were free to suppress the truth or believe it then we could boast in our choice to believe the gospel.

    br.d
    And Dr. Flowers would rightly point out that according to Calvinism, Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – decreed that that would infallibly come to pass.

    And there is NOTHING anyone can possibly do to stop a divine infallible decree.

    So in Calvinism – the bottom line is – NOTHING ABOUT ANYTHING is UP TO US.

    So why are Calvinists so totally DOUBLE-MINDED?
    Going about MAKING-BELIEVE we mere mortals can oppose infallible supernatural decrees?

  6. FOH,

    I think this may be our first direct interaction and I appreciate the response. I tried to explain that the lifeline analogy was one that I had seen used by synergists in response to the “he could boast” argument. I tried to improve on the analogy and it clearly fell short, as I even admitted. I typically try to steer clear of extra-biblical illustrations and should have done so in this case.

    I agree that thinking anyone would boast about their salvation is just dumb. I also think that asserting that one must come to the conclusion that God is the author of sin because he or she believes that God has a sovereign decree is just dumb. Hence the problem with most logical conclusion arguments. They ultimately become straw men.

    While the Passover is certainly a type and picture of the redemptive work of Christ, there is not an absolutely direct correlation between placing the blood on the doorpost and staying in the house to individual, personal salvation unless one believes that everyone in the house was individually and personally saved (in the eternal sense). The same can be said of the crossing of the Red Sea and the Jordan River. These were acts of corporate, national faith but not all who passed through were individually, personally saved. As you said yourself, many who were rescued from Egypt and crossed through the Red Sea later died in the wilderness under the judgment of God for their unbelief. The same can be said for those who attended the OT sacrifices. Just because they outwardly participated in these ceremonies that were types and pictures of the saving work of Jesus Christ does not mean they personally and individually experienced the forgiveness that came from trusting in the One these sacrifices were really about.

    My point is that if those who did these things weren’t all personally saved, then the argument that these actions somehow demonstrate that men have the ability to act in faith to God’s rescuing work falls flat. These OT types are shadows or mysteries that are fulfilled and more fully revealed in the NT, particularly in Jesus Christ but also in the New Covenant teaching began by Him and recorded by the NT writers as inspired by the Holy Spirit. Shouldn’t we examine these NT revelations and explanations to help us have a full understanding of these OT shadows and mysteries? Or we could even refer to the New Covenant language found in the OT to help us understand not the just the outward actions of people in response to God’s rescuing and redemptive works but the basis for the justifying faith of those (like Abraham) who genuinely trusted in the person and work of the One these shadows and mysteries pointed to. Could it be that those who didn’t just outwardly put the blood on the doorposts but actually believed in the Messiah that would be the true Passover Lamb did so because God had put his Spirit in them and they became alive (Ezekiel 37:14)? Or because they had been given a new heart, a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26)?

    Explaining the parable of the lost son and how it relates to the work of salvation will require a separate post.

    1. Mark,

      Heb. 11:7; By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
      Heb. 11:8; By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.

      If these examples are written to teach us about the kind of faith that pleases God, and obtains the promises, what do they teach us? How did Noah save his household? How did he become an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith? How did Abraham obtain or receive the promised inheritance? What do the verses say, that they obtained the reward by faith alone or through the obedience of faith? What do these verses – and there are many more like them – tell you?

    2. Hi Mark,

      I really think this has to be answered. BR.D’s “Up to Us”

      BR.D
      FEBRUARY 25, 2020 AT 5:18 PM

      “Calvinists often argue that if we as Christians were free to suppress the truth or believe it then we could boast in our choice to believe the gospel.

      br.d
      And Dr. Flowers would rightly point out that according to Calvinism, Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – decreed that that would infallibly come to pass.

      And there is NOTHING anyone can possibly do to stop a divine infallible decree.

      So in Calvinism – the bottom line is – NOTHING ABOUT ANYTHING is UP TO US.

      So why are Calvinists so totally DOUBLE-MINDED?
      Going about MAKING-BELIEVE we mere mortals can oppose infallible supernatural decrees?”

    3. Mark:

      I appreciate your gentle, measured response.    I’m pretty sure you missed my point or points.

      1.  What about all those hundreds of passages in Scripture where God says, “I, the Eternal One (word for sovereign most times), the God of the armies of Israel……alone…did this and that….” and yet so much of the end result depended on what they did?  God was still “Sovereign” and still “delivered …alone”  but it includes the conditional participation of man.  Hundreds of passages.  All of these come against the monergist premise of “God alone” or their claim that others have a “man-centered Gospel.” ((Or you can propose the convoluted Calvinist idea that God says hundreds of times “if you do this….” but He “doesn’t really mean it” since He has already decreed what they will and will not do.))

      When the Lord says over and over “I rescued you…. I delivered you…. ”  is He wrong?  Of course not!  Were there conditions (things they must do) for Him to rescue them?  Of course!  Does that mean they “rescued themselves” or can boast about it?  Again…. foisting a silly idea on a straw man. 

      2. You did not deal with the issue of being “dead in sin.”   The NT references “dead to sin” even more times….but obviously that is not “dead” like you want it to mean (since we still sin).  Remember also that Scripture says we were “sick” in sin.  Sick or (monergist) dead-dead?   

      Dont worry about giving a bad analogy.  We are used to it.  The monergist “buried 6 feet under” (we are non-participants) does not match the hundreds of passages (both OT and NT) where it says that God’s people must respond. “Dead men dont make choices,” Calvinists proclaim.  Sure they do….Luke 15 the dead son did. 

      3. Please know that I am NOT saying that putting blood on the door got someone “salvation in Christ.”  Obviously the Word makes it clear that many walked away from that corporate position of being part of the Chosen People.  Which of course is also my point.  Why is it different now?

      God has a people.  You can be grafted in, by faith, like Ruth and Rahab.  You can go out like so many that rebelled and left.
      Now God has a people “in Christ”.  If you are “in Christ” (the Chosen One) then you are “in the ark” 

      In all the OT cases that are illustrations of Christ, people must respond in faith: Ark, Passover, Serpent-on-pole.  Those are the ones that are mentioned in the NT.  And they all required faith and action.  God delivered “alone” but each time they were required to act in faith.   When did God change His way of working?  Surely not just cuz Augustine decided that….

      Does God get the glory?  Yes.  Does man have conditions that he is able to meet?   Of course…. that is what the Bible tells us over and over.  Certainly 100 years of building an ark was a condition!

      When I was a Calvinist (Bible degree from Calvinist school) it was the simple reading of the Word and the MULTITUDE of passages and examples like this that led me out.  Sure, I could have stayed a Calvinist by insisting that a few key verses, interpreted a certain way, trump all other long passages….but it became so obvious to me that I was purposely propping up my presupposition. 

      4. As to your point:  “I also think that asserting that one must come to the conclusion that God is the author of sin because he or she believes that God has a sovereign decree is just dumb.”  It is not non-Calvinists that make that claim.  It is Calvin, the Divines, and the Confessions that say it clearly.  BRD had given so many quotes of Calvin, as I have done with direct quotes from Piper’s website.  
      But the simple twist is that they say they He authored and decreed all that man does or thinks and yet does not author sin.  Well if that works for you….  He authored, decreed, and willed the Holocaust but “did not really make it happen.”  Again…. if that works for you…..

      5. Again, you make far too much of my example of the Passover.  You said  “My point is that if those who did these things weren’t all personally saved, then the argument that these actions somehow demonstrate that men have the ability to act in faith to God’s rescuing work falls flat.”

      Of course if I were making that point….it would fall flat.  No one ever made that point.  That is a Calvinist straw man.  

      When the spies told Rahab to display the red cord and she would be spared…. NO ONE in history to my knowledge believes that they meant and that she understood “saved in Christ.”  It would just be silly to say that.  It is also silly to imply that I am saying that.  Again, not my point at all.

      6. Your reference of Ezekiel’s dry bones shows that God does indeed act unilaterally sometimes, and He says when it is.  Surely that cannot be superimposed on all moments and people in history!!  That would simply render senseless the hundreds or thousands of verses where the Lord says, “If you do this, I will do this” “Because you did not do this, I did not do that” “If you stop doing this, I will stop doing that”.  All of these passages (many, many more than unilateral passages) meant nothing to me as a Calvinist cuz I told myself “those passages dont really meant what they say” “they only made God look weak”  “they make God look ‘un-sovereign'”. 

      Then I realized that I needed to let God tell me who He is and how He set things up….. not come to the Bible with the presuppositions of Greek-philosopy-based theology.   That is how I journeyed out of Calvinism.  ((side note: I got in on the original YRR wave like Piper and MacArthur in the 70’s when it was getting started.))

      1. FOH,
        There is something I was listening to recently which concerned God’s Sovereignty, that I thought I might share with you. But first of all, I want to commend you for how you answered that question. The best way to handle these incidental points or passages brought up by Calvinists, is by first getting a handle ourselves on the greater context of a chapter, book, or even general scripture. And that seems to be what you did to overcome this issue in your own life.
        I think Calvinists are the ones who really have the problem with God’s Sovereignty. They say if you’re going to make man’s deliverance or salvation dependent upon conditions which man must meet, then that is a reflection on God’s Sovereignty, because it makes God look weak. God is indeed sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases. But the scriptures reveal what God actually did having that right to do as He pleases. He sent the Gospel out into the world and made it – conditional upon man’s response to the gospel. And so, Calvinists are the ones with the problem when they say, ‘God can’t do that – He couldn’t choose to make it conditional if He wanted to and still be Sovereign.’ Well, I’m afraid that’s exactly what He did do. Therefore, it is them who are criticising what God actually did, in His Sovereign will and power.
        And so I agree, that this is precisely what we see all the way down through Biblical history, namely, God imposing conditions to include man’s will in the obtaining of certain promises. Those who were faithful and obeyed received the promises. But those who were not, who despised the long-suffering of God, were rejected and cut off. How things haven’t changed!

      2. Aidan writes, “Calvinists are the ones with the problem when they say, ‘God can’t do that – He couldn’t choose to make it conditional if He wanted to and still be Sovereign.’ Well, I’m afraid that’s exactly what He did do.”

        Calvinists don’t say this (at least, none that I am aware). God can make anything conditional on man’s actions. The issue has been and always will be what conditions a person can meet without the help of the Holy Spirit and faith.

      3. rhutchin
        God can make anything conditional on man’s actions…..etc

        br.d
        DOUBLE-SPEAK Interpretation:
        Calvin’s god can make anything conditional on what he predetermines (before man exists) man’s actions to be.

        Which follows Calvin’s DOUBLE-THINK instructions:
        Go about your office *AS-IF* nothing (in this case man’s actions) are determined in any part.

        In other words – what he holds to be TRUE – he is to treat *AS-IF* FALSE.
        And that is his “scriptural theology”

        What a hoot! :-]

      4. Aidan writes, “Calvinists are the ones with the problem when they say, ‘God can’t do that – He couldn’t choose to make it conditional if He wanted to and still be Sovereign.’ Well, I’m afraid that’s exactly what He did do.”

        RH writes, “Calvinists don’t say this (at least, none that I am aware). God can make anything conditional on man’s actions. The issue has been and always will be what conditions a person can meet without the help of the Holy Spirit and faith.”

        Okay! So God simply allows men to make their own free will choice in responding to the gospel or not. Wonderful! This must be a new form of Calvinism. And of course, you’re right; ‘what conditions can anyone meet – if they don’t have God’s direct supernatural intervention’.

      5. John Calvin is extremely clear in his rejection of any notion of a god who “allows” anything to happen without him specifically *CAUSING* it to happen.

        Lets say that Calvin’s god puts a coffee cup on a kitchen table
        And then he moves that coffee cup to the left.
        By virtue of him moving it to the left – Calvin would say he “permitted” it to move to the left.

        So whatever Calvin’s god does not CAUSE – he does not “permit” or “allow”.

        Calvin derives this pretty much from LOGIC.
        1) No event of any kind can come to pass without Calvin’s god specifically decreeing it come to pass
        2) Every decree is unchangeable
        3) Any event decreed cannot fail to come to pass.
        4) Any Alternative to what is decreed would falsify the decree – which god cannot permit.

        Therefore for the strict Calvinist – what god does not CAUSE he does not permit or allow.

        However, this presents a problem for the average Calvinist in the context of human sins and evils.
        So Calvinists deviate from the doctrine by using “permit” or “allow” in ways the doctrine strictly rejects.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        It is a quite frivolous refuge to say that god otiosely *PERMITS* the [i.e. sins and evils]
        when scripture shows him not only willing but the *AUTHOR* of them.
        (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God pg 176)
        Author in the Old French of Calvin’s day: Auctor – meaning Originator, Creator, Instigator

        One would hope – the Calvinist’s conscience would bother him when using deceptive language
        But I think they justify dishonesty – if it works to hide the “Author of evil” problem.

      6. Speaking in its truest sense – man’s free will to choose is anathema to them. For that would take away from the notion of a god who ‘determines/causes’ everything that happens. In the words that you have used, “for the strict Calvinist – what god does not CAUSE he does not permit or allow.” And so, the notion that man truly has the power to choose life or death of his own free will – is, in their mind, an attack on the sovereign will and power of God. And, a threat to the doctrine of ‘total depravity,’ man’s inability, and need for a special work of the Holy Spirit to enable men to respond to the gospel. So they do everything in their power to suppress the truth in their zeal for a lie. But that truly is – a choice for which they will be held accountable for!

      7. Yeh – they have what they call “compatiblist” freedom – which for them is “free will”.
        Its the freedom to be/do what Calvin’s god CAUSES you to be/do.
        And you are not free to be/do otherwise.

        But since its the only freedom they have – it allows them to claim they don’t reject man having “free will”

        However don’t try to hold your breath waiting for them to be honest enough to say what kind of “free will” they have
        That’s information they don’t want to divulge. :-]

      8. And that’s when a red flag should go up, is when it turns into a word game. And they love it, because it puffs up their ego.

      9. Yes – good insight!
        I think word-game artists do obtain a sense of personal power and/or efficacy from their abilities to manipulate.
        It must give one a sense of power to know there are people out there who are unsuspecting and can be tricked..

        Well – it does say in Genesis – the serpent was the most *SUBTLE* beast in the field.
        And interestingly enough – that *SUBTLETY* manifested itself in the ability to manipulate unsuspecting Eve through language.

        So we of all people should know how the game works.

      10. Do you know something Br.d, that is an excellent verse in the Bible to use. Thank you for that. Yep! the various translations have words like, cunning, shrewd, crafty and subtle. It is an interesting word. One of the aspects of being subtle is to be obscure. Which involves not being obvious, but even being clever at attaining one’s ends by indirect and often deceptive means, not showing your real purpose. Have you ever wondered if some perhaps are using this site to hone that skill? Who are prepared to wage and lose many a battle if it helps them (in their mind) win the long war? Maybe that’s just my distaste coming out for people who are full of guile and word games!

      11. Yes – I do see that some come here – express their displeasure and end up leaving and not coming back.
        But yes – I can see a Calvinist continually coming back to exercise his skill in twisting language for the sake of the sacred image.

        In the book of 1 Samuel – the priests of Dagon had quite an interesting carrier and a real sense of job security.

        Every time the sacred image fell down in the mud – the priests came rushing back in to pick it up, clean, and polish the image.

        Keeping something man-made – requires a long-term maintenance program! :-]

      12. I thought you were going to say, ‘Calvinists keep needing to clean and polish their god to maintain his image’ – But they never seem to be able to get the mud off.

      13. Good stuff Aidan and BR.D and Andy,
        Aidan’s quote to BR.D made me laugh.
        “I thought you were going to say, ‘Calvinists keep needing to clean and polish their god to maintain his image’ – But they never seem to be able to get the mud off.”

        GA: The reason they can’t get the mud off their god is because the mud isn’t just on the surface of their god, it is the very internal fiber of their god. His nature is riddled with darkness and authoring evil right down to his core.

      14. You are absolutely right GA, that’s a much better way to explain what happens when one is more concerned about how the outside looks. If the root is rotten to the core, then so are the branches (Rom. 11:16).

      15. Aidan writes, “man’s free will to choose is anathema to [Calvinists]. ”

        No, it is not. Calvinists say that a person is free to choose as he desires. Absent desire, a person will not choose. If people do not have a reason to chose, they do not choose. You seem to hold to the fanciful notion that people choose without any incentive to choose.

        Then, “the notion that man truly has the power to choose life or death of his own free will – is, in their mind, an attack on the sovereign will and power of God.”

        No, it is an accurate characterization of the person who cannot choose between life and death without faith – a notion you seem to reject.

      16. Rh writes, “Absent desire, a person will not choose. If people do not have a reason to chose, they do not choose. You seem to hold to the fanciful notion that people choose without any incentive to choose.”

        Ezekiel 18:21-32;
        “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. “None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live? “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die. “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? “When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. “Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. “Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

        “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord GOD. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!”

        Notice, none were absent of desire. The righteous man desired good things while the evil man desired evil things. Both independently chose the path they were on. But then notice, they – both changed in their desires. The righteous man changed in his desires and chose the evil. And the evil man changed in his desires to choose the good. What was the incentive for their change? For the righteousness man – he changed because his desire changed to wicked things. And for the wicked man – he changed because he wanted to live and not die.

        What’s the conclusion to this?
        “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, EVERY ONE ACCORDING TO HIS WAYS,” says the Lord GOD. Notice, God is going to hold every individual responsible for the choices he has made. But all is not lost, for a man can choose to change and live. The wicked man does not have to die. He can have a change of heart and choose the good. Therefore, even the righteous man who turned evil can turn back and live, or he can remain in his sins and die – that choice is totally up to him! But also notice, this call is not just for the few, but goes out to EVERYONE, THE WHOLE NATION. God says, “Repent, get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? “For I have no pleasure in the death of ONE who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!” Hence, we all have been given that innate ability to respond to the truth of the gospel. After all, we ARE made in the image of God and not the devil, as Calvinists presume!

        This passage of scripture is worth studying, because it really does refute Calvinism in so many ways.

      17. Aidan writes, “Notice, none were absent of desire….This passage of scripture is worth studying, because it really does refute Calvinism in so many ways.”

        It is Calvinism that says people choose according to their desires. LFW opposes this. Seems to me that the Scriptures refute LFW and support Calvinism. How do you turn it around?

        Then, ‘But all is not lost, for a man can choose to change and live.”

        Not without faith according to the Calvinists. Do you disagree with this?

      18. I hope people will take the time to read Ezekiel 18:21-32, with the comments I’ve made and see how ridiculous your response is. Obviously it suits you to distract attention away from that passage because you can’t deal with the implications there.

        Rh writes, “It is Calvinism that says people choose according to their desires.”

        James 1:13-15
        “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. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
        I don’t know of anyone who would deny that all men are tempted. Even Jesus was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. But what avenue does the devil use to tempt us? Our desires. Hence, even Jesus had normal human desires. But He proved that you don’t have to transgress because of these desires.
        Adam and Eve were given the freedom of the garden to eat of any tree they so desired, except for one. Did that mean it was impossible for them to eat of it? Obviously not, for we know how that turned out! Although they were forbidden to eat of it, their desires were not curtailed in the least. But neither did it mean that it was impossible for them to resist acting on those desires when tempted, for God commanded them not to eat. Nor is it impossible for us to choose contrary to our desires, otherwise God could not have told Cain that he could master sin crouching at the door.

        So yes, “Calvinism says people choose according to their desires,” something which the Bible also acknowledges. But it also acknowledges that we all have been given the “will-power” to choose to act contrary to those desires. Its called, resisting temptation to do the wrong thing in order to do the right thing. That’s the reason why we are all accountable whenever we sin. And so, both the wicked man and the righteous man have all the LFW in the world to choose life or death:- Ezek. 18:21-32. We are the ones who choose to listen or not listen, to believe or not to believe, to obey or not obey – without any special work of the Holy Spirit to make it so for a chosen few.

      19. Aidan writes, ‘[Jesus] proved that you don’t have to transgress because of these desires..Nor is it impossible for us to choose contrary to our desires, otherwise God could not have told Cain that he could master sin crouching at the door..”

        So, what overrides the person’s desires that arise from temptation? A greater desire, perhaps? If not, what?

        Then, “[The Bible] also acknowledges that we all have been given the “will-power” to choose to act contrary to those desires.”

        Where does it do this? Regarding Cain, God said, “[sin’s] desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” How does one rule over sin except through a greater desire for Christ? In the end, desire rules the person’s choices. If not, what?

        Then, “both the wicked man and the righteous man have all the LFW in the world to choose life or death”

        Yet, LFW seems to deny that desire rules the person’s choices. Seems to me that a life or death decision depends on a person’s desire for life or death. If not, what does rule that decision? If desire underlies a person’s temptation to sin and death, what underlies a person’s choice of holiness and life?

      20. rhutchin
        So, what “overrides” the person’s desires that arise from temptation? A greater desire, perhaps? If not, what?

        br.d
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) every creaturely impulse is determined *FOR* the creature – at the foundation of the world – before the creature is created.

        Where everything follows an infallible program – a preprogrammed impulse is not said to be “overridden” by another preprogrammed impulse. Rather, the infallible immutable (i.e. unchangeable) program simply switches from one impulse to the other.

        In such case person’s don’t really have their own “desires” or “impulses”
        What they have are predetermined preprogrammed impulses at predetemined preprogrammed times.
        None of which is UP TO THEM.

      21. BR.D writes: “In such case person’s don’t really have their own “desires” or “impulses”
        What they have are predetermined preprogrammed impulses at predetemined preprogrammed times.
        None of which is UP TO THEM.”

        GA: This is the WHOLE show for Calvinism… Nothing at all is ever left over for any man at any time to decide. It is all pre-determined FOR them by the Author of Evil (the Calvi-god). Who at times can manifest Goodness as well but since there is more Evil in this world we can rightly deduce that the Calvi-god prefers to Author moral evil, in the Calvi-system it brings their god more glory. Why? Because in their system All that he authors has one focus, his own glory. So it is right to conclude their god gets the most glory in this world from maximum evil. That is why there is soooo much of it.
        Satan loves this system since it maligns the Moral nature of Holy God, who is Truth, who is Love, who is Mercy who is Just. The Calvi-system undermines ALL of that in a covert manner as well as an overt manner.
        That is why I say Calvinism Blasphemes God’s Moral Character and Satan delights in that.

      22. GA writes, “This is the WHOLE show for Calvinism… Nothing at all is ever left over for any man at any time to decide.”

        No. Calvinism says that God made man in His image. That gives man the ability to reason as God reasons. However, God has infinite understanding so nothing future can be hidden from Him. God’s understanding makes certain those things that are to happen both those future events happen concurrently with man who is made in the image of God.

        When God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden, He understood what would happen when He gave Satan freedom to enter the garden to tempt Eve. Certainly, you are not going to deny that God understands all that will happen in the future and those future events depend on His predetermination to prevent certain evil (Abimelech violating Sarah) and not other evil (David’s adultery with Bathsheba).

      23. Rhutchin
        Calvinism says that God made man in His image. That gives man the ability to reason as God reasons

        br.d
        Well – what Calvinism “says” and what is RATIONAL are often two different things.

        There is a difference between Calvin’s god and man – which can be LOGICALLY DEDUCED:

        Namely – Calvin’s god’s perceptions are not determined *FOR* him by an external mind.

        But that is not the case with creatures he creates, because “whatsoever comes to pass” internal within each man is EXCLUSIVELY determined *FOR* each man – by Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world.

        Now this means that a man’s perceptions of any proposition (whether that proposition be TRUE or FALSE) is EXCLUSIVELY predetermined *FOR* man by an external mind.

        Which means man is left without the capacity to determine for himself – TRUE vs FALSE – on any proposition.

        And that LOGICALLY rules out any function of affirming anything through rational reasoning.
        Man’s perceptions are totally controlled by an external mind.

        And that represents a *BIG* difference.

      24. RH writes: “Certainly, you are not going to deny that God understands all that will happen in the future and those future events depend on His predetermination to prevent certain evil”

        GA: No one denies that God can and at times does intervene and prevent certain specific things from happening.
        BUT to extrapolate that into “God ALWAYS at ALL times and in ALL cases is causing ALL Agents to do ALL things that they do” is simply dishonest and irresponsible this is not what scripture shows us nor is it a logical deduction.
        That would be tantamount to saying: “because two times a parent forcibly separated two of his children who were fighting therefore we can say that everything his children ever does is happening because the parent is forcibly making him do it.”
        Those deductions lack logical and honesty…but that is the logic that Calvinism uses.

      25. Aidan writes, “to extrapolate that into “God ALWAYS at ALL times and in ALL cases is causing ALL Agents to do ALL things that they do” is simply dishonest and irresponsible…”

        No one says that “God ALWAYS at ALL times and in ALL cases is causing ALL Agents to do ALL things that they do” except that God is, obviously, the first and ultimate cause of all things because He created the universe with a perfect knowledge of all that was to happen even though He uses immediate causes to bring about specific events in the course of time.

        Nonetheless, we have Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” indicating that God is in control of all things and because of that control, God is the cause of all things whether through direct intervention or through secondary means.

        In addition, we have, Romans 8, “God works all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This reiterates what Paul says in Ephesians but here with attention to believers.

        I don’t see the dishonesty and irresponsibility here. Maybe, you can explain how you got your conclusion using a couple examples.

      26. rhutchin
        No one says that “God ALWAYS at ALL times and in ALL cases is causing ALL Agents to do ALL things that they do”

        br.d
        Calvinists say all sorts of things! :-]

        What a given Calvinist says – and what LOGICALLY FOLLOWS in Universal Divine Causal Determinism (aka Calvinism) are often two different things.

        UNIVERSAL: Everything without exception
        DIVINE: A reference to a THEOS
        CAUSAL: A reference to Causation
        DETERMINISM: The over arching belief system

        The creature cannot “Do Otherwise” that what Calvin’s god CAUSALLY DETERMINES

        Therefore if follows:
        Calvin’s god ALWAYS at ALL times and in ALL cases is *CAUSING* ALL creatures to do ALL things that they do.

      27. br.d writes, ‘In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) every creaturely impulse is determined *FOR* the creature – at the foundation of the world – before the creature is created.”

        Given that God had an infinite understanding of His creation before He created, necessarily God determined everything that He understood was to happen if He created. If not, God cannot have infinite understanding, but then, He would not be God. Would you argue against God having infinite understanding??

      28. rhutchin
        Given that God had an infinite understanding of His creation before He created….etc

        br.d
        After having determined a creature’s every impulse – one might surmise Calvin’s god would have some understanding of that creature.

        But if he expects the outcome of infallible decrees to be the opposite of those decrees – then IXNAY on understanding! :-]

      29. Rh,
        “So, what overrides the person’s desires that arise from temptation? A greater desire, perhaps? If not, what?”

        Aidan,
        Anyone who has smoked knows the amount of will-power it takes to overcome it. The – greater desire – becomes the goal set in front of you. By keeping our eye on that goal we can reach it. But again, it may take a lot of will-power, and help, to do it. God has given each of us a very powerful tool to deal with these things – its called the will.

        How else would Cain rule over his sin? How else could ALL – equally be able to choose life or death in (Ezek. 18:21-32)? Their God-given will.

        Rh,
        “LFW seems to deny that desire rules the person’s choices.”

        Aidan,
        LFW does not deny that desire rules the person’s choices, but rather, that desire HAS TO rule a person’s choices. Talk to any Olympic athlete, and they will tell you what it takes to rule over your desires.

      30. Aidan writes, “God has given each of us a very powerful tool to deal with these things – its called the will.”

        The “will” is the means by which a person expresses his desires. That there are conflicting and sometimes equal desires is not at issue. The desire that wins out, sometimes in the heat of the moment, is then expressed by the will.

        Then, “LFW does not deny that desire rules the person’s choices, but rather, that desire HAS TO rule a person’s choices.”

        I don’t see people defining LFW as having anything to do with one’s desire as that is the claim of Calvinism and LFW is offered in opposition to Calvinism.

        Then, ‘Talk to any Olympic athlete, and they will tell you what it takes to rule over your desires.”

        An Olympic athlete is acquainted with conflicting desires. His desire to win a medal will override his desire to avoid the hard work necessary to that goal.

      31. rhutchin
        The “will” is the means by which a person expresses his desires.

        br.d
        The state of nature at any time (including man’s) being EXCLUSIVELY determined at the foundation of the world – by Calvin’s god.

        Which means NOTHING about it is UP TO man.

      32. Rh,
        “The “will” is the means by which a person expresses his desires. That there are conflicting and sometimes equal desires is not at issue. The desire that wins out, sometimes in the heat of the moment, is then expressed by the will.”

        Aidan,
        The will is given to subject and control our desires – its called self control and self-discipline.

        Rh,
        “I don’t see people defining LFW as having anything to do with one’s desire as that is the claim of Calvinism and LFW is offered in opposition to Calvinism.”

        Aidan,
        I understand that you are coming at this from a different perspective than I am. As Br.d stated concerning Calvinism, “NOTHING about it is UP TO man.” From your perspective, every impulse is a pre -programmed choice by calvi-god. But not so when there is true LFW and no such thing as total depravity. How then do you exclude desire?

        Rh,
        “An Olympic athlete is acquainted with conflicting desires. His desire to win a medal will override his desire to avoid the hard work necessary to that goal”

        Aidan,
        An Olympic athlete employs sheer will-power in order to discipline the body and make it his slave. He or she exercises self control in every area of their life in order to achieve that goal . How much more the man of God? (1 Cor. 9:25-27)

        Was Cain not given the counsel he needed to gain control and prevent his sin from happening? He could have chosen to do that, but he chose not to.

      33. Aidan writes, “The will is given to subject and control our desires – its called self control and self-discipline. ”

        I agree. The will imposes order among the person’s desires an order that requires a moral compass and spiritual subjection to maintain order across a society.

        Then, “As Br.d stated concerning Calvinism, “NOTHING about it is UP TO man.”

        That is the conclusion he draws draws from his humanist philosophy. If we follow a Scriptural theology, we arrive at a different conclusion.

        Then, “From your perspective, every impulse is a pre -programmed choice by calvi-god.”

        No. God obviously understands people (He created them) and can know what any person will do in any situation. However, that does not mean that God pre-programs a person to act without an awareness of what he is doing and acts without thinking. The pre-programming includes the corrupt nature, lack of faith, limited knowledge, even less understanding, and even less wisdom. Obviously, people are at a disadvantage. Even br.d does not deny that. Nor should you.

        Then, “But not so when there is true LFW and no such thing as total depravity. How then do you exclude desire?”

        How do you get “true LFW” without faith or with a heart that is “deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked;,” or where aperosn is that described in Genesis, “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

        Can you explain this “true :FW” that you are advocating?

        Then, “An Olympic athlete employs sheer will-power in order to discipline the body and make it his slave….How much more the man of God? (1 Cor. 9:25-27)”

        And this by desire.

        Then, “Was Cain not given the counsel he needed to gain control and prevent his sin from happening? He could have chosen to do that, but he chose not to.”

        We know what Cain actually did. Could Cain have over-ridden his desires to do otherwise? Not without faith – not by himself.

      34. rhutchin
        As br.d stated concerning Calvinism, “NOTHING about it is UP TO man.

        br.d
        rhutchin you’re often like CNN twisting quotes from people
        You should at least be honest enough to quote it correctly.

        Its not concerning NOTHING about “Calvinism” that is UP TO man
        It is – in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) NOTHING about ANYTHING is UP TO man.
        Since “Whatsoever comes to pass” is determined EXCLUSIVELY and SOLELY by Calvin’s god

        rhutchin
        That is the conclusion he draws draws from his humanist philosophy. If we follow a Scriptural theology, we arrive at a different conclusion

        br.d
        GENETIC FALLACY
        This fallacy occurs when a LOGICAL argument is rejected based on the claimed source of the argument – and typically found as a failed response to RATIONAL thinking.

      35. rhutchin
        No. God obviously understands people (He created them) and can know what any person will do in any situation.

        br.d
        After having determined “whatsoever comes to pass” with every human IMPULSE – Calvin’s god ought to be smart enough to understand what he makes people do.

        But if he expects the outcome of an infallible decree to be the opposite of that infallible decree – then IXNAY on understanding! :-]

      36. br.d writes, “After determining “whatsoever” human IMPULSE will come to pass – Calvin’s god ought to be smart enough to understand what he makes people do. ”

        God’s understanding of all possibilities precedes His determination of actual events. It is the counsel of His will (His understanding of all possibilities) that enables God to work (or determine) that which then comes to pass in the course of time.

        Then, ‘But if he expects the outcome of an infallible decree to be the opposite of that infallible decree – then IXNAY on understanding! ”

        The infallible decree is derived from God’s infinite understanding. So, no conflict between God’s understanding and His infallible decree (or between the counsel of God’s will and His works).

      37. br.d
        After determining “whatsoever” human IMPULSE will come to pass – Calvin’s god ought to be smart enough to understand what he makes people do. ”

        rhutchin
        God’s understanding of all possibilities precedes His determination of actual events. It is the counsel of His will (His understanding of all possibilities) that enables God to work (or determine) that which then comes to pass in the course of time.

        br.d
        All possibilities of what he is going to decree come to pass – and all possibilities of what he’s going to make people be and do
        Otherwise they don’t do anything.

        br.d
        But if he expects the outcome of an infallible decree to be the opposite of that infallible decree – then IXNAY on understanding! ”

        rhutchin
        The infallible decree is derived from God’s infinite understanding. So, no conflict between God’s understanding and His infallible decree (or between the counsel of God’s will and His works).

        br.d
        Interpretation:
        Expecting the outcome of an infallible decree to be the opposite of that infallible decree is not a conflict within the Calvinist’s “scriptural theology” :-]

      38. rhutchin
        We know what Cain actually did. Could Cain have over-ridden his desires to do otherwise? Not without faith – not by himself.

        br.d
        Funny business – about Calvin’s god and his infallible decrees concerning “Whatsoever comes to pass” with every human desire.

        SOT101 readers will find many posts here from Calvinists insisting that fallible creatures can in fact “do otherwise” from what Calvin’s god infallibly decrees.

        They call that: “scriptural theology”

        I think God gave Calvinism to mankind for its entertainment value! :-]

      39. Aidan writes, “The will is given to subject and control our desires – its called self control and self-discipline. ”

        Rh,
        “I agree. The will imposes order among the person’s desires an order that requires a moral compass and spiritual subjection to maintain order across a society.”

        Aidan,
        That moral compass is informed by the Word of God.

        Rh,
        “That is the conclusion he draws draws from his humanist philosophy. If we follow a Scriptural theology, we arrive at a different conclusion.”

        Aidan,
        I think it might be presumptuous to suggest that Br.d follows no Scriptural theology.

        Rh,
        “The pre-programming includes the corrupt nature, lack of faith, limited knowledge, even less understanding, and even less wisdom. Obviously, people are at a disadvantage. Even br.d does not deny that. Nor should you.”

        Aidan,
        I understand that we sometimes make inferences that are not necessarily true. But if we have the right information we can make what’s called ‘necessary inferences’. I believe the list you have given above comes from the false assumption that men are born totally depraved. Therefore, a lot of what you believe about men being dead, your view on regeneration, faith, etc.. hangs on total depravity being true. What verse or passage blows it out of the water for you in proving that TD is true?

        Rh,
        “How do you get “true LFW” without faith or with a heart that is “deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked;,” or where aperosn is that described in Genesis, “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

        “Can you explain this “true :FW” that you are advocating?”

        Aidan,
        Well, If you can imagine just for one second, that there is no such thing as inherited total depravity, or Determinism as you know it, then what are you left with? FW without those impositions. I would suggest that it was because they had FW, they got to the point where, “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” I think it makes people more culpable, don’t you? Let it not be lost on us that Noah still called on those people to repent.

        Rh,
        “Then, “An Olympic athlete employs sheer will-power in order to discipline the body and make it his slave….How much more the man of God? (1 Cor. 9:25-27)”

        “And this by desire.”

        Aidan,
        And by the desire of the will. I say this because, like giving up smoking, it takes real willpower to fight against that craving desire to smoke, raging within our body and mind. And that’s just the simplified version.

        Rh,
        “We know what Cain actually did. Could Cain have over-ridden his desires to do otherwise? Not without faith – not by himself.”

        Aidan,
        Again, your reply looks to total depravity and determinism for the answer rather than the context of the verse itself. If you could remove total depravity and determinism from your mind here, what conclusion would you make, just from the verse, about Cain’s ability to believe God and act accordingly? Is that too big an ask for you to contemplate?

        Genesis 4:6-7:
        “So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?
        “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.”

      40. Aidan writes, “That moral compass is informed by the Word of God.”

        For believers who operate by faith, Yes; for unbelievers who lack faith, No except through societal or peer pressure.

        Then, “I think it might be presumptuous to suggest that Br.d follows no Scriptural theology.”

        There is no indication of br.d following a Scriptural theology in his comments. He readily appeals to his humanist philosophy in his arguments. Until that changes, I don’t think your comment reflects reality.

