The Transcendent Midas Touch

The standard-bearing Reformed confessions state that “God has decreed whatsoever may come to pass” and yet “God is not the author of evil”. While God ordains all things, including evil desires and actions, He does so without being the author of evil.

I think the danger the Westminster Confession of Faith is trying to avoid is seeing God as morally responsible for evil. Every Christian wants to avoid this danger.

However, the strongest critique rests on the fact that it is axiomatic to observe that a person who decides a moral action is morally responsible for that action. The doctrine “God has decreed whatsoever may come to pass” makes God the ultimate deciding factor for every single human choice. How can God be the ultimate deciding factor for an evil action without being morally responsible for that evil action?

I was recently linked to an article from Westminster Theological Seminary, written by J. Gresham Machen that attempts to answer this question! Let’s see if this legendary Princeton New Testament scholar, founder of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, is able to provide a cogent answer to this Calvinist conundrum.

The Conundrum

Dr. Machen puts the question like this:

This is a fantastic rendering of the question. How does he answer it?

Let’s unpack if this if we can:

  1. There is a difference in how God determines the actions of personal beings and how God determines the events of history.
  2. When God determines what men would do He determines their will rather than goes against their will
  3. Determining their will preserves human freedom.

What this seems to me is a certain kind of special pleading Drew McLeod has named “The Transcendent Midas Touch”. God is so transcendent that not only can He do things we do not understand (which is true), not only can we not fully understand God (which is true), but also that God can turn our rational faculties and moral intuitions upside down and do things utterly contradictory in our eyes. That is, everything God touches turns to gold, even if we think it is evil.

God is so transcendent “freedom” means “your will is determined”.

God is so transcendent that when He determines evil, He does it in a good way.

Do Not Trust Your Lying Eyes

This is the claim Dr. Machen goes on to make:

God is so Other Than that He causes all the evil actions of man (in what way, how frequently, how severely, and in what manner) but that’s still good because God caused it.

God’s Transcendent Midas Touch is able to cause the actions of personal beings while at the same time those personal beings are free and responsible. In other words, God is so transcendent that, when it comes to His actions in the world, direct contradictions are true.

Dr. Machen answers the question at the top of the article by the simple claim that God can cause evil choices while not being morally responsible for evil because He’s God. I would point out that this is a non-sequitur but I suspect those who buy into this special pleading will simply opt God out of non-sequiturs. God is exempt from basic human reason and moral intuition after all.

Whence Our Reason and Moral Intuition?

It is no small observation that, on Reformed theology, our reason and moral intuition that was given to us by God is unable to rightly know what “God is good” means.

If my moral intuition tells me that murder is wrong no matter the time, place, culture, or setting and yet, “God is good” can include the theological claim that “God determined the will of Dennis Rader to murder the Otero family on Jan 15, 1974 by suffocating them with plastic bags” then do I even know what “God is good” means?

If I cannot fathom how God can determine the will of a man to commit such heinous evil in a not-evil way; is that a failure of my imagination or God’s moral intuition He instilled in me? Why would He give me a moral intuition so incapable of understanding Him?

Why would God give me a moral intuition that sees as evil His determinations?

Dr. Machen seems to sense his previous explanations are insufficient because he attempts to change the subject.

Dr. Machen has another special pleading he would like you to believe. He would like you to believe that allowing evil and determining evil are equivalent moral actions and the free will theist has the same problem as the theistic determinist.

Spiritual Solutions for Theological Problems

If you do not see how being the ultimate deciding cause of moral evil and allowing moral evil are morally equivalent…if you still see the theological problems Reformed theology creates by insisting “God decrees whatsoever may come to pass”…Well, Dr. Machen has a solution for you.

Dr. Machen’s solution? Humble yourself and stay quiet. If, after Dr. Machen’s explanation, you’re still wrestling with the problem that is because you pridefully want to know everything.

If this doesn’t make any moral sense, if you’re unable to rest in the contradictions that wills that are determined are also free, that the ultimate deciding factor for an evil act is not morally responsible for that act…well then, according to Dr. Machen, that’s because you’re not trusting God.

I know our readers will see the tactic here. Dr. Machen knows that the only way Reformed theology is inoculated against criticism is if it can overcome the moral intuitions and basic reasoning of Christians. With the goal of getting you to distrust those God-given faculties, Dr. Machen equates them with pride and lack of faithfulness to God.

Let us again read Dr. Machen’s accurate paraphrase of the question and then ourselves paraphrase Dr. Machen’s answers:

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According to Dr. Machen, we meet the difficulty by realizing the difficulty only exists if one is prideful and distrustful of God.

According to Dr. Machen, we are indeed involving ourselves in a hopeless contradiction but this contradiction is true because God is transcendent and we are hopeless in understanding Him.

546 thoughts on “The Transcendent Midas Touch

  1. Great review Eric of Machen’s dancing around the Calvinist dilemma. Determinists always fall back on the terms “allow” or “permission”, but they cannot explain to whom or what is God granting/decreeing such permission before creation for every specific sin after creation. No creature with a will existed before creation besides God, and none were seeking His permission for specific sins they would of necessity commit. And supposedly in agreement with the divine certainty of God’s natural knowledge, they would of necessity commit each sin, and God of necessity would have to hold them accountable.

    Explaining that God was only permitting what His mind (natural knowledge) was locked in and limited to knowing must happen, is like me saying, “I decree to permit the earth to spin another full day.” In determinism, God’s so-called natural knowledge is just another veiled term for “Fate”. God in determinism was powerless to decree other than what His natural knowledge said was necessary.

    1. brianwagner writes, “God in determinism was powerless to decree other than what His natural knowledge said was necessary.”

      Even you know it involves more than that. That which God decrees is according to counsel of His will so that His decree is according to His purpose. God will not decree anything that is contrary to His purpose and this insured by God decreeing according to the counsel of His will. God’s decrees reflect His perfect wisdom and cannot be anything less than perfect wisdom – God is powerless to decree anything that is contrary to His purpose or that reflects less than His perfect wisdom..

      1. Calvinist – “God is powerless to decree anything that is contrary to His purpose or that reflects less than His perfect wisdom.”

        The Calvinist has a hard time seeing his man-made definitions for “divine purpose” and “divine perfect wisdom” are the same as the pagan philosophy definition of “Fate”. If only he’d try harder to make his definitions for God’s omniscience fit with the Scripture, God’s own Word!

      2. brianwagner writes, ” If only he’d try harder to make his definitions for God’s omniscience fit with the Scripture, God’s own Word!”

        God’s omniscience is not the issue here. God’s omniscience does not give rise to His decrees – rather, it is God’s purpose that gives rise to His decrees and His purpose will conform to His perfect wisdom.

      3. rhutchin
        God’s omniscience is not the issue here. God’s omniscience does not give rise to His decrees – rather, it is God’s purpose that gives rise to His decrees and His purpose will conform to His perfect wisdom.

        br.d
        Calvinism’s reputation of knowing divine things

        GNOSTICISM: A system in which persons have gnostikoi
        Knowledge of divine things is reserved for the “elect” ones.

        They even know the intimate thoughts of god when he cuts the cheese! :-]

      4. br.d writes, “Calvinism’s reputation of knowing divine things”

        We know what the Scriptures tell us,
        – “God works all things according to the counsel of His will,”
        – “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,’
        – “having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,”

      5. br.d
        “Calvinism’s reputation of knowing divine things”

        rhutchin
        We know what the Scriptures tell us,

        br.d
        Oh REALLY?

        Lets find out- by what process your brain “knows” things

        Answer the following MATH question:

        Out of all of the PERCEPTIONS which currently exist in your brain right now – what percentage of them are FALSE PERCEPTIONS?

        Does Calvin’s god permit you to “know” that?

      6. Give him a bit of time Br.d, he needs to flip a coin for that one! If it lands on “heads,” BINGO! his perceptions are true; and if it lands on “tails,” BINGO! his perceptions are true! That’s how they come up with a verse for each letter in TULIP, not that anyone has ever seen Rh do that of course.

      7. A very good point, br.d. At any given time, many ‘beliefs’ we have are likely somewhat inaccurate, or even dead wrong. We may believe all of the mythology that was taught to us as children in the name of ‘history’ or ‘science’, only to discover, someday, that much of it was inaccurate or even pure fiction.

        What if Satan is not, as per Calvinism, God’s henchman doing the dirty work of fomenting evil so God can have the ‘glory’ of rescuing us from it? What if he is actually, as per scripture, the Father of Lies? Guess what he would have been doing over the centuries? Even in ‘Religion’ or ‘The Church’? That’s right – perpetrating lies.

        It is a terrifying thing for many people to come to the realization that everything they have been taught as ‘Truth’ just might not be so. So terrifying that many refuse to consider it. If ‘History’ proclaims it, it must have happened. Too bad that so many historical claims have been proven unarguably false. If ‘Science’ declares it, it must be true. Too bad that so many theories have been eventually disproven, or that, by definition, science can never be ‘proven’ or unquestionable.

        Even more frightening for many people is the idea of questioning their treasured religious beliefs. They ignore the fact that countless versions of religious ‘truth’ exist, depending upon what country, family or denomination a person resides within. We might all, were we wise, spit out with Pontius Pilate, ‘What is Truth?’ Even wiser, we would believe the One who said, “For this reason I was born and have come into the world, to testify to the truth.”

        There is only One who was ever wholly faithful to the Truth. Would he testify to the stories we believe about Columbus, George Washington or the cause and purpose of the wars that have been waged in the name of ‘freedom’? Would he affirm Science’s claims about evolution or black holes? Would he testify to Calvins’s claims that God only desired to save a select few, and no others?

        Personally, I have my doubts concerning all of these truth claims. I put my unreserved faith only in that to which Jesus testified – which is the reality, power and goodness of God. In these things I can trust. All other claims of men and institutions, I reserve my right to doubt.

      8. TSOO
        Personally, I have my doubts concerning all of these truth claims. I put my unreserved faith only in that to which Jesus testified – which is the reality, power and goodness of God. In these things I can trust. All other claims of men and institutions, I reserve my right to doubt.

        br.d
        Yes I agree TSOO
        And I think most Calvinist’s perceive themselves as doing the same.

        The fact that their belief system is so internally horrifying to them – and so irrational to everyone else – eventually makes every word that comes out of the mouth – DOUBLE-SPEAK.

        There but for the grace of God go I!!!

      9. And yet, there is no excuse! God demands truth in the inner man- He says:

        Psalms 15:2
        LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
        Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
        He who walks uprightly,
        And works righteousness,
        And speaks the truth in his heart;

        If we are to find and speak the truth, we’ve got to be brutally honest with ourselves and seek for truth in the innermost being; for “.. the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man” (Mat. 15:18). No doubt, it is a terrifying thing for us to come to the realization that everything we’ve been taught, and believe in as “truth,” just might not be so. But it is an even more terrifying thing, if, having chosen all our lives to suppress it, we, “fall into the hands of the living God.”

        I don’t go for denominationalism in so-called Christendom, because it is divisive, and it’s sinful! Paul exposed a major problem that was occurring at Corinth. The Corinthians, with their party spirit, were placing certain preachers above Christ. For a Christian to call himself after anyone other than Christ is sinful. The denominational names of today are no less barriers to the unity of the body of Christ than they were in Paul’s day! But what’s even worse, is that most don’t even teach the truth of how one gets into Christ! Now, if that is the case, then it is a terrifying truth worth facing more than any other we could imagine. And we should be prepared to do it at any cost – while time is still on our side!

      10. AIDAN: If we are to find and speak the truth, we’ve got to be brutally honest with ourselves and seek for truth in the innermost being;”

        Jesus said that one must abide in Him in order to know the truth. It is not in the innermost being that one finds truth but in Christ.

      11. AIDAN: “If we are to find and speak the truth, we’ve got to be brutally honest with ourselves and seek for truth in the innermost being;”

        RHUTCHIN: “Jesus said that one must abide in Him in order to know the truth. It is not in the innermost being that one finds truth but in Christ.”

        AIDAN: You just love to twist things, don’t you! When one says, “we must seek for truth in the innermost being” he usually means that one must seek to HAVE truth in his heart. As long as a man is not honest with himself and speaks lies in his heart, he will never find the truth. But of course, if you had quoted Jesus correctly you would have said:

        John 8:31-32 NKJV – Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

        QUESTION: If these verses are talking about salvation, was it enough JUST to believe in Him? How would they come to know that truth which would set them free? Would that suggest that there’s more to salvation than just believing?

      12. rhutchin
        Jesus said that one must abide in Him in order to know the truth.

        br.d
        So the BIG question is – does rhutchin know whether or not he is elect?

        According to John Calvin – the highest probability is that – rhutchin is TOTALLY DEPRAVED

        Here it how it works:
        1) According to Calvin’s doctrine – if rhutchin is not elect – then rhutchin is not in him
        2) And if rhutchin is not in him then rhutchin has NO capacity to know the truth
        3) According to Calvin’s doctrine rhutchin is NOT PERMITTED to know whether or not he is elect.
        That is according to the secret counsel

        Therefore Calvin’s god does NOT PERMIT rhutchin to know whether or not he knows the truth.

        Which means rhutchin CANNOT know that he knows the truth of what scripture says

        All rhutchin has – are PERCEPTIONS decreed to infallibly appear in rhutchin’s brain

        Good luck with that rhutchin! :-]

      13. Yes, absolutely true Br.d. And we can also see how Rh loves to twist what you say! But why should we be surprised, for he loves to twist the meaning of words so that he can twist the scriptures to make it teach whatever he wants it to teach! When a man doesn’t love the truth, he will be allowed to believe the lie!

      14. So true Aidan!!
        How is it that God has to use a TWISTED and DISTORTED language – in order to present truth which sets one free?

        Somehow I don’t think so!! :-]

      15. The scriptures say that there’s nothing new under the sun. Calvinism certainly proves this by doing what men have always done. The Pharisees, who were the religious elite in Jesus’ day, did the very same thing. They twisted and distorted the word of God to suit and serve themselves, and then sold it to the people as the will of God. They were very adept at playing around with the language in their proof texts, and putting forward their tradition(creeds of men) as equal to the law of God. No doubt they saw it as an improvement on the word of God, if not superior! Hence, the precepts and commandments of God were made subordinate to their traditions! Most likely, if you were not following their traditions you were a transgressor of the law itself!

        Look at how Catholicism did the very same thing; including the redefining and invention of language to make it more palatable to the masses. Yes, we’ve seen it all before; how men love to exalt themselves via their teachings – and think that they are serving God and keeping His commandments! So the lesson is, ALWAYS examine everything carefully! And you better watch out when your leaders suddenly start seeing things that others don’t. That’s the time to move in and take a closer look – because you just might have a GNOSTIC underneath that coat, trying to pull the wool over your eyes!

      16. Thank you Aidan,
        Can you give a few examples of how Catholicism invents a new language – the way Calvinism does?
        Those are very interesting dots to connect.

        Thanks
        br.d

      17. Hey Br.d, thank you for your interest. Hopefully the following examples are of help. They may or may not be exact parallels, but certainly show the same fundamental principle at work!

        1. This is a biggie! In Matthew 16:18 there are two Greek words (Petros) and (Petra) which they try to tie together as one to mean the same thing! This to justify Peter as the “Rock” upon which Christ would build His church! This of course was all done as an effort to justify their doctrine concerning the succession of Popes, beginning with Peter! These two Greek words have clear and distinct meanings – one is speaking of Peter, while the other is clearly speaking about Christ. This lie has continued to encourage over a billion people to give their allegiance to the pope, and to the Catholic church, believing that it is to heaven and to Christ! Just like Calvinism they tweaked the language in scripture to conform with Catholic teaching and practice.

        2. In Catholicism, what’s taught first and foremost are it’s traditions. These form the ethos, or guiding beliefs of both institution and community alike. And they inform the true understanding of God’s word and God’s will! Only the clergy, God’s special ordained ministers, can teach and help you to properly understand what’s in the bible. They have spiritual insight that we, the laity ( the common man) doesn’t have – the clergy are the interpreters of the law so to speak. We were not really encouraged to read the bible on our own. This is how they were able to control us, and keep us following after their man made traditions, rather than Christ. In the minds of most Catholics “Baptism” is the sprinkling of babies, “Saints” are dead people who have been canonized because THEY were holy, and “Priests” are a specially ordained class within the church, who can forgive sins. And if they were able to brainwash us concerning these simple things, what else have Catholics been brainwashed to believe? Where do I begin? It seems to me, that many of the common people in Calvinist churches have also being brainwashed by their leadership in a similar way! Christ’s authority was usurped, creeds were written and bound on the consciences of men – and the Gnostics took over the asylum.

        3. Colossians 2:8 – “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

      18. Yes thank you Aidan
        I do remember the “Peter” thing.
        But I’m guessing your going to say that Calvinists are about 1000 times more into twisting logic and scripture.

        However, perhaps I think that because I’ve never seen Catholicism trying to infiltrate unwary churches with dishonest tactics.
        And because I do see that with Calvinism – I’ve put much much more time looking under the hood of Calvinism.
        Perhaps if I had more interested in Catholicism, I would see a lot more of what I observe with Calvinism.

      19. BR.D: “I do remember the “Peter” thing.
        But I’m guessing your going to say that Calvinists are about 1000 times more into twisting logic and scripture.”

        AIDAN: Yes, I agree that Calvinism has to be more crafty when it comes to twisting logic and scripture. It’s death by a 1000 cuts, like twisting words like *all* and *faith* and creating a library of words with double meanings! In Catholicism people don’t open and use the bible, therefore the common man is very ignorant in that sense. Twisting the word “stone” which is what Peter’s name means, into the mass “rock” foundation upon which the church was to be built – becomes a seismic shift for many to follow Peter and his successors. But I believe this deception came after the hierarchical and organisational structures had already been corrupted. I’m guessing that in Calvinist churches everybody brings a bible, and are taught and encouraged to study their bible. It’s harder to fool the people when it’s supposedly Sola Scriptura!

        What’s the real hierarchical structure in Calvinism? Is it their synods and general assemblies with their confessions and theologians running the show from the top down? Because the common man in Calvinism doesn’t just happen to get what he gets from following Sola Scriptura! Therefore what Catholicism and Calvinism have in common is a man-made system with its own rules and language! The great deception in all man-made systems is in convincing people that they are not serving man – but God. This is how they ALL manage to pull the wool over peoples eyes. And Catholicism has been fooling people a lot longer than Calvinism has. It now has its own system and language of the papacy and priesthood, purgatory, sacraments, penance, confirmation (where one receives the Holy Spirit), holy eucharist, the sacrifice of the mass, extreme unction, etc.. – even as far as allowing the worshiping of images, praying to Mary, the saints and the angels! Once people allow themselves to put their trust in men as to Christ and His word – then you can get them to believe and do anything! And that’s precisely what has happened!

      20. This tends to be the effect of all organized, hierarchical religion. When people are persuaded to grant ‘authority’ to mere men to dictate their beliefs and actions, they are ripe for manipulation and abuse. Who gave these mere men the right to dictate what a verse means, or the doctrines upon which one builds one’s faith in God and his promises? It is a frightful thing that organized religion has done, claiming for themselves that which belongs to God and the individual. It is this concept of Church Authority that leads people into the error of turning off their minds and believing whatever they are told.So, if you wind up in a Calvinist church, you buy the Calvinist package, a Catholic embraces the Catholic version, etc. Few ever challenge the proclamations and interpretations that are handed down from on high. Berean responsibility and individuality is not encouraged in most institutional churches.

      21. I like the terminology you have used, such as, “organized, hierarchical religion” – “mere men to dictate their beliefs” – “Church Authority” – “institutional churches”. It is not intended to describe the Church that Jesus built, but rather, the man-made hierarchical systems and Institutions that have been built by men.

        The term ‘church’ is often misunderstood by many. Some think of a building; some of a hierarchy or bureaucracy; some of people; etc. The word ‘church’ is used in four senses in the New Testament. First, it is used in the general or ‘universal’ sense to designate all the saved (Mt. 16:18; Eph 4:4). Secondly, it is also used of a ‘local’ church to designate the saved who work and worship together in a specific locality (Mt. 18:15-18; 1 Cor 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1). Third, it is used of an ‘assembly’ of saints for worship (1 Cor. 11:18; 14:4, 5, 28, etc). And fourth, it is used in the ‘distributive’ sense (Acts 5:11; 8:1,3; 9:31).

        Some have the misconception that the church universal is composed of all of the local churches. This is not correct – the church universal is composed of all saved individuals! It might surprise people to know that the term church is NOT used of a group larger or smaller than the local church in any ‘organized’ sense. There is no collective term in the New Testament to describe a confederation of churches. Organizational arrangements which link together churches into a functional unit were not part of the early church. Technically, the church does not have a name as such! The word ‘church’ is a descriptive term. Other descriptive terms include body, bride, kingdom, house (family) and temple. The church of the New Testament is never designated by human names.

        So when you see an organizational structure that is larger or smaller than the local church, or any form of organization that links churches together into a single functional unit, with human names attached to the church – know that it is NOT the church of the New Testament. It is certainly a human organization created to have its own hierarchical system and name. But, it is not the church of the New Testament, it is not the church which Jesus built!

      22. br.d
        Yes – very interesting!
        You asked “What’s the real What’s the real hierarchical structure in Calvinism? structure in Calvinism?”

        That is a very interesting question.

        I think the hierarchical structure in Calvinism – is found in its social structure of respected persons.
        Augustine is a respected person.
        Calvin of course is a respected person.
        John MacArthur is a respected person
        John Piper is a respected person
        R.C. Sproul – even though dead – is a respected person.

        I think what makes all of these people respected persons – is the power of sophism.
        They are very skilled at manufacturing a MASK of benevolence over the face of Calvinism.

        I see Calvinists like RH driven by a secret yearning to be a respected person within the Calvinist social structure.
        In order to do that – he has to follow the pattern and hone his skills in the deployment of sophist language tricks.
        Power equates to the ability to invent sophisticated MASKS designed to make Calvinism appear acceptable..

        Deep down inside, he may not even care anything at all about the doctrine.
        The doctrine may actually have no more value to a Calvinist – than that it provides an environment in which a he seeks to attain status within a human social structure.

      23. That’s an interesting analogy Br.d, because I was wondering how they had such a broad unity in doctrine if most of the churches are independent. It did seem to me that their favorite theologians have some part to play in this, but when I was looking this up, it seems like there could be a mix between Presbyterian and Congregational polity in Calvinism. The following piece is quoted from what is called ‘True Covenanter’ on “What is Calvinism”:

        quote:
        “Instead of an hierarchy of priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and pope, the true Christian Church endeavors to preserve the ancient form of Church government taught in the Bible with officers of teaching and ruling elders or “presbyters,” none of which are to exercise dominion over the others (Matt. 20.25-26). Individual congregations are interrelated as local presbyteries, regional synods, and national general assemblies so that the Church is united in the true bonds of faith, practice, and purpose, as opposed to the false unity that is found in the world among unbelievers.”

        This governance here seems to be more of a Presbyterian polity which seems to exercise some form of control over matters of doctrine and the unity of the faith?

      24. It is a benevolent dictatorship. They love to throw around their terms, like ‘presbyter’ and ‘elders’ and all of their jargon that pretends to preserve individuality, when, in reality, none dare challenge the official orthodoxy. I saw through the nonsense when my pastor stood up and said, ‘When I speak from the pulpit, I speak for God.’ Hows that for inviting discussion or Berean individuality?

      25. Wow! Do you think he meant that he was infallible, and don’t challenge what I pronounce as gospel? But in a sense he’s right, in that the preacher, or evangelist, is supposed to teach only the word of God. Peter said if any man speaks let him speak as the oracles of God (1 Pt. 4:11). Paul told Timothy, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2). That way people can examine it – to see if these things are so! The preacher has a heavy responsibility to be very careful that he is preaching the word of God – for which he will be held accountable. If it was me, I’d be glad that someone took me aside to point out where I went wrong.

      26. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Another couple, I found out years later, challenged him and was told that they had no right to disagree with him on anything he taught, even though the husband was an elder. Needless to say, that family left the church. I wish that I had asked the same question, rather than assuming he could surely not mean what it sounded like he meant. He did.

      27. I suppose you were a bit stunned at the time. You probably had other factors to consider which prevented you from pushing it any further. But I’ve seen this attitude before, both from members and teachers; they mostly ended up worshiping on their own! But, sometimes it’s a longstanding preacher who becomes a bit of a Diotrephes – that’s not an easy situation to have to deal with. The church needs someone who is there because he loves the brethren, and does faithfully whatever he does for the brethren and for others too – and not so much for himself! There are some good men out there; I believe we have one where I am. But unfortunately there are still many like Diotrephes today – who are just in it for themselves! It was because men loved to have the preeminence and power that there was a corrupting influence on the organization of the early church. Which is how we ended up with the Catholic Church and its hierarchical system. I wonder how many other churches there are today who have followed suit?

        By the way, I’m sorry you had to go through such a painful experience – but I think it would have destroyed you if you hadn’t left! Thankfully, you did leave, and now can use that knowledge and experience in Calvinism to help others who need it too.

      28. Yes- from my understanding – the presbyterian churches derive their name from the word “presbyterian” which they understand as a form of by a representative assemblies of elders

        But did you notice a little slight problem with the language of that statement you quoted.

        The language calls certain persons “officers” within the church
        And then later it says – those officers are not to “exercise dominion over” the others.
        That word “dominion” comes from the Greek word “Kurious” which means Lord.

        And then the quote references Jesus’ command in Matthew 20:25
        The word Jesus uses here is “katakyrieuousin” which is the compound words “Kata” and “Kurious”
        Kata is a Greek preposition – from which we get our word “Cata-strophe”
        The preposition “Kata” means to push or force downwards.
        And the word “strophe” is the Greek word for earth.
        So “Catastrophe” would be a force that pushes earth downwards.

        In Acts 19:16 we have a very similar word “katakyrieusas”
        This is the word Luke used to describe the man with a demon spirit who attacked the 7 sons of Sceva
        He attached them – forcing them downwards.

        So the Greek reader understood Jesus to say that followers of Christ are not to sub-ordinate one another.

        The question is – did the church obey that command?

        Jesus says – to not to follow the model of the “Gentiles”.
        What “Gentiles” was Jesus referring too?
        The only “Gentiles” in Jesus’ day who exercised authority were Romans

        So Jesus is commanding the Apostles to not follow the Roman model of governance.
        That form of government spoken about by the Roman centurion – in Matthew 8:9
        “I myself am a man under authority, with men who are under my authority”

        So did the church of Rome obey Jesus’ command?
        Obviously not – because the church of Rome is called the church of Rome because it incorporated the Roman form of governance.

        So the whole process of setting people up as “officers” in the church – is in fact following that model.

        Now – you will notice something else in the NT if you become familiar with reading it the original language.
        The Greek word diakonia (Servant) is translated differently when it refers to women – then when it refers to men.

        You will notice English translators will have Paul saying “I magnify my office”
        What he is actually says in the Greek language is “I magnify my servantship”

        The same Greek word when used in reference to women in the church – is translated “Service” rather than “office”.

        When the church of England severed itself from the church of Rome – it separated itself from a few doctrines.
        But it retained the Roman model of government.

        We often see politicians who publicly declare themselves the “servant” of the people.
        But we eventually discover the only one he is serving is himself.

        A man can call himself a “servant” and not really be one.
        So a man can call himself an “Elder” when for all intents and purposes he functions as “Bishop” or a “Cardinal”

        Consequently – there is a whole lot of “exercising dominion” over others – throughout Catholic and Protestant history.

      29. BR.D: “When the church of England severed itself from the church of Rome – it separated itself from a few doctrines.
        But it retained the Roman model of government.

        We often see politicians who publicly declare themselves the “servant” of the people.
        But we eventually discover the only one he is serving is himself.

        A man can call himself a “servant” and not really be one.
        So a man can call himself an “Elder” when for all intents and purposes he functions as “Bishop” or a “Cardinal”

        Consequently – there is a whole lot of “exercising dominion” over others – throughout Catholic and Protestant history.”

        AIDAN: This is a fascinating conversation, and you’ve made a very important point throughout, which ultimately may have to do with people’s souls, which is why I appreciate it.

        The organization of the early church was simple. Each church had ‘overseers’ who were selected from among the local church to provide spiritual oversight of the congregation. Each church had two or more overseers whose supervision was limited to that particular local church. These overseers were older men called ‘elders’. Because their work was like that of a shepherd with a flock, they were also called ‘shepherds’ or ‘pastors’.

        We often speak of this group of men within a local church as the ‘eldership’. The idea is expressed in the Greek word ‘presbuterion’ in 1 Timothy 4:14 (presbytery, NASB). The term refers to the “group of elders”. But when speaking of their work, the term ‘overseer’ is a better term to use.