        Then, “I believe the list you have given above comes from the false assumption that men are born totally depraved.”

        Calvinists say that people are born with corrupt hearts (natures) and without faith. That gives us Total Depravity.

        From Jeremiah 17, we know that “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked;” Hebrews 11 tells us “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Paul explains this in Romans 8, “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Then, Paul extends this in Romans 3, ““There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God…There is none who does good, no, not one….There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

        Can you explain the false assumption do you see the Calvinist drawing from this?

        Then, ‘Well, If you can imagine just for one second, that there is no such thing as inherited total depravity, or Determinism as you know it, then what are you left with? FW without those impositions.”

        LOL!!! Yeah, imagine that all people always have faith. Create an illusion and you can get anything you want.

        Then, “And by the desire of the will. I say this because, like giving up smoking, it takes real willpower to fight against that craving desire to smoke, raging within our body and mind. And that’s just the simplified version.”

        Sure. To override a desire for smoking requires a greater desire to give up smoking.

        Then, ‘If you could remove total depravity and determinism from your mind here, what conclusion would you make,”

        Sure – Give Cain a good heart and faith and you can get your result. That’s not the reality expressed in the Scriptures.

      41. rhutchin
        There is no indication of br.d following a Scriptural theology in his comments. He readily appeals to his humanist philosophy in his arguments. Until that changes, I don’t think your comment reflects reality.

        br.d
        GENETIC FALLACY
        This fallacy occurs when a LOGICAL argument is rejected based on the claimed source of the argument – and typically found as a failed response to RATIONAL thinking.

      42. Rh,
        “There is no indication of br.d following a Scriptural theology in his comments. He readily appeals to his humanist philosophy in his arguments. Until that changes, I don’t think your comment reflects reality.”

        Br.d,
        “I agree also!! Thank you so very much for everything you do Dr. Flowers.
        You are greatly appreciated!!”

        Aidan,
        As I’ve said, it is rather presumptuous of you to suggest that br.d has no Scriptural theology!! The comment above could not be made by someone lacking a Scriptural theology he appreciates. Perhaps you are frustrated because he never gives you a target to shoot at?

        Aidan writes, “That moral compass is informed by the Word of God.”

        Rh,
        “For believers who operate by faith, Yes; for unbelievers who lack faith, No except through societal or peer pressure”

        Aidan,
        How can you say that unbelievers have a moral compass if they are born totally depraved? Think about it, its a contradiction in terms. Under Calvinism the unsaved cannot do otherwise than resist God because their corrupt nature allows nothing else. Therefore, if one is born TOTALLY depraved there is no “moral compass” except toward evil, and nothing but evil. As you said yourself, “That gives us Total Depravity.” From birth “The heart is … desperately wicked;” and “There is none righteous, no, not one;” You even indicated that we are not born with a good heart when you said, “Sure – Give Cain a good heart” Born totally depraved, by definition means – born totally morally corrupt; wicked.

        While I agree that men can become morally corrupt and wicked, the false assumption in Calvinism is that men are, in any way, BORN that way.That’s not the reality expressed in the Scriptures!!

        Rh,
        “From Jeremiah 17, we know that “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked;” Hebrews 11 tells us “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Paul explains this in Romans 8, “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Then, Paul extends this in Romans 3, ““There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God…There is none who does good, no, not one….There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

        “Can you explain the false assumption do you see the Calvinist drawing from”

        Aidan,
        The false assumption Calvinists draw from, is the presupposition that these verses are speaking about the condition of babies. Where is the necessary inference that infants are being spoken of in these passages? Your Romans 3 passage for example, would suggest the opposite view to this Calvinist claim. In v.12 it says,
        “They have all turned aside;
        They have together become unprofitable;
        There is none who does good, no, not one.”

        They only became unprofitable AFTER they turned aside, proof that they were not born so. We are born innocent and pure, but become corrupted over time because we live in a corrupt world. And Romans 8 mentions nothing about babies, but rather, in its context Paul is addressing his readers who are mature individuals. In fact, Paul tells them further down in Rom. 8: 12-13; “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” It seems it was possible, even for these mature Christian individuals, to live according to the flesh again. Hence the warning not to, but to put the death the deeds of the body and you will live. And how could you possibly apply Hebrews 11 to babies, which tells us “without faith it is impossible to please God”? Surely, that passage could only apply to someone both old enough and able enough to seek after Him. I think the Calvinist is reading too much into these passages because they are brain-washed. And that’s why you will not be able to accept the truth.

      43. Aidan writes, “How can you say that unbelievers have a moral compass if they are born totally depraved?”

        I didn’t. I said, without faith, unbelievers have no moral compass. Without faith, morality becomes relative and based on one’s’s wants and desires.

        Then, “While I agree that men can become morally corrupt and wicked, the false assumption in Calvinism is that men are, in any way, BORN that way.That’s not the reality expressed in the Scriptures!!”

        The Scriptures divide people by those in the flesh and those led by the Spirit. In Proverbs, the contrast is between the righteous and the wicked – a person does not become righteous apart from the Word. No one is born with a good heart or with faith – these come through the Word and involve turning away from evil and submitting to God/Christ. That’s the reality expressed in the Scriptures.

        Then, “The false assumption Calvinists draw from, is the presupposition that these verses are speaking about the condition of babies….We are born innocent and pure, but become corrupted over time because we live in a corrupt world.”

        Basically, you are saying that each person is born with a good heart and the faith to live a good life. Then, each person takes a bite of the fruit and becomes corrupt with the loss of faith. Like the prodigal son, the person can always come to his senses by realizing his condition and desiring to change. I’m not buying it.

        Then, “And that’s why you will not be able to accept the truth.”

        So, if I accept your view about babies, I will see the truth and that truth is not Calvinism. That probably explains the non-Calvinist position.

      44. RH just repeats a Mantra that men are born having no Faith. RH writes: “No one is born…with faith “…. ” I said, without faith, unbelievers have no moral compass. Without faith, morality becomes relative and based on one’s’s wants and desires”

        GA: This is an assumption RH just pushes over and over again because without this false assumption his argument fails completely.
        Let’s see what the scriptures actually teach. Now I know RH will just ignore this and push on with his false assumption as he has done over and over again. But I will repeat this again.

        GA:
        BACKGROUND
        As Christians we all believe:
        1Co 4:7 What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

        This truth refers to absolutely everything we have.
        Everything you and I have, we have received, our very breath, our eyes, our nose, our ability to think, our ability to love, our ability to work, absolutely everything we have is a gift from God. This makes it Clear to anyone willing to listen to the scriptures. We have absolutely NOTHING to boast about. My very existence is a gift from God and everything about my life is a gift.

        As creatures created in His image we should take all that has been given to us, and direct it back towards God, focus it back on God the great gift giver. Anything less is idolatry.

        The gifts that we have from God also include intellectual abilities and the ability to believe and trust propositions, ideas and even people. RH claims that non-christians have no ability whatsoever to have faith or believe. HOWEVER
        The important thing within Christianity has always been what is the OBJECT of your faith, or the FOCUS of your faith. (Which is given to mankind by God to excercise.)
        Calvinism changes the focus of the gospel.

        Biblically speaking a weak faith or a small faith focused on the right OBJECT is praised in scripture, “faith the size of a mustard seed”. In scripture the QUALITY of your faith is NOT the key issue instead it is the OBJECT of one’s faith. Calvinism’s focus is not on the OBJECT of the faith ie Christ. Calvinism’s focus is on the QUALITY of your faith. Calvinism changes the gospel message.

        The late, Dr. Adrian Rogers used to ask the question “When crossing a frozen river what is better? Weak/small faith in very thick ice or lots of faith in very thin ice?” He would rightly point out that weak or small faith in thick ice will get you to the other side of the river but great faith in thin ice will take you to the bottom of a river.
        Why?
        Because the quality of the OBJECT of our faith is the most important thing, instead of the quality of your faith itself. You can have weak faith in a GREAT savior and you are going to be just fine. But great faith focused on the wrong object is a death trap.

        Do the unsaved have faith? The Biblical answer is YES.

        In true, God glorifying Christianity the quality of the OBJECT of one’s faith has always been the most important thing NOT the quality of one’s faith. Calvinist always change the focus from Christ to the “quality of one’s faith” instead of the quality of the OBJECT-Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This is a subtle shift but it changes everything with devastating ramifications.

        In the verses below…ALL the passages use the exact same Hebrew word Believe strong’s concordance number H539. Nothing is different in any of the passages take careful note. Both saved and unsaved have the exact same faith or belief but the OBJECT of their faith is different, that is what Christianity is all about.

        What sayeth the scriptures?
        Abraham:
        Gen 15:6 And he BELIEVED H539 in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

        Jon 3:5 And the people of Nineveh believed H539 God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
        Notice the importance of the OBJECT – the LORD, GOD. The word used is identified by Strong’s number H539. This exact same word is used to describe believing a lie or anything other than God. Which proves that mankind has already been given the ability to have faith/ believe. Man is not without this ability the difference is what is the focus of that faith of what is the OBJECT of that faith?

        EXACT SAME Hebrew Word here:
        1Sa 27:12 And Achish believedH539 David, thinking, “He has made himself an utter stench to his people Israel; therefore he shall always be my servant.”
        (Here David told Achish lies and Achish BELIEVED those lies. Achish had faith he just placed his faith in a lie that David told him. Exactly the same Hebrew word as Gen.15:6) Not absence of Faith or Belief.

        Pro 14:15 The simple BELIEVES H539 everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
        (Notice it is not the lack of ability to believe, it is believing the wrong thing.)

        Pro 26:24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart;
        Pro 26:25 when he speaks graciously, believe H539 him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart;
        (The Lord exhorts us not to believe H539 a deceiver, the ability to believe is not missing, in fact the probability of believing a liar is very real so we are warned. It is the OBJECT of ones belief that is critically important.)

        Job 15:31 Let him not trust H539 in emptiness, deceiving himself, for emptiness will be his payment.
        (Same word again- People can trust or believe H539 in emptiness, or thin ice, however the believer will suffer harm because the OBJECT of his faith is empty.)

        2Ch 32:15 Now, therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you in this fashion, and do not believe H539 him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!’”
        (The possibility of believing or having faith in a liar exists so the exhortation is Do NOT believe H539 him. The absence of Faith is not the issue but instead misplaced faith is the issue, misplaced in thin ice.)

        Jer 12:6 For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; do not believeH539 them, though they speak friendly words to you.”

        (NOTICE that the same Hebrew word is used in every instance the only difference is that faith or belief is placed in a DIFFERENT OBJECT. The object is always the issue. If like Abraham we place our God given faith in the right OBJECT we will be blessed but if we place that faith in lies and liars then we are in trouble.)

        Gen 15:6 And he believedH539 in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
        Jon 3:5 And the people of Nineveh believed H539 God.

        Remember it is the OBJECT of one’s faith that is important not how GREAT your faith is. All of us have been given, by God, the ability to believe propositions make sure you believe the correct one. Christianity is about believing the correct thing. Scripture clearly teaches that all people have this God given ability. We are responsible to place it in the right OBJECT.

        The Psalmist stated the importance of this in Psa 20:7-8 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.”

        Act 16:30-31 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved,
        Mic 7:4 The best of them is like a brier, the most upright of them a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen, of your punishment, has come; now their confusion is at hand.
        Mic 7:5 Put no TRUST H539 in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms;
        Mic 7:6 for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.
        Mic 7:7 But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation;

        EVERYONE is believing and trusting something. It is never the inability to believe it NOT believing the correct (thing) the OBJECT of our faith is what Christianity is all about.

        I know RH will just ignore all of this Biblical proof and continue to repeat his mantra, but repeating a falsehood 10 times, or 10,000 times does not all of a sudden make it true. BUT I realize Calvinism needs this Mantra in order to build it’s structure so they will repeat it 10,000 times hoping people will not see how wrong it is. A Calvinist can’t even stop to consider if it is true, his whole house will collapse if it is true. So he must just plug his ears and repeat his mantra louder and louder. No consideration can ever be given to these truths.

      45. If the Calvinist could tell the WHOLE truth – he would say – the divine potter *DESIGNS* his vessels to be born without faith.
        But one does not have to be a brain surgeon to figure out why they consistently omit that particular fact.

        But if that fact is a *REAL* aspect of the *TRUE* gospel – then why consistently omit it?

        Perhaps this is called “hedging one’s bets” – just to ensure things turn out (i.e. come to pass) the way they would like.

        So much for 100% trust in divine sovereignty! :-]

      46. GA writes, “RH just repeats a Mantra that men are born having no Faith….This is an assumption RH just pushes…”

        In Romans, Paul writes, “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God….” So, a person must hear the word of God in order to receive faith. Without hearing the Word of God, there can be no faith. This makes sense because faith is in Jesus. A person must ehar about Jesus in order to have faith in Him.

        GA says this is a false assumption (or conclusion drawn from Romans 10. How does he argue this?

        GA says “Everything you and I have, we have received…is a gift from God.” This includes faith. No conflict here. Faith is a gift from God conveyed to people through hearing the Word of God.

        Then GA says, ‘RH claims that non-christians have no ability whatsoever to have faith or believe. ”

        Non-Christians cannot have faith until God gives them faith and this is accomplished through hearing the Word of God.. They have no ability to have faith until God gives them faith Isn’t that what GA already claimed, “Everything you and I have, we have received…is a gift from God.” However GA claims, “Do the unsaved have faith? The Biblical answer is YES.” This despite saying that faith is a gift from God that would seem to require that God gift it. Later, GA says, ” Which proves that mankind has already been given the ability to have faith/ believe.” So, according to GA, faith is not a gift from God but the ability to have faith is the gift. So, we disagree.

        Then, “The important thing within Christianity has always been what is the OBJECT of your faith…Calvinism changes the focus of the gospel… Calvinism’s focus is not on the OBJECT of the faith ie Christ. Calvinism’s focus is on the QUALITY of your faith. ”

        Not sure what GA means by this as he doesn’t explain it. He does make the erroneous claim, “Calvinism’s focus is not on the OBJECT of the faith ie Christ. Calvinism’s focus is on the QUALITY of your faith.”

        Then, “I know RH will just ignore all of this Biblical proof and continue to repeat his mantra, but repeating a falsehood…”

        When GA changes God’s gift from “faith” to the “ability to have faith” he does not make the Calvinists wrong. He only introduces a false belief to his system.

      47. rhutchin
        When GA changes God’s gift from “faith” to the “ability to have faith” he does not make the Calvinists wrong. He only introduces a false belief to his system.

        br.d
        Well lets examine this with a little LOGIC:
        1) This is spoken by a person whose every perception of “True vs False” is determined *FOR* him at the foundation of the world – by an external mind.

        2) With FALSE perceptions infallibly decreed to exist in this person’s mind – any ability to discern those perceptions as FALSE would falsify the infallible decree that established him to have those FALSE perceptions.

        3) Per (1-2) it LOGICALLY follows – this person is left with no ability to discern his FALSE perceptions from his TRUE perceptions – because doing so would falsifying an infallible decree.

        CONCLUSION:
        This person’s perception of having the ability to distinguish infallibly decreed TRUE perceptions from infallibly decreed FALSE perceptions – can itself be chalked up to a FALSE perception.

        I think Calvin’s god gets a kick out of toying with Calvinist minds! :-]

      48. br.d writes, “This person’s perception of having the ability to distinguish infallibly decreed TRUE perceptions from infallibly decreed FALSE perceptions – can itself be chalked up to a FALSE perception.”

        This is your philosophy, but how does it promote our understanding of the Scriptures? If at all!

      49. rhutchin
        br.d writes, “This person’s perception of having the ability to distinguish infallibly decreed TRUE perceptions from infallibly decreed FALSE perceptions – can itself be chalked up to a FALSE perception.”

        rhutchin
        This is your philosophy

        br.d
        Your doctrine explicitly stipulates that “whatsoever comes to pass” (which obviously includes your every FALSE perception) is decreed at the foundation of the world – by Calvin’s god.

        Your negative response to that simply shows – you want Calvinism’s doctrine of decrees on your own terms.
        That’s your condition not mine

        rhutchin
        how does it promote our understanding of the Scriptures? If at all!

        br.d
        Showing the LOGICAL implications of Calvinist doctrine -shines a flashlight on it.
        And we can understand why someone wouldn’t want a spot-light

        For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
        Therefore whatsoever men hide in darkness shall eventually be brought into the light

      50. Well I would contend that faith in Christ is a “work” that man must do, and that there is no verse which actually says, faith comes as a special gift from God. They asked the question, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” So in answering their question of what they should do that they might work the works of God, He tells them – this is the work of God that you must do, that you might ” believe in Him whom He sent ” Perhaps then, that is key to working all the works of God. So, we do the work of God in our choice to believe in Him whom He sent.

      51. Aidan writes, “…we do the work of God in our choice to believe in Him whom He sent.”

        This can only result after God gives the person faith. Without faith, no one will believe in Christ.

        Look at Paul’s argument in Romans 10, “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?…So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

      52. Rh, writes,
        “Aidan writes, “…we do the work of God in our choice to believe in Him whom He sent.”

        Rh,
        “This can only result after God gives the person faith. Without faith, no one will believe in Christ.”

        “Look at Paul’s argument in Romans 10, “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?…So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

        Aidan,
        Okay, let’s look at Paul’s argument in Rom. 10. Paul’s argument is not that God has determined since before the foundation of the world, who is going to be saved and who is going to be lost. In other words, He determines who is given faith, and who is not. Nor is he saying, man is such a sinner that he can’t respond to whatever God is offering without some special enabling power of God. That is just something Calvinists read into the passage.

        But Paul does discuss God’s enabling power. He says that there are some things necessary in order for one to be able to – call on the name of the Lord. But what are they? Well first of all, he must believe, and he can’t believe without hearing, and he can’t hear without a message being preached, and that message can’t be preached without a preacher being sent. But God has already done these things. He has made these provisions available to everyone, according to Paul. THIS IS GOD’S ENABLING POWER, the thing that makes it possible for men to be able to reach out and be saved. It is not some special work of the Holy Spirit operating on men in a direct way, but rather, it is the work of the gospel; this is God’s way according to Rom.10. Anything more than that, is not warranted by this passage. Therefore, what you are saying about this passage, is nothing more than what you are reading into it.

      53. Aidan writes, “let’s look at Paul’s argument in Rom. 10. Paul’s argument is not that God has determined since before the foundation of the world, who is going to be saved and who is going to be lost.”

        To that, we both agree.

        Then, “That is just something Calvinists read into the passage.”

        Calvinists do not conclude such things from this passage.

        Then, “Paul does discuss God’s enabling power. He says that there are some things necessary in order for one to be able to – call on the name of the Lord.”

        Because there are things necessary for one to be able to – call on the name of the Lord, then prior to those things being provided, a person is unable to be saved, i.e., he is totally depraved. The things identified in this passage are not necessarily everything a person requires in order to be saved.

        Then, “first of all, he must believe,…God has already done these things. He has made these provisions available to everyone,”

        God has made these things available to everyone but only those who hear the gospel can receive them and not all who have the gospel preached to them actually “hear’ the gospel and receive these things.

        Then, “It is not some special work of the Holy Spirit operating on men in a direct way, but rather, it is the work of the gospel; this is God’s way according to Rom.10.”

        That conclusion does not flow from this passage. The work of the Holy Spirit is addressed elsewhere and is not addressed in, or excluded by, Romans 10.

        Then, “what you are saying about this passage, is nothing more than what you are reading into it.”

        My claim is that the passage establishes that faith comes by hearing the gospel and faith is necessary to salvation. That supports my claim from elsewhere in the Scripture that people are not born with faith and cannot be saved unless they receive faith and they can only receive faith from hearing the gospel..

      54. Rh writes,
        “Aidan writes, “let’s look at Paul’s argument in Rom. 10. Paul’s argument is not that God has determined since before the foundation of the world, who is going to be saved and who is going to be lost.”

        Rh,
        “To that, we both agree.”

        Aidan,
        “That is just something Calvinists read into the passage.”

        Rh,
        “Calvinists do not conclude such things from this passage.”

        Aidan,
        You left out some important bits. I qualified my statement at the top by saying, “In other words, He determines who is given faith, and who is not.” Even you yourself said, “They have no ability to have faith until God gives them faith.” Now, those who God chooses to give faith, according to Calvinism, are those whom He saves. But when was this choice made? Was it determined before the foundation of the world, or, on the spur of the moment? Therefore, when a strict Calvinist reads Rom.10, he reads into that passage – God chooses who to give faith to (just as you’ve commented many times on this passage), and that was predetermined before the foundation of the world. So, yes! Calvinists do read such things into this passage.

        Rh,
        “then prior to those things being provided, a person is unable to be saved, i.e., he is totally depraved.”

        Aidan,
        I see total depravity is another thing you read into this passage! In other words, “man is such a sinner that he can’t respond to whatever God is offering without some special enabling power of God. That is just something Calvinists read into the passage.”

        Rh,
        “but only those who hear the gospel can receive them and not all who have the gospel preached to them actually “hear’ the gospel and receive these things. – Non-Christians cannot have faith until God gives them faith and this is accomplished through hearing the Word of God..”

        Aidan,
        And why can’t they – hear the gospel?

        Rh,
        “a person is unable to be saved, i.e., he is totally depraved.”

        Aidan,
        Hence, that is the reason why Calvinists believe that – “man is such a sinner that he can’t respond to whatever God is offering without some special enabling power of God.” So, not only does God give him the faith, but also the ability to “hear” through some special work of the Holy Spirit operating on men in a direct way. This is yet another thing Calvinists read into Rom. 10, because of their false doctrine of total depravity. They just can’t help themselves.

        Rh,
        “The work of the Holy Spirit is addressed elsewhere and is not addressed in, or excluded by, Romans 10.”

        Aidan,
        Nevertheless, that is always the presupposition you read into this passage and elsewhere. But, there is no special work of the Holy Spirit operating on men in a direct way – to enable some to hear and believe the gospel. That is an all-pervading, and unproven assumption of Calvinism.

        Rh,
        “people are not born with faith and cannot be saved unless they receive faith.”

        Aidan,
        So what if “people are not born with faith”!! Nobody is born believing! A baby hasn’t got the capacity to hear the gospel and believe. So, that’s a ridiculous statement! Of course no one is born believing. Nor does it logically follow that one “cannot be saved unless they receive faith.” That’s just pure speculation – not based on any scripture, but on the false premise of – total depravity. If total depravity were true, you might have a leg to stand on – but it’s not, so you don’t.

      55. Good points Aidan.

        But is it possible that Calvinism’s doctrine of “Total Depravity” is simply a red-herring?

        If you designed a creature to be a turtle – then why fuss over the fact that it can’t run a mile in 10 minutes?
        Running a mile in 10 minutes was not what the creature was designed for.

        So what does Calvin’s god design different people for?

        1) He designs “many” for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure.
        2) He designs “few” for heaven

        So lets say Calvin’s god designs John Doe for eternal torment in the lake of fire.
        Calvin’s god could design John Doe to be the worlds most godly person every day of John Doe’s life
        And that won’t change John Doe’s fate any more than the color of his socks.

        So a Calvinist fussing over John Doe being Totally Depraved – is like fussing over what color socks John Doe will wear in the lake of fire. :-]

      56. Br.d,
        “But is it possible that Calvinism’s doctrine of “Total Depravity” is simply a red-herring?”

        Aidan,
        Absolutely! And you could probably add that the whole of TULIP is simply a red-herring. If the fallacy of Determinism, as defined by Sot.101, is at the back of this red-herring, then that lie should be exposed. I believe that you are showing how this determinism does not equate with the truth found in scripture. Their causal false premise – Determinism, is at the back of many of their arguments for TULIP. You have the wherewith-all to logically deconstruct those arguments, by bringing it back to the main source – Determinism, thereby exposing the fallacy of the whole system.

        I don’t have that capability. All I can do, is scripturally pull each petal from that flower to expose it for what it is – a lie, a red-herring! And if the Calvinist is unwilling to see these things, so be it – the truth still stands. I believe their attempts to give a scriptural apologetic, keeps exposing how weak it really is. But what you do, pulls the rug out from under their feet – leaving them nothing reasonable to stand on. In fact, it reveals how totally Unscriptural Calvinism really is. And if they say they stand on the word of God, I say, “well lets hear it so.” Lets examine the Scriptures daily to see whether these things are so.

      57. Agreed!
        And thank you for your kind words!
        And I appreciate greatly what you do Aidan!
        Our approaches are going to be different because the Lord has built us up in different ways.
        But I can see how every joint supplies here!
        And that is the Lord!

        My thanks!
        br.d :-]

      58. Thanks Br.d,
        I think even Calvinists are being educated about the true nature of Calvinism from many of the things you and others have presented here. It is always good to put a spotlight on doctrinal error, especially for the sake of the unsuspecting. Plus, there’s one really good thing this site has taught me, and that is – to brush up on my spelling. Who’d a thunk it?

      59. Aidan writes, “the whole of TULIP is simply a red-herring. If the fallacy of Determinism, as defined by Sot.101, is at the back of this red-herring, then that lie should be exposed.”

        TULIP has nothing to do with determinism as TULIP relates to Calvinism;s doctrine of man. Determinism is tied to Calvinism’s doctrine of God where God has infinite understanding and is omnipotent leading to His absolute sovereignty over His creation.

        Then, “I believe that you are showing how this determinism does not equate with the truth found in scripture.”

        Yet, it is the Scripture that says God has infinite understanding, is omnipotent, and is sovereign over His creation.

      60. rhutchin
        TULIP has nothing to do with determinism as TULIP relates to Calvinism;s doctrine of man.

        br.d
        I got a chuckle when I saw this!

        The shingles and siding on a house rest on walls – which rest on the foundation.
        There is nothing on that house that doesn’t have to do with its foundation.

        Theological Determinism is the underlying foundation upon which the house of Calvinism is built.

        Calvinism’s underlying doctrine of man is simple.
        Man’s every impulse is totally determined by Calvin’s god who leaves nothing left over for man to determine.

        And the TULIP is simply window dressing on top of that. :-]

      61. Good point and agreed the foundation matters and window dressings don’t constitute a solid foundation 😊 I can’t always read everything though I try when I can, but I do appreciate this unity I’m seeing. & Desiring God isn’t desiringgod.org which is another twist of who He is!!! He is Beyond their comprehension yet they think we are undermining Him what a hoot:-] that’s a funny saying so I’m copying it which is a form of flattery😊 thank all of you who stand up for the truth here on soteriology 101…. Leighton, Brian,Eric,Br.d and all the posters who see His provision is authentically offered yet not actually recieved/excepted by all so in terms a calvinist excepts .. the non elect hmm why???? 2 Thessalonians 2:10 NASB — and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
        Why fight to defend a system that is clearly flawed in Scripture and makes a Holy God out to be duplicitous ugh☹ & hmm!!! Look outside the box He is recognizably Good🌻

      62. Reggie
        Look outside the box He is recognizably Good🌻

        br.d
        Amen and amen – He is the fairest of ten thousand – he’s the bright and shining star!

      63. br.d writes, “Theological Determinism is the underlying foundation upon which the house of Calvinism is built.”

        The doctrine of God is the foundation upon which Calvinism is built. That doctrine says that God has infinite understanding and is omnipotent making God an absolute sovereign over His creation leading to the conclusion that God is omniscient and to a Theological Determinism that incorporates the creation of man in God’s image.

      64. rhutchin
        The doctrine of God is the foundation upon which Calvinism is built.

        br.d
        Then you actually agree!
        And what makes Calvinism’s doctrine of god unique and set apart from others – is that its god EXCLUSIVELY determines 100% of “whatsoever comes to pass” – which obviously leaves nothing left over for the creature to determine.

        Thus Theological Determinism is the underlying foundation of Calvinism :-]

        rhutchin
        That doctrine says that God has infinite understanding and is omnipotent making God an absolute sovereign over His creation

        br.d
        Historically classified as “Decreetal Theology” – and hence – Universal Divine Causal Determinism.
        I.E. Theological Determinism

        rhutchin
        leading to the conclusion that God is omniscient and to a Theological Determinism that incorporates the creation of man in God’s image.

        br.d
        Let the SOT101 reader not be fooled by an “image” MASQUERADING as something it isn’t in Calvinism.

        1) Calvin’s god’s image:
        Calvin’s god’s impulses are not determined *FOR* him by an external mind – or by factors outside of his control.
        His choices are not determined *FOR* him
        He therefore exercises “Libertarian” freedom.

        2) Man’s image in Calvinism:
        Calvin’s god EXCLUSIVELY determines *ALL* things *FOR* humans
        Which obviously leaves nothing left over for humans to determine.
        Human choices are determined *FOR* them.
        They do not exercise “Libertarian” freedom

        And that is a *HUGE* aspect in which humans are NOT created in Calvin’s god’s image.

        So let us not be tricked by ambiguous terms MASQUERADING as something they aren’t

      65. RH writes: “The doctrine of God is the foundation upon which Calvinism is built. That doctrine says that God has infinite understanding and is omnipotent making God an absolute sovereign over His creation leading to the conclusion that God is omniscient and to a Theological Determinism that incorporates the creation of man in God’s image.”

        GA: You are right Calvinism is determinism even when you try and soften it by saying “incorporates the creation of man in God’s image” the Calvi-god incorporates His own deterministic design of the man that he made to only function from a deterministic foundation, so that every thought and action of man are 100% determined. Good job. Now it is clear.

      66. Rh,
        “TULIP has nothing to do with determinism”

        Aidan,
        That’s what he said folks! TULIP has nothing to do with Determinism. Therefore, there is no relation between the 5 points of TULIP and determinism! Determinism: the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes regarded as external to the will. So, what does it mean if nothing in TULIP is related to determinism? This means that Total depravity is not related to determinism, and so, it has not been determined that man be born dead in sin. Well, I’m glad we agree, because that’s what I’ve been saying all along. It also means that Unconditional election is not determined. That’s great to know, because this site has been saying that from the beginning. And so, Rh agrees that before any man or woman is born — in fact, before the world was made — God did not arbitrarily determine who would go to heaven and who would not. And that He did not determine to limit the atonement to the few – Nor make His grace irresistible. That’s right, none of these things have been determined either, if the 5 tenets of TULIP are not related to Determinism. And lets not forget the P of TULIP! Simply put, this means that God has not determined that “Once you are saved, you are always saved.” And as we know, whatever God has not determined – has not been not determined.

        Its really good to know that there is no relation between the 5 points of TULIP and Determinism.

      67. Aidan writes, ‘Therefore, when a strict Calvinist reads Rom.10, he reads into that passage – God chooses who to give faith to (just as you’ve commented many times on this passage), and that was predetermined before the foundation of the world.”

        Calvinists don’t read the effects of God’s choices into this passage. The passage, standing alone, says that faith comes from hearing the gospel. That truth is then combined, by Calvinists, with truths from other Scriptures to reach certain conclusion.

        However, the point made by this passage – that faith comes by hearing – allows us to identify a point to divide people into two groups, those who have heard the gospel and have faith and those who have yet to hear the gospel.and do not have faith. Those without faith have no ability to believe the gospel and will not be able to believe the gospel until they hear and receive faith. Until a person hears the gospel and receives faith, he is Totally Depraved.

        Then, “I see total depravity is another thing you read into this passage! ”

        The passage enables us to describe certain people – those who have yet to hear the gospel and receive faith – as Totally Depraved. A totally Depraved person is one who has no faith and is unable to respond positively to the gospel. If by “reading into the passage,” you mean drawing conclusions from the passage in building a theology, then I agree that Calvinists do this. Even non-Calvinists use the Scriptures in this manner.

        Then, “And why can’t they – hear the gospel? ”

        We know that everyone who comes under the preaching of the gospel does not receive faith, because we observe that not all people who come under the preaching of the gospel evidence changed lives. How do we account for some people accepting the gospel and some rejecting the gospel? Calvinists say that those who accept the gospel were regenerated and enabled to hear the gospel.

        Then, ‘not only does God give him the faith, but also the ability to “hear” through some special work of the Holy Spirit operating on men in a direct way.”

        The Calvinist says that the Holy Spirit regenerates the person allowing the person to both see and enter the kingdom of heaven. By doing this, the Holy Spirit enables a person to hear the gospel and in hearing the gospel, faith is conveyed to the person who then believes.

        Then, “that is always the presupposition you read into this passage and elsewhere.”

        Once one reads John 3, the truths of John 3 become presuppositions for understanding other Scriptures. Reading John 6 adds more presuppositions. So it is with all Scripture. The more one reads Scripture, the more he gains truth that become presuppositions for understanding additional Scripture.

        Then, “Nor does it logically follow that one “cannot be saved unless they receive faith.” That’s just pure speculation – not based on any scripture, ”

        Calvinists would point to Romans 10 as proof of this. You don’t see that, so you will disagree with the Calvinists on this point. Hebrews 11 describes many actions taken by people because of faith and in one case, says, “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe.” This seems to say that faith separates those who believe (like Rahab) from those who do not believe.

      68. Rh,
        “They have no ability to have faith until God gives them faith. Calvinists say that those who accept the gospel were regenerated and enabled to hear the gospel. The Calvinist says that the Holy Spirit regenerates the person allowing the person to both see and enter the kingdom of heaven. By doing this, the Holy Spirit enables a person to hear the gospel and in hearing the gospel, faith is conveyed to the person who then believes.”

        Aidan,
        So you read all of the above into Romans 10? But Romans 10 doesn’t say that they had to be regenerated first in order to enable them to hear the gospel. Romans 10 doesn’t even say that they needed to be enabled to hear the gospel, never mind be regenerated to effect it. In short, Rom. 10 does not say that the Holy Spirit enables a person to hear the gospel, and in hearing the gospel, faith is conveyed(gifted) to the person who then believes.” Again, as I said before, you are reading into Romans 10 what is clearly not there. I can guarantee you that neither John 3, John 6, nor any other passage say anything of the sort. Nor is there a passage in the Bible which speaks about total depravity. All these things are mere assumptions and presuppositions without Biblical proof.

        Rh,
        “This seems to say that faith separates those who believe (like Rahab) from those who do not believe.”

        Aidan,
        The mere fact that faith separates those who believe (like Rahab) from those who do not believe, means nothing more than, she chose to believe and act while others didn’t. I wouldn’t read too much more into it than that.

      69. Aidan writes, “So you read all of the above into Romans 10?”

        If by “read into,” you mean that the Calvinists takes the whole counsel of Scripture to help understand any one Scripture (e.g., Romans 10), then, Yes. Obviously, Romans 10 tells us certain things that we can then combine with the whole of Scripture to get a complete picture of that which God is telling us.

        Then, “But Romans 10 doesn’t say that they had to be regenerated first in order to enable them to hear the gospel.”

        You are correct. John 3 tells us that a person must be born again in order to see and enter the kingdom of heaven. Calvinists conclude that a person must be able to see and enter the kingdom of heaven before the preaching of the gospel can make sense. Romans 10 tells us that the gospel is conveyed to people through preaching (whatever the form that preaching takes).

        Then, “Romans 10 doesn’t even say that they needed to be enabled to hear the gospel,…”

        No, it doesn’t. The experience of those who preach the gospel is that some respond in faith and others do not. How are we to explain thi? John 3, John 6, Ephesians 1, Philippians 1 and Colossians 1 all provide information to help us understand this.

        Then, “Nor is there a passage in the Bible which speaks about total depravity.”

        Romans 10 says that faith comes by hearing the gospel. Prior to a person hearing the gospel, he can have no faith. Total Depravity is a label given to those who have no faith. Paul describes people without faith as having minds set on the flesh Jude describes them as, “certain men,” saying, “certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

        Then, ‘The mere fact that faith separates those who believe (like Rahab) from those who do not believe, means nothing more than, she chose to believe and act while others didn’t. ”

        Don’t we know that Rahab could not believe without faith? Without faith Raham could not believe. So, Hebrews 11 says, “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.”

      70. What I find hilarious about Calvinism’s “Total Depravity” doctrine – is how it works with Calvin’s doctrine of the “wheat and the chaff”.

        Calvin teaches that in the Calvinist church there are a FEW grains of wheat hidden within a HUGE pile of chaff.

        For Calvin – the MANY Calvinists are specifically selected – to be deceived with a FALSE PERCEPTION of election.
        A taste of salvation now – works to magnify one’s eventual torment in the lake of fire.

        But of course on the doctrine – Calvinists who are not elect – are TOTALLY DEPRAVED

        So we end up with MANY TOTALLY DEPRAVED Calvinists running around – living a life of predestined FALSE PERCEPTIONS
        And of course no spiritual discernment.

        Which begs the question:
        How many TOTALLY DEPRAVED Calvinists does it take to turn a TOTALLY DEPRAVED light-bulb! :-]

      71. Rh,
        “If by “read into,” you mean that the Calvinists takes the whole counsel of Scripture to help understand any one Scripture (e.g., Romans 10), then, Yes.”