        Many English translations, especially the older ones, use the term ‘bishop’ instead of ‘overseer’. It seems that in the 16th century, when many English translations were being made, the bishop was seen as an overseer of MANY churches, like a bishop of the Catholic Church, or the Church of England! This was certainly NOT the way it was in the early church, and the term ‘bishop’ still conveys an incorrect concept to the modern mind! This speaks to your point above, about the model of governance in churches today.

        The biblical term ‘pastor’ is also misused today! In the New Testament the term ‘pastor’ is used only of the ‘overseers or elders’ (Eph. 4:11; cf. 1 Pet. 5:2; Acts 20:28). But this term is misused today in denominational churches of an individual who not only looks out for the spiritual welfare of the group, but also serves as administrator of the church. Then came titles like ‘Reverend, Father, and Clergyman’ which created artificial class distinctions that were unknown in the New Testament.

        The terms overseer(bishop), elder and pastor, which all speak of the same person, are not honorary titles, but are descriptions of the dignity and function of the men who are so designated.

        Elder – describes the dignity and maturity of the man
        Overseer – describes the superintendence or guardianship of the worker.
        Shepherd or pastor (feed and tend, in verb form) – describes the care given to those who are their charge.

        So the ‘overseer or bishop’ does have specific duties, namely to – FEED, TEND, SHEPHERD ( Acts 20:28-30; 1 Pet. 5:2). But also to – WATCH (Acts 20:29-31; Heb. 13:17). And to – RULE (Heb. 13:17; 1 Thess. 5:12; 1 Tim. 3:4,5,12; 5:17).

        Yet, to your point, elders are not to “lord it over” that which has been allotted to them (1 Peter 5:3). The RSV has- “not as domineering over those in your charge..” PHILLIPS- “You should aim not at being “little tin gods” AMPLIFIED – “Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge,..”

        There is to be no preeminence, no hierarchy, and no arbitrary imperial rule among the overseers. Overseers, and all other workers in the kingdom of God, may learn about the proper exercise of their role from the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 20:25-28.

        And the highest function which God has given to man in the church today, is that a man should be one among several ‘overseers(bishops)’ in a single autonomous congregation – and that’s as far as it should go! Anything beyond that is a corruption to the original pattern of the New Testament Church, built and established by our Lord – in the first century! And I suppose that building process is still going on – but only with those who are holding fast to His original pattern or plan!

      30. If I remember correctly – it was Ignatius of Antioch who first argued that the church should abandon the system of governance established by the original Apostolic ministry. This decision was driven by fear that God would not be able to sustain the church as a coherent body of believers without a man-made Roman hierarchical government.

        You may remember in Acts where the Apostles say “It seems good to us and to the Holy Spirit that……..”

        The original Apostles apparently had a very high confidence in their ability to understand the mind of the Holy Spirit.
        The same confidence that Adam and Eve would have had prior to their fall.

        Apparently, that relationship became compromised and the confidence in understanding the mind of the Holy Spirit was lost.
        So I suspect that is where the church fell.

        And we understand what would evolve in its place – would be what Paul would call – a “Principality and Power”
        And that is how we see the Catholic church massacring whole villages of Christians – in order to bring them under submission.

        The Catholic Pope is “Pontifex Maximus” which originated from Babylon – and can be seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue of four Metals. Some Bible readers believe this is referenced to in Revelations “Babylon the great has fallen”.

        There have been a number of movements in history where Christians tried to re-establish what they conceived of as the original church system of governance, with people functioning as Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers.

        Most of the them have degraded into distorted abusive systems where in some cases whole families are destroyed, and children are sexually abused etc. The shepherding movement of the 1970s is an example.

        And we know that Calvinists totally justify abject dishonest means in the acquisition of church properties.
        So the church – in its fallen condition – continues.

      31. BR.D: “This decision was driven by fear that God would not be able to sustain the church as a coherent body of believers without a man-made Roman hierarchical government.”

        AIDAN: Excellent point br.d. Man always seems to think that he can improve on the way God has said to do things! The Catholic Church had an embryonic beginning. The early church departed from the simplicity of a congregational form of government, guided by the New Testament as the only Rule of Faith and Practice, and permitted more and more authority to be vested in the bishops of the various churches. By the middle of the second century the church was well on its way to being united under the authority of the bishops, who gradually came to be regarded as successors to the apostles.

        In opposition to the heresies creeping in, the church came to be called the “catholic” or “universal” church. The adoption of a creed as the rule of faith and practice in the third century, put forth the bud of the union of church and state under Constantine; and the writing of the Nicene Creed in 325 brought forth the flower. The setting up of a “papa” or “pope” as the ecclesiastical head of the church, culminating in the doctrine of his infallibility in 1870, produced the fruit as manifested in the Catholic Church of today.

        I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, “When the church of England severed itself from the church of Rome – it separated itself from a few doctrines. But it retained the Roman model of government.”

        It seems like it has gone on to infect the whole denominational world!

        Consequently – there is a whole lot of “lording it over others” – in denominational churches today.

        I could say, ‘Let’s get back to the simplicity of the New Testament Christianity that is found in scripture!’ But I know that there are too many “lords” out there who would vehemently oppose it!

      32. I totally agree Aidan,

        But I do wonder if its possible for the church to ever get back to the state of pristine relationship with God as the early church had.
        The original Apostles had the opportunity of spending 3 years of their life walking, talking, and sleeping with Jesus.
        What a life changing experience that would be!!

        Even then – Peter becomes compromised – and must be corrected by Paul.

        You may also note in Acts where it says there were those from the previous Jewish system of authority (scribes pharisees etc) who became believers. These were the ones who rose up and demanded the Gentiles follow the three primary Jewish identity markers of that day – (1) Law keeping (2) Sabbath keeping (3) Food prohibitions.

        It is my assumption that these men were “respected persons” within the Jewish community prior to Jesus.
        And it is natural for the flesh to crave power – and not want to give it up – when that is what one is used to.

        So in my mind – that became the first challenge to threatened the church and make it fall from its pristine condition.

        We then have a continued conflict between Jews and Gentiles permeating secular society.
        The Jews in Rome were eventually accused of various crimes and evicted for a time.

        During that time – believers in Rome are gentiles – carrying on with meetings house to house etc.
        Incredibly enough – these Gentiles build up an animosity towards Jewish believers because of the previous conflicts.
        This then becomes the precursor to antisemitism we find within Catholicism

        Although the Catholic church doesn’t speak about it today – it is still inherently antisemitic.

      33. BR.D: “But I do wonder if its possible for the church to ever get back to the state of pristine relationship with God as the early church had.”

        AIDAN: Perhaps you had something else in mind, but the only way I see the church maintain its relationship with God, is by faithfully continuing in the word like the early church did. What makes this possible is that Jesus has called us to do so (John 8:31-32; Mt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:42). And those who remained faithful were commended and encouraged to continue to do so.

        To the church at Phillipi, Paul wrote;
        12 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12,13).

        This is the church that keeps its relationship with God – just like the early church did. And perhaps that becomes a faithful remnant at some point. In that case, the faithful remnant – whoever they are – are His faithful church!

      34. I certainly see the scripture as top – on the list of the most precious gifts to mankind.
        But the early Apostles only had the O.T.

        Paul – of course was a scholar of the O.T. while the primary Apostles were un-schooled men.
        They did have knowledge of the OT of course – because we see references to it throughout the N.T.

        But they had something more than the scriptures to live by.
        They had a way of obtaining the mind of the Holy Spirit.
        And they made decisions – with a confidence that those decisions were in concert with the Holy Spirit.
        At least that is what appears to be indicated in Acts.

        Perhaps they were simply operating according to their best judgment and then simply called that the “mind of the spirit”
        But something in me is hesitant to assume that.

      35. BR.D: “The early Apostles… they made decisions – with a confidence that those decisions were in concert with the Holy Spirit.
        At least that is what appears to be indicated in Acts.”

        AIDAN: Absolutely! Having received the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, they spoke by the Holy Spirit. In fact, every time they taught the people, they spoke by the Holy Spirit. Some people think that a prophet only tells the future, but this is a very limited understanding of what a prophet is.The apostles and prophets were ‘inspired’ men who spoke and wrote the Word of God. Here’s how Peter said inspiration worked:

        2 Pt. 1:21 “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

        Vine says: “to bear, carry,” is rendered “being moved” in 2Pe 1:21, signifying that they were “borne along,” or impelled, by the Holy Spirit’s power, not acting according to their own wills, or simply expressing their own thoughts, but expressing the mind of God in words provided and ministered by Him.”

        Paul also affirms the same:

        1 Cor 2:6,7,13; “However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,.. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

        This whole section is a good section to read. Having considered how the Holy Spirit was the ‘source’ of the ideas (v.10), the apostle relates how the Holy Spirit also participated in the expression of these ideas. Both the thoughts and the words originated from the Holy Spirit. In verse 13, the contrast is not between the manner in which the world was instructed, because ‘didaktos’ is used in both cases; the contrast is between the ‘origin’ – man and the Spirit! In other words, the method used by the apostles and prophets to communicate God’s revelation was not taught to them by men, but by the Holy Spirit; it’s source was divine not human.

        Both the language and the content were inspired. I am reminded of the promise Jesus made to the apostles as He sent them on the limited commission. He said, “You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Mt. 10:18-20). Paul asserted that he had exactly what Jesus promised to give.

        Ephesians 3:1-5
        “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:”

        I hope this helps.

      36. Br.D. – Augustine and Calvin are not respected persons to me! Their lack of spiritual discernment of true Christian brothers for whom they then advocated scourging, fines, imprisonment, exile, and sometimes even death just because their sacramental neo-platonist theology was rejected is just plain evil.

      37. Totally agreed!
        Sorry if I wasn’t precise in my language
        What I meant was – they are respected persons within the Calvinist social structure.

      38. Hi br.d.
        In the context of our conversation, it was quite clear what you were saying.👌

      39. I agree, Brian. I honestly think if most Calvinists, even Protestants as a whole, realized the true history of their forefathers they would think much more carefully about unquestioningly embracing the traditions and ‘Orthodoxy’ established by men who were cruel and murderous. Too many, including at one time myself, are completely ignorant of the Protestant Church’s history. Many, who have read Foxe’s Book of the Martyrs, condemn the Catholic Church, with no idea that the Protestant Reformers were guilty of many of the same crimes against innocent believers who refused to bow to their theological tyranny. Calvin was a tyrant and a murderer. His actions suggest he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, thus it is no surprise that his teachings are so contrary to scripture and bring such dishonor to the name of God.

      40. TSOO
        Many, who have read Foxe’s Book of the Martyrs, condemn the Catholic Church, with no idea that the Protestant Reformers

        br.d
        If I remember – John Fox was considered a writer for the reformed – within the puritan stream.
        So it makes sense that he would omit atrocities committed by reformed groups.

      41. Exactly TS00… How could anyone believe Calvin had the discernment of the Spirit for correct doctrine when they know how he treated those who disagreed with him, even those who were true believers?

        Calvin clearly and harmfully taught:
        1. that heretics “ought to be punished with confiscation, exile, imprisonment, and flames”,
        2. that “whoever shall now contend that it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death will knowingly and willingly incur their very guilt”, and
        3. that Christ’s command concerning tares planted by the evil one in Matt 13:30, “Let both grow together until the harvest” – didn’t mean “to take from the Church the power of the sword.”

        Calvin even spoke approvingly that specific “papers and books… made to impugn [his] doctrine touching predestination, have been condemned with a prohibition to publish them on pain of death”.

        This man was therefore not qualified to lead in any pastoral capacity in Christianity because of such harmful unbiblical teaching.

      42. Thank you for these quotes Brian
        I’d like to add these quotes to my record set of quotes.
        What writing of Calvin’s can I find them?

      43. BrD… Calvin wanted heretics dead… even spoke approvingly of death for those who published things against his doctrine of predestination. Hmmmm. Not very Christlike!

        Calvin – statements pro capital punishment for heresy.

        In his Prefatory Address to the Institutes –
        “For I fear not to declare, that what I have here given may be regarded as a summary of the very doctrine which, they [the heretics] vociferate, ought to be punished with confiscation, exile, imprisonment, and flames, as well as exterminated by land and sea.”

        In Schaff’s Church History, vol VIII, para 157 – from Calvin’s Treatise Against Servetus –
        “Whoever shall now contend that it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death will knowingly and willingly incur their very guilt. This is not laid down on human authority; it is God who speaks and prescribes a perpetual rule for his Church.”

        In his commentary on Christ’s command in Matt 13:30, “Let both grow together until the harvest” –
        “This passage has been most improperly abused by the Anabaptists, and by others like them, to take from the Church the power of the sword. But it is easy to refute them; …. I shall satisfy myself with replying, that Christ does not now speak of the office of pastors or of magistrates, but removes the offense which is apt to disturb weak minds, when they perceive that the Church is composed not only of the elect, but of the polluted dregs of society.”

        In his Letter 389 –
        “…papers and books of his Castalion [a heretic], in which an attempt was made to impugn our doctrine touching predestination, have been condemned with a prohibition to publish them on pain of death.”

      44. TSOO: “Many, who have read Foxe’s Book of the Martyrs, condemn the Catholic Church, with no idea that the Protestant Reformers were guilty of many of the same crimes against innocent believers who refused to bow to their theological tyranny.”

        AIDAN: This is so true; there were a lot of evil things done by our ancestors on all sides of the religious divide! And what’s crazy is that both sides did it in the name of God! I think we somehow imagine that if we had a lived back then, we would never have done any of the things our ancestors did! We all know how easy it is to criticize others until we walked a minute in their shoes and saw that we were just as flawed as they were. If we had lived back in times of slavery, would we have been so much better than they? This generation seems to think so! I grew up watching the troubles in Northern Ireland; and saw just how quickly ordinary decent human beings could descend into hatred and violence, each side convinced that God and right was on their side! If I had lived on those streets, would I have been any better than they? Those who live on the outside in this generation, always tend to think that they would have acted differently!

        29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.

        When reading this I used to think, ‘this is the Pharisees He’s talking to, I’m glad that I’m not like them’! Then I’d think, ‘maybe Jesus was being a little harsh here’. Why was He condemning them for something their ancestors did? But then you read the next few verses and realize, that when push came to shove, they did very same thing their fathers did, and worse! But it wasn’t just them; that whole generation did it – with God on their side, or so they convinced themselves!

        34 “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.”

        Our present generation always seems to think that it is better than the generations who came before it! We always tend to think that we are so much more enlightened now; certainly much more educated than they were. But this life isn’t over yet, we still may have a ways to go! Anything can happen on the turn of a penny. We don’t know what’s around the corner – or what tests may be coming our way! For all we know, the whole world could be turned upside down, and we could all be eating out of dustbins in tomorrows world! It was during the siege of Jerusalem, that starving people were known to have eaten their own children. Did they ever imagine that they could do such a thing? The reality is, we are just as flawed as our fathers were, and just as capable of doing some of the horrible things they did, if not worse! Therefore, when all is said and done, and this generation has passed away, what will the history books say? What will future generations say about us? Will they be any better? The next generation always seems to think so!

      45. AIDAN: “QUESTION: If these verses are talking about salvation, was it enough JUST to believe in Him? How would they come to know that truth which would set them free? Would that suggest that there’s more to salvation than just believing?”

        As Jesus was speaking to “those Jews who believed Him,” so Jesus was not talking about salvation – He was instructing those who already believed and therefore would already have faith. In the same vein, Paul wrote, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The “acceptable and perfect will of God,” is the ;truth of which Jesus spoke.

        Then, Jesus said to those who believed Him, “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.” WOW! So, the bottom line, “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

      46. RHUTCHIN: “As Jesus was speaking to “those Jews who believed Him,” so Jesus was not talking about salvation – He was instructing those who already believed and therefore would already have faith.”

        AIDAN: WOW! What a contradiction your Calvinism is with this passage of scripture!

        First of all, in terms of Calvinism these men were already saved, because, as you have just acknowledged, they, – “already believed and therefore would already have faith.” HENCE, they are free and are no longer slaves of sin – they have been made free from sin ( as per Calvinism).

        But this scripture affirms that they were not free, even though they had already believed in Him! It says, “As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. “And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:30-36).

        Note: They believed in Him, they have faith, yet are STILL in their sin; they are STILL slaves to sin! This passage is proof positive that faith alone cannot save!

      47. AIDAN: “Note: They believed in Him, they have faith, yet are STILL in their sin; they are STILL slaves to sin! This passage is proof positive that faith alone cannot save!”

        No. This passage is proof positive that people who are saved still sin. What did Jesus say? “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” This is why Paul exhorts believers, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,”

        Paul writes in Romans 3, “there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.” In Romans 8, Paul writes, “Moreover whom God predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” God justifies a person by faith and then glorifies that person.

      48. AIDAN: “Note: They believed in Him, they have faith, yet are STILL in their sin; they are STILL slaves to sin! This passage is proof positive that faith alone cannot save!”

        RHUTCHIN: “No. This passage is proof positive that people who are saved still sin. What did Jesus say? “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

        AIDAN: No, but you forget that this passage says that they were still “slaves of sin”. They are still slaves of sin because they are still under the law. And, they are still slaves of sin, because Jesus has not yet died and risen again, therefore, there has been NO SACRIFICE made for sin yet! Only when one has DIED with Christ, in baptism, are they made free from the slavery of sin! Note the following, where Paul had been talking about what occurred in their baptism:

        Romans 6: 5-8, 14, 20, 22; 7:1,4.
        5 “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,”

        14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

        20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

        22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

        7 “Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead,.”

        That’s how the truth made them free – which of course they would need to continue in, if they were to be true disciples!

      49. In the Gnostic system of belief – people are sometimes said to be born into one of two fields.
        The elect are born into a field of salvation
        The non-elect are born into a field of damnation.

        So in the Gnostic Christian’s interpretation of Jesus’ discourse with these Jews – any of them who showed signs of believing – would be showing indicators of the destiny which they were designed them for.

        For the Calvinist then – when a person APPEARS to believe – that serves as a possible indicator of that one’s eternal destiny.

        However, Calvin insists that Calvin’s god -quote “Illumines some for a time to partake of it – and then forsakes them – and strikes them with greater blindness”.

        As the scripture says – “Man looketh upon the outward appearance”
        And this is what Calvinists do.
        They look for indicators of each others destiny – the same way people read tea leaves.

        However those indicators may actually be signs that Calvin’s god is manipulating people with FALSE PERCEPTIONS of salvation. He gives them a taste of salvation – in order to magnify their torment in the lake of fire.

      50. While all the time completely ignoring what these passages mean. This must be what Isaiah meant when he said, ‘they have closed their eyes’.

      51. Yes!
        Eyes they have – but they see not.
        Ears they have – but they hear not
        And those who worship them – become like unto them.

        In other words – we become what we worship.

        Calvin’s god deceives people with words.
        He leads Adam to believe he does not want Adam to sin
        He leads Adam to believe that Adam is the author of his own choices

        Ditto for the rest of humanity.

        Those who worship such a deity *WILL* become like unto him.
        That is why we see the Calvinist – using words designed to mislead.

      52. BR.D: “In other words – we become what we worship.”

        AIDAN: I see what you mean. The false gods that were set up by the people were always so flawed and corrupt, just exactly like we are! This was because they were exactly what man had concocted in his own imagination. It is probably not so much that we become what we worship, but rather that what we set up to worship, is already an image of ourselves with all our failings and petty, fleshly characteristics! This is how we know that Calvin’s god is a false god – by looking at the tree and its fleshly fruit!

      53. Good points. Indeed, why is it that so many Calvinists are narcissitic and controlling? Do they imitate the God they imagine, or do they imagine a God who is like unto them?

      54. Isn’t this precisely what you see when you look at the Greek and Roman gods? Proof that man could not have invented the God of the bible. How much more calvins god is like the gods of mythology!

      55. It really is both, isn’t it? We become what we worship – and the people tend to get what the people want. But this shows that it is of the flesh, not of God! Look at the choices people have today in regards to so-called worship. There are probably more churches today than there are restaurants – and people treat it like such! God has prescribed the kind of service and worship that pleases Him, along with the acts that are involved in that worship. But many churches today are too eager to please the people, because they are afraid of losing numbers. They want to keep the people as entertained as possible, therefore all sorts of innovations have been made to draw in the crowds and keep them happy. These are little more than social clubs, or community recreational centers, serving up a “social gospel” to satisfy the fleshly needs of men!

        Salvation can only be found when the gospel is preached in its purity and simplicity (Rom. 1:16-17). It is a fact that if you draw men ‘with’ something else, you will draw them ‘to’ something else! One who does this is guilty of teaching another gospel. And a perverted gospel, offering materialistic incentives to gather in the crowds, cannot save the world.

        One has to ask the question then, ‘who or what are they serving and worshiping’? Indeed, the people will get what the people want – yes indeed, we are what we worship!

      56. Interesting topic of worship in the church.

        I am reminded that John Wesley’s group – as part of the Wesleyan revival – took songs that drunks would sin in the taverns – and turned them into worship songs. I guess they called that “redeeming the times” :-]

        Years ago I knew a man who was a Missionary for many years in a few different countries around the world. He told me of an African tribe who he called “leapers” because during their ceremonies they would leap up into the air. When they became believers, they became convinced that the Holy Spirit was involved in their leaping. When someone started leaping – it was a sign that the Holy Spirit was in their midst.

        Another tribe had a completely different physical activity during their meetings – which they also interpreted as a sign of the Holy Spirit in their midst.

        Personally I have struggled with churches playing music that could easily be Jimmy Hendrex or Led Zeppelin.
        But I suppose there are people in those congregations – who like the Africans – conceive that music as the Holy Spirit in their midst.

        Interesting stuff don’t you think!

      57. BR.D: “Personally I have struggled with churches playing music that could easily be Jimmy Hendrex or Led Zeppelin.
        But I suppose there are people in those congregations – who like the Africans – conceive that music as the Holy Spirit in their midst.

        Interesting stuff don’t you think!

        AIDAN: Absolutely! Just as a matter of interest, we go “Acapella,” namely, without instrumental accompaniment. We believe that’s all we can say with certainty, was authorized in New Testament worship! That’s how conservative we are. We would see the ‘silence’ of scripture as prohibitive. No where in the N.T. do we see mechanical instruments being authorized in the worship.

      58. That policy appears to be based on sincerity and honesty.
        Both of which I think the Lord is pleased with :-]

      59. How one approaches the silence of the scriptures can have a huge effect on what he practices in religion. One notable example is Luther and Zwingli. Joe Neil Clayton, in his book ‘The Thunderous Silence of God’ provides us with two notable quotations from the period of the Protestant Reformation. These comments from historians of the period show us the differing approach toward the silence of God taken by Martin Luther of Germany and Huldrych Zwingli of Switzerland in the early sixteenth century. Unfortunately, the view of Luther became and seemingly remains the predominant attitude in Protestantism.

        Quote- “While Luther was disposed to leave untouched what the Bible did not prohibit, Zwingli was more inclined to reject what the Bible did not enjoin.” – George P. Fisher, The Reformation, p.145.

        Quote- “Luther said we may do what the Bible does not forbid. Zwingli said what the Bible does not command we may not do, and on that account he gave up all images and crosses in the churches. In this respect he was like the Iconoclasts. Organs in the church also were given up. The Lutherans loved to sing around the organ. The Zwinglians, if they sang at all, did so without any instrument.” – Roland H. Bainton, The Church of our Fathers, pp. 143-144.

        On the other hand, the Restoration Movement was noted for it’s slogan, “Where the Bible speaks, we speak; where the Bible is silent, we are silent.” This famous motto was announced by Thomas Campbell in 1808.

        Silence does not authorize action; only God’s spoken revelation does!

      60. I’ve read that Luther loved to drink German bear – which kept him from getting up the next morning in time for the church service he would lead.
        This coincides with his allowing for what scripture doesn’t prohibit. :-]

      61. Yes, Aidan… The Regulative Principle (Zwingli) vs the Normative Principle (Luther) is an interesting controversy in Christian history. Both sides are never consistent in their practice of each, nor does either side give clear Scriptural justification for the practice of their chosen “Principle”.

        I see the Scriptures pointing to both as necessary, for there are some all encompassing commands that must be taken into account in decision making (Regulative), but they are stated in a general way that their application through prayerful guidance by the Spirit will lead to examples not found itemized in Scripture (Normative).

      62. Hi, Brian,…Yes, it does seem like they were not always consistent. The way you describe those terms sound familiar to me, but under different names. They sound like ‘Generic’ and ‘Specific’ authority. All authority is either general or specific. Here’s what I’ve learned:

        General authority-includes any thing, method, or means of execution that comes within the class or order of the precept, example or thing commanded:
        Specific authority-excludes every thing, method, or means of execution in the same class or order which is not particularly specified in the precept, example or thing commanded: In other words, General authority includes. Specific authority excludes.

        1. Instances of General authority including:
        a. “Go.” Matthew 28:19

        How? – [Walk, Ride, Fly, Sail, etc.] – Which? God did not specify. He gave us a choice. No man has the right to bind a specific method.

        b. “Teach.” Matthew 28:19-20.

        How? – [Private, Public, Class, etc.] – Which? God did not specify. He gave us a choice. No man has the right to bind a specific method.

        c. “Assemble.” Hebrews 10:25.

        Where? – [Home, Rented hall, Own building, etc.] – Which? God did not specify. Left to man’s judgment to select most expedient.

        d. “Sing.” Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16.

        How? – [ With book, By memory, etc.] – What Part? – [Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass] – Which? God did not specify but left the choice to man’s judgment. No man has the right to legislate or specify.

        2. Instances of Specific authority excluding:

        a. Noah’s ark. Build it of gopher wood. Genesis 6:14.
        Gopher wood excluded – [Walnut, Pine, Ash, and all other kinds of wood] God specified Gopher. No man had a right to add another kind.

        b. The water of cleansing. Numbers 19:2. The ashes of a red heifer.
        A red heifer excluded – [Sheep, Goat, Pig, Horse, Camel, and every other color of heifer] God specified not only the kind of animal, but even the color. No man had the right to add another color or kind.

        c. The Lord’s Supper. Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23.
        The unleavened bread and fruit of the vine excludes every other element. The first day of the week excludes every other day. God has made the choice with reference to these matters, and man has none but to do the will of God or rebel.

        d. Sing. Ephesians 5:19.
        Excludes every other kind of music. Instrumental music is excluded by the fact that God specified “sing” and that does not include “playing” upon an instrument. No man has the right to grant a liberty which God’s authority excludes.

        Conclusion: If the means of authority is “general” then anything included within the scope of the thing authorized is permissible. But if God “specified” the kind or method of execution, then no substitute or addition is allowed, but everything of the same class or order is excluded. In such cases God has left man no choice but to respect God’s stipulations by obeying His word, or rebelling against divine authority by substituting or adding something of his own will.

        There are two extremes in consideration of divine authority. One extreme position is taken by those who contend that in order for a thing to be scriptural, it must always be “specifically” authorized. Upon this basis for example, they reject the class system for teaching. The other extreme is taken by those who contend that in order for a thing to be wrong it “must” be specifically condemned. Both groups are wrong. One “binds” where God has not bound, and the other “looses” where God has bound.

        And I didn’t even get into the “Silence” of scripture, which is related, but is another subject in and of itself.

      63. Thank you, Aidan, for your thoughtful reply. General and Specific authority might work. You may have to explain the difference between OT and NT commands and examples and the differing levels of obligation.

        For example, I didn’t see any “gopher wood” commands and specification in your c. and d. examples of special authority. The Lord’s Table is connected to the word “often” not Sunday. And unleavened bread is OT, whereas Paul used the word “loaf” to emphasize oneness. The command however is to do it in remembrance of Christ, first examining yourself, without many other specifics of “how”.

        The word “psalm” means a song sung with a stringed instrument. The command is to be filled with the Spirit, and the how focuses on speaking, giving thanks, and submitting. Using instruments in singing and making melody from the heart is like Noah using tools on the gopher wood, imo. 😉

        But discussing whether the commands of the OT wisdom literature go beyond the Mosaic law is a deep topic and I’m not sure I’d like to get into that on this forum. You can email me if you’d like to discuss these things further. brianwagner@vbc.edu Blessings.

      64. Thanks Brian for your interest. Although I didn’t expect that you might have an issue with c. and d. under “Specific” authority. I suppose the main issue is, is that we can see how the Bible employs General and Specific authority as principles for establishing authority for whatever we practice. And of course, assuming that we know we are under the N.T. and not the O.T.

        What about the command to preach the “Gospel”? Jesus commanded not only to “Go” and “Preach” but specified that we are to preach the “Gospel” for people to believe in. This specific command excludes any substitution, such as human traditions and human philosophies etc. No man has the right to mix or substitute the gospel with anything else. Baptism is also a specific command to dip, plunge, immerse. Even the Greek word indicates it’s by immersion in water – Acts 8:36; 10:47. This specific command excludes any substitution, such as sprinkling, pouring, or the use of oil, etc. So, just as the command to use “Gopher wood” excluded everything else, immersion in water excludes everything else, as does the word “gospel” exclude mixing or substituting it with anything else in Mark 16:15-16.

        To answer your question on c. Acts 20:7 answers the question of how “often” the early church came together to break bread. It was on the first day of every week, for it says, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread,..” So it was their custom to come together to break bread on the first day of the week, and we see that it was also given apostolic approval. Therefore, there can be no doubt that this was approved by God; and the New Testament nowhere indicates that this was done on any other day. And it answers the question of ‘when’ and ‘how often’ the early church came together to break bread.

        With reference to the bread they used in 1 Corinthians 11:23? Here’s an important statement: ‘Jesus took the bread from the Passover feast for the – institution of this memorial feast’ –

        Because of the Jewish ordinance regarding removing all leavening from one’s house during the week of the Passover (Ex. 12:15), we know that the bread which Jesus used was unleavened bread. Therefore, there can be no doubt that the usage of unleavened bread in the observance of the Lord’s Supper is approved by God; the New Testament nowhere authorizes the usage of any other kind of bread. The term ‘Unleavened’ also carries with it a ‘spiritual’ significance, which would take too long to go into here, but which I’m sure you are already aware of.

        To answer your question on d. There is no issue with the fact the word “psalm” means a song sung with a stringed instrument. But again, worship in the New Testament places emphasis on the spiritual aspect of worship. In Ephesians 5:19 the command is “.. singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;” Here the Greek word (psallo) translated “making melody” has a history of including the idea of an instrument. Down through the centuries it once signified the ‘twanging’ of a bowstring, then the ‘twitching’ of a carpenter’s line, later the ‘touching’ of the strings of an instrument; and finally, in the New Testament, to “sing”.

        But the question under consideration, is: ‘What, under the New Testament, is the instrument that accompanies the singing?’ The apostle Paul, I believe, has settled that once and for all. He says we are to sing unto the Lord and ‘psallo’ with the heart – not with the fingers, not with the plectron, but with the heart; and therefore, the heart is the instrument that accompanies the singing.

        But I really didn’t want to get sidetracked with the issue at hand, which has to do with how scriptural authority is established, so that we speak where the scriptures speak, and are silent where the scriptures are silent.

      65. br.d writes:
        “Calvin’s god deceives people with words . . .

        Those who worship such a deity *WILL* become like unto him.
        That is why we see the Calvinist – using words designed to mislead.”

        Those are very insightful words, br.d. I absolutely think that those who embrace the idea of God using misleading, equivocal language will tend to emulate that same practice, and this is exactly what we see with many Calvinists.

      66. br.d: :For the Calvinist then – when a person APPEARS to believe – that serves as a possible indicator of that one’s eternal destiny.”

        This according to Matthew 7, “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Therefore your conclusion, “As the scripture says – “Man looks upon the outward appearance” And this is what Calvinists do.” Of course, Calvinists are not alone in doing this – Paul deals in this fashion with problems in the letter to the Corinthians.

        Here we get your conclusion, “However those indicators may actually be signs that Calvin’s god is manipulating people with FALSE PERCEPTIONS of salvation. He gives them a taste of salvation – in order to magnify their torment in the lake of fire.” It does appear that God is doing this.

        Then, “However, Calvin insists that Calvin’s god -quote “Illumines some for a time to partake of it – and then forsakes them – and strikes them with greater blindness”.”

        This according to:

        – Matthew 7, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

        – Matthew 13, “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

      67. br.d
        For the Calvinist then – when a person APPEARS to believe – that serves as a possible indicator of that one’s eternal destiny.”

        rhutchin
        This according to Matthew 7, “Even so, every good tree……

        br.d
        FALSE

        There is nothing in that verse which stipulates a “good tree” only APPEARS to be a “good tree”
        So that verse doesn’t work for you.

        In Calvinism however:
        Those indicators may actually be signs that Calvin’s god is manipulating people with FALSE PERCEPTIONS of salvation. He gives them a taste of salvation – in order to magnify their torment in the lake of fire.” It does appear that God is doing this.

        Calvin insists that Calvin’s god -quote “Illumines some for a time to partake of it – and then forsakes them – and strikes them with greater blindness”.”

        rhutchin
        This according to: * Matthew 7, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ ….

        br.d
        That verse doesn’t quite fit the Calvinist model

        To *REALLY* fit the Calvinist model Jesus would have to say:

        Mat 7
        Calvin’s god has designed certain people as instruments to say to me ‘Lord Lord’.
        And god programmed me to answer those people ‘Depart from me you instruments whom Calvin’s god used to commit works of evil.’

      68. AIDAN: No, but you forget that this passage says that they were still “slaves of sin”. They are still slaves of sin because they are still under the law. And, they are still slaves of sin, because Jesus has not yet died and risen again, therefore, there has been NO SACRIFICE made for sin yet! Only when one has DIED with Christ, in baptism, are they made free from the slavery of sin! ”

        I’m not sure about that. Certainly, it is by faith in Christ that a person is justified and made righteous in God’s eyes. In Romans 4, Abraham was described as righteous and this by faith – this occurred before Christ died. The purpose of the law was to identify sin and point a person to Christ for forgiveness – the law was not designed to save a person nor could it.

        Those without faith are slaves to sin therefore totally depraved. Those with faith are no longer slaves to sin therefore not totally depraved. – yet even those with faith still sin. You are correct to say, “That’s how the truth made them free – which of course they would need to continue in, if they were to be true disciples!” That is the process of sanctification – the more a person learns truth and incorporates that truth into his life the less he will succumb to temptation and sin.

      69. Aidan
        Only when one has DIED with Christ, in baptism, are they made free from the slavery of sin! ”

        rhutchin
        I’m not sure about that……

        br.d
        That would make sense – as the Gnostic conception – is that each individual who is ELECT – is elect at the foundation of the world.
        And faith simlpy becomes an OBSERVABLE INDICATOR of that person’s election.

        But of course – Calvin’s god designs it to be a FALSE FAITH and thus as FALSE INDICATOR – for the “MANY” within the Calvinist fold.

      70. RHUTCHIN: “Those without faith are slaves to sin therefore totally depraved. Those with faith are no longer slaves to sin therefore not totally depraved. – yet even those with faith still sin.”

        “In Romans 4, Abraham was described as righteous and this by faith – this occurred before Christ died.”

        AIDAN:
        Romans 3:24-26 NASB
        24 “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

        1. “through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”
        Redemption = deliverance, liberation or release effected by the payment of a ransom. The Greek for redemption puts emphasis on the COST of man’s liberation. This phrase explains HOW God can justify sinners. He can do so because a full ransom has been paid to obtain our freedom from sin.

        2. “as a propitiation in His blood through faith.”
        Through faith = the means by which propitiation is received and becomes effective in the case of any individual.
        In His blood – hence the propitiation is effected by means of a sacrificial offering, a sacrifice that removes sin and enables God to treat man with favor.

        3. The divine purpose – “to demonstrate His righteousness, etc.”
        The ” passing over sins that were previously committed” refer to men like Abraham (Rom. 4:1-5) and David (v. 6-8) who were forgiven even though the ransom price had not been paid, and no adequate basis for forgiveness had been laid. God forgave sins in view of what was to happen at the cross (Rom. 8:3; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal. 3:13). At the cross it became clear that God was not just winking at sin, but that He was forgiving sin only because there would be an adequate basis for forgiveness in the death of Christ.

        God is merciful, but He is also holy; a righteous God who cannot simply ignore sin, but who can justify sinners ONLY because sin was adequately dealt with in Christ, who died for sinners.

        Only Christians have been made free from the slavery of sin, and that through the redemption that is in Christ. These fellas in John 8:30-36 were still slaves of sin!

      71. rhutchin” “We know what the Scriptures tell us,”
        br.d: “Oh REALLY?”

        Yes, really. Only br.d refuses to acknowledge that we know what the Scriptures tell us,

      72. rhutchin
        We know what the Scriptures tell us

        br.d
        Oh REALLY?

        Lets find out- by what process your brain “knows” things

        Answer the following MATH question:

        Out of all of the PERCEPTIONS which currently exist in your brain right now – what percentage of them are FALSE PERCEPTIONS?

        rhutchin
        Yes, really. Only br.d refuses to acknowledge that we know what the Scriptures tell us,

        br.,d
        Oh REALLY?
        Why didn’t you answer the MATH question – so we could find out by what process your brain “knows” things?

        Lets try again – to find out.

        Answer the MATH question rhutchin:

        Out of all of the PERCEPTIONS which currently exist in your brain right now – what percentage of them are FALSE PERCEPTIONS?

      73. Maybe Rh might be able to give you a better answer if you ask him about the statistics on a flipped coin? He’s bound to be an expert at this stage!

      74. Funny stuff!!
        I’m sure there is a brain working over time right now – trying to come up with a response – designed to evade the question and at the same time MASQUERADE giving an answer. :-]

      75. Br.d:
        “I’m sure there is a brain working over time right now – trying to come up with a response – designed to evade the question and at the same time MASQUERADE giving an answer. :-]”

        Aidan:
        You mean he’s going to answer like a politician?😜

      76. br.d writes, “Out of all of the PERCEPTIONS which currently exist in your brain right now – what percentage of them are FALSE PERCEPTIONS?”

        Jesus said, “you shall know the truth” on the condition, “you abide in My word.” Jesus emphasizes that that we know what the Scriptures tell us, Those perceptions not gained from the Scripture have a likelihood of being false, but not necessarily so. That is why Paul said, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” James wrote, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

      77. br.d
        Let see what your brain “knows”
        Answer the following MATH question

        Out of all of the PERCEPTIONS which currently exist in your brain right now – what percentage of them are FALSE PERCEPTIONS?”

        rhutchin
        Jesus said………you shall know the truth and……etc etc etc etc

        br.d
        Well rhutchin – do you “know” the truth?
        Then give a TRUTHFUL answer to the question.

        So far – you’ve just evaded the question.
        But I’m willing to be kind and give you another chance

        So let’s see what your brain “knows”
        Answer the following MATH question

        Out of all of the PERCEPTIONS which currently exist in your brain right now – what percentage of them are FALSE PERCEPTIONS?”

      78. br.d writes, “Out of all of the PERCEPTIONS which currently exist in your brain right now – what percentage of them are FALSE PERCEPTIONS?””

        I’ll guess and say about the same as in yours.

      79. br.d
        Out of all of the PERCEPTIONS which currently exist in your brain right now – what percentage of them are FALSE PERCEPTIONS?

        rhutchin
        I’ll guess and say about the same as in yours.

        br.d
        I’ll give you one more chance.

        If you can’t provide the numerical answer of what percentage of your PERCEPTIONS are FALSE PERCEPTIONS – then that is something that Calvin’s god has “rendered-certain” your brain to not “know”

        Last chance rhutchin – whats the number?

      80. br.d
        October 20, 2020

        rhutchin – If you can’t provide the numerical answer of what percentage of your PERCEPTIONS are FALSE PERCEPTIONS – then that is something that Calvin’s god has “rendered-certain” your brain to not “know”

        Last chance rhutchin – whats the number?

        br.d
        October 21, 2020
        Well – it becomes obvious – rhutchin – doesn’t have any way to “know” what percentage of infallibly decreed PERCEPTIONS within his current thinking are infallibly decreed FALSE PERCEPTIONS.

        Thus it LOGICALLY follows:

        Since rhutchin has no way of “knowing” whether his infallibly decreed PERCEPTIONS on any matter are TRUE or FALSE – he has no way of “knowing” whether or not his discernment based on those PERCEPTIONS is TRUE or FALSE

        Good luck with what you PERCEIVE yourself to “know” :-]

      81. It’s very sad when a Calvinist doesn’t see that he can’t separate God’s “purpose” and “perfect wisdom” from His omniscience so that he can try to say “God’s omniscience does not give rise to His decrees.” More cognitive dissonance. Very sad.

  2. -quote
    The doctrine “God decrees whatsoever comes to pass” makes God the ultimate deciding factor for every single human choice.

    br.d
    The term Ultimate is strategically used to EQUIVOCATE on the truth of absolute-total-subjection entailed by the doctrine.
    It is much more TRUTH-TELLING to use the term Determinative

    The doctrine “God decrees whatsoever comes to pass” makes God the Determinative deciding factor for every single human choice.

    Not only for every single human choice – but also for every perception of TRUE vs FALSE that will appear in the human brain.

    Dr. Machen
    -quote
    “When God determines what men would do He determines their will rather than goes against their will”

    This language is designed to present a FALSE REPRESENTATION.
    It seeks to paint the human will as having some degree of autonomy, which does not exist in Calvinism.

    Is there any such thing as the “Human Will” in Calvinism?
    Or is everything simply the manifestation of a divine will manifesting itself through a creaturely instrument?

    As John Calvin asserts:
    -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. (Institutes)

    -quote
    Men may not even agitate anything in their deliberations but what He inspires. (A Defense of the secret providence of god – PDF version pg 190)

    Since the human will is 100% determined by Calvin’s god’s will – there really is no such thing as a human will being against Calvin’s god’s will. The idea of that degree of functional autonomy is nothing more than deceptive DOUBLE-SPEAK.

    Dr. Machen
    -quote
    Determining their will preserves human freedom.

    br.d
    On that model – determining 100% of a robots inclinations preserves that robots inclinations

    When a child is commanded to choose vanilla rather than chocolate – and that child cannot “Do otherwise” than choose what is commanded – is that a manifestation of that child’s will, or is it a manifestation of the will of the commander?

    In Calvinism 100% of whatsoever comes to pass is UP TO a THEOS.
    Leaving ZERO% of whatsoever comes to pass UP TO the creature.

    Do you call anything about [X] yours – when nothing about [X] is UP TO you?

    How do you volunteer [X] when nothing about [X] is UP TO you?

    In Calvinism nothing about your will is UP TO you.
    So you have no authority to volunteer it – or do anything else with it.

    Determinism with compatibilist freedom is nothing more than the freedom to be/do what an external mind determines.
    Nothing else is permitted or made available.

    All robots have compatibilisitic freedom – which is preserved by determinism.
    So the freedom a Calvinist enjoys – is the same exact freedom a robot enjoys.

    Dr. Machen
    -quote
    God is so Other Than that He causes all the evil actions of man (in what way, how frequently, how severely, and in what manner) but that’s still good because God caused it.

    br.d
    So here we see once again – Calvinism’s synchronization process.
    Synchronization of TRUE and FALSE
    Synchronization of Determinism and IN-Determinism
    Synchronization of Compatibilism and Libertarian-ism
    Synchronization of Good and Evil

    The Calvinist system is ultimately radical to the extreme.
    Therefore the Calvinist strategy is to MASQUERADE it as something it isn’t.

    The Calvinist lives in a DOUBLE-MINDED world
    So it makes perfect sense that Calvinist language is the language of DOUBLE-SPEAK.

    In order to not be deceived by Calvinist language – one needs to:
    1) Understand what Calvinist language seeks to hide
    2) Understand when Calvinist language seeks to MASQUERADE itself as something other than what it is.

    1. Dr. Machen
      -quote
      Determining their will preserves human freedom.

      br.d
      On that model – determining 100% of a robots inclinations preserves that robots inclinations

      When a child is commanded to choose vanilla rather than chocolate – and that child cannot “Do otherwise” than choose what is commanded – is that a manifestation of that child’s will, or is it a manifestation of the will of the commander?

      AIDAN
      Excellent br.d; that pretty much hits the nail on the head!

      “Determining their will preserves human freedom”? What a joke! Yeah! Like determining that they would have a reprobate will without the freedom to choose between good and the evil; to seek God, or not to seek God! That’s the kind of freedom he’s talking about!

      Or like when Dr. Machen received the gift of faith; his freedom was preserved in such a way he still could not choose between the good and the evil, to seek God or to abandon Him. Oh! Yes! We know that his freedom has been well preserved on that score.

      Determining their will preserves human freedom! Yeah! Right! ‘Pull the other one, it’s got bells on’.

  3. Eric
    Enjoyed reading the conundrum presented by the doctrine of predeterminism. As I read through the confusing rhetoric and tried to reason through the fog only to be told that it is not understandable so just take my word for it. We can all agree with sola scriptura when God’s word is used. I was hard pressed to find scripture used proclaiming his position in any way. If God is the causal point of all evil is He not the initiator of the perversion in man which makes Him a pervertor. God will not act contrary to His character and I find nowhere in scripture that God has a perverse character. Is God not bound by the laws He has proclaimed to man? Scripture says it anyone who causes one of “these little ones to stumble it would be better that a millstone be tied to His neck and he be cast into the sea. Would God then be in danger of His experiencing His own wrath?I
    Also why does God through Paul by inspiration tell us to PUT OFF deeds of the old man and PUT ON the new new man.
    I live in peace with God knowing He loved me and Have Himself for me. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and am therefore saved , as in SHALL BE SAVED
    GOD BLESS
    Ray

  4. They know.

    Machen knew, Calvin knew, Sproul knew . . . and all of the other so-called Calvinist theologians know that they are positing a hopelessly impossible contradiction. Their solution? Bid the individual to not think, to not dare wrangle with the lack of logic, on threat of being an unfaithful, untrusting follower. This is the pattern we see again and again amongst Calvinists – threats and name-calling. Because they simply cannot escape the contradictions of their claims, they must browbeat their followers into accepting them mindlessly.

    1. BINGO!! You may be chosen to be saved – but you can’t ever choose to leave hotel California!🤦‍♂️

      1. AIDAN: “You may be chosen to be saved – but you can’t ever choose to leave hotel California!”

        Not without faith! A person can neither be saved or leave hotel California without faith. So, the Calvinist says.

      2. AIDAN
        You may be chosen to be saved – but you can’t ever choose to leave hotel California!”

        rhutchin
        Not without faith!

        br.d
        So now leaving salvation – is done with faith! :-]

      3. br.d writes, “So now leaving salvation – is done with faith! ”

        Who would ever want to leave salvation? People want to leave their depraved life (Hotel California(.

      4. br.d
        So now leaving salvation – is done with faith! ”

        One more example of IRRATIONAL :-]

        rhutchin
        Who would ever want to leave salvation?

        br.d
        Would have to have faith to do that – right rhutchin!! :-]

        rhutchin
        People want to leave their depraved life (Hotel Calvi-ifornia)

        br.d
        Right! AKA Calvinism
        Where you can check out any time you like
        But Calvin’s god solely and exclusively determines what you like

        As John Calvin says the Calvinist church – a -quote “few grains of wheat – hidden under a pile of chaff”

        Calvi-fornia
        Where the “FEW ” are elect and the “MANY” are TOTALLY DEPRAVED 😀

    2. BrD… How about the idea that I freely raised my hand because I believed in God’s unconditional promise to change my nature so that I would never put my hand down? 😁

      John 4,13-14 – a very clear OSAS verse

      John 4:13-14 NKJV — Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

      The word “drinks” in verse 14 is in the Aorist tense which points normally to a simple action or simple set of actions. But this simple action, Jesus said, will establish a fountain, which as a result from drinking would point normally to this drinking as being once and done.

      Even the woman thought this was what Jesus meant when she said – [Jhn 4:15 NKJV] … “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

      The unconditional promise is that this fountain would produce an everlasting spring of water into “everlasting life”, which points naturally to seeing this salvation as unable to stop, once this fountain is started.

      There is also the unconditional promise of never thirsting again, which would naturally be seen as unconditional to the original hearer, since no condition is added by Jesus.

      Thirst is what unbelievers do, and also hints to God’s universal prodding for people to seek salvation. So the phrase “will never thirst”, points normally to meaning this person who drinks will never again be an unbeliever. This phrase is a very emphatic negative statement in Greek – οὐ μὴ διψήσῃ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.

      1. I think that would be incomprehensible for the average Calvinist.

        Because his programming is limited to going about his office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part

        A brain that is 100% programmed can only SIMULATE in-deterministic forms of freedom. 😀

      2. BrD… How about the idea that I freely choose to keep believing in Him as a condition of abiding in Christ for eternal life?🙃

        John 7:37-39 NASB – “..Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive;…”

        It is interesting that the NASB has a footnote on verse 37 that says literally, “let him keep coming to Me and let him keep drinking.” If that’s the case, that would make it conditional on man’s part to keep coming to Jesus and keep drinking. The main point is that Jesus is the source and we must come to Him to satisfy our thirst! In the next verse, v.38, Jesus tells us HOW – namely, through belief; by continuing to believe in Him! In it’s literal form it says, “He who is believing in me,”…‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” And this He said of the Spirit, which those believing in Him were about to receive;..”v.39. The promises are to the ones who continue to believe in Jesus.

        We already have seen this CONDITIONAL element to salvation in John 6. Jesus is the bread of God who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world v.33. As one reads through this chapter he quickly learns that it is through belief that one imbibes Him – that as long as one continues to believe, one continues to imbibe Him! And that this is the one to whom the promise of everlasting life is given! Below are a couple of verses from that chapter in a more literal form: Notice the emphasis on continued belief in just these few verses; in other words, the promises are based on a continued practice, NOT on a once off action!

        John 6:35 YLT – And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of the life; he who is coming unto me may not hunger, and he who is believing in me may not thirst — at any time;” Again, not a once off – but a continual practice!

        John 6:47,48 YLT – “‘Verily, verily, I say to you, He who is believing in me, hath life age-during; I am the bread of the life..
        John 6:51 YLT – ‘I am the living bread that came down out of the heaven; if any one may eat of this bread he shall live — to the age;”(he will live forever).
        John 6:54 YLT – “He who is eating my flesh, and is drinking my blood, hath life age-during, and I will raise him up in the last day;”
        John 6:56 YLT – “He who is eating my flesh, and is drinking my blood, doth remain in me, and I in him.”

        Some found it too much, not realizing that it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; but the words He spoke were spirit and were life v.63. Therefore the eating and drinking was not literal, but spiritual in nature and life.
        John 6:64 YLT – “..but there are certain of you who do not believe;’ for Jesus had known from the beginning who they are who are not believing,..”

        Since the bible teaches that the believer has everlasting life in PROMISE – the child of God does not actually possess it yet, but only in promise – and that CONDITIONALLY – it follows that he can so sin as to be finally lost. Just as Peter warned – “…..even denying the Lord who BOUGHT THEM, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1).

        And so, I am glad that you br.d are not like the Calvinists in this matter!
        When any meaning is given to any passage that contradicts other verses that are too plain to be misunderstood, then that meaning is wrong – necessarily so. Truth is harmonious!

      3. Thank you Aidan – very nice post!

        Actually – I’m not sure the quote you had there was made my me.
        But on agreeing with Calvinists – I think there is very little I would agree with them on.

        I would definitely agree with any Calvinist who believes that Jesus is the king of kings, lord of lords, and the prince of piece. :-]

      4. You’re doing a good job br.d.

        And the quote I had there was not a quote, but rather a suggestion on my part; sorry for the confusion.
        And, yes! There is very little I would see you agree with on Calvinism. Maybe you could be a little more compatible 😎 with Calvinism if Rh became a Semi-Calvinist? But then that would make him even less “compatible” – hmmm!🤔 not sure if that would work!

        BR.D: “I would definitely agree with any Calvinist who believes that Jesus is the king of kings, lord of lords, and the prince of piece. :-]”

        AIDAN: Steady on there br.d, next you’ll be telling me you’re going down to Georgia to play the fiddle, and shake hands with the devil himself!!🙃

      5. I don’t think RH was expecting to get caught fibbing!

        So now he’s trying to deflect by attributing to Dr. Flowers the very thing he was trying to get away with.
        But we’re too smart for that old “Reverse Attribution” trick.

      6. I appreciate those insights, Brian. I have tended toward “OSAS, but . . .” which I will leave as hazy as it seems. 😉 In real experience, and many promises of scripture, this new life seems to be something real and everlasting, and it would seem unlikely that anyone would ever want to turn from such hope. I definitely reject the concept of living in fear that you are one sin away from ‘losing’ your salvation, which was the sort of understanding I was raised with.

        There are, however, implications and warnings that suggest a seriousness and ongoing relationship is what is intended by our God and Maker. Whether or not that implies that one can turn away from this great gift I would, with Arminius, suggest is somewhat confusing. I do not believe one can accidentally ‘lose’ what he has received, but, if such a thing is even possible, must knowingly and deliberately reject and turn away the salvation he once treasured. Is there a ‘name’ for my position, or am I just a lone oddity?

      7. TSOO: “I do not believe one can accidentally ‘lose’ what he has received, but, if such a thing is even possible, must knowingly and deliberately reject and turn away the salvation he once treasured. Is there a ‘name’ for my position, or am I just a lone oddity?”

        AIDAN: It’s called “apostasy,” and no your not an oddity!

      8. Greetings, Aidan. Yes, I have heard that term used, and it probably best explains what I refer to. The warnings in scripture appear to point to such a possibility, but I would suggest that it must be extremely rare. How could one ever live without the life-transforming hope that a relationship with the living God brings? How could one face another day, or moment, without the belief that the evil in this world is not God’s doing, and that he will, in the long run, triumph over it utterly? Not, I might add, by brute force, or because he is the source of the evil, thus can end it whenever he chooses, but because goodness, truth and love must and will triumph over evil.

      9. Greetings to you Tsoo. It’s always good to hear from you and be refreshed by the kindness of your comments.🙂
        And you are right, the warnings in scripture do appear to point to such a possibility of falling away. But you suggest that it must be extremely rare in view of the life-transforming hope that a relationship with the living God brings. I have often wondered that myself over the years as I watched others go back into the world, or defect into some other form of religion! Either way, it doesn’t seem to be all that rare to me that there are those who – fall away from the faith – a term used in many passages such as 1 Tim. 4:1.

        We know that this is not a sprint, but a marathon, in which many don’t make it all the way to the end! Concerning this road, Jesus didn’t want His disciples to be under any illusions that the road would be narrow and difficult which leads to life – and only a few will find it! The warnings in Hebrews abound, which tell us that one can drift away from God! That we can be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin! That, where there was once an obedient faith, there is now unfaithfulness, disobedience, or unbelief! One doesn’t have to stop believing that God is, in order to be regarded as an unbeliever – he just has to stop being faithful – even though he still regards himself as a believer!

        The parable of the sower in Luke 8:11-15 is also a stark reminder of what we so often see ourselves! All hear the gospel! All believe and are saved except the first group, whom Jesus says, “the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” Notice what He said, the devil takes away the “word out of their hearts,” lest they should BELIEVE and BE SAVED! Not so with the rest. The next group, BELIEVE FOR A WHILE and in time of temptation FALL AWAY, verse 13. How many times this happens with newly excited converts who are not yet rooted in their faith and soon fall away! But they did believe, and they did fall away!

        The thorny ground hearers are probably the most common group among Christians today! They are the hangers on – who are either dying, or possibly are already dead in their faith! Notice what Jesus says about them, He says – “when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.” It looks like they may have started out well – it seems like they began to bear fruit – but were choked, and so they never brought any fruit to maturity! One has to be spiritually ALIVE in order for their spiritual life to be choked with the cares, worries, riches and pleasures of this life. This unfortunately happens to many Christians, who, although they remain church-goers, they BECOME thorny ground hearers – and so, end up bringing no fruit to maturity!

        And we know what happens to them who bear no fruit (John 15:1-8).

      10. TS00 – I always appreciate your humble honesty towards such issues and your desire to make all of Scripture fit together. I think the phrase that caught my attention was – “the salvation he once treasured.” I know the Scripture clearly talks about those who express faith, even preach and do miracles in Jesus name, whom Jesus “never knew”, meaning they were never saved. I think people like that might even believe strongly that they “did” all that was necessary to assure them of heaven, and they could have been seen by others as treasuring their salvation by how they talked and acted in the habits of Christianity that they had formed. There are many good emotional and social kickbacks for professing Christianity and fellowshipping with Christians, and one could feel for a while like they are “in”.

        But I do not think we will ever meet someone who leaves Christianity and takes a stand against it and stating Jesus is not the Son of God or Savior of the world, who will also say, “But I was once truly saved and on my way to heaven.” They will deny and probably say that whatever they had experienced was just a psychological delusion. So what right do we have to say their previous profession was a true one, and their apostate profession is a false one?

        I am satisfied to tell all whom I meet who profess to trust in Jesus for salvation, “Test yourselves to see if you are truly in the faith.” That includes you my friend! And I don’t mind you encouraging me the same way. I think there may be many that Jesus has not yet come to know as His because they are wrongly trusting in their baptism, or in their sinner’s prayer experience, and they think they are saved because of all the good feelings they have felt being with Christians and good habits they developed. I think the warning passages in Scriptures are for them. But I also tell them that once you are in Christ when you trust only in Him and in His immutable promises, you will always be saved, because that is what unconditional promises are. And a love for Him and other believers and a hatred for sin will be the main evidences of that salvation’s existence.

      11. On the whole, I tend to steer clear of official, orthodox theological explanations of salvation. I believe it is as simple as believing that God is, and that He is good. Once on that path, which will be unique for each individual, one is able to navigate his particular storms of life, secure in the knowledge of a good and powerful God who loves him and promises to care for him. That does not preclude trials, doubts and a lengthy journey of growing in knowledge, wisdom and faith – it simply initiates such a process, and provides the necessary faith, hope and strength to carry on.