        Aidan,
        As a principle, that’s not the problem. The problem lies in making vague references to scriptures that don’t teach what you are reading into Rom.10.

        Aidan,
        “But Romans 10 doesn’t say that they had to be regenerated first in order to enable them to hear the gospel.”

        Rh,
        “John 3 tells us that a person must be born again in order to see and enter the kingdom of heaven. Calvinists conclude that a person must be able to see and enter the kingdom of heaven before the preaching of the gospel can make sense.”

        Aidan,
        John 3 is a point in case! John 3 says nothing of a person needing to be regenerated in order to enable them to hear the gospel. This is what you are reading into John 3 and consequently into Rom.10. Your conclusion on John 3 is very erroneous. A person cannot enter the kingdom of heaven BEFORE the preaching of the gospel.

        Aidan,
        “Romans 10 doesn’t even say that they needed to be enabled to hear the gospel,…”

        Rh,
        “The experience of those who preach the gospel is that some respond in faith and others do not. How are we to explain thi? John 3, John 6, Ephesians 1, Philippians 1 and Colossians 1 all provide information to help us understand this.”

        Aidan,
        Another point in case! What verses in John 3, John 6, Ephesians 1, Philippians 1 and Colossians 1 clearly show, or even necessarily imply, that people need – to be enabled to hear the gospel? Don’t confuse the ‘what’ with the ‘how’. Like you said, sometimes a passage doesn’t give all the details. For example, you might come across a passage which says, ‘ God gave Jericho into their hands,’ but as you know, that verse would not tell us ‘how’ this was accomplished.

        Aidan,
        “Nor is there a passage in the Bible which speaks about total depravity.”

        Rh,
        “Romans 10 says that faith comes by hearing the gospel. Prior to a person hearing the gospel, he can have no faith. Total Depravity is a label given to those who have no faith.”

        Aidan,
        Romans 10 is looking to faith IN CHRIST. It would be more correct to say, ‘Prior to a person hearing the gospel, he can have no faith IN CHRIST. Total Depravity must first be proven to be a biblical concept before it can be entertained. Therefore it is vain to cite it as the reason
        why people have no faith IN CHRIST. Men are not born corrupt, they BECOME corrupt (Rom. 3:12; Ps. 14:2-3)

        “The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
        To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
        They have all turned aside,
        They have together become corrupt;
        There is none who does good,
        No, not one.”

        Rh,
        “Don’t we know that Rahab could not believe without faith? Without faith Raham could not believe”

        Aidan,
        You are confused about what faith is! Faith is believing, and believing is faith – they are one and the same thing!

      72. This reminds me of a Calvinist’s web-site I happened across a year or so ago.

        This particular fellow believed the scriptures teach the earth is flat.
        Of course he has scripture evidence *IF* one’s exegesis takes into consideration the -quote “whole counsel of god”.
        He has the “proper exegesis” – and everyone else has it wrong.

        I also remember years ago – a certain believer who desired a certain item – but had only enough money to pay the rent.
        Looking up into the sky – saw a cloud formation that resembled the shape of the item
        And concluded that cloud formation was the “word of god”
        Bought the item – and then got kicked out of the apartment for rent delinquency.

        The human mind is very capable of seeing what it wants to see – even in random data :-]

      73. John 17:17; “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

        I firmly believe that one of our greatest problems is our struggle with the truth. Its a heart problem! Our response to the truth, the word of God, exposes what’s in the heart. The scripture warns us to “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” We’ve got to want the truth more than life, no matter how unpalatable it might be. So, it probably boils down to how much we want the truth, or how much we love the lie. This we know, that God will judge us for it.

        Heb. 4:12-13;
        For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

      74. Aidan wrotes, ‘The problem lies in making vague references to scriptures that don’t teach what you are reading into Rom.10.”

        If anything seems vague, let me know and i will provide specific Scriptures behind comments.

        Then, “John 3 is a point in case! John 3 says nothing of a person needing to be regenerated in order to enable them to hear the gospel.”

        John 3 says that a person must be born again in order to see and enter the kingdom of heaven. Romans 19 says a person must hear the gospel to receive faith. Which comes first? That is why we have the regeneration before faith (Calvinism) vs faith before regeneration (non-Calvinist) disagreement. You take one side and I take the other.

        Then, “A person cannot enter the kingdom of heaven BEFORE the preaching of the gospel.”

        That’s fine. Why didn’t you argue, “A person cannot see the kingdom of heaven BEFORE the preaching of the gospel.” You didn’t because to see the kingdom of heaven is to be regenerated. If the preaching of the gospel is the means whereby a person is enabled to see (be regenerated), the issue again becomes where to fit faith into the process.

        Then, “Another point in case! What verses in John 3, John 6, Ephesians 1, Philippians 1 and Colossians 1 clearly show, or even necessarily imply, that people need – to be enabled to hear the gospel? Don’t confuse the ‘what’ with the ‘how’.”

        We have the following truths in the Scriptures:

        1 ‘God has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” )Philippians 1)
        2 “God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” (Ephesians 2)
        3. “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3)
        4 “…God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,…” (Ephesians 1)
        5. “…God qualified believers to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,…” (Colossians 1)
        6 “you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now Christ has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight–” (Colossians 1)
        7 “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

        What truths do we gain from these verses?
        1. God begins a good work (salvation) in people.
        2. God makes people alive when they are still dead in trespasses and sins
        3. A person must be born again to see the kingdom of heaven (and thereby be saved)
        4. God chose us before the foundation of the world to holy and blameless (have our sin forgiven)
        5 God qualified us to be saved; God delivered us from darkness
        6 God made us alive when we were dead in sin
        7 God saves us by grace through faith – we are His workmanship

        Where does faith enter the process – “faith comes by hearing the gospel.” Except for God choosing us before He created the world and qualifying us, all of His actions toward us are accomplished through the hearing of the gospel.

      75. rhutchin
        Except for God choosing us before He created the world and qualifying us, all of His actions toward us are accomplished through the hearing of the gospel.

        br.d
        At least – the “FEW” Calvinists he didn’t DESIGN for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

        But of course he doesn’t have to do anything special to achieve that outcome.

        All he has to do is create creatures and immediately throw them into it.
        No need to delay any of that good pleasure.

        But then again – since Calvinists say (he’s just the AUTHOR of a fictional novel) then perhaps he wants a more interesting story-line :-]

      76. Rh,
        “John 3 says that a person must be born again in order to see and enter the kingdom of heaven.”

        Aidan,
        John 3 says that a person must be born again in order to see or enter the kingdom of heaven. But, John 3 does not say – “a person needs to be regenerated or born again to enable them to hear the gospel.” That’s imposing something not said or implied by Jesus. In simple terms, you must be born again in order to see or enter the kingdom of God. You seem to make a distinction between – seeing the kingdom (v.3), and ‘entering the kingdom’ (v.5). But a natural reading of the passage shows that v.5 is an explanation of v.3.

        In verse 3, Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus is confused in verse 4, so Jesus gives further explanation in verse 5: Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Thus making it clear that to be “born again” has two aspects, namely – water and the Spirit. But also that, seeing the kingdom of God means entering the kingdom of God. In other words, Jesus is just basically talking about how one can enter the kingdom of God. Paul told the Colossians that they were already in the kingdom when he said, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son (Col. 1:13). How so? Because they were born again having been born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5).

        Aidan,
        What verses in John 3, John 6, Ephesians 1, Philippians 1 and Colossians 1 clearly show, or even necessarily imply, that people need – to be enabled to hear the gospel? Don’t confuse the ‘what’ with the ‘how’.”

        Rh,
        1. God begins a good work (salvation) in people. Philippians 1

        Aidan,
        That statement tells us WHO, it doesn’t tell us HOW He accomplished it.

        Rh,
        2. God makes people alive when they are still dead in trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2)

        Aidan,
        “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world” Dead not in consequence of somebody else’s sins, but rather, as a consequence of the sins, “in which YOU once walked according to the course of this world” Col 2:13; “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” Again, this tells us WHAT God did for these Christians. It tells us that He made them alive, having forgiven them all their trespasses, NOT BEFORE THAT. But it still doesn’t tell us what process was involved for that to happen..

        Rh,
        3. A person must be born again to see the kingdom of heaven (and thereby be saved) John 3.

        Aidan,
        Again, just a statement of fact, that a person must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God. Nothing here to tell us HOW one is born of water and the Spirit. Nothing here about a person needing to be ENABLED to hear the gospel.

        Rh,
        4. God chose us before the foundation of the world to holy and blameless (have our sin forgiven) Ephesians 1.

        Aidan,
        Again, this says nothing about enabling us to hear the gospel. And it doesn’t say, “God chose us before the foundation of the world,” it says, “God chose us IN HIM before the foundation of the world.”

        Rh,
        5 God qualified us to be saved; God delivered us from darkness (Colossians 1)

        Aidan,
        Paul is simply telling these Christians WHAT God has done for them. He says nothing here about HOW it was accomplished. And certainly nothing about ENABLING anyone to hear the gospel.

        Rh,
        6 God made us alive when we were dead in sin (Colossians 1).

        Aidan,
        Still nothing about some enabling power to hear the gospel. Nothing about how it was accomplished.

        Rh,
        7 God saves us by grace through faith – we are His workmanship (Ephesians 2)

        Aidan,
        Of course it would have to be by grace though faith. No one could be justified on the basis of his record, seeing that “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Absolutely, it would need to be by grace through faith – otherwise, no one would be saved. Again, absolutely no mention of God having to grant anyone enabling power, in order for them to hear the gospel.

        You would do well to speak where the scriptures speak, and to remain silent where the scriptures are silent.

      77. A certain Calvinist needed the faith to believe he wouldn’t turn into a frog the minute he walked out of his house.
        He was taught by the great interpreters of scripture – that he would have to be given a special gift of faith for that purpose

        So being scriptural he waited

        Sure enough at a certain point his mind was filled with the most powerful impression that god have given him that gift.
        So he happily walked out of his house.

        And instantly turned into a frog. :-]

      78. Aidan you have done a great job of exposing RH’s assumptions that he reads into the text.
        I really enjoyed reading this post…you and BR.D are punching holes in RH systematic and showing clearly how it is built upon mere assumptions that are then read into the scriptures. The Calvinist boat is sinking fast but then again you can always cover your eyes and live *AS IF* it is not.

      79. Thank you GA. I just hope the Calvinist realises that I am not his enemy in trying to bring him the truth.

      80. RH just ignored the passages I presented and the argument I presented. Just as I said he would do.

        He has done this a half dozen times already. I suspect he has no answer so he must change the subject.
        That is Calvinist tactic # 178 – Change the subject to avoid having to deal with the truth.

      81. GA writes, “RH just ignored the passages I presented and the argument I presented. ”

        You seemed to be saying that Christ is the object of the believer’s faith. I have no problem with that.

        You also said that the Calvinist makes the quality of faith the issue. I have no idea what you meant by that. Did you just make it up?

      82. Rh,
        Aidan writes, “How can you say that unbelievers have a moral compass if they are born totally depraved?”

        “I didn’t. I said, without faith, unbelievers have no moral compass. Without faith, morality becomes relative and based on one’s’s wants and desires.”

        Aidan,
        By definition, TOTAL depravity is absolute, not “relative.” Hence, not “moral” but “immoral.”

        Rh,
        “The Scriptures divide people by those in the flesh and those led by the Spirit. In Proverbs, the contrast is between the righteous and the wicked – a person does not become righteous apart from the Word. No one is born with a good heart or with faith – these come through the Word and involve turning away from evil and submitting to God/Christ. That’s the reality expressed in the Scriptures.”

        Aidan,
        There’s no argument that the scriptures divide people into two classes – the righteous and the wicked. But it also tells us that people are NOT born that way, but rather BECOME that way. You say, “No one is born with a good heart.” Another way of putting that is, “everyone is born with an EVIL heart.” Some call it – TOTAL depravity. Not a reality expressed anywhere in the Scriptures.

        Rh,
        “Basically, you are saying that each person is born with a good heart and the faith to live a good life. Then, each person takes a bite of the fruit and becomes corrupt with the loss of faith. Like the prodigal son, the person can always come to his senses by realizing his condition and desiring to change. I’m not buying it.”

        Aidan,
        Why not? Its your strawman! But, you are right in saying that a person is born with a good heart. After which, they can either develop in faith, or in unbelief. And, that people can come to their senses and repent. The reason you are not buying what the scriptures teach is, because you have invested too much in Calvinism. But that’s not my problem!

        Rh,
        “So, if I accept your view about babies, I will see the truth and that truth is not Calvinism. That probably explains the non-Calvinist position.”

        Aidan,
        No! But rather, If you were willing to accept the biblical view of babies, you would see the truth and that truth is not Calvinism. That, probably, is a more likely explanation!

      83. Aidan writes, “So God simply allows men to make their own free will choice in responding to the gospel or not….‘what conditions can anyone meet – if they don’t have God’s direct supernatural intervention’.”

        That is why Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;” That is why Paul said, “we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called [by God], both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

  7. Hello all,

    This is my first post to this site, though I have been reading articles here for over a year. A brief bit about me… I love the Lord Jesus who has saved me from my sins. I am no scholar, nor theologian, nor pastor, nor written any books about these soteriological matters; I’m just a sinner saved by the mercy of our Living God. I am not a Calvinist, though what I am is not so clear (Arminian, Traditionalist, etc.).

    Now, on to my post, in the past I have found this Calvinist accusation towards non-Calvinists about ‘boasting’ to be worthy of reflection. What I mean is that Scripture is clear that NO ONE will have any reason to boast before God so any accusation that suggests that some WOULD have such grounds (based on a potentially faulty soteriological stance) should be examined as to its merits. However, I am persuaded that Scripture silences this accusation, and it does so convincingly. I present three passages in Romans:

    Ro 3:27: Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

    Ro 11:18-20: do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.

    Ro 4:16: That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

    The above passages state that boasting is excluded, and why? Because of faith (1st verse). And, that believers should not be arrogant towards Jews who were broken off, and why? Because we stand by faith (2nd verse). And, that we know that righteousness/salvation is solely by grace, and why? Because it comes to us through faith (3rd verse). What I find both intriguing and persuasive in all of these verses is that the usual Calvinist answers for why we know it is grace (unconditional election, irresistible grace, effective purchase of faith only for the unconditionally elect, etc.) are not even present in Paul’s argument flow….this is clear when these verses are read in context, especially the latter half of Romans 3 thru 4. Now, it is a faulty expectation to think all possible doctrine can be expounded in each verse; that would be impossible and I am not suggesting that here. But, what I find critical in these verses (and their context) is that Paul is establishing the REASON why we can’t boast and the REASON why we know salvation is by grace and those traditional Calvinist doctrines are not found in Paul’s answer… faith is the simple answer he gives. I find this to be telling.

    Thank you for the privilege of being able to interact here.

    Blessings in Christ Jesus.

    1. Hi JaceWhite:
      Your post was well thought out and very biblical.
      When people read the scriptures without the Calvinist glasses being put on them, they come to these conclusions. Keep up the good work being a student of scripture, not a follower of some “celebrity pastor” or teacher. That is the problem this day and age people love to identify themselves with a popular contemporary figure rather than Christ.
      People are “discipled out of ” these plain common sense readings of scriptures.
      Glad you are here.

      1. GA writes, “People are “discipled out of ” these plain common sense readings of scriptures.’

        True. Like the following–

        “All that the Father gives Jesus will come to Jesus,…”

        Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;…”

        “…everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Jesus.”

  8. My heart is breaking and sorrowful over the ‘christian determinist philosophy voice in the air’ on social medias. It is heightening. And then how many are becoming more like Mac Arthur:doubled up on chosen and raptured out by a secret return for rapture before the return.

    Above presenting the good news many are correcting over it. For example ‘Just know, as long as you understand God chooses you because you can’t understand the truth.So, no boasting.’ or to the unbeliever: ‘You can’t understand as you don’t have eyes to see'(of course related to a challenge by an unbeliever against determinist philosophy as if it is theLOVE in our message.) Straight out comments to unbelievers that God chooses some and not others as a defense against unbelievers.( the unbeliever sometimes giving way to a fair challenge and sometimes making snide comments) This work of veiling our testimony about and in Jesus Christ is getting further smothered of late by the pendulum swing about GLORY without perspective and angle, but as a swinging tool against those who do not ‘double up with determinist philosophy’ when we repeat God’ invitation, PRACTICALLY, offered to Come!

    About double-mindedness: The spirit of the air speaks chaos into WHAT IS PRACTICAL and all that is practically revealed and pictured for us.
    They are making parables practical for their own theology and making the practical to be a parable for what is spoken simply to be understood. There depth is useless because that counterfeit the first thing revealed practically for understanding the foremost spiritual truth: THE GOOD NEWS !

    I have been speaking with poetic candance , as TS00 once pointed out . But, I am starting to lose my patients. I am patient because of the nonchristian who may be reading stuff as a true questioning unbeliever. (So, I am venting here because I am in a moment of wanting to lose my patients and write directly to demolish!!! )

    And if you say “for us to God’s glory”, they battle back with God’s Glory, ignoring the conversation practically includes “us”. I will KEEP repeating God died for Us and all that means about HIS Word on Glory.
    Ahhhhh, that I could wish that every Calvinist would do a word/verse study on the word GLORY in scripture, in context, immediate and big picture, IN TRUTH FOR US! Jesus our MEDIATOR

    2+2=4 is truly able to be understood because PRACTICALLY we can understand the truth GOD has GIVEN as a common sense to mankind! God does not excuse mankind from understanding THE TRUTH of HIS communication of what GOD SAID in the beginning and BREATHED into Humans.

    Okay, done….. thanks, I have vented …. I think I might start using the question “Can we look at this again, practically in the context?”

  9. Thanks guys. This is an important point.

    When I was a Calvinist I struggled (like all Calvinists) to distinguish between the law of works and the law of faith. Rom 3:26-27. With one there would be boasting (unless, of course the works were wrought by irresistible grace / you can’t boast of doing something which you could not resist) with the law of faith “boasting is excluded.” It is impossible to be proud of true contrition.

    Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him.
    But the just shall live by faith. Hab 2:4

    Chosenornot.com might be helpful.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Everyone I am sure has noticed that I have challenged Mark Thompson with BR.D argument above.

      But I want to make it clear that a Christian Calvinist does not struggle with the law of works and and faith.

      The greatest works I have seen written on how God justifies the ungodly have been written by Calvinists. I am not going to be intellectually dishonest although I am struggling with all of this. If I see something I know is wrong I am going to call it out.

      How many people here know the Gospel was preached to Abraham?

      Galatians 3:8 – And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”

      Romans 4:3 says For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

      But I have read on here more than once that it seems Abraham was justified, or counted righteous before God in a different way than Christians are as is written in Romans 4 where in the same context it says Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteous. The same Abraham who had the Gospel preached to him by God Himself as told us in Galatians 3:8

      Romans 4 as Abraham being justified and counted righteous in the same context as those who by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone we are accepted in the beloved to the praise of God’s glorious grace. God justifies the ungodly through the instrumentality of faith in Christ who is our righteousness as Abraham’s righteousness.

      It is not just a innate human faith that makes a decision for Christ. Faith is a gift of God’s grace. More than willing to talk about it to anyone.

      Does not faith COME by hearing the gospel. If it has to come to the sinner that strongly implies there is a time they did not have faith.

      Does not the Word of God say Christ is the Author/Originator/Source of our faith and the one who will bring it to a finished state of completion as we behold Him

      Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

      The Lame man at the gate of beautiful was healed by the faith that comes through Jesus.

      Acts 3:16 – “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the FAITH WHICH COMES THOUGH HIM has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.

      2 Thess. 3:2 – And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.

      It is double talk for non-Calvinists to say that faith is not a gift of God, That it is something that wicked and evil people have when the word of God says they do not. This is intellectual dishonesty.

      I know you all read the verses I have given that show faith is something that is not innate and natural to sinners but is from Christ who is the source of our faith and comes through the hearing of the Gospel of Christ. And I know you all read that wicked and evil people do not have faith.

      I may not understand everything but I do understand this and the desire of the non-Calvinist to say that it is the exercising of their LFW engaging some form of innate natural human faith that saves. This is not what the Word of God says. Even the demons have faith and believe and tremble.

      You receive saving faith it is not in you naturally from the day you are born and the fact you can just believe bc you think you have LFW.

      2 Peter 1:1 – Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ HAVE RECEIVED A FAITH AS PRECIOUS AS OURS:

      In the verse I just quoted was the faith received or did they already have it. This is where intellectual honesty comes into play.

      1. JUSKLNTIME2442,

        You referred to Romans 4 – “as Abraham being justified and counted righteous”? I have a few questions! What period of Abraham’s life is this referring to? Also, where is the quotation taken from in Romans 4? Is this the only time in his life that this quotation is used? If not, then is it simply referring to an unbeliever who suddenly comes to believe? Or could it be referring to someone who was already a long time believer? (cf. Heb 11:7). And if it is the latter, did Abraham not need to continually walk by faith throughout his life in order to fulfill the quotation that, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness?”

        Romans 4 then uses Abraham, the chief ground of Jewish confidence, to illustrate a righteousness on the basis of faith, and not the works of the law! Abraham is shown to be “the father of all those who believe” (v.11). The true seed of Abraham, his spiritual descendants, are those “who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had” (v.12), who have “the faith of Abraham” (v.16). Romans 4, then, is a most appropriate place to learn of the nature of justifying faith. How do you read these passages?

  10. Straw man:

    “I may not understand everything but I do understand this and the desire of the non-Calvinist to say that it is the exercising of their LFW engaging some form of innate natural human faith that saves.”

    JUSKLNTIME2442. There may be some non-Calvinist sometime, somewhere who believes that “some form of innate natural human faith saves”. Never met one. I’m not one. You are projecting.

    Every Christian I’ve ever met believes that God is ultimately behind every good thing. Calvinists just add that God is behind every evil thing also, thus rendering the idea of evil as completely without meaning.

    1. Hi Carl,

      My name is Kevin.

      So not a straw-man. Because I have not met a non-Calvinist who does not believe that it is his or her natural innate human faith that they exercise by their LFW and believe in Christ. Then become justified or declared righteous though Christ.

      You are the first non-Calvinist I have met who believes that faith is a gift from God.

      Because you did say:

      Carl
      “There may be some non-Calvinist sometime, somewhere who believes that “some form of innate natural human faith saves”. Never met one. I’m not one.”

      Kevin
      So where doe your faith come from God or yourself?

      Carl
      “Every Christian I’ve ever met believes that God is ultimately behind every good thing.”

      Kevin
      OK cool!!

      Carl
      “Calvinists just add that God is behind every evil thing also, thus rendering the idea of evil as completely without meaning.”

      Kevin
      Carl, this is not even the subject, why run and hide behind it as all Non-Calvinist do when they know they are wrong about something. How do you know I even believe in this. Maybe you better talk to BR.D. But one thing I really tries my patience is when we are talking about one subject and the Non-Calvinist runs and hides behind this,

      Be careful because I can show the Non-Calvinist do not understand God is behind every evil thing also. I have argued it on here before and I have not got any satisfactory answers.

      God created everything from all eternity and knew every evil action and choice every individual who would come into existence would make before he even created. But God chose knowing all the evil actions he knew their would be from a Non-Calvinists perspective.

      I understand the Non-Calvinists are running to alternatives to get away from this obvious truth that makes God guilty by association with evil like Open Theism and Middle Knowledge. But there still is the obvious problem of God and the difficulty of sin and evil that one cannot escape no matter what denomination you belong to.

      But the subject is the “Doctrine of Justification and and being Saved by Grace through Faith, that not of yourself, it is the gift of God.”

      So let’s not use “changing the issue fallacy”

      Thanks and God bless

    2. carl
      Every Christian I’ve ever met believes that God is ultimately behind every good thing. Calvinists just add that God is behind every evil thing also, thus rendering the idea of evil as completely without meaning.

      br.d
      Excellent and insightful!

      This evolved by Augustine’s acceptance of the ancient Gnostic/Neoplatonist doctrine of “GOOD-EVIL” dualism.
      Where good and evil are “Co-Equal”, “Co-Complimentary”, and “Co-necessary”.

      Good and evil are said to exist in “Undifferentiated” form
      The ancient NeoPlatoniists could therefore call evil “Beautiful”.

      Augustine called this “Antithesis” and said it is pleasurable to contemplate.

      Jonathon Edwards enunciates it this way:
      -quote
      the shining forth of God’s glory would be very imperfect….parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the other do….nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all. (Works of Jonathon Edwards)

  11. Hi AIDAN MCMANUS.

    You asked a few questions I will try to answer.

    Aidan
    What period of Abraham’s life is this referring to?

    Kevin
    I think you may be looking for the answer before the written “Law of God” was given to Moses. Correct? I could be wrong but I think that is the answer you are looking for.

    Aidan, did you know the law of God was in effect before it was written down on tablets of stone and given to Moses? Most I talk with do not know this.

    God’s Word defines sin as “the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4, KJV) or “lawlessness” (New King James Version, NIV). Therefore, “where there is no law there is no transgression” (Romans 4:15). This is what the Bible clearly says! So do we find transgressions of the Ten Commandments described as sinful before Mt. Sinai? Clearly we do.

    For example, Genesis 13:13 tells us that “the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord.” Since sin is violating God’s law, the people of Sodom could not have been punished for being wicked and sinful if no law condemned what they were doing. We must conclude, therefore, that God had already made available the knowledge of what is sinful.

    Here is a clear example. Genesis 20:3-9 and Genesis 39:7-9 describe adultery as “a great sin” and a “sin against God.” Adultery breaks the Seventh Commandment . Before the Law given to Moses.

    In Genesis 4:9-12, God punishes Cain for murder and lying—violations of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments .

    In Exodus 16:4, several days to several weeks before God established His covenant with the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, we find God giving them a test to see “whether they will walk in My law or not.” His test involved whether they would rest on the seventh-day Sabbath as He commanded in the Fourth Commandment of that law—with which they were at least partly familiar. The seventh day had been hallowed—set aside as holy by God—from the time of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:1-3).

    God’s reaction to their disobedience is revealing. He exclaims, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?” (Exodus 16:28). God clearly speaks of both His “commandments and … laws” as already existing and in force well before He listed the Ten Commandments verbally at Mt. Sinai, as described four chapters later

    In Leviticus 18:21-27, God calls the idolatrous practices of the people of the land of Canaan “abominations”—actions so filthy and degrading that God compared their expulsion to being “vomited out” of the land (Leviticus 18:28). What was their sin? Among other things, idolatry (the worship of false gods) and human sacrifice, which violated the First, Second and Sixth Commandments .

    The Bible shows that the Ten Commandments did not originate with Moses or in his time. Nor were they in any way limited only to the Jews. They were in effect and known long before Moses or a people known as the Jews existed. They are the foundation of God’s laws that show us how to love God (defined by the first four Commandments) and how to love our fellow man (defined by the last six).

    Ok that should answer your first question and stun you a little about something that maybe you did not know.

    God bless

    1. Hi KEVIN,

      Thank you for that, but it doesn’t really answer my questions. I was referring to what period in Abraham’s personal life it was said “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness”(Gen. 15:6).

      The point being that Gen. 15:6 does not refer to the conversion of an alien sinner. Abraham had been a believer and worshiper of God for a long time before this: Gen. 12:1-4 (cf. Heb 11:8), Gen. 12:7-8; 13:4,18; 14:18-19,22; 15:1.

      Therefore, the faith Paul discusses in Romans and illustrates in chapter 4 is not just the faith of one critical moment of surrender – the moment of conversion. Paul is discussing the faith one must have all through his lifetime in order to be accounted as righteous before God. It is a faith that will have many different applications all through life, depending upon the circumstances. In Romans 4 Paul is looking at Gen. 17 when Abraham is 100, and quoting it as a fulfillment of Gen 15:6 there. So, Gen. 17 is just another manifestation of that same faith.

      It also explains how James can say that Gen.15:6 was also fulfilled in Gen 22 when Abraham was justified by works in offering Isaac. Gen. 22 is simply another manifestation of the same faith and shows how that faith responded to a positive command of God, just as Gen 15 and Gen 17 show the response of that faith to a divine promise.

      Paul appeals to Gen.15:6 again in Gal. 3, in order to conclude that those of faith are sons of Abraham (vv. 6-7), but then says that the seed of Abraham is the one who has been baptized into Christ (vv. 26-29). The faith that makes one a son of God (v.26), and a son of Abraham (v. 7), includes baptism into Christ (v.27), and that shows how the Abrahamic faith behaves today. This explains how Paul can say such strong things about baptism in Rom.6. Paul did not consider faith and baptism to be two different acts at odds with each other. Baptism is the embodiment of the faith. In fact, Rom.6 is where Paul shows what faith is especially at the moment of conversion.

  12. Aidan
    “Also, where is the quotation taken from in Romans 4? Is this the only time in his life that this quotation is used? If not, then is it simply referring to an unbeliever who suddenly comes to believe? Or could it be referring to someone who was already a long time believer? (cf. Heb 11:7). And if it is the latter, did Abraham not need to continually walk by faith throughout his life in order to fulfill the quotation that, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness?”

    Kevin
    Aidan, do you believe in Gospel righteousness. That when one believes upon the Lord Jesus Christ God justifies the ungodly, the sinner is declared righteous in Christ?

    In that understanding Abraham who “who God preached the Gospel to beforehand” (something you did not bring up that I mentioned)

    What do you mean that Abraham would have to continually walk by faith to be accounted as righteous?

    Is this something Abraham could have lost if he did not by his LFW and human exertion conjure up a human faith to sustain?

    Galatians 3:8- And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”

    Notice in this verse it says the “Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith”

    Then notice how God is going to justify the Gentiles or declare them righteous.

    God preached the gospel of Christ to Abraham beforehand and Abraham obviously believed and was counted righteous.

    As in Romans 4 it talks about those who are justified in Christ and mentions Abraham in the context among the believer in Christ. Abraham had the same Gospel preached to him or at least implied to some extent because it was said that through him all nations would be blessed.

    Galatians 3:8 – And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”

    1. KEVIN,

      The gospel preached to Abraham was in the saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” I think you need to re-study Rom 4, and those other passages again in light of what I have presented above. That the faith Paul discusses in Romans and illustrates in chapter 4 is not just the faith of one critical moment of surrender – the moment of conversion. Paul, along with James, is discussing the faith one must have all through his lifetime in order to be accounted as righteous before God. It is a faith that will have many different applications all through life, depending upon the circumstances. In Romans 4 Paul is looking at Gen. 17 when Abraham is 100, and quoting it as a fulfillment of Gen 15:6 there. So, Gen. 17 is just another manifestation of that same faith, just as James can say that Gen.15:6 was likewise fulfilled in Gen 22 as a manifestation of that same faith, when Abraham was justified by works in offering Isaac.

      1. Ok AIDAN MCMANUS

        I admit I did jump on it pretty quick. So I will take the time and study it a little slower after reading your comments.

        I think I misunderstood your question about Abraham.

        You said and I quote: “The point being that Gen. 15:6 does not refer to the conversion of an alien sinner. Abraham had been a believer and worshiper of God for a long time before this: Gen. 12:1-4 (cf. Heb 11:8), Gen. 12:7-8; 13:4,18; 14:18-19,22; 15:1.”

        Kevin
        Excellent point Aidan. I cover my mouth in respect to your understanding of God’s Word. I have been doing a lot of that on here lately.

        You said and I quote: “Therefore, the faith Paul discusses in Romans and illustrates in chapter 4 is not just the faith of one critical moment of surrender – the moment of conversion. Paul is discussing the faith one must have all through his lifetime in order to be accounted as righteous before God.”

        Kevin
        Do I understand you correctly that you believe that one can lose their Salvation in Christ. That the Savior cannot keep them saved that it is up to the person’s continuing faith to be counted righteous before God. So that would mean one would take their eyes off of Christ who is the Author and Finisher of our faith.

        Hebrews 12:2 – 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

        Faith does not save, Christ is the one who saves and makes one righteous. When we say we are made righteous by faith that is just short hand for saying being make righteous or justified by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Because it is his righteous reckoned to us that saves us.

        And notice Jesus is the Author/originator/source of our saving faith and the One who will bring it to a finished state of completion when we are glorified.

        John 6:37-39. Jesus says, ” this is the will of the Father, that all He has given me I will lose none, but raise them up on the LAST DAY!!”

        Jesus is the Savior, and the one who gives us saving faith a Hebrews 12:2 says and other verses I mentioned in my first post.

        I may be misunderstanding you and If I am I apologize. But I do agree and accept some of the things you have said above.

        God bless

      2. Hi AIDAN MCMANUS,

        Thank you so much for your reply. One thing I have learned on here is that I am not as knowledgeable of God’s Word as I think I am. This becomes apparent when I talk to people like you.

        I want to explore this some more as I do study better Romans 4 and when and where Abraham was saved.

        There is no doubt that Abram was following the religion of Judaism. So he was devout, prayed, made altars to God and all that was required. But that does not mean Abram was saved or considered a Saint of God yet.

        God talked to many who were not Saints and saved in the Old Testament. Saul, the first King was one of them. God even prophesied through Saul by the Spirit of the Lord.

        I think you are reading to much into Genesis 12.1-7. God promised to bless him (future tense). Abraham made an altar to the Lord and yet he was not saved at this time. Yes, he’s gone on a religious pilgrimage, but he isn’t saved. Judaism…..

        Then in Genesis 15:6 – And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Does one through saving faith become justified, righteous before God? Yes and that is what happened to Abraham. Once one is justified and declared righteous before God then they are saved.

        You have missed the whole point and only partially quoted Galatians 3:8 where God preached the Gospel to Abraham. If you would have quoted it completely you would have seen the context and subject of what God was talking about. Let’s do that.

        Galatians 3:8 – The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.”

        Yes it does say as you said that “all the nations shall be blessed in you” But what does God mean by this. Is Abraham the source of blessing or is he the “father of faith” that lead to him being justified before God and he is the example as to who all Gentiles of the world will be blessed as he was through his faith in believing God?

        Look at the beginning of the verse, “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith”

        “This is the blessing” that is being talked about at the end of verse 8 that you were not able to put together. The Gospel blessing of Justification, being declared righteous through faith in Christ Jesus.

        So when God proclaimed the Gospel to Abraham that “all nations will be blessed in Him” the idea behind that was Justification by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. As the context of Galatians 3:8 indicates.

        I would suggest you go back and take a closer look at this.

        As far as what Romans 4 is talking about. I can take you back to one passage if Scripture in Romans 3 and this is basically what the Apostle Paul is continuing to try and tell us in Romans 4

        Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

        Galatians 3:9 – 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

        Paul is talking about a righteousness that is not imparted but reckoned toward the believer in Christ. From what you say I do not get the feeling you believe Paul is teaching this. That Justification is a one time application of God reckoning the righteousness of Christ to us through faith.

        You sound as if you believe in a faith plus works salvation. Which ultimately takes ones eyes off of Christ and looks to how good one is being before God. How good is good enough? We keep Christ’s commandments bc we love Him not to be accepted or declared to right before Him.

        That is why I hold to one of favorite verses of Scripture

        Galatians 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

        You said and I quote: “That the faith Paul discusses in Romans and illustrates in chapter 4 is not just the faith of one critical moment of surrender – the moment of conversion. Paul, along with James, is discussing the faith one must have all through his lifetime in order to be accounted as righteous before God.”

        This I disagree with whole heartily.

        I will admit Sir that I know I do not understand Romans 4 or Galatians 3 as well as I should. But I think there are some errors on your end also. If I am understanding you correctly. This I say respectfully and thank you for discussing this with me.

        I will let you have the last word. I am sure we will not agree completely. I will read your reply and if I see I am wrong I give you my word I will put it in writing right here on this site. I am not about trying to win arguments. This is about God’s Word and us knowing Him better so that our faith and understanding of him increases.

        God bless

      3. Hi KEVIN,

        Thanks for your correspondence on this issue. You certainly don’t need to apologize for asking questions. I wish more people were willing to discuss and examine the scriptures because they want to know the truth. And believe me when I say, that I too wish I were more knowledgeable in God’s Word. Also, I don’t see this as an argument, but rather as a friendly and respectful conversation. I am, if anything, your friend here. I am in Ireland with several hours between us and working full time which may account for any delays between responses.

        In this conversation we see two conceivable systems of justification:
        First we see a – legal justification or justification by works of law. What is the concept here? It is a justification on the basis of keeping the law, always doing what is right. One who never violated the law would be justified on the basis of his own good record (cf. Rom. 7:10; Gal 3:10; Col. 2:14).
        Justification by works of law has nothing to do with the justification of sinners. It is a justification for people who are not sinners, with no need of grace or forgiveness; persons acquitted of guilt because they are not guilty. Therefore, it ought to be clear that the “works” mentioned in Rom. 3:20 have nothing to do with anything that is “for the forgiveness of sins,” because one who has these works has no need of forgiveness. Hence, nobody is justified on this basis! It is also important to realize that Rom. 3:19-20 is the conclusion of Paul’s demonstration of – universal human guilt. All are guilty; none could be judged righteous on the basis of his record of law keeping. We need forgiveness.