      12. Brian, thanks for your kind words, and perhaps you are right. I, for one, cannot imagine ‘unknowing’ or ‘unbelieving’ in the truth and love of God, which I have so long tasted of. I have found that even in the direst situations, I find that one glimmer of hope to cling to, which is God and his promises.

        I am not sure this would remain true were I a Calvinist, which is why I choose to comment and encourage people to reevaluate their thinking. Were I to face some of the tragic situations people have endured in this world, and believed them to be from God’s mind and hand, rather than that of evil, God-hating individuals, I do not see how I could retain my hope.

      13. Amen. That’s why the promise that nothing can separate us in Christ from His love is so important when facing life’s trials.

      14. brianwagner writes, “How about the idea that I freely raised my hand because I believed in God’s unconditional promise to change my nature so that I would never put my hand down?…Thirst is what unbelievers do, and also hints to God’s universal prodding for people to seek salvation.”

        But not without faith. You freely raised your hand only after receiving faith. An unbeliever thirsts only after being drawn to Christ by God.

        The water that Jesus gives is probably a reference to faith.

      15. Roger… Look closely how you just clearly contradicted yourself. “An unbeliever thirsts after being drawn by God” you said, which drawing, I assume is your idea of regeneration and is receiving faith, which you think is “water that Jesus gives”.

        So how is he now a thirsting unbeliever “after” receiving the water which is faith?

      16. brianwagner writes, “Look closely how you just clearly contradicted yourself. “An unbeliever thirsts after being drawn by God” you said, which drawing, I assume is your idea of regeneration and is receiving faith, which you think is “water that Jesus gives”.
        So how is he now a thirsting unbeliever “after” receiving the water which is faith?”

        John 6 has, ““No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;…” When Jesus says, “No one can come to Me…” He means that no one in their natural state of unbelieving has a thirst for Christ. No one will thirst for Christ until God draws the person to Christ. We seemed to have agreed that God’s drawing encompasses many things and flow in an orderly progression and include such things as regeneration, hearing the Scripture, receiving faith, etc. An unbeliever thirsts only consequent to being drawn by God to Christ and that thirst is only satisfied by faith in Christ.

        In John 4, we read, “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

        So, we have the unbeliever being drawn by God to Christ so that he thirsts for Christ. Jesus satisfies that thirst by giving the person water that becomes “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

        I don’t see a contradiction in my position.

      17. rhutchin
        When Jesus says, “a b c d e f g” He means [insert here – whatever affirmation of Calvinism I currently want him to say]

        Calvin’s god authorizes each Calvinists to re-write scripture anyway he wants!! :-]

      18. I think that’s true for the most part.
        But I have seen Calvinists quote verses – removing the original text – and replacing it with words the brain have been indoctrinated to see.

        And we also have evidences of Calvinist web-sites posturing as providing definitions for theological or philosophical words – with their own twisted definitions – trying too MASQUERADE their definitions as standard.

        Calvinism’s lack of honesty is very a very sad thing to watch!

      19. rhuthcin
        I don’t see a contradiction in my position.

        br.d
        Old John Calvin would role over in his grave – if one of his spiritual grand children broke his rule of refusing to acknowledge a contradiction! Its is forbidden!!! o_O

      20. Wow Roger, your cognitive dissonance is alarming! I hope you will look more closely at what you said.

      21. brianwagner writes, “I hope you will look more closely at what you said.”

        I’ll assume it is the order of the events I noted given that you seem unable to express yourself fully. I knew it the minute I sent it. It is through the preaching of the gospel that God draws unbelievers to Christ; that is why Jesus commanded, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” and that is why we send missionaries to all the world. It is the preaching of the gospel through which God regenerates the unbeliever and it is through the preaching of the gospel that faith comes, as Jesus said, ““If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

      22. Still missing it Roger. The unbeliever heard the gospel as an unbeliever, He understood the truth before deciding to believe it. He thirsts because of understanding the warning given for rejecting the gospel (though most would believe thirsting happens even before hearing the gospel.) He freely chooses to trust the promise which trust is the act of drinking the water offered.

        The water offered is the receiving of indwelling HS which gives at that moment regeneration, everlasting life, and taking away the thirst. You want the HS/regeneration to be received before that understanding, thirst, and faith are received. But saving grace is through faith not before it.

        I hope one day you will reject your loyalty to such unbiblical contradiction. I’m praying you will. I’ve nothing more to add.

      23. A person doesn’t drink water in order to quench his thirst – when he already has the water – and thus doesn’t have the thirst.

        But we know Calvinists are born TOTALLY DEPRAVED and not with the ability to think RATIONALLY.
        And Calvin’s god gives them the special gift of self-contradictions. :-]

      24. brianwagner writes, “The unbeliever heard the gospel as an unbeliever, He understood the truth before deciding to believe it.”

        An unbeliever must receive faith in Christ in order to believe the gospel (even if you equate faith to believe – even you say, “saving grace is through faith “). I don’t see any way around that. The necessity to have faith in Christ for salvation seems to be a point on which you want to disagree with the Calvinists but cannot.

        Then, “(though most would believe thirsting happens even before hearing the gospel.) ”

        Yes, consequent to the drawing by God accomplished through the preaching of the gospel.

        Then, “He freely chooses to trust the promise which trust is the act of drinking the water offered. ”

        Yes, because of faith ‘ saving grace is through faith.

        Then, “The water offered is the receiving of indwelling HS which gives at that moment regeneration, everlasting life, and taking away the thirst.”

        Paul affirms your point writing, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,…” This is affirmed in John 7. ““He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

        Jesus said in John 4, “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” Somewhat less clear, but I think your point is correct.

      25. rh writes:
        “An unbeliever must receive faith in Christ in order to believe the gospel (even if you equate faith to believe – even you say, “saving grace is through faith “). I don’t see any way around that. The necessity to have faith in Christ for salvation seems to be a point on which you want to disagree with the Calvinists but cannot.”

        It is actually easy to disagree with Calvinism on most things, including the point of receiving faith. The little sleight of hand rh attempts is to deflect from his obvious absurdity by appealing to scripture, which he knows any believer will affirm. Certainly no biblically informed believer would deny that one must have faith in Christ for salvation. Rh knows perfectly well that this is not the point of contention between he and Brian. The point is, what is this ‘faith’ that is affirmed by scriipture as the only thing necessary for salvation? From whence cometh it, and how and why? Rh attempts to duck these issues by pretending that he and Brian are affirming the same truths, which they most definitely are not.

        Non-Calvinists generally affirm that faith is something you do, not something you receive like Halloween candy. Calvinism attempts to turn faith into a noun, an object that can be doled out or received from on high. It is similar to the common misconception that learning means having knowledge poured into your head by some sovereign teacher. Rejecting this fallacy, we chose to school our kids at home so that they could actually learn how to learn, availing themselves of the ability to acquire whatever knowledge and skills they might need for the rest of their lives.

        Having faith or faithing, if you will, is believing, it is not something that someone waits to be given. Like learning, faithing is something we either do or don’t do; it is NOT something that is done or not done to us. Memorizing a script of information is not learning, it is simply rote memorization. The act of learning requires interaction, ownership of the responsibility of grappling with ideas and information and deciding what one believes is true.

        The same is true of faith. We must exercise our freedom to choose what we believe. Which is why – and it is the only reason why – God can justly punish those who refused to believe in his promises and provision. God makes his ‘godness’ visible throughout creation, but man can choose to believe this evidence or concoct a lie in place of the obvious truth. Going even further, God sent his Son to this world in the form of a human being, and gave evidence of his divine sending through great miracles, including his resurrection from the dead. And yet, each individual must decide whether or not to believe the evidence of his own eyes, in the case of those then living, or the stories that have long been told and corroborated since then. We can choose to believe that such a thing really happened, or we can choose to not believe it. Such belief or faith does not come from outside of an individual, it is a deeply personal, internal choice.

        Ah, but the Calvinist seeks to redefine the concept of faith, just as he must redefine the concepts of love, goodness, freedom and justice. ‘If God were just’, they will brashly claim, ‘He would destroy us all’. Which actually would not be just at all, under their doctrinal system, because, under their scenario, no being has never thought, desired or done anything other than what God ordained he should. No matter, the Calvinist weaves a vast web of nonsensical, self-contradicting words until it is impossible to figure out what he means, in hopes that no one will be able to pin him down to anything.

        How desperately the Calvinist must wist and bend himself into pretzel-like knots, trying to hide the contradictions and just plain lack of logic to his statements.Then the ol’ ploy of appealing to scripture – yes, the very scripture which affirms the opposite of Calvinism’s man-made doctrines – and pretending like that settles the matter. Just another day in the life of a defender of Calvinism, plotting and scheming to concoct word puzzles and semantic mazes to avoid acknowledging the absurdities and heinousness of his nasty little theology of a narcissitic, deceitful, abusive, maniacal god who cares about nothing but himself. Any decent person, with a whit of love for mankind or desire for justice and equity, would become an atheist if he actually believed Calvinism to be true. Many do.

      26. Does a robot’s brain have the ability to know anything?

        Or isn’t it true that the only brain that REALLY knows – is that brain which engineered and programmed the robot’s brain?

        How is the Calvinist brain any different – since it is 100% determined by an external mind?

        In order for a Calvinist’s brain to know something – would require Calvin’s god to MERELY PERMIT the Calvinist brain to know it.

        And MERE PERMISSION do not exist in the Calvinist’s world.

        So IXNAY on the Calvinist brain knowing anything. :-]

      27. YS00 writes, “It is actually easy to disagree with Calvinism on most things, including the point of receiving faith.”

        The issue is not how one receives faith – all agree that one receives faith from hearing the gospel – but the necessity of faith for salvation and therefore the necessity to hear the gospel for salvation. If people do not hear the gospel, they cannot receive faith and cannot be saved. Even you concede this point saying, “Certainly no biblically informed believer would deny that one must have faith in Christ for salvation.”

        Then, ‘the point of contention between he and Brian. The point is, what is this ‘faith’ that is affirmed by scripture as the only thing necessary for salvation?”

        All agree that “faith” is “faith in Christ and that faith in Christ comes from hearing the gospel. Even Brian, I think.

        Then, “Non-Calvinists generally affirm that faith is something you do, not something you receive like Halloween candy.”

        The biblically informed believer knows from Hebrews 11 that faith is assurance and conviction in Christ and this “faith” prompts the person to believe in Christ (i.e., to submit to Christ as Lord – something a person cannot do apart from the Holy Spirit)

        Then, “Calvinism attempts to turn faith into a noun,”

        The Greek text actually uses a noun that is translated as “faith.”

        Then, “The same is true of faith. We must exercise our freedom to choose what we believe. ”

        Without faith in Christ, a person, a person cannot choose salvation.

      28. rhutchin
        The issue is not how one receives faith

        br.d
        Here we have a wonderful example of Calvinist EQUIVOCATION!

        The CORE ISSUE is in fact how faith exists within one

        The Calvinist answer is:
        The existence of the faculty of faith is MONERGISTICALLY determined by Calvin’s god
        It is solely and exclusively UP TO Calvin’s god
        It is determined and infallibly set in stone – at a point in which people don’t exist.
        And people who don’t exist – don’t exist to have any say in the matter.

        The Non-Calvinist answer is
        People are born with the God given faculty of belief.
        And they are MERELY PERMITTED to exercise faith the way they determine to exercise it.

      29. br.d writes, “The Non-Calvinist answer is People are born with the God given faculty of belief.”

        Paul disagrees, writing, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” br.d knows that by faith, we mean faith in Christ. People are not born with faith in Christ and there is no other way to receive faith other than hearing the gospel.

      30. br.d
        The Non-Calvinist answer is People are born with the God given faculty of belief.

        rhutchin
        Paul disagrees, writing, “faith comes by hearing, …..etc

        br.d
        Nah!
        Paul doesn’t use deceptive word games to twist scripture.
        Its you who disagree :-]

        What we have here are SEMANTIC tricks – designed to make determinism APPEAR to line up with scripture.

        SOT101 readers are too smart to fall for that! :-]

      31. BR.D, “The Non-Calvinist answer is People are born with the God given faculty of belief.”

        RHUTCHIN: “Paul disagrees, writing, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” br.d knows that by faith, we mean faith in Christ. People are not born with faith in Christ and there is no other way to receive faith other than hearing the gospel.”

        AIDAN: Definition of the word “faculty” = “an inherent mental or physical power.” Similiar: (Capability, Capacity, Potential).

        So, based on the definition- The Non-Calvinist answer is People are given the inherent capability of belief, from birth. And you exercise this mental capacity in all walks of life. And when you hear the gospel, and truly listen, and weigh up the evidence, you can decide to exercise this God given mental capacity of belief. As the scripture says: “Faith comes by HEARING and hearing by the word of God.” Context shows that it’s faith in the gospel – NOT faith itself! And, no supernatural regeneration is needed for this to happen!

      32. You make a very good point, Aidan. What would this ‘faith in Christ’ gift look like, as per Calvinism? Does God implant something within their brains, or rewire some synapses, or what exactly happens when a man is given ‘faith in Christ’? I doubt very much the Calvinist can explain this well, as it is mere wild assertion, and wildly illogical at that. As has oft been pointed out, John Calvin himself acknowledged that the ‘gift’ of Eph 2:8 is salvation, not faith, and this is the single verse upon which their entire precarious notion hinges upon. It is an obvious attempt to shoehorn in a made up doctrine to prop up the rest of their system.

      33. TSOO
        Does [Calvin’s god] implant something within their brains, or rewire some synapses, or what exactly happens when a man is given ‘faith in Christ’? I doubt very much the Calvinist can explain this well”

        br.d
        I agree TSOO
        And from my observation – what they do is try to hide the core of the doctrine (Theological Determinism) behind a mask of some scripture verse.

        The strategy works twofold.
        First it hides the core underlying Gnostic/Neo-Platonic doctrine to keep it from being exposes.

        Secondly – it presents a MASK using some aspect of scripture as a COSMETIC.

        The good news is – it always ends up twisting the logic and language of scripture into a distorted pretzel.

        And that is why the Lord gave us the gift of SOT101! :-]

      34. TSOO: “As has oft been pointed out, John Calvin himself acknowledged that the ‘gift’ of Eph 2:8 is salvation, not faith,..”

        AIDAN: That is worth oft repeating! Although, I also think I’ve heard it said by some that the ‘gift’ was “the whole plan of salvation” which included ‘faith’ as part of that plan. These are Christians Paul is writing to; and the emphasis is on what God (by His grace) has done for them ‘in’ and ‘with’ Christ. And twice between v4-10, he says to them, “For by grace you have been saved”

        Ephesians 2:4-8 ESV
        “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,.”

        Verses 4 and 5 seem to be describing what happened in baptism (cf. Col. 2: 12,13).

      35. TS00 writes, “What would this ‘faith in Christ’ gift look like, as per Calvinism? Does God implant something within their brains, or rewire some synapses, or what exactly happens when a man is given ‘faith in Christ’?”

        From Hebrews 11, we know that faith involves assurance and conviction. How does it happen that a person considers the gospel to be foolishness one moment and then is convicted by it the next moment. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin, so, perhaps, the Holy Spirit is instrumental in determining whether an unbeliever is convicted by the gospel thereby producing faith while another unbeliever is not affected by the gospel.

      36. rhutchin
        Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin…….

        br.d
        Let’s see how compatiblist freedom works in this case.

        1) Creatures are granted FREEDOM to be/do/desire what is compatible with what Calvin’s god determined people to be/do/desire

        2) Creatures are NOT granted FREEDOM to be/do/desire what is NOT compatible with what Calvin’s god determined people to be/do/desire.

        CONCLUSION:
        Where Calvin’s god decrees people to sin – people are NOT FREE to NOT sin – because that freedom is not compatible with what Calvin’s god determined people to do.

      37. br.d writes, “Where Calvin’s god decrees people to sin – people are NOT FREE to NOT sin – because that freedom is not compatible with what Calvin’s god determined people to do.”

        God decreed that people be born without faith (in Christ) consequent to Adam’s sin. That faith could only be received by hearing the gospel. Without such faith, a person could only sin – he was a slave to sin and was not free to not sin. God understood all this when He created the universe.

      38. Speak for yourself! I was born free from sin, and free to not sin – just like Adam and Eve I was – until I sinned and became a slave of sin! Now put that in your pipe and smoke it!

      39. AIDAN: “I was born free from sin, and free to not sin – just like Adam and Eve I was – until I sinned and became a slave of sin!”

        As Paul argued, “by one man’s (Adam’s) disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” By Adam’s sin, you were made unrighteous and would have been unrighteous even if you never sinned. You have a two part problem – you are a sinner, and you are unrighteous apart from your sin. Jesus fixed both these problems as Paul explains in Romans 4, “Christ was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.” Christ died for our sins and was raised so that we could be made righteous.

      40. If you mean that all were made sinners by one man’s (Adam’s) disobedience universally, then to be consistent you must say that all universally have been made righteous through one man’s (Christ’s) obedience.

      41. AIDAN: :If you mean that all were made sinners by one man’s (Adam’s) disobedience universally, then to be consistent you must say that all universally have been made righteous through one man’s (Christ’s) obedience.:

        What does Paul say? “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Who are the “many” who are made sinners? Paul tells us, “All have sinned…” Who are the “many” who are made righteous? Paul tells us, “Therefore, having been justified by faith,…” So, those who receive faith are made righteous. So, the Calvinist says but Aidan opposes.

      42. rhutchin
        as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        Calvin’s god causes Adam’s impulse to infallibly eat – while Calvin’s god knows he’s making Adam do what he commands Adam not to.

        Pleasure in evil!

      43. RHUTCHIN: Paul tells us, “All have sinned…”

        AIDAN: If you are referring to Romans 3:23 then it is spiritual death that Paul is speaking of in that passage, and the judgment there is conditional – based upon the him personally sinning, i.e. his own sins.

        Romans 3:23- “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

        Which means, prior to him committing a sin he was fine with God. As Paul said, “I was alive once without the law,..For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me” (Rom. 7: 9a,11). So the Scripture says, but the Calvinist opposes!

      44. AIDAN: Romans 3:23- “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
        Which means, prior to him committing a sin he was fine with God.”

        Paul writes, “For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin….for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…” Under sin means under its power and control of sin – this true even if they were to never sin. As Paul says in Ephesians, “among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” A person is born unrighteous and his natural desire is for sin.

      45. RHUTHCIN: Paul writes, “For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin….for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…” Under sin means under its power and control of sin – this true even if they were to never sin.”

        AIDAN: And yet, contrary to Calvinism, Paul says that he was “alive” before he sinned! Note: he was neither “dead” nor was he “under” sin before he sinned. It was not until he sinned that he died and came under sin and all that went with it – the key phrase here is, “for all HAVE SINNED” – not ‘for all are born sinners’ as some have imagined!

        RHUTCHIN: “A person is born unrighteous”

        AIDAN: No one is born unrighteous, otherwise Paul could not have said that he was once alive.

      46. Calvinism creates a whole new category of man: the sinless sinner.

        Unlike the God of scripture, Calvi-God holds the sons responsible for the sins of their fathers. Thus, all men are born guilty of sin they have never committed. Sound illogical and unjust. Yeah, it is. But it is necessary to make ‘the system’ work, so they have to live with it. (That’s why they must constantly distract, deflect and use their ‘Look, a flying squirrel!’ tactics. After putting the overwhelmed mind to sleep with endless multi-syllabic, contradictory verbiage that adds up to meaninglessness. It’s not easy keeping up a sham, and trying to make it sound biblical.

      47. TS00
        Endless multi-syllabic contradictory verbiage

        br.d
        I LOVE THAT description TS00!!
        Hope you don’t mind if I borrow it :-]

      48. TSOO: “That’s why they must constantly distract, deflect and use their ‘Look, a flying squirrel!’ tactics.”

        AIDAN: I have to say, Tsoo, that comment made me smile.😊 Thank you for that.

        CALVINIST: ‘Look, a flying squirrel!’

        NON-CALVINIST: Yeah! Look, I couldn’t give a monkeys!🐵

      49. I must give credit where it is due. Another commenter from the past introduced the flying squirrel idea, and it made me bust out laughing the first time he used it. I only borrow it out of admiration for its applicability.

      50. Well, it’s very good and so true. This reminds me of politicians who master the craft of deflection for whenever he needs to hide something and is unwilling or unable to answer the question! And they also revert to repeating the same old thing over and over again, avoiding the issue, because that’s all he knows to do – or maybe he is trained to do. I understand that politicians may have to do this from time to time as a protection mechanism against the media, but when it comes to anyone who calls himself a Christian, it’s not an honest way to engage with your next door neighbor – not at all! This type of game-playing exhibits nothing but deception! So, when you begin to see flying squirrels, you’ll know that you are either in the presence of a magician, or a Calvinist. You can take your pick!😏😉

      51. TS00 writes, “Calvinism creates a whole new category of man: the sinless sinner.”

        Actually, an unrighteous sinless sinner. This is why works cannot save a person. A person can be sinless and still lost because he is unrighteous. Christ atoned for sin by His death on the cross, but Christ also imputed his righteousness to the sinner whose sins had been atoned. Without both parts – the atonement for sin and imputed righteousness, one cannot be saved.

        Then, “Calvi-God holds the sons responsible for the sins of their fathers. Thus, all men are born guilty of sin they have never committed.”

        Adam’s sin had real impacts on people. Adam was kicked out of the garden and none of his descendants could enter the garden. Childbirth for women became painful. People would have to work harder to get the land to produce. People may be born without sin, but not righteous.

      52. rhutchin
        Adam’s sin had real impacts on people.

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        The sin Calvin’s god caused Adam to commit and didn’t permit Adam to do otherwise had real impacts on other people

      53. Except, Calvinism does not stop at stating it had impact upon others, which nearly all believers would affirm. Oh no, they go much further, and say that God cursed all men, leaving them helpless and hopeless, solely based on the actions of a man whom preceded their existence. Under Calvinism, it is not merely that Adams’s sin ‘effected’ all men – Rhutchin is simply trying to hide behind the non-Calvinist belief system. Rather, God first ordained that Adam sin, then deliberately held all future men guilty of his crimes. This is atrocious, unjust and entirely untrue.

      54. TS00 writes, “God first ordained that Adam sin, then deliberately held all future men guilty of his crimes. This is atrocious, unjust and entirely untrue.”

        Yet, Paul argues, “just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.”

      55. TS00 writes, “God first ordained that Adam sin, then deliberately held all future men guilty of his crimes. This is atrocious, unjust and entirely untrue.”

        RHUTCHIN: “Yet, Paul argues, “just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men,”

        AIDAN: Certainly, the consequence of Adam’s sin was that all would be born separated from the tree of life–hence born under the sentence of death. But men only die spiritually because of their own sin (Rom. 3:23; 7:9-11).

      56. rhutchin
        “just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned

        br.d
        John Calvin
        -quote
        men can deliberately do nothing unless he INSPIRE it. (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God pg 171–172)
        -quote
        They are merely instruments, into which god CONSTANTLY INFUSES what energy he sees meet, and TURNS and converts to any purpose at his pleasure. (Institutes)

      57. “just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.”

        What this does NOT suggest is that all men are declared guilty of Adam’s sin. Rather, through Adam, sin first ‘entered the world’ or came into being. Before this moment in time, sin had not occurred. But note carefully, how and why death spread to all men. It was NOT because God held all men accountable for Adam’s sin. Quite the contrary, it is clearly stated that death spread to all men ‘because all men sinned’. Not for a moment can one assert that all men are held accountable for Adam’s sin, but only their own.

        This is akin to saying the noxious poison ‘Roundup’ entered the world through Monsanto, and thus spread across the globe and into nearly every man’s bloodstream, because many people used it. Monsanto created the poison. It did not, until created and sold by them, exist anywhere in the world. But Monsanto did not actually spray Roundup all over the world, poisoning us all. Rather, it lied about its safety and effectiveness, thus persuading men to ‘sin’ and trust in this noxious poison.

        The same is true of sin. Once it existed, Satan deceived and lied about its true danger and toxicity, thus seducing individual after individual to take part in it. Each man, likewise seduced, chose to sin, and it is for that sin that each man is held accountable. No one is guilty of Adam’s choice to eat of the forbidden fruit but Adam. I am guilty of my own chosen sin, whether it is harboring hatred for my neighbor, lusting after his possessions or any of a million other sins that I might commit.

        Calvinism should be exposed for the errors it propagates. This is a really huge one, and has been used to prop up the false and deadly doctrine of (Calvinistically defined) Total Depravity. Nowhere does the bible assert that every man is born sinful, or born guilty of sin not ever committed. This lie must be exposed an denounced, once and for all, and with it, will come tumbling down the whole false construct of Calvinism.

      58. I agree TS00
        Total Depravity is a red-herring doctrine.
        It attributes to man – what was never ever UP TO man *AS-IF* it was.

        Like Dr. William Lane Craig says:
        In Calvinism – god is like a boy who moves about his toy solders treating them *AS-IF* he’s not moving them.

        In Calvinism – the state of nature (including man’s perceptions, choices, desires, thoughts, impulses etc) are 100% determined by an external mind.

        A hypnotist who determines a person’s perceptions, choices, desires, thoughts, and impulses – and then blames the very things he himself determines on anyone other than himself is simply a dishonest hypnotist.

      59. TS00 rites, “Nowhere does the bible assert that every man is born sinful, or born guilty of sin not ever committed.”

        The Bible asserts that faith comes by hearing the gospel and from this, it is an easy conclusion that no faith exists prior to a person hearing the gospel. The Calvinist conclusion that people without faith are Totally Depraved is warranted. This is affirmed by Paul 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.” Without faith, those in the flesh cannot please God. You call this a lie – you are free to do so.

        Then, “No one is guilty of Adam’s choice to eat of the forbidden fruit but Adam. I am guilty of my own chosen sin,…”

        Adam’s choice to eat the fruit resulted in his loss of righteousness. He passed on his unrighteous nature to his children and they passed it on to their children. An unrighteous nature is a nature without faith. That is why Paul described the person without faith this way, ““There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God…There is no fear of God before their eyes.” The cost of Adam’s sin was unrighteousness and this led to Adam’s expulsion from the garden. Adam’s children were also excluded from re-entering the garden because they inherited an unrighteous nature from Adam and were bereft of faith. All of your emotional tirades cannot change the facts.

      60. rhutchin
        Adam’s choice to eat the fruit resulted in his loss of righteousness.

        br.d
        Calvinist Interpretation:
        Calvin’s god determining Adam’s choice for him – and not permitting or making available to Adam any alternative possibility – resulted in Adam’s loss of righteousness.

      61. Indeed, Adam’s sin was unrighteousness, but to say that meant a loss of ability to have faith and trust in God is nothing but fanciful speculation. If only they would speak where the Scriptures speak, and be silent where the Scriptures are silent we might have some hope of getting to the truth.

      62. Just think what the church would miss without Calvinists – their the only one’s who know every divine secret :-]

      63. AIDAN: “Adam’s sin was unrighteousness, but to say that meant a loss of ability to have faith and trust in God is nothing but fanciful speculation.”

        Adam’s sin entailed a loss of faith. Even Adam cold only regain faith through hearing the gospel. However, this requires that God draw Adam to Christ and that God and Adam must be taught by God. Absent God’s drawing and teaching, no person has the ability to gain faith (in Christ).

        Then, “If only they would speak where the Scriptures speak, and be silent where the Scriptures are silent we might have some hope of getting to the truth”

        I guess you need to devote more time to Bible study.

      64. rhutchin
        I guess you need to devote more time to Bible study.

        br.d
        What he’s missing is the Calvinist’s bible! :-]

      65. br.d writes, “Calvinist Interpretation:
        Calvin’s god determining Adam’s choice for him – and not permitting or making available to Adam any alternative possibility – resulted in Adam’s loss of righteousness.”

        This God did when He created Adam with limited knowledge and understanding and then opened the way for Satan to enter the garden to tempt Eve and then used Eve to get Adam to eat the fruit. God understood the ramifications of His actions for Christ was slain from the foundation of the world and Adam’s sin was an integral part of God’s purpose in creating the world.

        Not even br.d attempts to put forward an opposing interpretation.

      66. rhutchin
        This God did when He created Adam

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        Thus Calvin’s god determines every perception and impulse that could come to pass within Adam’s brain.
        Making Adam eat the fruit – after telling Adam not to.

        rhutchin
        And opened the way for Satan to enter the garden to tempt Eve

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        And determined every perception and impulse within Satan’s brain – CAUSING him to go into the garden to temp Eve

        rhutchin
        and then used Eve to get Adam to eat the fruit.

        br.d
        By determining every impulse within Eve’s brain – and not making any alternative possibility available to any of them.

        rhutchin
        God understood the ramifications of His actions……..

        br.d
        If he doesn’t understand the consequences of what his brain CONCEIVES, and his hands PRODUCE – perhaps his elevator doesn’t go up to the top floor! 😀

        rhutchin
        Adam’s sin was an integral part of God’s purpose in creating the world.

        br.d
        This is just the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to how Calvinists know all divine secrets.
        They even knows the intimate details when Calvin’s god cuts the cheese! :-]

        rhutchin
        Not even br.d attempts to put forward an opposing interpretation.

        br.d
        That one is hilarious enough! :-]

      67. AIDAN: “No one is born unrighteous, otherwise Paul could not have said that he was once alive.”

        A person is righteous on the basis of his faith; the unrighteous do not have faith. No one is born with faith, so no one is born righteous. Righteousness comes with faith and specifically through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the unrighteous person

      68. rhutchin
        A person is righteous on the basis of his faith

        br.d
        Actually – now that I think about it – I don’t think Calvin’s god give “faith” to anyone.
        Because the word faith has as its root the Greek word “peitho” which means to persuade.
        And the idea of persuading a human in Calvinism entails a degree of autonomy the doesn’t exist in Calvinism
        One does not Persuade a robot.
        One programs a robot.

        Calvin’s god doesn’t persuade a Calvinist
        He simply decrees different impulses to come to pass within the Calvinist’s brain.

      69. AIDAN: “No one is born unrighteous, otherwise Paul could not have said that he was once alive.”

        RHUTCHIN: “A person is righteous on the basis of his faith; the unrighteous do not have faith. No one is born with faith, so no one is born righteous. Righteousness comes with faith and specifically through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the unrighteous person.”

        AIDAN: Your statements to your conclusions are false!

        A person is unrighteous because they have sinned and are a sinner! No one is born a sinner, so no one is born unrighteous. Note the cause of our unrighteousness in Romans 3:22-23 NASB: – “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

        Yes, righteousness comes through faith, but justification is a legal concept based on the forgiveness of sins; a verdict of acquittal given to sinners as a gift – he is declared free from guilt and accounted as righteous (Romans 4: 6-9). But it has nothing to do with being imputed with Christ’s righteousness. There’s actually not a verse in the bible that teaches, ‘we are imputed with Christ’s righteousness.’ If we were, we would become as sinless and perfect as He was – and we’re not (1 Jn 1: 8-9).

      70. rhutchin
        No one is born with faith

        br.d
        In Calvinism – no one is born with the capacity to reach a conclusion through rational reasoning – because a NECESSARY CONDITION for rational reasoning is the ability to choose between TRUE and FALSE without that choice being determined *FOR* you – by an external mind.

        No amount of magical faith is going to flip Theological Determinism – and make it become Theological IN-Determinsm. :-]

      71. rhutchin
        No one is born with faith

        Aidan:
        That statement is about as rational as making the following three statements – No one is born with an education – No one is born speaking – No one is born doubting! Talk about stating the obvious – It proves nothing!

        Oh, but, ‘faith comes by hearing!’ Yeah! Well it’s just as easy to say, “an education comes by hearing and learning! Speaking comes by hearing! And even doubting comes by hearing – for no one is born exercising these things.

        Our Calvinist friend simply doesn’t know how to make a common sense rational argument on this forum.

      72. AIDAN: “That statement is about as rational as making the following three statements – No one is born with an education – No one is born speaking – No one is born doubting! Talk about stating the obvious – It proves nothing!”

        The Calvinist says that no one is born with faith making everyone totally depraved from birth until receiving faith through hearing the gospel. Thus, the T of TULIP is affirmed. Dr. Flowers denies Total Depravity and denies the inability of any person to accept salvation.

      73. rhutchin
        The Calvinist says that no one is born with faith making everyone totally depraved from birth

        br.d
        That’s because Calvinists are not born with the NORMAL human function of belief – sufficient to meet the condition for salvation.

        Calvin’s god also does not permit Calvinists to come to conclusion through rational thinking – because Rational thinking requires the ability of their minds to make a choice between TRUE and FALSE without an external mind making that choice for them.

        The Calvinist brain comes to a conclusions because Calvin’s god determines it to – which precludes the LIBERTARIAN choice between TRUE and FALSE.

      74. Aidan,
        No one is born speaking

        br.d
        Yes! So Calvin’s god must give them the gift of “speech”

        How many Calvinists does it take to twist language into an irrational pretzel! :-]

      75. Good one!
        Calvinists are not born with the gift of DOUBLE-SPEAK.
        And Calvin’s god has a very special kind of DOUBLE-SPEAK which he specifically gifts to Calvinists! :-]

      76. Calvinism 101 – learning how to talk out of both sides of your mouth at the same time! 🤣

      77. rhutchin
        Paul writes, “For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        Calvin’s god designs/creates/makes Jews and Greeks commit sins which he conceives for them to commit

        Thus we have the “T” in Calvinism’s TULIP

        “T” Totally Predestined Nature:
        The state of man’s nature at any instance in time is totally predestined prior to creation, and therefore absolutely nothing about any part of man’s nature (or anything else for that matter) is ever up to any man.

      78. rhutchin
        by one man’s (Adam’s) disobedience many were made…..

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        Calvin’s god decrees every impulse that will appear within man’s brain
        Because he is glorified and takes pleasure in evil – he made Adam disobey his spoken command – not permitting Adam any alternative.

      79. br.d
        Where Calvin’s god decrees people to sin – people are NOT FREE to NOT sin – because that freedom is not compatible with what Calvin’s god determined people to be/do/desire.

        rhutchin
        God decreed that people be born without faith (in Christ) consequent to Adam’s sin……

        br.d
        Thanking you for affirming!

        Thus Calvin’s god making Adam (and all people) NOT FREE to NOT sin – because that freedom is not compatible with what Calvin’s god determined Adam (and all people) to be/do/desire.

        rhutchin
        God understood all this when He created the universe.

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        Calvin’s god understood that he would create Adam (and all people) under Determinism/Compatibilism – where they would be NOT FREE to NOT commit the sins he designs them to commit.

        And since the existence of Determinism/Compatibilism mutually excludes Libertarian Freedom – it LOGICALLY follows – Libertarian Freedom in any form – at any time – is NEVER permitted by Calvin’s god to ever exist.

      80. God created beings who are born as infants, therefore they are born without faith in anything. Their first trust is usually in their mother, who feeds, cares for and meets their needs, but this is more of a ‘folk’ faith, based on experience rather than intellectual knowledge. Only as they grow and mature in stature and knowledge do people acquire the intellectual ability to put their faith in propositions that they begin to understand.

        Thus, whereas the initial sorts of faith, as in Mother, Father and the chair one sits on exist without intellectual consent, as the child matures he is able to ponder things more rationally. He begins to understand the difference between reality, such as a story about a day at the beach versus fairy tales, such as stories about monsters, fairies or Santa Claus. It is not that God inputs faith into the child’s brain with each new intellectual activity, but that he places his faith, by choice, in things as he grows in understanding.

        Some children may believe in Santa for a number of years. Most, as they mature, begin to reason that the stories demand things which are illogical and impossible, such as Santa flying through the sky with flying reindeer, and being able to deliver presents all over the world in a matter of hours. His faulty faith is not snatched away, but fades as his ability to reason grows.

        The same is true for man’s understanding of who God is and what he has said and done. Unless they have heard the message of the gospel, and understood it, they have little likelihood of putting their faith in God and his promises. However, upon hearing the Truth, such as when apostles like Paul presented and reasoned with men, people gained the information, knowledge and ability to make a reasonable decision to put their faith in God.

        It is entirely a man made theory that turns this natural, universal process into some magical ‘poof’ from God that turns a man into something he once was not. It is pure nonsense, and utterly antithetical to the entire message of scripture, and the entire human experience. But grab on to a few out of context verses, and twist them with all your might, and you can create any kind of story you wish.

      81. TSOO
        It is entirely a man made theory that turns this natural, universal process into some magical ‘poof’ from God that turns a man into something he once was not

        br.d
        Well said TSOO!
        The underlying core of the system the doctrine of the decrees – where whatsoever comes to pas is decreed to come to pass infallibly.
        All 100% determined prior to creation.

        And yet – the scripture – rather than putting portraying people as PREDESTINED for one end or the other – puts a supreme emphasis on faith.

        So how is the Calvinist doing to make a link between those two very different worlds?

        He has to manufacture some invention to incorporate faith into his system – in a way that is coherent with 100% of whatsoever comes to pass – infallibly decreed before people are born.

        So the invention the Calvinist came up with is declaring that people lack the human capacity of belief – which salvation in scripture is conditioned upon.

        So Calvin’s god has to specifically decree it come to pass – that a person have the normal human function of belief – necessary for salvation.

        And then they have to dig up verses in scripture – which they can wrestle into submission – in order to get people to swallow that camel.

      82. br.d writes, ‘So the invention the Calvinist came up with is declaring that people lack the human capacity of belief – which salvation in scripture is conditioned upon.”

        No. The Calvinist system says that no one is born with faith (in Christ) and such faith can only be received through hearing the gospel.

      83. That statement is so true but means something completely different to the Non-Calvinist.😌

      84. br.d
        The need is to somehow find something in scripture that can APPEAR as lining up with Determinism.

        So the invention the Calvinist came up with is declaring that people lack the human capacity of belief – which salvation in scripture is conditioned upon.”

        rhutchin
        No. The Calvinist system says that no one is born with faith (in Christ) and such faith can only be received through hearing the gospel.

        br.d
        I always get a kick out of you saying “NO” to my posts – while either agreeing with it – or side-stepping it altogether.

        What the Calvinist “says” – simply affirms the fact that Calvinism is a system of SEMANTIC masks. :-]

      85. Euphemism. What br.d stated is more clear and dastardly. Calvi-god deliberately creates men with an inability to do the only thing which can save them from death – believe in Christ.

        You can’t deny that. You’ve said it yourself, countless times. The Calvinist does not describe the lack of faith as a temporal state of immaturity, common to the undeveloped state of the human infant, but as a curse from Calvi-god. He has rendered all men unable to believe, because there are many he wishes to remain in their sin and die. That’s the unvarnished truth that Calvinists strive to gloss over with carefully parsed words.

        The hideous anti-gospel of Calvi no isms is that God so little loved the world that he deliberately withheld salvation from many. You want to say that brings Calvi-god glory, that’s your opinion.

        My opinion is that it makes him a monster, a demon, rather than the gracious, loving, self-sacrificing God of scripture, who genuinely desires that not a single man, woman or child should perish without making the personal, deliberate, knowing choice to reject his proffered love and grace.

      86. TS00
        Calvi no ism
        Calvin’s god so little loved the world that he deliberately withheld salvation from the many.

        br.d
        EXCELLENT!!!
        I’ve known for quite a while – that in Calvinism that concepts come in “Good-Evil” pairs.
        And every concept of “good” has its “evil” compliment.
        But I didn’t connect that fact with this verse.

        Very insightful TS00!

      87. TS00 writes, “Calvi-god deliberately creates men with an inability to do the only thing which can save them from death – believe in Christ. ”

        Jesus said, ““No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;” Paul wrote, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Then, “In Christ, you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,” Then, “we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren …because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

        It is only through the preaching of the gospel that people can receive the faith that can save them from death. Even today, there are many places in the world where the gospel is unknown and where people cannot be saved because of that. This is why both Calvinists and non-Calvinists send missionaries into the world to proclaim the gospel for without the proclaiming of the gospel, none can be saved.

      88. TS00
        Calvi-god deliberately creates men with an inability to do the only thing which can save them from death – believe in Christ.

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

        br.d
        ITERPRETATION:
        Calvi-god deliberately creates men with an inability to [come to me] and deliberately does not draw them.

        rhutchin
        It is only through the preaching of the gospel that people can receive the faith …..

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION:
        Calvi-god deliberately creates men with an inability to [hear the gospel] and deliberately prevents the capacity to believe in Christ

        It all makes perfect sense
        When you realize Calvin’s god would be a house divided against itself
        If he in any way permitted those whom he deliberately created for eternal torment in a lake of fire
        To be/do otherwise.

        Declaring a worm responsible for putting himself on your fish-hook takes a lot of brains! :-]

      89. RHUTCHIN: “This is why both Calvinists and non-Calvinists send missionaries into the world to proclaim the gospel for without the proclaiming of the gospel, none can be saved.”

        AIDAN: From my perspective, I honestly don’t see us preaching the same gospel. Also, I would imagine that there’s a lot a Calvinist missionary doesn’t tell them when preaching to them. I would guess that the gospel they think they are believing in, and the God they think they are serving is most likely not what they thought. Again, I would imagine that they most likely have obeyed a non-Calvinist gospel, only later to be re-shaped to a Calvinist gospel. Well, at least the ones that stay are truly converted, right?!!

      90. Calvinist missionaries – what a joke!
        A Calvinist missionary field is all too often a non-Calvinist church they can creep into unawares – and deceptively take over the property.

        Dr. Nelson R. Price, Pastor Emeritus in Baptist Church of New Orleans Louisiana
        -quote
        My appeal to any Calvinist among Southern Baptist is to be open, honest, and above board.
        Don’t be subversive.
        Have the courage of your convictions – and in being considered by a church, acknowledge from the beginning exactly what you believe.

        Dr. Frank Page, pastor of First Baptist Church of Talors, South Carolina
        -quote
        We must have honesty about this issue. There are churches splitting across the convention because Calvinists ministers are coming in quietly trying to teach Calvinism or Reformed theology without telling church pastoral search committees where they stand.

      91. Good one!
        Or how about – the divine gift of deceitfulness.
        Jesus called it – robing widow’s houses.

      92. Exactly br.d – rotten apples don’t fall far from the rotten tree! Like father, like son!

      93. When we had the head of missions come to give a report at our former Calvinist Church, the entire report ended up being about how many seminaries and churches accepted Calvinist literature and books. Not about how many were saved, not about how many heard the gospel. We were embarrassed and dismayed at what this missions director had to say. Missions for this particular Calvinist denomination did not appear to have anything to do with anyone coming to Christ – only about institutions being open to Calvinist influence.

      94. Preaching Calvinism is not preaching Christ. And that’s precisely what they are doing where ever they go! This is their gospel, the good news they bring back home to the congregants – look how many we have converted to Calvinism. This Calvinism is not the gospel at all, it is full of lies – it is a lie! It’s not based on the truth about Christ, nor about the Holy Spirit, nor about who the Father is – it’s a complete lie. To the extent that something is not of the truth, it is not the gospel but a curse (Galatians 1:6-9). No lie has ever revealed the gospel, only the truth can do that. This reminds me of something Jesus said to the Pharisees, He said:

        “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Mat. 23:15).

        Harsh as that may sound, it is the truth!

      95. I am also sorry that it sounds harsh to call out Calvinism, but it simply must be done. I do try to distinguish between Calvinism and the typical Calvinist, who most often is one in name only. Few really grasp or embrace the totality of Calvinism, with its horrid theology of a partial, cruel, mocking and unloving God. I know many Calvinists, and very few, if any of them, actually think of God like this.

      96. AIDAN: “From my perspective, I honestly don’t see us preaching the same gospel. ”

        Sure we do. The only difference is that the Calvinist understands that he only plants or waters and God gives the increase, while you say that you plant and water but God can only give the increase with the sinner’s permission.

        Then, “I would imagine that there’s a lot a Calvinist missionary doesn’t tell them when preaching to them.”

        As the Scriptural writers complained, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” in Hebrews 5 and elsewhere.

        Then, “I would imagine that they most likely have obeyed a non-Calvinist gospel,…”

        Which just means that you have an active imagination.

      97. God giving the increase against the sinners permission is not the gospel, which is why no one obeys a Calvinists gospel.

      98. AIDAN: “God giving the increase against the sinners permission is not the gospel, which is why no one obeys a Calvinists gospel.”

        As Paul aid, “God who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” The pride of man–is not of the Father but is of the world.

      99. Yes, but not against their will, but for those who humble themselves. God is love, and love doesn’t create people purposely for hell. Wake up man!

      100. AIDAN: “God is love, and love doesn’t create people purposely for hell.”

        What does Paul say? “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?”

      101. A very poorly translated and horribly twisted verse historically, particularly by Calvinists. The more natural interpretation is that God does not immediately slay the wicked, but endures them patiently, while calling and urging men to turn from wickedness that they might live. He even allowed a wicked man like Pharaoh to rise to great power and wealth, turning his stubborn wickedness to his own purposes. He allowed Israel, equally stubborn and wicked, to defy him and break all of their vows, for even amongst them, there were some who would repent and turn from evil. They also served as a warning and example to all who would come after them. But we all know how Calvinism will latch onto a bizarre and blasphemous interpretation of a verse and cling to it for all their worth, simply for the sake of not having to renounce their belief system.

      102. TS00 writes, “A very poorly translated…The more natural interpretation is that God does not immediately slay the wicked, but endures them patiently, while calling and urging men to turn from wickedness that they might live.”

        TS00 confuses “translation” with “interpretation.” It is a good translation. The natural interpretation is to read it exactly as it is written. The “more natural” interpretation is to pervert it by those who understand what it says and do not like it.

      103. rhutchin
        The natural interpretation is to read it exactly as it is written.

        br.d
        Which is completely impossible for a Calvinist mind – since the Calvinist mind is conditioned to read every verse through the lens of Universal Divine Causal Determinism

      104. br.d writes, “the Calvinist mind is conditioned to read every verse through the lens of Universal Divine Causal Determinism”

        The Calvinist mind reads every verse through the lens of God’s infinite understanding, and sovereign control, of His creation so that He works all things according to the counsel of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself.

      105. rhutchin
        The Calvinist mind reads every verse through the lens of God’s infinite understanding,

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        Every perception of TRUE vs FALSE – within the Calvinist mind – is determined by an external mind (i.e. Calvin’s god).
        And the Calvinist has absolutely no way of knowing what percentage of the perceptions Calvin’s god gives him are FALSE perceptions.

        Calvin’s god does not “MERELY” permit the Calvinist mind to choose TRUE vs FALSE for itself.
        That is a LIBERTARIAN FUNCTION which does not exist in Calvinism.

        The Jehovah’s witness mind and the Calvinist mind are both 100% determined by Calvin’s god.

      106. rhutchin
        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

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        Calvin’s god gets his jollies – by blaming people for sins he makes them commit

      107. Again, where in the verse you quoted does it specify that God created them that way?

      108. AIDAN: “Again, where in the verse you quoted does it specify that God created them that way?”

        “…the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction…”

      109. rhutchin
        “…the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction…”

        br.d
        That huge pile of Calvinists – whom Calvin’s god has deceived and given them a FALSE faith.
        He -quote
        1) Holds salvation out to them as a savor of condemnation
        2) Illumines them for a time to partake of it
        3) Then strikes them with greater blindness.

        Evil – Pleasure – and Calvin’s god
        Go together like peas in a pod! :-]

      110. AIDAN: “Again, where in the verse you quoted does it specify that God created them that way?”

        RHUTCHIN: “…the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction…”

        AIDAN: It says “prepared” not “created” two different words with different meanings here. So again, where, in the verse you quoted, does it specify that God CREATED them that way?

      111. AIDAN: It says “prepared” not “created” two different words with different meanings here. So again, where, in the verse you quoted, does it specify that God CREATED them that way?”

        We read, “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,…” So, your quibble is that the term “…beforehand for glory…” does not extend back to creation. Given that Cain murdered Abel thereby identifying himself as a vessel of wrath and given God’s perfect understanding of His action stated in Romans 9 before He even created one person, I would conclude that God’s eternal plan preceded creation and included the section in Romans 9.

      112. rhutchin
        “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,

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        Calvin’s god designed/created vessels of wrath which he prepared for eternal torment in the lake of fire for his good pleasure.
        And he declares himself to be long-suffering – in order to evade taking responsibility for what he decrees people to infallibly do.

      113. br.d writes, “INTERPRETATION
        Calvin’s god designed/created vessels of wrath which he prepared for eternal torment in the lake of fire for his good pleasure.
        And he declares himself to be long-suffering – in order to evade taking responsibility for what he decrees people to infallibly do.”

        “INTERPRETATION (Edited to reflect Scriptural teaching)
        Calvin’s god designed/created vessels of wrath which he prepared for eternal torment in the lake of fire according to the good pleasure of His will which He purposed in Himself,
        And he declares himself to be long-suffering – that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ.

      114. rhutchin
        And he declares himself to be long-suffering – that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ.

        br.d
        Don’t forget – Calvin’s god declares himself also to be long-suffering of the vessels of wrath he designed/created at the foundation of the world – for eternal torment in the lake of fire for his good pleasure. :-]

      115. AIDAN: “Again, where in the verse you quoted does it specify that God created them that way?”

        RHUTCHIN: “…the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction…”

        AIDAN: It says “prepared” not “created” two different words with different meanings here. So again, where, in the verse you quoted, does it specify that God CREATED them that way?

        RHUTCHIN: “So, your quibble is that the term “…beforehand for glory…” does not extend back to creation.”

        AIDAN: You said, “…vessels of wrath prepared for destruction…” My quibble is that the word “prepared” does not mean “created.” You tried to use this verse to say that God specifically created people for destruction. That’s not what the passage says!

      116. “Fitted for destruction”
        Greek scholar W.E. Vine has it as “prepared themselves for destruction”.

        And the reasoning is as follows:

        The Greek word is “katertismena”,
        The Middle Voice signifies that those referred to ‘fitted’ themselves for destruction.”
        And the middle voice expresses action that an object performs on itself.

        This is why some scholars believe it should be read in the middle voice. The entry for “katartizo” in the Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, pp. 418-19

        Furthermore, even the comments of some scholars who take it to be the passive form rules out any interpretation which would argue that God made these vessels to be what they were and then derives pleasure from damning them.

        Bruce Reeves – ChristianLibrary.org

      117. A much more reasonable interpretation. Who, in their right mind, would believe, or put their trust in, a God who created men for nothing but destruction. No reasonable person, in my opinion. Nor, from my experience, do most Calvinists even believe this. It has been withheld from them that this is what their systematic asserts and demands.

      118. TS00 writes, “Who, in their right mind, would believe, or put their trust in, a God who created men for nothing but destruction. No reasonable person, in my opinion.”

        So, reasons the Universalist also. If anyone ends up in destruction, then it must be the case that God created them for destruction. However, not for nothing, as God says of Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Every person, even those prepared for destruction, has a purpose in God’s eternal plan.

      119. rhutchin
        If anyone ends up in destruction, then it must be the case that God created them for destruction.

        br.d
        BINGO!
        And did not design/create/permit any other possibility to exist for them.

      120. rhutchin: “If anyone ends up in destruction, then it must be the case that God created them for destruction.”
        br.d: “And did not design/create/permit any other possibility to exist for them.”

        This affirmed where Paul says, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” Among those works is the destruction of some people according to the counsel of His will as purposed by God in Christ. God finalized His eternal plan before creation thereby decreeing all His works – Molinism identifies this as the one unique world that God choose to create. The counsel of God’s will incorporates His perfect understanding and expresses His perfect wisdom and such wisdom, once expressed, does not, and cannot, design/create/permit any other possibility to exist. Why should it? Any deviation from perfection would be imperfection and imperfection is impossible with God as any imperfection would identify God has having an imperfect understanding of His creation and creating with an imperfect plan shaped by an imperfect wisdom.

      121. rhutchin
        [in Calvinism] If anyone ends up in destruction, then it must be the case that God created them for destruction.

        br.d
        And did not design/create/permit any other possibility to exist for them.”

        rhuthin
        This affirmed where Paul says, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will,…..etc

        br.d
        Thus in Calvinism it follows:
        Calvin’s god does not permit the existence of any other possibility for Adam – from what Calvin’s god determines – at pain of falsifying an infallible decree – which Calvin’s god never ever ever permits any creature to be/do.

        And here we have the TRUE “T” in Calvinism’s TULIP

        “T” Totally Predestined Nature:
        The state of man’s nature at any instance in time is totally predestined prior to creation, and therefore absolutely nothing about any part of man’s nature (or anything else for that matter) is ever UP TO any man.

        And then we have the TRUE “U” in Calvinism’s TULIP

        “U” Unconditional Destiny by Design:
        Every aspect of man’s design and destiny is in total-abject-absolute unconditional subjection to an external divine and secret will. Nothing about man’s past, present, or future is ever UP TO man. And nothing about man’s design or destiny is conditioned upon anything having to do with man.

        And then we have the TRUE “L” in Calvinism’s TULIP

        “L” Limited Possibilities and Human Illusions
        All human impulses, perceptions, choices, and desires are exclusively predetermined for each human at the foundation of the world. And any perception of multiple options available for a human to choose from, exist only as divinely predestined human illusions. Illusions of non-predestined events, which as such never had any possibility of ever coming to pass, at pain of falsifying what was predestined.

        And then we have the TRUE “I” in Calvinism’s TULIP

        “I” Irresistible Human Functionality
        All human functionality, including morally significant functionality, is produced by impulses infallibly actualized within the human brain which occur as irresistible.

        And then we have the TRUE “P” in Calvinism’s TULIP

        “P” Possibility of Election
        Any human certainty of election in this lifetime is a predestined illusion. Every believer is promised only the possibility of election.

      122. Rh writes:
        “Every person, even those prepared for destruction, has a purpose in God’s eternal plan.”.

        Ah, most comforting, I’m sure, to those who – in your sick theory – were helplessly, hopelessly consigned to eternal conscious torment, or whatever evil delights you imagine Calvi-god dreamed up. I’m sure they would be high-fiving and singing songs of praise that they could be part of such a marvelous plan to bring Calvi-god ‘Glory’.

        One can almost imagine the conversation:

        ‘Sure is hot’.

        ‘Don’t complain. Think of all the glory Calvi-god is getting from our suffering.’

        ‘I’m sure you’re right, but you have to admit it’s a bitter pill to swallow. I mean, he could have spared us just like he did his little flock of chosen elect ones, yet here we are, with no hope of escape from eternal suffering due to sin we could not escape committing, after being inescapably born. I mean, if I had had some kind of chance, you know, like being offered a choice to not sin, or being offered the ‘faith’ those lucky fellows got even without asking for. But to know I was inescapably destined for this fate, through no fault of my own, is kinda hard to swallow.’

        ‘Man, you can’t just think of yourself. You have to understand that those lucky elect guys could never have known how merciful and kind Calvi-god is if he hadn’t made us to torture.’

        ‘I suppose you’re right. But somehow, from down here, it just doesn’t strike me as so glorious.’

      123. TS00 writes, “most comforting, I’m sure, to those who – in your sick theory – were helplessly, hopelessly consigned to eternal conscious torment, or whatever evil delights you imagine Calvi-god dreamed up.”

        They don’t even care. To them the whole gospel thing is foolishness. That is why Jesus said, ““No one can come to Me…” God must take the first step to draw a person to Christ else none could be saved.

      124. rhutchin
        To them the whole gospel thing is foolishness.

        br.d
        Calvinist INTERPRETATION:
        Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world determined their perceptions and impulses to ensure the whole gospel thing as foolishness.

        Of course – Calvinism’s definition of “Gospel” incorporates Calvin’s god designing people specifically for eternal torment in the lake of fire for his good pleasure.

        Evil – Pleasure – and Calvin’s god
        Go together like peas in a pod! :-]

      125. Every TOTALLY DEPRAVED Calvinist – deceived by Calvin’s god into believing he is “elect” is part of Calvin’s god’s plan :-]

      126. Yes, thanks for that Br.d, I had seen it in W.E. Vine alright, which is why I challenged Rhutchin’s interpretation of that word and passage. Here’s the paragraph in which Vine makes his comment:

        “to make fit, to equip, prepare” (kata, “down,” artos, “a joint”), is rendered “fitted” in Rom 9:22, of vessels of wrath; here the Middle Voice signifies that those referred to “fitted” themselves for destruction (as illustrated in the case of Pharaoh, the self-hardening of whose heart is accurately presented in the RV in the first part of the series of incidents in the Exodus narrative, which records Pharaoh’s doings; only after repeated and persistent obstinacy on his part is it recorded that God hardened his heart.)”

        The idea that God specifically creates people from birth for destruction, is just so alien, both in Scripture and common sense! This comment of Vine’s and the extra information you found reminds me of Paul’s statement in Acts 28:27:

        “And their eyes they have closed,
        Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
        Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
        So that I should heal them.” ’

        It’s pretty clear that God wanted to save them, but they refused to hear because THEY themselves had closed their eyes and ears to the truth. Which, by the way, suggests that their eyes and ears had been open prior to that – they hadn’t been born that way! They did it to themselves!

      127. Yes!
        Its the difference between human functionality that occurs supernaturally – or naturally.
        In Calvinism every event comes to pass infallibly.
        And nature does not have the attribute of infallibility.
        So there is no such thing as a “Naturally occurring” event in Calvinism
        And therefore there is no such thing as “Naturally occurring” human function

        We have the example of the boy who threw himself into fires being controlled by a demon spirit.
        That is the functional model of Calvinism.