        The second system is justification on the basis of grace:
        No need to despair. Paul’s whole purpose in Rom. 1:18-3:20 is to show the hopelessness of one’s ever being justified on the basis of his own life in order to prepare us to accept the gospel plan of salvation. What is the concept? It is a justification based on the forgiveness of sins, namely, a verdict of acquittal given to sinners as a gift. Hence, a justification for sinners! But how is such justification possible? How can a sinner be judged righteous? The gospel is God’s solution to that problem (Rom. 3:21-26).

        Notice v. 21: A righteousness manifested – apart from the law – one not dependent on perfect law keeping. Therefore a righteousness possible for sinners. The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ: The word “through” indicates the means or instrument by which this righteousness is obtained, namely, through faith in Jesus Christ (cf. Phil. 3:9). This is further seen in Romans 4 with the following expressions: Faith credited as righteousness (vv. 3, 5, 22-25). Righteousness credited to one apart from works (v. 6; cf. v.11). Sins forgiven (v.7). Sin not reckoned (v.8).

        Rom. 3:24; “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
        Justified = judged righteous; Freely = as a gift; Grace = loving-kindness, favor, good-will bestowed on one who does not deserve it.

        Rom. 3:24; …”Through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith,..v.25.
        Redemption = deliverance, liberation or release effected by the payment of a ransom. The phrase explains how God can justify sinners. He can do so because a full ransom has been paid to obtain our freedom from sin.

        That is probably enough said for the moment. I hope this at least gives you an idea of where I’m coming from before I can answer some of the issues you have raised.

        Aidan.

      4. Aidan,

        That is excellent. A very nice post. It seems we are on the same page here as to what you wrote above.

        You actually explained it way better than I can. Like when you said that faith is the instrument and not the cause of our justification in Christ.

        You definitely have a better understanding and grasp on it than I do in the fact that you can communicate it better. I was very blessed in reading this and thank you for it.

        God bless you in your knowledge and understanding of His Word.

        This is what I feel you have done with me today my brother and friend. Because you have more than a dry intellectual knowledge. The Word of Christ dwells in you richly and you were able to do this with me today:

        Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

      5. Kevin,

        I appreciate your kind words, but you have actually said pretty much the same thing as well. In another post you said, “God justifies the ungodly through the instrumentality of faith in Christ.” And I certainly agree with your statement concerning Gal. 3: 8; where you say, “when God proclaimed the Gospel to Abraham that “all nations will be blessed in Him” the idea behind that was Justification by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. As the context of Galatians 3:8 indicates.” I might not have agreed with everything you have said in your posts, but don’t sell yourself short, there is plenty you do know and understand and are able to express coherently. I do have a little question though, because you used the expression, “God reckoning the righteousness of Christ to us through faith”? I just wondered what you meant by that expression, ‘reckoned the righteousness of Christ to us’ and what specific scriptures you would use?

        Aidan

      6. Hi Aidan,

        I also thank you for your kind words. In my last comment I was just very blessed in your ability to express. To be honest I did not even think we were close in what we believed until your last comment.

        As to “God reckoning Christ righteousness to us through faith” This would take us back to Romans 4 again and where it talks about righteousness being imputed to Abraham by faith and believers in Christ also.

        Now. I do not know this may be where we part in understanding. Because you had said something about justification (I think it was you I could be thinking of someone else) not being in a sense a “done deal the moment we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ”

        To me it is not an “imparted” righteousness but an “imputed” righteousness that we receive when we place our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

        Through faith God justifies the ungodly. In a sense, spiritually speaking we are “clothed with the righteousness of Christ” Not some righteousness that is “imparted” (within us). Below is the passage of Scripture I would use and then I will show you other translations of a couple of verses in this passage that brings out the thought of “imputed or reckoned righteousness by faith in Christ.

        Romans 4:20 He (Abraham) did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

        23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

        Romans 4: 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” NKJV
        Romans 4:22 – This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness. NIV
        Romans 4:22 – Therefore also IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. NAS 1977
        Romans 4:22 – Wherefore also it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. English Revised Version
        Romans 4:22 – And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness KJV
        Romans 4:22 – And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” NKJV

        The word reckoned as you see is used in a couple of the translations above means, “accounted or imputed”

        Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon has for Romans 4:22 definitions for the word imputed. It has “to reckon, to take into account, metaphorically to pass to one’s account, to impute.

        Then we read in the remaining verses of Romans 4 that it was not “imputed, reckoned or accounted” to him only, but but “also for us. It shall be imputed. (reckoned to our account) to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

        Jesus was raised for our Justification once and for all. And once we place our trust in Christ we are justified or declared righteous in Him once and for all.

        We become clothed in Christ’s righteousness, even in the garments of Salvation

        Isaiah 61:10 – I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

        Notice we are clothed with the garments of Salvation and covered with the robe of righteousness.

        We must remember this righteousness is Christ’s righteousness that is imputed or reckoned to us.

        God only accepts perfection. So that is why he accepts us on the basis of Christ’s righteousness. When God looks at us he sees us clothed in the garments of Salvation and covered or wrapped in the robe of Christ’s righteousness.

        This is why we can say as the Apostle Paul said in the Ephesians 1

        Ephesians 1:6 – 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

        Remember when Jesus was baptized and God the Father said from heaven this is my BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED

        Connect this with Ephesians 1:6. Praise to the glory of God’s grace by which He has made us accepted (Blessed and favored) in the Beloved.

        We are accepted by God in His beloved Son, in whom God is well pleased. Now by faith in Christ, God has justified us and clothed us with the Garments of Salvation and covered us with Christ’s Righteousness. His perfect obedience in His ministry time while here on earth, and Christ obedience to the point of His death, Christ righteousness has been imputed or reckoned to us. When God sees us, he sees His Christ’ righteousness, His beloved son in whom He is well pleased so God is well pleased with us because of Christ.

        Now I do believe in Progressive Gradual Sanctification. Being inwardly and outwardly conformed to the image of Christ. I will not go into the Scriptures of my understanding of it. Other than we know if we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh, and God has predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son that he might be the first born among many brethren. And then where it talks about the “Fruit of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Galatians.

        I believe justification is positional, Once we believe God justifies the ungodly and it is something that cannot be undone. A one and for all action that is completed and done once we place our faith and trust in Christ.

        I believe Sanctification, Holiness in heart and in everyday life is experimental. Something we grow in. In the very grace of Holiness being conformed to the image of Christ.

        But not so of Christ’s righteousness being imputed or reckoned to us by faith.

        Sorry so long

        God bless

      7. Hi Kevin,

        Thank you for your last reply and for you patience in waiting for mine. Unfortunately I will have to disagree with your conclusions to this issue. The reason I disagree is because I found that you had made the presupposition before you even got to the passage. Therefore the conclusion seems to be imposed on the passage from the start. Here’s what you said just before introducing Rom. 4:20-25:

        KEVIN:
        “Through faith God justifies the ungodly. In a sense, spiritually speaking we are “clothed with the righteousness of Christ” Not some righteousness that is “imparted” (within us). Below is the passage of Scripture I would use and then I will show you other translations of a couple of verses in this passage that brings out the thought of “imputed or reckoned righteousness by faith in Christ.”

        Then you quote Rom 4:20-25; and qualify what you meant above as this:
        “We become clothed in Christ’s righteousness, even in the garments of Salvation” And then after Isaiah 61:10 you say, – “We must remember this righteousness is Christ’s righteousness that is imputed or reckoned to us.”

        AIDAN:
        Here is what Rom 4 indicates:
        Rom. 4:3;- For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Notice, it was – his faith – that was credited to him as righteousness. Rom 4:5- “..but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” And so we find all the way through this chapter: Rom. 4:9- “For we say, “FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Rom. 4:13- “..was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Rom 4:20,22- “he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,..Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Rom 4:24- but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.”

        Notice, NOT ‘Christ’s righteousness,’ but one’s faith – “HIS FAITH is credited as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5).

        Sins forgiven (v.7). Sin not reckoned (v.8). The blessing of that righteousness which God bestows upon the sinner who BELIEVES in Him, is in forgiving him of his sins.

        ONE FINAL THING:
        You said, “Jesus was raised for our Justification [once and for all]. And once we place our trust in Christ we are justified or declared righteous in Him [once and for all].”

        AIDAN:
        I put in brackets above what you added to the verse showing what you imposed as an interpretation on that basis. Just because Jesus was raised once for all, does not necessarily imply once saved always saved. The verse just simply says, “who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Rom. 4:25). There is nothing to conclude ‘once saved always saved’ from that verse, otherwise turning back into unbelief is of no consequence. We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ.

        Aidan

      8. So your faith is your righteousness. Never heard someone claiming faith was their righteousness before. Read Genesis 15:6 again. Respectfully I do not look at my faith as my righteousness but by the instrumentality of faith,or through faith I look at the promise of God, that Christ is my righteousness. Through the eyes of faith I see Christ who is my righteousness.

        We will also discuss natural innate human faith and faith as given as a gift of God.

        Genesis 15:6 – And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

        Maybe this will help to show where I am coming from and then I will answer more fully on my own when I have time.

        “Does Paul Mean “Our Faith Is Our Righteousness?
        So here is my answer to the question. No, when Paul says “Faith is credited to us as righteousness,” he does not mean that our faith is our righteousness, or any part of our justifying righteousness. He means that faith is what unites us with Christ and all that God is for us in him. When God sees faith in Christ, he sees union with Christ. And when he sees union with Christ, he sees the righteousness of Christ as our righteousness. So faith connects us with Christ who is our righteousness and, in that sense, faith is counted as righteousness. Faith sees and savors all that God is for us in Christ, especially his righteousness. That’s what faith does.

        Now what is the Biblical basis of that interpretation? John Owen, in volume five of his Works (pp. 318-319) gives five arguments, and John Murray in his commentary on Romans gives nine arguments (pp. 353-359) why “faith credited as righteousness” does not mean that faith is our righteousness. I will give a few of these.

        First, notice that at the end of verse 6 and at the end of verse 11 in Romans 4 you have a very different way of expressing “imputation” or crediting. At the end of verse 6 it says, “God credits righteousness apart from works.” And at the end of verse 11 it says, “. . . that righteousness might be credited to them.” Notice: in both of these, faith is not the thing credited as righteousness, but righteousness is the thing credited to us. “God credits righteousness,” not “God credits faith as righteousness.” What this does is alert us to the good possibility that when Paul says, “Faith is credited as righteousness,” he may well mean, “God credits righteousness to us through faith.”

        Second, look at Romans 3:21-22, “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe.” Notice that it is God’s righteousness that comes to us through faith. Faith is what unites us to God’s righteousness. Faith is not God’s righteousness.

        Third, 2 Corinthians 5:21, “He [God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Here we have a double imputation. God imputed our sins to Christ who knew no sin. And God imputed his righteousness to us who had no righteousness of our own. The key phrases for us are “the righteousness of God” and “in Him.” It’s not our righteousness that we get here. It is God’s righteousness. And we get it not because our faith is righteous, but because we are “in Christ.” Faith unites us to Christ. And in Christ we have an alien righteousness. It is God’s righteousness in Christ. Or you can say it is Christ’s righteousness. He takes our sin. We take his righteousness.

        Fourth, consider 1 Corinthians 1:30. John Bunyan said that, after that experience in the field where the imputed righteousness of Christ hit him so powerfully, he went home and looked for Biblical support. He hit upon 1 Corinthians 1:30. “But by His [God’s] doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” “By this scripture,” Bunyan said, “I saw that the man Christ Jesus . . . is our righteousness and sanctification before God. Here therefore I lived for some time very sweetly at peace with God, through Christ” (Grace Abounding, p. 91).

        Christ Is Our Righteousness
        This text says that Christ became to us (or for us) “righteousness.” And the reason Christ is our “righteousness” in this way is that we are “in Christ Jesus.” “You are in Christ Jesus who became to us . . . righteousness.” Christ is our righteousness, not faith. Faith unites us to Christ and all that God is for us in him. But what he is for us in him is righteousness.

        So then what is the point of all this? The point is this: When Paul says in Romans 4:22 (and verses 3, 5, and 9) that “faith is credited as righteousness,” he does not mean that our faith is our righteousness. He means that our faith unites us to Christ so that God’s righteousness in Christ is credited to us.

        Here’s a very imperfect analogy. But I will risk it in the hope of greater understanding. Suppose I say to Barnabas, my sixteen-year-old son, “Clean up your room before you go to school. You must have a clean room, or you won’t be able to go watch the game tonight.” Well, suppose he plans poorly and leaves for school without cleaning the room. And suppose I discover the messy room and clean it. His afternoon fills up and he gets home just before it’s time to leave for the game and realizes what he has done and feels terrible. He apologizes and humbly accepts the consequences.

        To which I say, “Barnabas, I am going to credit your apology and submission as a clean room. I said, ‘You must have a clean room, or you won’t be able to go watch the game tonight. Your room is clean. So you can go to the game.” What I mean when I say, “I credit your apology as a clean room,” is not that the apology is the clean room. Nor that he really cleaned his room. I cleaned it. It was pure grace. All I mean is that, in my way of reckoning – in my grace – his apology connects him with the promise given for a clean room. The clean room is his clean room. I credit it to him. Or, I credit his apology as a clean room. You can say it either way. And Paul said it both ways: “Faith is credited as righteousness,” and “God credits righteousness to us through faith.”

        So when God says, this morning, to those who believe in Christ, “I credit your faith as righteousness,” he does not mean that your faith is righteousness. He means that your faith connects you to God’s righteousness.

        It was not faith that was Abraham righteous, it was because he believed or had faith in God, that it was counted as righteousness.

        Also I will address the statement of “once saved always saved” Hate that statement myself. I am preserved by the grace of God through faith in Christ, and because of that I persevere in holiness, faith and love until the end.

        God bless and thanks Aidan

      9. Hi Kevin,

        Did you just make a “straw-man” argument in your last reply? You just assumed that my argument was; ‘It was only – faith – that was Abraham’s righteousness, and not because he believed or had faith – in God, that it was counted as righteousness’. Where did I make that argument? In fact, I simply quoted Paul verbatim and then repeated what he said verbatim. Here’s what I wrote, again – verbatim:

        “AIDAN:
        Here is what Rom 4 indicates:
        Rom. 4:3;- For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Notice, it was – his faith – that was credited to him as righteousness. Rom 4:5- “..but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” And so we find all the way through this chapter: Rom. 4:9- “For we say, “FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Rom. 4:13- “..was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Rom 4:20,22- “he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,..Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Rom 4:24- “but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.””

        “Notice, NOT ‘Christ’s righteousness,’ but one’s faith – “HIS FAITH is credited as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5).”

        So, Kevin, how many times in Rom.4 above, does it say, – ‘faith, his faith’, was credited to him as righteousness? I think you’ll find it said multiple times. But more to the point, how many times in Rom.4 did Paul explicitly state – “Christ’s righteousness was credited as righteousness”? Not once! In fact, you had to impose it from the outside in order to get that interpretation into the chapter. I mean, you had to impose it from outside of scripture, and with imperfect analogies from the likes of John Piper and others! Who are you going to put your trust in, John Piper, or an inspired apostle like Paul?

        Also, you ignored the fact that I had quoted Rom. 4:5- “..but believes IN HIM who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” And Rom. 4:24- “but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who BELIEVE IN HIM who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” And even then you are mistaken in your explanation! In Gen 15:6, Abraham believed God – not just God’s promise. Faith in God’s promise was grounded upon a fundamental confidence in God Himself. Faith is more than agreeing with God. Notice verse 24 again: It is those who BELIEVE IN GOD who raised Jesus from the dead, to whom it will be credited. Again, this is the faith that Paul is describing in Rom. 4, just as Abraham, it is the faith that one must have all through his lifetime in order to be justified before God. And it will have many different applications all through life depending upon circumstances. So you see, our faith is IN GOD who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. But it is GOD who credits OUR FAITH as righteousness. That is precisely what the passage says, over and over again!

        Therefore, It WAS very much Abraham’s faith that was credited to him as righteousness – For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

        There are many warnings in scripture about, adding to, or taking away from God’s word. That is something we must always take very seriously! Deut 4:2- “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” I hope to answer the four points you raised in my next post.

        Kind regards,
        Aidan

      10. Aidan,

        I do hope that you do not think I am adding or taking away from the Word of God to create my own theology. I am be mistaking or misunderstanding but I am not intentionally doing what you are implication accusation above.

        When you quote the verse God credited his faith as righteousness it sounds like there is some kind of virtue in your faith that earned right standing before God.

        I do think my last post explained what it meant by God crediting his faith as righteousness means.

        I am going to get more into this later.

        In your earlier post you in with a very kind heart told me how good it was I was searching for the truth. That warning is not for people who are just mistaken or misunderstanding.

        What has changed?

        Kevin

      11. Hi Kevin,

        Nothing has changed. I haven’t spoken unkindly to you. A friend will tell you the truth, not only when you are right, but also when you are wrong. If you are really looking for the truth, you will want me to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly, especially in regards to salvation. These are, as far as I’m concerned, eternal matters of life and death. I’m not trying to be personal when I say that I believe Calvinism is another gospel. I live in Ireland and came out of Catholicism many years ago, and believe they too are preaching another gospel. Many here, including family and friends, still hold to the teachings of Catholicism. It would be cruelly unkind for me to leave them in their ignorance for fear of offending them.
        The warning I gave I apply to myself agonizingly all the time because I want to teach the truth – all the time. Faithful in little, faithful in much!
        Your last post seemed to be heavily influenced by Calvinistic scholarship rather than what Rom. 4 is actually saying. What’s the difference? I quote Rom. 4 verbatim and repeat it verbatim, and you say, “When you quote the verse God credited his faith as righteousness it sounds like there is some kind of virtue in your faith that earned right standing before God.” Yet, all I did was quote and repeat what they said -verbatim! But I know that its because of Calvinism’s presuppositions, that these passages could never mean “faith” but rather – Christ’s righteousness imputed to us! So you are left quoting Calvinistic scholars to tell you that the verses don’t mean what they say. You are in serious trouble when you allow them to twist the scriptures in this way. Except for these preconceived ideas, you would have had no trouble in understanding what that passage was saying. I’m trying to help you to take those lenses off to understand this.

      12. Aidan,

        Excuse me an please don’t be offended when I say I think you are wrong and I am warning you.

        You sound like you are teaching me from Catholic Theologians other than Romans 4

        What does faith do? It believes God.

        Genesis 15: 6 says – And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

        I am only (as you stating what the word of God says) Abraham believed (had faith) in the Lord, and because in believed (had faith) IN THE LORD, he accounted it to Him for righteousness,

        Are you saying it is the very act of believing or having faith is why you are righteous or the object of faith who is Christ who is your righteousness?

        If this is what you are saying then you are not understanding the Word of God correctly. Because it is the fact that we believe, have faith, and it is through believing faith that we are saved and then God justifies the ungodly. Christ righteousness is reckoned or imputed unto them.

        I do not look to my faith but I through faith believing as in Genesis 15:6 look to the object of my faith who is Christ.

        In Genesis 15:6 Abraham’s faith is nothing more than his complete faith in God.

        It sounds like you are saying that your “faith” is (equivalent) of righteousness or that God see your faith or Abraham’s faith as itself a righteous act that well pleasing to Him.

        This is wrong and I must warn you of this. No one is making a straw-man. I could say the same of what you say of how I believe so it is best to leave that inflammatory word out of the discussion.

        The reckoning of Abraham’s faith as righteousness means, “to account to him (Abraham) a righteousness that does not inherently belong to him” Abraham’s response to God’s promise in faith believing leads God to “reckon, account” to him (Abraham) a righteousness that does not belong to him inherently.

        It seems to me you think your faith becomes obedience to God (and that would be a work, but you hold to a faith-works Roman Catholic Gospel anyway that is not the Gospel of Grace through faith in Jesus Christ)

        And because it seems you think your “faith” is some type of obedient work to God you are owed a reward from God. A righteousness that is a virtue of your faith. Now you may not see it that way but that is the conclusion of your theology.

        This is a Gospel of Grace Sir not of Faith plus works.

        Romans 4: 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

        I will go directly to the verse that you are trying to make your argument from. Verse 5 of Romans 4. First I want you to notice that grace is mentioned in verse 4 of Romans 5.

        Then I want you to notice right after Romans 5:4 there is a comma meaning the Apostle Paul’s thought is not finished. You seem to want to stop there as if that is it.

        I want to say that works (even what you might be thinking obedient faith that earns you righteousness) has no part in God justifying the ungodly. This is because God’s verdict is given freely, on the basis of Grace, no strings attached (something not earned)

        Paul is saying the “accounting which also means reckoning”, of faith for righteousness, in Abraham’s life, or anyone life for that matter, is reckoning that is wholly of grace (vs 4) and must be , then based on faith. Because of God’s grace in Salvation, the faith that justifies (that believes and trust in Christ) must be of faith and apart from all works.

        When we say “Faith alone” all that is meant is faith apart from works. Faith is not given some virtuous merit that requires God to reward you with righteousness.

        Remember I said there was a comma after verse 5 meaning the sentence and Paul’s thought was not complete, Let’s look at it.

        Romans 4:6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” Notice the sins are covered. Covered by what, the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ that was attained through faith. That robe of righteousness you read about in Isaiah 61 that we are covered with when we place are trust in the object of our faith Christ that you so easily dismissed.

        This further describes verse 5 of Romans 4. In God through faith in Christ reckoning, accounting or imputing Christ righteousness to us our sins our covered and we are forgiven as said in verse 7 of Romans 4.

        Also in the same thought in verse 8 our sins are not accounted, reckoned or imputed to us.

        Two last thoughts on this before I end in explaining your false gospel you are in.

        Romans 4:22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

        23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

        It was not written for Abraham’s sake alone that in believing God, in trusting God it was accounted, reckoned or imputed to him as righteousness.

        But it shall be imputed to us also who believe in Him (Christ) Christ’s righteousness.

        If this is not Christ’s righteousness then what righteousness is it Sir? What is saving you?

        You have a faith-works understanding of Salvation. You believe you can lose your Salvation. Which means you do not really believe Christ can and is saving you from your sins.

        The Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, BUT TO US WHO ARE BEING SAVED IT IS THE POWER OF GOD.

        1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

        You see through the eyes of faith I am still beholding Christ is the author/originator/source of my faith and the one who will bring it to a finished state of completion in Him

        You may have originally looked to Christ when you were saved. But now Christ is not enough. There must be faith in Christ plus something more to keep you saved.

        They may even be you putting forth and exerting and conjuring up a human faith that depends on you.

        Jesus said this is the will of the Father, that all that He has given me I will lose none.

        He says in other places that we shall never perish.

        Your gospel shows a weak Savior who cannot keep you saved. I am not sure but it must depend on you, meaning faith plus works because you did mention the Book of James and his discussion of faith and works. Works are the evidence and proof that faith is genuine and real. But if it is of works then it is no longer of Grace. Romans 4 Bro.

        You have a false Gospel.

        I do not think we will be able to continue are discussion bc I think our beliefs are to far apart. I am sure you will want to respond to this and I have no problem with that.

        But I will not respond back bc I do not think we will ever agree. But only see each other with a false gospel.

        I only spoke the truth to a friend and warned you as you said you would to me. So there was no disrespect intended. I had to speak the truth

        So no hard feelings here. God bless you and I wish you the best.

      13. Hi Kevin,

        In this post I’d like to answer the four points you raised, which I believe are interpretations coming from outside of scripture; from Calvinist scholars like John Piper who are heavily influenced by man made doctrines such as TULIP and Determinism.

        Point one:
        You quote Rom. 4:6,11 and concluded- “Notice: in both of these, faith is not the thing credited as righteousness, but righteousness is the thing credited to us.”
        Aidan:
        This of course is just another attempt to explain away ‘faith’ as the basis for crediting righteousness, to replace it with, “Christ’s righteousness credited to us as righteousness.” But again, that’s not what the passage says. Let’s go back to v.5 and quote it together with v.6:.. Rom 4:5-6, “But to him WHO DOES NOT WORK BUT BELIEVES ON HIM who justifies the ungodly, HIS FAITH IS ACCOUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, – JUST AS David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes RIGHTEOUSNESS APART FROM WORKS:” And again you say, “And at the end of verse 11 it says, “. . . that righteousness might be credited to them.”” Yes, but note how in the first part of v.11, “and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE FAITH WHICH HE HAD while uncircumcised, so that he might be THE FATHER OF ALL WHO BELIEVE.” That same term – the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH is used again in reference to his ‘spiritual descendants’ in (v.13) “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.”
        What is Paul talking about in these verses? He is contrasting two systems of justification and righteousness. One system is based on (law) WORKS, the other system is based on the (Gospel) FAITH. That’s what you’ve got to see when you look at these words in Rom 3 and 4.

        Point two: You said – “look at Romans 3:21-22,…Notice that it is God’s righteousness that comes to us through faith.” But of course, Kevin, what I think you really meant to say here is, – ‘Notice that it is God’s righteousness that is IMPUTED to us through faith’. If so, then you have fundamentally changed the meaning of this text to suit the doctrine of Calvinism. And you would be – adding to the Word of God – because the word ‘IMPUTED’ is no where found in the text of (Rom. 3:21-22).

        Third point: You said – “2 Corinthians 5:21, “He [God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Here we have a double imputation. God imputed our sins to Christ who knew no sin. And God imputed his righteousness to us.” Again – you are adding to the Word of God – because the word ‘IMPUTED’ is no where found in this text.

        Fourth Point: Again you used the term “imputed righteousness of Christ” for (1 Corinthians 1:30) when the word IMPUTED is no where in this text either! Do you see a pattern here? You keep adding to the word of God (Dt. 4:2). And,- If Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us in this verse, then so is CHRIST’S WISDOM imputed to us; and so also is CHRIST’S SANCTIFICATION IMPUTED TO US! That would imply that we are not only AS RIGHTEOUS AS CHRIST, but also as WISE AS CHRIST, and in no need of further Sanctification, because HIS PERFECT SANCTIFICATION would be imputed to us as well.

        Consequently, you would have no need to – “persevere in holiness.”

      14. I would have to write a blog on my own web page to show all the fallacies and false teaching that you have demonstrated above.

        Faith is not your righteousness, Christ is who we received when we believed through faith.

        But we are not going to agree as you believe in the Roman Catholic doctrine of a Faith-Works salvation. I am saved by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone to the glory of God alone,

        You can call Calvinistic Soteriology a false Gospel all you want. I am calling your Roman Catholic Faith works Salvation a false doctrine.

        You look to your faith to keep you saved instead of through faith looking to the Savior Christ, who saves to the uttermost, completely and forever.

        There is no way you can ever have assurance of Salvation since you believe the God who regenerated you with the Holy Spirit, being born again by the Spirit, That powerful supernatural event done by God can be undone by you.

        You ultimately are your own Savior. Jesus is my Savior and a perfect Savior who said if I believe in Him I will never perish. I am sure you recognize the verse I am quoting from the Gospels, You would say yes but……but nothing, it is you adding your traditions and your false Non-Calvinist teaching that deceive people into thinking they are saved by a Faith-Works Salvation.

        I could go back and refute all that you said and where YOU have added to the gospel. Imputed is implied in a lot of places.

        When he was made to be made sin for us that we might be made the righteous of God IN HIM…..Notice IN HIM, not of yourself.

        What do you think that verse believes.

        I know I said this before, but this will be my last post Sir. I am not offended and I hope you are not either. We just agree. I believe you are following a false gospel where you focus on yourself conjuring up faith and doing good works to keep yourself saved. That is not Christ being your Savior and what the Apostle Paul warned us about.

        Yes the Calvinist has his TULIP

        But you have your flower that you pick off the petals and say, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, How many times according to your gospel (not the Biblical Gospel) have you seen people saved.

        Jesus said depart from me, I NEVER KNEW YOU. NEVER MEANS NEVER.

        Not that you got saved one time and Christ knew you and then you walked away from Christ then you came back to him again and he knew you again.

        No, if you have never been saved Jesus says he NEVER KNEW YOU at any time in your life,

        You preach a confusing gospel that I hope God protects people from.

        God bless you with His Salvation in Christ through faith by which he will impute to you the righteousness of Christ. All of grace through faith, not of yourself (at all) the gift of God.

        I will talk about another subject with you that I think will make you doubt this false gospel.

        Let’s talk about the nature of saving faith. Is it a gift of God’s grace or something that is innate within you, Human faith.

        I can promise you I can show you Scriptures that show faith is a gift and not all people have this natural human faith. Even the demons believe and tremble but that does not save them.

        But I in no way can agree with your Non-Calvinistic doctrine Roman Catholic theology.

        But if you do not want to talk about the nature of saving faith I think our discourse has come to an end. The Reformed Faith rejects the Catholic Doctrine of a Faith works salvation you hold to. Let me know. Yes or no.

        If no, God bless and I wish you the best and take care.

      15. Hi Kevin,

        This is what I said concerning the kind of faith that saves: “In Gen 15:6, Abraham believed God – not just God’s promise. Faith in God’s promise was grounded upon a fundamental confidence in God Himself. Faith is more than agreeing with God. It is those who BELIEVE IN GOD who raised Jesus from the dead, to whom it will be credited” (Rom. 4:24). In other words, that’s the kind of faith that is credited as righteousness.

        And yes, I would be happy to talk with you about saving faith. Let me know where you want to start.

      16. Okay, Kevin, here’s a taster.

        (Eph 2:8-10)
        “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

        Salvation is the main subject here. The gift of God is salvation. That salvation is not (ek) of yourselves – meaning that the source of our salvation is not from us. For by grace(God’s part) you have been saved through faith (man’s part). Salvation is the gift of God; not (ek) of works, lest anyone boast. And, if it is a gift of God, God is the – source – of salvation, not yourselves, not from works. Does this mean that “yourselves” are excluded from the process? No! We are still involved in our salvation in terms of exercising faith in Jesus Christ. Does this mean then that “works” are excluded from the process? No! It just means that works are not the – origin or source – of salvation. But that is not the same as saying that works are not involved in a faith that saves (James 2:14-26). Clearly, works are involved. In Verse 10: – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. The fact that we are His workmanship serves to prove that salvation is not based upon our works. In other words, this salvation is not of human origin or by human works. Again, as you can see in v10, it does not exclude works – good works – that we should walk in them.

        Aidan.

      17. Sorry Aiden for not getting back to you.

        As you all know I am usually on here quite often lately.

        But as some know I have two hip implants and I am heading for two knee replacements.

        I am having so much pain in my right knee that is extending down my leg I can barely walk.

        Walked with a cane in Wal-mat today helping my wife shop but still had to go and sit down.

        This started in the last 3 days and has just increased in painful hurting.

        The pain is keeping me up at night. So I will taking a break unless the pain goes away. It come and goes but here lately it is increasing and for the first time has started keeping up at night like when I had first had problems with my hips. A disease called avasculer necrosis. Blood flow is cut off to the bone and it just dies.

        Just cannot sit to think and write while hurting. Seeing the Specialist in a few days.

        God bless you all. I will get back as soon as I can.

      18. Kevin – take care of yourself.
        And may the Lord bring good healing to those places needed the most!

      19. Sorry to hear that you are in so much pain and discomfort Kevin. I hope the specialist is able to find something to give you pain relief. And perhaps when you rest up and take the weight off that knee, things will improve. I will pray for you.

        Kind regards,
        Aidan

      20. Aidan to Kevin writes, “For by grace(God’s part) you have been saved through faith (man’s part). ”

        Faith (the assurance and conviction in Christ) is God’s gift to the person leading the person to repent and believe. No one to whom God gives faith rejects that faith else there was no assurance or conviction in the first place. So, Paul says, “…we are God’s workmanship…” As Paul then says, that the believer is, “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand…” we know that there is no room for error on God’s part as the good works assigned to believers were prepared “beforehand” even if the “good works” are viewed generically – those good works are certain so there is no room for anyone to reject God’s grace or gift of faith and not do those good works..

      21. Rom. 10:16- But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?”
        Rom. 10:17- So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

        In verse 16 above, the word (report) is the same Greek word that is used for the word (hearing) in v.17. Therefore faith comes from believing that message, that report, which is the gospel v.16. THE GOSPEL MESSAGE IS THE ENABLING POWER to believe in Christ. While that in itself is God’s work and gift to mankind, the context of Eph. 2:8-10, is salvation. THAT is the gift that Paul is speaking of there.

      22. Audan writes, “In verse 16 above, the word (report) is the same Greek word that is used for the word (hearing) in v.17. etc.”

        Sure, As Jesus stated in John 6, ““All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…” and then, “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” Everyone who has “heard and learned from the Father” receives faith (i.e., assurance and conviction) by which they come to Christ. Those whom God gives to Christ are those who hear and learn from Him and the result of hearing and learning from God is faith. Thus, a person is saved by the grace of God with God using faith as the means to achieve this end..

      23. Aidan writes, “And the enabling power is the Gospel, not by some supernatural means.”

        LOL!!! Nothing more supernatural than the enabling power of the Gospel. In God’s hands, people are supernaturally saved by the gospel.

      24. Rh, writes, “In God’s hands, people are supernaturally saved by the gospel.”

        There is no scriptural evidence that a person is first supernaturally regenerated by the Holy Spirit to enable them to accept the gospel. That’s why all you can do is assert your opinions that are based on TULIP and not scripture. Unless, of course, you can show a verse that says – “supernaturally saved by the gospel.”

      25. Aiden writes, “There is no scriptural evidence that a person is first supernaturally regenerated by the Holy Spirit to enable them to accept the gospel.”

        Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God….Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

        Peter said, ‘Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,… But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”

        The process of being born again by the Holy Spirit is a supernatural process. It enables a person to see and enter the kingdom of heaven of which the gospel speaks.

      26. Rh writes, “The process of being born again by the Holy Spirit is a supernatural process.”

        All that the verses you provide show is that it is through the instrumentality of the Word that one is – born again/ regenerated. In your verse Peter said, “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,” Therefore – no regeneration/new birth supernaturally occurred – prior to, and separate from the word, the gospel.

        Try again!

      27. Aiden writes, ‘All that the verses you provide show is that it is through the instrumentality of the Word that one is – born again/ regenerated. In your verse Peter said, “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,” Therefore – no regeneration/new birth supernaturally occurred – prior to, and separate from the word, the gospel.”

        You left out the part where the Holy Spirit is the one who initiates the new birth/regeneration that then allows a person to see and enter the kingdom by means of the word (i.e., through faith). Jesus spoke the truth; Peter spoke the truth. We read and understand them together as a whole.

      28. Rh writes, “You left out the part where the Holy Spirit is the one who initiates the new birth/regeneration that then allows a person to see and enter the kingdom by means of the word”

        Precisely what verse says, “the Holy Spirit is the one who INITIATES the new birth” separate and apart from the word? But Peter does say, ‘ born again – through the word of God’. That would seem to suggest one is – born again – only after coming in contact with the Word of God. You have no verse that says what you want it to say!

        Try again!

      29. Aiden writes, “Precisely what verse says, “the Holy Spirit is the one who INITIATES the new birth” separate and apart from the word? …one is – born again – only after coming in contact with the Word of God.”

        One is born again only after coming into contact with the Holy Spirit who uses the word to regenerate a sinner. The word, by itself, cannot do anything apart from the Holy Spirit.

      30. Rh writes, “One is born again only after coming into contact with the Holy Spirit who uses the word to regenerate a sinner.”

        Correct me if I’m wrong, Calvinism teaches – Irresistible Grace – the direct operation of the Holy Spirit to convert the elect. That the Holy Spirit must first operate directly on the heart of the sinner in order to cleanse him of a depraved nature. So here’s the question – How does the Spirit work in the conviction and conversion of sinners – directly or through some medium? I would advise you to think carefully before you answer.

      31. Aidan asks, “So here’s the question – How does the Spirit work in the conviction and conversion of sinners – directly or through some medium?”

        Jesus said, ““The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

        Peter said, “…love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,..But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”

      32. Rh,
        “Jesus said, ““The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

        Aidan,
        Okay, so that’ s a quote from scripture. Now lets hear your explanation of what that verse means exactly!

      33. Aidan asks, “so that’ s a quote from scripture. Now lets hear your explanation of what that verse means exactly!”

        Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” and then, ““Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

        So, we know that it is the Holy Spirit that initiates the new birth. He does this on His schedule and without the perosn realizing what is happening until it is a done deal. How does the Spirit do this? Peter explains this when he wrote, “…having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,…” We know from Hebrews that, “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” So Paul is able to say, “…we preach Christ crucified…to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

      34. Okay, Rh, It then seems like you believe that the Holy Spirit initiates the new birth – simultaneously in coincidence with contact with the Word? Or, would you say that the Holy Spirit first initiates regeneration just prior to contact with the Word, and then He completes the process through the word, as per Peter’s passage?

      35. Aidan writes, “It then seems like you believe that the Holy Spirit initiates the new birth – simultaneously in coincidence with contact with the Word?”

        The Holy Spirit uses the Word to bring about regeneration (as Peter wrote). When Jesus says, “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me,” we see God using the Scriptures to teach and it is by using the Scriptures that God conveys the assurance and conviction that we call faith.

      36. Rh,
        “The Holy Spirit uses the Word to bring about regeneration (as Peter wrote).”

        Aidan,
        Okay, because I understood Calvinists to teach that regeneration occurs first through a direct operation of the the Spirit on the heart. This, in turn, paves the way for reception to the gospel preached, through which the Spirit can complete the conviction and conversion process. Two stages if you like!
        But if I understand you correctly, you are saying – No! but that it all happens together. The person hears the Word, at which point the Spirit intervenes, acting through the Word to regenerate – (as Peter wrote)? Perhaps other Calvinists follow the two stage version described above, and yours is slightly different?

      37. Aidan writes, “I understood Calvinists to teach that regeneration occurs first through a direct operation of the the Spirit on the heart.”

        I think the issue has been that the Holy Spirit regenerates a person irresistibly and without permission.

        Then, ‘This, in turn, paves the way for reception to the gospel preached, through which the Spirit can complete the conviction and conversion process. ”

        Regeneration paves the way for conveyance of faith (assurance and conviction) that then results in repentance and submission to Christ..

        The process posed by Calvinists is: Regeneration => Faith => Justification => Sanctification

        As you say, “The person hears the Word, …” Without the hearing of the Word, none of this is possible, but a person cannot “hear” the Word without being regenerated. This is why Jesus would say, “If you have ears to hear…” and Paul said, “Faith comes by hearing…”

      38. Rh,
        “Without the hearing of the Word, none of this is possible, but a person cannot “hear” the Word without being regenerated.”

        Aidan,
        My first suspicion was correct. If a person cannot hear the Word without first being regenerated by the Spirit, then there is a special, direct operation of the Spirit separate and apart from the Word – even if its milli-seconds apart. That is a necessary inference. This means that the Word does not regenerate, nor does the Spirit regenerate through the Word, but separate and apart from the Word, in order that the person can “hear” the Word. Your position is an assumption that cannot be proven – scripturally.

      39. Nice analysis Aidan
        I was watching this dialog – and noticed how you were getting peripheral answers to direct questions.

        That’s always a tell-tale sign of a shell-game. :-]

      40. Yes, Br.d, and its always just a matter of time before they slip up in something they say.

      41. Agreed!
        I think Calvinism can be summed up as a “poker game” of words – more than anything else. :-]

        So much of the language is designed to create fabrications of things.
        Calvinist language is always the “tell-tale” sign that something is wrong.

        In vein is the net spread in the sight of any bird!

      42. Br.d,
        “In vein is the net spread in the sight of any bird!”

        Aidan,
        Or,
        In vein is the net spread in the sight of any br.d!

  13. Another great example!!
    “”The condition of faith we assert mankind has the ability to meet is literal humility. Humbly confessing your sin, humbly recognizing your inability to save yourself, and humbling yourself before the Savior who sacrificed himself for you on the cross.”” I agree!!

    It is so odd that anyone could believe this;

    “In other words, if we are able to meet the condition of faith that is required for salvation, we can boast.” What??? I agree God is not decreeing His children to disagree if so, then that would be madness, and His character would be minimized in my eyes if I trusted my faith was irresistible given..🤔

    How does a calvinist not consider themselves a program that by design cannot be altered… Humility is gut wrenching and I don’t pretend I have this characteristic more than I don’t, but I do recognize the 1st day I called on the Lord & He answered me not irresistibly, but rather profoundly and in such a tender way!

    John 12:44 NASB — And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me.

    I believe all of His Words and that they actually have meaning and purpose and that irresistible grace would not make sense nor would limited atonement…

    Acts 10:43 NASB — “Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

    Acts 13:39 NASB — and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.

    The cross and resurrection changed everything!!!

    Romans 1:16 NASB — For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    Why would I ever possibly feel ashamed if the gospel were irresistibly given to others?

    1. Thanks Reggie… I think what I have to post dovetails with your post.
      As Christians we all believe:
      1Co 4:7 What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

      This truth can refer to absolutely everything we have.
      Everything you and I have, we have received, our very breath, our eyes, our nose, our ability to think, our ability to love, our ability to work, absolutely everything we have is a gift from God. My very existence is a gift from God.

      As creatures created in His image we should take all that has been given to us, and direct it back towards God, focus it back on God the great gift giver. Anything less is idolatry.

      The gifts that we have from God also include intellectual abilities and the ability to believe and trust propositions, ideas and even people.
      The important thing within Christianity has always been what is the OBJECT of your faith, or the focus of your faith. (Which is given to mankind by God to excercise.)

      In fact Biblically speaking a weak faith or a small faith focused on the right OBJECT is praised in scripture, “faith the size of a mustard seed”. In scripture the QUALITY of your faith is NOT the key issue instead it is the OBJECT of one’s faith.

      The late, Dr. Adrian Rogers used to ask the question “When crossing a frozen river what is better? Weak/small faith in very thick ice or lots of faith in very thin ice?” He would rightly point out that weak/small faith in thick ice will get you to the other side of the river but great faith in thin ice will leave you at the bottom of a river.
      Why? Because the quality of the OBJECT of our faith is the most important thing, instead of the quality of your faith itself. You can have weak faith in a GREAT savior and you are going to be just fine. But great faith focused on the wrong object is a death trap.

      The Psalmist stated the importance of the right object this way Psa 20:7-8 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.”

      In true, God glorifying Christianity the quality of the OBJECT of one’s faith has always been the most important thing NOT the quality of one’s faith. Calvinist always change the focus from Christ to the “quality of one’s faith” instead of the quality of the OBJECT-Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This is a subtle shift but it changes everything with devastating ramifications.

      What sayeth the scriptures? In the verses below…ALL the passages use the exact same Hebrew word Believe strong’s concordance number H539. Nothing is different in any of the passages take careful note.

      Gen 15:6 And he believedH539 in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

      Jon 3:5 And the people of Nineveh believed H539 God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
      Notice the importance of the OBJECT – the LORD, GOD. The word used is identified by Strong’s number H539. This exact same word is used to describe believing a lie or anything other than God. Which proves that mankind has already been given the ability to have faith/ believe. Man is not without this ability the difference is what is the focus of that faith of what is the OBJECT of that faith?

      1Sa 27:12 And Achish believedH539 David, thinking, “He has made himself an utter stench to his people Israel; therefore he shall always be my servant.”
      (Here David told Achish lies and Achish believed those lies. Achish had faith he just placed his faith in a lie that David told him. Exactly the same Hebrew word as Gen.15:6)

      Pro 14:15 The simple believes H539 everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
      (Notice it is not the lack of ability to believe, it is believing the wrong thing.)

      Pro 26:24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart;
      Pro 26:25 when he speaks graciously, believe H539 him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart;
      (The Lord exhorts us not to believe H539 a deceiver, the ability to believe is not missing, in fact the probability of believing a liar is very real so we are warned. It is the OBJECT of ones belief that is critically important.)

      Job 15:31 Let him not trust H539 in emptiness, deceiving himself, for emptiness will be his payment.
      (Same word again- People can trust or believe H539 in emptiness, or thin ice, however the believer will suffer harm because the OBJECT of his faith is empty.)

      2Ch 32:15 Now, therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you in this fashion, and do not believe H539 him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!’”
      (The possibility of believing or having faith in a liar exists so the exhortation is Do NOT believe H539 him. The absence of Faith is not the issue but instead misplaced faith is the issue, misplaced in thin ice.)

      Jer 12:6 For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; do not believeH539 them, though they speak friendly words to you.”

      (NOTICE that the same Hebrew word is used in every instance the only difference is that faith or belief is placed in a DIFFERENT OBJECT. The object is always the issue. If like Abraham we place our God given faith in the right OBJECT we will be blessed but if we place that faith in lies and liars then we are in trouble.)

      Gen 15:6 And he believedH539 in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
      Jon 3:5 And the people of Nineveh believed H539 God.

      Remember it is the OBJECT of one’s faith that is important not how GREAT your faith is. All of us have been given, by God, the ability to believe propositions make sure you believe the correct one.

      Act 16:30-31  Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved,

  14. Kevin,

    The Straw Man is not you, it is your argument. You are arguing against a belief that non-Calvinists don’t have. A common Calvinist tactic.

    We don’t believe that by our own innate faith we “save ourselves”. Even the boogeyman Pelagius didn’t believe that. Of course we believe that God saves us. Unlike Calvinists, the vast majority of Christians believe that God has given every person the ability to respond to the Gospel. But responding to the Gospel is not “saving ourselves”.

    So behind every good thing, like properly placed faith, is God. We just don’t buy the strange notion that God picks out a very few people and forces faith on them so that He can have GLORY! (Who in their right mind would think that someone who commands people to do something they cannot do, and then condemns them to eternal punishment for not doing what they cannot do…. is glorious? )

    To answer your question plainly, faith is an ability given be God to everyone. You can choose to acknowledge that God exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. So faith does come from God. It is in the operating system you were born with. God made that. Choosing to follow God is not “saving ourselves”, however. That is Calvinist non logic.

    “Choose this day who you will serve”. God.

    He didn’t say, “I chose this day which of you I will irresistibly cause to serve me”. (Calvinist re translation)

    You don’t demand someone to make a choice if you know they can’t and that you have already made the choice for them. Obvious.

    1. Hi Carl,

      Not being disrespectful. But I can easily go through the things you said and show where yes you do not understand what Calvinist believe.

      Just one, Calvinist do not believe God forces faith on anyone. That is either your misunderstanding or how you like to state it. I do not know.

      But as for God commanding someone to do something and them not being able to do it.

      I wonder what Pharaoh would think of that since that is the very and only reason he was born and raised up by God.

      I think you mentioned something about Job, cursing God and dying. It was his wife who told him that.

      Job called his wife a foolish woman and said, “shall we not accept evil from God as we accept good from Him”

      I do believe in Total and Moral inability when it comes to that which is spiritually pleasing to God.

      But I have argued it so many times with all the verses “No man can come…..No one in the flesh can please God…..So many more verses. John 6:44 No man can come (inability) unless the Father draws Him and I will raise that man (same man) up on the last day.

      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.

      I am tired of this argument. Both sides are going to believe what they believe.

      Your God does not really save as Christ is suppose to be the Savior. He only makes Salvation possible depending on your autonomous LFW choice of Christ.

      See, I can throw things back like you use “God forces faith on people” with my own catch phrases.

      But in the Book of Matthew it says, “You shall call his name Jesus, for HE SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS.

      We say Jesus came to actually save
      You say He came to just make salvation possible

      But this has been argued so many times.

      Then we both can shoot back our favorite passages and proof texts and things go no where.

      I am sorry Carl. I should have not engaged you. Please forgive me. You can have the last word.

      1. Kevin, “But I have argued it so many times with all the verses “No man can come…..No one in the flesh can please God…..So many more verses. John 6:44 No man can come (inability) unless the Father draws Him and I will raise that man (same man) up on the last day.”?

        How do we understand John 6?

      2. Eric to Kevin asks, “How do we understand John 6?”

        Calvinists condense John 6 to this:

        – All that the Father gives Christ will come to Christ (v37)
        – No one can come to Christ unless the Father who sent Christ draws him; (v44)
        – everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Christ (v45)
        – Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. (v64)

    2. I am called to THE Faith revealed. I believe in THE WORK of GOD. I do not believe in vain.
      I believe the Good News, according to all God promises, acknowledge what is behind us and looking forward.
      1 Corinthians 15:star1-4

      How did I come to believe the Good News?

      The revealed communication of God. It is living and active, every word filled with the Spirit of His truth.( For example, evident, are you reading this? KEEp the good and throw away the bad. It is practically your choice, according to God’s word, determined to fully function as revealed in the truth.)

      In the beginning -“God said” and communication continued with Adam and Eve understanding good and evil continued when they were kicked out of the garden. They were free to choose good or evil, though they could NOT save themselves from death. God accomplished this work through Jesus, according to HIs revelation. JesusChrist is THE RESURRECTION.

      All that God has determined, according to HIs instruction DOES NOT equal determinism, which is a philosophy that counterfeits(counterfeit=truth mixed with error/or a lie. See the garden over words and the tree they ate from being the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) God’s revealed word in reality about His instructed command that we may acknowledge what He has determined and decreed. One of the truths we know He has determined: ‘You’ must believe in the work of God for ‘you’ to be saved.

      philosophy of determinism and its duplicitousness , for example: you are not free to believe(not free to come worship/ not free to receive a free will offering) you must understand that you must believe to be saved but you can only except the good news that you must believe believing God already saved you before you believed the good news believe you really already had the Holy Spirit so you would understand that you can’t boast that you must believe the good news to be saved.) And this is the erring faith of determinist theology( a study of God to include philosophy and claim it to be the revealed word of God, as if to be sound doctrine.) What this is is the pride of man ‘showing’ their own rights over submitting to love the truth.
      So, in faith some people believe this in their willingness and ability to think it is true.

      The Faith, revealed according to scripture: God put on skin for us, prophetically worked as only the heart and mind of GOD could do give as a true witness, Jesus Christ paid for the sins done in the flesh as HE alone, the only one, who was perfectly faithful in the flesh as witness to the power of God to save, according to the faith. I believe only God saves me, according to his works, all credit and glory to God for all HIS WORK, The anointed One the only one able to perfectly, in faith in the flesh, give this FREE WILL OFFERING.

      Determined: 2+2=4 God’s truth is present in the universe, living and active. Even remaining evil men understand and can hold this is true. It is from God, logic being available in our space and time, evident in history, recorded outside oneself, but true for all. If you deny this you deny and do not love truth as evident, though God seeks mankind, present from the time of creation, according to the Spirit of truth. ( I have not said one thing here that has to be explained philosophically. It is consistent with the word of God’s recording, practically exemplified in reality. See the resurrection in history, recorded, witnessed by common men, given the same ability to think in creation, that Jesus uncommonly rose His dead body from the dead, consistent with and giving us greater evidence to truth revealed.
      Who must decide and has the ability to know 2+2=4? It is spiritual and GOOD truth, equations, unseen, not physical. The evil man, born a sinner is free to worship their present condition of death evident or hear and see life according to their evident, yet unseen spirit in the body, and come to worship the Creator on life. Yes , Romans 1 and 2. Jesus came to save the unbeliever who turns to admit he himself is evil, believing that truth, it is Satan who is a murderer. God revealed to us He determined a beginning and an end and that He rested on the 7th Day, yet is still working for the good of those who love Him and for another neighbor who may be saved. He revealed to us He has chosen to raise the bride to eternal life.

      Determinism misplaces the mystery and answers things beyond revealed knowledge and in opposition to what God has determined for His people: repeat the message of eternal life, an invitation and a warning in true and love, according to the good news, according to the scriptures, according to the command the Father gave to the Son: His command was eternal life! The weights and measures on the balance are true: Jesus came to call sinners-God does not murder and blasphemy of the Spirit is to those who will remain to insult the Spirit of Grace, who reject the truth and call God evil for the work of Salvation. ( See the Pharisee who believed they were chosen, the Politically religious leaders, both according to their own way of thinking, the people who cried crucify Him after they had hailed Him as King,( the religious leaders stirring the crowd up) the Empire Cult wash their hands of truth, and the common man bothered by parts of Jesus testimony. In contrast – see the woman who kissed His feet in public.

      love the truth? Ask the next question of God. He promises to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. He reveals in HIs word this as to evil men, telling them to come : ask, seek and knock.

      My insult is not to Calvin’s good works, as iron sharpens iron. It is to the spirit of the philosophy of determinism in the church, to include spirits beyond those named as Calvinist, but which is an error that Calvin and Luther received and passed on, being not scripture. God will judge and reward His servants. I am thankful to God for the truth passed through them, but broken to not repeat their harm as God refines His people, ever working as we patiently wait for His appearing. Being we are instructed to test the spirits, I submit to to same test as Calvin’s works, according to the scriptures, even while testing the iron of another. 1Corinthians1-3,4 example.

      1. Tammy writes, “philosophy of determinism and its duplicitousness”

        The “determinism” of humanist philosophy espoused by some does not allow for God to create man in His image where the “determinism” of Scriptural theology does. However, explaining how making man in His image makes may responsible for his actions when God perfectly understood everything man would do before He created him is the challenging part.

      2. rhutchin
        The “determinism” of humanist philosophy espoused by some does not allow for God to create man in His image

        br.d
        Interpretation:
        My mystical magical view of determinism – which is full of square-circles and married-bachelors – is holy spirit inspired
        While “determinism” as acknowledged by all Reformed and Non-Reformed academia is “humanist philosophy”

        Some Calvinists are experts at “shape-shifting” everything! :-]

  15. Kevin,

    “I understand the Non-Calvinists are running to alternatives to get away from this obvious truth that makes God guilty by association with evil like Open Theism and Middle Knowledge. But there still is the obvious problem of God and the difficulty of sin and evil that one cannot escape no matter what denomination you belong to.”

    There is only an “obvious truth” if you hold to notions about God that come, not from the Bible, but from the Gnosticism and Platonism that infected the early church.

    Every thinking Calvinist eventually comes to the correct conclusion that the Calvi-God is causing the very evil He says He hates. If that is true the words of the Bible cannot be trusted. Calvi-God saying he loves us is empty and hollow. Monstrous. In that case, follow Job’s wife’s advice, “curse God and die”.

    1. Hi Carl,

      This really was not the subject we were talking about. You probably have not been following the discussions between BR.D and myself. I really do not hold to Calvinist Determinism that God has decreed every action thought desire ect.

      Although as I told you, logically every Christian denomination has the same problem with the existence of God and great difficulty with in relation of evil and sin.

      Flowers knows it. He says when the Calvinist shows it by declaring the Infinite Eternal Exhaustive Knowledge of God, that God knew what would be, from all eternity before he ever created of the evil actions of individuals, Flowers says the Calvinists is using the “You Too Argument”

      But he will go on to say that the Calvinist position is much worse than the Non-Calvinist. That is begging the question.

      But, trust I see your point and do not have any real argument with you. Scroll back up and look at where I tell Mark Thompson that he must answer BR.D argument. That if you hold to Reformed Soft Determinism you have to answer BR.D argument that ultimately nothing is UP TO US.

      God bless Carl

      1. Hey Kevin, what system of free will do you hold to now if not determinism? Do you hold to compatibilism? To libertarian free will?

        What changed and why?

      2. Eric in John 3 where Jesus says you must be born again/from above by the Spirit. Do you acknowledge the supernatural in what Jesus was saying here? And do you believe that the Jews of that time would understand what he was saying?

    2. Platonism, It is interesting that you mention that infecting the church Carl.

      There is one person, a famous person I have showed on another page on this site His serious errors, false teachings until I was no longer able to post any more about him. Flowers really likes him and has quoted from him big time.

      You say Platonism has infected the early church. How about closer today from a non-calvinist by the name of C.S. Lewis. Read what he has said below.

      C.S. Lewis helped and encouraged the church of his time and is probably still affecting the church with Platonism through his acceptance of it.

      “. . . if the average student wants to find out something about Platonism, the very last thing he thinks of doing is to take a translation of Plato off the shelf and read the Symposium. He would rather read some dreary modern book ten times as long, all about ‘isms’ and influences and only once in twelve pages telling him what Plato actually said. . . . The student . . . . feels himself inadequate and thinks he will not understand him. But if he only knew [that] the great man, just because of his greatness, is much more intelligible than his modern commentator.”

      Then we have non-calvinist infecting the Modern day church with Open Theism and Molinism. Which if you and everyone will be honest the majority of orthodox Christianity have condemned.

      Listen to this about C.S Lewis on Youtube

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY0YUA6rS3g

      Martyn Lloyd Jones on the False teachings of C.S Lewis who was not an Evangelical. Read below

      http://recognizingchrist.com/2015/01/14/martyn-lloyd-jones-on-c-s-lewis/

  16. Eric writes, “Calvinists often argue that if we as Christians were free to suppress the truth or believe it then we could boast in our choice to believe the gospel.”

    Calvinists say that the unsaved freely suppress the truth as Romans 1 describes. To freely believe requires that a person have faith that, per Romans 10, only comes through hearing the word (i.e., the gospel). It is only where a person is said to have faith inherently (i.e., to have faith apart from hearing the gospel) that the exercise of such faith would be the occasion for boasting. However, even Dr. Flowers argues for grace enabled faith as Calvinist do removing any reason for boasting.

    Then, “In other words, if we are able to meet the condition of faith that is required for salvation, we can boast. They insist that boasting would only be eliminated if we agree with them that God effectually caused our belief in the gospel (by means of irresistible grace).”

    I found this confusing. Meeting the condition (i.e., hearing the gospel) for grace enabled faith removes any cause for boasting. Grace-enabled faith is the cause of belief and is conveyed irresistibly to a person. Your issue seems to be whether grace-enabled faith can be resisted. However, if resisted, it would be hard to argue that it was either assurance or conviction, much less both, as Hebrews 11 describes faith.

    Then, “2) On our view, people who would have the audacity to boast in humbly believing in Christ didn’t really humbly believe in Christ. Their rotten fruit has revealed a fake root. True humility doesn’t boast in itself. It boasts in the One we place our trust. (1 Cor 1:21)”

    Calvinists will agree. It’s hard to be anything but humble when a person realizes that the faith he has to believe was grace-enabled and by Ephesians 2, “we are God’s workmanship” created for God’s purpose according to the counsel of His will.

    1. rhutchin
      Calvinists say that the unsaved freely suppress the truth ….

      br.d
      *AS-IF* Calvin’s god gives permits people to be “free” from what he infallibly decrees comes to pass concerning them.
      Gotta love Calvinism library of DOUBLE-SPEAK! :-]

      rhutchin
      It’s hard to be anything but humble when a person realizes that the faith he has to believe was grace-enabled…..

      br.d
      Well of course – in Calvinism human perceptions are all predetermined *FOR* each person by an external mind.

      And since Calvin’s god doesn’t let people determine whether those are TRUE or FALSE – then on that model of cognitive functionality people don’t really “realize” anything. The brain simply has perceptions – perceived as TRUE perceptions.

      But they at least have the *ILLUSION* of realizing things. :-]

  17. Eric writes, “On Calvinism, all things are in accordance with God’s sovereign decree, so those who act pridefully (regardless of their soteriological views) are ultimately doing so because that is how God decreed for them to behave. Why does the Calvinist lament God’s decree?”

    For the same reason that believers lament their sin. God made man in His image giving them the ability to gather information, organize thoughts and make decisions. This makes people independent from God (but not autonomous) with the ability to choose to sin (in whatever form). God understood all this even before He created Adam, and by creating Adam, everything God understood would happen, He thereby decreed to happen. Basically, God knew the future and decreed that future by creating Adam.

    1. Hutch, but the only way you say “God made man in His Image giving them the ability to gather information, organize thoughts and make decisions” is through Calvinism double-speak. You don’t mean that humans can gather information or not gather information, you don’t mean they can actually choose which information to gather and which to ignore. You don’t mean “organize thoughts” as if man can actually choose what he thinks about, and you don’t mean man “make decisions” as if they could do otherwise than what God decrees them to do. You mean “determinism” but you talk as if you don’t so as to ignore the accuracy of my question.

      “This makes people independent from God (but not autonomous)”…see, more language control. Doing the only thing God decreed them able to do is not “independence” in any stretch of the imagination.

      “with the ability to choose sin” = doing only the one thing God decreed them to do.

      You didn’t answer the question. Why do you lament men doing only the one thing God decreed for them to do?

      1. Eric writes, “the only way you say “God made man in His Image giving them the ability to gather information, organize thoughts and make decisions” is through Calvinism double-speak.”

        We both know that God made man in His image and it is this gives a person certain abilities to think and reason. For example, Joseph said to his brothers, “as for you, you meant evil against me;” Then, in Romans 2, “do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same,…” It is the intent of the heart that is the basis for God to judge people for their actions. You call the Calvinist efforts to explain this in light of God’s determining all things, “double speak,” but even the non-Calvinist resort to the same explanations.

        Then, “You don’t mean that humans can gather information…you don’t mean they can actually choose…You don’t mean “organize thoughts” as if man can actually choose what he thinks about, and you don’t mean man “make decisions” as if they could do otherwise than what God decrees them to do. You mean “determinism” but you talk as if you don’t so as to ignore the accuracy of my question. ”

        I do mean that because that is the result of God making man in His image. Yet we also know that God has infinite understanding and perfectly understands His creation – so much so that nothing is hidden from Him including nothing in the future. God understood perfectly the outcome of His giving Satan entry into the garden of control over certain aspects of Job’s life. Did God’s understanding that Eve and then Adam would eat the fruit nullify their participation in those acts or remove responsibility on their part or make their judgment by God unjust or unfair. Calvinists say no. You call this double speak, so we will let you explain it in a way that is not double-speak, if you can.

        Then, “Doing the only thing God decreed them able to do is not “independence” in any stretch of the imagination. ”

        Fine. Let;s let you explain how God can have perfect understanding of you and not decree (since God had this understanding before He created you) everything you think, say, and do. When you develop a viable alternative to Calvinism, you can explain how you incorporate God’s infinite understanding with man’s “freedom” to think and act..

        Then, “You didn’t answer the question. Why do you lament men doing only the one thing God decreed for them to do?”

        Because they have an understanding of their sin. As Paul writes, in Romans 9, “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Nonetheless, you are free to offer a different explanation.

    2. Eric
      On Calvinism, all things are in accordance with God’s sovereign decree, so those who act pridefully (regardless of their soteriological views) are ultimately doing so because that is how God decreed for them to behave. Why does the Calvinist lament God’s decree?”

      rhutchin
      For the same reason that believers lament their sin.

      br.d
      NAH! Its because Calvin’s god decrees them to lament.
      Not logically possible for them to have an impulse that wasn’t decreed *FOR* them to have.

      One bio-bot is given the “lament” program – and another bio-bot is given a different program.
      All bio-bot programming is built on the algorithms of infallible decrees. :-]

  18. Eric writes, “On Calvinism, all things are in accordance with God’s sovereign decree, so those who act pridefully (regardless of their soteriological views) are ultimately doing so because that is how God decreed for them to behave. Why does the Calvinist lament God’s decree?”

    1 Peter 1:20 – He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

    1 Peter 1:21 – who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

    Even Eric will not deny that Christ was foreknown and chosen before the foundation of the world that is from all eternity to come and die on the cross at the hands of wicked and lawless men.

    Isaiah 53:10 – Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

    It was even God’s desire, will and it even pleased the Lord to crush Christ on the Cross.

    We rejoice in the Will of God, in what he desired and what pleased Him. Knowing that it has brought Salvation to our lives and forgiveness of sins and the fact that we will live with God in heaven for all eternity experiencing His mercy and love completely unhindered.

    But God’s will, that which pleased Him and was His desire in having Jesus crushed or crucified on the Cross consisted of Jesus being murdered by the hands of wicked and lawless men.

    God calls Christians not to rejoice in iniquity. We as Christian Calvinists in no way take pleasure that our Lord and Savior was murdered in a sinful way although this was part of God’s purpose and plan to bring about Salvation to all who call upon the name of the Lord.

    God’s purpose and even his desire was for Christ to be crushed on the Cross. God took NO DELIGHT in that and neither do we as Christians. But we rejoice in the fact of what God has accomplished through the death of Christ on the Cross, but do not DELIGHT IN THE MURDER OF CHRIST!!

    Acts 4:26 The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’ 27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together

    28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

    It was by the hands of wicked and lawless men as we know in Acts 2 that Christ was murdered on the Christ. In this we take no delight or rejoice over their sinful acts.

    But verse 28 tells us that those with wicked and lawless hands did as God’s Hand and Purpose had predestined and determined before to be done. And they were still held accountable as they hated Christ and did what they did willingly.

    You can argue about this all you want but it is the word of God that says they did what God determined they would do!!

    So I would go to God in prayer and ask him or read the Apostle Paul, “who are you O’ man to answer back to God, God will have mercy upon whom he will have mercy, and he will harden whom he will harden.?

  19. LOL I knew you could not last 5 mns Eric 🙂

    Eric said and I quote: “Hey Kevin, what system of free will do you hold to now if not determinism? Do you hold to compatibilism? To libertarian free will?

    What changed and why?

    Kevin
    What are you talking about Eric?

    1. Kevin, I’m asking you a simple question. You claim you don’t hold to determinism so I’m asking if you hold to the other commonly held-to views; compatibilism or libertarian free will?

  20. Eric said and I quote: “Kevin, “But I have argued it so many times with all the verses “No man can come…..No one in the flesh can please God…..So many more verses. John 6:44 No man can come (inability) unless the Father draws Him and I will raise that man (same man) up on the last day.”?

    How do we understand John 6?

    Kevin
    Eric do you not remember our discussion on John 6 and when we got to the tough verses you even mentioned before hand that I would probably have a hard time understanding how you understand those verse. I am talking verses 37-45.

    You had at least 3 to 4 verbs that you said meant practically the same thing and could be interchangeable. First time I heard anyone put a spin on John 6 like that. Because the verbs of (Give, come, draw) are all different verbs in the Greek and in English with different meanings. So you and I did not agree and left that discussion respectfully.

    I have no desire to go back. You could not convince me then and you will not now.

    1. Kevin, I’m not trying to convince you. I’m asking if you understand what our view is. You answered my question, though, thank you.

      1. I answered your question. Your talking about how you view John 6 right. Because you asked, How do we view John 6?

        You know that I know how you personally view John 6. I still have the discussion that we had by private email. You told me how YOU view John 6.

        But you said, How do we view John 6?

        Rutchin took that as you asking how the Calvinist views it. But I am sure you already know that.

        So who is the WE you are talking about?

        And exactly what question did I answer.

        Also waiting for you to put yourself in Job’s circumstances and see if you would have answered like Job did.

        Or do you think Job had false theology about God like Carl does.

        Although God said Job spoke what was right about him. Even God giving and taking away Job’s children through them being murdered through

        Satan the hand of God. It was God who sanctioned it right? Meaning he gave the green light and the ok for Satan to do what he did to Job bringing all the evil, calamity suffering and pain into Job life?

        Eric I know, at least I think you have went to Bible College. So I know you are knowledgeable in the Word of God. So I know you have a take on this about God, Satan and Job. But just saying God gave Satan permission is not going to pass the test. Read what I have already written about Job if you would please Sir.

        Thanks and God bless Eric

  21. Eric even BR.D believes that somethings are determined by God. The Death of Christ are one of those things I believe was. That does not mean I consent to all things. I do still consent to Calvinist Soteriology.

    1. JUSKLNTIME2442 Explain: How are ‘you’ being saved?

      Job 2:2-4 English Standard Version (ESV)

      2 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 3 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” 4 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life.

  22. Eric, I know I sound confusing. But I have told you that ultimately I am struggling with this. Yes, I know you think I am not sincere. But did I not tell Mark Thompson that he had to answer BR.D “Up to US” argument.

    If you cannot understand where I am with my struggle and understandings right now. I am sorry I cannot help you.

    I do not follow you or Flowers but I will listen. As I have listened to BR.D

    There are things that I see clearly in the Word of God that God determined in my understanding and view. Like when God moved David to number Israel but used Satan as the agent to bring it to pass.

    Like when Christ was murdered on the Cross by the hands of wicked and lawless men the word says clearly the did what God’s hand and purpose determined before to be done.

    Now if you read that and do away with your traditions and biases you will see they did what God determined them to do.

    Now as I said before.

    I went to the mail box already today. I do not believe God determined me to do that.

    I will throw in at times things like when Carl partially mentioned about Job cursing God and dying.

    I gave him the whole scenario. Job’s wife told him to curse God and die. Job called his wife a foolish woman and said shall we not accept evil from the Lord as we accept good.

    I am not saying what that means. But Job even says, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away”

    This was right after Satan had killed Job’s children and destroyed his property.

    If a Calvinist had said what Job had said you Eric, and those on here would have been on top of that Calvinist like a Chicken on a bug.

    Did not God though the agency of Satan do this to Job Eric? Be careful how you answer because it was said by the Word of God that Job did not lie in all that he said in that he said it was God but he did not blame God. Never do you hear Job accuse Satan

    Now I am not saying I whole heartily believe in Reformed Soft Determinism. But you have to at least understand why I struggle.

    If your children was killed in a car wreck Eric, would you say the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed by the name of the Lord.

    If things continued to get worse and you lost everything even your health. Your wife tells you to curse God and die. Would you as Job said, “Be still you foolish woman, shall we not accept evil from God as we accept good.”

    You see why I am struggling. Quit seeing me as a liar and see me as someone who is trying to understand Eric.

    As you have called me out I just called you out with some examples that Job went through. How would Eric respond?

      1. Well if we are both being honest Eric. A Calvinist who holds to Compatibilism would respond , Yes

        I understand we see God’s moral will being broken. So in that sense God’s will is not being done, but a Calvinist who holds to Compatibilism would say even that falls into God’s secret will that is always accomplished

        I think you know that too.

        Deut 29:29 – “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

        It was God’s will to crush Christ on the Cross. But we both admit it was not God’s will for murder. But we read in Acts 2 and 4 that wicked men with lawless hands did what God had predestined or determined before to be done. Depending on the translation your using. Just paraphrasing.

        God took no delight in Christ being murdered or his revealed will being broken. But there is the eternal purpose that God accomplished in Christ Jesus that God did desire to be done. Even though God took no delight in Christ being murdered and had no intentional will within himself that one of his commandments be broken. In some sense he desired for Christ to be crushed on the Cross which entailed Christ being murdered by the hands of lawless men that God determined before to be done.

        Even Joseph, what the brothers meant for evil, God meant (the same exact thing) for Good.

        Ephesians 3:11 – according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

        Just giving what the Calvinist Determinist would say. Do not know if I said it correctly or not.

      2. Job 42:2 – “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

        Do you feel you can thwart the purpose of God or any of the billions upon billions of wills of individuals can?

        Scripture says God frustrates the plans of people and nations

    1. “You see why I am struggling. Quit seeing me as a liar and see me as someone who is trying to understand Eric.”

      Who called you a liar? I asked you a question.

      “As you have called me out I just called you out with some examples that Job went through. How would Eric respond?”

      God allowed Satan to do those things, that’s not the same as God doing them. God doing certain things, and being able to do certain things, doesn’t mean He does everything. Unless one has already understood the universe as a mechanistic, determined one, I don’t see the difficulty.

      1. Eric writes, “God allowed Satan to do those things, that’s not the same as God doing them. ”

        Why not? God does not “allow” Satan to do anything without understanding what Satan will do and the impact of Satan’s actions. No surprises with God. Satan is the ax in God’s hand to chop the wood God wants chopped. This is just like the Assyrians of Isaiah 10, “…Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, And against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, To seize the spoil, to take the prey, And to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Yet he does not mean so, Nor does his heart think so;…”

      2. rhutchin
        Why not? God does not “allow” Satan to do anything without understanding what Satan will do and the impact of Satan’s actions.

        br.d
        Here is a good example of a Calvinist trying to SMUGGLE in “mere” permission.

        Question:
        If a Calvinist didn’t speak DOUBLE-SPEAK – could he speak at all? :-]

      3. From Eric Comment
        “You see why I am struggling. Quit seeing me as a liar and see me as someone who is trying to understand Eric.”

        Who called you a liar? I asked you a question.

        “As you have called me out I just called you out with some examples that Job went through. How would Eric respond?”

        God allowed Satan to do those things, that’s not the same as God doing them. God doing certain things, and being able to do certain things, doesn’t mean He does everything. Unless one has already understood the universe as a mechanistic, determined one, I don’t see the difficulty.

        Kevin
        You have made it more than clear in previous post Eric that you think I am not being sincere. So you can see I cannot help but think you are thinking that I am a liar.

        But I should have not said those words and for that I apologize.

        As far as your answer goes about Job you still side-stepped my direct questions and did not answer them directly in my last post if they would pertain to you. If you had been Job.

        Would you have said after your Children was murdered by Satan who called it the outstretched hand of God and destroyed all your property, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away?”

        Would you tell your wife who just told you to curse God and die, “Shut up you foolish woman, shall will not except evil from the Lord and as we accept Good.”

        Once again in Job chapter 1 even Satan acknowledges that if “God would stretch out his hand and touch all that he has, Satan tells God Job would curse God to His face.

        Satan did not say if I do it. He understood himself to be the hand of God that would do it. Because in Job chapter 1 Satan murders Job’s children and destroys his property.

        No one ever said God directly Himself did this to Job Eric. This is where the non-Calvinist just cannot seem to understand. God uses second causes and means when he is to accomplish a good and holy purpose that might contain evil within it.