        Calvin’s god is a spirit who controls all human functionality and all demonic functionality

        Its kind of like Calvin’s god is the spirit within the demon spirit who controls the demon spirit.
        And he is the spirit within the human who controls the human.

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

        -quote
        they are merely instruments, into which god constantly INFUSES what energy he sees meet, and TURNS and converts to any purpose at his pleasure. (Institutes)

      128. AIDAN: “It’s pretty clear that God wanted to save them, but they refused to hear because THEY themselves had closed their eyes and ears to the truth.”

        Of course, they had closed their eyes and ears to the truth because it was foolishness to them and thereby, they did not receive faith This is why Jesus said, ““No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;” and Paul reiterated when he wrote, “God who has begun a good work in you.”

      129. AIDAN: “It’s pretty clear that God wanted to save them, but they refused to hear because THEY themselves had closed their eyes and ears to the truth.”

        RHUTCHIN: “Of course, they had closed their eyes and ears to the truth because it was foolishness to them..”

        AIDAN: Okay! So they were NOT created or born blind and deaf to the truth, but rather, chose to close their eyes and ears to the truth because it seemed foolishness to them. I am glad you finally see.

        RHUTCHIN: This is why Jesus said, ““No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;”

        AIDAN: I agree! For Jesus says in the next verse, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” So of course, if they close their eyes and ears how can they turn and be healed by God?

        As Paul says,
        “And their eyes they have closed,
        Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
        Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
        So that I should heal them.” ’

        Yes, I agree, the choice was certainly theirs to make!

      130. AIDAN: “Okay! So they were NOT created or born blind and deaf to the truth, but rather, chose to close their eyes and ears to the truth because it seemed foolishness to them. I am glad you finally see.”

        They were born without faith and this was the cause of their blindness and deafness. Then, when they came under the preaching of the gospel, they considered it foolishness. A person does not choose to be born without faith. That’s just the way it is.

        Then, ‘So of course, if they close their eyes and ears how can they turn and be healed by God?”

        Only one way – The person must be drawn to Christ by God. Their plight began when they were born without faith.

      131. RHUTCHIN: “They were born without faith and this was the cause of their blindness and deafness.”

        AIDAN: Interesting! So, they were born dead – which of course would automatically mean that they were born blind, deaf, and dead in regard to faith! In fact, a dead man is unable to do, see, or hear anything – so how did these deaf, dumb, blind, dead people manage to CLOSE their eyes and ears? It’s a MYSTERY, right!!?

      132. AIDAN: “so how did these deaf, dumb, blind, dead people manage to CLOSE their eyes and ears? It’s a MYSTERY, right!!?”

        Without faith, a person is dead spiritually unable to do anything to please God. People without faith close their eyes to the truth of the Scriptures being willingly ignorant of those Scriptures calling them foolishness.

      133. How does a Calvinist know when a person is dead.
        The Calvinist looks over at the person and sees him close his eyes! 😀

      134. rhutchin
        It is God who reprobates and the person cannot escape reprobation without God’s help – by drawing the person to Christ,

        br.d
        Which is simply one more Calvinist MASQUERADE – out of a very long list!

        Since Calvin’s god specifically designs select individuals to be “vessels of wrath” (i.e. reprobate) at the foundation of the world.
        In contrast to select individuals he specifically designs as “vessels of honor”.

        Ain’t gonna get no help from “Calvin’s god’s help” on that account
        Unless Calvin’s god is divided against himself – which wouldn’t surprise anyone! :-]

        rhutchin
        yes. The number of the elect and the number of the unsaved were determined by God’s decree and neither will change.

        br.d
        Let the SOT101 reader compare rhutchin’s first and last statements. :-]

      135. AIDAN: “so how did these deaf, dumb, blind, dead people manage to CLOSE their eyes and ears? It’s a MYSTERY, right!!?”

        RHUTCHIN: “Without faith, a person is dead spiritually unable to do anything to please God. People without faith close their eyes to the truth..”

        AIDAN: It is true that prior to hearing the gospel people are dead spiritually. But the bible tells us that this is because they have sinned at some point in their lives – “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it KILLED ME” (Rom. 7:11). Just as Adam and Eve were alive, so, we too, were once alive before we unfortunately did sin.

        So, not because we are born without faith, nor that we are born dead, spiritually, but because we eventually sin and die; that is the reason why a person is without God and dead spiritually, for the Scripture says – “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” – Note what it says – YOUR iniquities and YOUR sins! It is because of our own iniquities and sins that we are separated from God and die.

        But, it is not through faith ITSELF, but through faith IN CHRIST that men are saved. Just as we chose to sin and died as a result; we must choose to turn away from sin and turn to the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of THE WORLD,” so that we might live – “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” And how many are lost? ALL ARE LOST – “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

        “For God so loved THE WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

        So, Rhutchin, if you Believe in Him, Repent of your sins, and having Confessed Him you are willing to be Baptized for the remission of sins – without question you WILL be saved – no matter who you are (Acts 2:36-39)! The question is, do YOU hear it?

      136. AIDAN: “It is true that prior to hearing the gospel people are dead spiritually.”

        You do not take faith into account. Romans 4 tells us, “Abraham’s faith is accounted for righteousness.” In Romans 3, we read, ““There is none righteous, no, not one;” Without faith, no one can be righteous. In Romans 8, “the carnal mind [without faith] 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.”

        People die because they are unrighteous and they are unrighteous because they have no faith. It is the lack of faith that results in a person choosing to sin.

      137. rhutchin
        It is the lack of faith that results in a person choosing to sin.

        br.d
        Actually – In Calvinism – lack of faith is the result of an infallible decree just as much as any human choice is.
        All human choice is determined by Calvin’s god
        So no human choice is UP TO the human

      138. AIDAN: “It is true that prior to hearing the gospel people are dead spiritually.”

        RHUTCHIN: You do not take faith into account. Romans 4 tells us, “Abraham’s faith is accounted for righteousness.” In Romans 3, we read, ““There is none righteous, no, not one;” Without faith, no one can be righteous. Without faith, a person is dead spiritually..”

        AIDAN: You say, ‘because we are all born without faith – we are all born dead, spiritually!’ But this is not true since we are all born ALIVE spiritually (Rom. 7: 9-11). Therefore, even though we are all born without faith – we are alive spiritually! It is not until we sin we die (Rom. 7:11). Yes, I agree, “There is none righteous, no, not one;” but then Paul explains why, he says – They have all TURNED aside; They have together BECOME unprofitable;..”(Rom. 3:12).

        “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed… even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; FOR all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..” So yes, without faith, no one can be righteous – because ALL have turned aside, ALL have become unprofitable, ALL HAVE SINNED. The righteousness of the law is for the SINLESS; but the righteousness of faith is for the SINNER.

        “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, BEING JUSTIFIED freely by His grace THROUGH THE REDEMPTION that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and THE JUSTIFIER OF THE ONE WHO HAS FAITH IN JESUS.”

        Notice in the paragraph above, how JUSTIFICATION is always connected with sin and the sinner? To justify is a legal term meaning – to declare, pronounce or account one to be righteous; the verdict of a judge- the verdict of acquittal in which one is declared to be free from guilt; the act of a judge in accounting a person righteous – not guilty! Therefore, we are talking about a – JUSTIFICATION OF SINNERS based on forgiveness of sins; a verdict of acquittal given to the sinner as a gift – by which he is declared or accounted as righteous.

        By two means here:
        1. It is – “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
        2. It is – “through faith in Jesus Christ.”
        The word faith sums up the means by which a person receives or appropriates to himself this righteousness manifested in the gospel.

        All of this is explained at the end of Romans 3 – read it!

      139. AIDAN: “Yes, I agree, “There is none righteous, no, not one;” but then Paul explains why, he says – They have all TURNED aside; They have together BECOME unprofitable;..”(Rom. 3:12). ”

        Romans 3
        10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;
        11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.
        12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”

        There is none righteous. Why – Because, there is none who understands. Why – Because there is none who seeks after God. Consequent to this, “They have all turned aside; ”

        Because people are not righteous, they turn aside. It is wrong to say, it is because they turn aside, that they are not righteous. It is the characteristic of not being righteous that that leads a person to turn aside. People without faith are unrighteous and it is the lack of faith that causes people to turn aside.

        Then, “So yes, without faith, no one can be righteous – because ALL have turned aside, ALL have become unprofitable, ALL HAVE SINNED. The righteousness of the law is for the SINLESS; but the righteousness of faith is for the SINNER.”

        Your presumption here is that all are born with faith and subsequently lose that faith through sin and become unrighteous. However, Paul is clear, faith does not come except through hearing the gospel. Prior to hearing the gospel, a person is both unrighteous and without faith.

        Then, “The word faith sums up the means by which a person receives or appropriates to himself this righteousness manifested in the gospel.”

        And this faith comes AFTER hearing the gospel. The person hears the gospel; receives faith, and that faith is the means by which a person receives or appropriates to himself this righteousness manifested in the gospel. BEFORE hearing the gospel, the person is without faith and unrighteous because he is without faith.

      140. rhutchin
        Because people are not righteous, they turn aside.

        br.d
        Calvinist INTERPRETATION
        Calvin’s god makes people turn aside and be not righteous – but we Calvinists always try to make it look like people do otherwise than what Calvin’s god determines them to do.

        We Calvinists call this our “ANGEL OF LIGHT” language mode! :-]

        rhutchin
        Your presumption here is that all are born with faith

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION:
        See how awesome we Calvinists are at twisting language!!
        Instead of saying people are not born with the normal human capacity of belief – we say they are not born with faith.

        People are not born with the normal human capacity to tie their shoes – so we say Calvin’s god must give them the supernatural gift of “shoe tying”! 😀

      141. RHUTCHIN
        Because people are not righteous, they turn aside.

        AIDAN
        That’s impossible 🤣, if a person is unrighteous he has already turned aside. It is because they turn aside they BECOME unprofitable. Everybody knows that Rom. 3:12 is explaining the statement made in verses 10-11.

        And, no, people are not born with faith, but rather, the capacity for faith 😊. Remember Paul was once alive, then he sinned and died. That’s when he fell.👍(Rom. 3:23)

      142. So many attempts by the Calvinist to confuse and mislead.

        People do not need to be ‘born with faith’. Faith is only necessary for the sinner to receive forgiveness. People are born sinless. One does not become a sinner until one sins. Then faith is necessary to receive grace (forgiveness). By the time the mature human being has become a sinner, accountable for his choices, he is also capable of believing (faithing).

        The whole disastrous Calvinist lie begins with asserting that God declares all men sinners because of Adam’s sin. This is a distortion of the biblical teaching that sin and death were introduced ‘into the world’ because of Adam, but sin is introduced to the individual only when he makes the choice to indulge in it. The ‘born a sinner’ theory (Total Depravity) is derived by piecing together unrelated scriptures out of context, not from any clear biblical suggestion or illustration that it is so. When a man sins, God holds him accountable for that sin; never is he held accountable for the sin of his father. On this, scripture is quite clear, going into great detail, at great length, to explain. (See Ezekiel 18) When he repents (turns from) sin, a man is granted forgiveness, not because he is one of the chosen elect, or somehow earns it, but because God has chosen to offer free grace to any sinner who puts his trust in God’s promise of forgiveness and life, proclaimed and demonstrated by Jesus.

        Calvinism, and really much of institutional religion, goes to great pains to muddy the waters, and make what is fairly simple into something beyond the average individual’s comprehension. (I suppose that grants them not only power and control, but job security.) The ‘ardent’ Calvinists I know are dependent upon their memorized scripts and jargon to explain what they have been told the bible says. They do not know how to reduce spiritual things into simple, easy to understand explanations that would make sense to a child, or use common, everyday words to describe what sin, salvation, etc. mean. When I do this for them, they just give me a blank look, shake their heads, then return to their ‘scripts’. It is sad, as they miss the genuine peace and assurance that comes from knowing God and trusting truly in him.

      143. John Calvin
        -quote
        The order, method, end, and necessity of events, are, for the most part, hidden in the counsel of god.
        Though it is certain that they are PRODUCED by the will of god.

        They have the APPEARANCE of being fortuitous, such being the form under which THEY PRESENT THEMSELVES to
        us…according to our knowledge and Judgment.”

        In other words:
        Calvin’s god PRODUCES every perception and every impulse within human beings.

        And on top of that he PRODUCES the human “knowledge and Judgment” those human internal perceptions and impulses – to APPEAR *AS-IF* he himself is not PRODUCING them.

      144. TS00 writes, “One does not become a sinner until one sins.”

        Here, we have the contrast.
        Calvinist: A person sins because he is a sinner and he is a sinner even if he never sins. A person is born unrighteous.
        TS00: A person is a sinner because he sins and is not a sinner until he sins. A person is born righteous.

      145. rhutchin
        Here, we have the contrast.
        Calvinist: A person sins because he is a sinner and he is a sinner even if he never sins. A person is born unrighteous.

        br.d
        CALVINIST INTERPRETATION
        Calvin’s god god decrees all sins into existence and makes persons commit them.
        And also
        Calvin’s god MAKES all persons for sinning – and thus classifies all persons as sinners
        And also
        Calvin’s god MAKES all persons unrighteous – and thus classifies all persons as unrighteous

        John Calvin
        -quote
        by the eternal good pleasure of god THOUGH THE REASON DOES NOT APPEAR, they are NOT found but MADE worthy of
        destruction. – (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of god)

      146. TS00 writes, “One does not become a sinner until one sins.”

        RHUTCHIN:
        “Here, we have the contrast.
        Calvinist: A person sins because he is a sinner and he is a sinner even if he never sins. A person is born unrighteous.
        TS00: A person is a sinner because he sins and is not a sinner until he sins. A person is born righteous.”

        AIDAN
        Rhutchin writes, “A person sins because he is a sinner..”
        Aidan writes: False! The fact that Adam and Eve were not sinners before they sinned, debunks your false theory! Paul, just like the rest of us, was not a sinner before he sinned, died, and fell short of the glory of God.

        Romans 7:11-NKJV Sin is personified!
        “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.”
        Notice that sin brought about his death, where the commandment was used by sin as a base of operations in order to seduce and bring about death! This means that there was a period of childhood innocence where he was sinless and alive! “I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died” (v.9). When the commandment ‘came’ means came to me, to my consciousness. Sin…through the commandment beguiled me…killed me! As in Genesis 3, the commandment was used by sin as a base of operations.

        It’s always good to remind ourselves that, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

        SO,
        Calvinist: “A person sins because he is a sinner and he is a sinner even if he never sins. A person is born unrighteous.
        Scriptures: A person becomes a sinner when he sins and not before he sins. No one is born unrighteous, they BECOME unrighteous.

        “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

      147. Rhutchin: “A person sins because he is a sinner..”
        Aidan: “False! The fact that Adam and Eve were not sinners before they sinned, debunks your false theory! Paul, just like the rest of us, was not a sinner before he sinned, died, and fell short of the glory of God.”

        We should agree that Adam and Eve were created by God and were righteous when God created created. When Adam ate the fruit, his nature was corrupted and he was no longer righteous. As evidence of this, Adam was kicked out of the garden. Even Adam’s children were banned from going back to the garden. This was because they were tainted by Adam’s sin -they were born unrighteous. Adam’s children needed salvation just as much as we do today. Nothing has changed.

        Then, “Romans 7:11-NKJV Sin is personified!…”

        Now, incorporate Romans 5 into your analysis and explain what Paul means across all of Romans. Prior to the verse you quote, Romans 7 has this: “For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.”

        When Paul says, “apart from the law sin was dead,” you thsayink that Paul did not need salvation as you say, “there was a period of childhood innocence where he was sinless and alive!”. This is wrong, When Paul said, “I was alive once without the law,” he did not mean that he did not need salvation. In the same way, when Paul writes, ““For sin…deceived me, and by it killed me.” he did not mean that the consequence of this was his need for salvation. Paul understood that salvation was through faith. Earlier, Paul wrote of Abraham, “he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,” This was before the law when Abraham was uncircumcised. Abraham was dead even without the law and it was by faith that he was counted righteous.

        Then, ““For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

        Here is a case where the non-Calvinists says that “ALL” does not mean “ALL.”

      148. rhutchin
        We should agree that Adam and Eve were created by God and were righteous when God created created. When Adam ate the fruit, his nature was corrupted and he was no longer righteous.

        br.d
        In Calvinism – All human impulses are 100% determined by Calvin’s god before Calvin’s god makes Adam eat the fruit
        And nothing changes on that score.

        Calvin’s god INFUSED Adam with unrighteous impulses prior to eating the fruit.
        So eating the fruit was simply the consequence of unrighteous impulses Calvin’s god INFUSED into Adam

        Ditto for all humanity.

        Bottom Line:
        In Calvinism the state of nature (including man’s nature) at every instance in time – 100% determined.
        None of which is UP TO any man – including Adam of course.

        So in Calvinism the post-fall change is for the most part cosmetic.

      149. Aidan: “The fact that Adam and Eve were not sinners before they sinned, debunks your false theory! Paul, just like the rest of us, was not a sinner before he sinned, died, and fell short of the glory of God.”

        Rhutchin: “Even Adam’s children were banned from going back to the garden. This was because they were tainted by Adam’s sin -they were born unrighteous.”

        Aidan:
        I think it would be better if you stopped hiding behind your real agenda, which is Determinism. As br.d put it, “Calvin’s god INFUSED Adam with unrighteous impulses prior to eating the fruit.” It would also be better if you made more of an effort to follow the Scriptures in these matters! The real reason why Adam, and consequently his children, were prevented from going into the garden is explained in Genesis 3:22-24: “and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever — therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Notice, it mentions nothing about anybody being ‘tainted by Adam’s sin – and being born unrighteous’ as being the reason why. You must have gone to the book of Calvin for that assumption, because you won’t find it anywhere in the Bible! Maybe next time you could read Genesis 3 and Ezekiel 18 and factor that into your answer!

        Rhutchin: Now, incorporate Romans 5 into your analysis and explain what Paul means across all of Romans.

        Aidan: I’m afraid you’ll have to be more specific than that.

        Rhutchin: “Earlier, Paul wrote of Abraham, “he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised,.. This was before the law when Abraham was uncircumcised. Abraham was dead even without the law and it was by faith that he was counted righteous.”

        Aidan: True, Abraham was without the law of Moses, but this does not mean that Abraham was without law. Remember, God never left Himself without witness, plus, we know He spoke to the Fathers long ago.`And besides, even the Gentiles were never totally without law according to Romans 2:14-15. Thus, God will have no trouble convicting them of guilt, for they have not even lived up to their own principles. Again, ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

        Rhutchin: “Here is a case where the non-Calvinists says that “ALL” does not mean “ALL.”

        Aidan: And here is another case where the Calvinists know exactly what I mean – hence, the STRAW-MAN!

      150. TS00, I felt like I was playing bingo when I read your comments. Here’s a list of them:

        1. “People are born sinless.” BINGO!
        2. “One does not become a sinner until one sins.” BINGO!
        3. “accountable for his choices, he is also capable of believing (faithing).” BINGO!
        4. “(Total Depravity) is derived by piecing together unrelated scriptures out of context,” BINGO!
        5. “never is he held accountable for the sin of his father.” BINGO!
        6. “On this, scripture is quite clear,..(See Ezekiel 18).” BINGO!
        7. “When he repents (turns from) sin, a man is granted forgiveness,” BINGO!
        8. “God has chosen to offer free grace to any sinner who puts his trust in God’s promise of forgiveness” BINGO!

        In contradiction to Rh, for which everything is about determinism, you rightly said, he is “accountable for HIS CHOICES – namely, for his own sin and NOT for his father’s sin (Ezek. 18)! And for repentance and impenitence alike (Acts 17:30-31; Rom. 2:4-5)! Accountable for belief or unbelief, trust or mistrust in God’s promises! Accountable for hearing or refusing to hear, because again, it was his own choice! The fact that we can refute Total Depravity from scripture, disproves its very foundation – i.e. determinism! And God will hold everyone accountable for his own choices, namely, the deeds done in the body, and that without respect of persons (Romans 2:6-11).

      151. rhutchin
        They were born without faith and this was the cause of their blindness and deafness.

        br.d
        They were born without shoe-tying.
        So in order for them to be able to tie their shoes – Calvin’s god had to give them shoe-tying as a special supernatural gift!

        He reached into their brains and replaced their non-shoe-tying algorithms – with shoe-tying algorithms!

        Isn’t Calvin’s god’s grace wonderful! 😀

      152. rhutchin
        Of course, they had closed their eyes and ears to the truth because it was foolishness to them and thereby, they did not receive faith

        br.d
        And now the WHOLE TRUTH
        Calvin’s god who determines 100% of whatsoever comes to pass within the human brain – determined them to close their eyes and ears to the truth and make it foolishness to them.

        He gave these Calvinists the special gift of FALSE faith – cuz he designed them for the lake of fire – cuz he gets his jollies from their torment.

        Just like he gets his jollies from making people throw babies into the fire of Moloch.

      153. AIDAN: You said, “…vessels of wrath prepared for destruction…” My quibble is that the word “prepared” does not mean “created.” You tried to use this verse to say that God specifically created people for destruction. That’s not what the passage says!

        Earlier, you wrote, “You mean all the evil in the world? Tell me something new.” in response to my comment, “God has a perfect understanding of His creation and had that understanding before He created the world….As God created the world, He determined all that would happen in that world.” As God determined all that would happen in that world. this included “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.” Vessels of wrath prepared for destruction were part of the creation known to, and determined by, God.

      154. RHUTCHIN: “As God determined all that would happen in that world. this included “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.” Vessels of wrath prepared for destruction were part of the creation known to, and determined by, God.”

        AIDAN: Determining that vessels of wrath should be for destruction says nothing about deliberately ‘creating them from birth’ for that purpose! We should take into account the fact that Pharaoh initially hardened his own heart, as did the Jews in their unbelief – whom God endured with much longsuffering! God having a perfect understanding simply means that God has perfect understanding.🙂

      155. AIDAN: “God having a perfect understanding simply means that God has perfect understanding.”

        God’s understanding is the basis for the council of His will from which God derives His purpose, His eternal plan, and works all things. God is omniscient knowing His purpose, plan, and works before He creates the world.

      156. Knowing all things does not automatically mean He determines all things. But God has determined to bring all things in subjection under His Son’s feet. So we know what the end of the wicked will be, and we also know what the end of the kingdom/Church will be.

      157. AIDAN: “Knowing all things does not automatically mean He determines all things. ”

        That God knows all things means that all things are determined. All things were determined when God created the world, so God is the remote determiner of all things – God set everything in motion knowing the beginning and the end. The question now turns on God’s direct involvement in everything that happens – here, Paul tells us that God works all things according to the counsel of His will. That makes God the final arbiter of all that happens. Paul also tells us, “God has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.” Then, Paul writes, ” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 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,” So, God is intimately involved in His creation having, at the least, determined all that was to happen by His act of creation. We know the end of all things because God has told us that end. Such things are certain and God is intimately involved in bringing about those ends.

      158. rhutchin
        That God knows all things means that all things are determined. All things were determined when God created the world…..The question now turns on God’s direct involvement in everything that happens.

        br.d
        DUH!
        There is no question there at all – Calvin’s god determines 100% of whatsoever comes to pass – leaving ZERO% undetermined – leaving ZERO% left over for anyone else to determine.

        Thus Calvin’s god’s DIRECT involvement is summed up!
        He is DIRECTLY involved in 100% of whatsoever comes to pass.

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

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

      159. RHUTCHIN:
        “Paul tells us that God works all things according to the counsel of His will. That makes God the final arbiter of all that happens…So, God is intimately involved in His creation having, at the least, determined all that was to happen by His act of creation.”

        AIDAN: What do you mean by saying, God determines all things?

        The term “Counsel” here is defined with words such as: Advice, Purpose, Will, Plan.

        In Psalms 33: 10-11 we have-
        The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
        He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
        The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
        The plans of His heart to all generations.

        This is not the same as saying that God determines all the evil in men’s hearts, or their wicked deeds! For the scriptures says,

        “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”(James 1:13-14). Hence, God has NOT determined the sin and wickedness in our hearts and lives. Our evil desires and evil deeds have nothing to do with Him!

        Another scripture says,

        “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
        And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 Jn. 2:16-17). Notice the separation between the Father and the World! All that is in the world-is NOT of the Father-therefore He didn’t determine them! THEY have nothing to do with God! Notice also, that these things are NOT His will, for it says – BUT – he who does the will of God abides forever.” In other words, all these things that are – of the world – are, and always will be, CONTRARY to His will. They are neither from Him, nor according to His will.

        Who said that God determines ALL things, whatsoever comes to pass? You need to be very careful what you blame God for – because you will have to give an account one day for all that you’ve spoken against Him!

      160. AIDAN: writes, “Who said that God determines ALL things, whatsoever comes to pass?”

        Your quibble is with the word, “all,” as even you must admit that God determined SOME things. For example:
        – the creation of the world
        – the creation of Adam/Eve
        – the flood of Noah
        – the confusion of languages at Babel
        – the destruction of Sodom,etc.
        – the choosing of Abraham to give rise to the nation of Israel
        – the birth of Christ
        – the death of Christ
        – the second coming of Christ

        So, we know that a great number of events were determined by God.

        However, God is omniscient, and knew all events that would occur in the world following the creation. In creating the world God determined that all the events known to Him would come about with absolute certainty.

        We also know that God works all things for good to those who love Him. We see this in the life of Joseph and Daniel, among others.

        Finally, Paul tells us that “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” If we let “determine” be defined as “works all things according to the counsel of His will,” then we have God determining ALL things.

        How does God work all things. He does it by giving Adam/Eve less than perfect knowledge and understanding making them easy targets for Satan. He similarly restricts the knowledge and understanding of all other people. God works through people by keeping faith from them until they hear the gospel. It is God who determined that Satan would have control over Job and over Judas. Given that God is omnipresent, He is able to observe every evil act that occurs and He has the power to stop any evil He wants. That God does not stop evil means that He determines any evil he does not stop.

        So, the real question is what events escape God’s notice and are outside His control such that we can say that He did not determine them. None that you have identified.

      161. RHUTCHIN:
        “However, God is omniscient, and knew all events that would occur in the world following the creation. In creating the world God determined that all the events known to Him would come about with absolute certainty.”

        AIDAN:
        If God knew all events that would occur in the world following the creation, then God would not need to determine all those events known to Him.

        RHUTCHIN:
        “We also know that God works all things for good to those who love Him.”

        AIDAN:
        All things work together for good – to those who LOVE Him. This statement is then elaborated in vv. 29-30 to show that it refers to the completion of God’s purpose for those who are in Christ. Not that good is to be seen in everything that happens to the Christian, but that the end will be good. Paul does not teach unconditional foreordination and election in that verse. The persons “called according to his purpose” are identified with “those who love Him.” In other words, God knew the KIND OF PERSONS He wanted as His people, and predetermined such people to be “conformed to the image of His Son,” etc. He then did all things necessary to bring them to that end.

        RHUTCHIN:
        “That God does not stop evil means that He determines any evil he does not stop.”

        AIDAN:
        Not so! “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is NOT of the Father but is of the world.”

      162. AIDAN:: “If God knew all events that would occur in the world following the creation, then God would not need to determine all those events known to Him.”

        It is because God determined all events that He knows all events. If God had not determined to create Adam, then He would know Adam only as a possibility and not as actuali.

        Aidan_ “All things work together for good – to those who LOVE Him. This statement is then elaborated in vv. 29-30 to show that it refers to the completion of God’s purpose for those who are in Christ….He then did all things necessary to bring them to that end.”

        Thereby, God determines everything with respect to His elect to ensure the end result – there will be no surprises to God. That is a big chunk of “all”

        Then, ‘“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is NOT of the Father but is of the world.””

        Not of the Father – nor imposed directly by God as was the flood of Noah or the impregnation of Mary – but still determined by God as He knew all that would happen if He crated the world and thereby planned for all those events to happen. Perhaps, the issue here is your definition of “determine.”

      163. rhutchin
        It is because God determined all events that He knows all events.

        br.d
        And Calvinists accuse others of operating in HUMAN PHILOSOPHY!!
        What a hoot!! :-]

      164. AIDAN
        Who said that God determines ALL things, whatsoever comes to pass?”

        rhutchin
        Your quibble is with the word, “all,” as even you must admit that God determined SOME things…..

        br.d
        Actually the Calvinist’s quibble is with the ability to have a RATIONAL thought.

        If SOME cars are Black Mercedes Benzs – it does not LOGICALLY follow that ALL cars are Black Mercedes Benzs.

        People who can think RATIONALLY know the difference between ALL and SOME

        But Calvinists constantly quibble with thinking RATIONALLY.

        Another example – for the Calvinist is – the proposition:
        Calvin’s god determines ALL human perceptions, choices, impulses and determinations.