        Can you not at least acknowledge that nothing touches or comes into your life without God’s permission. God can give permission for our families to be murdered as he did here to Job. Right?

        I am not even saying this was determined from all eternity. But the fact remains is God used Satan to do this.

        Job 1:11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”

        12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”

        Notice Satan says to God, “if you stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, then God tells Satan all that Job has in now in Satan Power. Satan knows God is not going to murder the children of Job. But God uses a second agent, Satan himself, even if it is permission to have Job’s children murdered and his property destroyed.

        God said Job was blameless, a good and upright man. Why would God give Satan permission to do such evil (which Satan calls it the hand of God being stretched out)? To murder the family of Job, destroy his property and take all he has even his health?

        Was God involved Eric with Job’s family being murdered? It could not have happened without him right? How do you answer that?

        I am just pointing this out bc I do not think you have thought this through completely.

      4. Kevin, this is again something I’ve mentioned to you before. If you would write more succinctly and to the point, I would be able to answer you more directly. As it is, I have to skim and pick and choose what I answer.

        “This is where the non-Calvinist just cannot seem to understand. God uses second causes and means when he is to accomplish a good and holy purpose that might contain evil within it.”

        It isn’t that we can’t understand that. We understand it just fine. It’s that it is literally non-sense.

        “Can you not at least acknowledge that nothing touches or comes into your life without God’s permission. God can give permission for our families to be murdered as he did here to Job. Right?”

        No, not in the sense I know you mean this. God allows evil in the same way He allows love. God isn’t in the heaven’s observing every behavior and decided which to allow and which to stop. He’s allowing ALL behaviors, including righteous ones, and then working within the choices of men through out history to accomplishes His particular purposes.

        “God said Job was blameless, a good and upright man. Why would God give Satan permission to do such evil (which Satan calls it the hand of God being stretched out)? To murder the family of Job, destroy his property and take all he has even his health?”

        Because He has given Satan permission to do what he will at all times on Earth. Why do you want God to be morally responsible for what evil men do? I do not understand at all the merits of this idea.

        “Was God involved Eric with Job’s family being murdered?”

        Not in the slightest.

        “It could not have happened without him right?”

        No, that’s exactly the point. It absolutely happened completely without Him.

        “How do you answer that?”

        A man named C.S. Lewis answered this much better than I can but I’ll try. Because without free will there would be no joy, love, or beauty worth having in this life. Without free will, ie. the permission to act on the evil desires of our hearts, there would also be no ability to have truly, loving, intimate relationship with anyone else OR our Heavenly Father. Since he wanted love and true goodness, and true joy, and true beauty, He needed to allow the true possibility of evil.

        So, you see, men much smarter than me have thought this out quite thoroughly

      5. He Eric,

        I hope you have read some of the things I have wrote. I do not want you and I to be at odds with each other. But as you can see BR.D thinks I am being sincere. So what I write, I do not want to quarrel, I just want to discuss.

        Right now I think I go to the mail box or type this to you with my own choice and not bc I was determined to.

        You know I have said there are somethings that I see as determined by God in the Bible. If you look for that post you will see them. I believe even at one time (no I am sure) even Dr. Flowers said that the murder of Christ was determined by God.

        But BR.D one line of reasoning and argument has me thinking otherwise 🙂 If all is decreed by God then how is it “up to us”

        I have shopped this argument around to other Calvinists on the internet trying to get a cogent answer from them and all I get is: “That is just his reasoning or his philosophy” That just will not do for me. I am serious no one can seem to answer this.

        At first I did not want to admit it. I hated when BR.D would bring this up and other arguments like it. But I am not going to say I have an answer for it and lie when I do not. So for now, (Yes, it is possible there is an answer to BR.D argument) I hold primarily to LFW in the ordinary day choices of life but not when it comes to that which is Spiritual or Moral before God.

        I know this sounds contradictory in that I say I still hold to Calvinistic Soteriology.

        But to me it is contradictory to say that you hold to autonomous LFW in choosing Christ for Salvation and then the option to reject Christ and walk away from Him is no longer an option.

        You know Dr. Flowers holds to this. For what you guys call authentic love, the will has to be autonomous LFW, then it cannot change once you are saved or even when you are in heaven. For authentic Love to exist in heaven you must have autonomous LFW and the ability to reject Christ and his love in heaven also for it to be authentic, genuine and real.

        If a person cannot now lose his salvation according to Dr. Flowers Eric. Is that person now being irresistibly saved against his will and will continue to be so in heaven.

        This is not gotcha questions Eric I give you my word. Or me being rude to you. Just stuff that really makes me think. Like BR.D made me think. Like Mr. Brian Wagner made me think.

        God bless in Christ Eric

      6. Kevin, ” I hold primarily to LFW in the ordinary day choices of life but not when it comes to that which is Spiritual or Moral before God.”

        Thank you for explaining your position.

        “I know this sounds contradictory in that I say I still hold to Calvinistic Soteriology.”

        No, I understand what you mean. It’s contradictory to reason and Scripture, but not Calvinistic Soteriology. You’re being blessedly inconsistent and I’ll take it.

        “If a person cannot now lose his salvation according to Dr. Flowers Eric. Is that person now being irresistibly saved against his will and will continue to be so in heaven.”

        This is one reason I reject OSAS. I think we can have assurance of salvation, blessed assurance, and eternal security, without the added baggage of OSAS.

        I’m glad to hear that you are thinking about these things and are willing to say that someone has made a good argument; many Reformed are unable to even give us that much.

    2. Kevin writes, ‘I went to the mail box already today. I do not believe God determined me to do that. ”

      Yet, you seem to understand that God knew you wold go to the mail box and knew it before you even thought to do it. Thus, in creating you, God determined that you would go to the mailbox (plus every other moment of your life) – didn’t He?

      1. rhutchin
        We both know that God made man in His image and it is this gives a person certain abilities to think and reason.

        br.d
        Well in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) there is of-course a *HUGE* difference in the “image”.
        Calvin’s god determines all perceptions that will appear in the human brain
        Determining them to perceive both TRUE and FALSE perceptions as TRUE.

        Now the quintessential definition of a Libertarian function would be the ability to choose between TRUE & FALSE on any proposition.
        And in Calvinism only freedom that is “compatible” with Theological Determinism exists for the creature.

        That is why Dr. William Lane Craig and Calvinist Dr. Greg Koul agree – Rational reasoning requires Libertarian Functionality – which does not exist for the Theological Determinist.

        So on the Calvinist “image”
        Humans don’t “think and reason” because that would require choosing between TRUE & FALSE

        Bottom line in Theological Determinism:
        On the Calvinist “image” all Calvinist choices are determined *FOR* the Calvinist – by an external mind.

      2. Hi Rhutchin,

        That is an interesting thought and I thank you for it. As you can see I am struggling in this area.

        You said and I quote: ” Yet, you seem to understand that God knew you wold go to the mail box and knew it before you even thought to do it. Thus, in creating you, God determined that you would go to the mailbox (plus every other moment of your life) – didn’t He?”

        Kevin
        Yes I do know that God knew I would go to the mail box because of God’s infinite eternal perfect exhaustive omniscience. I understand that God knows all the actions I will take because of this fact and this attribute God possesses.

        But what I am having trouble with is your next comment. I am not completely ruling it out but I need a much better cogent argument from a Calvinist understanding than what I have.

        You said and I quote: “thus, in creating you, God determined that you would go to the mail box (plus every moment of your life) – didn’t He?”

        Kevin my response
        Rhutchin, right now I see that as must as a mere assertion. Your first comments do not seem to lead to and actually prove your conclusion. I am willing to listen to you as I have listened to BRD. As you know he says that if God Decrees all then nothing is really “up to us” we are just mere robots or programmed computers.

        I will admit that I do see in the Word of God where God did determine things. Like the death of Christ,men with lawless hands did what God’s hand and purpose predestined before for them to do.

        When God moved David to number Israel and it was a sin but in the parallel passage it was Satan, the second cause/agent that actually moved/provoked (same thing) David to number Israel. In both places David repents and says he has done a wicked thing before God.

        Even when God moved the hearts of the Egyptians to hate Israel and deal craftily.

        When I see these things in the Word of God I know the Non-Calvinists are being intellectually dishonest in not acknowledging them as a school boy could read these accounts and know that God determined these things, like God moved the heart of the Egyptians to hate Israel.

        Thanks Rhutchin and God bless.

      3. Hi Kevin,
        If you don’t mind I make a comment on this post – Its not my impression that you are struggling. In fact from my perspective – I see you carefully looking at all options – and following a methodological path – where you are working your way through various questions with a focus on sound rational reasoning. So I personally wouldn’t call that struggling.

        And I think your sincere and intellectually honest approach puts you ahead of the curve – compared to a lot of people who simply stop their brains from thinking rationally – in order to accept whatever they are told Calvinism is.

        Take the process of choice-making for example. When you get into a robotic automobile and you tell it where you need to go – it has to choose the most appropriate route to get you from where you are to where you want to go. Every time it comes up to an intersection it has to make a choice about whether to turn left, right, or go straight. So that is a model of choice-making.

        Now we know the robot’s choices are all predetermined by the program developed by the engineer. So there are two issues involved in this model of choice-making. 1) The robot auto does actually make a choice at every intersection. So in that sense we can say the robot is making its own choice. 2) We know that choice is already determined *FOR* the robot. And that is how we come to the logical conclusion that choices are not “UP TO” to the robot – but rather “UP TO” the programmer who decreed what choices the robot would make.

        So yes you are correct in your conclusion.
        It logically follows – when your choice was determined by someone else *FOR* you – then your choice wasn’t really ever “UP TO” you.

        Now the Libertarian believer is going to argue that that model of choice making does not resolve to a “genuine” choice.
        His reasoning is that a choice requires choosing between multiple options.
        And since your choice was made for you – then the reality is – you never had multiple options from which to choose.
        And the Libertarian believer is going to argue that really doesn’t constitute a “genuine” choice.

        The “compatibilist” believer will argue that you made a “genuine” choice – by virtue of the fact that you physically made a choice.
        But then on that model – a robot’s choice would also be considered a “genuine” choice.

      4. I want t o review this comment and question by Rhutchin. I know it will be seem by some as If I am changing my mind. But I am just introducing concepts into the argument that seem to make sense. Now I think I see what Rhutchin was saying.

        First let me say I know there is BR.D argument that I find cogent. That is everything is decreed from God about us from all eternity before we exist then “Nothing is up to us”

        But look at what Rhutchin said again,

        Rhutchin said and I quote: “Kevin writes, ‘I went to the mail box already today. I do not believe God determined me to do that. ”

        Yet, you seem to understand that God knew you wold go to the mail box and knew it before you even thought to do it. Thus, in creating you, God determined that you would go to the mailbox (plus every other moment of your life) – didn’t He?”

        Kevin My comments on what Rhutchin said above
        I heard Dr. James White say something that hit me on the head like a hammer and I immediately thought of Rhutchin’s question and reply to me.

        To me it seems that Dr James White’s comment could be as cogent as BR.D’s is because it is very logical and makes all the sense in the World.

        Dr. James White said and I quote: “The certainty of what was going to take place in this universe had to be fixed for God to even know you even exist. Because you are the result of literally millions upon millions of free creaturely choices of people.in all the generations before you.”

        The question from Dr. White is this to BR.D, “Did God know you were going to exist? If so his argument and assertion above has to be valid it seems.

        White: “”The certainty of what was going to take place in this universe had to be fixed for God to even know you even exist. Because you are the result of literally millions upon millions of free creaturely choices of people.in all the generations before you.”

        You have to really think about that statement by Dr. James White to understand what he is saying. And I get it!!

        More comments by Dr. James White quoting William Craig and his responses to them:
        “In Molinism, God has to find the right world like a super-computer crunching the numbers. The world where autonomous LFW creatures determine what God can and cannot do. So that he can bring about his purposes.

        Remember Molinism is Middle Knowledge. It is what people would do in certain particular circumstances in a actualized world by God determined by the autonomous will of man.

        So God puts people in particular situations knowing what they would do in that circumstance for certainty. They cannot do otherwise. Talking about becoming a robotic puppet.

        With Molinism trying to preserve the autonomous LFW of man they actually destroy it and man’s will becomes mechanistic.

        MK is robotic, you believe if God puts you in a certain circumstance your always going to do the same thing, is that not robotic. And the Non-Calvinist accuses the Calvinist of being robotic or a puppet in their theology?!?

        Your freedom is so robotic, or mechanistic, God can put you in the same circumstance and you are always going to do the same thing!

        I honestly do not believe that the whole assertion that God would know what any free creature would do in any possible circumstance is a meaningful statement.

        You end up creating a creature that God knows exactly what he will do in any given circumstance and he will never vary.

        Or if he does God’s MK becomes invalid,

        Mk is trying to preserve some kind of concept of the autonomous will of man

        Why not create a world, or I think the philosophy of Molinism likes to say, actualize a world where all are saved. Not possible for God says the Molinist because of the autonomous LFW of man.

        It was God’s will to actualize this world determined by the decisions of free autonomous creatures. (Who will only do what they would when God places them in the right set of circumstances and that only will they do and not otherwise.) That is not being free and autonomous.

        That foreknowing who will be saved becomes just a philosophical thing than a personal an intimate thing.

        There are some possible persons who would not receive Christ under any circumstance. They would never freely accept Christ.

        The Biblical teaching is that is every single one of us Romans 8 hates God and can do nothing pleasing to God. Whether that is exerting humbling faith or repentance.These are things that are pleasing to God that every Single fallen son of Adam cannot do unless God takes out the heart of stone and puts in a heart of flesh that is pliable and willing.

        God’s middle knowledge forces God to create people he knew who would go to hell, but the number who do receive Christ is maximized

        God holds its better to have lots of people saved and lots of people in hell, than all people saved and no one in hell.

        God’s goal is to create an optimal balance of the saved and the unsaved. Based on the will of free creatures.

        Those that go to hell would never have been saved to begin with.

        William Craig said We should accept middle knowledge not because of having some Biblical support but mainly on its theological emergence.

        Kevin
        (I find this speaks volumes that this theory of middle knowledge may be primarily philosophical based and why those who seem to determine their theology based on philosophy, other than the what is known as the Ultimate Authority. The Word of God, determining one’s philosophy, is why people are being drawn to this philosophical concept and theory.)

        My study on Molinism has just started. But I wanted to put what Dr. White said about Molinism and Middle Knowledge in connection with what Rhutchin said and how the comment Dr. James White said seems to be connected or maybe saying the same thing Rhutchin (or closely related and was trying to say to me).

        Dr. White’s quote again: “The certainty of what was going to take place in this universe had to be fixed for God to even know you even exist. Because you are the result of literally millions upon millions of free creaturely choices of people.in all the generations before you.”

        If God knew you were going to exist from eternity and before he created the universe there it seems there might be some validity to what Dr. James White is saying. Or what God knows is denied like that in Open Theism. Open Theism says God did not know Kevin was going to exist or 9/11 was going to happen. I and it were new revelations to God.

        I find what Dr. James White said as a possible response to BR.D’s argument “that if God decreed all nothing is up to you” Because even if God does Decree all about us what Dr. Flowers says about God knowing that I exist in his above comment seems cogent and true.

        I understand BR.D will still say that it is still “up to you” But I cannot help but to feel the force of Dr. White’s statement and the fact that Determinism is compatible with creaturely free will.

        Eric, I have not went back to Compatibilism, but I do want to see maybe how BR.D responds to Dr. White’s comments on Molinism and the comment he made that I felt was closely related to what Rhutchin was saying.

        I would also like to see if maybe Rutchin will comment about his first comment and then how maybe what Dr. White said might connect or relate to what he said.

        But I knew BR.D might possibly appeal to Molinism so I wanted to get to the actual conclusions of holding to this philosophical belief.

        Now this does not mean that BR.D will not have a good response and blow out of the water what I have said. But I wanted to present this to further the conversation.

        Patiently waiting for BR.D and Rhutchin if they want to reply

      5. Hi Kevin,
        I think you intended for me to respond to this

        James White
        The certainty of what was going to take place in this universe had to be fixed for God to even know you even exist. Because you are the result of literally millions upon millions of free creaturely choices of people.in all the generations before you.”

        br.d
        There are problems with the language of this statement.
        Firstly the use of the word “certainty”.

        I think you will agree with me that a being who has perfect foreknowledge of what is going to happen in the future has “epistemic” certainty of what is going to happen in the future.

        So in that regard – yes there is “epistemic” certainty.

        But all Christian philosophy acknowledges that “certainty” does not entail “necessity”.
        In other words to say things are “certain” to happen is synonymous to saying things must happen of “necessity”.
        And when we assert things happen of “necessity” we are asserting Theological Fatalism.

        Is Dr. White using the word “certainty” to refer to “epistemic” certainty – or to “necessity”?
        The statement does not make it clear which meaning is used for this term – and that makes the statement equivocal.

        Secondly
        We have the phrase “free creaturely choices”
        Is the freedom here a Libertarian Freedom – or Compatibliist freedom?
        Again – the statement does not make it clear – so again we have equivocal language.
        And equivocal language makes any statement untrustworthy.

        Thirdly
        Dr. White’s statement is identical to what an Atheist Determinist would assert concerning NATURAL determinism.
        All of the atoms in nature line up and create literally millions and millions of movements in specific directions generations before you exist.
        And these determine every impulse you will have – and thus everything you do is fixed in the past.
        And I don’t think Dr. White is an Atheist – or a NATURAL determinist.
        He does not believe that events are “fixed in the past” by NATURE
        He believes events are “fixed in the past” by a THEOS – who determines them pre-creation (at the foundation of the world)

        Forthly:
        You now understand “Middle-Knowledge” facilitates perfect divine knowledge of LFW choices people would make – without having to determine those choices *FOR* people. So a divine being could permit you to choose to go to your mail-box without determining you do so – and with Middle-Knowledge that divine being would still have full and comprehensive knowledge of everything you do.

        Five:
        The idea that everything that happens – is the result of millions of antecedent events – is a basic premise of “absolute” determinism.
        Here is Dr. Ravi Zacharias response:
        -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.

        In other words – if your every future impulse is determined by millions of antecedent events – then your model of functionality is that of a robot. And if that is what we believe – we might just as well acknowledge we are designed to function as a kind of robot.

        And that brings us back to the bottom line of determinism – in which it logically follows nothing is UP TO US

      6. Hi BRD,

        I intended for you and I was hoping Rutchin would also respond to this also since I thought Dr. White’s comment seemed to be related to what he said to me about going to the Mail Box. Not just you.

        I noticed you did not interact with any of Dr. White’s refutation of Molinism and Middle Knowledge from William Craig. It would help me to see it from the other side if you did. I know you talked about it but I was hoping (I know you can’t always get what you want 🙂 you would interact directly with his comments.

        You know me I jump on the first bandwagon and thinks its right until I hear a good response and that is what I will not deny I was doing. What White said sounded good.

        But as God’s Word says, the first person to speak sounds right until cross examined or the next person makes his argument. After reading what I did of yours at a fast pace I am not as confident as I was. I knew your rebuttal would be good.

        Your response is good as usual and I knew it would be. We both know Dr. White in know way is talking about Theological Fatalism.

        And when it comes to creaturely will we know Dr. White in his comment is most definitely not talking LFW but Compatibliist freedom.

        I have not took a slow reading to really focus closely on what you have said. But what I read made me go back and read the comment I wrote down of Dr. White’s and I kept asking myself what I meant by it and what he meant by it.

        That is why I want to go back and read what I wrote again and then re-read what you wrote. And listen to Dr. White in that section again. Because I know he may not mean fatalism but that could logically be what the conclusion is of what he said.

        If you want to engage with White’s critique of William Craig that would be good. Because that is what he was doing where I put all the comments underneath his name.

        He actually makes out your position (Molinism) as being robotic. I think he may be quite right about that. God puts people into circumstances that he knows for sure what they would do. And they can do no other. Nothing otherwise. I find that interesting.

        In Molinism and Middle Knowledge when God actualized this world, so that everyone will do what they would do in the circumstances of that actualized world, Nothing IS UP TO THEM. They can only do what they would do when placed in those circumstances.

        So if this world that we are living in is constructed on the basis of Molinism and Middle Knowledge and we can only do what we would do in the circumstances we find ourselves in, then nothing really is “UP TO US” We only what we would do in the circumstances we are in.

        I know I am probably understanding it wrong but I find it exciting and interesting to see where that is. Show me where I am wrong please BRD. Thanks and God bless as always

      7. Hi Kevin – I think perhaps I can answer this question about Molinism making people function robotically without going back to your previous post – if that is Dr. Whites additional point.

        The only degree to which “robotic” would be true – is the degree to which it is deterministic.
        In other words in Molina’s scheme, creatures are granted various degrees of LFW.
        And for every LFW choice they make – that choice is not made *FOR* them by a predestined program.
        They are “merely” permitted to determine the choice for themselves.
        And since they are making the choice for themselves that does not follow the model of robotic functionality where choices are programed in the past – and we simply follow them because we are not permitted to do otherwise.

        Molina’s THEOS does determine what circumstances to put people in.
        But he does not determine what their impulses or choices will be.
        So I think you can see base on that – that is why the Molinist scheme puts responsibility or blame for choices onto the creature.

        Let me know if that answers that question.

      8. No, actually I see the fact that the very circumstance that Molina’s theos puts people in determines what they will do.

        Does not God according to Molinism put them into circumstances He knows they would do if put into that specific circumstance?

        They can do no other right? Please answer me if they can do differently according to Molinism BRD. This I ask respectfully my friend.

        Because I see that according to Molinism if a person is put into a circumstance or circumstances and God knows what he would do in those circumstances and can do no other that is robotic and mechanistic.

        Instead of preserving LFW Molinism destroys autonomous LFW and this makes Molinism invalid. Because its purpose was to be an alternate choice to Compatibliism right?

        Can they do different with their LFW in the circumstances they are put in by God in the World he has “actualized” (a philosophical term as far a I am concerned, should be created) when God knows exactly what they would do in those circumstances and that they do and know other.

        Right?

        If they can do otherwise please explain to me how?

        There is a whole lot more of Dr. Craig’s material Dr. White responds to like the saved and those who go to hell.

        Only those who are put in circumstances where they will respond to the Gospel will be saved.

        There are some who would respond in another actualized world but that world is not actualized by God according to Molinism.

        And then we say God desires to save everybody.

        I am not sure why those who believe in this pholosophy condemn Calvin when it seems the two are similar it seems in ways.

        Not Molinism is not determined by God, it is determined by autonomous LFW (The Molinist thinks anyway) and God has to play with the deck of cards he is dealt with to bring about his purposes by putting people in circumstances He knows they WOULD do and will do no other.

        Right?

        Just asking because that is the way I am understanding it right now BRD.

        But I will keep listening to you.

        Thanks and God bless

      9. Kevin
        Does not God according to Molinism put them into circumstances He knows they would do if put into that specific circumstance?

        br.d
        Yes – he knows they will do it using their LFW.
        Thus he doesn’t determine what they will do.
        He determines the circumstance he knows they will do it in.

        Kevin
        They can do no other right? Please answer me if they can do differently according to Molinism BRD. This I ask respectfully my friend.

        br.d
        Yes but in a slightly different way.
        Rather than a THEOS directly not permitting them to do otherwise – it is their own nature which does not permit them do do otherwise.
        In other words – he does not determine what their nature will be – he puts them in circumstances which – in combination with their nature – he knows will produce the outcome he wants.

        For example with Peter’s denial of Jesus – he does not determine what peter will do.
        But he does put Peter in a circumstance which he knows – (in conjunction with Peter’s nature) – guarantees that Peter in that circumstance will deny Jesus.

        I think you are noticing that Molinism does not totally remove determinism.
        But rather it is thought of as a softer form of determinism – which incorporates a limited degree of LFW

        Kevin
        Because I see that according to Molinism if a person is put into a circumstance or circumstances and God knows what he would do in those circumstances and can do no other that is robotic and mechanistic.

        br.d
        I’m not sure one could see the model of functionality as robotic in that event because human functions are not determined by an external mind like they are in full-blown determinism. There is certain degree of LFW involved.

        Kevin
        Instead of preserving LFW Molinism destroys autonomous LFW and this makes Molinism invalid. Because its purpose was to be an alternate choice to Compatibliism right?

        br.d
        Molina and Molinsists certainly do not see that as a logical conclusion.
        They see LFW involved – and to the degree there is LFW – that would not entail compatiblism.

        Kevin
        Can they do different with their LFW in the circumstances they are put in by God in the World he has “actualized” (a philosophical term as far a I am concerned, should be created) when God knows exactly what they would do in those circumstances and that they do and know other.

        br.d
        I think I answered this as the first question.
        They are guaranteed to not-do-otherwise due to their nature.
        But he does not determine what they will do or what their nature is.
        He creates circumstances – which in conjunction with their nature – they are guaranteed to not do otherwise

        On some of your other questions – I think there are some answers in the wiki article.
        And that has to do with the differences that different Molinist take on how deterministic Molinism is – or how much LFW they see active in Molinism.

        For example, I chatted with a Molinist professor last year who asserts that just as it is in Calvinism – every person’s salvation is predestined at the foundation of the world and is fated to occur. A select number of people “THE MANY” are predestined for eternal torment in a lake of fire – and the “FEW” are predestined to heaven. And the THEOS simply creates circumstances which guarantee that outcome.

        Then there are other Molinists who believe that each person’s nature is the determiner of their eternal fate.
        Some Molinists for example will assert that there are people who would reject Christ no matter what world or circumstance they are put in.

        William Lane Craig – from what I can tell – believes that it is not logically possible for God to create a world in which all persons use their LFW to accept Christ. And because that is the case – God creates the “best possible world” in order to maximize the number of people who will use their LFW to choose Christ.

      10. I know I said I was done BRD but there are a couple of things you said that I cannot stop thinking about. Thats when you know you are a good communicator when what you have said stays with someone.

        BRD said and I quote: “br.d
        Yes – he knows they will do it using their LFW.
        Thus he doesn’t determine what they will do.
        He determines the circumstance he knows they will do it in.

        Kevin My response
        I find this response so interesting and even equivalent to what Dr. James White was saying that Molinism is robotic or mechanistic.

        You say that God knows “the individual will do it using their “LFW” Which means they should and can do otherwise

        But you say he does not determine what they will do. I understand that.

        Then you say, “he does determine the circumstance they will do it in”

        But since God “determines the circumstance they will do it in” God knows exactly what they will do by putting them in that circumstance and they can do no other.

        By God determine the circumstance he will put them in where he knows what they will do it seems in a sense he is determining that they can only do what they would do in that circumstance.

        It seems like some kind of circular argumentation. I mean God may determine the circumstance but by doing so he also determines what the individual will do by putting them in that circumstance. Because God knows what they would do in the determined circumstance that he determined that determined the choice or action of the individual.

        BRD said and I quote: Yes but in a slightly different way.
        Rather than a THEOS directly not permitting them to do otherwise – it is their own nature which does not permit them do do otherwise.
        In other words – he does not determine what their nature will be – he puts them in circumstances which – in combination with their nature – he knows will produce the outcome he wants.

        Then you admit by God putting them in the God determined circumstance that the individual with LFW cannot do otherwise.

        You have to see the problem here. That is the very definition of LFW and that is why I say this is in another way robotic and mechanistic.

        BRD said and I quote: “he puts them in circumstances which – in combination with their nature – he knows will produce the outcome he wants.”

        That is God determining what he wants. It may be in a different way, but determinism is involved. But still there is the problem with LFW and being able to do otherwise and they cannot when God puts them in his determined circumstance that will produce the intended choice and action of the individual.

        BRD says and I quote: “I think you are noticing that Molinism does not totally remove determinism.
        But rather it is thought of as a softer form of determinism – which incorporates a limited degree of LFW.

        Kevin My response
        I find this a strong admission from a Non-Calvinist. I also say if all of this is true then LFW cannot stand with Molinism or Middle knowledge and nothing is “up to us” because we can only do what we would do in the God determined circumstances God places us in.

        Thanks BRD Now I will take that Break but I promise to get back to you.

      11. Kevin
        But since God “determines the circumstance they will do it in” God knows exactly what they will do by putting them in that circumstance and they can do no other.

        br.d
        Yes – as I said – in sense they can do no other.
        Although I think some philosophers may disagree with this and call it a semantic argument.
        But to me its just practical to say they can’t do otherwise

        But you do see there is a difference?
        On determinism they cannot do otherwise because he doesn’t permit them to do otherwise
        On this (which i think is simply a softer determinism) that they cannot do otherwise is not directly determined by anyone else – it is determined by their nature

        Kevin
        By God determine the circumstance he will put them in where he knows what they will do it seems in a sense he is determining that they can only do what they would do in that circumstance.

        br.d
        Yes – that seems logical to me also.

        Kevin
        It seems like some kind of circular argumentation. I mean God may determine the circumstance but by doing so he also determines what the individual will do by putting them in that circumstance. Because God knows what they would do in the determined circumstance that he determined that determined the choice or action of the individual.

        br.d
        I can see that point and its an astute point the make.
        It seems to me its a limitation that we find in determinism – No Alternative Possibilities
        Since he controls the circumstances – he does not permit any alternative circumstances.

        Kevin
        BRD said and I quote: Yes but in a slightly different way.
        Rather than a THEOS directly not permitting them to do otherwise – it is their own nature which does not permit them do do otherwise.
        In other words – he does not determine what their nature will be – he puts them in circumstances which – in combination with their nature – he knows will produce the outcome he wants.

        Then you admit by God putting them in the God determined circumstance that the individual with LFW cannot do otherwise.

        br.d
        Yes – I agree with you that there is a sense in which they cannot do otherwise.
        But I can’t guarantee that others – such as William Lane Craig wouldn’t find some disagreement on this.
        But from a practical stand point – it seems to me one might just as well say they can’t do otherwise.

        Kevin
        You have to see the problem here. That is the very definition of LFW and that is why I say this is in another way robotic and mechanistic.

        br.d
        If I understand you here – you are seeing a contradiction.
        If LFW logically entails a person can do otherwise – then how can LFW be TRUE when it is the case that one cannot do otherwise.
        Again – I think this is where we start go get into some of the conundrums that come with LFW.
        And it is true that Christian Philosophers – such as Peter van Inwagen – acknowledge these as logical problems.

        BRD said and I quote: “he puts them in circumstances which – in combination with their nature – he knows will produce the outcome he wants.”

        That is God determining what he wants. It may be in a different way, but determinism is involved. But still there is the problem with LFW and being able to do otherwise and they cannot when God puts them in his determined circumstance that will produce the intended choice and action of the individual.

        BRD says and I quote: “I think you are noticing that Molinism does not totally remove determinism.
        But rather it is thought of as a softer form of determinism – which incorporates a limited degree of LFW.

        Kevin My response
        I find this a strong admission from a Non-Calvinist.

        br.d
        Yes – I think you will find most Molinists will agree with that also – that Molinism is a softer form of determinism.
        Or perhaps they would call it semi-determinism.

        Kevin
        I also say if all of this is true then LFW cannot stand with Molinism or Middle knowledge and nothing is “up to us” because we can only do what we would do in the God determined circumstances God places us in.

        br.d
        Here again – I think you will find there will be philosophers who will disagree with this.
        I might have a Molinist person I can reach out to to see what he might give as an answer on this.

        Kevin
        Thanks BRD Now I will take that Break but I promise to get back to you.

        br.d
        No problem!
        Good stuff! :-]

      12. Thanks BRD,

        You affirming some of what I said let’s me know that I am starting to understand the Molinism position now. I think you also are seeing an issue with this position also. Because the things I have said are exactly what Dr. James White was critiquing Dr. Craig about in his book. Do not remember the title now but I am sure you know and probably have it. Craig believes what I have stated above and there are problems with this position. I know you see it to since you mention: “I might have a Molinist person I can reach out to to see what he might give as an answer on this.”

        I do not see anything that is really “UP TO US” in Molinism since the use of LFW is being used in name only because a person cannot choose to do otherwise once they are placed in the God determined position that will determine what not only what they would do, but once they are placed in it, they will do and it will not vary.

        God bless BRD

      13. After listening again to the interview with Dr. Craig and Paul Helm’s I think I misrepresented a some points.
        If you haven’t listened to that interview its worth your while to do so.

      14. br.d to Kevin writes, “But you do see there is a difference?
        On determinism they cannot do otherwise because he doesn’t permit them to do otherwise
        On this (which i think is simply a softer determinism) that they cannot do otherwise is not directly determined by anyone else – it is determined by their nature”

        Under Calvinism the unsaved cannot do otherwise than resist God because their corrupt nature allows nothing else. For the believer, the indwelling Holy Spirit enables the person to resist the old corrupt nature that is still hanging around and thereby submit to God.

        Then, “It seems to me its a limitation that we find in determinism – No Alternative Possibilities
        Since he controls the circumstances – he does not permit any alternative circumstances.”

        This affirmed by Molinism where the world chosen by God to create is a fully determined world with this world then being described by Calvinism.

      15. rhutchin
        Under Calvinism the unsaved cannot do otherwise than resist God because their corrupt nature allows nothing else. For the believer, the indwelling Holy Spirit enables the person to resist the old corrupt nature that is still hanging around and thereby submit to God.

        br.d
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) – the state of nature is something man is given absolutely no say in the matter of – since the state of nature at any time is totally determined by Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world before man exists.

        Peter Van Inwagen – consequence argument
        – quote
        If Theological Determinism is true
        1) Our every IMPULSE is the consequence of divine decrees established at the foundation of the world before we exist
        2) Each IMPULSE occurs in accordance to the state of nature which exists at the time in which each IMPULSE is actualized.
        3) But it is not UP TO US what decrees were established at the foundation of the world
        4) And the state of nature at any given time (including our own) which is established by infallible decrees is NOT UP TO US.

        Therefore the consequence of these things are NOT UP TO US.

        br.d
        Then, “It seems to me its a limitation that we find in determinism – No Alternative Possibilities
        Since he controls the circumstances – he does not permit any alternative circumstances.”

        rhutchin
        This affirmed by Molinism where the world chosen by God to create is a fully determined world with this world then being described by Calvinism.

        br.d
        Actually my statement above was incorrect – based on a misunderstanding – and later corrected by statements from Dr. William Lane Craig.

        William Lane Craig:
        -loose quote
        Molinism differs from Calvinism in regard to human impulses. In Calvinism each and every person is moved by god to do what they do. And that fits the model of a puppeteer who moves the puppet to make the puppet do what he wants it to do.
        Whereas in Molinism a person’s impulses are not determined for them and persons are not therefore made to do what they do.

        Instead people are granted Libertarian choice and as such they can do otherwise. In Molinism god – as it were – takes his hands off and says “its up to you to do what you want”.

        He chooses to create a world where people have and exercise Libertarian choice, and he in effect says “If you choose to reject my grace and my love for you, then I will allow you to do so.”

        But people can’t escape god knowing how they would use their Libertarian Freedom.
        -end quote

      16. br.d writes, “In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) – the state of nature is something man is given absolutely no say in the matter of – since the state of nature at any time is totally determined by Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world before man exists.”

        As is the date of birth, country of birth, culture into one is born, intelligence level, physical abilities, etc. So many things God controls over which a person has no say. Nonetheless, given this, the person is made in God’s image and has the ability to reason and make decisions if only consistent with one’s nature and outward circumstances. None of this is unknown to God or beyond His understanding.

        Then, quoting Craig, “…people can’t escape god knowing how they would use their Libertarian Freedom.”

        Not just knowing but understanding. So, no real distinction from Calvinism. Does not matter what you call a person’s freedom to choose – Calvinism says God understands and knows what the person will choose and knew this in eternity past.

      17. br.d
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) – the state of nature is something man is given absolutely no say in the matter of – since the state of nature at any time is totally determined by Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world before man exists.

        rhuthcin
        As is the date of birth, country of birth, culture into one is born, intelligence level, physical abilities, etc.

        br.d
        Calvin’s god leaves NOTHING left over for anyone else to determine.

        rhutchin
        So many things God controls over which a person has no say.

        br.d
        Not “so many things” – but rather EVERYTHING WITHOUT EXCEPTION!
        That’s why its call *UNIVERSAL* Divine Causal Determinism.

        rhutchin
        Nonetheless, given this, the person is made in God’s image and has the ability to reason and make decisions if only consistent with one’s nature and outward circumstances.

        br.d
        None of which is UP TO US
        Since all of it is totally determined by infallible decrees before creatures exist.
        See Peter Van Inwagen’s “Consequence Argument”

        Unless you’ve figured out a way to alter, falsify or negate divine infallible decrees
        Good luck with that! :-]

        rhutchin
        None of this is unknown to God or beyond His understanding.

        br.d
        If Calvin’s god doesn’t know what he decreed come to pass at the foundation of the world – then he could always record his decrees in a note-book whenever he gets forgetful. :-]

        William Lane Craig
        -quote
        But people can’t escape god knowing how they would use their Libertarian Freedom.”

        rhutchin
        Not just knowing but understanding. So, no real distinction from Calvinism. Does not matter what you call a person’s freedom to choose – Calvinism says God understands and knows what the person will choose and knew this in eternity past

        br.d
        If thinking that makes one happy – c’est la vie

        But I didn’t call it “Libertarian” freedom – Dr. Craig did – along with Molinists – along with Molina.
        If anyone wants to reject calling it “Libertarian” freedom – they are free to do so
        But theirs would then be an INCORRECT representation of Molinism

        And LOGICAL persons know that “Compatibilist” freedom and “Libertarian” freedom – mutually exclude one another
        The same way air cannot exist in a perfect vacuum – one’s existence excludes the other.

        But in Molinism a person can have “Libertarian” freedom – in anything that is not pre-determined *FOR* that person.
        As Dr. Craig states in “God and the problem of Evil – the Molinist solution”
        -quote
        The Reformed theologian might imagine God, surveying the range of feasible worlds, deciding that none of the worlds containing Libertarian free creatures is worth actualizing and therefore deciding to actualize a world in which he himself determines *EVERYTHING* that happens!

        Molina, on the other hand, thought that God has decided to actualize a world of Libertarian free creatures…..in such a way that his ultimate ends are achieved through creaturely free decisions, despite the sinful decisions they would make and the evils they would bring about.”
        -end quote

      18. Thanks BR.D for another great post “Bringing to the Light what Calvinist try to hide in dark secret language” Tactic #120 is hide behind terms that disguise what you really believe. Make it sound like it is not “Universal divine causal determinism” when in reality you know that it is. Use words that hide this fact so that others will more readily agree with Calvinism. Even though you know you are being deceptive that is Ok because, if you did it, you were predetermined by God to be deceptive for His Glory. Yes, it is a mystery to the rational mind but who are you to question God? Especially when you are arguing for Universal Divine Causal Determinism.
        You couldn’t help it anyway. Praise be to God for His mysterious ways—that Calvin was so wise to bring us.

      19. Good one GraceAdict!
        Yes – and double-speak language is Holy Spirit inspired of course! :-]

      20. br.d writes, ‘Calvin’s god leaves NOTHING left over for anyone else to determine.”

        As does the non-Calvinist God. There is nothing unknown to God from before creation. All was determined when God created and all of history plays out exactly as God understood it would. No one disputes this. What’s your point?

        Then, rhutchin, “Nonetheless, given this, the person is made in God’s image and has the ability to reason and make decisions if only consistent with one’s nature and outward circumstances.”
        br.d, “None of which is UP TO US.”

        So you claim. However, when God made man in His image, he gave man the ability to make choices without being coerced to do so by God. God’s decrees are not the cause of man’s actions exclusive of any action by man.

        Then, ‘But I didn’t call it “Libertarian” freedom – Dr. Craig did – along with Molinists – along with Molina.”

        Craig can call freedom anything he wants so long as he recognizes the Calvinist conclusion, “people can’t escape god knowing how they would use their Libertarian Freedom.” This denies, “But in Molinism a person can have “Libertarian” freedom – in anything that is not pre-determined *FOR* that person.” There is nothing that God does not know about the future making everything determined.

        “As Dr. Craig states…Molina, on the other hand, thought that God has decided to actualize a world of Libertarian free creatures…..” must be read in context with his other statement, “people can’t escape god knowing how they would use their Libertarian Freedom.” and that is not different than what the Calvinist argues – freedom is just labeled differently by each group.

      21. br.d
        Calvin’s god leaves NOTHING left over for anyone else to determine.

        rhutchin
        As does the non-Calvinist God. There is nothing unknown to God from before creation. All was determined when God created and all of history plays out exactly as God understood it would. No one disputes this. What’s your point?

        br.d
        An interesting adhoc theory – why don’t you refute Dr. Craig or perhaps Dr. Alvin Plantinga with it..
        Good luck with that! :-]

        rhutchin
        Nonetheless, given this, the person is made in God’s image and has the ability to reason and make decisions if only consistent with one’s nature and outward circumstances.”

        br.d
        None of which is UP TO US
        See Peter Van Inwagen’s “Consequence Argument”
        Unless you’ve found a way to alter infallible decrees
        Good luck with that! :-]

        rhutchin
        God’s decrees are not the cause of man’s actions exclusive of any action by man.

        br.d
        In Theological Determinism – Calvin’s god’s decrees EXCLUSIVELY determine *FOR* man “any action of man”.

        rhutchin
        Craig can call freedom anything he wants so long as he recognizes the Calvinist conclusion, “people can’t escape god knowing how they would use their Libertarian Freedom.”

        br.d
        As I said – LOGICAL persons know the only freedom compatible with Theological Determinism is freedom to be/do what one is determined to be do. And that as such “Libertarian” freedom doesn’t exist in that context any more than air exists in a perfect vacuum.

        But of course that doesn’t apply to people who lean on MAGICAL thinking. :-]

        rhutchin
        This (Craig’s previous statement above) denies, “But in Molinism a person can have “Libertarian” freedom – in anything that is not pre-determined *FOR* that person.” There is nothing that God does not know about the future making everything determined.

        br.d
        One is free to take that claim up with Dr. Craig or perhaps Dr. Alvin Plantinga
        Good luck with that! :-]

        rhuthcin
        “As Dr. Craig states…Molina, on the other hand, thought that God has decided to actualize a world of Libertarian free creatures…..” must be read in context with his other statement, “people can’t escape god knowing how they would use their Libertarian Freedom.” and that is not different than what the Calvinist argues – freedom is just labeled differently by each group.

        br.d
        rhutchin your not doing yourself any favors – not doing your homework before making bold claims.
        It appears what you failed to notice within Dr. Craig’s statement is the term *WOULD*

        With Middle-Knowledge it LOGICALLY follows – no one can escape a divine mind knowing how a person *WOULD* use their Libertarian Freedom. Such knowledge facilitates both “Libertarian” human choices not pre-determined *FOR* humans.
        While also facilitating full and comprehensive foreknowledge.

        And that is called Molinism :-]

      22. br.d writes:
        rhutchin your not doing yourself any favors – not doing your homework before making bold claims.
        It appears what you failed to notice within Dr. Craig’s statement is the term *WOULD*

        With Middle-Knowledge it LOGICALLY follows – no one can escape a divine mind knowing how a person *WOULD* use their Libertarian Freedom. Such knowledge facilitates both “Libertarian” human choices not pre-determined *FOR* humans.
        While also facilitating full and comprehensive foreknowledge.

        RH argues:…”that is not different than what the Calvinist argues – freedom is just labeled differently by each group.”

        GA — I think RH desperately wants Calvinism to not be deterministic and so he hopes it is the same as what Dr. Craig argues for BUT unfortunately Calvinism gives no such option. Everything is Pre-determined FOR humans in Calvinism.
        RH keeps trying to hide behind the term “God understands all things” to disguise his Deterministic position. He simply uses a deceptive word to describe Determinism, instead of a forthcoming term. Over and over again Tactic #32 use other words that hide your true meaning, disguise and hide what you really mean.

      23. Once again you hit the bulls-eye GraceAdict.

        Calvinism is 100% decretal theology
        How unfortunate – that is the one key thing – so many Calvinists spend so much time trying to obfuscate.

        And you are correct – cloaking determinism behind “understanding” to make it appear less deterministic – looks like the current strategy.

        Dr. William James – classified as the Father of American psychology and the leading thinker of the nineteenth century.
        – quote
        Compatibilism is a quagmire of evasion.
        The Compatibilist’s strategy relies on stealing the name of freedom to mask the underlying determinism.
        They make a pretense of restoring the caged bird to liberty with one hand, while with the other they anxiously tie a string to its leg to make sure it can’t get beyond determinism’s grasp.

        And then there is Immanuel Kant
        -quote
        Compatibilism is a wretched subterfuge with which some persons…..think they have solved lives problems with petty word-jugglery.

        How unfortunate for them!

      24. br.d writes, “And you are correct – cloaking determinism behind “understanding” to make it appear less deterministic – looks like the current strategy.”

        Apparently, you do not understand “understanding.”

        Dr. William James sounds like a humanist philosopher and not a theologian.

      25. rhutchin
        Dr. William James sounds like a humanist philosopher and not a theologian.

        br.d
        Totally understandable response :-]

      26. rhutchin: “Dr. William James sounds like a humanist philosopher and not a theologian.”
        br.d: “Totally understandable response”

        Especially since Wikipedia describes him that way.

      27. rhutchin
        Dr. William James sounds like a humanist philosopher and not a theologian.”

        br.d
        Totally understandable response”

        rhutchin
        Especially since Wikipedia describes him that way.

        br.d
        Oh that’s right – “leading thinker of the late nineteenth century, one of the most influential philosophers of the United States, and the “Father of American psychology” is to be dismissed as “humanist philosopher” because it doesn’t line up with a “scriptural theology” of square-circles and married-bachelors :-]

      28. “GA — I think RH desperately wants Calvinism to not be deterministic and so he hopes it is the same as what Dr. Craig argues for BUT unfortunately Calvinism gives no such option. Everything is Pre-determined FOR humans in Calvinism.”

        This because of God’s perfect understanding of His creation. Same for non-Calvinists who are not about to deny God’s perfect understanding.

        Then, ‘RH keeps trying to hide behind the term “God understands all things” to disguise his Deterministic position.”

        God’s perfect understanding establishes that a sovereign God necessarily decrees all that happens. The non-Calvinist cannot avoid this conclusion.

      29. RH writes: “God’s perfect understanding establishes that a sovereign God necessarily decrees all that happens. The non-Calvinist cannot avoid this conclusion.”

        GA: We absolutely can avoid the Calvinist Conclusion, that even moral evil is authored by God. God understanding all things is not the same as God CAUSING all things. God causing ALL things is what the honest Calvinist has to Boldly embrace, even moral evil. I am a non-Calvinist and I would agree with A.W. Tozer on this one: “The eternal decree of God decided not which choice man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, ‘What doest thou?’ Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.”

        The most evil thing about Calvinism is it makes God out to be the author of Evil. That my friend is evil it is from the pit of darkness and evil is not good it is pure and simple darkness and does not glorify God, God himself says He has no part in it..

        1Jn 1:5  This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is NO darkness at ALL. 

        To create a systematic and then try to support that systematic at the expense of God’s Moral Character is pure and simple darkness it does NOT come from the LIGHT.

        Jas 1:13  Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 
        Jas 1:14  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 
        Jas 1:15  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. 
        Jas 1:16  Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 

        I think that the message for all of us is exactly what James says in vs 16 “Do NOT be deceived” Satan’s favorite tactic is to malign the Moral Character of God. This is happening through Calvinist teaching.

        You can say cute things like one of our favorite Calvinists says RC “Evil is evil but it is good that there is evil” “When God decrees that evil should occur it is good that it occurs..it is good that evil exists…because God ordains it…He only ordains that which is good.”
        “God wills all things that come to pass…God desired for man to fall into sin.
        I am suggesting that God created sin.” RC Sproul

        John Piper’s ministry website, Desiring God:
        “God . . . brings about all things in accordance with his will. In other words, it isn’t just that God manages to turn the evil aspects of our world to good for those who love him; it is rather that he himself brings about these evil aspects for his glory.”

        John Calvin: “The hand of God rules the interior affections no less than it superintends external actions; nor would God have effected by the hand of man what he decreed, unless he worked in their hearts to make them will before they acted.” From “Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God
        John Calvin himself taught:
        “Creatures are so governed by the secret counsel of God, that nothing happens but what he has knowingly and willingly decreed.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 16, Paragraph 3)

        Jonathan Edwards:
        “God did from all eternity will or decree the commission of all the sins of the world.”
        Zwingli:
        “God makes angels and men sin.”

        This fits very well into the Calvinist Worldview BUT it is rises up in opposition to Holy God and His Holy WORD. “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.” “God is light in Him is no darkness at all” “God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”

      30. GA writes, ‘God understanding all things is not the same as God CAUSING all things.”

        How do you handle Ephesians 1, “God works (ordains/causes) all things according to the counsel of His will…”

      31. Those who have believed and God has placed (In Christ) there is a sure destiny for those. God’s counsel has pre-determined an absolute certain destiny for those who are (In Christ)…v12 “so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” Those who were the first to Hope in Christ….might be….to the praise of His glory.
        This is nothing the same as the Calvinist claim that God authors evil.  

        Now the additional truth seen here is that God can take man’s evil intentions and even his evil actions and turn the outcome into a Good outcome. That speaks to God’s ability at taking man’s evil choices and turning ashes into a masterpiece for the praise of His glory. It is not the same as the Calvinist claim that “God authors the evil actions”.

        One view makes God out to be worse than Satan, because all of the evil actions and even thoughts proceed from God through Satan, God becomes the Master evil creator.
        The other view says:
        Satan is evil and does his own evil things, God is not the author of them at all, they are darkness. Yet God is soooo wise and powerful that He can take that evil choice of Satan and by His wisdom work it together for a good end. Not because God authored the evil but because God is the divine artist that can take anything and work it into a breath taking masterpiece of His own. This shows His Grace, Love, Power and Wisdom. God is light in Him is NO darkness at all.

        Two very different views of God. Calvinism profanes His Holy name, making every evil deed God’s deeds, WHILE the other Exalts God as the Most Wise and Absolutely Morally pure God of the Universe, who is the master Redeemer.

      32. GA writes, “Those who have believed and God has placed (In Christ) there is a sure destiny for those. God’s counsel has pre-determined an absolute certain destiny for those who are (In Christ)…v12”

        Then the issue is to explain how a person comes to be “in Christ.” Can this happen without the help of the Holy Spirit and faith or can it happen in the absence of the Holy Spirit and faith. Calvinism says that a person cannot come to be “in Christ” without the Holy Spirit and faith.

        Then, ‘This is nothing the same as the Calvinist claim that God authors evil.”

        God is the author of evil because He, as sovereign, is the final arbiter of all things – “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” Adam cannot eat the fruit without God knowing that he will do it and decreeing that he do as he desires.

        Then, “Calvinism profanes His Holy name, making every evil deed God’s deeds,”

        Calvinism makes god the author of evil actions but those deeds are the works of Satan and man and not God. God wrote the book that has Adam eating the fruit and Satan tormenting Job, etc. – necessarily God is its author.

      33. RH writes: “Calvinism makes God the author of evil actions but those deeds are the works of Satan and man and not God. God wrote the book that has Adam eating the fruit and Satan tormenting Job, etc. – necessarily God is its author.” End of quote

        GA: Thanks RH for being honest about your god being the Author of Evil. But That is not the God of the Bible.
        This is precisely why I reject Calvinism. I do not think you understand the moral character of God.
        This is why I say Calvinism Blasphemes God’s Holy Character and Satan loves it, he applauds any system that will malign the Moral character of God. That is why I think it is so popular in these last days.

        GA: I do appreciate your honesty RH in embracing this truth of your systematic and demonstrating that the moral character of your God cannot be Trusted to be Pure, Holy, Good, Honest and Loving. He is just as much Evil as he is Good for He is the Author of ALL evil that has ever existed or will exist. In Calvinism what we really have is a “totally fake battle” between evil and good. What appears in front of the curtain is evil vs good but when you remove the curtain and see behind it what we really find out is that the left hand of God is the “Evil actor” and the right hand of God is the “Good actor”. The pretend demonstration in front of the curtain LOOKED like a real conflict BUT in reality it is God just putting on a make believe show for His own glory…. Sounds much more like paganism Yin and Yang rather than biblical theology. Could it have it’s roots in Gnosticism?
        However I do appreciate your honesty, you are hiding less than before.

      34. The robot programmer is the AUTHOR of the evil actions the robots will consequently do – but those deeds are the works of the robots

      35. GA writes, “Thanks RH for being honest about your god being the Author of Evil. But That is not the God of the Bible.”

        So, your position is that God did not understand what He was doing when He created the universe and did not know the impact of His creation and the future that would come about because oft hat creation. That may not be your God but it is the God of the Bible.

        Then, “I do not think you understand the moral character of God.”

        I don’t think you understand God’s attributes – His infinite understanding, omniscience, omnipotence, wisdom, love etc. You cannot focus on one aspect of God’s attributes, His moral character, to the exclusion of His other attributes.

      36. br.d writes, “An interesting adhoc theory – why don’t you refute Dr. Craig or perhaps Dr. Alvin Plantinga with it..”

        Refute what? You quoted Craig to say, “…people can’t escape god knowing how they would use their Libertarian Freedom.” Plantinga also affirms God’s omniscience.

        Then, ‘In Theological Determinism – Calvin’s god’s decrees EXCLUSIVELY determine *FOR* man “any action of man”.”

        This applies to that Theological Determinism associated with your humanist philosophy. It does not apply to that Theological Determinism associated with a Scriptural theology.

        Then, “And that as such “Libertarian” freedom doesn’t exist in that context any more than air exists in a perfect vacuum.”

        OK. Libertarian freedom does not exist. Except in a humanist philosophy that ignores the Scriptures. Even then, no one can show it exists.

        Then, “It appears what you failed to notice within Dr. Craig’s statement is the term *WOULD* ”

        That’s the point of Molinism. Prior to creation, God understood what people would do were He to place them in different situations The world God actualizes is not a world of Libertarian free creatures. They were libertarian free (allegedly, but not proven) only until God chose one world to actualize. In that world, there is no “would,” only “shall” and this because, as Craig explained, “people can’t escape god knowing how they would use their Libertarian Freedom.” God’s knowledge of future actions turns “would” into “shall.”

      37. br.d
        An interesting adhoc theory – why don’t you refute Dr. Craig or perhaps Dr. Alvin Plantinga with it..”

        rhuthin
        Refute what? You quoted Craig to say, “…people can’t escape god knowing how they would use their Libertarian Freedom.” Plantinga also affirms God’s omniscience.

        br.d
        I said – In Theological Determinism Calvin’s god leaves NOTHING left over for anyone else to determine.
        You responded “As does the non-Calvinist God”

        That’s what you can take up with Dr. Craig – and/or Dr. Plantinga
        Good luck with that! :-]

        BTW:
        You’ve consistently made 1001 arguments to disagree with the statement that Calvin’s god leaves NOTHING left over for anyone else to determine. And now you suddenly agree with it.

        But wait – two posts from now you’ll be arguing against it again!
        And SOT101 readers are supposed to see that as speaking with authority?
        What a hoot! :-]

        Also
        In Theological Determinism – Calvin’s god’s decrees EXCLUSIVELY determine *FOR* man “any action of man”.”

        rhutchin
        This applies to that Theological Determinism associated with your humanist philosophy. It does not apply to that Theological Determinism associated with a Scriptural theology.

        br.d
        And you say I make claims!
        *AS-IF* DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS and MAGICAL thinking are “scriptural theology” :-]

        Also
        And that as such “Libertarian” freedom doesn’t exist in that context any more than air exists in a perfect vacuum.”

        rhutchin
        OK. Libertarian freedom does not exist. Except in a humanist philosophy that ignores the Scriptures. Even then, no one can show it exists.

        br.d
        And I’m sure that in a “scriptural theology” air exists in a perfect vacuum :-]

        Previous to this we have you arguing that with faith you have “Libertarian” freedom

        Then after that “Libertarian” freedom is supposedly compatible with Theological Determinism
        Good luck getting any reformed academic like Paul Helm’s for example to affirm that!

        Then after that we have Dr. Craig’s understanding of “Libertarian” freedom and “compatibilist” freedom is muddled and he uses the term “Libertarian” but you – as the superior mind – knows that it doesn’t mean what he thinks it means,

        And then after that “Libertarian” freedom doesn’t exist – except in a humanist philosophy – which for you means it doesn’t exist at all.

        And that’s supposed to manifest a superior understanding!
        What a hoot! :-]

        rhutchin
        the point of Molinism. Prior to creation, God understood what people would do were He to place them in different situations

        br.d
        In Molinism god *KNOWS* what every creature *WOULD* do – given the circumstance he places them in.

        rhutchin
        The world God actualizes is not a world of Libertarian free creatures.

        br.d
        And you say I make stuff up!

        How many quotes have I given you from Dr. Craig – who is considered an international expert on Molinism – and yet your claims AUTO-MAGICALLY are correct and his statements are wrong. :-]

        Try to read this a little more SLOWLY:
        William Lane Craig:
        -quote
        The Reformed theologian might imagine God, surveying the range of feasible worlds, deciding that none of the worlds containing Libertarian free creatures is worth actualizing and therefore deciding to actualize a world in which he himself determines *EVERYTHING* that happens!

        Molina, on the other hand, thought that God has decided to actualize a world of *LIBERTARIAN FREE* creatures and …such a way that his ultimate ends are achieved through creaturely free decisions, despite the sinful decisions they would make and the evils they would bring about.”

        rhutchin
        They were libertarian free (allegedly, but not proven) only until God chose one world to actualize. In that world, there is no “would,” only “shall” and this because, as Craig explained, “people can’t escape god knowing how they would use their Libertarian Freedom.” God’s knowledge of future actions turns “would” into “shall.”

        br.d
        Try to read this more SLOWLY
        William Lane Craig
        -quote
        And so by means of his middle knowledge, God knows what *LIBERTARIAN FREE* agents *WOULD* freely do, in any set of *FREEDOM PERMITTING* circumstances that God might put them in.

        So by creating those circumstances and putting the agent in them, God – sort of speak – takes *HANDS OFF* and lets the agent be the one to determine what he will choose”
        -end quote

        Dr. Craig’s language can’t be any more clear.
        What Dr. Craig is enunciating here is called “mere” permission in Calvinist vernacular
        Which John Calvin rejects!

        Your problem is that you want “mere” permission to exist in Calvinism while claiming it doesn’t

        I’ll take Dr. Craig’s understanding of Molinism any day. :-]

      38. br.d writes, “You’ve consistently made 1001 arguments to disagree with the statement that Calvin’s god leaves NOTHING left over for anyone else to determine. And now you suddenly agree with it.”

        No. I have argued that God is sovereign and necessarily determines all things. I have also that God made man in His image thereby incorporating human decision-making into His determinations. God has created a concurrent process whereby God concurs with man in the determinations He made in eternity past. Man will always be hampered by limited knowledge, even more limited understanding, even less wisdom, physical and mental incapacity, peer pressure, societal pressure, fleshly desires, jealousies, pride, etc. Man will always be subordinate to God and God’s will and only able to express his will will the concurrence of God. God was able to make man with the ability to choose independently of God but not to act autonomous from God.

        Then, “Try to read this more SLOWLY
        William Lane Craig -quote- …
        So by creating those circumstances and putting the agent in them, God – sort of speak – takes *HANDS OFF* and lets the agent be the one to determine what he will choose” -end quote

        LOL!!! Exactly. “God – sort of speak – takes *HANDS OFF* and lets the agent be the one to determine what he will choose.” Of course, God perfectly understands the agent and perfectly understands what the agent will determine. The agent is only able to determine that with which God concurs (e.g., God would not let Joseph’s brothers kill Joseph but concurred in their plan to sell Joseph).

        Then, “Try to read this a little more SLOWLY:
        William Lane Craig: -quote
        The Reformed theologian might imagine God, surveying the range of feasible worlds,…”

        The Reformed theological understands that God would have to create the range of feasible worlds and the circumstances of those worlds and would have the perfect understanding of all decisions made in those worlds (so technically, no worlds are actually created) God created one universe with one world with humans whom He understood perfectly.

      39. br.d
        You’ve consistently made 1001 arguments to disagree with the statement that Calvin’s god leaves NOTHING left over for anyone else to determine. And now you suddenly agree with it.”

        rhutchin
        No. I have argued that God is sovereign and necessarily determines all things.

        br.d
        Sorry!
        Anyone looking at your responses to my statement that Calvin’s god determines *ALL* things leaving NOTHING left over for anyone else to determine will find you disagreeing with it.

        rhutchin
        God has created a concurrent process whereby God concurs with man in the determinations He made in eternity past.

        br.d
        That is simply another way of saying Calvin’s god concurs with what he determines man be/do
        Nothing in that disagrees with my statement

        rhutchin
        Man will always be hampered by limited knowledge, even more limited understanding, even less wisdom, physical and mental incapacity, peer pressure, societal pressure, fleshly desires, jealousies, pride, etc. Man will always be subordinate to God and God’s will and only able to express his will will the concurrence of God.

        br.d
        All of which is EXCLUSIVELY determined *FOR* man
        Which you (on and off at this point) agree with. :

        rhutchin
        God was able to make man with the ability to choose independently of God but not to act autonomous from God.

        br.d
        Well – here we have the word “independent” – which is just another ambiguous term.
        Calvin’s god makes a person be/do [X] and that person will be/do [X] “independent” of what Calvin’s god has made him do?
        Good luck proving that using LOGIC

        rhutchin
        Exactly. “God – sort of speak – takes *HANDS OFF* and lets the agent be the one to determine what he will choose.”

        br.d
        That is Dr. Craig’s enunciation of “Libertarian” freedom of course
        Which for hims – and all academia is none existent in Theological Determinism

        rhutchin
        Of course, God perfectly understands the agent and perfectly understands what the agent will determine. The agent is only able to determine that with which God concurs (e.g., God would not let Joseph’s brothers kill Joseph but concurred in their plan to sell Joseph).

        br.d
        Well – since Calvin’s god concurs with what he determines a person be/do then nothing new there.
        And yes – Calvin’s god understands what he makes agents be/do via immutable decrees

        rhutchin
        The Reformed theological understands that God would have to create the range of feasible worlds and the circumstances of those worlds and would have the perfect understanding of all decisions made in those worlds (so technically, no worlds are actually created) God created one universe with one world with humans whom He understood perfectly.

        br.d
        Dr. Craig is specific …..in the Reformed world – *EVERYTHING* is determined *FOR* the creature.
        And he is clear – to state in the Molinist world he does not.

        And you assert – that it all boils down to Calvin’s god determining *EVERYTHING* by virtue of understanding
        So what you don’t want to acknowledge is that you disagree with Dr. Craig on that point.

      40. Hi Kevin,
        I wanted to share something with you – for your consideration – in regard to language patterns we find people using.

        A few years ago – I read a book written by a retired FBI investigator who developed a training program for the FBI.
        This FBI agent developed a system to scrutinize written testimonies from people questioned by investigators.
        He had the reputation of being able to discern things in language that would aid in solving crimes.
        He developed a training program for the FBI now classified as “Narrative Analysis”.

        One of the “red-flags” he would look for, is the use of equivocal language patterns as indicators that a witness may be trying to hide incriminating information.

        Take for example, a wife who witnesses her husband strike and kill another man. The FBI agent is asking the wife questions about what she witnessed at the scene of the crime. He notices a pattern in her language. For any answer to a question that would not implicate her husband in the crime – her statements follow a pattern of “Inference” that she was there as a direct witness.

        The agent also notices – where any answer to a question that would implicate her husband in the crime – her statements follow a pattern of “inference” that she was not there as a direct witness.

        He notes that her language follows a very consistent pattern – which he notes as “equivocal” language. And when he tries to get her to make EXPLICIT statements, he notes that she agrees to do so, but instantly reverts back to her “equivocal” language pattern whenever answering a question that would implicate her husband in the crime.

        That language pattern serves as a “red-flag” that she is using “equivocal” language as a strategy to evade acknowledging information she does not want to divulge.

        Why do I tell you about this?

        Because I noticed that when you and I start discussing statements made by James White – my response to those statements is to notice the use of “equivocal” language patterns. Especially his references to “free will”.
        In my observation he follows a language pattern.

        Whenever he speaks of creaturely freedoms, he uses language that “infers” or allows for Libertarian functionality.
        The language presents events *AS-IF* creaturely choices are:
        1) UP TO US
        2) We are granted alternative possibilities
        3) We are permitted to be/do otherwise

        In Theological Determinism – any one of these (1-3) above would constitute our ability to falsify or negate divine decrees concerning us – that were established at the foundation of the world. And Dr. White has got to be smart enough to know that that is a logical impossibility.

        I would ask you to examine his language patterns for yourself – and consider the possibility that (like the wife described above) Dr. White is strategically using “equivocal” language patterns as a way to avoid communicating what he intuitively recognizes are logical consequences to determinism, because those are things he does not want to communicate.

      41. I see what you are saying BRD.

        But let me ask you about number 3.

        “3) We are permitted to be/do otherwise”

        Is this what you personally believe and always believe.

        I thought you told me that people choose and do according to their strongest inclination.

        That would mean they could not do otherwise. And why Dr. Flowers rejects this “strongest inclination concept by Johnathan Edwards.”

        But you told me that you accept Johnathan Edwards on this point.

        Unless you also believe that the autonomous LFW can over-ride the strongest inclination of a person too. That would be confusing to me for you to believe both.

        That is the way I understood you, so if I am mistaken please correct and thanks BRD.

      42. Great questions!

        This is where we start getting into some of the finer points – and where we start to move into more theoretical considerations.
        Dr. Robert Kane has a theory that he calls “Self-Forming Actions”

        You may find this article of interest:
        https://philosophypathways.com/essays/hayashida2.html

        It is acknowledged by Christian Philosophers such as Kane – who lean towards the existence of LFW – that LFW comes with its own conundrums.

        Peter Van Inwagen agrees.
        And he simply says – when he weights all of the pros and cons he feels that he must lean towards the existence of LFW.
        The considerations he uses are logical, ethical, and psychological considerations.

        Psychological considerations for example:.
        It is common for people to say they reject LFW – but actually when push comes to shove they really don’t.
        They claim to reject it on a theoretical basis.
        But they go about their lives acting and communicating *AS-IF* its actually exists

        Here is a classic statement from Dr. Tomis Kapitan that describes this

        THE FATED MENTAL PHENOMENON OF THE DELIBERATING DETERMINIST

        Dr. Tomis Kapitan – (1949-2016), Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., of metaphysics, philosophy of language, and international ethics.

        -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 beyond 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 and fatalism, can be encouraged by this account of the matter. (The Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 36, No. 14 1986),
        -end quote

        So one of the questions a Christian would want to ask are:
        1) How is it that God knows determinism is TRUE – but then acts, communicates, and treats people AS-IF* it is false
        2) Why do people who believe determinism is TRUE – go about their daily lives acting, communicating and treating life *AS-IF* it is false
        3) How is it that authors of scripture know determinism is TRUE – but then are inspired by the Holy Spirit to write *AS-IF* it is false

        These are some of the psychological characteristics that are observed and which people take into consideration.

      43. Thanks for making this interesting BRD, being patient and making me think. Sorry when I repeat myself with the same question. I think I am trying to put it another way or something like that.

        But still interested in your response personally to the Strongest inclination issue and if one’s will always does what is his strongest inclination or can one’s will over-ride one’s strongest inclination.

        I am going to take a break for a while. So not ignoring you. Will take a closer look at all of this later.

        Did a lot of paper work yesterday and this morning with my wife to file a “Report of Marriage” with the Philippine Embassy in Washington. So my mind is shutting down now for a while.

        God bless you always my friend

      44. On your question about strongest inclination – you might look at that article link I sent on Dr. Robert Kane’s theory on “Self-Forming Actions”

      45. Ok I will BRD,

        Like I said I am kind of wiped out and did not read your comment closely like I usually do. But I intended to come back to it,

        But still I would like to hear your understanding of the “strongest inclination” since you do agree with Johnathan Edwards on this issue in our previous discussions.

      46. BRD, yeah here I am again. I am laughing real hard at something I am watching that I am going to recommend to you if you want to watch it. Not sure if God put you in the right determined circumstance so that you will.

        AHH you have to let me have that one friend bc you say the same things and probably rightly so when Calvinist say all things are determined.

        But I am watching a debate between a Molinist and a Calvinist.

        The Calvinist you know. Matt Slick. He is very a very intelligent guy but I do not think he always has his ducks in a row.

        You guys talk about Dr. James White being rude which I admit at times he can be. But I mostly chalk it up to his strong personality that God created him with and where people say he is being rude. I just do not always see it. But I do not deny. As I have seen with Dr. Flowers, Eric Kemp and (myself more than anybody) be rude. We are all guilty of this if we will admit it. But Matt Slick goes ballistic in a very hilarious way.

        But this guy Matt Slick takes the cake when talking to Kirk Macgregor a Molinist. I think you have heard of him. At one point the moderator interrupts and tries to ask a question. Matt Slick goes ballistic, gets up out of his chair starts scolding the moderator (who is on his side) tells him if he keeps on doing that (the moderator had done it twice now) Matt said he was going to leave the room and stop the conversation. I felt sorry for the moderator.

        He keeps interrupting the Molinist constantly so that I cannot understand what is being said.

        It is more of a comedy show. Many of the comments below the video talk about the rudeness of Matt Slick. I called into his show one time and he was very impatient and rude with me. Someone on the side-chat told him so too.

        But this is hilarious. At this point I have to say it seems the Molinist is winning the debate.

      47. Yes I remember seeing that interview.
        There is also an interview between Dr. Craig and Paul Helms – which if you haven’t see it might be informative

      48. Yes I have watched that one and it is very interesting and I think since I have heard Dr. James White critique Dr. Craig I want to listen to that one again. Because the White video was a few years back. Dr. Craig may have changed some of his views since then.

        You do know that Molina believed in Total Depravity right?

      49. I’m not familiar enough about some aspects of Molinism to be able to speak with any kind of authority.
        And the degree of human depravity Molina understood to exist is one of those areas I’m not familiar with.
        So its possible he did – but I don’t really know.

      50. Hey BRD,

        I say this to be funny but not disrespectful to Mr. Brian Wagner

        I bet you a hundred dollars Mr. Brian Wagner finds Molinism and Middle Knowledge to still be a little to Calvinistic for him 🙂 lol

      51. Yes I think you’re probably right – its fair to say Brian find problems with both systems :-]

      52. Kevin,
        I’m listening again to the debate between Dr. Craig and Paul Helm’s and I think I described an aspect of Molinism that Dr. Craig would disagree with. He states that the conditions God puts a person in are not designed to determine a specific outcome. I’m sure that is going to raise more questions but I wanted to point out my mistake in not describing it correctly.

      53. Kevin writes, “I would also like to see if maybe Rutchin will comment about his first comment and then how maybe what Dr. White said might connect or relate to what he said.”

        I think Dr White and I are n the same page. God has infinite understanding and this understanding is the basis for the counsel of His will. Thus, Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” That which God works (determines, ordains) then becomes His knowledge. The Open Theist says that God cannot know the future because the future does not exist. Yet, God understands the consequences of present actions and how they play out into the future, so God can know the future.

        Molinism describes God’s position before Genesis 1 and before He creates the universe. By His understanding, God knows all the worlds He could create and each world is different based on God’s works. There are worlds where Adam does not sin because God opened his eyes to the consequences of that action. There are worlds where God does not flood the earth or destroy Sodom.Gomorrah. Then, we have the one unique world that, under Molinism, God does create. It is the world that Calvinism then describes. Under Molinism and Calvinism, God knows everything that will happen in this world from beginning to end.

        When a Molinist points to the Scriptures to prove their point, they are saying that God could have created a world in which David did not leave the city or certain people would have submitted to the gospel – but God did not do that. God created the world in which we find ourselves.

    3. Hi Eric,

      I apologize I seem confusing. I am somewhat of a hybrid when it comes to all of this. You are an intelligent man and I am sure from my comment above you are able to understand this.

      My comment above (which you did not reply to and I would very much like to see that) and what I am going to write here should give you understanding as to where I stand once and for all.

      I just read a book by Oliver Crisp who is the author that BR.D introduced me to. He is a Calvinist. But in this book entitled, “Deviant Calvinism” the author talks about Calvinism Compatibilism and LFW and Calvinism Determinism and Calvinism Soteriology.

      Oliver Crisp shows from history that there have been Calvinist who have held to Calvinist Soteriology and LFW. But they also have believed that there are some things that God did determine within the Word of God. Although the things of ordinary day life, like acting, desires, thinking are LFW.

      I would say at this time until I hear a more cogent argument from a Calvinist who holds hardcore to that God has determined all that comes to pass I fall into that category above.

      Even BR.D believes that some things within the Word of God are determined by God even in connection with people.

      So do me a favor please, answer the questions above comment. I noticed you seemed to not reply to that one and you seem to think in your reply about John 6 that I answered your question. That is Eric once again being presumptuous.

      So I hope this helps you understand where I am at this time on these issues. You may not be satisfied with the answer but there is nothing I can do to help you with that.