        Since Calvin teaches Calvinists to – quote “Go about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part”
        The Calvinist converts this proposition to:

        Calvin’s god determines SOME human perceptions, choices, impulses and determinations.

        So it becomes obvious – that Calvinist’s due to the psychological consequences of their doctrine – are forced to hold many dictates of their doctrine as TRUE one minute and FALSE the next!

        Calvinism’s is DOUBLE-MINDED! :-]

      165. br.d
        Actually the Calvinist’s quibble is with the ability to have a RATIONAL thought.

        If SOME cars are Black Mercedes Benzs – it does not LOGICALLY follow that ALL cars are Black Mercedes Benzs.

        People who can think RATIONALLY know the difference between ALL and SOME

        Aidan: The Greek word “ek” – (of) the Father; and (of) the world, is an interesting word in this verse. Thayer says here it means – “to proceed from anyone as the author,” Strong:- ek; a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds), from, out (of place, time, or cause; literal or figurative; direct or remote):— Vine says: “The primary meaning of ek is “out of,””

        And if ALL that is in the world—is NOT OF THE FATHER but is of the world – it LOGICALLY follows that SOME THINGS are NOT determined by the Father, He is not the author – namely, of ALL that is of the world.

        ALL those evil desires – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – is NOT of the Father.

        ALL that is of the world = NOTHING of the Father

        God is the – author – of NOTHING that is “of the world.”

        I wonder where RH gets his “source” from?

      166. Aidan
        I wonder where RH gets his “source” from?

        br.d
        Well – all of his thinking has to align itself within the confines of Universal Divine Causal Determinism.
        Otherwise known as Exhaustive Divine Determinism.

        In order to make a full-blown Calvinist – one must first convince his mind that all things are determined at the foundation of the world.
        And that becomes for him – the most sacred of all truths.

        Once a human mind is convinced of something – that mind will quite naturally read verses in scripture and those verses will affirm what that mind has been conditioned to see.

        The same process is a work when the human mind looks at an ink-blot.
        I remember reading an article where psychological tests were done on Nazi generals who had committed grotesque atrocities against Jewish people. He was shown an ink-blot and he said it looked like the body of an animal that had been filleted into two pieces.

        The human mind interprets data by making internal associations with what it already knows.
        So RHs mind is automatically interpreting verses in scripture to affirm what his mind has been indoctrinated to belief.

      167. Absolutely right br.d, he is always and ever looking at the scriptures through the lens of Exhausting Divine Determinism 🙃. It’s exhausting isn’t it?😝

      168. Aidan
        always and ever looking at the scriptures through the lens of Exhausting Divine Determinism 🙃. It’s exhausting isn’t it?😝

        br.d
        Yes – the DOUBLE-MINDED belief system – which sees others who don’t embrace the DOUBLE-MINDED system as some form of heresy!
        It is funny to watch! :-]

      169. AIDAN: “he is always and ever looking at the scriptures through the lens of Exhausting Divine Determinism”

        I look at the Scripture through the lens of the attributes of God which br.d calls Exhaustive Divine Determinism. I kinda think you already knew that.

      170. rhutchin
        I look at the Scripture through the lens of the attributes of God which br.d calls Exhaustive Divine Determinism.

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        I look at the Scripture through the lens of a specific philosophy – which Christian philosophers identify as “Exhaustive Divine Determinism” – aka – “Universal Divine Causal Determinism”.

        But I spend 99% of my time manufacturing SEMANTIC MASQUERADES to make APPEAR IN-determinist. :-]

      171. rhutchin: “I look at the Scripture through the lens of the attributes of God which br.d calls Exhaustive Divine Determinism.”
        br.d: “INTERPRETATION
        I look at the Scripture through the lens of a specific philosophy – which Christian philosophers identify as “Exhaustive Divine Determinism” – aka – “Universal Divine Causal Determinism”.

        I look at the Scripture through the lens of the attributes of God which br.d calls Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

      172. RHUTCHIN:
        I look at the Scripture through the lens of the attributes of God which br.d calls Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

        AIDAN:
        You look at Scripture through the lens of Calvinism, which has truly blinded you to the attributes of God. And that is the truth! And, it really should be called Calvinistic Causal Determinism.

      173. rhutchin
        I look at the Scripture through the lens of the attributes of God which br.d calls Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

        br.d
        And then he spends the other 99% of his time trying to MASQUERADE it as In-determinism! :-]
        For example – trying to MASQUERADE Calvin’s god CAUSINGbehind a mask of “understanding”

      174. br.d writes:
        “For example – trying to MASQUERADE Calvin’s god CAUSING behind a mask of “understanding”

        Bingo. Had ‘understanding’ been what the crafty Calvinists meant to posit, there never would have been a divide between them and the rest of christendom.

        The mighty Divines could have quite easily stated that God ‘understood’ whatsoever comes to pass, and all would have given a hearty ‘Amen!’ Obviously, that is neither what they said, nor, as attested to by endless pages of verified Calvinist testimomy since then, what they meant.

        It is only the deceptive Calvinist, or the one who himself has been deceived, who attempts to hide Calvinism’s meticulous determinism behind the benign mask of ‘understanding’ or ‘foreknowledge’, which nearly all believers can gladly affirm.

        Why do they need this mask? Why must they work so desperately, so sneakily, to hide the inescapable truth of what their TULIP theology demands? Is it an attempt to avoid the sort of condemnation Calvinism has long invoked? A desire to win over naive followers who would reject their teachings if presented clearly and honestly?

        If so, why? What would drive them to seek to win approval and acceptance, under false means? There are countless false teachers and false teachings which boldly declare their claims, without trying to disguise them as something they are not. Oh, they all seek to call themselves ‘scriptural’ or ‘Christianity’ but they do not work so hard, for so many centuries, to hide and disguise their teachings as something other than they are. Even Calvin did not ultimately disguise his horrendous claims – he just tortured or murdered anyone who dared disagree. How could it have been more clear, from the very start, that this movement is led by the master deceiver who seeks to mislead and destroy as many as possible? But, of course, this true, carefully recorded history has been hidden from the masses, distorted, disputed and, frankly, just plain lied about, because the documentation of Calvin’s reign of terror is indisputable.

        It is pretty difficult to view something so bathed in deception as other than what it is – a great big lie.

      175. How do Calvinists define the term “understanding”? Earlier, when speaking about what Mr. Jones would do, Rh suggested that God first had – perfect understanding of Mr. Jones and all that he would do – then, from that understanding, God would make His decree, and from that decree have perfect foreknowledge of Mr. Jones.

        How could one have “perfect understanding” of someone BEFORE having foreknowledge of that person and all their choices? I don’t pander to such gameplaying nonsense!

      176. Yes, that was pure word salad, with no rational meaning. It’s what rh does best, when he gets cornered. Just throw in a bunch of words and hope that, in the midst of all that tossing together, no one notices there is no meat in the salad. The whole concept of God having ‘understanding’ is misleading, as br.d points out, when what is really meant is meticulous determination. It is simply an attempt to muddy the waters, as rh attempts to avoid admitting that Calvinism has nothing to do with God’s mere ‘understanding’ or mere ‘foreknowledge’ but makes God the determinating author of evil.

      177. Thank you for your explanation Tsoo. I knew that his usage of the term ‘understanding’ was misleading, and I knew why, because you can’t separate understanding from knowledge like that. I was just curious as to how they have redefined that word, especially since I have seen Rh favor its usage quite a lot. But the discrepancy really stood out when he used it in regard to something very specific, as in the case of Mr. Jones mowing his lawn.
        Imagine wanting us to believe that Calvin’s god could ‘understand’ everything that a particular person would do long before creation, and yet have no ‘foreknowledge’ of that future until he created it? It’s a weird definition of what Omniscience is, and it doesn’t really help Rh get away from the fact that his god created everything in that future, be it good, or evil! And for that cause, is responsible for all the evil that is in the world today. Calvinism truly is a doctrine for all the haters of God!

      178. AIDAN: “I knew that his usage of the term ‘understanding’ was misleading, and I knew why, because you can’t separate understanding from knowledge like that.”

        We should agree that God has perfect understanding of all things – He created everything; He understands what He created. When Paul writes, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” we should conclude that God cannot counsel without knowing His purpose and having an understanding of that for which counsel is offered. Consequently, God’s understanding precedes His decision on how He works all things. So, what is misleading to you?

        Then, “Imagine wanting us to believe that Calvin’s god could ‘understand’ everything that a particular person would do long before creation, and yet have no ‘foreknowledge’ of that future until he created it?”

        Prior to His decision to create, God’s knowledge consisted of possible events; after God decreed to create, His knowledge consisted of those events that were to be actualized. God had an understanding of all that was possible and that understanding His decree to actualize one event and not another.

        Then, “his god created everything in that future, be it good, or evil! And for that cause, is responsible for all the evil that is in the world today.”

        Of Course God is responsible for all good and evil that occurs – He created the universe knowing what good and evil was to occur. Do you deny this?

      179. AIDAN: “I knew that his usage of the term ‘understanding’ was misleading, and I knew why, because you can’t separate understanding from knowledge like that.”

        RHUTCHIN: “We should agree that God has perfect understanding of all things……So, what is misleading to you?”

        AIDAN: We are talking about “understanding of all things” future in our discussion here. Again, the problem is, you cannot have ‘understanding’ of all things – past, present, or future, without knowledge! To separate the two is misleading.

        RHUTCHIN: Prior to His decision to create, God’s knowledge consisted of possible events; after God decreed to create, His knowledge consisted of those events that were to be actualized. God had an understanding of all that was possible and that understanding His decree to actualize one event and not another.

        AIDAN: Ah! I’ve noticed two discrepancies in the paragraph, above!

        1. Creation on the basis of God’s – FOREKNOWLEDGE!
        2. Creation on the basis of a – MULTIVERSE THEORY!

        RHUTCHIN: “Of Course God is responsible for all good and evil that occurs – He created the universe knowing what good and evil was to occur. Do you deny this?”

        AIDAN: How about this instead – ‘Of Course Calvin’s god is responsible for all good and evil that occurs – He designed all the good and the evil that was was to occur in the Universe. Do you deny this?’

      180. AIDAN: “We are talking about “understanding of all things” future in our discussion here. Again, the problem is, you cannot have ‘understanding’ of all things – past, present, or future, without knowledge! To separate the two is misleading.”

        WE can separate based on Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” Here we know that the “counsel of God’s will” precedes and is the basis for His works. Therefore, God’s counsel precedes “knowledge ” of His works. Prior to deciding on His works, God certainly has a knowledge of everything that He could do and everything was a possibility. It is God’s understanding of those possibilities and how they promote His purpose that leads to the actualization of a subset of those possibilities that we see as the creation of a particular world that fulfills God’s purpose. WE can separate possible works from actual works and understanding of possible works is the basis is the basis for God’s decision on actual works. God’s actual works then lead to Him being omniscient..

        AIDAN: “’ve noticed two discrepancies in the paragraph, above!
        1. Creation on the basis of God’s – FOREKNOWLEDGE!
        2. Creation on the basis of a – MULTIVERSE THEORY!”

        Discrepancies?? It would have been nice if you had explained this. God has a foreknowledge of all that it was possible for Him to do. Those possibilities could be combined in various ways to give possible worlds or a multiverse situation. What’s your issue?

        AIDAN: “How about this instead – ‘Of Course Calvin’s god is responsible for all good and evil that occurs – He designed all the good and the evil that was was to occur in the Universe. Do you deny this?’”

        God had a purpose in creating. He took all the possible actions He could take and choose those that would achieve His purpose. So, creation was designed with God’s purpose in mind. I guess we both agree on this – that God designed good and evil into His creation.

      181. RHUTCHIN: “WE can separate..”

        AIDAN: You cannot have ‘understanding’ of all things – past, present, or future, without knowledge of all things past, present, and future! It’s ridiculous to say that you can separate knowledge and understanding – you can’t!

        RHUTCHIN: “God has a foreknowledge of all that it was possible for Him to do.”

        AIDAN: I’m saying you do actually believe that Calvin’s god has foreknowledge in the sense that he looked down the corridor of time and chose a subset of all possible worlds! That’s foreseeing – foreknowledge – omniscience.

        RHUTCHIN: “I guess we both agree on this – that God designed good and evil into His creation.”

        AIDAN: – You must be joking!

        Webster;
        The word design (transitive verb) = 1. to create, fashion, execute,..2. to conceive and plan out in the mind.
        The word design (intransitive verb) = 1: to conceive or execute a plan 2: to draw, lay out, or prepare a design.

        Genesis 1:31 – “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”

      182. AIDAN: You cannot have ‘understanding’ of all things – past, present, or future, without knowledge of all things past, present, and future! It’s ridiculous to say that you can separate knowledge and understanding – you can’t!”

        Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” Does God know His works prior to the “counsel of His will.” Obviously not. The “counsel of His will” comes before His works and provides the reason for God doing certain works and not others. Does the “counsel of His will” operate without understanding. Obviously not, as God’s counsel reflects His perfect wisdom and without an understanding of the impacts of the works, perfectly wise choices are impossible.Understanding contributes to God’s choosing His works and God’s works then become His knowledge – God knows the works He will do. Thus, God’s understanding enables God’s works and comes before any decision He makes about the works He will do.

        Then, “I’m saying you do actually believe that Calvin’s god has foreknowledge in the sense that he looked down the corridor of time and chose a subset of all possible worlds! That’s foreseeing – foreknowledge – omniscience.”

        Well, you are wrong on this point. If God looks into the future to observe events and gain a foreknowledge of those events, then that is not omniscience as God has added to His knowledge by looking into the future. Since there is always a future for God to observe, He would always be able to look into the future to learn something new and increase in knowledge.

        RHUTCHIN: “I guess we both agree on this – that God designed good and evil into His creation.”
        AIDAN: – “You must be joking!….Genesis 1:31 – “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”

        I though you agreed with me that God’s creation was “very good” but not “perfect.” So, are you now saying that God’s creation was perfect?

      183. rhutchin
        Consequently, God’s understanding precedes His decision on how He works all things. So, what is misleading to you?

        br.d
        But does he have certainty in his understanding of what he does not foreknow – prior to the decree which establishes his certainty of what he will foreknow? :-]

      184. Hi Aidan
        You may recall that Calvinism forcibly rejects the notion of “foreknowledge via observation”.
        Calvin’s god does not look into the future – and by seeing it – has foreknowledge of it.

        As A.W. Pink states:
        -quote
        God foreknows what will be because He has decreed what shall be.

        Now RH understands the logical consequence to this – is that it makes Calvin’s god the AUTHOR of evil.
        Calvin’s god foreknows every evil because he decreed what every evil shall be.
        Which means all evil ORIGINATES in Calvin’s god’s mind and will.

        RH would like to somehow soften this as much as he can.
        One way to do that would be to craft statements designed to MASQUERADE something similar to “foreknowledge via observation”.

        The closest thing he can get to crafting a statement that can accomplish that – is to appeal to “understanding”

        It makes Calvin’s god’s role in evil APPEAR passive.
        He doesn’t CAUSE evil
        He “MERELY” understands evil.

        This is just another strategy for RH to paint Calvinism as IN-deterministic as possible.

      185. Br.d,
        The closest thing he can get to crafting a statement that can accomplish that – is to appeal to “understanding”

        It makes Calvin’s god’s role in evil APPEAR passive.
        He doesn’t CAUSE evil
        He “MERELY” understands evil.

        Aidan,
        Hmmm!! If Calvin’s god understood it so much, why did he still go ahead and DECREE to create evil – especially since he is the ‘source’ of all things, as Rh would affirm? And he can’t say that Calvin’s god didn’t create evil, since that would admit he had NO CONTROL over the fact it would emerge in his creation. It surely is a – DOUBLE-MINDED DOCTRINE full of deceit!

      186. AIDAN: “why did [God] still go ahead and DECREE to create evil ”

        “Evil” is not a force or an entity that God created. The term, “evil,” is a descriptive word used to describe something – an evil person, Satan is evil, Adam did evil by disobeying God. Adam could not sin, or do evil, until God said, “Thou shalt not eat the fruit…” Before God restricted Adam’s freedom to eat the fruit, Adam could have eaten it every day as much as he wanted. The Scriptures tell us what actions people can take that God describes as disobedience, or evil.

      187. RHUTCHIN: “Evil” is not a force or an entity that God created. The term, “evil,” is a descriptive word used to describe something – an evil person,..”

        AIDAN: And who, in Calvinism, DECREED to create a world of men without faith?

        In other words – who made men that way?

      188. AIDAN: “And who, in Calvinism, DECREED to create a world of men without faith? In other words – who made men that way?”

        God did. We know that faith only comes to a person through hearing the gospel. Prior to hearing the gospel, a person has no faith. So, what is your problem?

      189. AIDAN: “And who, in Calvinism, DECREED to create a world of men without faith? In other words – who made men that way?”

        RHUTCHIN: “God did.”

        AIDAN: So, according to you, it was Calvin’s god who created or made a world of unrighteous men – because he made them without faith – and then condemned them for being the way he made them. I’m glad you and I are not reading the same Bible!

      190. Yes – good point Aidan.

        And also – Calvinism entails what is called “compatiblistic” freedom
        Which is defined as “freedom” to be/do what is determined.

        Thus a coin that is infallibly determined to land heads-up has “freedom” land heads-up.
        But it is NOT “free” to land tails-up – because that is NOT compatible with what is determined.

        Similarly – Adam had “freedom” do eat the fruit because Adam eats the fruit is what was determined.
        But Adam was NOT “free” to NOT eat the fruit – because that is NOT compatible with what is determined.
        And no alternative is made available to Adam – because any alternative would NOT be compatible with what is determined.

        That being the case – we can now look at what is LOGICALLY entailed within Calvin’s god creating evil and humans to perpetrate it.

        Calvin’s god COULD have DETERMINED a world in which he brings no evil into existence.
        He COULD have DETERMINED a world in which all humans love and serve him and never disobey.
        And according to “compatibilist” freedom – those persons would all love and serve and obey him “Freely”.

        However – Calvin’s god instead DETERMINED to bring evils into existence.
        And Calvin’s god DETERMINED to create a world in which the vast majority of humans are specifically designed for eternal torment in the lake of fire. And John Calvin says – Calvin’s god does this for -quote “His good pleasure”.

        So it LOGICALLY follows:
        Calvin’s god brings evils, hatred of himself, and disobedience to his commands, into existence – because these things are what give him pleasure.

      191. AIDAN: “So, according to you, it was Calvin’s god who created or made a world of unrighteous men – because he made them without faith – and then condemned them for being the way he made them. I’m glad you and I are not reading the same Bible!”

        “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,”
        Romans 9

      192. RHUTCHIN:
        “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,”
        Romans 9″

        AIDAN:
        So, according to you, this passage is all about Calvin’s god creating the world in which he creates unrighteous men – because he made them without faith – and then condemned them for being the way he made them? I have to say, ‘you play fast and loose with the scriptures, and have a great imagination’. Again, I’m glad you and I are not reading the same Bible!

      193. AIDAN: “I have to say, ‘you play fast and loose with the scriptures, and have a great imagination’. Again, I’m glad you and I are not reading the same Bible!”

        We both read the same Scriptures, You seem unable to explain how you get the things you want from the Scriptures – this especially noticeable where the Scriptures don’t say what you want..

      194. rhutchin
        We both read the same Scriptures,

        br.d
        They both read the same words – while Calvinist have their unique dictionary
        Calvinists have their own PRIVATE interpretation of what words mean.

        rhutchin
        You seem unable to explain how you get the things you want from the Scriptures – this especially noticeable where the Scriptures don’t say what you want..

        br.d
        I fell off my chair when I read this example of self-projection!!!!

        Psychological projection
        Is a defense mechanism in which the ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves by attributing them to others.

        Calvinists are soo funny!! 😀

      195. rhutchin
        You seem unable to explain how you get the things you want from the Scriptures – this especially noticeable where the Scriptures don’t say what you want..

        br.d
        I fell off my chair when I read this example of self-projection!!!!

        Aidan
        Classic, isn’t it!!😊

      196. Again, Rhutchin, you seem to have a great imagination when it comes to making the Scriptures say what you want them to say!

      197. rhutchin
        “Evil” is not a force or an entity that God created.

        br.d
        John Calvin
        -quote
        I have already shown clearly enough that god is the AUTHOR of all those things.

        Evey evil is FIRST CONCEIVED in the mind of Calvin’s god – then decreed into existence.
        And the evilness of every evil is also FIRST CONCEIVED in the mind of Calvin’s god.

        This is where the Gnostic Augustine and the Neo-Platonist Augustine – came into conflict.

        According to the doctrines of Augustine’s teacher Plotinus (i.e. NeoPlatonism) evil is simply the deprivation of good.
        According to the doctrines of Augustine’s Gnostic teachetrs – good and evil are both creations of – and attributes of – the creator.
        These two conceptions will eventually become synchronized within Augustine’s theology.

        And that is how we have “good” and “evil” as Co-equal, Co-complimentary, and Co-Necessary in Calvinism.

        Dr. James Fieser – Evil within NeoPlatonism – Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
        -quote
        “Evil is Necessary since Matter is the Final Emanation from the Good”

      198. br.d writes, “Evey evil is FIRST CONCEIVED in the mind of Calvin’s god…”

        “Every evil act…” Thereby, God issues His commands prohibiting evil acts.

      199. br.d writes, “Evey evil is FIRST CONCEIVED in the mind of Calvin’s god…”

        rhutchin
        “Every evil act…” Thereby, God issues His commands prohibiting evil acts.

        br.d
        Calvinists do love their DOUBLE-SPEAK!

        Here Calvin’s god issues his commands prohibiting the very evil he decreed into existence to infallibly come to pass.

        Another example of how the Calvinists IRRATIONAL god just happens to resemble the IRRATIONAL Calvinist image! :-]

      200. br.d: “Here Calvin’s god issues his commands prohibiting the very evil he decreed into existence to infallibly come to pass.”

        Actually, “God issues his commands prohibiting the very evil acts he decreed into existence to infallibly come to pass.”

        Yes. God created the world knowing everything that would come to pass.

      201. br.d
        Here Calvin’s god issues his commands prohibiting the very evil he decreed into existence to infallibly come to pass.”

        rhutchin
        Actually, “God issues his commands prohibiting the very evil acts he decreed into existence to infallibly come to pass

        br.d
        Evil does not necessarily equate to an act.
        Evil can exist without manifesting itself in the form of an act.

        So:
        Here Calvin’s god issues his commands prohibiting the very evil he decreed into existence to infallibly come to pass

        rhutchin
        Yes. God created the world knowing everything that would come to pass.

        br.d
        Yes Calvin’s god knows every evil he is going to bring into existence.

      202. br.d writes, “Evil does not necessarily equate to an act.
        Evil can exist without manifesting itself in the form of an act.”

        The term, “evil,” is a descriptor, an adjective. It needs something to describe. I guess you must mean that it exists in a dictionary.

      203. br.d
        Evil does not necessarily equate to an act.
        Evil can exist without manifesting itself in the form of an act.

        rhuthcin
        The term, “evil,” is a descriptor, an adjective. It needs something to describe. I guess you must mean that it exists in a dictionary.

        br.d
        And adjective is a word or phrase naming an attribute.
        It can also describe a person, place, or thing.

        Additionally Jonathon Edwards declared evil as is one of the necessary Parts of divine glory.
        -quote
        ….the shining forth of god’s glory would be very imperfect both because the PARTS of divine glory would not shine forth as the other do……nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all.”

      204. br,d writes, “You may recall that Calvinism forcibly rejects the notion of “foreknowledge via observation”. Calvin’s god does not look into the future – and by seeing it – has foreknowledge of it.”

        If God looks into the future to discover what is to happen in the future, then God had a certain amount of knowledge prior to looking into the future and an increased knowledge after looking into the future. Because of that, we could not describe God as “omniscient” as their is alwasy a future for God to look into to gain even more knowledge.

        Then, “Now RH understands the logical consequence to this – is that it makes Calvin’s god the AUTHOR of evil.”

        Of course. History is His Story. History unfolds exactly as God decreed it to unfold.

      205. br.d
        Now RH understands the logical consequence to this – is that it makes Calvin’s god the AUTHOR of evil.
        Calvin’s god foreknows every evil because he decreed what every evil shall be.
        Which means all evil ORIGINATES in Calvin’s god’s mind and will.

        rhutchin
        Of course. History is His Story. History unfolds exactly as God decreed it to unfold.

        br.d
        Ah! – so easy to say now!
        But all we have to do is wait and watch
        And you are guaranteed to spend the next 100 posts crafting deceptive statements designed to MASQUARADE this very attribute of Calvinism – as something else.

        And so we see:
        RH would like to somehow soften this as much as he can.
        One way to do that would be to craft statements designed to MASQUERADE something similar to “foreknowledge via observation”.

        The closest thing he can get to crafting a statement that can accomplish that – is to appeal to “understanding”

        It makes Calvin’s god’s role in evil APPEAR passive.
        He doesn’t CAUSE evil
        He “MERELY” understands evil.

        This is just another strategy for RH to paint Calvinism as IN-deterministic as possible.

      206. AIDAN: “How could one have “perfect understanding” of someone BEFORE having foreknowledge of that person and all their choices?”

        Let’s try an analogy. When GM builds a car, the last thing done is to turn the key and drive the car. How does GM know that the car will work? GM engineers understand how all the parts of the car fit together to give a car that works and they know the end result – turn the key )(or press the button) and the engine comes to life and the car works. So, God builds a person and understands how all the systems work so that when the doctor smacks the babies bottom the baby springs to life. Before God created Adam/Eve He understand all the things that would have to go into their bodies and what they would contribute to their living. God also understood the brain that He would put into their head and how it would work incorporating new information to understand and respond to their environment. By His understanding, God can know what a person will think before they think it.

      207. rhutchin
        God builds a person and understands how all the systems work

        br.d
        Welcome to Molinism – where God does NOT DETERMINE every micro movement of man – at every micro-instance in time – but still has perfect foreknowledge of man’s nature at any instance in time.

        Which rejects Calvin’s god who does DETERMINE every micro movement of man – at every micro-instance in time – and thereby knows what man will do at every instance in time.

        As Calvinist A.W. Pink states it
        -paraphrase:
        God understands 100% of the future – simply because God decrees what 100% of the future will be.

      208. br.d: “Welcome to Molinism – where God does NOT DETERMINE every micro movement of man – at every micro-instance in time – but still has perfect foreknowledge of man’s nature at any instance in time.”

        Of course, depends on God’s understanding of what it is possible for His to create. Under Molinism, God chooses one, unique world to create; that world is perfectly determined to every detail and Calvinism describes the world God choose to create.

        br.d writes, “As Calvinist A.W. Pink states it
        -paraphrase:
        God understands 100% of the future – simply because God decrees what 100% of the future will be.”

        Yes. This is what Molinism also says about the world God chose to create..

      209. br..r
        Welcome to Molinism – where God does NOT DETERMINE every micro movement of man – at every micro-instance in time – but still has perfect foreknowledge of man’s nature at any instance in time.”

        rhutchin
        Of course, depends on God’s understanding of what it is possible for His to create. Under Molinism, God chooses one, unique world to create; that world is perfectly determined to every detail and Calvinism describes the world God choose to create.

        br.d
        You conveniently ignored the “DOES NOT DETERMINE every micro movement of man”

        And Molinism – which rejects Calvin’s god who does DETERMINE every micro movement of man – at every micro-instance in time – and thereby knows what man will do at every instance in time.

        As Calvinist A.W. Pink states it
        -paraphrase:
        God understands 100% of the future – simply because God decrees what 100% of the future will be.

        rhutchin
        Yes. This is what Molinism also says about the world God chose to create..

        br.d
        Dr. William Lane Craig
        -quote
        Molina was a Libertarian. And he developed his postulate as a disagreement with Calvin’s determinism.

        Kenneth Keathley – A Molinist Approach
        -quote
        By placing middle knowledge (and thereby counterfactuals) before the creation decree God allows for freedom in the libertarian sense.

        Sorry rhutchin – your attempts to MASQUERADE Molinism as Calvinism also fail! :-]

      210. br.d: “You conveniently ignored the “DOES NOT DETERMINE every micro movement of man””

        That’s speculation on your part. When you show that to be true, we can consider it.

        Then, “And Molinism – which rejects Calvin’s god who does DETERMINE every micro movement of man – at every micro-instance in time – and thereby knows what man will do at every instance in time.”

        In establishing that God chooses to create one world out of all possible worlds, Molinim says that God determines everything in that world He created.

      211. rhutchin
        In establishing that God chooses to create one world out of all possible worlds, Molinim says that God determines everything in that world He created.

        br.d
        Including a world in which he “MERELY” permits creatures to be/do giving them the same Libertarian choice-making which he himself exercises – as part of the Imago Dei (“image of god”) endowed to every man – Adam and afterwards.

        And the existence of Libertarian choice – granted to humanity at creation – represents a black-&-white difference between Molinism and Calvinism

      212. br.d writes, “And the existence of Libertarian choice – granted to humanity at creation – represents a black-&-white difference between Molinism and Calvinism”

        The world God chose to create under Mplonism is the same world described by Calvinism. No difference between the two – not even a black-&-white difference..

      213. br.d writes, “And the existence of Libertarian choice – granted to humanity at creation – represents a black-&-white difference between Molinism and Calvinism”

        rhutchin
        The world God chose to create under Mplonism is the same world described by Calvinism. No difference between the two – not even a black-&-white difference.

        br.d
        Only in your mind! :-]

        Dr. Thomas P. Flint – A Molinist Account
        -quote
        Human agency is understood in Libertarian terms.

        Dr. Kirk MacGregor – Luis de Molina
        -quote
        Molina rejected an interpretation of divine foreknowledge that make in synonymous with foreordination as Calvin did.
        In Molina’s system – human beings are created in the image of God, and possess Libertarian free will.

        Dr. William Lane Craig
        -quote
        Molinism places middle knowledge (and thereby counterfactuals) before the creation decree, thereby allowing for human freedom in the libertarian sense.

        Sorry rhutchin!
        Your continued attempts to MASQUERADE Molinism as Calvinism fail once again. :-]

      214. br.d quotes, “Dr. Kirk MacGregor – Luis de Molina-quote…
        In Molina’s system – human beings are created in the image of God, and possess Libertarian free will.
        Dr. William Lane Craig – quote
        Molinism places middle knowledge (and thereby counterfactuals) before the creation decree, thereby allowing for human freedom in the libertarian sense. ”

        Craig modifies MacGregor and gets it right. Whatever “Libertarian” free will Molinism posits to exist does so prior to creation. That’s the whole deal with middle knowledge. Under Molinism, God takes advantage of His middle knowledge to choose one unique world to create and that world is completely described down to the smallest detail. That is the one world that achieves God’s purpose. That world is determined fully, and God has a perfect knowledge of every event that will come to pass in that world. The Scriptures describe that world and Calvinism follows the Scriptures in defining a theology for that world.

        Molinists have yet to explain how “Libertarian” free will exists within God’s Middle knowledge. That is a presumption under Molinism. Maybe, Craig will get around to explaining it one day.

      215. rhutchin
        Craig modifies MacGregor….

        br.d
        Too funny!!
        To see whats going on in rhutchin’s brain right now – look at this picture
        https://soteriology101.com/2020/09/16/john-6-is-not-about-you/#comment-52230

        rhutchin
        Whatever “Libertarian” free will Molinism posits to exist does so prior to creation.

        br.d
        This is true ONLY in Calvinism of course – because only Calvin’s god has Libertarian freedom.
        Calvin’s god never endows mankind with this aspect of his “Imago Dei” (Image of God)

        In Molinism – ALL of mankind is endowed with Libertarian choice.

        rhutchin
        Molinists have yet to explain how “Libertarian” free will exists within God’s Middle knowledge. That is a presumption under Molinism. Maybe, Craig will get around to explaining it one day.

        br.d
        Well – the GNOSTIC should know – cuz he’s the expert in 10001 divine secrets! 😂

        This post is a WONDERFUL example to show that Calvinism is nothing more than the art of MANIPULATING WORDS!

        The first mistake one makes in dialog with a Calvinist is to assume that Calvinist think RATIONALLY.

        Thank you rhutchin for another good example.

      216. RH:
        “God’s understanding of Jones and the decisions he will make chronologically and logically precedes Jones’ decisions. It is by His understanding that God decrees the freedom Jones will have to make his decisions – i.e., the freedom Jones has to do as he desires. God’s foreknowledge of Jones’ decisions comes after God’s decree and reflects God’s decrees.”

        Then:
        “By His understanding, God can know what a person will think before they think it.”

        Aidan:

        First – “By His understanding” of people = UNDERSTANDING

        By Which – God decrees the freedom people can have in thought/desire/action = DECREE

        By which – “God can know what a person will think before they think it” = FOREKNOWLEDGE

        In other words – God has FOREKNOWLEDGE of what a person will think before they think it, because He DECREED the freedom that each person would have in thought, desires and actions beforehand, because of His UNDERSTANDING.

        Sorry, but it still sounds like He PROGRAMMED people like GM programs the computers within their cars to behave/do exactly as programmed to do!

        It still has – EXHAUSTIVE DIVINE DETERMINISM written all over it.

        And, by the way, to have a complete ‘understanding’ of something long before you create it – REQUIRES both forethought and foreknowledge. In God’s case, I think you need to go back and learn the true meaning of Omniscience.

      217. Aidan
        I think you need to go back and learn the true meaning of Omniscience

        br.d
        Calvinists have their own unique definition of Omniscience.

        The orthodox position of Divine Omniscience is that it is an ESSENTIAL attribute.
        In other words – there is no point in which Divine Omniscience is lacking.

        The Calvinist position deviates from that – by asserting that Calvin’s god cannot have certainty of [X] until he decrees [X].
        Which means – there is a point at which Divine Omniscience of [X] is lacking.

      218. Very good – in other words, there is no certainty or foreknowledge of [x] until its future is decreed and controlled. Hence, true Divine foreknowledge of the future is not foreseen, but rather – is MANUFACTURED.

      219. yes – and that is what A.W Pink means when he says “God foreknows what will be because He has decreed what shall be”
        So what does Calvin’s god know prior to the decree?

        Now here is another place where RH moves into DOUBLE-SPEAK.
        -quote
        The decree is timeless – but we don’t know what time the decree was established.

        He always provides the best examples of Calvinist DOUBLE-SPEAK! :-]

      220. Br.d,
        “So what does Calvin’s god know prior to the decree?”

        Aidan
        Indeed, what does he know prior to the decree? Certainly not the future – it hasn’t been decreed yet!

      221. br,d writes, “So what does Calvin’s god know prior to the decree?”

        He knows all future events that are possible. His decree actualizes a subset of those possibilities.

        Then, “Now here is another place where RH moves into DOUBLE-SPEAK.
        -quote
        The decree is timeless – but we don’t know what time the decree was established.”

        I usually say, “…we don’t know what point at which the decree was established.” Obviously, there was no ‘time” prior ro creation.

      222. br,d
        So what does Calvin’s god know prior to the decree?

        rhutchin
        He knows all future events that are possible. His decree actualizes a subset of those possibilities.

        br.d
        Right – but he doesn’t have certainty of what [X] will be until after he decrees what [X] will be.
        So prior to the decree he has omniscience of all future possibilities – but no omniscience of not-decreed future events.

        Then, “Now here is another place where RH moves into DOUBLE-SPEAK.
        -quote
        The decree is timeless – but we don’t know what time the decree was established.”

        rhutchin
        I usually say, “…we don’t know what point at which the decree was established.” Obviously, there was no ‘time” prior ro creation.

        br.d
        Which LOGICALLY means the decree is not actually timeless – its just occurs within a window that is prior to time.

        We’re really fortunate to have Calvinists
        Otherwise we would never know all of these divine secrets! :-]

      223. br.d: “So prior to the decree he has omniscience of all future possibilities – but no omniscience of not-decreed future events.”

        Prior to the decree, all possible future possibilities are non-decreed future events. Omniscience of one is omniscience of the other.

        Then, “Which LOGICALLY means the decree is not actually timeless – its just occurs within a window that is prior to time. ”

        LOL!!! Not only prior to time but where there was no such thing as time.

      224. br.d
        So prior to the decree he has omniscience of all future possibilities – but no omniscience of not-decreed future events.”

        rhutchin
        Prior to the decree, all possible future possibilities are non-decreed future events. Omniscience of one is omniscience of the other.

        br.d
        Which simply means Calvin’s god does NOT have omniscience of SOME future events.

        Which LOGICALLY means the decree is not actually timeless – its just occurs within a window that is prior to time.

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! Not only prior to time but where there was no such thing as time.

        br.d
        AH! This jolts my memory – you actually said it differently

        Calvin’s god’s decree is without beginning and without ending – but we don’t know when it began.

      225. AIDAN: “true Divine foreknowledge of the future is not foreseen, but rather – is MANUFACTURED”

        Or derived from the counsel of God’s will considering God’s purpose and His perfect understanding..

      226. AIDAN: “true Divine foreknowledge of the future is not foreseen, but rather – is MANUFACTURED”

        rhutchin
        Or derived from the counsel of God’s will considering God’s purpose and His perfect understanding..

        br.d
        Right! Manufactured from the counsel of his irrational will – and irrational purpose – and his perfect irrational understanding.
        Seeing how Calvin’s god is manufactured from John Calvin’s irrational image! :-]

      227. RHUTCHIN: “He knows all future events that are possible.”

        AIDAN: What do you mean? Like all future possibilities are foreseen, similar to a multiverse, and he simply picks what he wants to create/actualize?

      228. AIDAN: “What do you mean? Like all future possibilities are foreseen, similar to a multiverse, and he simply picks what he wants to create/actualize?”

        Yeah. God actualizes certain events from the universe of all possible events. As Molinism describes, God chooses to create one specific world from the universe of all possible worlds He it was possible for Him to create. What’s your issue?

      229. RHUTCHIN:
        Yeah. God actualizes certain events from the universe of all possible events. As Molinism describes, God chooses to create one specific world from the universe of all possible worlds He it was possible for Him to create. What’s your issue?

        AIDAN:
        Without giving something vague, could you actually give book, chapter, and verse that spells it out the way you’ve described it above?

      230. AIDAN: “Without giving something vague, could you actually give book, chapter, and verse that spells it out the way you’ve described it above?”

        “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1 The earth God created was unique, but nothing prevented HIm creating another different earth. Are you arguing that God could not have chosen from among many possible earths that He had the power to create?

      231. rhutchin
        Are you arguing that God could not have chosen from among many possible earths that He had the power to create?

        br.d
        Since his choice is not determined for him – then yes – he has Libertarian choice – which does facilitate the existence of multiple options from which to choose.

        Determinism only allows for that one single predestined option- because only one single predestined future is “rendered-certain”

        Therefore in Determinism any perception of multiple options from which to choose – represent predestined illusions
        Illusions of not predestined possibilities. And non-predestined possibilities have no possibility of existence.

      232. br.d writes, “Therefore in Determinism any perception of multiple options from which to choose – represent predestined illusions”

        That’s why Molinism is a help – it describes God’s middle knowledge that God has prior to His choice of a specific world to create. Once God choose a world to create, that choice becomes His decree and everything in that world is determined. That makes you correct to say, “Determinism only allows for that one single predestined option- because on only one single predestined future is “rendered-certain”” Here determinism reflects God’s choice of one specific world to create.

      233. br.d
        Therefore in Determinism any perception of multiple options from which to choose – represent predestined illusions.
        Because a predestined event can only resolve to one single “rendered-certain” future.

        rhutchin
        That makes you correct to say, “Determinism only allows for that one single predestined option- because on only one single predestined future is “rendered-certain””

        br.d
        Very interesting!
        In previous posts you insisted that you do have multiple options from which to choose in your choice making *AS-IF* you had Libertarian choice. Thank you for the flip! I can see my RATIONAL thinking has had a good effect on you. I’ll take that as a compliment. :-]

        rhutchin
        That’s why Molinism is a help – it describes God’s middle knowledge that God has prior to His choice of a specific world to create. Once God choose a world to create, that choice becomes His decree and everything in that world is determined.

        br.d
        Not so fast – mr. everything that comes into my imagination is true!
        In Molinism – God does create a world in which all of mankind does have some form of Libertarian choice.
        As all Molinists experts will attest.

        But of course – Libertarian choice is not a part of the determinist’s cognitive functionality
        So IXNAY on rhutchin having multiple options from which to choose during “so-called” choice making

        rhutchin
        That makes you correct to say, “Determinism only allows for that one single predestined option- because on only one single predestined future is “rendered-certain””

        br.d
        Which means – when rhutchin’s brain is examining anything to determine whether it is TRUE or FALSE – any perception that his brain can make a Libertarian choice between TRUE and FALSE is an illusion.

        Here are the possibilities:
        1) Calvin’s god may determine rhutchin’s brain to choose TRUE – when Calvin’s god knows the answer is FALSE
        2) Calvin’s god may determine rhutchin’s brain to choose FALSE – when Calvin’s god knows the answer is TRUE
        3) Calvin’s god may determine rhutchin’s brain to choose TRUE – when Calvin’s god knows the answer is TRUE
        4) Calvin’s god may determine rhutchin’s brain to choose FALSE – when Calvin’s god knows the answer is FALSE

        What is more critical to note iin this model – is that rhutchin’s brain is not permitted to know if his answer is TRUE or FALSE.
        Because in all 4 instanced – Calvin’s god determines rhutchin’s brain to hold *ALL* answers as TRUE – whether the they are true or not.
        Since all answer are TRUE in rhuchin’s brain – there is no ability to discern a TRUE answer from a FALSE answer.

        Therefore it LOGICALLY follows – in determinism – the Calvinist has no ability to discern TRUE from FALSE on any matter.

      234. RHUTCHIN:
        “God actualizes certain events from the universe of all possible events. As Molinism describes, God chooses to create one specific world from the universe of all possible worlds”

        AIDAN:
        “Without giving something vague, could you actually give book, chapter, and verse that spells it out the way you’ve described it above?”

        RHUTCHIN:
        “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1

        AIDAN:
        As I suspected, you don’t have any verses which spell out what was going on in God’s mind before He created the heavens and the earth. It’s all speculation – and for that reason must be rejected!

        Deut 29:29:
        “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

        How men love to speculate about the secret things not revealed to us!

      235. AIDAN: “As I suspected, you don’t have any verses which spell out what was going on in God’s mind before He created the heavens and the earth. It’s all speculation – and for that reason must be rejected!”

        LOL!!!

        Let’s look at the preceding discussion:
        RHUTCHIN:: “Yeah. God actualizes certain events from the universe of all possible events. As Molinism describes, God chooses to create one specific world from the universe of all possible worlds He it was possible for Him to create. What’s your issue?”
        AIDAN:: “Without giving something vague, could you actually give book, chapter, and verse that spells it out the way you’ve described it above?”

        I said that “God chooses to create one specific world from the universe of all possible worlds ” Aidan asked for a verse that tell us this. So, I cited, Genesis 1, ““In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

        Aidan then says, “you don’t have any verses which spell out what was going on in God’s mind …” I think Aidan is funny.

      236. rhutchin
        I cited, Genesis 1, ““In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

        Aidan
        Right – you don’t have any verses which spell out what was going on in God’s mind

        rhutchin
        I think Aidan is funny.

        br.d
        You think Aidan is funny when his analysis of your assertion is TRUE.
        The verse you provided says nothing about something going on within Calvin’s god’s mind.
        You inserted your own thoughts into Calvin’s god’s brain using what you imagined he would be thinking

        I still think God gave Calvinism to mankind as a form of entertainment! :-]

      237. Whoah, there, don’t go blaming God for Calvinism! Don’t forget, everything He made was ‘very good’; thus, we know from whence Calvinism really came.

      238. Oh that is funny TS00!!

        Hey – I was just thinking about a Calvinist Monty Python skit.
        Perhaps a musical?
        John Calvin standing in the lake of fire – surrounded by burning infants
        He’s singing a tavern song.

        What do you think?? :-]

      239. I can’t tell you how many Monty Python like skits Calvinism has generated in my mind. Monty Python frequently poked fun at the shortcomings and cruelties of the so-called religious leaders from the past. 😉 If you’ve ever seen the one where they want to burn a ‘witch’, this is based loosely on the real witch hunts that Calvin and his ilk set off. In my personal opinion, women were targeted because the seat of much traditional knowledge and what I call ‘folk science’ (others just call it good ol’ common sense) has always rested primarily in the mothers and the grandmothers. Not that there were no men involved, but they usually had other responsibilities that left the preservation of wise traditions in the hands of the women. Women, at least in the past, were not ususally motivated by desires for wealth, power and prestige, but the well-being, nourishment and survival of their dependent young and, sometimes, ‘helpless’ males. Of course, today they have been encouraged to be ‘like’ men, for better or worse.

        It was these wise women, particularly the aged, cragged ‘crones’ with decades of wisdom and knowledge along with their wrinkles, who passed along the physical, and most likely spiritual, secrets of the ages. They would not be easily threatened, bought off or dissuaded. You don’t mess with a Mama Bear. They were devoted to keeping and passing along the healthy traditions that they had been taught, such as what herbs and habits were good for nutrition, healing, and childbearing support.

        They would also be less likely to be dissuaded from holding to ‘common sense’ understandings of God and scripture. Thus they were enemies of those who declared themselves the Institutional Church and its proclaimed authority and Orthodoxy. The women who were targeted as witches were mostly the wisened, elderly herbalists and healers, who likely also dared to share spiritual insights with the sick and dying without the express approval and direction of the ‘leaders’. Doubtless, they had little interest in debatable religious issues such as the Trinity or Predestination, and simply encouraged the weak and needy to put their trust in a loving and faithful God. To this day Calvinist churches are often patriarchal and authoritarian, determined to control what the people believe, think and do. Some, like little Calvins, exert their influence over what the people eat, how they dress, wear their hair or use their spare time. It is not a healthy tradition.

      240. If I remember – think it was King Henry who blamed various weather events on witches.
        They would basically go looking for any woman they thought they could use to look the part of a witch and publicly kill her
        Of course no wealthy citizens were ever chosen.

        From what I’ve read – Calvin pretty much did the same thing – but with women use used home-grown medicines to help people.

      241. RHUTCHIN:
        “So, I cited, Genesis 1, ““In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

        AIDAN:
        Again, you have failed to show one verse where it says, “God actualizes certain events from the universe of all possible events…to create one specific world from the universe of all possible worlds.”

        BECAUSE THERE IS NONE!

      242. I’m also not sure Calvinists can get away with talking about multiple possible worlds. That would require there to be a time in which Calvi-god did not know all things, horror of horrors. This, philosophers tell us, would make God less than ‘perfect’ since he must ‘learn’ something which he once did not know, that is, what world he would someday create and what would actually come to pass within it
        . This uncertainty and ‘Not yet decided’ is utterly impossible under Calvinism’s definition of an omniscient God who has known with unchangeable certainty and planned without possibility of change all things in ‘eternity past’ – whenever that was.

      243. This is the first I’m hearing about this. The first thing that struck me is how it sounded like the multiverse theory in evolution. You may already know this, but this theory postulates an innumerable number of universes in order to explain how, by chance, it might have been possible for one universe such as our own to, suddenly pop into existence with all the conditions necessary for the development of life. And this theory by people who call themselves scholars and scientists? It’s not science, it’s nothing but pure speculation and desperation in order to cling onto their Godless philosophies! It’s no better than what the ancients did when they were guessing.

        Same here with the Calvinist’s multi-world theory! It’s not found anywhere in Scripture. It’s pure conjecture and speculation on their part, they just assume without proof! We ought not to pander to it, not even for a moment, otherwise we give it credence. This is what I was talking about when I said, ‘speak where the scriptures speak, and be silent where the scriptures are silent. Imagine quoting Genesis 1:1 as proof of this, which says nothing about how God came to His decision, or about multiple possible worlds? What a joke!

      244. I agree with much you said, but my point is that the multi world theory – whether one would grant it as possible or not – does not belong in Calvinism. It simply doesn’t fit. I absolutely agree that the multi universe theory (along with much of so-called ‘Science’ and ‘Physics’) is pure nonsense; just like much of Calvinism. They use the exact same tactics to intimidate and shame people into going along with whatever they say, however much it contradicts what they said before. Just shut up and accept it. Because ‘Science’. Because ‘Calvinism’.

      245. Yep! I totally take your point. This just adds to the stupidity of this baseless claim of theirs, or is it just rh who is speculating here? Either way, you are right to point out how this is a total contradiction to the so called perfection of their god. It just doesn’t fit with one of the most precious tenets within Calvinism. I appreciate you pointing that out to me, because that’s just further evidence that this Calvinism is a false doctrine!
        Every time I see this level of speculation and waffling, I think of the scripture, “who is this who darkens counsel with words without knowledge?” Because that’s precisely what this is.

      246. AIDAN: “Same here with the Calvinist’s multi-world theory!”

        Actually, it’s the Molinist multi-world theory. Under Molinism, God has a knowledge of all possible worlds He could create and from the set of all possible worlds, God chooses that one, unique world that perfectly accomplishes His purpose.

      247. rhutchin
        Actually, it’s the Molinist multi-world theory. Under Molinism, God has a knowledge of all possible worlds He could create and from the set of all possible worlds, God chooses that one, unique world that perfectly accomplishes His purpose.

        br.d
        And for Molina (see William Lane Craig) “maximize purpose” equates to the maximized salvation of the human population

        Where as in Calvin – the “maximized purpose” equates to the maximized eternal torment of the human population.

      248. AIDAN:: “Again, you have failed to show one verse where it says, “God actualizes certain events from the universe of all possible events…to create one specific world from the universe of all possible worlds.”
        BECAUSE THERE IS NONE!”

        OK, we disagree on God having a perfect understanding of all things and what that perfect understanding entails. To me, perfect understanding encompasses all things possible and actual. If God did not have a perfect understanding of all things possible, then those events God actualized could not be said to be the most wise things God could do to accomplish His purpose.

      249. rhutchin
        OK, we disagree on God having a perfect understanding of all things

        br.d
        How many Calvinists does it take to manufacture a STRAW-MAN :-]

      250. Let’s just agree that no one can say anything except what God has revealed in His word.

      251. Aidan: “Let’s just agree that no one can say anything except what God has revealed in His word.”

        If you do that, you end up with Calvinism. What fun is that?

      252. Aidan
        Let’s just agree that no one can say anything except what God has revealed in His word.

        rhutchin
        If you do that, you end up with Calvinism. What fun is that?

        br.d
        WHAT?? And miss out on Calvinism’s 1001 inventions! …..aaaaaahhhhhhhh ….I mean divine secrets!

        Calvin forbids it!!!! 😠

      253. I think Rh meant to say, you end up with Gnosticism 101. Plenty fun and mystery guaranteed.🤟

      254. Good one Aidan!
        Augustine corresponded by letter to a close friend Nebridius, who praises how Augustine’s letters: “speak of Christ, Plato and Plotinus”.

        Martin Hudale in The Matrix of Mysticism: An In-depth Exposé writes: “Plotinus’s Neo-Platonism was the primary metaphysical model on which orthodox Catholic monastic mysticism was built.

        English historian, Theodore Maynard, in The story of American Catholicism writes: “It has often been charged… that Catholicism has been overlaid with many pagan incrustations. Catholicism is ready to accept that charge – and to make it her boast. The great god Pan is not really dead, he is baptized.”

        So I think its fair to say – Gnosticism and NeoPlatonism are not really dead – in Calvinism they are simply baptized.

      255. Very good, br.d. So, that’s what Paul meant when he spoke about baptism for the dead; he was speaking about baptism into the gnostics world of Calvinism.
        If only all would read the Bible as Calvinists do – it would do wonders for our imagination and rational thinking.🤪😵🤣

      256. br.d writes, “The Calvinist position deviates from that – by asserting that Calvin’s god cannot have certainty of [X] until he decrees [X].
        Which means – there is a point at which Divine Omniscience of [X] is lacking.”

        This based on Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” where God’s counsel precedes that which He works. However, both God’s counsel and that which He works occurs entirely within Himself and is inherent to Him

      257. br.d
        The Calvinist position deviates from the Orthodox position – by asserting that Calvin’s god cannot have certainty of [X] until he decrees [X]. Which means – there is a point at which Divine Omniscience of [X] is lacking.

        rhutchin
        This based on Ephesians 1…..

        br.d
        Good one rhutchin! 😂

      258. AIDAN: “it still sounds like He PROGRAMMED people like GM programs the computers within their cars to behave/do exactly as programmed to do!”

        The difference being that God created people in His image conveying to them the ability to act independently of Him but not autonomous from Him. Cars, obviously, can neither act independent of GM nor can they be autonomous.

      259. AIDAN: “it still sounds like He PROGRAMMED people like GM programs the computers within their cars to behave/do exactly as programmed to do!”

        RHUTCHIN: “The difference being that God created people in His image conveying to them the ability to act independently of Him but not autonomous from Him. Cars, obviously, can neither act independent of GM nor can they be autonomous.”

        AIDAN: Okay! So, Calvin’s god PROGRAMMED people to ACT independently of him (without faith) – but not autonomous from him?

        Hmm! Kinda sounds like an AI robot – don’t you think?

      260. rhutchin
        God created people in His image conveying to them the ability to act independently of Him but not autonomous from Him. Cars, obviously, can neither act independent of GM nor can they be autonomous.

        br,d
        FALSE on two accounts:

        1) Self-driving cars act with the same exact independence from their manufacture that humans do with Calvin’s god.
        As a matter of fact – once the automobile is in the hands of an owner – the car has more independence from the manufacture than humans have from Calvin’s god.

        2) Today’s Self-driving automobiles are in fact classified as “Autonomous vehicles”

        Man rhutchin!
        Your statements miss the mark – more than a pin-ball – being constantly hit at the wrong time – in a pin ball machine!

      261. RHUTCHIN:
        I look at the Scripture through the lens of the attributes of God which br.d calls Exhaustive Divine Determinism. I kinda think you already knew that.

        AIDAN: And yet you have the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life as an attribute OF God! I kinda know that too!

      262. AIDAN: “yet you have the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life as an attribute OF God!”

        They are not attributes of God but God understands His creation and the attraction of the world on His creation.

      263. AIDAN: “yet you have the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life as an attribute OF God!”

        RHUTCHIN: “They are not attributes of God but God understands His creation and the attraction of the world on His creation.”

        AIDAN: Sure you are making these evil things attributes of God! But, God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. We are talking of course about spiritual matters here! But because you have said that God is the SOURCE/AUTHOR of all the wickedness in this world – you are declaring that He is the SOURCE of ALL the spiritual darkness in this world!

        But James says:
        “Does a spring SEND FORTH fresh water and bitter from the same opening?”…” Do not be deceived… Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

        But you are making wickedness an attribute of God – which is nothing less than blasphemy!

      264. rhutchin
        God understands His creation and the attraction of the world on His creation.

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        Calvin’s god understands the inclinations he designs/causes/permits.

      265. rhutchin
        God understands His creation and the attraction of the world on His creation.

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        Calvin’s god understands the inclinations he designs/causes/permits

        Aidan:
        WHICH MEANS
        The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is NOT of the world, but is of Calvin’s god! Yep! That sounds just about right.

        Very scriptural indeed!!😉

      266. AIDAN: “God is the – author – of NOTHING that is “of the world.””

        That God is not the author (a suspect conclusion since Hod created the world (and the world system) and sustains it while also creating each person and sustaining each person and knows every event that was to occur in His creation – all of history is God’s story playing out exactly as He knew it would and wanted it to play out) would not mean that God did not determine all that is of the world given that He created the world. All that is of the world is exactly what God had planned and fits perfectly into His plan

      267. rhutchin
        All that is of the world is exactly what God had planned and fits perfectly into His plan

        br.d
        This presents a nice example of the Calvinist bluffing game.

        He will start out asserting all sorts of WIZARD OF OZ declarations
        Hoping people will blindly accept them without thinking!

        But when he can’t pull that off – he back-tracks to what he knows is commonly accepted.

        Its all too funny to watch! 😀

      268. rh writes:
        “All that is of the world is exactly what God had planned . . .”

        Rarely, if ever, has there been a less true or more scripturally unsupportable claim made by the gentleman.

        Let us begin with Jesus’ recorded prayer, urging his disciples to pray that “[God’s] will may be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This would be a totally asinine thing to pray if, indeed, “All that is of the world is exactly what God had planned”. If all is exactly what God had planned, then his will, indeed, would always be done on earth as it is in heaven.

        We could point out how nonsensical it would be of God to say in Jer 32:35 “which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination” if, indeed, “All that is of the world is exactly what God had planned”. How, exactly, does one plan or determine something without allowing it to enter his mind?

        Why was God about to kill Moses at one point, and at another, ready to destroy the entire nation of Israel and start all over with Moses and his kin, if, indeed, “All that is of the world is exactly what God had planned”?

        Why did God allow Abraham to bargain with him, pledging to spare the city of Sodom, if varying numbers of righteous men could be found, if, indeed, “All that is of the world is exactly what God had planned”?

        One could go on endlessly, pointing out promises, threats, punishments and events in scripture that utterly contradict the claim that “All that is of the world is exactly what God had planned”. Indeed, if “All that is of the world is exactly what God had planned” then what need would there be of redemption, salvation or Jesus? Why would God need to redeem, save or restore what he had planned and ordained? This would make God redeeming the creation from his own plans and ordained will. This provably false claim makes nonsense of the entire message of scripture and of the gospel. And it sums up the error of Calvinism in a nutshell.

      269. TS00 writes, “rh writes:“All that is of the world is exactly what God had planned . . .”
        Rarely, if ever, has there been a less true or more scripturally unsupportable claim made by the gentleman.”

        The