  23. I have a response JUSKLNTIME2442, well, really, some thoughts from reading the thread.

    This is a good time to also ask for prayer for my family.
    My 7 year old granddaughter is fast progressing with a worst possible prognosis: FARA, know as Friedreich’s Ataxia disease. So. I have been morning her suffering in life(this worst news coming 2 days ago) and my daughter is also ‘spinning’ the discovery her other daughter also has a high statistical average of having the disease, but no signs at present. As to my granddaughters prognosis, if she does not expire from a heart issue, of which she is already mentioning pain now, she will come to be a body that is in a wheel chair with her intellect fully intact, but with also the lost of her hearing and her sight. This disease affects the speech, which was a first sign, but was misdiagnosed. She is not in a wheelchair, but is fast progressing, faster then usual statistics.
    My daughter received this worst news 2 days ago so her heart is breaking for her daughter.( as we learned it is genetic) My daughter has been ‘questioning’ her faith from a time not long after leaving Wheaton College. Please pray for this life test to draw her back to truth about love in her pain and Jesus Christ being our only hope over death , where someday every tear will be wiped away and their will be no more pain. And yes, the Lord gives and the lord takes away. And yes, Satan has been given power to conquer the saints, and I will stand firm on the truth and promises of God. Who is guaranteed tomorrow? I will not be getting mad at God. I will be crying out that he save all those touched through this testing and stregthen us to serve, and to have grace and mercy , comforting the heart and mind of my granddaughter in the onslot of her suffering.

    Thank you for whoever reads and holds this up in prayer.It is a time of ‘raw’ emotion as related to prognosis Prayers that God protects us from evil and the evil one.

    God prepared me by teaching my heart and mind, using truth revealed through the book of Book. The Spirit of Christ is seen in Elihu: chapters 32-37 in Job….. until we reach the end, as we should live in the truth and live out His instruction for a friend and a neighbor.
    He is for us in reality, as we put one thought, as one foot, right before the other. My faith is that God is for us, especially those who believe, both the believing and the lost having the choice to run to him or turn away, the faithful believing already crossed over from death to live. My prayer that God would save the self deceived and silence the believer who is preaching in error to our neighbors. ( I trust He knows every heart and mind, seeking to show love for our good, perfect in justice and mercy. God doesn’t play chess. He owns the speck that shines light on the devil’s schemes!)
    ——————————

    God ‘SO loveD’ the world- How did He SO loveD?(https://biblehub.com/text/john/3-16.htm) He gave HIs only begotten son, see ‘so’ according to scripture NT in context of OT.John 12-21

    Now, John 17, now public scripture to all, for those who will come through His people, Jesus prays not for the world, but the people he left in the world to seek the people of the world that they may/might come to be one with those who come to believe.

    Of course Jesus does not pray for the world that he tells us elsewhere not to love. He prays for those who come to know, acknowledging the truth: Who is you neighbor? How do you love your enemies?

    See also Jesus’ words to those he had chosen in Luke 22:
    60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

    64 But there
    are some
    of you who do not believe.”
    (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said,
    “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
    66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.

    67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
    68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

    70 Jesus answered them,
    “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.
    ————
    26b:Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
    28 “You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, 29 and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, 30 that you
    may
    eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he
    might (well, https://biblehub.com/text/luke/22-31.htm)sift you like wheat,
    32 but I have prayed for you
    that your faith
    may
    not fail.
    And when you have turned again(back),
    strengthen your brothers.”

    33 Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

    {God determined the means by which the Good News would spread: through faithful believers- I am determined to repeat the good news- 1Corinthians 15- according to the Holy Spirit , according to Scripture. This is my free will offering thinking for a reason through Genesis to the Book of the Apocalypse: God’s revealed how He works in things that are closed that he had opened, that we may understand our limits to what He revealed in the beginning about the end. You are free to give this some thought- See the human created in God’s image in genesis (.?) I am not an open theist or middle knowledge. holder I would simply say I believe God reveals truth in depth to those who seek it, as the mystery has already been revealed. As to our experience , about the promise of a resurrection to life and our Savior living with us face to face in the New Jerusalem on the new heavens and earth, it has been revealed to us that things have still not been made fully know to us :-). Hmmmmm, how does the determinist explain whether they have free will or no free will in a saved eternity. I wonder if they have philosophically worked out what I should be able to understand about God’s eternity as related to His power and our free will. …or not.

    1 John 3:1-3

    3 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

    According to Scripture, John is one of the greater gifts to be an authority for the assemblies. I am practically gonna take John at His Word… without twisting it with a duplicitous addition of philosophy about thinks I truly cannot explain. What I can understand is Jesus claimed to be God and I believe Him because He rose from the dead, evidence in history to the thinking, common to mankind.

    (Satan really pulled over a scheme on humanity in public teaching for generations, in multiple countries: “Okay kids, what are your 5 senses?” Think about that…. who wants you to be deceived about freedom, what ever way evil spins it?)

  24. One must keep in mind, when drawing conclusions from the book of Job, the way the story is constructed.

    The characters; Job, Job’s wife, Job’s friends, are not seeing the whole of what is happening.

    However, we see the whole story.

    At various moments, ALL the characters, including Job, make statements that are false, because they don’t see what is happening in the supernatural realm.

    For instance: Job says to his wife, ““Shut up you foolish woman, shall we not accept evil from the Lord and as we accept Good.” Job is mistaken. We know that the evil happening to Job is not from God, and would not have happened without Satan’s intervention.

    Job never sees Satan’s part in what happens to him. He mistakenly attributes Satan’s activities to God. We need to stop doing this. (I’m talking to you, Calvinists)

    If you ask for a fish, and get a rock in your plate, don’t say that God put it there. He didn’t.

    1. Hi Carl,

      I really really do understand your reasoning and wanting to protect the character of God for being blamed for evil. But I think you read much into Scripture that is not there. Yes we know Job’s so-called friends were lying when they were giving him advice. But for you to say the things that Job said about God and that he was just mistaking is going to far and reading into the Scriptures something that is not there. I will say what you said respectfully (I am saying this to you non-Calvinists)

      Job1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.

      We see the character of Job as being blameless, upright, one who feared God and shunned evil.

      Now what is going to happen is the Non-Calvinists is going to use Divine Permission to try and get God off the hook of being involved in what happened to Job. This cannot be done without in my opinion being intellectually dishonest.

      “I think people often want to try and get God “off the hook” by appealing to divine permission….. as if whatever God allows to happen, He is somehow less responsible because He “merely” allowed something to happen…. but if God had the ability to stop a given action from happening where He both knew that the action would take place (He is omniscient) and had the power to prevent it (He is omnipotent), in a sense, He is just as “culpable” as if He had caused it Himself”

      This is something I have said before. Saying that all denominations have great difficulty with the existence of evil and sin. Saying God just gave permission as Eric and Carl does, does not solve the problem.

      “I think your confusion starts as soon as you start with permission.

      To choose to permit a thing is to demonstrate control not the lack of it , permission is not indifference , it is not the freedom to do anything , it is the freedom to do only that which God permits , nothing more and nothing less. PLEASE READ THIS. it is logical.

      You seem to think Divine permission is God granting human independence , autonomy , self rule”

      Nothing could have happened to Job who was blameless and upright until God told Satan he could murder Job’s children and destroy his property.

      No God did not do it directly. But Satan could not do it until God gave him Divine permission, which is to “DEMONSTRATE CONTROL,NOT A LACK OF IT. PERMISSION IS NOT INDIFFERENCE, IT IS NOT FREE TO DO ANYTHING, IT IS THE FREEDOM TO DO ONLY THAT WHICH GOD PERMITS”

      Who on here can honestly say that God had nothing to do with the murders of Job’s children and the destruction of Job’s property. Job knew this was ultimately coming from God. Not by God’s direct hand. But Job said this after the murder of his children,

      “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed by the name of the Lord.”

      Carl says that Job was mistaking and did not understand even thought this would not have happened without God giving Satan the go-ahead and Satan calling it God stretching out his hand.

      Which part was Job mistaken about. God giving or God taking away. Does Carl mean that Job was just mistaking about half of what he said. Being that God does give and bless and Job can say blessed be the name of the Lord for that but not for the second part that the Lord takes away, through the means of Satan, the murder of Job’s children and destruction of His property.

      We seem to be under the assumption that God only owes us good and blessings. Every man born deserves one thing and that is the wrath of God and damnation in hell. Even Job’s righteousness although pleasing to God, did not make him worthy of anything. It is all of grace of any blessing we get. So if God takes away anything, even through Satan, God has done us no wrong.

      Then Carl says that when Job told his wife to basically shut up you foolish woman, shall we not receive evil from God as we receive good and blessings.

      According to Carl Job only got part of this right also. God divinely allowed the evil through Satan to come into Job’s life. Job knew this as he knew blessings came into his life through God.

      Carl, could anything evil have happened to Job without God giving his Divine permission.

      God personally did not do the evil to Job but but he worked through the evil.

      At the end Job put his hand over his mouth, and said I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, now my eyes have seen you. God’s holy and good purpose had been accomplished even though it involved God working through the evil he allowed Satan to do.

      Is it not true when someone we love dies in say a bad car accident. We say, “why did God let this happen?” Then someone will tell us, God is good, we do not understand now and may never understand completely until we are in Glory.

      See the words of permission, “WHY DID GOD LET IT HAPPEN”

      To choose to permit a thing is to demonstrate control not the lack of it , permission is not indifference , it is not the freedom to do anything , it is the freedom to do only that which God permits , nothing more and nothing less. PLEASE READ THIS. it is logical.

    2. Carl writes, “For instance: Job says to his wife, ““Shut up you foolish woman, shall we not accept evil from the Lord and as we accept Good.” Job is mistaken. We know that the evil happening to Job is not from God, and would not have happened without Satan’s intervention.”

      Yet, Satan cannot act without God’s consent. As God understands perfectly all impacts of giving Satan consent to torment Job, and gives His consent knowing the outcome, Satan is subordinate to God, and Job rightly attributes all that happens to God.

      1. rhutchin
        Yet, Satan cannot act without God’s consent.

        br.d
        We do love Calvinism’s DOUBLE-SPEAK.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        “The devil,….can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived,….nor move a single finger to perpetrate……..unless in so far as He COMMANDS. that they are…..FORCED to do Him service.” Institutes I, 17, 11.

        Calvinist Edwin H. Palmer
        -quote
        God…..DECIDES and CAUSES all things to happen that happen.
        The moving of a finger….the mistake of a typist….[the specific] sin.

  25. BR.D,

    I read your comment and I want to thank you for your encouragement. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be saying some of the things I am saying on here. I know you still disagree with a lot of what I am saying. But if everyone is honest they have to admit I have changed in what I believe concerning God determining all things that come to pass. That is the very thing I am writing now was decreed by God and it was “Not up to me”

    I wanted to prove this argument wrong. Now it is not so much a want to as I just want to know the truth about the God of the Bible. No one I have presented this argument to can give me a cogent argument in response. They chalk it up to mere philosophy or they ignore the question and do not respond at all. So this is what I believe. I even gave your argument in reply to Rutchin.

    So thanks and God bless. If I can just get you away from that Molinism stuff now 🙂

    1. Thanks Kevin – appreciated.

      And yes I’ve heard that “its just his philosophy” or “that’s a humanistic philosophy” argument before.

      And you are correct to discern that that response is simply made by someone who doesn’t find a logical conclusion palatable – so they simply want to find a way to disregard it.

      Dr. Paul Helms and Dr. Oliver Crisp are both classified as specialists in Theological Philosophy.
      And I’m sure that the two of them have some points of disagreement here and there.
      Its pretty much statistically impossible for two people to agree on everything.

      Now Paul Helm’s is too much of a scholar to point his finger at Dr. Crisp and claim “that’s just his philosophy”.
      And Dr. Crisp is too much of a scholar to do that to Paul Helms.
      So I think it goes without saying that people use that argument when they find a logical conclusion distasteful.

      I laughed when you mentioned the Molinism thing! :-]

      Actually, I think if you read some of rhutchin’s posts you will find he’s been appealing to “Middle Knowledge” within the last couple of months. ts a strategy that allows one to create the APPEARANCE of LFW without actually having it.

      For example – instead of arguing – the THEOS looks down the corridor of time and observes what the creature “WILL” do and thereby knows and decrees it. This argument is – the THEOS looks down the corridor of “Theoretical future events” and knows what the creature “WOULD” do given a certain circumstance – and given the creature “WOULD” do it with LFW.

      The THEOS having that knowledge then simply decrees what the creature “WOULD” do using his LFW in that circumstance.
      I think you can see that argument is based on the strategy of wanting LFW without really having it.

      However, I believe the Westminster confession rules out this argument by certain statements
      – In his sight all things are open and manifest his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and *INDEPENDENT* upon the creature
      – without any foresight of faith or ….any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto

      So I think if a Calvinist appeals to “Middle Knowledge” he can expect other Calvinists to challenge him on that.

      1. BRD my friend,

        Now you know I have read this at least 5 times and I cannot understand what you are saying,

        You are pulling a Brian Wagner on me 🙂 although Brian always did a good job at condescending to my level for the most part.

        Could you give some examples (maybe Rhutchin’s) as to how they end up talking Molinism.

        Then each section you wrote could you go back and clarify a little for me.

        It is true what you said about your “not being up to argument” No one can answer that. They evade it or ignore it altogether. So I do not believe that most things or the majority of things have been determined by God.

        I know you guys have got to work on me with Calvinist Soteriology. But that I see very clearly in Scripture. As far as the 5 points of Calvinism go. If I could find someone who could talk and be patient with me. Who knows what might happen. I will listen and change my mind if I see that a belief does not fit the Holy Scriptures.

        You have to bring it down to my level. Condescend a little my friend. 🙂
        Also are there any examples from Scripture that you can show me of God, people and Molinism in action. Thanks BRD as always.

        I know I need to do more study on Molinism. That is probably why I am not understanding you.

        I appreciate it and hope you are having a blessed day.

      2. Hi Kevin,
        I certainly didn’t mean to be condescending – so if I did that please forgive.

        What was the part you wanted me to go over?

      3. Hey BRD,

        I did not mean condescending in a disrespectful way as I now it can be used that way.

        But I meant for you to condescend to my level in your language so I can understand. In a good way.

        I know you never mean to be disrespectful on purpose.

        Its like the eternal God when he gave His Holy Word. I am sure he had to condescend to us as the Word says His ways are higher than our ways and His ways are past finding out.

        So no disrespect was taken my friend. None at all. It is just you are a very intelligent individual and your way of stating things I sometimes do not understand.

        So if you could read my last email again. Each section I would like for you to clarify.

        Show me how you have seen some Calvinists use Molinism such as Rhutchin.

        Also can you show some example from the Word of God of God Himself, with Individuals and this idea or theological theory of Molinism in action.

        Thats all my friend. God bless and only when you have time. No rush.

      4. One of the examples in scripture that Molina cited – is the story of David when he is fleeing from king Saul.
        David and his men are staying in the wilderness, sleeping in caves and eating by camp-fire – which is a hard life to live.
        David would like to give his men a break and stay a few nights in a city where they can sleep on beds and eat good food.
        So David goes to the city of Kela – but he is taking a chance because if Saul finds him there – he could be trapped.

        While David is there he enquirers of the Lord and asks him a theoretical question.
        If Saul finds out I and my men are here and he attacks the city – will the people of the city give me over to Saul?
        The Lord answers David “yes” – if Saul attacks the city – the people of the city will give you into Saul’s hands.

        But this never happens because David ends up leaving the city.
        But notice that David does not ask the Lord “what have you decreed the people of the city do”
        One would think if David believed that every human action were the byproduct of a divine decree – then David would have asked the Lord what actions he had decreed the people of they city to do. But that is not what David asks.

        What we see here is David is asking the Lord – a theoretical question.
        David obviously believes that the Lord knows what the people of the city *WILL* do in the future.
        But instead of asking that – he asks the Lord what the people *WOULD* do in the future – given certain circumstances.
        And so David is asking the Lord a theoretical question.
        And the Lord does know the answer to David’s theoretical question.

        Molina considered this an example of divine “Middle-Knowledge”
        Since this is not knowledge of what people *WILL* do
        But rather knowledge of what people *WOULD* do given a theoretical circumstance.

        Molina believed – that since there is divine and perfect knowledge of what people *WOULD* do given any circumstance – then this facilitates complete and comprehensive foreknowledge of future events without God having to decree what those events will be.

        And based on that type of divine knowledge – Molina argued that logic does not require God to meticulously determine every event.
        So God could create a world giving humans limited forms of LFW – without compromising divine foreknowledge.

        Does that makes sense so far?

      5. Just a quick reply BRD and then I will try and answer back more fully.

        Is it not true that God’s Natural Knowledge/Necessary Truth, (Not Middle Knowledge) God knows everything that could logically happen? God’s knowledge of all possible and necessary truths (natural knowledge — of what could happen).

        So would not the example you spoke of above be speaking of God’s Natural Knowledge? What the city logically would have done if David and His men had went there God knew?

        But if I say this was God’s Natural Knowledge then it could not have been his free knowledge. I am just spouting off things I really do not know about. As far as I know the Calvinist probably understands Natural or Necessary knowledge working in relation with free knowledge.

        None of this makes sense to me. Why does God have to have Natural knowledge if he has free knowledge (His Decree) and now there is Middle Knowledge.

        I guess I am going to dive into this and wrap my head around it. I do know God’s knowledge of all feasible worlds (middle knowledge — of what would happen through free choices under certain circumstances, including counterfactuals).

        To me Middle Knowledge and Natural Knowledge sound almost the same.

        So no, nothing makes sense so far. Not because of you though. Because I do not understand the teaching or the definitions involved.

        I do see what you are saying in a sense about David praying and asking God what the city would do. You mentioned why did he not just ask what his decree was? Good question

        I am really ignorant of this BRD. But this philosophical thought or theological theory is really having a revival in Christianity right now. The two main people being William Lane Craig and Alvin Plantinga who also influenced Peter Van Inwagen.

        I will start doing some research into it. First I want to read and study exactly what it is before I listen or read any rebuttals of it.

      6. Very astute questions!

        There is an article on Wikipedia you might want to look at concerning how the different types of divine knowledge are seperated.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molinism

        There is a paragraph there titled: “God’s types of knowledge”

        A summary of the three types of knowledge:
        1) Natural knowledge – or knowledge of necessary truths independent of God’s will – includes the knowledge of things that are non-contingent. e.g: logical possibilities and logical impossibilities. such as God cannot exist and not exist at the same time.

        2) Middle knowledge – or knowledge of the range of possible things that would happen given certain circumstances.

        3) Free knowledge – knowledge of contingent truths that are dependent upon God’s will
        e.g. Things that God brings about or brings into existence – which he is not obligated to do

        Other examples of scriptural passages are also cited in that article.
        Let me know if you find that useful

      7. Don’t criticize yourself Kevin – some of these things are pretty abstract – and they may take anyone a few times thinking through to get one’s head around them. That is totally very normal.

      8. Kevin writes, “As far as the 5 points of Calvinism go. If I could find someone who could talk and be patient with me.”

        The 5 points are built on the Calvinist doctrine of God (God is omni). Then:

        T – Man has a corrupt nature and lacks faith so he has no spiritual desire for God or holiness and is unable and unwilling to seek salvation. The preaching of the gospel is foolishness to him. All mankind rejects God and Christ and the salvation offered.
        U – God chooses (elects) whom He will save based only on the counsel of His will and nothing in, or about, the person.
        L – God sends Christ to die for those He has chosen to save. Christs death is such that anyone could claim it as atonement for their sins.
        I – God imparts a new birth and conveys faith to those He has chosen to save with faith then manifesting as a desire for holiness and belief in Christ.
        P – God preserves His elect by giving His spirit to indwell the person.

      9. Thanks Rhutchin,

        But it was kind of a joke with BRD. I do understand and do hold to the 5 points of Calvinism when it comes to Soteriology.

        It is Calvinistic Compatibilism I do not hold to as I once did.

        I do see somethings determined by God in the Bible if you will read my post. Like the death of Christ, When God moved Egypt to hate Israel, When God moved David to number Israel when it was a sin but in the parallel passage it was Satan that God used as a second cause/agent to Number Israel.

        In 2 Samuel where God moved David and in I think it is 1 Chronicles something where Satan moves David. David repents of his sin that he says was foolishly and ask God to forgive him.

        And there are other places where it is obvious that God determined people to do things.

        I just have a problem believing that everything we say, do, desire etc is determined by God.

        I thought Dr. White’s comment that I also though was related to your comment to me going to the mail box would bring some answers. But not sure now that BRD has answered.

        Thanks Rhutchin

      10. Kevin writes, “I just have a problem believing that everything we say, do, desire etc is determined by God.”

        God determines all things either by direct action (the flood of Noah, destruction of Sodom, impregnation of Mary) or by inaction (David’s adultery, the immediate events surrounding Christ’s death, the stoning of Stephen). When we say that God “determines” everything, we mean that God understood what was happening and could have changed the outcome had He wanted to do so. God’s understanding is such that he was able to decide how He would interact with His creation before He created.

  26. Eric I asked you a couple of questions above and I am going to repeat them with your answers.

    Eric in John 3 where Jesus says you must be born again/from above by the Spirit. Do you acknowledge the supernatural in what Jesus was saying here? And do you believe that the Jews of that time would understand what he was saying?

    You said and I quote: “yes and no”

    Kevin my Response
    I asked you this for a reason bc it has been said on the internet, (at Dr. Sean Cole site in an interview of him) that you believed that “being born again by the Spirit” was just “kinship language or being put into the family” And that you seemed to remove the Supernatural and be more in line with N.T. Wright and his New Perspective on Paul.

    And it was also said that you said that the Jews of that time would have understood what Jesus was saying when talking about “being born again by the Spirit”

    I believe you probably said that. But noticed your mistake when you were told that “The Teacher of Israel, Nicodemus” Jesus said did not even understand.

    I understand that we both have a different understanding of what it means to be “born again by the Spirit”

    So what do you mean by being “born again by the Spirit? Is it Salvation?

    That is not my real concern here but necessary for my next question.

    John 3:3 -3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

    What part do you believe the Spirit plays in a sinner being born again? What does it mean to see the kingdom of heaven?

    John 6:7-8 – 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    Thank you Eric.

    1. Kevin, “I asked you this for a reason bc it has been said on the internet, (at Dr. Sean Cole site in an interview of him) that you believed that “being born again by the Spirit” was just “kinship language or being put into the family” And that you seemed to remove the Supernatural and be more in line with N.T. Wright and his New Perspective on Paul.”

      That’s true.

      “And it was also said that you said that the Jews of that time would have understood what Jesus was saying when talking about “being born again by the Spirit”

      That is a good clarification, thank you. They would have understood it was kinship language. They would not have assumed there was some sort of forensic, ontological “stuff your heart is made of” change that was added later. They would not have understood that Jesus meant “this is a new thing God is doing and it’s going to include the Gentiles being grafted into God’s family and you have to get with this program or even Jews will be left out of God’s family”. I hope that helps.

      “So what do you mean by being “born again by the Spirit?” Is it Salvation?”

      It’s specifically being brought into God’s family by the power of the Spirit. You are made a son of God, given an inheritance as you await for your eventual adoption.

      “What does it mean to see the kingdom of heaven?”

      Eph 1, there is a time that God is planning for, and he’s orchestrating all things to lead up to this point, where He will sum up all things in Christ, and it is the believers who will be heaped blessing upon blessing, including adoption into God’s family, at this time. “The Kingdom of Heaven” is mostly synonymous with the concept of “adopted into God’s family” in the sense that “God’s kinship group” establishes, partakes in, creates, maintains, and enjoys the Kingdom of Heaven.

      I hope that helps.

  27. Sigh. Everybody reads the very beginning of Job and the very end, ignoring the middle.

    Job says alot of mistaken things.

    Here is something else he says about God:

    “It is all one; therefore I say,
    ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
    23 When disaster brings sudden death,
    he mocks at the calamity[c] of the innocent.
    24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
    he covers the faces of its judges—
    if it is not he, who then is it?” Job 9

    Is Job mistaken here or does God actually mock the innocent when disaster kills them?
    Does God cover the faces of judges so that the wicked prevail in the courts?

    “And were my head lifted up,[a] you would hunt me like a lion
    and again work wonders against me.
    17 You renew your witnesses against me
    and increase your vexation toward me;
    you bring fresh troops against me.” Job 10

    Is God hunting us like a lion, sending fresh troops against us? Was God vexed with Job? Was that why these terrible things were happening? Or, is Job confusing Satan and God?

    God is correcting the theology of both Job and his friends. They both mistakenly think everything that happens is caused or “permitted” by God.

    For a better treatment of this, read, https://reknew.org/2018/10/the-point-of-the-book-of-job/

    If we believe that God controls everything, the only logical conclusion is despair. Read what Job says. He got there. But he was mistaken. Job’s theology was incorrect. Great guy. Just goes to show, you can be a great guys, pleasing to God and have horribly mistaken theology at the same time. (I have to constantly remind myself of this when I see Calvinists who are great guys, whose actions are pleasing to God, but whose theology shipwrecks many people’s faith)

    1. Carl writes, “If we believe that God controls everything, the only logical conclusion is despair. ”

      Not according to Paul – “we know that God works all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Also, ” we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” I see this as very encouraging. Of course, unbelievers should be in despair except that they don’t care and think the whole Jesus thing is foolishness.

      1. Carl writes, “If we believe that God controls everything, the only logical conclusion is despair. ”

        br.d

        Carl:
        Since Calvinism evolved as the synchronization of ancient Stoicism, Manichaeism, and NeoPlatonism into Catholic doctrine – it contains various constituents from those religions.

        The ancient Stoics did not consider their adherence to Theological Determinism to bring them to a place of despair.
        Some of them actually argued that it gave them a sense of assurance by the fact that the god’s were in control of everything.

        However there were issues the Stoics had with everything being determined *FOR* them by the gods.
        For those problems it was normal for them to find ways to deny aspects of their doctrine using subtle word tricks.

        Calvinists – as did the Stoics – go through the same exact motions.

    2. Hi Carl,

      I think you may not be understanding what is being said when Job is speaking in these passages of Scripture and reading your own understanding into them.

      Let’s start with Job 9:22 – It is all one thing;
      Therefore I say, ‘He destroys the blameless and the wicked.’

      What Job is saying here when he says “it is all one thing” means that what is true of the wicked is true of the blameless and what is true of the blameless is true of the wicked.

      Barnes Commentary on Job 9:22 – “This may mean, “it is all the same thing. It makes no difference whether a man be righteous or wicked. God treats them substantially alike; he has one and the same rule on the subject. Nothing can be argued certainly about the character of a man from the divine dealings with him here.” This was the point in dispute, this the position that Job maintained – that God did not deal with people here in strict accordance with their character, but that the righteous and the wicked in this world were afflicted alike.”

      Kevin
      Did not God just destroy a blameless man, in stretching out His hand through the second cause/agent of Satan and murder Job’s children and destroy his property. Ultimately took away all that he had and even Job’s health.

      Job said, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away” and “shall we not accept evil from the Lord as we accept good from Him”.

      Job knew nothing happens apart ultimately from God’s will. And in saying all this It was said Job did not sin with his lips in what he said about the Lord. Review my former comment on permission if you think that means God was not involved.

      Heavy and sudden judgments do not necessarily prove that they who are cut off are especially guilty, and long prosperity is no evidence that a man is holy.

      Barnes Commentary
      “Calamity, by fire and flood, on a steamboat, or in the pestilence, does not demonstrate the unusual and eminent wickedness of those who suffer (compare Luke 13:1-5), nor should those who escape from such calamities infer that of necessity they are the objects of the divine favor.

      Eccles. 9:2 – It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath.

      Barnes Commentary on Job 9:23 – If the scourge slays suddenly,
      He laughs at the plight of the innocent.

      “He will laugh at the trial of the innocent – That is, he seems to disregard or to be pleased with their trials. He does not interpose to rescue them. He seems to look calmly on, and suffers them to be overwhelmed with others. This is a poetic expression, and cannot mean that God derides the trials of the innocent, or mocks their sufferings. It means that he seems to be inattentive to them; he suffers the righteous and the wicked to be swept away together as if he were regardless of character.”

      Matthew Poole Commentary
      “His outward carriage is the same to both; (The wicked and the good), he neglects the innocent, and seems not to answer their prayers, and suffers them to perish with others, as if be took pleasure in their ruin also. But withal, he intimates the matter and cause of his laughter or complacency which God takes in their afflictions, because to them they are but trials of their faith, and patience, and perseverance, which tends to God’s honor, and their own eternal advantage.

    3. 24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
      he covers the faces of its judges—
      if it is not he, who then is it?” Job 9

      Carl says and I quote: “Is Job mistaken here or does God actually mock the innocent when disaster kills them?
      Does God cover the faces of judges so that the wicked prevail in the courts?

      Kevin
      I think Job who spoke rightly of God as the book of Job testifies to may have given you your answer in the very verse you quoted.

      if it is not he (GOD), who then is it?”

      Do you think you might be pushing your preconceived ideas of God or your image of God upon what Job said and then because Job said that which is opposite of how you see God you think he is mistaking. Job who was a blameless man and shunned evil (So he was very acquainted with the God of His Salvation)

      Appreciate discussing this with you Carl, God bless

    4. “And were my head lifted up,[a] you would hunt me like a lion
      and again work wonders against me.
      17 You renew your witnesses against me
      and increase your vexation toward me;
      you bring fresh troops against me.” Job 10

      Carl
      Is God hunting us like a lion, sending fresh troops against us? Was God vexed with Job? Was that why these terrible things were happening? Or, is Job confusing Satan and God?

      I will say God was bringing trials and calamities into Job’s life even as Job testifies to a the beginning of Job 10.

      10 “My soul loathes my life;
      I will [a]give free course to my complaint,
      I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
      2 I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me;
      Show me why You contend with me.
      3 Does it seem good to You that You should oppress,
      That You should despise the work of Your hands,
      And smile on the counsel of the wicked?
      4 Do You have eyes of flesh?
      Or do You see as man sees?
      5 Are Your days like the days of a mortal man?
      Are Your years like the days of a mighty man,
      6 That You should seek for my iniquity
      And search out my sin,
      7 Although You know that I am not wicked,
      And there is no one who can deliver from Your hand?

      8 ‘Your hands have made me and fashioned me,
      An intricate unity;
      Yet You would destroy me.
      9 Remember, I pray, that You have made me like clay.
      And will You turn me into dust again?

      Of course Job was speaking out of great despair, sorrow and pain to God. He was being real and honest to God from his heart when he was praying to God. It was almost more than he could bear.

      Job 42:11 is the Word of God and it says this: “Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold.

      They comforted Job for all the evil the LORD had brought upon him.

      Notice very close to Job 42:11 is verse 7 that God says of Job he had spoken what was right of Him. His theology was correct.

      Job 42:7 – And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.

      Yes it was Satan and not God directly who afflicted Job. But it had to be God’s will or he could have stopped it from even happening.

      Satan even said to God, if you would stretch out your hand, and destroy all that he has Job will curse you to Your Face.

      Did Satan have the theology about God wrong to. No Satan did not. Immediately after Satan said that about the hand of God, God told Satan that all Job has is in your power, only do not touch Job’s person.

      Job was that outstretched hand of God, that brought calamities and trials into Job’s life. Job recognized it was from God. Said the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

      Job says it again in Job 9:12 where you said Job was speaking falsehoods about God

      Job 9:12 – 12 If He takes away, who can hinder Him?
      Who can say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’

      Job I would say in his finite understanding, due to the trials and calamities that God used and brought into his life through Satan, said in his distress, sorrow, suffering and pain. Things that he did not understand about what was happening to Him. He even seems to question God about it. But always acknowledged ultimately it was from the Lord.

      The Lord Gives and the Lord takes away Job said right after his children are murdered and his property are destroyed.

      I ask once again. Did Job only get part of that right, that the Lord only gives blessings and good things. And he got the last part wrong when he says about his children being murdered, The Lord takes away.

      I do not think so, even as the Word of God says in the book of Job that Job spoke what was right of God and not his so-called counseling friends.

      Job 42:11 is the Word of God and it says this: “Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold.

      If you think this is just a one time example of God showing favoritism personally and protecting Job from Satan. Until God gives Job divine permission to touch Job with the Hand of God. I would say you are very much mistaken on that issue.

      If God is not in control of Satan he would have murdered and done the most wicked things you can imagined to everyone who has ever lived, who is living, and ever will live.

      Satan is God’s devil and does His bidding.

      1. Should have read, “Satan was the outstretched hand of God.” and not Job was the outstretched hand of God.”

        Probably more typos since I did not check. I should no better by now. Oh well, I think it can be understood what I am saying even if disagreed with.

        Blessings to all

  28. Well, R, As discussed many, many times in this forum, those verses do not prove that God controls everything.

    When life isn’t all happy clappy, and evil slaps you in the face, and God seems to do nothing, concluding that evil is from God (God controls all things) leads to despair. Calvinistic determinism shipwrecks many people’s faith.

    1. Carl
      Calvinistic determinism shipwrecks many people’s faith.

      br.d
      It certainly seems to be the case now that a number of Calvinists brought in during the peak of the young-restless movement – have moved on – totally rejecting it.

      And moved on to all sorts of things
      Atheism, Catholicism, Greek Orthodoxy, and main-stream Christianity.
      From what I understand – a few of them were considered heavy-hitters in that movement.

      I guess it goes without saying – “easy-come-easy-go” is just as viable in Calvinism – as it is anywhere else

    2. carl, “those verses do not prove that God controls everything. ”

      They show that God is in control of the lives of His elect. The elect are not in despair.

  29. R. Again, as discussed here many times, those verses do not show that God is in control of the lives of His elect. You are mistaken if you believe that.

    1. A Bible teacher stands before the class and asks for a verse that proves Calvin’s god is the meticulous author of every creaturely impulse

      A certain Calvinist who took pride in his ability to dig up proof-texts from scripture – proudly raised his hand

      Teacher:
      Yes John what is your verse that shows Calvin’s god is the meticulous author of every creaturely impulse?

      John
      And Kenan begat Mahalalel, and Mahalalel lived 65 years and begat Jared.

      Teacher
      Very good John!
      This will earn you another “A” in proof-texting! :-]

    2. carl writes, “those verses do not show that God is in control of the lives of His elect.”

      They show that God takes a special interest in His elect so that there is no reason for despair.

      1. rutchin
        They show that God takes a special interest in His elect so that there is no reason for despair.

        br.d

        John Calvin
        -quote
        -He holds it [election] out as a savor of death, and as the occasion for severer condemnation
        – He also causes those whom he illumines only FOR A TIME TO PARTAKE OF IT
        – Then he …..strikes them with even greater blindness
        (Institutes)

        Nothing to despair about that – where can I sign up! :-]

      2. br.d: John Calvin – quote –
        -He holds it [election] out as a savor of death, and as the occasion for severer condemnation
        – He also causes those whom he illumines only FOR A TIME TO PARTAKE OF IT
        – Then he …..strikes them with even greater blindness(Institutes)”

        The Scriptural authors are not as kind as Calvin.

        – “…certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ…these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries…These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude

        – “…there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words;” 2 Peter 2

        – “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” 2 Timothy 5

        – “…the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” 1 Timothy 2

      3. Thanks RH for those scriptures….The big difference between what Calvin says and what the scriptures point out is one minor issue.
        Calvin makes God the Author of the evil
        Scripture makes Man the Author.
        Just a minor issue.

      4. GraceAddict writes, “Calvin makes God the Author of the evil Scripture makes Man the Author.”

        God is the ultimate author of evil because He creates and His creatures do evil. Man is the immediate cause of the evil he does, therefore its author. Nothing happens without God’s consent. Thus, Satan cannot touch Job without God’s consent. Satan cannot deceive Eve and Adam cannot eat the fruit without God’s consent.

      5. rhutchin
        God is the ultimate author of evil because He creates and His creatures do evil. Man is the immediate cause

        br.d
        Calvin’s god determines every PERCEPTION and every IMPULSE
        And determines the *INSTRUMENT* within which that IMPULSE will be actualized.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        Hence they are merely *INSTRUMENTS* into which god constantly *INFUSES* what energy he sees meet, and turns and converts to any purpose at his pleasure.

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

      6. br.d : John Calvin – quote – Hence they are merely *INSTRUMENTS* into which god constantly *INFUSES* what energy he sees meet, and turns and converts to any purpose at his pleasure.
        – quote – Men can deliberately do nothing unless he *INSPIRE* it.
        (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God pg 171–172)

        This is accomplished through the corrupt nature with which each person is born or in believers, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit given to indwell the believer.

        The energy of which Calvin speaks is explained in Acts 17, ‘in God we live and move and have our being.” No one wakes each morning to life except God have decreed it for His purposes. This expressed by Paul in Romans 9, “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”

      7. br.d :
        John Calvin
        – quote
        Hence they are merely *INSTRUMENTS* into which god constantly *INFUSES* what energy he sees meet, and turns and converts to any purpose at his pleasure.

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

        rhutchin
        This is accomplished through the corrupt nature with which each person is born

        br.d
        Sorry that doesn’t work
        The same general nature common to all – does not account for each unique specific human IMPULSE occurring at its unique specific person – at each unique and specific time, and each unique specific location.

        Each IMPULSE is unique to own specific purpose and thus is specifically AUTHORED by Calvin’s god.

        Calvin’s god never takes his hands of the any wheel!